Well, it’s getting on to tic-toc time, eh?
The last 7 weeks of this journey toward my big 5-oh.
It’s been interesting. I started out convincing myself that I was doing similar things but with a different mindset I called intent.
Yeah, that was bullshit.
I was doing the same things and expecting a different outcome because I was being honest with myself about my actions.
Turns out, motivation is quite the bitch. If you don’t have motivation, you get no results. If you’re motivated toward the wrong goals or for the wrong reasons, you end up failing.
I wasn’t looking for a pre-fifty phyrric victory.
I was looking to find a balance between my self care – diet, exercise – and the reality of living in an aging vessel. In an effort to change my mindset around what constituted successfully defining a healthy lifestyle, I had to extract the mental vision I had of a 30-something robust male physique as the definition of success.
That mental imagery was holding me back and shaping my decisions as well as informing my actions.
A guy pushing 50 shouldn’t be chasing that reality. Well, maybe in pursuit of a bedmate, but not in a reflection from the mirror. With that realization, I admitted that I was really at square one in my journey. I’d made strides toward eating better and exercising differently, but all with the picture of myself with a ripped torso laughing as he drank as much as he wanted.
So I dialed it back. I began working out at home, no one to compare myself to except that reflection I hated. That helped.
Suddenly, I was finding motivation to not get home with a drinking plan in place: run in, feed the Mistress, change, run out to meet friends. Now I was selectively coordinating my detox drinking with the Silver Fox, who’s much more disciplined than I am. He’ll have one beer, two when he’s getting crazy, and then stop. I needed that example and company to reign me in. So, we’d have three beers or a bottle of wine between us when we met up, I’d stop occasionally on the way home and get a six pack that would last me close to a week and eat something, have one or two more and Bob was indeed my dietary uncle.
Getting my drinking consumption-to-frequency ratio in line was helpful.
The Filipina Fox was also helpful. She gets me to a spin class occasionally, but at $18/class, less than she’d like.
Less than I’d like, too.
I appreciate that she forwards me deals from ClassPass, but I found a studio I like with equipment that is good for my body and that’s the studio I want to go to. I’ll go when I can, but at this point I don’t want to compromise and end up on equipment that hurts my body. It’s just as delititerious to my goal as surrounding myself with people who are at an age where they can achieve results that I can’t while living the lifestyle I want to.
So there it was. The challenge to accept that I can socially live like an urban 30-something, but I had to forgive myself for looking like a middle-aged man in the process.
Being left with the option of working out in isolation has helped.
My gut is tightening up, but I’m not looking for signs of abs. I know they are there, I can feel them…I have to forget that other people may judge me on their personal inability to verify their existence.
Their problem, not mine. If there were visible abs in my future, those same people would find something else on which to judge me negatively.
I gotta do me.
So, I’ve embraced my FUPA – Fat Upper Penis Area. See, now I’m gonna be in trouble with the big girls for stealing their acronym.
Middle-Aged White Guys ruin everything.
Now, instead of catching myself absent-mindedly juggling my chesticles I catch myself poking or bouncing my little belly.
And chuckling at myself when I catch it happening. I’ve changed my belly perception from rejection to acceptance.
It’s here, queer, get used to it.
That said, I’ve got to get some remedies in place for lower body exercises at home.
Right now, my belly fat detente is in a physical stalemate that I can appreciate: it’s there but it’s not too heavy so that it pushes my pants down.
Some of my shorter torso shirts raise up when I put on a coat or lift my arms past shoulder height, exposing my little “butt in front”. That has gotten to…not a comfortable space, but a conscious space. I’m mindful of it and move accordingly to prevent showing it off in public, but I don’t run past the mirror to avoid seeing it.
If I’m gonna drink, I’m gonna have a butt in front. Instead of denying that reality, I’m looking for ways to alter the reality of the butt in back. Shifting the focus to something I not only can change, but want to change.
Taking the stairs whenever practical is one thing, but not enough. I think I’m ready to cautiously add squats into the home workout mix.
This shift to working out at home has taken me back to my days of participating on the Golf Team in High School – yeah, I fucking lettered in golf! Golf is a solo sport, much like running.
You compete against yourself.
Focusing on – dwelling, really – on my inability to run any longer had lent itself to my disabled mental state and contributed to my lack of physical motivation. Comparing my home workout results to my past performance like I did with prior golfing performances has allowed me to find a balance between efforts versus results while also factoring out my habit of comparing myself to others. That behavior fuels the unhealthy motivations that led to excessive use of metabolic enhancers in my 30s and early 40s. It also led to exercising too frequently and not allowing my body enough time to recover between workouts. Those are both factors that contributed to my arrival at 49 after two decades of my cavalierly undisciplined approach to exercise.
Coming out of this year with that balance and perspective to carry forward into the next two decades of my physical fitness life is the other half of the equation needed to get there healthily instead of crippling myself further along the way.