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Sunday, January 27, 2013

What happened?! 52 Weeks of Fitness Wrap-Up

I was just listening to a health and fitness podcast by one of my favorite health bloggers when I stopped, gasped, and punched myself in the face. I forgot to write the wrap-up post for the end of my Year of Fitness!

(Actually, "forgot" is giving myself WAY too much credit. I procrastinated HARD on this sukka.)

So what happened? How'd it turn out? Am I a chiseled personal trainer with a cult-ish internet following and a side-gig as a male model?

Short answer:

Nope. Definitely not.

Long answer:

If you recall, I started off this year with a broad proclamation that 2012 would be known as my Year of Fitness. I would establish a regular fitness schedule, eat healthier, track my data and meticulously transform myself from someone who talked plenty of talk into someone who walked swaggered the walk. Here are my words from that initial post:

"I'll be following weightlifting workouts prescribed in The New Rules of Lifting. In addition to this, I'll be doing light amounts of running intervals on my off-days.

To support this (relatively) high level of physical activity, I'll be supplementing with Dymatize's Elite Gourmet Protein, eating relatively healthy, and following the Mobility WOD's provided by Kelly Starrett.

The key here is to establish the habit of healthiness. That means:
  • Being active every day.
  • Eating healthy.
  • Sticking with it, day in and day out.
I've tried to do as much homework and preparation in advance as possible, so all I have to do when Monday comes is to just live it. I know I can't possibly prepare for an entire year of fitness in advance, but I'm doing the best I can. I'll check in weekly here on the blog to help myself along."
I thought I was being reasonable — and still do. The average person, with the right lifestyle factors, could get into GREAT shape with that plan. Like, man-I-should've-take-before-pictures-because-I-look-dead-sexy-now shape. What would I do differently? Heh, that's the topic for another post. But here's what the year turned out like:

  • I kept up with The New Rules of Lifting pretty well, all things considered. Sure, I had some starts and stops, but I stuck with the plan well enough for enough of the year to see that it's a decent plan that CAN WORK.
  • I did use protein powder, and played with a few different methods/timings of using it. I learned. Good.
  • I started down the Mobility WOD path, learned some valuable things, and then quickly fell off when I was too cheap/lazy to purchase the basic equipment I would need to make some real, lasting change.
  • I started tracking my meals using the LoseIt! app on the iPhone. Once I got into the swing of things with the app, I DID start to see results. For reasons that I'll go into another time, I eventually stopped tracking my meals around October or so.
  • I signed up for and began playing around with Fitocracy. Cool site, but things get much cooler when you can use the app.
  • I read A LOT of articles, posts, and books about exercise, health, fitness and diet. I'll come back to the things that mattered the most in another post.
 So I didn't "transform myself" or establish a fitness-nazi lifestyle. I had peaks and valleys along the way, but as I right this I'm honestly only a bit leaner with a tad more muscle (highly scientific terms, I know). But I did learn plenty about what I really think about heath and fitness, what we do/don't know, and what I think is important — and most of all, what seems to work for me. My hope is that I can leverage these lessons to keep growing, learning, and looking more and more like King Leonidas as time goes on.

I'm about to start building my post on the lessons learned and where I'll go in the future, but one bit of advice for anyone reading this and considering something similar:

If you've ever thought about undertaking a singular goal/resolution that you've been putting off, do it. But that doesn't mean you should sign up and check out. I may sound very reasoned and accepting of how my year went, but at the end of the day I still wish I was in a stronger, fitter, and better-looking place. The basics of health and fitness aren't that hard, and sometimes trying to optimize things (like I did) can over-complicate things. It's cliché, but the BEST exercise program and the BEST diet to achieve ANY results you want is the one you'll actually do. So go on, start (and then keep on) doin'.

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