This entry is being used to announce a new section and effort here on my webpage: a section dedicated to fitness and nutrition and the documentation of my effort to increase my quality (and longevity) of life through use of the same. Welcome to Frankly Fit – the new section.
Please understand, as you read through this, I am NOT a certified personal trainer (yet); nor am I a nutritionist (and likely never will be). I will share things I learn about both and encourage others as well.
About me: The start of this section is NOT the start of my fitness journey. Typically, none of us starts a fitness journey at 54 years of age. When I was a youth I was FAR more fit, LOVED to run, exercise was my friend (entertainment) and I embraced the strengths my body offered. Then years and age happened and this statement is absolutely true: If you don’t use it, you lose it. Metabolisms slow. Hormone levels change. Muscle mass reduces due to a lack of use, exercise and diet deficiencies.
The good news is that it’s nearly all reversible. I have yet to decide how I feel about hormone therapy but I DO know that the body can be supported with nutrition to maintain muscle mass, grow new mass, strengthen all of it and increase metabolism through exercise. The benefits are generous: increased energy, lower blood pressure, healthier and stronger cardiovascular system, increase oxygenation of the blood, more efficient respiratory system, greater clarity of thinking and better sleep patterns.
I am five feet ten inches tall and three years ago I weighed 183 pounds. My body fat WAS below 15% and definition in my abdominal muscles was beginning. As I restart this journey I weigh 205 pounds and my six pack is well insulated. I am using MyFitnessPal.com to track and document my food intake. The site offers easy ways to see how much of what you eat is fat, carbohydrates, protein, sodium and sugar. Micro-nutrients can also be tracked and it’s customizable to suit your preferences.
Now, someone recently asked me why, at my age, I’d worry about this now? Aren’t I reasonably healthy? Do I plan on giving up everything that is fun? I can answer all these questions fairly easily.
The question about starting at 54: well, I’d like to live to see 64, 74, 84, 94 and more. I’d like to do it with a body that isn’t debilitated and whithering away. I’d like to be the grandfather that wears out the grandkids instead of the other way around. The cool part is that you are never too old (nor too young) to start paying attention, eating cleaner and exercising.
Aren’t I reasonably healthy? Yes. But is there such a thing as TOO healthy? Actually, as I think about it, there may be. I won’t eat foods I don’t like simply to get the nutrients. I won’t deny myself treats and rewards every now and then. My blood pressure is good for my age… but can be improved. My resting pulse rate is good but can be improved. My family has a history of Type II Diabetes and I have no intention of letting that become a part of my life. I’d rather “pay the price” of eating (mostly) clean and investing some time into exercise each day.
Do I plan on giving up everything that is fun? Absolutely not… and forgive me if this is TMI. My biggest vices are coffee, cigars, sex and cursing. I don’t plan on giving up any of them (although my wife does kinda limit how much I get to enjoy one of them). For as long as I am physically able, I plan to enjoy those vices. There is no doubt that the cigars and second hand smoke related is bad for me. From my perspective, so was getting shot, stabbed, hit by a truck, hit by a baseball bat and all of the stress that comes with a regular day to day job. None of that killed me. Something is going to. I’m not sure what. Some folks have lived to be over a hundred years old while enjoying a cigar every day. I will assess my vices as I go, but I don’t plan to be so focused on living a longer life that I make that same life miserable. I will enjoy each day as best I can!
So… now that I’ve written all that out. I invite and encourage anyone else who cares to start such a journey, or who is already on the same journey, to come along. Share your successes and your challenges. I don’t say “failures” because as long as you learn from the experience, I don’t believe you’ve failed. Make use of what you learn, regroup and drive on.