Monday Morning Work Life

The weekend is over and here we are at Monday morning once again. Like most I will be off to a job that is demanding in the sense that there is just too much work to be done and not enough staff to address it all. A list of work arrives on my desk each morning setting the stage for the days schedule and appears to be manageable in that it is possible to accomplish it in the allotted hours of the day. But each day other issues come into play that need my immediate attention which pull me away from the my routine sometimes for hours in length. At times I find myself many days behind on my working schedule and can feel like it is impossible to catch up.

This seems to be the new model of the work world most of us live in. So how does one maintain a “good attitude” when it seems that the treadmill is constantly being cranked up to a speed just beyond our control?

The truth is that each job I take on is important to me and the person I am performing it for. I want to provide the best possible service I can but also know that I have a huge list of other tasks at hand that also need my attention.

The belief that I could actually accomplish all of the work that is given to me each day is a fallacy and there are just certain things that are more important than others. Certain things must always take center stage over others and while I am giving 100% each day, there is just so much that I can do. I will not complicate my day by allowing myself to become stressed over the amount of work being demanded from me because during those stressful times less will get accomplished and mistakes will arise.

Although I strive each day to be the best I can, there are times where I here statements from others who depend on the job I perform each day: “What do you people do all day?” “I just don’t understand why it hasn’t been addressed yet, I called the request in yesterday?” And many others with four letter words I choose not to repeat.

This is the new model of the typical modern work life and I am certain that each of us feel the same pressure each day and fear the thoughts of Monday morning arriving once again.

 

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The Path of my Life

Early Sunday morning I sit here and think to myself just how lucky I am to be healthy and alive in this world I live in. I live in a nice home, married my best friend and love the work I do each day. Everything I dreamed about years ago have pretty much come true for me. There really isn’t too much else I desire in this life as I have discovered that the best things in life really aren’t things at all.

There are many paths to choose from as we walk through this life and I have learned that when we reach a point where the path before us divides into many, we simply need to stop. Yes, just stop, relax, close our eyes and dream of the direction we must choose. Soon there comes many clues and positive answers to come our way and lead us on our journey. Sometimes just moments and sometimes months go by before us, when all of sudden we just know the direction we must go.

Even now, at the age of 56 I continue down this path of life and experience these “Y” sections before me. My dreams and aspirations continue to lead me to a life of peace and tranquility. Yes, getting older is a tough reality and can offer some pretty significant challenges along the way. There are and will continue to be roadblocks to encounter along this ancient path that many have walked before me. With each I will rely on the spiritual guidance of universal energy to help me move forward.

There have been many times that I have just freaked out and become bitter as objects got in my way along a path that I should have never been walking on the first place. Simply put, my desires were not in alignment with the forces that guide me. Looking back at many of the areas of life that I wondered into have taught me to be patient. Sometimes the things that you believe that you want are actually envious desires of others. Yes, sometimes we cross paths with others on a different journey and get sidetracked and lose our way. But as time goes by we soon realize that we have lost our way and must return to that path of life we were born to walk on. And once we do find our way back we know it. The world around us is brighter, we smile more and find great joy in all that surrounds us.

 

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Goodbye Bowflex, Hello Calisthenics

The last time I posted to this blog was way back in May. Yes, it has been a busy summer for sure and certain changes that I am making in different area’s of my life.

If you read many of my previous posts about Type II Diabetes and the battles and struggles I face each day with trying to keep my blood sugar in check, you have to know that I am still fighting that battle. I started eating a “Whole 30” diet and began a heavy lifting workout routine in the Spring. Although my diet is still geared in the direction of the whole 30, the weight lifting routine is changing. I worked my way up to a 410 lb. bench press while all other exercises increased in weight also. At 56 years old my body was looking more like that of a younger athlete. I am absolutely proud of this achievement, yet discouraged as well. While my pride was moving me right along each day catching yet another glimpse in the mirror of my increased progress, inside my body was going through hell dealing with all of the muscle damage each day. This is a natural cycle and the way muscle increases in size, but at 56 the inflammation was doing nothing but keeping my blood sugar in an up spiral. It seemed that no matter what I did to try to manage my weight lifting sessions to something more moderate, it was my pride that kept moving me forward to lifting heavier and heavier weight.

