Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Important Diet Tip!

Not surprisingly, step one of my 2014 "get back in better health" project involves eating better. To that end I've adopted the one diet that I know generally works pretty well for me: cutting out just about everything with added sugar.  That sounds harder than it is, as long as you're willing to cook for yourself and to read ingredient lists. One thing I always find interesting about this process is that once I cut off the sugar, almost all of the desire for sugar goes away, too.

To that bit of dietetic discipline I've added a pretty significant cutback in my "pure carbohydrate" foods: bread, pasta, potatoes, and rice.  I'm letting in a bit of wheat bread and brown rice for now, but in much smaller quantities than my usual heaping portions.  The idea here is to force my body to start burning down a bit of the massive storehouse of fat that it's built up over the years.

The final bit: cutting way back on the beer. Sigh.  I'm not even going to pretend that I'll cut it out altogether, but it's under huge cutdown until further notice. Sigh.

In general, so far, so good. This is a long-term project.  I will, however, say that these diet decisions may have gotten the best of me Monday night, when I opted for this for dinner:

Chili-Dog "Salad"
-- 2 large bratwursts
-- 2 cups of seasoned chili/taco meat
-- Shredded cheddar cheese. (How much? I dunno ... a lot. Yum!)
-- Too much guacamole
-- A few scattered black beans
-- A wisp of lettuce and a scattering of diced onion, neither of which ever really stood a chance against the rest of it
-- One diced tomato, to beef up the fraudulent "this is good for me" theory
-- Homemade salsa (Yum! And this part really was healthy)

I'm afraid that I must now report to you all that -- much to my surprise -- this concoction was neither dietetic nor was it good for me. (I know. You're surprised, too, right?!)

In point of fact, it caused me to lay semi-comatose on the couch for the rest of the night with a belly full of meat and cheese while watching old "Doctor Who" episodes with Tom Baker.  This entertainment selection may have been provoked by a subconscious to hijack the Tardis, go back in time a couple of hours, and tell myself, "Hey, self! More Lettuce, less bratwurst and chili meat!! Sheesh!!! There's no added sugar in there, but what are you freaking thinking?!"

Other than that incident ... so far, so good. Down four pounds from my shameful Jan. 2 high mark.

Phase Two of the 2014 "get back in better health" project involves dragging my butt back into the gym on a semi-regular basis.  The progress to date ... well, um ... I bought a new combination lock for my locker at the "Y" and a pair of gym shorts.

Still some work to do, I reckon.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

2014 Resolutions in Brief

It's my first day back in my cubicle after my lovely two-week holiday staycation, so lunchtime seemed a good time to write down a few thoughts about what I want to do in 2014:

1) Take better care of myself -- For too long I've been treating my body like an old truck, except that I actually treat my old truck better than I treat myself. It finally caught up with me in 2013, especially in the form of three bouts of bronchitis, one of which was severe enough to bring on a ten-day stretch of total silence due to laryngitis.

I could make all the resolutions in the world to do specific things, but I can't actually do any of them unless I start taking better care of myself and get myself into better shape.

2) Unsubscribe -- My personal e-mail has become a horrible junk pile of missives from an enormous variety of organizations. I realized recently that I'm deleting 50 or 100 e-mails a day without reading them just to try to get to the worthwhile stuff.  I've had enough.  I used to be pretty softhearted about e-mails from various political organizations or charities that I like, but no more. If I'm inclined to delete it more often than not, I'm just going to unsubscribe. I need to regain some control.

3) Be more focused at work -- For various reasons my job is the great enemy of focus. I swim in an every-flowing river of instant messaging, e-mails, and meetings. This year I'm going to try to do less skipping about from fire to fire, and more focusing on tasks to completion. I need to do a better job of focusing on the big picture. Focus, focus, focus.

And that's it.  You'll see there's no "write a novel" or "run for office" or, well ... anything too specific there. (Not even, "Finally write that photoblog post with the electric car exhibit from the Concours of America, which was way cool.")

It may or may not be obvious to the casual reader, but those three items are not unrelated. I ran myself into the ground last year. It's not a coincidence that my blogging dropped off hugely last year. I need to rebuild my health, my energy, and my focus in 2014 if I'm going to accomplish any of the million-and-one other things I'd like to do, and that needs to be job one.