Time...
Sunday, July 9, 2017 at 09:33PM
John Koenig

Let’s talk about time. In the gym people constantly ask me how I became and remain so lean. Or perhaps they wonder what the secret is to thin skin or vascularity such as I have. Everyone wants to know “what diet are you on?”

Actually, all the answers have to do with time. My answers, and your answers. 

I’ve lifted weights for the better part of 45 years. How long have you worked out? Building muscle takes lots of time, and this time must include proper nutrition, some sleep, and a distinct lack of putting crap into your mouth! Sure, I have missed plenty of workouts, especially during the corporate office - raising kids years of my life. But I’ve shown up and worked hard thousands upon thousands of times.

In those years when I didn’t get to the gym regularly, I walked in the early mornings with my neighbor. I rode a bicycle to work and on my lunch hour. My kids and I were active outdoors. All this adds up. And for much of my life I’ve eaten like a bodybuilder, even though I never competed (trained a few for the stage, though). Consistency and time.

Over and over, one small decision after another, if you want to make positive change, you need to “win” those decisive moments. Every time you don’t drink alcohol, or decide not to hit the fridge late at night to spoon almond butter into your face like it’s Ben & Jerry’s, those are seminal events. Win these tipping points rather than lose. 

Currently, I’m working hard to lose a half to a full pound of body fat weekly. It’s relatively easy for me to lose scale weight, but all I want to lose is body fat (because I absolutely don’t want to burn off any lean tissue). My macronutrient numbers are set (protein, carbs, fat), but it’s taking plenty of discipline and proper mind-set to make this happen properly. Very little alcohol is the first big step (this means no nightly glass of wine!). No accidental eating. No binges.

Frankly, this is easier for me now, as I’ve gotten so deeply into the weighing and measuring mindset that I don’t even want to eat any food I’ve not planned for. Very little in the food world tempts me right now. But it’s still difficult. I’m writing this at 8:20 p.m. I had my last meal two hours ago, I’m not physically in need of food, but emotionally and through habit, I want to snack. This is tough. I’ll actually go to bed a little hungry, and you know what? That’s ok.

Tomorrow I’ll weigh in and have my body fat measured, and I’m excited. This is a week I’ve been 99% spot-on with my numbers for the entire seven days. 

It takes time. I’m hoping for a one pound change, and if it happens, it will be due to my making positive decisions one after the other. 

Time. It all takes time. You have time, don’t you? Are you making the best use of it?

Article originally appeared on Stuff I Like, Nutrition, CrossFit, Paleo, Books (http://www.johnkoenig.net/).
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