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P90X: Day 21


I so needed this stretch out today. After playing catch up yesterday and leaving nothing on the table, I was a little slow and sore today. I feel so much better after X Stretch – sometimes I feel like I should pop this DVD in after every resistance training workout. Even Tony stresses the importance of stretching to prevent injury, increase range of motion and improve performance.

Today concludes the Adaptive and Mastery Phase of Training Block 1. Starting tomorrow, I will complete Recovery week and then I will be done with 1/3 of the program.

I’m sort of surprising myself that I’m here. I’ve heard so many overweight people say that they know how to lose weight – in fact, they’ve lost and gained hundreds of pounds over the years. Unfortunately, losing weight isn’t an achievement you can just put in the bank and then go back to your old ways. I know this is obvious; it’s easy to understand intellectually. This time however, it feels like I’m getting it on a deeper level.

I think for a long time, I really raged against the unfairness of getting fat and out of shape. For the first 25 years of my life, I could stay out late, eat whatever I wanted, however much I wanted, drink like a fish and never exercise or follow any regimen and I was never over 120 pounds or bigger than a size 4. I can’t remember anything changing, but suddenly I had packed on over 90 pounds. I was appalled at the unfairness of it all. Somehow, as impossible as it sounds, I didn’t even notice I was putting on all this weight until it was so glaringly obvious that even Mr. Magoo could see I was bordering on obese.

But I’ve come to understand that dieting isn’t sustainable. Firstly, most dieters go on a major gorge before they officially start their diet. Like some kind of farewell party they throw for their favorite rich and sugary foods, they eat everything they love in excess like they’ll stop making pizza or chocolate chip cookies while they’re dieting.

Next, every dieter can be disciplined for a few months – after all, they can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Unfortunately, they lose lean muscle with the pounds on the scale so that when they start eating normally again, the pounds come back on in a hurry -and frequently bring friends. Once the goal is reached, there is no habit in place to maintain the new, smaller body. The stress of trying to develop a new habit (exercise) causes huge setbacks and sliding back in to old lifestyle choices.

The moral of the story is that while it is not wrong to want to look nice, be attractive or be smaller – those are very short sighted goals. The real goal is to feel great, be healthy and preserve your mobility and independence. In other words, I’d like to be able to wipe my own ass in my golden years.

I’m not sure why I’m getting this now, but I guess it’s better late than never. Again, this is very obvious, but I do have to keep reminding myself that exercise is an important daily habit, just like brushing my teeth or washing my face. More importantly, that is the sustainable way to maintain both my weight and my health, not just eschewing food for a few months.

Food today was ok – I didn’t have much of an appetite. I ate a few leftovers for breakfast and then for a light dinner. I drank lots of water – even having a bottle of water at the movies today instead of a coke with my popcorn. I even skipped my usual milk duds candy. I had a bite of leftover cheesecake, but it was too sweet for me. It’s so funny how quickly our tastes and appetites can change!

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