So I link here a lot and it’s because I think Charlotte is pretty much awesome. If you haven’t checked out her blog, please go do that now. Just make sure to come back, please! She is ambitious, witty, crazy-in-a-good way, and is an ex-gymnast as well. Gymnastics must breed crazy perfectionist people, because that’s how we all turn out. It’s all about the coveted 10.0 baby (the new scoring system can go die for my purposes right now, kthx)!
Around last…April or so, I had seen enough health articles saying to vary up your exercise occasionally to keep the progress going and stay away from plateaus. I ended up deciding that the beginning of each month was a good time to change it – along with making a new folder at work for all the paperwork and documents I do that month, I can also tweak my workout/eating/plan so it doesn’t get stale. I kept with it for a few months and it seemed to work.
Then after surfing around the internet, I found her blog. And she was doing what I did to0, except with much more fervor and variation! Though she had been doing it for much longer, so I guessed I had unintentionally imitated her. I had even started a blog and was blogging about it (and as you know, blogging about all the other random crap that floats through my head). For many months, I followed her blog and hoped that she didn’t think I was a copycat.
I think I’ve gotten over it now and am not constantly worried I’m going to get kicked out of the cool kids club (if I was ever in it in the first place, tee hee). I’m realizing that wherever we got the idea from, we’re all participating constantly in our own great fitness experiment, and there are a lot of us out there. Some of us are trying to find the holy grail – the sweet spot, that allows us to eat an amount and in a way that makes us feel more or less comfortable and satisfied, exercise in a way that makes us feel fulfilled and accomplished, but doesn’t eat our life or wreck our bodies so we can’t live our daily lives. And some of us (them) out there are just a little more extreme.
This guy decided that what’s good for the goose is also good for the gander. He takes Michael Phelps’s crazy 12000 calorie diet and puts it to the test. As someone who ate themselves silly a couple times recently on about 1000-1500 calorie meals – it sounds like fun until after you’re so full you want to die, and that’s about 1/10 of what this guy ate. He had no real adverse effects besides a slight increase in blood pressure, a spike in weight (which probably went away soon after) and some digestive stuff he seemed to take the fifth about. I think what we can all take from this is twofold – everyone’s bodies work a different way and what works for you may not work for anyone else (and vice versa), and that one day of hardcore pigging out is not going to kill you as long as you jump back on your norm the next day/meal/whatever.
I don’t know whether to be disgusted with this dude or actually really impressed. This trainer guy was so curious about what makes obese people tick that he is going to become one. That’s right – he’s intentionally gaining about 80 lbs – going from washboard abs to beer belly, just to be able to have the perspective of having been there. On one hand, it could be a total publicity scheme to get more media attention and clients. Already having the knowledge of being super fit and a trainer definitely arms him with the ability to lose the weight after gaining better than Joe Schmoe who has never worked out in his life and thinks that the pickles and lettuce on his triple cheeseburger counts a serving of veggies. On the other hand, he is SO curious about how the other half lives (or 60% or whatever the overweight statistic is now in the US) that he is going to actually risk damage to his body and become what he is trying to prevent. Either way, he’s going to gain a different perspective and probably some stretch marks to boot.
I’ve been think about what I want to do in the months ahead. I’ve learned a lot this year so far. Taking a week off is not going to kill me. Taking a week off running altogether and cross training after my 5k actually made me (harder, better) faster and stronger. I like running official races and training FOR something and not just working out, even if it makes it a little harder to lose weight. And I found out that even if I am happy with what I’m doing and want to keep doing it forever – my body will subconsciously sabatoge me so I have to change plans. This month, I’m trying to find my sweet spot and figure out where I am most comfortable eating/working out, while still being in the range where I lose weight.
I have ideas already for the coming months. I’d love to share them but then it wouldn’t be a surprise. One involves a too-good-to-be-true sounding article from a fitness mag, one involves variety being the spice of life, and yet another for when I decide it’s 10k month. I’m really excited for each and every one of them, because if there’s something I like better than plans, it’s new and exciting plans to plan!
What’s your great experiment right now, or are you happy just the way things are?