Since Jeffro often posts odd thoughts to Google+ and not just to his own (less and less frequently posted) blog or the Castalia House blog, so odd bits of wisdom often slip in that don’t show up elsewhere.

That’s fine, but one thing came up that should be seen by other people, so…

Jeffro, after looking back at the last month of his working on fitness:

  • My fitness philosophy: get your butt to the gym… three days a week… for 45 minute workouts… even if it’s just to sit on the curb to smoke a cigarette during that time. Just do that much and everything else will take care of itself.

  • There a lot of noise to sift through on this topic, a lot of well meaning people will steer you towards injury so take responsibility for everything, go slow, and pay attention to your body. My first instinct was to do three sets of ten as hard as I could stand it. I am certain that would have eventually wrecked me had I stuck to it. I dialed back to 2 sets of twenty set at right where I could handle it… and that kept me on the weight machines without noticeable risk (for the moment.) I tried changing it up to 2 sets of twenty, 1 set of 10, 1 set of 3… increasing the weights each time. But for my frame, my age, and my level of unfitness, this “get in there and max out” mentality just doesn’t seem to be an option.

  • The idea that I am “training” as opposed to “dieting” is a significant reframe. For one… dieting is for women and for womanly reasons. Training is inherently more comprehensive and more visionary. An entirely different tone overtakes the conversation when you open with “no thank you, I’m training” than when you say “no thank you, I’m on a diet.” The former person is going after something. The latter… he was put under time out because he couldn’t behave.

  • My mental models of what is happening and why develop as I continue. Eating right is part of the workout. Resting is part of the workout. Taking time to go to the doctor is part of the workout. Brainstorming about fitness with people is part of the workout.

  • One month of working out has had enough noticable impact on my appearance that continuing the habit is a no-brainer. I am not beach body ready, but having a more defined physique makes me look better in a t-shirt. No, there are plenty of athletic guys that I will never catch up to. But when I see lanky guys slouching on the bus, that defeated posture, that vibe that the give off of having let themselves go…? It’s a stark contrast. I give off a much more active vibe. I feel better. I go out more, talk to more people, do more things. It’s like… I’m in some kind of arena that these other guys won’t touch. No one will tell them what they’re missing out on and how easy it would be for them to have it.

  • That said… I know why I didn’t do this earlier. Injuries put an end to every fitness kick I’ve gone on previously. I went further and did more this time than any time previously, but I still needed solid direction and sound medical support in order to maintain this round. So you’ve got a gym membership, you’re looking at buying a new bike, you’re paying for red meat and spending time cooking, and then you want to throw doctor’s bills into the mix, too…? The much vaunted “humility” that so many people want to lay at my door would exert itself strenuously against this. “Look, focusing on appearance is vanity.” “Why go to the gym when I could just dig a few post holes?” “Oh, look… I’m not worth the expense. Here… you all take this slice of the budget and go do that other thing instead.”

  • What is the mindset at the root of that? Well that’s where it gets scary, because I see it now for what it is. It is this reflexive tendency to insist on sitting in the back of the bus. To let everyone else go ahead of me, not out of a sense of chivalry but out of some kind of shame. It’s a weird attempt to make a virtue of sitting out of the game of life rather than jumping into it and making a play. That’s why success at fitness now makes me so angry. It’s just not that hard. The payoffs are immediate and fun and energizing. But the thing that was holding me back for decades…? It was something in my head. Nice sounding lies. I don’t know who to blame for it, really. But I absolutely hate it. The waste makes me furious.

  • And yes, when I think of all the young guys struggling with any sort of strain of depression… it does make me angry that they will be handed some kind of drugs without ever being told to go invest in themselves. Such a disaster. Such a waste.

Among other things, I think the focus on “training” vs “dieting” is, shile seemingly small and subtle, trivial even, nevertheless profound.

One is working toward something, the other is denying yourself. It goes hand in hand with what Jordan Peterson has said about establishing a narrative or purpose that makes the suffering worthwhile.

On a smaller note, our successors are getting red-pilled:

My son got a report on this from someone that was there. Kid says Trump said the media would lie about he was going to say. He comes back home, checks the news and… boom. Kid’s mind is blown. Everything Trump said came true. This event red pilled a lot of young kids who were (for the Left) the worst group of people that could possibly be red pilled. This will bear fruit. A good chunk of these kids know that “Fake News” is absolutely an accurate characterization of the media.

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