First off this evening, I've gotten a few comments this week from John Swapceinski, the founder of Rate My Professors, below this post. He's defending RMP, and I'm honored (genuinely) that he stopped by.
This is the week we find out the truth. Over the summer, I decided to try and kick my diet and exercise level up another notch. I added another day of Pilates, kept three days a week of boxing classes, tried some new lifting routines, and upped my running mileage back up to around 45 miles per week. My body has gotten much stronger and harder in the past two months, but at the price of a huge time commitment. That was easy on a summer school routine, but now things get dicier: I've got seven classes to teach, my volunteer youth ministry picks up again, and I want to spend good quality time with my wife. And I really want to find a way to average at least 7 hours of sleep per night.
I'll report whether I can keep this up.
Whatever I've been doing diet wise and exercise wise, it's working. Though I am not as fast as I was in my hardcore running days of the late 1990s, I'm carrying much more lean muscle. I feel fitter than I ever have. And -- this is the best of all -- I haven't had a cold in months. For years, I got a cold every couple of weeks (possibly because I was too thin and living off Power Bars and Diet Coke). Now, I'm getting lots more fresh veggies, am pumping in lots of soy product and vegetarian protein supplements, and I feel great.
I've decided to take a break, however, from getting on the scale. After all these years, I still have to fight against my compulsiveness and my anxiety. The scale and the mirror are both triggers for me at times. Years ago, when I was going through a particularly hard time around body issues, I had to take a "no-scale, no being naked in front of the mirror pledge". The latter may seem particularly silly, but as embarrassing as it is to admit, I still battle "body image dysmorphia" day in and day out. I'm no longer starving myself or mutilating my flesh, and that's a plus. I like my body a lot these days. But I realize I am in a better position to love it when I don't study it too closely, or weigh myself too often.
I wonder -- has my father's death in June contributed to this noticeable uptick in an already exhausting workout schedule? Am I avoiding productive grieving through exercise addiction, or am I appropriately channeling my pain into something healthy?
In any event, after once last climb on the scale this afternoon (177.7 pounds), I'm taking the pledge: no scales for the rest of 2006. I see a few of my students and friends at the gym, and they see me. A couple of them read this blog. If you see me heading for the scale, folks, please feel free to stage an intervention! I'll buy you coffee if you do!
Oh, and let me make a plug for my boxing gym, which has just moved to a new location. Pepe and Mauricio, who run Classic Kick Boxing, are two dear and amazing men; they've become good friends to us. If you live in the Pasadena area and want to try learning this remarkable sport (or just want to get in better shape), give these lads a call. In six months, they've given me a lot of laughs, made me sweat, and given me a pretty damn hard left hook.