It was 2008 when I began reading “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” Well, sorry, Mr. Covey, I’ll admit that I haven’t finished your book yet, but it did start me on the road to better health among other things.
The book framed the question of productivity this way: If you run a factory at full tilt, caring only for output, your equipment will break, bringing production to a standstill for long periods of time. But if you spend time maintaining the equipment, your output will not be as high in the short-term, but you will continue producing over the long term.
The idea struck me like a bolt from the blue. In translating this lesson to my writing, I was effectively ruining myself by focusing on writing (output) while I ran my body into the ground (the machinery or production). That’s when I decided to get into shape. If I was serious about writing for the rest of my life, my mind and body were as important to the process as my computers and word processors.
In 2009, I decided that I would lose weight and get in shape. At the beginning of 2009, I was 292 pounds (definitely in the frigid north above obesity if obesity was the equator of my mid-section). I was heavier than Homer Simpson and 8 pounds away from being a live performance of that episode where Homer gains weight to work from home. Only, I wouldn’t be able to stop the release of nuclear gases with my ass.
I started hitting the gym 4 days a week. By the time April rolled around, I’d turned the effort into a habit, and I’d dropped to 282 pounds. Not bad, but I wanted better results.
So I turned to a trainer and decided to catalog the experience.
By the time December 2009 rolled around, I managed to reach 210 pounds through diet and exercise. I was happy. I kept up with the trainer for a while after that, but I soon dropped my trainer in favor of saving some money. Forty-five dollars a session was expensive. Besides I knew what I needed to do and how to maintain it.
Now, usually in weight loss stories, this is the part where you’d expect the other shoe to drop, or me to have fallen off the wagon, or maybe taken the gravy express train back to 300 pounds plus. No such doing, I’m happy to say, though maintaining the diet and exercise hasn’t been easy either.
We are now January 2012, two years after I stopped blogging about weight loss. I will admit that I have gained back about 10 pounds, putting me at 220, but my weight’s been stable for over 6 months and the exercise has remained steady except for a two-week period when a cold knocked me on my back like Homer Simpson fighting Drederick Tatum.
Maybe I watch The Simpsons a bit much.
Problem is, especially in exercise, maintaining can be a dangerous thing. Maintaining leads to boredom and boredom leads to diminished results…
…so I decided to shake things up a bit. I decided to set my eyes on a goal and to pursue that goal much as I had with the first Muscle-Bound log. So, in the following months, you will see a new series of articles about my quest to improve my health in order to participate in a 5K marathon with 10 Obstacles called “The Spartan Race” this summer.