Last week I made the critical decision to remove the Bowflex Machine from my life. Yes, I did it. I posted an ad on a local neighborhood site and sold it. I figured that sometimes it just makes sense to remove those things from my life that stand in the way to a real solution of dealing with T2D. I have worked with that bowflex for almost 3 years now and twice purchased sets of additional 100 lbs. of weight bars for it. I have probably spent thousands of hours with it and letting it go was not easy, but I did it.

This doesn’t in any way mean that I am giving up on exercise of course. No, not at all. I am now spending a little more time focusing on walking on my treadmill and soon will be re-learning those things that I was taught so long ago – Calisthenics. I will be working with nothing but my own body weight and setting up a schedule of natural exercises that will be slightly challenging in measure yet not enough to cause problems with inflammation. These are the same exercises we all performed in High School during our warmup sessions in gym. For me it was these exercises and stretching I performed before any athletic event I was part of.

Another reason for this change is geared more towards the future. At my age the levels of testosterone my body has is certainly different from when I was 30 years old and no matter how much I progressed in weight lifting my body will plateau at one point. Body building is an art form for the younger man. For the older you either reach a point where you can no longer move forward or start taking hormone replacement drugs. I don’t like taking drugs, so it’s time for me to get out of the game.

As my career life moves forward I know that soon I will come to the age of retirement. There are dreams I have and things I want to do like traveling in a motorhome across the country. Not full time, but maybe just for a few months at a time. The area’s I dream of visiting don’t always have a gym and the one’s that do are expensive. With T2D it will always be important to work my body in a way that maintains my health. Calisthenics can be performed anywhere. It is the perfect platform to create a routine of exercises that I can perform both in my garage or at a campground nested in bosom of nature. The treadmill will be replaced with early morning walks and hikes through an environment that yearns for my presence.

Working the body with little to no exercise equipment also is in align with my spirit of minimalism. The less we own the happier we become. However it doesn’t mean that there aren’t certain things that I will need while in my current environment. Yes, the fact is that I still live in a region where it rains close to 9 months out of the year. It is for this reason that I am constantly creating an environment in my own garage which is geared towards a place I can feel comfort in a simple exercise regimen. Recently I decided to cover the concrete floor in the garage with inexpensive laminent flooring which I found at Home Depot on sale. I also purchased a Power Tower which will allow me to imitate many of the exercises I would perform at an outside playground right in the comfort of my garage. I am also eyeing large calisthenic posters which describe all of the exercises I will be performing but only placed them on my wish list on amazon because they are a little pricy.

As we grow older changes seem to come to us more rapidly and the one thing we can always depend on is change itself. We have two choices: 1. Get stuck, 2. Learn to adapt. Adaptation is one of the hardest things in life to deal with as it seams that we are always targeting getting into that comfort zone and once we find it, it becomes difficult to leave it. Learning to embrace these changes and finding the ability to slightly tweak life with a few minor adjustments is the key to staying on a positive path.

 

Posted in body building, diabesity, diet, family, fitness, food, health, life, minimalist, nature, Oregon, paleo, primal, simple living, the whole 30, type II diabetes, walking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Month of May Full Resistance Challenge

It seems like weeks have past since I last had the opportunity to write a post so let me give just a small update on the progress I have been making.

I am still eating a Whole 30 diet each day and it seems that I have reached a point where my body weight is dropping at a slower pace. I don’t think this has to do with the Whole 30 diet though. You see I have dedicated the month of May to a complete dedication to resistance exercises. I am lifting every single morning for the whole month. I know this is against the grain of anything taught by the coaches and trainers, but it is the way I am performing these exercises that makes the difference and keeps my in a position of not taking the risk of overtraining. So the end result is that I am slowly building back muscles to a point where I am gaining weight while burning fat which means that I shouldn’t see dramatic loses when I step on the scale.

