Priorities changing with age

While I've been talking/posting/writing about getting my bodyweight down to 200-205 lbs for a number of years now, this time I'm really going to do it--no guarantees--but the conditions for achieving this goal seem as encouraging as they've ever been.

205 lbs in 1995


Despite turning 51 later this summer, I don't feel like I've run out of PR's, either in absolute weight lifted or relative weight lifted (wilks coefficient).  That being said, I've reached the point where I'm putting long-term quality of life ahead of chasing PR's.  At my current height of 5' 9" (I don't think I've started shrinking yet), walking around at 230-235 lbs is simply too much load for my joints to bear as I start down the path from middle age to old age.  I'm very fortunate that I have no real aches and pains in my feet, knees, or hips and only a bit of morning stiffness in my back.  Perhaps a blessing from the curse of mediocrity since many formerly world class powerlifters are already suffering hip or knee replacements at my age or younger.

Not wanting to compromise quality of life in my later years with Vivian for the selfish pursuit of powerlifting achievements, I am motivated by fear.  Fear of not being able to walk a golf course with Vivian if I were to chronically injure my back, hips, or knees and also the fear of not being able to lose weight in later years if I were to procrastinate any longer.  I'm already finding it's much harder to lose weight now than even 5 years ago.  How much harder it might be in 5 more years, I don't even want to contemplate.

Because losing weight involves hunger and being hungry is uncomfortable, I started this process trying something I've never done before.  I cut my carb intake low, not ketogenic diet low, but low.  This had the beneficial effect of helping reduce in-between meal hunger and the detrimental effect of dramatically lower workout energy.  I took the bad with the good because until the weight loss was kick-started and I became motivated by results, I needed something to keep the hunger boogeyman at bay.

I'm currently down about 6 kgs from when I started in mid January and while I am still far away from my goal, I'm far enough along that the results are creating a self-sustaining feedback loop.  Since I don't need to rely so heavily on a low carb diet for satiety reasons, I have introduced more carbs to better fuel my workouts.  Even though my training sessions are phased back to a maintenance level (because golf is the main priority during spring and summer), it's still more fun when they aren't attenuated by terrible energy levels.

If all goes according to plan, I'll be at my goal of 200-205 lbs around my 51st birthday in late August--probably after since Viv and I are taking a cruise/UK vacation at that time.  This will give me a good 8 weeks or so to get accustomed to maintaining that weight while trying to build back strength in time for Provincials in early November 2017.

While I don't have any reason to believe I can't be as strong in relative terms at 205 lbs as I was at 231 lbs, it will take time to regain strength once I get down there.  Since I'm already 50 years old, voluntarily giving up a year of training progress in order to meet my bodyweight goals, drains more sand out of the finite supply of the GAINZ hourglass.  Marvels of drug-tested powerlifting like David Ricks and Anthony Harris give me some hope that there will be time yet for me to push my relative strength PR's but even if they are outliers in every sense of the word and there are no more gains left for me in the coming years, I am willing to sacrifice that in order to build a healthier and more mobile future.




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