Regular readers know I’ve been on an extended, if interrupted, plan to improve my health and fitness. Originally targeted to be in “great” shape by my stupendous 50th birthday, the journey continues past that time with the goal still somewhere off in the distance.
At least, I think it’s off in the distance. For all I know, I may already be fit and just not able to confirm it because…well…nobody else seems to be able to agree on just what “fit” is.
For example, back when this eating and exercising commitment began, I bought myself one of those scales that measures body fat to help gauge my progress. Though I don’t treat it as “authoritative”, it allowed me some measure of tracking my work on the home gym and the effects the exercise and my new eating regimen were having on my body.
In time, I dropped the reading into the mid 17’s, which was supposed to be low body fat for my age and size. Reading about body fat measures at the time, I found out this was a pretty good number to shoot for. Sure, top athletes would have lower numbers, but I had no illusions about my fitness level compared to them.
But, should I be using body fat or body mass? Or should I use the charts that match height to weight? Or maybe the ones that try to adjust any and all of the above to age? What exactly is fit? Which “expert” is the right one and what do I do when they don’t all agree?
That starts me down a slippery slope of when eggs and margarine were good, until they weren’t, until they were again. Or how sugar is bad, but so is saccharin, but so is eating non-organic. I should stay away from aspirin or it will eat away at my stomach, but I should take aspirin because it’s good for my heart. And of course eat everything, but only in moderation, although the definition of moderation seems as mutable as the definition of art.
And, really, after all that, can you really be as “healthy as you feel”? Are you sure? Is your head spinning from all the possibilities or simply a drop in potassium? Why not take a multi-vitamin, although that’s hardly “natural”. Maybe you should redo your entire diet, as opposed to going on a diet, which of course is harmful to your body because when you’re not eating, you’re not eating right.
Wow, and here I thought I only had to worry about my discipline in maintaining a healthy nutritional balance and steady exercise. How was I to know the muscle getting the most workout in all this would be my poor brain? Am I now wiser or just clueless?
Is it any wonder that I’m not really sure? Am I fit or simply confused? Perhaps I’m an overachiever and I’m actually both?