I have 5 routines set up where I perform just one each morning.

  1. Shoulders
  2. Chest
  3. Back
  4. Legs
  5. Arms

For each of these groups I am performing 3-4 different exercise where I am doing 3 sets and try to limit my reps to just around 12. When I can perform more than 12 I raise the weight just slightly at about 5-10 pounds the next time I perform the same routine. In essence what I am doing is slowly increasing muscle strength to a point where they are being just slightly challenged enough to build to a point where I experience little pain while noticing the resistance being performed.

This allows for the body to learn to adjust without injury to understand it has to perform and utilize both protein and body fat to meet the demands of the challenge. While doing this each day brings up an interesting question. What about cardio? I try to get on the treadmill at least 3 times per week after work and do a 2 mile fast paced walk. I don’t want to go past 2 miles but do find myself hitting 2 1/2 miles sometimes when I just don’t want to get off the treadmill or I am feeling that extra burst of energy. Too much cardio will create a demand for energy that could end up coming from the muscles and ends up taking away from all of the efforts made with resistance training. It should be just enough to utilize glucose left in the blood stream at the end of the day.

While I am building muscle I have made up my mind that I don’t want to use protein supplements. The body naturally absorbs just 8-10 grams of protein in just a 1 1/2 hour window after eating it. Anything which is not absorbed simply is converted to glucose or excreted. For body builders there is a whole science for getting around this like timing when you consume protein or utilizing added enzymes to assist with protein absorption, but for this old dude getting just enough naturally while creating a demand for protein through strength training is just enough to keep this Type II Diabetic in balance.

So what exactly is my ultimate goal here? Well, on a physical side striving to get my body mass index down to around 18 should teach my body to burn fat as fuel and this can only happen by limiting certain foods and not eating between meals. The exercise is just a small part, but a very important part of this goal. The secondary goal is actually more important than the first which is to reduce and keep my blood glucose in a safe range each day. Of course I could simply do this with just diet and medications, but what is the fun in that? No, if the human body has developed throughout millions of years to perform work then who am I to deny it this benefit. If I can reach a point where I can perform to close to a peak range each day I know that the added benefits will be tremendous. From the way I think to the way I feel each day and the added confidence that taking on any challenge to the possibility of taking on medical issues that could arise as I get older is enough to convince me that my chances of survival are that much higher.

As I work my way through this month I will complete my goal of strength training each day and will probably take it into the month of June. I know that sooner or later I will reach a point where I will have to take things to a new level where I just cannot keep increasing the weights on a consistent basis. It will be then where I may change my routine to something I do every other day as my body will certainly be demanding for rest periods between workouts. It will be then where I will readjust my workout routine and figure out what will work best.

Posted in body building, diabesity, diet, fitness, food, health, intermittent fasting, life, mindfulness, minimalist, paleo, primal, simple living, stress, the whole 30, type II diabetes, walking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Whole Life

Slowly and carefully I am taking small steps towards going from a Whole 30 diet to a Whole 30 Lifestyle. I suppose you can say I am trying to create a Whole Lifestyle. With new born excitement about not just my health, but life in general I have made up my mind that with just a few changes I can increase the amount of happiness I feel in my everyday life. Yes, when all the systems in my body can come to together and work in unison I am finding that the feelings I have towards the thoughts of myself and the world around me reflect a level of energy that can be equal to the energy of those natural environments that I so love to visit.

I am learning that by simply changing the food that I put into my body each day to the foods that were available thousands of years ago like meats and vegetable without any addition of any type of processed foods allow my body to do what is natural for a human body to do. Build muscle and burn fat. The many systems in my body are not working overtime to rid my body of harmful substances that come with eating unnaturally. This not only increases my energy levels but also elevates those stupid hunger pangs between meals. Basically I eat good and don’t think about food again until the next meal.

