Friday.

Like Wilder, I find myself writing more about other things than fitness here.

The stress

When you get stressed, there is a very high probability that you will turn to comfort habits. Food is often one of these, as is food substitutes (booze, weed, caffeine). There is an industry that will sell you food full of fat and sugar because they can, and they ensure it is not merely very tasty but that it never quite leaves you full.

During COVID we gained weight and got anxious, because of this. The current methods of despair and the testing you are under will make you vulnerable. There are things you can do about this, and — repeating what should be known to all — that includes:

  • Sleep, lots of
  • Stop watching poison. Use the TV deliberately. My hack? Killed netflix and use apple TV. That means I have to pay for the movie, and that makes me think twice
  • Read. Good stuff. Not blogs. You have a complete research library for free on Gutenberg. Get an e reader and use it.
  • Take enough time off. This did not happen this year. People are burning out keeping the narrative going. This fight will take along time. Schedule time away, particularly from screens. My hack: do the lectionary plus some poetry the week before I go away and then don’t take a computer.
  • Be electronically unavailable. This links to taking time off but is every week. Put your work cellphone down. Do not be available for videoconferences. At least one day a week and most evenings. My hack: work phone (they pay for it) and personal phone — and I only carry one at a time
  • Get a budget and stick to it. You should have two months money in the bank — we did, but Kea had health issues, and now we need to get it back. If in doubt, one of the best books was written by an expatriate Aussie: Nikolai Vladivostok.

If you are always worried about money you won’t sleep and you will argue. So live poorer and be happier. Your car is not work its repayments.

The fitness

This comes from Kea reading to me some people saying weight is racist because Polynesians have different genetics and cannot handle the Western Diet.

Made worse by fat scholars who have a BMI greater than mine. Cactus Kate comments. She is a neoliberal and lawyer, but then, we all have faults.

Screenshot_2020-10-16 Health researcher calls Judith Collins' obesity comments heartless

Neo-liberalism has nothing to do with you stuffing your face with food. Evil right wingers are not forcing you to chuck junk in your trunk, open the fridge or shop in the wrong parts of a supermarket. We are not forcing you from signing up to Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig or locking you out of a gym. On the contrary.

You can run marathons and as long as you are eating more calories than you run off, you gain weight. Exercise is only about 10% of the solution, the 90% comes from what you put in your mouth. Crusher Collins is hardly a twig herself yet takes personal responsibility for that and does not blame anyone but herself. Quite rightly. Everyone knows how to lose weight, it is just that for most it is very hard and people don’t do hard anymore.

There has been a controversy about peoples genetics and weight, particularly obesity. The trick here is to eat as simple a diet as you can with foods that fill you up. Do not eat the standard dietician diet: it contains a sufficient proportion of carbohydrates that will make you fat. Consider the cow. In most places, before being sent to the meat works, the animal is fed grains so that the animal is fatter. If the cow eats grass (which is what it is designed for) it is slimmer. Humans are not obligate carnivores, but we are fairly close to that. Eat natural food, preferably meat, and you will look and feel better.

If you do so, you will have times when the scales say you are not losing or even gaining weight. Look at your trousers — the skinny pair. Can you still fit them? Is your waist circumference going down? If so, then do not worry too much.

The real test should not be the measurements but functional

  • Time to walk or run up the nearest hill and back. Downhill is a test of your stability muscles
  • At the risk of offending didact, Crossfit’s standard tests have some use. But don’t do Crossfit any more: it has gone corporate, woke, and causes injuries. Examples include:
  • Number of skips or double unders in 5 minutes.
  • Number of pushups in two minutes
  • Number of burpees in two minutes
  • Time to complete 50 goblet squats
  • 800 m run time
  • If you have access to a gym, you can add our one rep max for the powerlifting trio (Deadlift, squat, bench press), and 500m row time. I’m not using a gym at the moment. The trick is use movements that are safe and familiar for you and only test once every few months.

Didact — who is now writing mainly about this — comments:

Start a workout program. Which one? I don’t care – as long as it’s NOT CrossShit. THEY ALL WORK, as long as they focus on the same basic principles. All you need are two things:

Progressive overloading – more reps or more weight, or both, every single workout;
Predictable repetition – get your ass to the gym no matter HOW bad you feel;

That is literally all there is to it. Show up and add weight (or do more reps). That is literally all there is to it. Don’t waste time trying to find “the perfect” program. It doesn’t exist. Find whatever you like that obeys these basic principles, and then DO IT.

You only have so much time here, and the fitter and more calm you are the better you will survive. Nothing here is new. The real task is doing it every day, every week. And there we have one more tool: we can pray.

That God will enable us regardless of our natural strength.