At some point in my life I want to spend some time (6 months? 1 year?) where I try to see what my body is capable of. Our bodies are fascinating machines and I’d love to see the potential it holds for physical strength and fitness. Basically, I want to track all my inputs and outputs, and focus on getting as fit* as possible. My inputs would fall in four basic categories: exercise, healthy food, lifestyle changes, and supplements.
Exercise is pretty self-explanatory. I will have a consistent routine of cardio and weight exercises. This includes, but is not limited to, cycling, weight-lifting, joining sports leagues, yoga, swimming, competitive obstacle courses (like Tough Mudder), and martial arts.
Food is likely even more important than exercise for this. I want to continue my vegan diet, ensure it is balanced with all nutrients and minerals that I need, and move towards a raw diet. I’m going to take as scientific approach as possible and use research to determine the best diet for me. Hopefully I can also learn to cook some awesome food in the process. I can track the progress on sites like “Cronometer.com”. Unfortunately, this means my alcohol consumption will likely need to come down.
Lifestyle Changes are little tweaks to my life that have shown some correlation with health. This includes meditation, intermittent fasting, getting enough sleep (which will require lifestyle changes like turning off the computer an hour before sleep), making sure I get up and move around at least once an hour, reading, and drinking enough water. There are probably more things that I can locate to fall into this category.
I’ll also bring supplements into play, focusing on the ones with proven results. Creatine has been heavily studied and will be the first one I use for muscle growth. I’ll add more supplements as I go and also use some nootropics.
In addition to my inputs, I want to track my results. This includes weight, blood pressure, strength, flexibility, cognitive ability, overall feeling of well-being, performance on a standard test like the Army APFT, etc. Ideally I would be able to see a doctor regularly through the process to track what is happening internally, but I don’t know if that is affordable.
I’m not sure if I could do it while on the bike ride, but I am considering it. I want to track my progress and make it public. I could use my blog and a shared google doc where I record all my daily inputs and outputs (actually, measuring outputs is likely going to happen weekly or biweekly). Ideally, I’d be able to track everything about my day and what I do and consume, even down to my bowel movements, how many hours I sit each day (and during what hours), when I have sex, have a heart rate and sleep monitor track my vitals, etc. It would be neat to see if there are any weird correlations that I could discover.
I also want to take lots of pictures to see the changes in my body. I am considering taking daily nude photos in a half dozen or so poses from different angles to track the changes. If I do this I promise to place a warning on the blog posts with the photos I share so that you don’t accidentally see a flaccid penis (I talk a lot about body positivity and the need to see “normal” people naked, I should probably put my money where my mouth is and share non-sexual nude pics myself instead of just encouraging other people to do it).
Anyway, that’s what is on my mind. I need to come up with a good plan for what my specific goals are, the specific inputs and outputs necessary to attain those goals, and a plan for tracking/sharing my progress. I’m sure in the coming weeks I will solidify my system and start sharing that, even if I decide to put it off until I finish the bike ride (though, doing it during the bike ride could be the best time because much of my activity is taken care of).
I also need to make sure I don’t become a slave to this system and start punishing myself if I slip up or have bad days. These changes are part of a journey and if I have a day where I binge eat 10 pizzas or go a week without doing pushups or decide I am mentally drained and need to reform the whole thing I shouldn’t get mad at myself. This will be an outline towards a goal, not a physical law that can’t be altered. I created it, therefore it is malleable.
* I’m using words like fit, improvement, etc very loosely here. They are based on my subjective goals and are not meant to necessarily be a sign of health. And they sure as fuck aren’t a sign of mine (or anyone else’s) value. I generally want to lose fat, gain muscle, improve physical performance, and set my internal organs up for greater health and success.