A key part of excellence in life is excellence in your own health. Without good health, you really don’t have anything else of value. What quality of life will you experience if you run a successful business, are financially free, and have friends and family who love you dearly, but you are bedridden or physically cannot do the things you want to do… especially if that situation was of your own creation? How confident and vital do you feel when you look in the mirror and see yourself in shape and condition other than what you expect of yourself?
I’ve gained weight over the past little while. Yes, my weight fluctuates, but it seems the upticks are always just a little more than the downticks… and I stay in uptick territory far longer than I do in downtick territory.
If this was a turf war, the upticks would definitely be beating up on the downticks and winning.
I want to regain the physical strength and vitality that I remember from before, and I want to shed the extra weight that I cart around each day. Yeah, by North American standards I’m doing alright, but you have to realize that North American standards are way out of whack from everyone else in the world.
Peter Drucker is credited with saying, “What’s measured improves.”
I believe that. I believe that you need a clear objective to aim towards and a way to assess where you are at any time — and whether you’re moving closer, moving away, or stagnating. The how-tight-do-my-pants-feel test isn’t good enough.
That is why I recently purchased a personal ultrasound system and made sure to find new batteries for my digital scale. I want to measure how my fat and muscle composition are changing over time. It’s not so much the weight number that I want to go down — it’s the fat:muscle ratio that I want to go down.
I also believe in working with how the human body — my own body — works. A rose is a rose by any other name, but a calorie is not a calorie from different food sources and eaten at different times. Your body is not a calorie calculator. It’s far more complex than that. Let’s work with that complexity.
This is why I do squats and maybe even pushups before each meal. I want my muscles to be active and start “grabbing” glucose out of my bloodstream when I eat and digest my meal.
This is why I am trying out the PAGG stack that Tim Ferriss talks about in his book The Four-Hour Body. PAGG represents four supplements working synergistically for greater results than taking any one of them alone: Polycosanol, Alpha-lipoic acid, Green tea extract, and Garlic extract. These are meant to get to your muscle and liver to preferentially take up glucose while reducing uptake by your fat cells.
In other words, the pre-meal muscle contractions and the dietary supplements together are meant to drive your calories to your muscle and liver and steer them away from your fat cells. Feed the parts of your body you want to feed and develop, starve the parts of your body you want to deprive and deplete.
I also believe that elevating your resting metabolism is key. In other words, increasing the amount of calories burned just by being alive and having your muscular engine on idle. That comes from building more muscle.
This is why I am doing exercises specifically for my legs (specifically the quads) and glutes, the biggest muscles in the body. Plus, tight glutes make for sexy asses for guys and for gals Yeah, I still work on my chest and arms because I’m a guy and there’s a confidence boost there — and my wife likes the results — but I know the big idling engines are in my legs and butt.
I’ve been taking my body composition readings for about 2 weeks now. I have about 6 sets of data points so far, but I know some of the variation I’ve seen has been from just getting used to and getting consistent with how I take readings with the ultrasound device.
As of right now, at the end of September 2013, I weigh 182 lbs and have about 20% body fat. I don’t know what’s going to happen with that weight number, but I’m going to make that body fat percentage go down. I’m measuring my progress, I’m working with the way the human body works, and I’m going to enjoy the health, performance, and cosmetic effects all along the way.
I hope that you’re clear on your goals for yourself and your health. I hope that you are also on a path to attaining those goals. Think about using good measurements, smart methods, and using what you eat to attain your goals.
I’ll let you know how my efforts progress, and I hope that you’ll tell me how you’re progressing.
In the meantime, have fun out there and kick ass!