Culture

13 Weeks: Diets and Workouts and Lives, Oh My!

What, it’s Saturday already? And my deadline is Friday? Oh, hell.

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So here’s the update, first of all, on the whole diet thing. Basically, not good, not bad: my glucose is holding steady with morning fasting around 120 and mid-day down to the low 100s and below. My weight, according to the new round to the nearest 5 pounds once a week rule, is about 270 — which means by the scale I’ve gone from 267 to 269, or in other words, same old same old plateau.

Which is actually good, because my compliance with the diet and exercise plan this week has sucked. I haven’t left the house since I went grocery shopping last Sunday and I haven’t done any exercise besides jumping to conclusions and chasing deadlines. And I haven’t caught any of them.

Oddly, however, I’m very happy. Which is the topic of this column.

My friend Donna is often after me about exercise — she skis and walks and Gods know what all else — and she said something that I think was more insightful than she realized.

“The problem is that you don’t like exercising.”

Frankly, that’s a good bit of the problem. I’ve done extended exercise things. IBM had me in Rochester Minnesota for one whole winter, and while I was there, I went to the amazing health club in Rochester pretty much every weeknight on the way home from work. There were several reasons for it, but the biggest one was that honestly there’s nothing to do in Rochester except eat and work out. And that was right when I’d gone vegetarian, and eating wasn’t all that interesting either.

Some things about it were good — I was race walking more than 20 miles a week at up to 6-7 miles an hour, which is extremely taxing cardiovascularly, much more than running 6-7 miles an hour. When I was called upon to run through the Detroit airport, I was pretty much astounded that I wasn’t even breathing very hard.

But then I was also in an extended fairly severe depression — this was before I finally gave in and tried drug therapy. I wasn’t writing, I wasn’t doing much of anything, and the job was such that I couldn’t actually work into the evening. So what the hell.


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Now is different: my mood has been good for most of two years, the longest I ever remember without at least one fairly bad down patch. I’ve got the new job, and I have great fun with that. I’m writing. A lot. I’m part of a group that is dedicated to writing 365,000 words this year, which has me counting my actual productivity, and I’m beating the curve by a good bit. Most nights I spend an hour or so online with friends in a massively multiplayer game.

I like everything on that list. A lot.

And then there’s exercise. Don’t like it. Doing something is okay — karate or whatever. Yoga and Pilates classes are fun, but leaving the house, driving to class, doing class, driving home, means several hours out of the day.

Obviously, the solution is efficient exercise that I don’t mind doing and that doesn’t wipe out my day, and — see the Workmonster posts — taming my workaholic tendencies.