First and foremost i'm about excellent health, be that physical or mental.
For me, aesthetics is FAR from everything (it's WAY down the list) but still, it is SOMETHING...so I want to make a short post about my experiences as I have been attempting to return to my 'fighting weight' for the first time in many years. (I was a boxer in my 20's...)
I want to share 10 random things i'm learning as I go, not all of them will be relevant to you...but I hope you find them interesting all the same.
1. I need less calories (than I used to)
My overall calorie requirements are around 3-400 kcal lower per day than they were ten and more years ago. This is probably a combination of less muscle, lower overall training intensity (as I only do low impact now) and age. However, i've found this doesn't really matter, I just need to adjust for it.
2. To lose fat I HAVE to be hungry (sometimes).
This is hard. After some experimenting, I can't get around this one. My body simply isn't trimming fat without it. My hunger NORMALLY passes with a glass of water and then within 15 minutes to an hour and a half MAX...if it doesn't OR I feel symptoms beyond hunger (light-headedness, loss of concentration) that impact my day, I eat something light.
3. Hunger is not an emergency
It's perfectly OK to be hungry sometimes - it's NOT an emergency. When I feel hungry, I imagine my body laser targeting the fat cells and it makes me feel GOOD about the hunger and dare I say, enjoy it a little (caveat above) this is more psychological than anything, but it works to get me through.
4. It feels good to make progress (not be perfect)
After years of hard emotional work, I am 100% accepting of my body and all the positives it has rather than the things I don't like....but boy oh boy, does it feel good to see PROGRESS in the mirror. It gives me an extra spring in my step for sure.
5. Let go of perfection
The body loses fat where it loses fat and that's that - I wish it would come from my stomach more than my face, but it is what it is. I know that it will take the fat from my stomach eventually if I keep on track and I am cool with this, which leads me to...
6. Enjoy the journey
I try not to worry about where I am GOING (the goal) but rather enjoy the EXPERIENCE of trying to return to 'peak' condition. In this way I don't lose momentum if things don't happen as I had hoped, rather, I just make adjustments and smile.
7. Macronutrient spreads make a difference
At this point, it is difficult for me to lose fat eating many carbs at all. I won't say too much on this, except that we are all different, and what works for me might not work for you.
8. Listening to your body is crucial.
Some days, you've GOT to lighten the load, some days you can pump up the jam, some days you have to push when you don't feel like it...all are good, but NEVER do nothing IF you've planned it.
This really makes it feel like the wheels have come off...
9. Aesthetics becomes LESS important...
As I feel better about my physical body, my physical body becomes less and less relevant. I know that sounds odd, but the more I feel like i'm where I want to be physically, the less important this becomes and the more I tune in to where I am emotionally, intellectually and spiritually.
10. EVERYTHING is getting better...
Feeling like I am finding MY PERSONAL BEST physically is making me a better husband, father, coach and person.
My appearance doesn't honestly matter that much to me, but this REALLY does.