The “Virtuous” Cycle

“I started exercising virtually every day and eating well, and the weight just started to come off.”

That was Mike Pompeo, former Secretary of State under Donald Trump, with a stint in Congress and at the Central Intelligence Agency under his, how much smaller, belt.

Please bear with the author, dear readers, who enjoys fat-shaming people after they’ve lost weight. They love that.

At 58, Pompeo has lost 90lbs since June, and he tells Salena Zito for the New York Post that he was able to establish a “virtuous cycle” of exercising and eating healthy instead of the “vicious one” that he had been in:

“Pompeo, 58, said he built a home gym in his basement with weights and an elliptical machine. ‘I attempted to go down there five or six times a week for a half-hour or so. And it had nothing to do with science. There was no trainer or dietitian on hand. I was the only one.’”

He made the change last June as his weight was approaching 300 for the first time in his life. Pompeo looks much better now because he wasn’t carrying it very well.

The Republican politician’s recounting how his weight loss and strength training blossomed in just six months rings true. A vicious cycle is a rut, and a virtuous cycle is a groove. You never want to be on a track, but you love to be on the way.

So similar, but a rut slows you down by limiting your movement, while a good groove gets you down and keeps you moving. (No word, by the way, from the post on what Pompeo was bumping on his playlist to work out to.)

Getting together with the free weights and the elliptical machine without a trainer, without a program, mono weight so, after doing an appropriately thorough study on the phone or computer to be assured of proper technique and best practices to avoid injury while getting stronger, is a commendable approach toward improving and maintaining personal physical health and fitness.

Just there alone with the weights or machine, and no distraction from a taskmaster in the form of a program such as many sets of repetitions, the trainer can approach them with mindfulness, awareness, and presence, and establish a mind-muscle connection and a link to all the joints and ligaments, so they can easily, smoothly, and deeply fill their lungs with each breath of air, with natural and relaxed vigor, to get that strong, powerful-feeling, slightly explosive pump to squeeze the muscles, and that strong, steady. Slow lengthening back of the stuffed muscles to get strong and fit.

Overweight trainers who take this approach might lose a ton of weight like Mike Pompeo did last year and like the U.S. federal government ought to when he’s Secretary of State again in 2025.