Frustrating Crossroads

I am at an impasse. The dear departed Yogi Berra is noted for saying, “If you come to a fork in the road, take it.” My 46-year-old body and I are not getting along. I believe I should be able to lift weights six days a week and run 10-15 miles a week and eat whatever I want and drink whatever I want and look like Chris Pratt. Well, if the last three years are any indication, my mind is delusional and my body would quote Oliver Hardy of Laurel and Hardy fame, “This is another fine mess you’ve gotten me in to,” or somesuch. Kids, ask your parents or grandparents who the hell Laurel and Hardy were.

Last August is on the left, yesterday on the right. I definitely looked better four months ago.
Last August is on the left, yesterday on the right. I definitely looked better four months ago.

If all I wanted to do was lose weight I probably would be happy by now. I lost 60 pounds at best, and I sit here in much better health than I have been in a long time. Could I spend the rest of my life at this weight with this body and be okay with it? Oh, I suppose. However, I thought I would take the opportunity, if I was going to do all this work anyway, to finally work for and achieve the body I wanted all along. Fat chance.

I don’t know what the deal is, I really don’t. Maybe I am just impatient. Maybe I overindulged the last couple of months during the holiday season. Maybe I am genetically predisposed to the dreaded “dad bod.” I realize I have only been back on the stick religiously for two weeks. This week was a really good week as far as diet and exercise is concerned. I lifted weights Monday-Saturday (twice Monday). I ran 14 miles in eight days. I’ve backed off the booze, at least on weekdays this week. I guess I thought I would see or feel some sort of results in a week or two like when I did when I started three years ago. It’s not like I took six months off. I have been exercising very regularly since the end of July and really only backed off in recent weeks when my back told me to.

Which brings me to my next issue and us back to the issue at hand. Yes, I admit that thanks to health insurance “snag” for lack of a better term, my physical therapy is on hold. So, rather than do my rehab exercises this past week, I lifted weights and ran. Of course, my back doesn’t feel particularly good right now. I did do a round of rehab exercises after today’s run. My last two runs have been earmarked by right foot and leg numbness. When I finish, my right leg feels swollen. I can still stand for long periods of time so I don’t think there is a sciatica thing going on. There is a new pain or issue with my right hip that wasn’t there before. If it’s not one thing it’s the other.

A 6-pound tub of Crisco. Four of these equals the fat I am carrying around.
A 6-pound tub of Crisco. Four of these equals the fat I am carrying around.

I am starting to come to the conclusion that I am getting no further without chemistry and I have no idea where to begin. I did some startling mat the other day…math that makes perfect sense but no one ever thinks to do. We are all familiar with body fat calculations. When we learn the number we’re either alarmed, happy with ourselves or something between. However, when you learn the number and do the math, it can be downright disturbing. I am approximately 26 percent body fat. You think, ‘that’s not good, but it’s not terrible either.’ Hell, I’ve been damn near 40 percent body fat. So, what’s so disturbing about it? Take your weight, factor the percentage and figure out how much fat you’re carrying around and you will absolutely be mortified. I weigh roughly 186 pounds, multiply by .26 and what do you get? Forty-eight pounds, 48 freaking pounds of fat. You can get a 50-pound bag of sugar. You can get a six-pound tub of Crisco shortening (four of those equates). As far as I have come, as much as I have accomplished, I am still carrying around 48 pounds of lard. Now, I know we all need some measure of fat to keep us warm and such but 48 pounds is a bit ridiculous.

I read a very interesting article in Men’s Health magazine this week and I learned a lot of things about Omega-6s and Omega-3s. The article suggested that pretty much anything with soy in it is the devil when it comes to try to build muscle and lose weight. That soy’s properties, which are supposed to be healthier compared to, you know, meat, are actually counter-intuitive to getting in shape. Considering I make my Whey protein shakes with Silk, that was pretty unnerving to me.

What’s the point to tonight’s rant or ramble or whatever this has turned into? I have no freaking idea which is where I am with this whole fitness journey. I have forgotten how to lose weight. I need to lose weight still. I don’t know what to eat. I don’t know what exercises I should be doing. For all that I have learned in the past three years, I feel like I know nothing. I am more confused than ever. I have achieved much and I have accomplished a great deal. I am not finished but I don’t know where to do next or where to turn. I am under no illusion that I’ll be the next Mr. Olympia.

I’m fed up. I am frustrated. I’m angry.

But I still have the desire and the dream to like what I see in the mirror. And for now, the mirror is still crack’d.

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