It has been pointed out to me recently, including a response to one of my recent rants, that (and these are my words) I must find pause to remember the importance of balance. Even as the world goes crazy, on both micro and macro levels, we must not dwell totally on the negative. In my case, I must remember that it is not being unrealistic to look for and acknowledge the positive that is always present.
Now I don't mean to be too hard on myself. This blog is one of my outlets for negativity so there are just going to be times when the tone here is negative, especially as the world grows more dark. And one thing I will never do is sugar coat reality, that is not true positivity.
Yet I must remember to work towards balance, including here. There have certainly been positive occurrences in the time I have been writing here. In terms of the blog itself, I have met many very interesting and relatively like-minded people. This has been so very important when I live in an area where this is so very rare normally. And I am making progress in the last year with a few things that I felt needed changing.
My intention upon returning from Cuba last April was to quit smoking and really make an effort to start getting myself back into better physical condition. I was at a point where I knew I was at least 25 pounds heavier than I should be...perhaps closer to 40 pounds actually. While not what I'd consider obese, I knew I was going to start facing some health issues as I get closer and closer to 4o years old. Plus, I have several pairs of pants that I am determined to wear once more. I will be a 34 waist again dammit! I think returning to a 32 waist is probably just a bit too unrealistic at this point, though.
Luckily, the lifestyle change that was also coming has helped with this immensely.
I started being at the family farm on a full time basis, or more, and I just continued my already established habit of not smoking around my family. I had another aid or two, but this ended up being fairly easy. And I did come back from Cuba with a few cigars that got me through the reeeeally bad moments. Now it has been over a year and, barring just giving up on everything, I feel confidant that my time as a cigarette smoker has come and gone.
One of the reasons I knew I had to ditch the cigs was that I knew I had to get back into shape. As I said, I had gotten much too flabby for my own liking. But in the same time as quitting smoking, I have started to make good strides in reversing that trend as well. I have no idea what I weigh now but I know I am in much better shape. I think I am probably below 200 pounds now, but its hard to say as I have been building muscle as well as burning some fat. But this was the goal anyway. I am naturally a fairly stocky fellow and I suspect that even at 5'7", my ideal weight is around 200 lbs because I am able to carry a good deal of muscle. A body builder roommate I had in college for a year used to give me such a hard time because he had to work so hard to build muscle. I could work out for a couple of days (which did not happen very often!) and show muscle gain/definition.
Now, at 36 this certainly hasn't been as easy or as painless as it was at the time. My joints have not enjoyed the extra attention and for several months one upper body joint and then another would endure a bout of what felt like tendinitis, slowly migrating around my upper body. But this has lessened drastically over the last couple of months. Mind you, now that the manure clearing is mostly done (more on this in an upcoming post), I am not working my joints hard for 8 hours a day either. But be that as it may, I think it was just my body readjusting to the new expectations after several years of fairly sedentary living.
Next is the part I have NEVER liked...increasing my cardiovascular activity. I still have some fat that I need to burn off and I just want to increase my stamina overall. I stay on my feet a lot these days but I am trying to prepare myself to a point where, if I must, I can walk for 8-10 hours a day, at a good pace. And to where I can run for an hour. I'm not sure if I will ever achieve this last goal as I have suffered from extreme shin splints and bad lower legs ever since I was about 17. But the time may come when I must, and I want to be able to do so, if that time does come.
That`s all for now though, I think.
5 days ago