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I’ve been on a bit of a health journey for the last seven months. I’ve outlined some of that journey in my post, Microsoft Band 2 – Real World Notes from the Field. I’ve now met my weight and BMI goals (the first time I’ve ever been considered “normal” in anything, between 18.5 and 25 BMI is considered normal) that I established during that journey. “Celebrate good times, come on.”

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I’m enormously grateful that I’ve been able to reach these goals. Indeed, it is grace upon grace that I could do so. Yes, I put in the effort, but it is the God in whom I live, and move and have being who sustained me in it, made it efficacious in the relatively short time of 7 months and allowed me to do so with little injury. Now that I’ve turned that corner, however, what’s next? I’ve been driven, to date, in large part by those goals. There wasn’t always a direct relationship between what I did in terms of eating and exercise and sleep and those two goals, but there was a strong correlation. I do know, as part of my experience, that the line between losing and gaining is quite fine, so I know this celebration cannot materially pull me off my daily regimen. As I indicated in my previous post, this is a life journey, a life change, not a fad or diet. I also know that I do have an opportunity to ease up a bit. Even with that knowledge comes the realization that I need to retain motivation now to maintain as opposed to losing weight. Some of that’s pretty straightforward. I still have some loss of muscle mass and will continue to need to tone to mitigate the “sag” phenomena. I still have personal bests to achieve rowing and lifting. So, my goals have not evaporated. In the past, those kinds of goals were intermediary goals, not the end game. Maintaining is now the end game. That doesn’t intrinsically have the same kind of thrill and motivation as achieving new levels. So again I have to ask myself, now what?

whats-next

Well first, maintaining is not going to be trivial as I gain muscle tone. I will gain body density, so to maintain the same weight requires loss of fat. I see that challenge. Also, I do have the joy of not feeling quite the pressure to push on to reach the next stage. Second, I can “gamify” and socialize a bit of the next steps to keep it fresh and to build motivation. Part of that is those personal bests I referenced earlier, part of that will require inventiveness on my part that I’m just now investigating.  I’m not one to post daily workouts and compare with friends or join group challenges or a myriad of other public means of accomplishing this. So how do I accommodate my private nature and socialize this process? I’m not quite sure. But I think it’s key to do so and make games out of the workouts I follow to avoid growing stale in this process. Because it is an ongoing process. There is no true end, even as goals are reached.

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For now, the goal is fresh enough and I’m scared enough of going in the wrong direction, that my motivation is relatively safe. But as with all things, we must safeguard what is important. So now, while I have room, I’ll turn my thoughts to how to keep on truckin’. I suspect, given my predilection for literature, that the way to “game” fitness is through story. Building story around what I do in the goals I make seems to be a fairly natural fit. While I’m shy about many things, I’m clearly not shy about sharing this  journey and will post again as the, by God’s grace, long road ahead please out before me.

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