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Getting Real in 2021

If you’ve followed my writing for any length of time, you know several things about me. I love helping business people improve their ability to lead teams and organizations. I believe in life-long-learning.

Taking a common-sense approach to my teaching is critical to me. If it’s too complicated, I either simplify it or find a more easy-to-understand message. Also, I believe change is inevitable.

There’s a funny thing about change though. It can be good or bad. As the story goes, not all change is progress. If you say you have a sore throat and I punch you in the stomach, there will be change, but no progress.

It seems 2020 was a lot of things to a lot of people. It caused so much change, not all of which was progress. Everyone I know is glad to say ‘buh-bye’ to ’20. I know I am.

Getting Real 2021

But in the spirit of getting real, I am going to share something that’s kind of personal. I’m going to link some private details about 2020 that I’m not proud of. No this isn’t some dark sinister plot developing. It’s simply an admission that with all the quarantine and drop in activity levels, I gained a few L-Bs that I didn’t need. Yes, I am talking about weight gain.

You could say I added my own ‘COVID-19’, with the emphasis on the 19!

I teach and coach about encouraging people to self-direct many of the things they need to change. This applies to management and leadership as well as other parts of life. My clients bring concerns and issues to me and we work on finding new, more meaningful solutions to take things to a better level.

It makes logical sense to me that I should practice what I preach, right? So I have.

As I began shaping my own new year’s priorities for 2021, assessments, and direction, I added personal health to the top of the list. You see, I have never been a ‘gym rat’. In fact I fundamentally hate going to any form of sweatbox.

Perhaps the desire was squeezed out of me during my time in the military; long runs, exercising at the wee hours of the morning. It never excited me. For me, it was torture. But I endured and even eventually became a bit of a runner.

For many years, I ran middle distances as my weekly exercise routine, often logging 20-30 miles (combined) per week. I know for many of you that’s barely breaking a sweat. However, I counted it as pretty significant. For sure I was well within a weight class I liked.

The Knees Gave Out

Then the inevitable happened. In my mid-40’s the knees gave out. I went to the doctor. The classic joke ensued.

“Doc it hurts when I do this.”

Doc says “Then stop doing it.” That was the end of my running. And the scale began to climb.

I tried cycling and that worked a while, but I got tired of the routines I created there. I never wanted to go for the marathon rides.

The next step down was simply to walk daily, which I did for several more years. Again, boredom shot that down.

Fast forward another 15-2o years and here I am. Older according to the calendar, but perhaps not the wiser in this category. All of this aside, the bottom line is I must do something.

The Fix

I reached out to a former fitness coach I once used. We stopped working together because there were some changes in the small neighborhood, private gym where we met. However, we have kept in contact via social media.

With the whole COVID mess, he had started providing virtual coaching options. Recently, he had started a new program for people over 40. In fact, in one of his recent vlogs, he confessed to feeling he had failed many of his former clients. Why?

Because he said he had been teaching old methods of severe dieting (keto, paleo, etc.) while performing strenuous workouts, damaging muscles, bones, and joints. But it was textbook teaching according to most of the mainstream gurus of the day.

As I watched his videos I realized he was even looking more lean and cut than before. When I had first met him, he had been in reasonably good shape but had a bit of heft to him, more like a linebacker than a swimmer. I just figured that was a solid mass. But now, I could see the new change, even in him.

He went further in his new message to describe a new discovery involving intermittent fasting. He calls it “flex fasting”. No severe changes to intake, just the window of time in which food is consumed. He couples this with a workout program using nothing more than small dumbbells’ (10 lbs to start). The dumbbells’ along with your own body weigh provides enough resistance to drive the effort.

As I am publishing this, I have already been on the program about 12 days, following the fasting windows faithfully. No other changes to food consumption.

We’ve done 6 workouts. Yes, I am sore in places that haven’t been sore in a while, but nothing is strained or pulled. More importantly, I’ve already lost 4 lbs; roughly 25% of my COVID gain. I like those kinds of numbers. It’s been gradual but rewarding.

Plus I am not agonizing over calorie counting, unit tracking, meal planning etc. Neither my wife nor I like cooking, so we ‘assemble’ (her words). We actually eat a reasonably healthy diet, but I am sure it could use some work. More on this later.

Accountability

A key element in any change management is accountability. If we’ve worked together, you know we’ve talked about that. So I write this article now to establish my own network of accountability partners. There are more than 200,000 of you in the audience where this blog posts, so I am sure I will connect with many of you.

I’m going to post an occasional status update. But I intend to get rid of the entire COVID gain plus some. I’m 6’3′ so my better weight should be around 215 max. I have a ways to go. More importantly, I want to make this a lasting lifestyle change for me, not just a single achievement.

So there, I said it. That’s my vision. Now I ask you guys to hold me accountable.

For more on my coaching visit my website or check out my podcasts. If you own your business but have gotten tired of networking groups and roundtables, think about hiring your own advisor; something like your personal board member. I’d like to share with you how other business owners have benefitted from my advisory services.

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