Fat

There is a current and recurrent thread amongst HEMA and other martial arts disciplines that mocks the fat instructor. It’s one of those things that everyone feels comfortable jumping in on. Five years ago I dropped 50lbs. It was just after finishing my Precision Nutrition certification. One of the most common things you will hear about choosing a health or fitness professional is that you should never chose a fat one. I was sitting at 195, with a good body composition, stellar bloodwork and fitness abilities. And yet every time I looked in the mirror I wanted to scream. I was terrified. I don’t think I can describe the fear.  You’ve either felt it or you haven’t. I looked in the mirror and saw a ghost. I was an insubstantial freak and every ounce of weight that left me was leaving me more and more transparent. Empty. Invisible. Vulnerable. When…

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Warming Up for Class

I’m an old fat man, so I have to put in a lot of extra to work to get myself ready for class. I’m the teacher, so I need to set the best example I can for my students. I can’t be better than them at everything, but I need to show them the value of what they are doing by being an example of the result. Add in that I constantly experiment with new exercises to add to our mix, and the hit on the body over time can become serious. I can’t afford to give in to aches and pains, and I need to look to my long-term performance. So the warm-up is the most important part of my regime. My warm-up begins in the morning. Usually with my coffee, which gets a 5g scoop of creatine, which is the same amount you would get from eating about…

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Mothers

Mothers. They’re so … tactful. I was a few days into the visit with my parents in June when my mother asked something that had clearly been on her mind for most of them. “So… why don’t you have a flat stomach? I mean, with all the exercise stuff you’ve been doing…” For the record, this is me: I gave her the short answer (“diet”), but it was one more reminder that people who don’t do “exercise stuff” and even most of the people do have pretty much no concept of just how much goes into turning a body into what you see in magazines or on TV. Everybody (with the possible exception of my mother) has seen that Dove timelapse cover girl video, and everybody knows that everything in the media is photoshopped to death, but it’s almost impossible to internalize the idea in the same way that we’ve…

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Power To The Stars

In the midst of a few hefty bits of writing at the moment, including writing a short article with my wife. That’s the only bit that might soon see the light of day. Otherwise it’s more plugging away at the hard stuff. Big writing for big projects. Still not enough time to catch up on the writing I want to do, but there is a real pleasure sometimes in doing the writing that needs to be done. Especially when the need comes only from within me. Currently paraphrasing what I know about nutrition, which has me thinking about it a lot. Food is something we still struggle with. I mean, it has to be a mystery, right? Everyone seems to have a solution, a magical formula, for the right way to eat. If we a have a solution, we must have a problem that needs solving. It seems a bit…

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One Thing Leads To Another

Deeper and deeper. Kind of a Fixx sort of morning. It’s coming up on nine months since we started up Valkyrie. I think the biggest change can be seen in my morning coffee. I’ve somehow become the kind of person who adds creatine to his coffee. I also enjoy taking a sixteen hour fast three days a week, and I break that fast with a berry and protein smoothie. My body is changing slowly…glacially slowly, but also changing with glacial power. I took a vacation last week, both from work and from working out. My six day a week, sometimes twice a day workout schedule was starting to show up in pain in my partially-regrown (I can hope, can’t I?) knee, so I’d stopped running the previous week. And I started to relax my eating. Chips and cookies, restaurant food, beer and wine. Expensive chocolates. We walked a fair bit,…

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Strong Body

Strength is everything. It’s the key to real mobility. It’s the key to a balanced and happy body. Real flexibility comes from strength, as does speed. Athletic ability in general can be seen as nothing more than a quest for idealized strength. To me, the difference between a fat person and an overweight person is mobility. I talked about that in my last post. Mobility is key to being healthy. And just like fat people, skinny people suffer from lack of mobility, too. I might refer to “overweight” as being the bad side of fat, but underweight doesn’t quite have the same meaning for skinny people. The more accurate term is “understrong.” It’s a sort of running joke that people who do historical re-enaction are overweight. I suppose this applies to geeks in general. Those of us who fall outside of the normal spectrum of interests are supposed to fall…

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