Here’s what happened to my body set points after Christmas: I just got home from Christmas in Europe. My family and I spent two weeks with Kristina’s parents in Estonia. And the first thing I did upon entering my home checked my weight and try to do 50 pushups.
I was disappointed. I had gained 5.5 lbs (2.5 kg) since Christmas. And I could not hit 50 pushups. I broke at 47.
These two signals – first, my weight gain and second, my drop in fitness – immediately triggered an important protocol in my life. I call it my Set Point Correction.
Here’s what you need to know to establish yours to keep your health and fitness levels high:
Body Set Point Correction is one of the most important personal growth ideas I incorporate into my life. Ready to know what it is? Let’s dive in.
Body Set Point Correction
Do you know your set points?
Here, let me explain.
You’re going to get old. You’ll see your metabolic rate slow down. Your brain will age. Your sexual performance will drop. You’ll gain weight.
Or so they say.
But it does not have to be this way. The reason this happens to all of us is that we:
- Accept society’s rules that our bodies will deteriorate as we get older.
- We don’t establish set points.
A set point is a standard by which you’re going to live. My set points are:
- I’ll always weigh exactly what I weigh now.
- I’ll be able to do 50 pushups on command anytime…even if I just got off a 19-hour flight.
And if I test myself and find I miss these set points, I discipline myself to enact a Set Point Correction procedure.
As soon as I found my weight had gone past the set point, within minutes I enacted a weight correction process. For me, it’s a low-carb diet. I started that immediately as soon as I found my weight increased. I skipped my regular Starbucks Mocha and went for a black coffee, no sugar, instead. I’ll be on this slow carb diet for 2 weeks till I return to my set point.
And I set my alarm early the next morning to wake up and hit the gym to work on my upper body muscles to bring me back to my 50 pushups set point.
Not having set points are what will cause you to age. You must know your set points and have in place systems to autocorrect.
I intend to weigh the same as I do now when I’m 80.
I intend to be able to drop and do 50 pushups when I’m 80.
I know I will, because of these set points.
Establish Your Body Set Point
Remember the story of the frog in hot water? The parable goes that if you put a frog in hot water it will immediately jump out.
But if you put the frog in water and slowly heat the water until it’s boiling, the frog will NOT jump. It will stay there and boil to death.
The frog does not realize the water is warming up because the change is gradual.
Aging is also a gradual process. Your body will deteriorate unless you measure its ‘temperature’ and jump if you detect the temperature going past a set point.
Don’t be that frog!
Establish your set point.
And Make a pact with yourself.
You will enact a Set Point Correction procedure if you ever deviate from the set points.
There are some interesting experiments that show this.
William Bates (1860 – 1931), the American ophthalmologist who taught people who to heal their eyesight with glasses wrote about an experiment he did with kids in school. He found that a large number of kids in high school start wearing glasses as they see their eyesight deteriorate. But in one particular classroom, he did an experiment. He put an eye chart on the wall and asked the teacher to make sure that for a few seconds as each student entered the class, they would glance at the chart and make sure they could read the last line — signifying 20/20 vision.
It worked. In that particular class, my eyesight stopped deteriorating. The kids were establishing a set point. And making sure they hit it daily.
The same applies to weight, aging, beauty, memory, and more.
Rules For Your Body Set Points
Establish your set points. And discipline yourself to NEVER waver from them. Aging is NOT an excuse.
Neither is Christmas dinner.
But now here’s another rule. If you just followed the rule above you’d be doing well. But you’d only be maintaining. You want to IMPROVE.
My next rule is this. If you fail to meet a set point. Set a goal to BEAT your set point.
I missed being able to do 50 pushups for the first time in 3 years. Getting back to 50 is not enough.
My new goal will have to be 55. And this will be my new set point.
I’m setting a goal to BEAT to my existing set point.
Why is this important?
First, if your goal was to just hit your previous set point, your dominant thought in your mind is along the lines of, “Oh shit, I fell behind.”
This is a negative thought.
But if your goal is to better your set point, your dominant thought is one of goal attainment. You’re thinking “I’m going to be even healthier than before”. This is a positive thought.
Always choose the positive thought.
Seeking to beat a previous goal will give you more fuel and excitement than seeking to get back to where you were before. The first creates a spark of hope. The second creates feelings of having fallen behind.
It’s Time to Level Up
- Measure and know your set points.
- Test yourself every now and then. If you miss a set point, enact a set point correction.
- When you fall behind, set a goal to BEAT your old set point.
Aging, Christmas weight gain… It’s all in the mind, isn’t it?