Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Let's Talk About Health Baby - Volume 4

You have to love my little Jeremy-isms especially as they pertain to “around the gym” but I want you all to understand that I speak only from experience here. My years of the University of New Hampshire's affectionately labeled “Foods and Doods” program sent me scurrying away with a degree I never used to earn a living, a head full of knowledge, and a starting point. Twenty years later I have found that experience from week to week is really all I remember about the whole ordeal, and that goes for both the mental, the physical, and even at times the spiritual aspect of diet and exercise. In the end most of my revelations on diet and exercise come as a complete accident.

My theory of the “Everything Day” was a great example of this. After my divorce from the mother of my children I started going out to Durham for an AA meeting every Thursday. I was in the process of starving myself anyway, so it was a good night to hang out with friends and eat pizza, and for the most part I imagined that it was because I needed nutrients somewhere. Initially I noticed strength and even weight loss gains that were very significant, and more over very startling. With a little obsessive research on my own I realized that humans like all animals will seek out the nutrients we lack the rest of the time when we allow ourselves to. It's like when I tell someone that a cat eats grass even if it is poisonous to them. Carnivores don't eat vegetation do they? Well apparently they do when they aren't getting the right nutrients in their cat food, and then they simply throw up the rest after they get the vitamins they lack. It's called instincts. In the end everyone who has done this “experiment” has had a much healthier diet and much better results. We can all white knuckle our way to that one day a week when kitty bar the door, it's on baby.

Lately I have had an interesting wrinkle to one of my favorite well proven theories. All people workout better when they have a dedicated every day training partner. The reasoning is endless, but the most important examples are the proper amount of rest between sets, when you alternate, the proper amount of “lift assistance” to finish out sets that are a bit too heavy, and if you are someone who lifts with a partner of the opposite sex, then ego gratification when you show off a little. All of these things are perfectly normal, and I go a step further to say that lifting with your significant other brings it to another level where as you have more quality time together, have something to share, and also have someone who more often than not will be completely honest with you about form and balance. Many don't have that luxury, and often many don't find someone who will share the same goals as them. This is pretty important too because we all know how the story goes. Spouse doesn't care about their health you stop caring about your health. You both grow equally miserable together. Well for those that have never tried it, the opposite is very much the truth as well.

Lately I have had to alter this theory a little since my fiance and I are separated by quite a few miles at this point of the game as we both get our houses in order. It's a bit painful but it is also cleansing as we both act not only like little kids in love, but also mature adults in logic. We both work out somewhat religiously and heaven forbid we both take a moment to think of something other than each other right now, but somehow it worked itself out, and again rather by accident. I found myself taking my cell phone into the gym with me to take pictures of myself between body parts, and then send them along to her, and to send her a text message between sets. We both shoot back encouragement to each other, and it has actually added an extra dimension to my workouts. It's also added a bit extra time between my sets that quite frankly was needed as I feel significant gains this last week. It also gives her an opportunity to keep a reasonable documentation through the pictures of how I am transforming my figure from week to week. Would I rather her be here with me working out beside me? Well of course damnit, but my ability to find a way to fill in the void was natural and very very effective. I think there is a possibility that this cat was outside eating grass and I didn't even realize it?

Take to heart one important message that I wanted to get across to all of my health followers. This is just another piece to a complicated puzzle of finding balance in your day to day workouts. You don't need to be “in love” with the person you work out with, and you don't even need to be “in the same room” with the person you work out with either. The important thing is to work out. Even if you have no real goal in mind the actual starting and continuing is the important part, until you find the groove that keeps you going, and then the purpose for why you do it will follow, as well as the ways to accomplish the goals you realize. There are ALWAYS people there to help you out. I have even found excellent videos from plain old people on YouTube that like me figured something out and then are so happy that they did they want to share it. The first step to any form of improvement is willingness to improve. The second step is the actual doing it. The third step is finding that groove that keeps you going, and the fourth step is learning to love the results no matter how small they appear, until you figure out again the “other” groove that makes the goals seem attainable.