who's trying his best to become a slender toned guy
"I want this change to stick. I want to feel stronger... It’s just a thing I do on a regular basis without making a big deal out of it." Yes! Making it a habit - like brushing your teeth, taking a shower. Sounds easy to do and easy to sustain, but it is not. I takes constant mindfulness, I think. A fine post! GO LYLE!
Loved this, Lyle! The first part read like you were writing about me. I’m exactly in that place in my life, where in the past year or so I’ve lost about twenty pounds, and it’s the first time I was ever able to do so consistently. I feel myself making better choices, even somewhat unconsciously sometimes. Which means I’m acquiring better habits.
As for the rest of it, I’ve felt weak before, especially since over the years I met a lot of folks who were martial artists or heavily into gymming, and I used to compare myself to them, see them as “real men”, as opposed to the “normal” guys I hung out with on the regular. So that part of your essay spoke to me to. I’ve been feeling much stronger since
I started boxing three months ago, but it’s probably just a matter of my confidence increasing rather than any meaningful changes in body composition.
In any case, a man’s relationship to his body is just as complex and fraught with issues as a woman’s. Thank you for bringing attention to that.
Golf is indeed a game of the mind. Ben Hogan famously said that the toughest part of golf is six inches...between the ears. I love the mindfulness of having to forget the last shot and the next shot and focus on the one at hand. For what it’s worth if you do that well, the rest will fall into place. 🤷🏻♂️
Enjoyed this, Lyle. I come from the opposite end of the spectrum, both in terms of body type and mindset. Exercise is all about mental hygiene for me, both in terms of brain chemistry and overall sense of wellbeing. I have to remind myself to take days off and make sure that the intensity level doesn't cross over into self-harm.
I wrote about that a while back -- "Why I Run."
I wonder if there might be a common denominator here in terms of how exercise fits into a personal narrative. I hear you trying to write a story in which fitness plays a more central role: you want to live longer for the sake of your kids, etc. My sense is that people who find their way into the gym or onto the yoga mat regularly have come to feel that it's just part of who they are. I think when that happens, there really isn't any need for complex formulas or motivational messaging?
Now you're making me want to write that essay about the inclusivity of Peloton workouts. It's such a far cry from the muscle head culture of the 80s and 90s. I really enjoy feeling like I'm part of a community, rather than just grinding away on my own.
Hi Lyle! Loved your algebra formula! And I’m surprised at saying this because I hated hated algebra at school! It’s a very imaginative and curious way to craft an idea! You know, I managed to stick to “working out” when I found The Class by Taryn Toomey. She has a fab platform that offers exercise combined with mindfulness plus yoga plus Pilates plus meditations plus breathing techniques. It’s a lot of mindfulness on your body while you move. Now that you mentioned mindfulness, maybe that Taryn s method is up your alley! If it is, let me know and I can share with you a referral link so you can try out 30 days for free on their membership :)
To be fair, according to the scale, my husband isn’t that much heavier, but now has to buy XLs instead of Ls. Something fishy is a-foot. Also, might I suggest a yoga trial?? I started 8 years ago and I’ve never felt better (SOOO core strong!!). I dare say it’s also fended off my Multiple Sclerosis?? Not proven but something’s working!!
Thanks for writing this Lyle. I’m on a similar journey. I would have said that it was due to my amazing smartwatch and its apps because I’m visual and love the graphs. But I think my (x) of your formula is the community I’ve got and how encouraging they’ve been. I’m eager to read about your getting more sleep. I’m just about to hang blackout curtains to see if that helps.
Old person here.... DO IT, DO IT NOW. Never mind the I shoulds. Look at Future You. (I am now Future Me) and ask how long you want your body to feel good. Trust me on this JUST DO IT NOW.
P.S. And also look after your teeth really really really really well.
Good luck :)
Nice Lyle keep up the good work, that was motivating to read!
Awesome. I absolutely relate to this! I’ve never been skinny, though. I’ve always been kinda on the thicker side. Just my body type. But certainly not fat. And always naturally strong. I’ve gone through so many phases of working out, from cycling to swimming to running, etc. I relate to your flush of embarrassment when the really fit guy asks if you work out? Not like that!!! I like your conclusion, which is where I’ve landed: Moderation; balance. You can work out a medium amount and do your body a lot of good (as well as also of course eating healthier) without working out 6 days a week. For some it’s a lifestyle. For others it’s purely health. I’m in the latter camp.
Sincere American Writing
I like your algebra!