Jun 13, 2021Liked by Michael David Cobb Bowen

I also use a 10# bowling ball. Yah, kinda wimpy, but that's how I roll.

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I'm tracking with you in many ways. I turn 60 this month, and during the decade of my 50s, I have worked to keep my weight under control (as you call it, get to my retirement weight). I also must find ways to motivate myself. I have established some traditions which keep me oriented toward staying fit year over year - I call it my Birthday Challenge. During my birthday month, I have the following things to achieve:

1. Weigh what my drivers license says.

2. Score 290 or higher (out of 300 points) on the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) using the scoring scale for a 21 year old soldier. The APFT consists of # of push ups in 2 minutes, # of sit ups in 2 minutes, and a 2 mile run.

3. Run one-tenth of a mile per year old. Last year, that was a 5.9 mile run. Plus a set of push ups and a set of sit ups equal to my age (59 push ups, 59 sit ups).

By having these annual things to point to, it keeps me motivated. I have seen my weight generally fluctuate by as much as 20 pounds each year per the ups and downs of my exercise and diet regimes across the calendar year (I have tended to stop running and working out when the weather gets cold and wet across November through February). As a 50 something now turning 60, I refuse to let age get the best of me. I still try to hold my own against people in their prime - call it a pride factor, but, regardless, it does keep me motivated. Last year I was shocked to learn that I have high blood pressure - this despite the fact that my resting heart rate is around 50 bpm, my VO2 Max score around 54 and that I can run a half marathon. So, I'm with you - us old guys have to make the commitment to take care of ourselves in both exercise and diet. I have more work to do when it comes to diet if I'm going to beat this high blood pressure thing without medication....................

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My goodness, I'll be 79 this year. But there is still a lot of overlap in our experiences and some key differences. I got the diet part first - when I was about 50 with the Zone Diet which taught me to back off carbs slowly. I'm 6'2" and any time I get to 220 some alarm goes off, someplace like the nether amygdala and I just stop. It is not a virtue, it's more an instinct. Every time I approached 220, I'd cut the carbs further and that worked until I was about 75 and then it didn't. I remembered I'd done Atkins way back in my 30s so I tried Keto. Dr Boz was my guide. It worked well, and I lost 50 pounds in the first 6 months and have been eating keto OMAD (One Meal A Day) since. I'm now 165 down from 220. My high school weight, but my waist is 6 inches bigger. Visceral fat. So it is a program of serious weightlifting for my age twice a week - squats, deadlifts and presses using dumbbells at home. I push it enough it so it hits me me hard - particularly my heart - and 30-40 secs rest between sets is not optional, but I keep putting the weight up a little at a time too. I'm getting stronger and the waist is beginning to shrink. I really thrive physically and mentally on that steady energy that comes from running the brain on ketones instead of sugar and am more productive in many ways than ever before. Still the most important thing for me is having an approach to living that changes my state of being - not just my ideas and understanding. Stoicism appears to work that way for you while, as I've said before, Theravada Buddhism does it for me.

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