In Chapter Three, I briefly glossed over the training I did to prepare for my endurance events while I discussed my weigth loss. I want to devote more time to exercise and life strategies for maintaining and losing weight. I made a very important statement that your activity needs to be sustainable if you are going to maintain your weight loss.
First of all the activity you have chosen to maintain your physical conditioning has to be something that you like to do. If you hate doing it, you will not be able to make it part of your life for the long haul. It also has to be something you can do when you are away from home, or at the very least, you need a backup activity to maintain your condition. It takes time to build up your metabolic rate and not much time to slow it down. In my personal experience, less than a month is all you need to slow down your metabolic rate, but it will take many times longer than that to get it back up. You must keep this in mind when you are taking into account your caloric intake. If you don’t you will either lose a lot of weight quickly or you will gain a lot of weight quickly. I have done both.
Physical conditioning can be quite addicting. There is nothing like getting a runner’s high. Mine used to kick in around the three to four mile mark. I felt like I was floating on a cloud. Also there is nothing like being in really good shape. I am not trying to brag but there is nothing that can compare to it. To think that I gave it all up for “Psycho Bitch”. It took me three to four years to reach the level I was at. I could run 15 to 20 miles at a pop without even thinking about it. I could run at a 6 minute mile pace all day long. Of all the things that I regret giving up that lifestyle is one of the ones that I regret the most. I went over six years without so much as getting a cold. The problem was that I just wasn’t born with the physical gifts to go professional. That is the only way that you can devote the amount of time I did every week and still mainatain a relationship. Luckily for you and even me, you don’t have to workout that much to maintain a healthy weight and physical condition.
You can workout four to five hours a week and that includes cardio and keep yourself in peak condition. You just have to train smartly. The biggest challenge is to get to a point where you miss the exercise if you don’t do it. If you get to this point, you are golden. It becomes like a drug for you. People that have never attained this level of commitment will not understand it. However, for those that do, or those that have developed unhealthy addicitions will also know what I am talking about. For those who find a partner that has the same commitment to health, you truly have found a treasure. Don’t lose that person. They are worth their weight in gold. For example, my second ex-wife and I had scuba diving in common. Once we divorced, my scuba diving activities slowed down to a crawl. My new wife has no interest in learning and basically has an aversion to the water. We, however, do have other activities that we enjoy in common, like hiking and backpacking.
If you have children, they are easily moldable and will learn to love the acitivies that you like doing just because they want to spend time with you. This is a great way to build enduring relationships with them and also to foster a healthy lifestyle for them as well. If your kids are younger, some of the gyms even provide daycare while you are working out. Let’s get real, guys they are basically screaming for your patronage.
There are even options for home gyms. I have owned my own a few times. Now due to space limitations, I no longer have the room for a full gym. Though I am planning on setting up a heavy punching bag in the next few months. You would be amazed on how good a workout of 30 minutes of punching a power bag will give you. You will be lucky if you can even manage five minutes at first before you melt away. It is strength and cardio-training all rolled up into one. Not to mention the self defense benefits you will get from it. The key to physical conditioning is cross training. Don’t forget to make it fun. If you do the same exercise avery day, your body will not respond after a while. It will become complacent. You will not make any gains. Mix cardio with weight conditioning. Swimming is great if your joints can’t handle the impact of running. Walking is also OK. That is right where I am right now. My surgeon said no heavy workouts for at least three months after my surgery. I am telling you one thing…that just writing this book is getting me pumped up about starting my exercise regimen again.
Unfortunately most of us have to work, so your physical conditioning has to be scheduled around your career. I have worked nights most of my adult life, so having plenty of daylight was never a problem. However, most major cities have 24 hour gyms, so no matter what your schedule you can get a workout in. A lot of the chain gyms even have heated pools. Frankly, there is no better cardio workout than swimming. Runners and bikers, trust me on this one, no matter how good of shape you are in, swimming will kick your ass at first.
Eat healthy, while you may be able to get away with eating crappy high caloric food if you work out, are you really doing yourself any good? You only get one body, take care of it. Don’t make the same mistakes that I have done. Hopefully you will learn from mine,.