Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Do as I say...

Not as I do.  Sometimes.

I seem to fairly regularly include in this blog descriptions of how I do things - how I eat, how I train, etc.  The intent isn't just to entertain people - when I say "I do X" I usually mean to say "I do X and so should you and here's why..."  Sometimes I write what I do as evidence that it's is doable - I'll write about how I eat or train to show you guys that a middle aged, untalented guy with little in the way of willpower, two young children and a full time job can make pretty good progress by acting according to the right set of plans.  Then I'm really answering somebody saying that they can't get in shape, get lean, or get better at karate.  Today I'm going to write about some things that I do because they're wrong - I shouldn't be doing them.  Because, much as I wish it were otherwise, I'm not perfect!

So here are a few areas where I'm doing the wrong thing and I know it (there are many other mistakes that I'm making and don't know about, but I can't write about them... just think about it).

  • I don't eat nearly enough vegetables.  My diet is pretty good, most of the time, but I don't like veggies very much and I don't eat them enough.  You should eat like me, more or less, but with a ton more vegetables included (both in quantity and in variety).
  • I don't do enough soft tissue work.  I never get massages and I rarely use the foam roller at home.  I've been working my hips and legs with a self-massaging device (kind of like a stone sphere set into a handle so you can roll it over your muscles), but I don't do it enough.
  • I eat plenty of grass fed beef but not nearly enough organ meat or bone (obviously you don't eat bone, but you can make broth by boiling bones in water and get a lot of good nutrients that way).  No excuse but laziness.  If I could get a ground beef that was part liver/organ/kidney and part regular meat in 1 lb. packs I'd buy it, but I haven't found such a product (if you know of one please let me know).
  • I don't do enough static stretching at night.  I don't do any before working out - which is good - but I think I'd benefit from another 20 minutes a night of stretching.  I'm just too lazy.
  • I don't meditate enough.  For stress relief and improving one's concentration we should all meditate every day - at least for a while.  I don't.  No excuse.
  • I don't hit stuff enough.  That's changing now that I have a Body Action System in my house.  Punching and kicking air is good but you shouldn't do it exclusively.
  • I don't practice sanchin or tensho enough (should be every day).  Like I said, I'm lazy.
  • I don't sleep enough.  That's probably not entirely my fault - I get a little insomnia and I'm trying to fix it, and if I slept the whole time I was in bed every night it would be enough.  So it's not like I'm up all night partying.  But, end result, not enough sleep.
  • I don't work out outside enough.  Partly because I'm lazy, and it's winter, and partly because I'm allergic to grass and trees (the outside, I've noticed, is full of grass and trees).  
I'm sure there are others I couldn't think of (I"m not saying this list is the sum total of all my flaws by any stretch).  What's the point of this list?  Well, first of all, you should get that when I describe my lifestyle I'm not bragging, I'm quite aware that I fall very far short of what I ought to be doing.  I'm just doing better than I was doing, say, a year ago, and better than most people my age who don't pay attention to these things.

Keeping a list like this is also a key to making progress.  As time goes on I try to work on these things - not all of them at once, but in small groups.  This list was a lot longer a year ago.  I identified things I could fix and changed them.  I'm still doing that.

You, my reader, should write out a list like this (of your mistakes, not of mine).  Then pick a few of the items and start working to improve them.  Like my "I don't hit stuff enough."  I saw that on my list, asked for a BAS for my birthday, and now I hit it almost daily.  Every once in a while I need to re-do the list and pick new things to work on.  I'm about due now, actually!

Don't expect to eliminate the list completely, at least not in a short period of time.  Expect to add things to the list as often as you take them off, as you learn about new things you should be doing for your health and performance.  Stay on the path to perfection, don't worry about reaching perfection.



  1. Well, it's not a ground beef, but my method of getting liver in is to eat braunschweiger. US Wellness has one that is a "60/40 mix of grass-fed trim and grass-fed beef liver retailed in a fully cooked 1 pound package ready to slice and serve."