After committing to try these practices on January 1, 2018, I’m continuing to do them. That’s 30 minutes a day (or more, especially writing) for each activity. (I started doing a half hour of yoga every day on December 4, 2013.) I think I missed one or two walks which were more than made up for by days with two walks or longer days of over 10,000 steps. As for what I eat, that’s probably more like a 95% success rate at eliminating processed grains. This is on top of biking which has been every day since last October 11.
I’ve been both fortunate and unlucky to have time to do all of the this, because of having irregular work or no job at all. I often sacrifice important things like sleep though it usually carcheup to me when I have take siestas. And there’s time I could be doing other things, like watching HBO, which has some free shows right now. It’s been a huge commitment, and unfortunately the results on the health side have not been as noticeable as I’d hoped. Writing has led to the first draft of a book and I’m approaching 500 blog posts, although it’s not been successful in terms of making any money.
What’s it all mean? Should I stop or change things? Does anything matter anymore in these dark days? I don’t know. It could all come to an end tomorrow. For now, I just keep going.
I continue to take my daily walk. Lately its been at the abandoned running track of the closed school nearby. I put in my 1.5 miles in about 35 minutes. Lumbering around in circles (well, ovals), I lose track of time while listening to the radio in my earphones. I look at the same empty soccer field, buildings, closed movie theater, hear the highway traffic, and think the same thoughts. When will this end? Will I get sick? Who will help me? How will I make it financially? What if people I know die? How will I deal with that? What if I die? Will anyone even notice or care if I do? Should I start watching Fear the Walking Dead for survival tips?
So I put in my slow, trudging 3,500 paces or so a day. I can’t discern any benefits, but they’re supposedly in there, buried deep in my body. Better bone density. More aerobic capacity. Vitamin D. Walking with a friend and having a chat sometimes though not lately. I don’t imagine stopping unless forced to. It’s therapeutic. You see things your neighborhood so much more clearly than in a car. And over 500 miles per year isn’t nothing. So I just keep walking.
Today, the advice is “Wear a bandana.” Tomorrow it could be “Don’t go out after dark”. In a month, or two, or three, it could be “Stop and surrender your bicycle or we’ll shoot on sight.” That’s how these things go in sci-fi movies, after all. But that’s exteme. More likely I’ll become bored with going round in circles at the track and back to wandering the neighborhood. Then I’m having to dodge other people who often disregard the guidelines. Those people I learned are called in the popular parlance of the day, #COVIDIOTS. Yeah, somehow you survived #1-18. Deal with it, people! But I digress, walking is good.
I’m 75% through editing my first draft of my memoir of two years of cycling a total of 10,000 miles. That means soon I will have to find other people to hold and look at my creation. And they will probably rip it into pieces and give back to me all bloodied, so I’ll have to reassemble it. Then I have to somehow find a professional editor, agent and publisher. Or, as I suspect, I’ll have to go the self-published route. Either way it’s a lot of work for something that may never come to be. It’s not been an easy thing to do, but if I can ever get it done and out there that will be a major and gratifying accomplishment. The fact that I wrote it is an accomplishment in itself.
Blogging is still happening three times a week. But at what point can I afford to keep doing it? There’s always the pressure to use social media, too. I could be figuring out how to make money on the blog, but it seems unlikely. With just over 500 followers, and only 5-10% of that number of people who read any given post, I have a long way to go to becoming a popular paid blogger. Sometimes I think of reducing or stopping blogging until I finish the book, but it’s enjoyable and usually easier than editing, although blogging is more time consuming. Still, I plod onwards.
As I have for over six years, every night I roll out my blue thick mat, usually after my bike ride and tv viewing. I do poses gently, usually not leaving the floor. The earlier in the day I practice the more likely I am to have the energy to do poses like Sun Salutations and Warrior I, II and III. Attempts to use Adrienne Mishler’s videos sometimes work.
But I’m sure yoga helps me, even when it’s not vigorous. It’s a daily spiritual practice I have no intention of stopping unless I have to, and even then I could hopefully still do yogic breathing. Lately I’ve been adding five minutes of meditation at the end. We’ll see if that goes anywhere.
I eliminated most processed grains — empty calories like white rice, flour, etc. They turn into sugar and then fat according to Dr. Gary Lusting, pediatric endocrinologist and author of Fat Chance and Fat Chance Cookbook. I still eat rolled oats which are processed but otherwise have avoided all bread, pasta and the like. This has not led to any fat loss, but it has helped keep my blood sugar at healthy levels. Age, sleep, genes, etc. all factor into my being overweight. I’m fat but fit — a fathlete.
The recent calamity we’re going through has limited availability to high quality, organic fresh produce, and that’s a problem. I have lost a little weight, though. Luckily I conquered my candy bar problem before the lockdown based on the fact it was costing too much. This habit of eating no flour is the one most likely to be abandoned, but for now I plan to keep it up. Certainly I could do better in this area, but I’m resigned to having this problem for the rest of my life. After all this effort and exercise, if nothing has worked by now, it’s likely not going to. I do plan to lose all my weight at once, though… whenever I kick the bucket. Hopefully not soon.
This is all an experiment subject to change. Forcing myself to choose and stick with all these daily habits has been incredibly hard. Some days I want to give up. But like so many human endeavors nowadays, and for the foreseeable future, we have to take things one day, or really one moment, at a time. And right now it’s past time for my walk.