LAJ ARTICLES

Validated learning. Product of me

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The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools – Confucius
I have written before about my pivot to lean. This is an addendum, postscript and an incomplete epilogue.
I am 156 lbs; my body fat (measured in a water tank) is a bag of popcorn (lightly salted) above 8.5%. I am 5ft 10 inches.
I have lost almost 50 pounds in a little over 6 months. I have gained a lot of muscle and I have lost a lot of fat.
I thought it might be helpful to share some of my lessons learned and observations. This is all from a sample size of one. I am not a doctor and my only qualification is that I am the inquisitive occupant of this body.
Validated Learning:
In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable -Dwight D. Eisenhower
Losing weight is a graduated process. It begins with a notion, the first entry in a to-do list. Along a path, at that highway lookout, I became my own doctor and distanced myself from the patient. My body became the third person.
Through deduction, googling, reading, talking to people I trusted, I learned that I had mistaken food for something deceptively packaged to resemble it. Foodstuffs.
When food intake is evaluated for its nutritional value it loses its convenience. Eating well takes effort, the absence of effort is processed food, an ‘all of the above’ checklist of things that should not be ingested.
This took a lot of reprogramming of my mind and the way I perceive of food ‘reality’. The difference between taking the blue and red pill is staggering. In short, without getting preachy as a new convert is likely to do, I was being deceived and I colluded with the antagonists against my own health. There is a system built to kill us slowly. It is marketing, ‘trusted’ spokespeople, packaging, media, quasi medical rags and experts. We live in the Food Matrix. None of the guilty participants, the Mr. Smith’s, will own any part of the racketeering conspiracy and no one can save me but me.
Here is a Super Mario Bros cheat to get you from level 1 to Level 5: Quit salt and sugar. There is some marginal amount of each that just happens in that way that dust appears on a newly cleaned floor. Go for the Minimum Viable Salt and Sugar. Be wary of ‘low fat foods’, because they sneakily swap one danger for another. Once you have desalted (not a word acceptable in Scrabble play) and desugared (Acceptable in Scrabble play) you will find that you can now taste food and the pounds will melt off. it’s amazing and your energy level will go off the charts.
Salt makes me sluggish for hours, for days. If I get reckless and imbibe of it, I feel it makes me lethargic. And, if I give in to this torpor and don’t work out, then I will be upset with myself and a downward spiral is something I really don’t want to allow to begin.
Sugar spikes me and I concede to using it recreationally like a drug. When I want a pop, maybe before a hard workout or if need a burst of energy, I will have a little, maybe a cookie, or a coffee. The pop doesn’t last long, it will fade fast and you have to be careful not to replenish. That’s a big problem with sugar, if you don’t plan for the valley after the sugar hills, you’ll accidentally (or not) keep on consuming.
The possession of anything begins in the mind – Bruce Lee
When I first started on my diet I only had a vague sense of how much I wanted, or needed, to lose. When I was 200 pounds I thought that my magic number would be to lose 15 pounds. Once I lost that weight, my image of what I wanted was not aligned with that current weight. So sometime post descent to 185 I realized that this change would not be complete until it was transformational. I wanted to get to a weight that was perfect and lean, purge my body of fats and things that go bump in the night and from there to maintain.
Losing weight is reasonably simple. Quit salt and Sugar, have a tolerance for hunger, do lots of cardio, core and exercise with weights, have lots of protein (Protein shakes are the most efficient and economical for protein intake) But the managing hunger and the retraining of the mind is the hardest.
The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it – J.M. Barrie
Mission Not Accomplished: the mission is a lifelong constant reiteration of proper eating. One slip can easily become a new (bad) habit. I do take breaks from a careful diet, but these are short vacations; an occasional couple of pieces of bread, maybe a dessert, maybe some pizza. When I eat these things I know I have already purchased a return trip ticket back to healthy eating, which allows me to enjoy the respite just a little more.
Lean Methodology:
Interesting that much of business theory can be converted to the optimization and administration of me, this is good for me because tend to think in terms of process and sequence
Checking the results of a decision against its expectations shows executives what their strengths are, where they need to improve, and where they lack knowledge or information – Peter Drucker
I’ve been lean and I’ve been fat. Lean is better

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