This is a diary post about my personal fitness progress, obstacles and goals.
Haven't been running, and only walking a bit; though at least a quarter mile a day no matter what, whether that be walking to the store, library, mailbox, or recyclable dumpster (where once a week I carry all my recyclables a few blocks away to the designated drop off spot).
What I'd like to do is to be able to either walk or run at least five miles a day, everyday. I'd like to build up my fitness so that I can find employment a few miles away (rather than stuck in the bowels of hell around the corner from where I live), and get myself there running or walking, rather than riding my bike or getting a ride. I used to walk a couple miles every day back and forth to school, from six to ninth grade, rain or shine, freezing cold or hot and humid. It kind of sucked, but you get used to it. If you had to walk to work five miles everyday, that would be a pretty good reason to stay healthy and sober, otherwise you'd probably be out of a job (from being chronically late, or missing work from being too sick to walk/run).
I've discontinued doing my "poor woman kettlebell swings", mentioned in my October Fitness Update, where I was swinging 20 to 30 pound containers of cat litter in place of real kettlebells, which I currently do not own and cannot afford. I stopped when one of my housemates saw me doing it one day and commented that I looked like I was about to have a stroke. Apparently I must have been overdoing it. I'll probably pick it up again, after I address other issues holding me back.
A large part of the problem I would say has been drinking beer just about every night, not a huge amount, only about two or three beers, but nonetheless it's been a daily habit. It's not really in my budget, but I happened to get some birthday money, and then some unexpected Christmas money and gift cards, so I've been on one long drinking binge since November. It's all pretty much coming to a head now; while I'll still drink, pretty soon it'll be back to just a couple of nights a week, probably just a six-pack over the weekend, if that.
As much as I love having a few drinks before going to bed, it really does interfere with my stamina the next day. Even just two beers makes it difficult for me to go for a long walk or run; alcohol weakens my body terribly. It's a catch-22 though, because sometimes I'm just so stressed out, can't fall asleep and the only thing that relaxes me is a beer. So I have a couple beers, feel relaxed and get to sleep, but than I don't have much energy the next day. I sleep well, but don't wake up well, and as far as fitness matters, my whole day is shot.
What exercises have I been doing? Well other than the little bit of walking: I've been sticking with the weight training. No matter how much I drink, I can still manage lifting a set of dumb bells every other day. Something I've been doing consistently for over a decade. Working the biceps, triceps, shoulders, chest, and back. I'm not big, nor is that my intention, but I've got nicely toned muscle definition. I also do squats, tricep dips, and abdominal crunches. Haven't been doing the burpees though, but I'd like to. My muscular strength is not much of the problem though, it is my cardiovascular fitness that I need to work on.
One thing different I've been doing consistently is at least 100 jumping jacks every day, no matter what. I realize though that the jumping jacks are more of a warm up exercise and is far from adequate, so until I can start consistently running, I've added jump roping to my routine. If it's good enough for boxers, it's good enough for me. They say that five minutes of steady jump roping, is equivalent to twenty minutes of jogging. It's a very efficient work-out; and is also good for improving your agility and balance and hand eye coordination.
Things will probably significantly improve once I cut out the beer five days a week. I'm not going to say that I'll give it up forever though, because I really like a good beer, and don't think it's absolutely necessary to give it up completely. I just have to exercise some self-control and moderate my intake, which I seem to be so good at in EVERY other area of my life, except for the beer (my one and only vice). Yeah, I know I've been here before, have written about the topic more than once, but even though I may have taken a few steps back, and got lost going around in circles a few times, I'm still on the path.
I really need to take up breathing. Say what? I must be drunk again, right? Wrong. What I mean by that is meditating on the breath. I used to do it. That was my first exposure to meditation, not originally from a book, but from an uncle, and then a book (several books). Yogic pranic breathing. How altering your breathing patterns, taking fuller deeper more sustained breaths, has the power to alter your consciousness. I've been aware of that as an idea since I was nine years old: How changing the way you breath, has the power to change your life; what you think, how you feel, how you see things, and what you do about it.
It would be great if I could get everything from breathing that I get from beer: relaxation, concentration, and the ability to fall asleep with ease. If that were the case I would never need a beer or a glass of wine ever again. Pure and simple. Sticking to the straight and narrow. Morally upright and healthy. That is where I need to be; away from toxic people, toxic places, and toxic habits.