The Long Road To Fitness

My weighing scale would be inaccessible to me for the next one month. The last time I weighed myself I was 195 pounds or 88.5 kilograms. A couple of kilos more and I will surpass the heaviest I have been in my life.

Not surprisingly I pant a lot when I climb stairs. I cannot run 3 miles without pausing. I am recovering from a lower back and shoulder injury. I’ve been smoking 5 to 6 cigarettes a day for the past one year. I have an occasional drink. I eat a lot of chips and drink a lot of soda. I eat a lot of bread and don’t get enough sleep. Every time I catch sight of me ambling down the street on a shop’s window I wince.

I want to change the situation. I want to start reeling back the toxins, the stress weight and start feeling lighter and more energetic. I want to be able to wear a tee without worrying about man-boobs or wear a jeans without a muffin top.

But somehow whenever I start thinking about it a little seriously I realize what a huge challenge I face.

The very arduous road to health seems daunting. It already seems doomed. When I think of what it takes to reach where I want to be, I already feel the crushing weight of defeat and I slip back into insipid routine, cursing myself and turning to food. Food is an emotional crutch I have abused beyond its healthy limits.

As I sit and type this, I look down at my full belly, my hunched back, and shapeless form and wish I had the willpower to pull out of the slump and get back into shape. I too want to be able to slip on and slip off a shirt or a tee and see the garment fall flat on my body, outlining an envious physique. I do not want it settling down on a round chest and an even rounder belly.

I want to feel young again.

By now I have had so many false starts to my recovery to fitness that it is easy to give up and resign myself to a shapeless and dull physical existence. I cannot flex any part of my body and show anything for it. Even when I feel I am taut and gritting my teeth, one glance at myself and I can see blobs of fat flapping and quivering about my being; years of fast food and bad living.

That is why I’ve decided to commit a little more to the process.

Writing helps me clear my mind. It helps reaffirm my convictions that so easily morph into defeatism in this particular cause. As I write this, I feel intimidated at what I have in mind. To hit a weight goal of 175 by the end of the year.

In many ways that target goal is arbitrary. I do not know how I would look and feel as I approach it. Maybe I shall feel weak. I might look emaciated. I might become a jock. I do not know. But all I know, and this I know for sure, is that at 195 I do not feel attractive. I constantly refuse to acknowledge this fat situation, harking back to times when I was fitter, faster and stronger. I miss that body. I miss that agility and vitality that coursed through my body. I miss the confidence with which I would pick a jeans off the shelf and not have to dread if my belly would spill over uglily as I try to button it up.

175, in 4 months. Sept, Oct, Nov and Dec. I’ll not count the rest of Aug. The rest of Aug is to test my mental fragility to stick to the process. That is what this has reduced to. 6 days of testing myself to see if I can stick to what I think is needed to achieve this goal. And I am setting the bar low.

Even before I start detailing the 6 days, I can see the excuses pop up. But what about the move? How about the travel to San Francisco for work? You have packed your workout socks into boxes that you can only open on the 15th of Sept. Would you be able to even workout with your pains?

Without focusing on them, I think 6 days of testing myself would help me kickstart this whole process. Or at least I hope so.

In journaling this I am becoming “that middle aged man”. The public weight loss journey man.

In the spirit of keeping things light and achievable this is what I am planning. For the next 6 days,

  1. I walk 5k each day,
  2. I eat no bread, sugar, or fried food,
  3. I’ll not eat meat other than fish,
  4. I’ll drink a lot of water,
  5. I’ll not stress eat or snack.

These sound pretty easy. But the fact that I would be traveling across the country, spend time in a different city, be living out of a suitcase, be under tremendous pressure at work and not have a set schedule would test me.

There might have been a time when I could effortlessly get back on track and be confident of my body and health. It is time for me to acknowledge that those intuitive times are long gone.

For now, it would be 6 days of sheer hell, just trying to discipline myself for a better me.

The smell of fear of failure is real.

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