When I bagan all this I was keen to negotiate a self conscious lifestyle journey.
I had then, and still do have, major health issues to deal with.
But I needed to improve my options by changing the way I lived.
There wasn't anything especially toxic in my day to day. It was just that I was cornered by the toll chronic illness was taking on me. And the best response to my condition was to up my game.
So I've worked at the exercising and I've worked at the diet and such so that now I've tweaked as much as I can and routinely just do it.
In fact, from my point of view, I don't really consider myself contained by 'a diet' or 'an exercise program' at all.
I don't need to call on that much discipline because it's all routine. It's not boring, nor ascetic ... it's no longer demanding.
It just happens...and I enjoy it.
So what have I done?
- I guess, on average, I 'exercise' at least three times per day. But then, as far as I'm concerned, I really only exercise for 8 minutes every second day. That's the High Intensity Interval Training stuff. The other times I'm walking the dogs, scooting around town or dancing. We may call it 'exercise' during these other times, but as far as I'm concerned it's recreation a or a simple chore. The way I've tweaked this I'm notching up over 30 km most weeks 'exercising/recreating'. I give myself a 1 km credit for each of the non distance sessions I do. So as well as the foot work I do --walking or scooting -- I pick up peripheral marks from these other habits. But the only real conscious strain and pain is doing the HIIT. The rest is pleasure.
- It took a lot of work, many years and a lot of experimentation to develop this customized program. Indeed, some of the discovery embedded in all this, was pure luck...and, of course, it suits me. There was research involved: plenty of reading up. I used professional trainers for a time. I logged my sessions and monitored the impacts the exertions were having on my physiology. I relied on dog ownership to keep me focused. And out of all this I got myself a sort of activated daily life, as routinised as eating lunch.
- I've also altered my diet. I now routinely -- every day with no problems -- eat a low carbohydrate diet. I guess I'm eating around 50-100 grams of carbohydrate per day. I shop with low carb in mind.I cook with low carb in mind. I eat with low carb in mind. That's my cuisine. Of course that means I have to forgo a few foods.I may miss a weekly dose of bananas or crusty bread or ice cream or rice or whatever else is carb dense ...but then, all that means is that I get to be inventive with the foods I do eat.
- And that's it. I've lost weight.I may still be oh-so-very-often crippled by episodes of illness and incapacity, but I'm the fittest I've been in decades. That means I get more bounce to the ounce. Suffer less pain. More sprightly for longer with no need to wallow in depression because the activity disallows it. I recover from my debility episodes quicker. And I've tweaked it that no matter how bad I may feel though Fibromyalgia I can still do at least some element of my exercising which means I can access any endorphins my body may have in reserve.
So now -- given what I've done -- what continues to interest me is the question of activity -- of how to make my day more physically active, more 'fidgeted' by making it more mental.
This may seem an odd perspective -- fidget time -- but please consider the fact that movement for me is arduous and sore for long periods, and I have to sleep a lot. I also have to deal with the ready descent of a Fibrofog which plays havoc with cognition. So making the most of my active awake time becomes important. It's a sort of seize-the-hour/seize-the-haf-hour challenge.
Besides I'm getting older and the clock is ticking.
That's my new frontier and I can tell you it is a hard call.
I'm trying to delineate what I should focus on and schedule short bouts of intense mental activity -- whether it be creating stuff on the computer or reading -- and break this up with movement out and about. I'm also trying to engineer this around a relaxed cyclical program of awake and sleep so that my penchant for insomnia (a symptom of FM) doesn't cripple me.
What I've learned from 'exercising' I now try to apply more generally.It's a glorious quest for High Intensity Interval Thinking.
Wish me luck.