Operation Muscle Bear

2012 was, in the midst of other major challenges, the best year I’ve ever had for fitness, and I want to take the lessons and achievements of the last year & make even more progress this coming year. While I’m down near 20 pounds from a year ago, and would love to knock off 25-30 more pounds this coming year, I’m finally internalizing how weight loss is a function of building muscle and improving nutrition, and the main goals for 2013 are to improve those areas. I’m working with an outstanding trainer, and from him, I’ve learned about how well a CrossFit approach works for me, especially in building my anaerobic capacity (note: I’ve finally learned the difference between aerobic & anaerobic capacity, and I’ve done much more over the last 15 years to build up the former). The next task there is to identify achievable, measurable anaerobic goals for the year. Suggestions are welcome there, especially in the realm of muscle building.

In 2012, I successfully trained for and completed the 68-mile Harbor to the Bay bike ride, an impressive feat for someone who hadn’t ridden 100 miles cumulatively in his life before the year began. My biking goals for 2013 are to do H2B again (or the equivalent if a job pops up beyond the northeast), and to it better. Specifically, that means handling the hills of Truro without nearly killing myself. I also plan to do the Maine Lighthouse Ride again – at least the 40-mile edition, maybe the 62-mile one.  Learning to ride clipless will be a critical part of this, as well as becoming comfortable with my road bike.  Ideally, 2013’s training will put me in position to do either the ALC LifeCycle (San Francisco to Los Angeles) ride or the Friends for Life rally (Toronto to Montreal) in 2014.


Nutrition: I made some changes in 2012, e.g. cutting out artificial sweeteners from my diet. One immediate follow-up is reducing refined sugar from my diet as much as possible. The more systemic change I need is to plan my cooking more, rather than be so reactive, e.g. get home at 7:30pm wiped, not have a dinner plan, and forage at 8pm. One specific goal for the year is to identify about ten dishes, and cook them in bulk for the week, to have lunches and/or dinners ready for me. Open to other suggestions suitable for a vegetarian on a budget looking to build muscle.


Other goals for 12-24 months, depending on how job stuff shakes out: lessons in kayaking and cross-country skiing (and/or snowshoeing), and a return to hiking.


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