I am learning that exercise is my friend and by staying mindful each day to performing just enough exercise to keep my muscles and bones strong while also challenging my heart to pump just a little harder than normal I am finding a new level of personal confidence in both the way I look and feel. Yes, I need both resistance exercises and cardio vascular routines each day with an occasional day off here and there. Eating right also contributes to a feeling of well being and overall attitude towards exercise and it didn’t take long before I started waking up in the morning with a yearning to start working out.

I have learned that by simply going to bed early each night at the same time and waking early I feel refreshed and ready to take on whatever challenges the world my throw my way. It is this natural sleep cycle that contributes to the revitalization of those muscles that I work and all of those systems in my body to recharge and prepare for the what lies ahead. Yes, there are just so many hours in a day and many times it is difficult to fit in all of the daily tasks we must take on in those hours, but it is important to understand that there is always tomorrow and of course there is always a weekend that lies ahead where there is no existence of that daily grind of a work day.

I am learning that during that daily grind of a work day there are always levels of work that seem to go beyond the amount of time allowed each day to complete such required tasks. It is the understanding that there will always be more work than an ample amount of time to complete work assignments each day and by coming to this realization can rid the mind of the constant need to get something done quickly to try to fit the next task into the daily schedule. Yes, a job can be very stressful and demanding at times and it is this stress that leads to many bad things happening inside my body. There is a huge difference between quality and quantity and by focusing my mind more on quality leads to better understanding and overall performance in the long hall. It is that monkey brain that is always trying to juggle so many things at one time and never giving the attention truly needed to perform just the on task that is in front of me. Working on just one thing at a time until the completion of that single task creates a better work environment for my mind and allows for a decrease in that feeling of stress. Less stress leads to a comfortable ride home at the end of the day and a happy home life at the end of each day.

I have learned and keep learning that by taking complete control of my finances leads to not having that overwhelming feeling that my finances control me. Spending money on needs vs. wants quickly delivers additional money in my bank account at the end of each month. Using this same money to pay down debt and keep available for emergencies that may arise builds a level of confidence in my financial well being that can make the difference between a tragedy an event. I had one of those events last month where I had to get many repairs done to my vehicle. Being that I had the money put aside for such an event meant simply writing a check and working to replace the money that I spent on the repairs. If I didn’t have the money available then it could have turned into a tragedy where worries arise like how I would get to work each day.

These are just a few of the positive changes I have been making in my life and as I move forward in this Whole Life there will certainly be other area’s to explore. There is an has always been a nature cycle of balance in this world that we life in and although at times it seems possible to think that we can over ride this system it always comes back to we were born to live within it. The progress we make within this natural balance will always out way the progress that we think we can make by working outside or beyond it. Eat well, get a sufficient amount of daily exercise, sleep well, find a way to reduce stress and take charge of your finances and you too will find great joy in just being alive today.

 

Posted in adventures, art, awards, blogging, body building, camping, debt, diabesity, diet, emergency, family, finances, fitness, flowers, food, fun, gardening, growing up, health, hiking, intermittent fasting, life, MAC, marriage, meditation, mindfulness, minimalist, nature, Oregon, paleo, permaculture, photography, prepared, primal, quit smoking, roses, simple living, stress, the whole 30, type II diabetes, vaping, vegan, vegetarian, walking, work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Who is Responsible for my Health?

After completing the whole 30 I have been carefully contemplating what would be next for me. Do I mess around with foods from my past that may be OK to eat or should I simply keep doing what is working for me? The bottom line here is two fold. First I can’t say that I am displeased with eating nothing but healthy foods each day. I actually enjoyed it. And second I am not completely satisfied with where my body fat ratio is right now. I truly believe that with just a little extra effort I can still burn off an additional 10 lbs of fat over the next several months.

