The other week I wrote about goals. Specifically, I wrote about how the goals I had listed for all the world to see on the right hand navigation bar just kinda sucked. I knew it was time for a change. Time for me to declare a real and viable mission. And that time is now.
Welcome to Operation Spare Tire
My new mission, and yes, I’ve chosen to accept it, is to lose exactly 10 lbs of body fat by the time of my brother’s bachelor party over July 4th weekend. And if you’re interested, you get to follow along. If you’re not, don’t worry. The cubicle warrior website will not be turning wholly over to become a fitness site. I will still be writing every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Just instead of, or perhaps in addition to, my regular Friday Clip humor videos I will be updating you on my progress of all of my goals (yes, there are more.) For more on why I am choosing this goal, keep reading. If you want to skip down to the bottom of the article, where I put the specifics down, I won’t blame you. After all, a goal is nothing without some kind of measurement system.
Why Operation Spare Tire
Well, first I believe that success in a physical goals follows the same pattern all other success in all other kinds of goals. What you learn by pursuing things like Kung Fu or distance swimming can be translated to every other goal you have. So, if you want to establish a culture of success in your life, completing a physical goal is a good way to start.
Secondly, it feels like the universe is conspiring to motivate me to do this. Everywhere I turn fitness and goals keep popping up!
My Small Business
A few people know that I run a small web design business. Well, I was recently contracted to build this local personal trainer site. Spend a bunch of nights and weekends building a personal trainer website and see if you don’t feel like you should be treating your body better!
I started taking Kung Fu over the end of February and it’s been a lot of fun. I have made dramatic improvements in my technique and understanding of the art. However, martial arts is something that I used to be reasonably competent at. In my heart of hearts I know that in order to progress further in that study, I need to achieve a better level of conditioning.
It’s the and that means it’s time for lakes and pools and beaches. And, sadly, ubiquitous camera phones piloted by Facebook paparazzi willing to post every picture of every second of your life on every social media avenue. My brother’s wedding is also being held on a beach. Wunderbar.
Brother’s Bachelor Party
Like I mentioned in the goal description, my brother is having his bachelor party over 4th of July. It will be a great time to reunite with a bunch of old friends partying on the lake. Those same friends happen to be in great shape. After looking at my own bachelor party photos, I know I want to look better in these.
Foot is healing
For those who didn’t know, I collapse a foot arch 4 years ago. I also broke a few bones that never healed and would never heal. That led me to stop doing things I enjoyed like playing pick up sports but also indirectly led to me tearing a rotator cuff and then, later, destroying my other foot enough so that last year I had to have major surgery. As you might guess, I haven’t really had a lot of movement these past few years that did not involve swimming or kayaking. All that said, I have been healing and training up as best as I can. I have a theory that progress on my feet healing would be sped up considerably if I weighed less. Especially if I have a possible future goal of running around again.
Everybody Else is Doing It!
I can’t go to any part of my Google Reader page without seeing that authors of other blogs that I subscribe to fulfill their own goals. (Shameless plug moment, wouldn’t you love to add this RSS feed to your reader or sign up to get the posts delivered via email?)
Here’s a brief recap of some of the authors I have been reading and what they have accomplished:
Friends & Family
Most of my friends have a fitness-oriented lifestyle but some are pushing the bounds. DevilDog is doing a bodybuilding show and progressing well. Even in my office colleagues are completing goals with one finishing a couch to 5k challenge while some of them just got done doing P90x and have moved on to Insanity.
There’s also the guy who lost 50lbs hiking and then there are Kim and Kyle who lost the equivalent of a first grade class between them when they moved to Korea. There’s also my friend’s dad who is having heart problems (motivating said friend to be a bit healthier) and a variety of my own family’s medical history.
There truly is no end to the examples I could come up with. In the end it all boils down to me. And I am just happier living a healthier lifestyle. So why not make a game of it and publish it here for all the world to see (and to hold me accountable for)?
Operation Spare Tire’s (OST’s) definition of Success
Now that you’ve seen why, let’s see how.
All good goals have several qualities:
- A clear and defined end state (How will I know if OST was a success?)
- A time period. (What’s the deadline for OST?)
- A way to be measured. (How do you tell if I’m progressing on OST>?)
- Constraints / Rules.
So let me address these now.
This one is simple; lose 10 lbs. That’s a little over 6 weeks to lose 10lbs in!
Lose 10 lbs by 4th of July (actually, June 30th.)
I will be using my personal trainer’s bodyfat test done with calipers to chart my progress. My first measurement on 5/6/2010: I weighed 196 lbs @ 18.6 % body fat. This amounts to 36.45 lbs of fat and only 159.55 lbs lean body mass! Certainly we all need some amount of fat but I certainly don’t need to be at 18.whatever percent!
My end state will be to lose 10lbs of fat without sacrificing any amount of muscle by the time of my brother’s bachelor party starting 6/30/2010.
That means that my desired measurements will be: 186 lbs @ 14.22% (Which equals 26.45 lbs body fat, 160lbs lean mass)
This would put me past 2 important psychological barriers: 1) Below the 190 level – I haven’t been there since a year before hurting my feet (2005). 2) Below the 15% bodyfat level. That won’t give me romance cover abs but it will put me in a much healthier situation. In terms of classification, it would move me from “acceptable” on the chart to the top end of “fitness.'”
So, now I have a viable and explicit goal with a deadline and a way to measure it.
While these goals are written in specifics and with dates, I want to keep an eye to being able to sustain these levels for all time. My goal is not only to achieve a certain level of fitness – I’ve been there and done that in a natural bodybuilding competition. My true goal is to be able to develop habits that will keep me in line with these numbers so I can maintain them for the rest of my life. That means no trick diets, minimal impact on my current way of life, and sustainable development.
So there will be no special pills, no fad diets, no marathon workout sessions. I still have to go to work. I still have to run my side hustle, keep on my other goals, do the hundreds of mundane things I do every day and every week while being a good friend and husband. This will be summer and there are a thousand of little things pulling me all over the place like martial arts, invitations to party on the lake, poker nights, and after work happy hours. The Coca Cola 600 here in Charlotte. Summer is my busy travel season and I’ll be on the road quite a bit (New York, Maryland, the Bachelor party, New Hampshire, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Boston, Blacksburg… and I’m sure a few other places.)
Not only that but I have a epic trip to Korea later this fall in the planning stages. It’s tricky, but I’ll save that goal for another post. In short, we want to go visit Kim & Kyle and we don’t want to go into debt to do it!
Well, I can’t do this alone. I mean, if I could, I wouldn’t be in this position anyway. And if you got this far through the article, you’re probably pretty interested in the outcome!
How You Can Help
Several people have probably been in this situation before. Maybe you’re in a similar situation now. Perhaps you have a new goal (fitness or otherwise) you committed to? Maybe something I said in the long, rambling, semi-coherent discourse listed above resonated with you even a little bit. Please share your experiences below. Tell the world. Teach the rest of us. It’s ok if you don’t know the answers, we’ll figure them out along the way together. Maybe you’d prefer to be anonymous and just read along– that’s cool, too.
For my part, I’ll keep on writing as per normal. Goal updates will come on Fridays, everything else on Mondays and Wednesdays.