Monday, January 02, 2017

A Black Belt at 50....Approaches 60

 I've had this blog for a little over a decade now.  I started it a decade ago when I was 48 when I was training for my first black belt and now, I'm only 13 months from being 60!  It's time for a little reflection on the fitness and health big picture. Partially because it's the start of a new year. Happy 2017 to all!

How am I doing?  Well, not as well as I would like. I have some serious challenges and the objective data is that I'm messing.  As background, I had to give up karate in 2013-14  since my hip stiffened up so much that I couldn't kick and my recurring back problems were being aggravated by it and made training regularly nearly impossible. Karate for me had meant intense training sessions 3-4 per week along with strength, flexibility, and cardio training. Mostly, my weight took care of itself back then. 

I then had a reasonably good two years of triathalons, boxing, swimming, and tennis.

But 2016 has been a tough one with a series of back spasms and recoveries that have left me unable to train regularly and generally, having trouble getting the activity I need to feel good and remain fit. However, December went well so the year finished strong leaving me optimistic about 2017 despite the obvious problems.

Obvious problem, the elephant in the room. I just bought my first pair of 36" waist pants since the mid to late 1990s. Since I started to manage my health around 1998, I've mostly been at a 34" waist except for the glory years of a 32" waist: 2003-2005. My weight too has recently peaked at a terrifying 210 but I am determined and optimistic.  I'm now on a tear with fifteen straight days of 
Chocolate Rich Kitchen Counter, Jan 2
Chocolate Rich Kitchen Counter, Jan 2

exercising and so far this morning, I've ignored the amazing array of chocolate cakes half-eaten in the kitchen and instead, I breakfasted on cold turkey and coffee. (It’s t he holidays, we don't usually have such deserts in the house).

What am I doing about it?

I'm making a bigger effort this year to now just eat well most of the time (which I do) but to lower the number of binges from weekly to maybe monthly. Binges usually take the form of a big dinner out with multiple courses and desert.  I'm trying to switch on these occasions from just ordering what I want (usually a ribeye steak) to something more reasonable (perhaps a salad with flank steak on it, no dressing).

The most regular thing has been a biweekly personal training session with Nicole of Focus Studio on Floranda near Dixie Highway but during the year, I've always rotated among my own time at the gym, swimming laps, and biking.


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