Saturday, May 6, 2023

Saturday Morning Post

Norman Rockwell's "Triple Self Portrait". Borrowed from website: "10 Most Famous Paintings by Norman Rockwell". Prints and such:

Thankfully, I've been feeling a bit back to normal lately. I'm starting to actually feel acclimated and less in a form of "survival mode". All I have to say is it's about damn time!

Feeling back to normal, it's time to re-baseline, i.e. get some perspective of where I'm at and where I maybe want/need to head. I'm thinking mostly in terms of health right now, but could extend this to other areas as I ramble

Physically, I'm doing okay. Admittedly, the prolonged cooler weather had put a cramp in my getting of steps (goal of 10k/day). Figuring out my new work schedule also made for some challenges. One thing is true being in more of a managerial role: I have a lot more meetings. This much different than having a technical work focus where I can set something down and go for a stroll. Thus, I have to be more deliberate about my schedule if I want to chip away at my step count during the day. 

This scheduling reality has my step getting more concentrated, going for longer walks and runs. Lately, I've been typically putting in three to four miles. If I'm good about getting short walks in during the day this trims back to less than two miles. Ideally, I'd like the latter situation.

As for the type of work, I'm still somewhat impatient with walking. Really, it would help to embrace walking more as a time to appreciate the outdoors and gather my thoughts. Essentially a time of active meditation. It's an important piece to balance with the cardio of running. Regardless, my preference is for doing some kind of interval training. It breaks up the time and gives me something to focus on

I do this with a free app simply called "Interval Timer" that I've mentioned in at least one other post. I'll vary anywhere from 30 seconds to 5 minutes of higher intensity with some kind of recovery time in between. Shorter active times tend to come with higher intensity. The rest times can vary a bit as I ask how recovered I want to be between sets. 

One thing that will be helping the step count this summer is my return to a golf league. One of the fun aspects of the new job is I was able to join a league; having my first round just this past week. Frankly, my score was on the worse side of the distribution of scores. The saving grace on that is it was my first round and needed to establish a handicap anyway so a worse score actually helps me compete later on. To be clear, I was not deliberately sandbagging. I'm not that good. My hope is that golf will beget more golf this summer. 

My other physical challenge at the moment is that of a shitty shoulder. It's kind of weird though that I know a few others who are struggling with bad/frozen shoulders. Fortunately, I don't think I have a frozen shoulder and my pain is more at the deltoid/biceps point of intersection. It seems more like a small tear or prolonged strain that just keeps getting re-aggravated. An armband in the location seems to help as does being conscious of it when moving/sleeping, but it has been nagging me for probably six or seven months. I do prescribed physical therapy for it and sometimes even the right level of exercise has it feeling really good, but it persists. It's just shitty now :( 

Golf, however, may be part of the rehab. My round left it feeling more stretched out and mobile than it had been in quite a while. Even a couple of days after the round, it's bugging me a bit less. Hopefully the trend continues, and no new nagging conditions emerge. Becoming more lame would be lame. 

While taking all this time to discuss my physicality, I need to mention the other part of trying to keep healthy: my eating habits. I think Noom has played a big part in keeping me from drifting too far away weight-wise. I have gained a little since my peak days but have enough of a habit to keep things largely in check considering my recent changes. 

The previous job had more routine with less commitment to being in meetings, etc. Thus, it was relatively easy to sculpt out my diet. As with exercise, I need to be more deliberate now and, for me, that takes discipline that I'd prefer to shirk, but am realizing now that I can't. As with writings from a couple of years ago, the basics are easy: weigh in daily, drink my water, get my steps, eat low calorie food dense foods (grapes are a prime example). Do all of this persistently and lose weight. 

Going to work daily in the old job made this easy. I was separate from my pantry for most of the day. While I still have this option it counter plays to where I'm finding my best opportunities for activity, i.e. working from home. The water supply at work is also sub-par compared to the previous job where we had cold filtered water readily available. With a little more clearity/head space I'm finding that the solution really becomes planning for what I have at home. If I load my pantry with healthy stuff and limit the sweet and salty processed snacks I do better. Part of this is also loading the pantry with things I want to eat that are healthy. Perhaps even if they cost a little more. The example here again is grapes which can vary in price substantially. Popcorn is another good one for me to have around. It may not do the best on the calorie density scale, but it's better than chips/crisps and is self-limiting in that the chomping takes a little work. 

So it seems there are a number of things coming back together. Hopefully they stick, but as many of us know there is a big difference between knowing what to do and actually doing it!

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