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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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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Learn to Love the Bomb, Or At Least Stop the Hate

Two interesting articles popped up in my news feed towards the end of last week, and kind of stuck in my head. The first was a study on obese people, comparing some brain imaging with that of non-obese people. It was a small study, and therefor of only limited value, but pointing in good directions for further research. I liked it because it echoed things that I believed anyway. Weight is a non-issue for me. Combat sports allow for success at a range of body types. It is an issue for me that some people are inactive. I liked this study because it gave a simple reason for this. Some people only see exercise as punishment. They don’t feel any reward. They don’t connect the thought of joyful physical activity with the image they hold of themselves. Worse, when they think of performing an athletic activity, they can only feel…

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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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Healthy Body

Rough week for a number of friends of mine. A person who spanned a few communities and was friends with my friends passed away suddenly in his sleep. I remotely watched an online outpouring of grief happen, followed by a celebration of life, and it got me thinking. This person, who I don’t ever recall meeting, was my age. He apparently was one of those people who are able to really grasp the oddity of life, not just embracing it but actively sharing it’s joy with others. Forty five seems a young age to die, but I suppose it isn’t. It should be a young age to die. It really should. If your grew up awkward and not fitting in because you were different, your late thirties and forties is often the time when you really start to blossom. You find a courage and confidence that was unknown to you…

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