The mirror tells all as I stand naked gazing into it after a shower each morning. Although I have certainly trimmed down in certain area’s there are still others that need additional work. This work is in the form of exercise but successfully achieving the goal of fat burning can only take place with a strict diet. So activity levels must rise slightly each day while carbohydrate intake must stay low. I must work on this balance to allow my body to get back into it’s natural form that displays it’s own balance of good health.

Yea, I know… I am 56 years old and I should be happy where I am at based on the condition of most men at my age, but I say fuck that. If I can reach the goal of optimal health at my age then why shouldn’t I try to attain it?

So here we go. Build muscle, Burn fat. Avoid all foods that are not in the best interest of basic human health. Everything from natural sources without the chemical assistance of ranchers and farmers who use additives to produce these foods for larger profits. Each day, just one day at a time broken down into perfect workouts and meal plans.

In the past few days I have been concentrating my early mornings on weight lifting and putting off the cardio until the end of the work day. So far this hasn’t worked out well as I have nixed off the cardio each day. This is going to change as I am adopting a new thought pattern towards it. I have these beliefs that I need to perform at least 30 minutes of cardio after work each day and because of that I don’t believe that I have the time to do this each day so I just don’t do anything at all. For now on my thoughts are going to be towards just getting on that old treadmill for just 10 minutes each day. If I end up doing more then that is good and if not that is OK as well. Something is always better than nothing.

Why am I striving so hard to reach the point of optimal health? Way back when I promised myself that I would find a way to battle Type II Diabetes naturally without the assistance of medications. I knew that by not addressing this problem there could be certain hardships involved like loss of eye sight, leg amputations and reducing my life expectancy by 10 years. Excess sugar running through my veins does and will reap havoc on my body and too often leads to a heart attack. Sorry folks, but I am not ready for any of these symptoms, especially death.

I know that my own personal health is my responsibility and falling into a state of poor health can be blamed on no one other than me. It is me an only me who has the power to make significant changes in the ultimate outcome of my own health. Getting older is not an easy path to walk and I know will come with certain complications but I also understand that I can reduce the effects of these complications by simply becoming the best physical version of me that is attainable.

Posted in body building, diabesity, diet, fitness, food, health, intermittent fasting, life, meditation, mindfulness, minimalist, nature, Oregon, paleo, prepared, primal, simple living, stress, the whole 30, type II diabetes, walking, work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Dinner Ideas for People with Type 2 Diabetes

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What is that Bright Yellow thing in the Sky?

After 7 long months of not seeing the sun I woke up to this sight. Woo Hoo

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Meal Planning to Manage Blood Sugar: Carb Counting for Diabetes

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The End of The Whole 30 brings New Beginnings

So I completed The Whole 30 and have seen tremendous results. Since then I have been staying pretty much on track other than having a few bottles of beer after work. No problem right? Well Houston, let me tell you, we have a major problem here.

I am quickly learning that without the additional carbs the alcohol from the beer is making me stupid drunk and causing me to wake up to a nasty little hangover each morning. Between that and the fact that my body weight is increasing along with my morning glucose levels I can safely put beer on the culprit list of things not to do.

So to remedy this problem I have decided to replace beer drinking after work with treadmill time. That’s right. I am going to commit to weight lifting in the early morning and cardio after work each day. So yea, 2 workouts per day. Does this mean I am going super athlete get ready for the Olympics mode? Not in your life. Both of my workouts each day will be sensible and be just enough to balance my blood sugars while keeping in step with my body’s needs based on the amount of food I am eating each day.

So starting today, right now I am working out twice a day and will be working on refining my diet each day to provide the maximum amount of nutrient rich foods while keeping far away from anything that is not fit for human consumption.

Posted in body building, diabesity, diet, fitness, food, health, intermittent fasting, life, mindfulness, minimalist, paleo, primal, simple living, the whole 30, walking, work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments