Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The New Normal

This is how God tells Jeremy to do Cardio!
With age and physical progress comes a certain "reset" period and the understanding of whether or not it actually is a "new normal" or not. This is very complicated if you are just starting to comprehend what is an honest to goodness "new normal" and what is just a case of wishful thinking. It also depends on how you actually view yourself, and what did, or did not, go into the state in which your body is in, at any given place in your personal history. Of the three types of physical attitudes, the greatest is without a doubt "ignorance" or the ability to look at yourself no matter how you actually look, and feel perfectly fine with that. Then there are the two types which qualify a health enthusiast, overly critical and overly optimistic. I am both of the other two depending on what place in my health journey I am in. I may be crossing the line between critical to optimistic if my own personal experiences can be applied and can replace the voice in my head that actually hates me.

Here's what I know about myself. Last year around this time (well actually a bit later in the year) my ideal, ripped up weight was around 165 lbs. I was able to plump out to about 185 lbs. Then fall below 180 in a couple of weeks, and for the most part watch my weight decline for a couple of months until I was at my goal. My reality right now is that I was able to bulk up to about 195 this year, and it has taken me a good month and a half to fall to around 180. As a matter of fact I have been grumpy with the way I have stayed between 184 and 180 for a couple of weeks now, no matter how I diet. It's frustrating, and I can't figure out if I have finally reached "that age" or I am just slacking and not being honest with myself. Of course there is another explanation that I am pondering today, and I can only do that because I understand myself and have years of trends to back up all of this.

When you understand your body (as I do, and I say that with all humility, but many of you have seen me analyze these things for many years) you know the "feel" of losing bodyfat. I carry all of my extra weight on my waist just like most men (the spare tire) and more over I carry it behind me. I call them my "back boobs" that grow just above my rear end to the point that I could wear a bra with them. It's good in the sense that when I am overweight I can actually hide it, and rely on my big arms, and wide back to hide the girth around the middle. When I finally reach that point where it is time to shrink, then my pants get almost painful around the waist. That used to happen around 185, and this year happened around 195. It never really dawned on me to be honest with you, that all of the extra work I had done on my legs and ass this last year appears to have paid off. As I sit here right now with an extra inch of waist room, and the legs of my pants are very constricting, it should have been obvious.

The moral of this story actually is something I have been saying for many years now, and often. Don't trust your scale. Sometimes heavier actually does mean healthier. In my case if I hadn't realized this (and yes I still need to shred about 5 to 10 lbs) I could have gone into a spiral that would have caused me to diet to the point of losing all of my hard work (the muscle) and not being very happy with myself anyway. Of course my new favorite workout (throwing on a 20 lb weight vest and walking 5K) is probably adding to the shift. Just remember to do what makes you feel better and pay attention to the warning signs that you actually are losing fat. Trust your mirror and not your scale!