Monday, October 14, 2013

The making of an action hero pt33

Entry #34 This mission update comes courtesy of a few weeks of down time. September forced me to reconsider some of my training practices. I reached a point where I was exercising every day. I felt great and was losing weight. I hit my August goals with room to spare. Then I started having “issues.” My knees began complaining. My back began twanging. My weight hit a plateau. I felt terrible. A certain amount of discomfort is to be expected—no pain, no gain. The issue being that it was getting more and more difficult to get “life” done. I could feel my mental fortitude slipping. I’m not much on self-help feel-good philosophy. I’d rather read a how-to book than attend a counseling session. That said, one of the lessons I’ve taken from internet feel-good wisdom is that identifying a problem is half of the solution. I found two issues in this case. First, I was looking at the club workout from the wrong perspective. There are two kinds of exercise. There’s aerobic—running, swimming…etc and anaerobic—weightlifting, wrestling…etc. The first can be done daily provided one takes the proper steps to protect muscles and joints. The second is designed to break down muscle tissue with short bursts of effort. The muscle then heals stronger than before—provided one gives it time to do so. I viewed the club workout as more of the first and less of the second, which is why I strove to push through it every-day. The result was that I didn’t give myself much time to heal. I fought through it for a while because initially it was helping and because later I didn’t want to quit, frail flesh be damned. I didn’t want to have to tell people that I had failed. The second issue is what the brunette not-so-lovingly calls my martyr complex. Honor, duty, responsibility aren’t just words to me. They are the words I strive to live by. Usually that works to everyone’s benefit. The dark side of the coin comes when, to meet my obligations, I “suffer” needlessly—on purpose. In this case I limited my diet, structured my time, and virtually cut ordering out and alcohol cold turkey. Much like with the exercise, those choices initially benefitted me. I was proud of making good decisions. Starting a new chapter in my life was fresh and exciting. Every victory supported the idea that I was going to win this time. Then I started losing motivation. It got more and more difficult to get up in the morning. My appetite spiked outside meal times. I didn’t want to “do” things as much…but I didn’t want to quit. I looked at my intakes for September and found some not-so-great trends. Either I was sticking rigidly to the diet or I was taking a day off. There weren’t any terrible choices in there; just an evolving cycle of swinging that clearly was going to get worse if steps weren’t taken. Even though I was succeeding, mostly, it felt like I was failing because I wasn’t losing weight at the previous rate. It’s fair to say that some of my issues came from simply losing the novelty of living better. It’s also fair to say I made some short term positive decisions that had long term negative consequences. So I found myself discouraged, in physical discomfort, and generally not feeling great. Fortunately the scale saved me. Watching my weight yo-yo around showed me that I was losing control. I took a week off from exercising to let my body heal. My weight ranged from 281 to 286 depending on my intake. That too pushed me to start paying more attention—some variation is fine, but there shouldn’t be 4 pound swings in a normal week just “because.”I feel like I’ve been learning all the lessons of the past four months over again—which is maybe true in a sense. It’s one thing to stick to the plan when things are going well. It’s something else when it clearly isn’t working. So I’m going to work on training my mind-and-body. Some of the upcoming projects include: • As of last week, I’m exercising every other day. I’ll go twice on weekends if I feel like it, but otherwise my body needs the healing time. • I have started baking. Making my own desserts is a skill I’ve wanted to develop for a while. This will let me enjoy some sweets while controlling the quantity and quality in the house. The first batch of pumpkin bread came out really well. I’ve added several new pieces of cookware to my Amazon wish list in order to facilitate this endeavor. • I am setting aside a portion of each pay check’s discretionary funds. I will use those funds to save up for a single expensive item or service. This will help me work on impulse control. • I am focusing on action hero equipment and beast-cave ™ so as to keep the sense of purpose and fun going. Somewhere I lost sight of the fun factor…so I need to get that back. • I am finally switching laptops to my windows 7 machine. I’ve been putting that switch off for months now despite mounting technical issues with my poor 7 year old XP platform. I need to simply do things that need to get done, not keep putting them off. • We will be hosting thanksgiving this year for our combined families. I’m going to make the obligatory turkey, stuffing, gravy, and mashed potatoes. I’ve never cooked a bird before, so even with my mother’s electric poultry roaster, this should be an adventure. I’ve been reading up on recipes and techniques in preparation for the big day—giving me something new to obsess over. This has been lots of fun. I am getting tons of new meal ideas. • I’ve discovered kickstarter. It’s like having your own personal department of Qs developing new and exciting gear for the next mission. This is one of those places where I will always be able to find something novel to obsess over. • I am going to sit down this week and go through the cardio portion of the club video myself. I’ve been trying to get a sighted friend to assist but schedules never seem to sink up. It’s time for a step forward down the workout path. • I am rededicating myself to gaming. Saturday we had a great pathfinder session run by lady Deathquaker. Sunday I ran my current exalted group and for the first time felt like the game was going somewhere. I’m trying not to push for games just “because.” It’s so much more fun when I’m into the experience. • I am pimppin out the chromebook and putting forth a meaningful effort to start using it as my mobile computing platform. Now that I’ve figured out how to theoretically use it with office products, it looks much more attractive than in the past. I have a ways to go, but things are heading back in the right direction. I have projects to work on, a plan, and the better part of my motivation back. Weight today=285. Intake: Breakfast=A breakfast health shake with oatmeal, spinach, strawberries, blueberries, banana, and almond milk. Work meal=A turkey wrap, Greek yogurt, an apple, and a hand full of unsalted almonds. Dinner=a small portion of Mexican chicken rice and a piece of pumpkin bread.

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