Grumpy Old Man, aka Jonathon, has decided to return to blogging. I am pleased.
I am embarking on a new adventure of sorts for me. I have been lazy as hell most of the past year and have gained a bit of weight and lost some energy. My goal is to turn this around and get back to my healthier self. How shall I do this, you ask? Well, let me tell you:
1. A reduction in the food I eat. Not drastically, but aiming towards eating only when hungry.
2. Eating more akin to the recomendtations of the USDA Food Pyramid. This means a tremendous reduction in fats (in my case most fats come from chocolates, nuts, ice cream, and desserts). Carbohydrates will remain the staple of my food intake, but I am also planning to emphasize more the whole food carbohydrates and less of the processed food carbohydrates. Protein levels will likely stay the same, or perhaps increase slightly (I typically eat turkey and chicken for meat, and lots of beans as my sources of protein.... I am not fond of red meat and dislike pork immensely).
3. Eating more fiber. I usually try to eat fiber rich foods, but in the last year, I have slid away from this goal. My body feels more lethargic and so do my intestines.
4. Consuming coffee only up to 11am... no later. I am not a fan of hot beverages all that much, but I drink coffee at work because it is free (I am somewhat of a cheapskate at times). Otherwise, I drink on a daily basis water, iced tea, and occasionally diet colas. I am not really limiting my caffeine intake through this measure, as I enjoy the "kick" of caffeine. But, I have always noticed that there is something extra in coffee that seems to affect me a bit negatively if I drink the stuff all day long. It is a challenge to describe, but it is somewhat akin to aggrivation. I think it may have something to do with the negative net water balance coffee has when you drink it.
5. A return to DAILY walks. I have grown lazy as hell during the last year and lost my habit of DAILY walks. I am making a committment to regaining that activity. Prior to this lackadasical last year, I would walk between 4 and 5 miles each day. During the past year, I have averaged perhaps once a week or twice a week at most.
6. A new, and unpleasant sounding, but physically beneficial activity is weight training. As an older fellow, I know that I shall not become Arnold Schwartzenhanger (spelling), but I also know that regular weight training for tone can be very, very helpful for energy and ambition. I am going to work on incorporating 3 such sessions each week.
That said.... the following health related activities shall not change:
7. My affair with my pipe tobacco. Though some of you may cringe and get aggitated, I do not plan to change my indulgence with my pipes and pipe tobaccos. Even though it is not a popular hobby at this time, I enjoy it beyond measure. It reminds me of my past, it reminds me of my grandfather and father, it invigorates my soul, mind, and spirit. I feel a kinship with the historical context of gentlemen scholars and hope that in my own manner I can help this gentle activity continue on beyond this rough political period for the hobby. Perhaps if there is any interest, I can begin a draft of some of my most cherished pipe related stories (how I began, how I was caught indulging as a kid, the association of the pipe with the birth of my children, etc). For me, I firmly believe that my pipes and pipe tobacco are akin to a natural, non-perscription, mental-health vitamin.
8. The sporadic indulgences in fermented beverages. Many folks, especially in this day-and-age of intolerance and polarization of thought feel that taking a drink is akin to sin of the most vile kind. I find this thought preposterous. I think drinking is a joy in which we can partake as the mood strikes. I greatly enjoy the two or three times a month where I indulge in the fermented fruit. It is a pleasant way to create a new mindset through which you can perceive the world with a different eye. I cannot understand the extremes at either side of the spectrum... the rabid tee-totalers who deny themselves this interesting perspective into their own thoughts either from a rabid religious perspective or through a rabid health perspective.... or the prepetual drinkers who drink to stay in the altered state for as much of the whole of their lives as they can muster. Again, these folks deny themselves the interesting perspective of the sober mind and therefore miss out as well. For me, and I suspect for most, life as a mix of sober and not so sober perspectives is the right blend.
Finally, one added activity that may not change my physical health, but will affect my mental health is that I plan to:
9. Redevote myself to finding at least 30 minutes a day to read FOR PLEASURE... this will mean for me the reading of fiction or biographies. I read a helluva lot of technical science and teaching materials each and every day, but I miss the pleasure reading which has slowly drifted away from my life this past year.
Those are my thoughts and plans. Please comment if possible. My comments sections are lonely as hell.