Friday, February 5, 2016

Starter thread for 2016

Edited for some context, in case anyone saw this before Facebook.

Mid-December 2015, I came home from a business trip with symptoms typical of flu. January 2016, I contracted new symptoms typical of a sinus infection. My sleep was interrupted often, but my lifting was not hindered when I could rest. The problem was coughing for nearly four weeks. Mid-January, I discovered an inguinal hernia, confirmed by a doctor.

The earliest surgical referral available is February 16. I've had to cancel a business trip and scale back my exercise to bodyweight only. I've been looking for a plan/excuse to focus on upper body work for a while. Even that's limited by the lack of abdominal bracing. I don't mind sharing the recovery process, as it would be equally obvious to just stop talking about squats.

So this is where it gets funny. This overlaps with my company's annual wellness challenge, which is mostly about recording cardio and calories. I set a 10lb weight loss goal, and the little app set me a calorie estimate that's a meal and a half below my usual maintenance diet. Two rounds of antibiotics has stripped my gut, so I'm losing weight every hour (so to speak). I'm down 5lb in the last 10 days, still coughing, and ten days out from referral. I'll track my recovery here as it goes.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Open season on 2016

Happy New Year, a few days late but nonetheless sincere. I came home from a December business trip with something akin to flu, then passed it around the house. My first symptom was I couldn't get out of bed. Seriously. I pulled myself up around 10:30 to message my boss (different timezone) that I couldn't work today, even from home. I spent about two days on the couch under the dog's blanket. For nearly a month, no matter how many hours I was down, I couldn't get up in the morning. I'm finally just getting over that.

I did post a set of 2015 resolutions on Facebook a year ago.

I don't usually bother with New Year's resolutions. But, if I were to make a list this year:

Gain 5lbs and make it stick
Finally take up drinking
Win-or-quit my sport
Start practicing guitar

I'm up 11 pounds and stable. I have actually grown tired of the extra eating, and staying above 160 instead of 159.2 has become really difficult. I'm muscular, no doubt, but I'm just a little fatter than I like.

I did not learn alcohol. Honestly, we don't get out as much as we used to, and the bartender-friend who lived next door has moved. There's a big difference between me learning to appreciate different drinks among knowledgeable friends and me drinking alone at home. It was neither convenient nor important. Maybe this year.

I quit kettlebell sport, and I feel better for it. I'm almost as strong as I was when I had been powerlifting in a barbell gym for 2 years. It bothers me that my maxes aren't higher, but that's not why I exercise. It can't be, for my health's sake. My shoulders are great, and I need a whole new closet of shirts.

I wish I practiced guitar more. It'd justify me buying more guitar gear.

Finally, I've grown a real interest in sport weightlifting, but I do not have the facilities or the budget for a membership and coach. So I'm doing weightlifter's GPP: front and back squats, power cleans and barbell rows, handstands and dips. My shoulders have never been better. I'm a little heavy, and I haven't run well since I got sick, but I can run. I'll let some weight drop off in February and see how it feels. It may even help my sleep.