Sunday, October 18, 2009

Too Little Butter Spread over Too Much Bread

The past two weeks have been difficult, primarily because my workout schedule sucks and this is making me very unhappy. Anyone who knows me is likely to laugh, as I’ve never really taken any work out program seriously before, but let’s lay out recent changes.

Value Changes

My values with respect to working out have changed. I have two motives. The first is pragmatic and the second is spiritual. First, I discovered that working out in concert with B-12 seriously improves my health and overall energy level. This real difference on a daily level is worth the fight.. I feel healthier when I go the gym. I love the feeling of blood pumping up my muscles for a few days after a workout. It makes me happy.

The second is that being queer has changed my spirituality. Before I was always concerned with the soul and the mind. Discovering a world of sex has really changed the way I look at the body. I realize that the core of my peace of mind is the body. There is nothing more beautiful than the male form. When I see a built guy, especially one who doesn’t have an asshole streak—that sort of energy is really offputting—seeing his body puts me at peace and fills me with awe. I realize that I want to be that for any queer guy like me who needs to see it. I’ll never be Brian Urlacher, I understand this, but I can be better than my present form.

We didn’t have the cash for a gym membership in Tel Aviv, so I didn’t get to work out at all. Craig lost weight there, but I didn’t. I’m not as badly off as when I started working out at the start of summer, but I hate being in the hole again. I need to get back on the wagon.

What Works

To be successful, I need to:

  1. Eat Breakfast: This is a double latte (a shot of caffeinated espresso, a shot of decaf, and ¾ of a cup of steamed 1 percent milk), a large bowl of Fiber One Cereal (aka Super Colon Blow from Saturday Night Live), and a low-fat, high-fiber Jimmy Dean Pseudo-McMuffin.
  2. Work out immediately: I lift two days and do cardio for the other three.
  3. Eat lunch: This meal will be larger than breakfast. I’ll be good and hungry. A stir fry with brown rice is good. Unlike when I first wake up, I can actually eat a larger meal after working out. I find that if I eat at this time, I don’t have much hunger or energy lulls during the day.
  4. Snack three times through the afternoon on apples, celery, etc.
  5. Dinner: A large salad and chicken or steak.

Root of the Problem: My Teaching Schedule Sucks

I’m a teaching assistant this term. That means I’m on campus five days a week—a commute totaling roughly twelve hours. Moreover the schedule itself is lousy. The lecture is at 9:30, as are my first sections. So I’ve got to be there bright-eyed and busy-tailed. Anyone who knows me, knows that I don’t do bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Moreover, my second sections are at 12:30, so on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I’m trapped on campus. I have to work in the law library (where no one knows me and I can’t get sidetracked).

This Leads to Difficulties with Working Out and Diet

All of this means that I’m having trouble managing working out and eating. I’m only working out two or three times a week. After Wednesday, I’m really dragging. I have two many “on” days. Without the B-12, I’d never make it to the gym at all. But still, I can’t pretend that I’m a normal, healthy, 38 year-old man who can push myself exactly as hard as I please. Thursdays and Fridays, I drag. I seriously lifted for the first time again last week. I did it right in doing the ultrapathetic workout the week before. I was sore, but not in pain today.

Because I need to prep in the morning for sections, I tend to workout later in the morning, rather than early. It sucks. Craig and I had a really busy weekend and I haven't cooked. I'm going to be, as the Hobbit once said, "Like too little butter spread over too much bread."

Plus, I have a huge hang-up about visible progress from my previous high-energy life. My shoulders SUCK. I really want to see some progress there over the next few months, but with this pathetic schedule, I can’t hold my breath on that count. I hate not having shoulders. I’m thinking about starting to run. I’ve always sucked at running. It would be so cool to be in good enough shape to play rugby. If I could, I’d take a page out of Kirk’s book and get the laser surgery so that I could see without glasses. Plus, I promised myself when field research was over, I could get a dog. It would be cool to be one of those guys who runs with his dog by Lake Washington. Plus, I like yellow labs, but they’re energetic dogs.

I need to build myself for this. I also need to survive this term. I’ve been working on a new proposal. I’m getting there. This is all progress, it just doesn’t feel like it. I have to make sure I don’t lose faith in myself. Just because it feels slow, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. I have to stick with it, despite the fact that I won’t feel like I’m making progress. The hardest thing about MS is that it’s a slow boring of hard boards. It takes passion, but perspective. I suck at perspective.


StLee said...

This is the book I used to start running. It was amazingly helpful, and I highly recommend it.

Cuphound said...

Cool! I will definitely give it a look-see!