Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Weighing Heavily on My Mind

It's funny -- isn't it -- how work pretty much defines our days. We're up at the same time, onto those early morning things like breakfast-cooking or showering, off to the office.

  • 8:30: Check that email
  • 9:15: Pour the second cup of coffee
  • 10:45: First meeting of the day
  • 1:00: Time for lunch
Etc. Etc.

And without that structure, it's easy to feel a little lost.

To combat that, I'm trying to establish a routine and stick to it. And although it's less of an hour-by-hour schedule, it does represent some structure.

First off, my unemployment day is starting off much like my employment days did: Up and out with the dog. We've got a one-year-old Labrador Retriever, and if he's under-exercised, he can be quite a handful. So my habit was -- and is -- to get him out and walking for at least a mile or two. That way, his energy level remains controllable when he's back in the house. And we've attended to the necessary potty issues.

Second, I'm trying to maintain a more established exercise routine.

In the waning weeks of my current employment, when the stress levels just reached the stratosphere, I was becoming quite negligent in getting a daily dose of exercise, other than walking the dog.

My weight was starting to creep up. And I was getting caught in a vicious circle: More weight, less energy, less energy, fewer reserves to fight the depression that was inherent in every workday, more depression, less energy. And on and on.

Back in 2008, I underwent a radical change in my eating habit and dropped about 80 pounds. It was definitely time, as, at that age, I had no business being 253 pounds. My heart was at risk (the genes were against me, as my Dad had a heart attack at the ripe age of 53). My blood sugars were at risk (Mom had a history of diabetes). And I had developed a whopping case of sleep apnea, waking 44 times per hour, according to the sleep study I underwent.

Anyway, thanks to some diligence, the South Beach Diet, and the support of my family, those pounds were peeled off, and I vowed never to allow them to return.

Until my work situation soured.

It seems that every setback, every project gone awry, every ounce of criticism from the higher ups sent me to the snack machine for yet another bad choice. Guilt would follow. And then apathy. And then justification: I was having a sucky day, wasn't I? So I was entitled to this bag of pretzels. And a second one, if I damned well pleased.

Well the result is I've regained some of the weight I fought so hard to lose. But the good news is that it was only 15 pounds' worth. And it does seem to be dropping as I'm back to running and condition-training 5x a week.

I expect the excess flab to be but a distant memory before I re-join the ranks of the actively employed.

The one thing I'm trying to avoid in mapping out my daily schedule is an over-reliance on television to keep me occupied.

Finding a 40-hour-a-week job is a 40-hour-a-week job, so I've read. So although reruns of Match Game '74 are alluring, my intention is to resist, knuckle down, and get back on a payroll ASAP!

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