Welcome to a weekly feature on my blog – Ben’s Zone. Written by husband… Ben. A foodie, coffee obsessed, ex-smoking, ex-drinking and Ridgeback loving Dad. Who is also seriously into his fitness. You can find him on the blog (mostly) on Sundays. Enjoy!
Callisthenics and Training Update March 2021
It’s been an odd month. Last month I was taking a mindful approach to my strength training. This month has been all about grinding. If you’ve ever played any kind of computer role-playing game you’ll know what grinding means, it’s accomplishing the same tasks over and over again to slowly build your characters ‘stats’ and become powerful. So that’s what I’ve been doing this month, grinding away at my strength exercises in the hope that I continue to build strength. That doesn’t sound like a lot of fun but by the same token, anything that promises instant or overnight results is normally snake oil or it can equally be lost overnight.
What I’m trying to do here is build a strength regime that fits into my life (and this does) and can be continued as I get older and so I know results are going to take a long time. But is it all a story of grinding with minimal results? No. I definitely feel stronger and I feel more comfortable with how I look. I wish I could say I was not interested in looks but the fact is I am vain and I want to like what I see in the mirror and though the changes are subtle, I’m pleased. Moreover, my quality of life is improving. I have a major project going live at work at the moment and the hours are getting very long but I’m not getting any back or shoulder pain and I attribute this to the time I am putting in strengthening these areas.
Another huge change I have made is that I have recently stopped dieting. I used to follow a well known commercial diet plan. I had got to an out of whack place with my weight and was really not happy at all. As time had progressed I had got down to a healthy weight but began to find the diet too restrictive. When I did have days ‘off plan’ I found that I would overeat and overall, as well as finding it hard to maintain my weight, I had become sick of being restricted all the time. As I am now doing my strength exercise and my usual running I made the decision to stop dieting. I still keep a record of what I am eating and I still try and maintain healthy portion sizes and dietary balance but I am not consciously restricting my food any more. The result is that I feel a lot less stressed about my food and exercise regime (I used to worry if I put on 100g in a week) and I have not gained weight to any appreciable degree.
I attribute this sense of calm around dieting to the changes I’ve made in my exercise regime over the last few months. So, no, I don’t look like an MMA fighter, I do look better than I did, I am already stronger than I was but most importantly I am enjoying my life a ton more than I was.