Unfitness: There and Back Again

Since I posted My Fitness Journey & the Century Push Quest back in November last year, I have been out of action for much of December through various bugs and a couple of bouts of food poisoning. That’s also why there have been gaps in blog postings. Fortunately, these things are only short-lived in relative terms, and I am getting back to “normal” after a couple of weeks of a diet that consisted mostly of bananas, rice, potatoes and bread (aka the BRAT diet). Not exactly “fit fuel” but it kept me stable.

It is true that carbs give you energy. But if you’re not active and you eat the wrong carbs this gets stored as fat, so my body fat percentage has gone up. I also lost 5Kg in the process of my worst bout in December so it’s been a slow process of getting back into the swing of things and building up the stamina. I’m still looking at working out my body fat percentage properly, but generic tools on the web estimate it at around 15%-17% which is still in the healthy zone.

I also signed up for the online course on Skillshare “Get Fit in the New Year … And for Life” (runs from 15 Jan to 24 Jan). Although I have been working with personal trainers for the past couple of years, I have not changed much. My overall body composition is still pretty much as it was and I don’t look that much different. I have slightly more lean muscle and slightly less body fat. People do notice – most of them tell me I look too thin and should put on some weight – even though my weight is exactly what it was 2 years ago.

The course is run by the founders of Fitocracy which has been a positive inspiration since I joined a few months ago, and the course is aimed at anybody wanting to define a direction for their health and fitness. It’s not about getting abs in 6 weeks – it’s about setting your own goals and (essentially) transforming your life for the better, whether this is baby steps or massive leaps. Some folks are just looking to lose some weight while others are aiming for a triathlon but everybody is supportive.

As I have always struggled to define a goal, which is why I haven’t physically changed that much, I joined the program to enable me to better understand fitness goal setting and put a plan in progress. I’d recommend you get on board if you’re serious about your health and fitness.

After one lecture and one day in the course, I have a much better perspective on my direction and should be able to set some goals soon. This is phase 1 of the course, and then I can track this (something else I don’t do very well) and achieve better results. The main takeaway I have is that my fitness journey is mine alone, and adopting somebody else’s goals (get ripped, lose 5Kg, etc, etc) isn’t what it’s about. My lifestyle is not conducive to heavily structured programs as I run my own business and often need to be reactive to situations around me (which trumps planned workouts much of the time). So I need a flexible plan, something with shortish workouts that deliver results. This also fits with my personal preference for short, sharp, high-intensity activities (always been a bit of an adrenaline junkie, to be honest) and, interestingly, matches my natural blood type tendencies.

I started playing around with Nike+ Kinect Training today (review here) as this offers a tailored program to your general goals (get strong, get toned, get lean) and can be used in even bite-sized training slots in your own home so appears a good way to augment your overall program if you’re like me.

Needless to say, my Century Push Quest has slipped by the wayside for the moment, but I will get back to it. I also finally worked out my starting weights for the Stronglifts 5×5 program this week. It may be considered “old school” by some trainers but it does get results, is straightforward to follow and fits my requirement of being a relatively short program per training session.

My current hybrid plan is thus going to be a mix of strong lifts, personal training sessions, Nike+ Kinect training and various Quests from Fitocracy (including that Century Push) just to keep it fun. However, the key to this exercise regimen will be nutrition – and that’s something I need to work out properly so that I get the right balance without needing to adopt OCD and plan every meal to the calorie as serious diet-adopters and fitness competitors do. It’s going to be interesting putting “my” plan together and I will be reading more books like the 4-Hour Body, The Blood Type DietThe Primal BlueprintThe Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet and Starting Strength to help work this out. And, of course, I’ll be posting updates and useful info on this blog to help you out too.

Don’t forget to join me on Fitocracy or get on board the “Get Fit in the New Year … And for Life” course which has just started and runs through the 24 January. It’s good to be back!

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