Three Keys to the Evergreen Wedding Bod
I told myself enough, training would begin today. And then I proceeded to inhale a ton of sausage nachos and banana bread for breakfast. The good news is this might be the tipping point in accumulated guilt that launches a streak of perfect diet days leading up to a baller oceanfront wedding next weekend. I don’t know if self-hatred is mentally healthy, but it’s dependable fuel for achieving goals.
My new $200 Kenneth Cole suit — Macy’s suits are never not on sale — is made of stretchy fabric, so it should fit fine unless the tailor gets too aggressive. I just want to be ready if it makes sense to pop off the shirt (Van Heusen, $20 on sale, basically begging to be ripped open).
I don’t recall ever undressing at a wedding except mine, but I’m picturing a sensuous ocean breeze, staggering views on bluffs, rhythmic waves crashing below. The groom told me they were getting screwed on the alcohol package and every guest including children would need to put down 6.5 drinks to recoup the cost. My god, I need to hit the quads too because the pants might be coming off.
They won’t. Neither will the shirt. I tend to invent extra motivation from time to time, but the truth is I don’t need it. I like to keep in shape. You might have assumed I tapered off with so much time elapsed between abs pics.
This was two days ago. I am still in striking distance. One good week and the dictionary will be full of definitions again.
Yes I am still here, raging against the aging machine. I turn 39 next month, and the older I get while maintaining ab visibility, the more credibility I should accrue for you to listen.
I already outlined the main idea, but there’s some stat about the number of times something has to be repeated to sink in. So I’ll say it again in a slightly different way and add two more thoughts.
Together these three things will change your body, guaranteed.
The greatest workout of all time is simply the one you won’t skip. I haven’t had access to a full gym in almost five years and any kind of gym in more than three. These days my workouts are 35-45 minutes all in, by rule on any day I spend in front of the computer. So essentially five days a week.
I jog to a playground and do bodyweight exercises or use my dad’s 20-pound dumbbells and online workouts in the backyard. Nike Training Club is an exceptional free app and indication of how much money the Swoosh has to burn on branding.
The point is it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you do it. I would love to get CrossFit-jacked or basketball-shredded, but such a schedule is not sustainable with two working parents and two young children.
Even if the hours were available, the effort might be too much for me at this point. I would have to get up for it each time rather than just do it without thinking much. There is a different barrier to entry being locked into class times and commuting to a facility, versus rolling out of bed and breaking a sweat in whatever way I feel like.
In other words, the key is to remove the decision element and treat exercise as a constant like brushing your teeth. Whatever you can do to make it routine. Even if it’s just a walk around the neighborhood before every shower, that’s better than hitting the gym hard and stopping, or not starting anything at all.
Still the most impactful principle is accepting that meals can have different purposes. Taste is only one reason. Sometimes what you eat is dictated by a social gathering or what’s available at home or a commendable habit of not wasting food.
Not every bite of food needs to be a culinary experience. Many bites should be considered a natural function — feeding the body nutrients and satiating hunger. For this you need a go-to Switzerland meal that’s neutral in taste, unprocessed food without added salt or sugar.
My workhorse is lentils and garlic in a cooker with steamed broccoli or kale. I’ll also bake chicken, seasoned but not salted. Salt seems acceptable in and of itself, but it also makes everything taste better and tempts overeating.
I feel like I recently stumbled on a cheat code in topping chicken salads with sweet potatoes or fruit instead of dressing. You can’t get much healthier than raw vegetables and clean protein, and the natural sugars are delicious.
To the untrained palate, a Switzerland meal tastes like crap. But really it just tastes like what it is: vegetables, fruit, meat, legumes, oats, eggs, nuts. The processed stuff arguably is what tastes like non-food.
I used to call eating healthy like this the Lexus way as an ode to the carmaker’s slogan “relentless pursuit of perfection.” That makes it sound more difficult than it is though. Again, none of this tastes bad. It tastes more like nothing, except pure food. You eat it and move on. You stop asking yourself what you’re in the mood for all the time, and eat for nourishment more often.
As a bonus, every Switzerland meal resets the taste buds. So if you do grab KFC or Domino's for the next meal (which I do regularly), it tastes even better because of the contrast.
Just Drink It
This last one is so obvious it shouldn’t even be a thing. Your body needs water or you die. Give it water. I don’t understand why hydrating needs to have anything to do with stimulating taste buds. Do you need flavored air too?
I’m skeptical even of the ubiquitous sparkling water cans. Why does your water need to have a peach mango twist? It doesn’t seem innocuous to me despite zero calories. This encourages displacing the taste-chasing mindset onto one of the most neutral, natural functions of all. We are built to drink water. Stop effing with that.
I don’t want to overplay the starving-kids-in-Africa card, but it is true around the world many people don’t have clean water. Meanwhile I can stick my fat head under the faucet in Texas and drink enough for all of them. If we put the amount of money my wife spends on weird canned water, Starbucks and alcohol into the S&P 500, that would be a separate retirement plan.
I’m not saying we can’t enjoy life because of global poverty, but there should be an awareness if the goal is to take care of the body. All these products are superfluous. Childhood is the time for fruity beverages. It's childish to drink Coke. Adults drink water and alcohol purposefully.
Drink plain water. It will be OK.
Really all three points are the same idea, indisputably healthy habits that may seem intense at first glance. But then you try them and realize they won’t kill you. And after a while, it almost feels like it will kill you not to keep them.
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