Friday, February 7, 2014

Not Time to Quit

Post Number: 125
Review of Yesterday's Progress
     Daily PPV Used/Left: 23/48 of 71 (Goal: 28/43)
     Pedometer Reading: 6190
     Meetings Attended: Missed Overeaters Anonymous (Family crisis)
     Exercise Completed: At the Y -
          Recumbent Bicycle
               6 minutes & 1.03 miles, resistance 5
          Octane Recumbent Elliptical Machine (upgrade from the SciFit)
               15 minutes & 2.07 miles @ level 7 setting (used arms and legs)
          Swam Laps (7 laps, 350 yards)
    M-W's Word of the DayChowderhead

A.S.: The temptation to quit will be greatest just before you are about to succeed.

Tough day at the Y. Not just because of the exercise, there were technology issues getting to the Y. And even worse, I signed the paperwork to cancel my membership and technology problems on the way. I have enjoyed the staff that works at the West Y. But unless a job presents itself with urgency and immediacy, there is no way to afford the membership and the gas. Granted, I did learn how to turn back the cancellation process if I should want to continue my membership. That's the eternal optimist in me. It is onward and upward from here to a path that leads to some gym, regardless of the path that gets me there.

The eternal optimist in me wasn't able to get on the Octane immediately. A staff person saw me standing looking around while I was trying to decide which machine to use. She asked me if she could do something to help me. I suggested finding me a third Octane. She said they are very popular. I used a recumbent bike while waiting for the Octane to open up. I didn't really like it. As soon as an Octane opened up, I finished out that full minute and dove towards the Octane. I managed to get the Octane situated where I could comfortably use the foot pedals, the hand posts, and my Kindle.

That was the good news after a rough morning with electronics. After expressing that I enjoy technology in the prior post, and I still do with enthusiasm, my technology was failing me yesterday. First, my Kindle app on my phone died, taking the books stored on my phone with it. I reinstalled the app and it's working. I just haven't pushed the books back to the phone. Then my phone wouldn't download and play the audio of the scriptures or conference talks I wanted to listen to. It turned out not to matter because the tape player insert device or the tape player itself refused to stop switching the direction the tape was playing. This meant no audio was reaching the speakers. All of this technology breakdown in close timing makes me wonder if Murphic Entropy isn't trying to take a little revenge.

While I wasn't pondering that idea briefly, I was alternately pondering the book Start Strong. Finish Strong. I finished Chapter 3: What's Your Hot Button? yesterday. There are two themes I wanted to mention. The first is the search for the ability to motivate through the changes necessary to become and remain healthy. In the section, Finding Your Hot Button, there were these questions:
  • What is the most important thing in my life?
  • What do I love to do?
  • What kinds of activities or situations can hold my attention for hours on end?
  • Do I tend to be a loner, or a person who thrives on social and group interactions?
  • What five qualities best describe my basic personality and character?
While I started with some humorous responses, I thought these through a little more. Having made a weekly review with an additional extension monthly, these questions had initial answers that prompted themselves easily. The questions also provided some additional insight into possible extensions that will aid me in my effort to remain motivated.

Staying motivated is my concern and the concern of the authors. Towards that end they listed categories of motivations to aid in finding your own. These categories are lead in's to the primary search through possible motivators. The titles of the sections of the chapter are:
  • The Feel-Good Hot Button
  • The Competitive Hot Button
  • The Loner Hot Button
  • The Sociability Hot Button
  • The Good-Looks Hot Button
  • The Cool-Clothes Hot Button
  • The Health-Crisis Hot Button
  • The Fear-Of-Death Hot Button
  • The Physical-Function Hot Button
  • The Mental-Function Hot Button
  • The Spiritual Hot Button
  • The Please-The-Doctor Hot Button
  • The Numbers-Game Hot Button
  • The Material-Rewards Hot Button
The descriptions in the chapter frequently left me wondering how much they address two concerns of mine: obesity and compulsive eating. In the case of obesity, will obesity cause some of the benefits they describe to take longer to appear? In the case of compulsive eating, will compulsive eating cause motivations to deteriorate and habits to fail?

Here is the opening of The Feel-Good Hot Button section:
We regularly ask our patients: "What makes you continue with a regular exercise program?"
In response, the vast majority say: "It makes me feel good!"
These informal surveys confirm that the most important motivational factor that keeps regular exercisers going indefinitely—and craving their next workout—is the fact that exercise makes them feel better.
It goes on to explain that the good feelings from exercise and the cruddy feeling from skipping exercise is due to neurochemicals. Here is the pertinent information that comes closest to addressing my concerns:
If you have been completely sedentary or have engaged in little regular physical activity in recent months or years; you're unlikely to find yourself experiencing the effects of the Feel-Good Hot Button at the beginning of your exercise program. The feel-good experience, which depends on the release of various chemicals and neurotransmitters, probably won't kick in until you've developed at least a rudimentary level of fitness. In the very first part of your start-up phase, most of your focus will likely be on getting used to a higher level of activity, sticking to a regular workout schedule, and perhaps putting up with a little muscle soreness. Also, it's usual for most new exercisers to go through a biological transition period. where their biochemical and hormonal output gradually adjusts to new activity levels.
The best advice is just to be patient and keep this principle in mind: if you stick with the program, the Feel-Good Hot Button will definitely become a factor within the first few weeks of your new exercise regimen. But you'll have to gird yourself to make it through a short transition period before the endorphins, dopamine. and other chemicals of well-being really take hold. In part, then, starting strong may involve a simple act of the Mill, where you'll fortify yourself mentally to wait a short time before the feel-good benefits of fitness become part of your life.
For my own experience, I have been swimming for five months at the Y. As of today, I will have three weeks of swimming combined with using an exercise machine. According to The Feel-Good Hot Button, I should be feeling something other than being glad to have that day's exercise over. Unless their phrase "the feel-good experience [...] probably won't kick in until you've developed at least a rudimentary level of fitness" means I am still quite some ways away.

I am also quite some way away from many of the examples in the Hot Button chapter. Many examples spoke to experiences that I couldn't relate to. Collegiate athlete still in good shape but unable to achieve prior fitness markers. And most of the categories didn't relate to me either. Clothing and appearance are important to looking good, but not enough to motivate me. Right now I have 3 days of stubble. Among all of the categories, the ones that spoke to me were:
  • The Mental-Function Hot Button - Slowing the deterioration in mental skills with physical activity
  • The Spiritual Hot Button - Religious convictions demand caring for mind, spirit, and body
  • The Numbers-Game Hot Button - Improving medical test numbers
I'm not sure how to gauge the power of these hot button as motivators in my own life. I will be adding them into my goals to see how things go. I will revisit them to cogitate on their value.

I visited Anytime Fitness and Freedom Fitness in Kuna yesterday. Anytime Fitness was a clean, organized fitness center that was well equipped for it's size. It has the distinct advantage of being close, always available, and quite a few exercise options. I'm not sure that most of the cardio-equipment will work for me right now. Their muscle building machines selection was good. The only recumbent item was a bike. But on the way-cool plus side, they have a virtual bike machine that looks like it would be a lot of fun. Freedom Fitness advantages include a Kiddie Cave for the kids (if the family joins) and yoga classes (if Merianne joins or when I become brave enough again). Freedom Fitness has quite a few muscle building machines. Their locker room included a sauna. It wasn't as clean and organized as Freedom Fitness. Both places had quite a few machines for cardio and muscle building. Both have 24 hour access. I accepted a fob to Anytime Fitness for a free one week trial. Unfortunately, the free trial started yesterday. I'm going to have to dive into it. And they have a special right now that the enrollment fee, fob fee, and first months dues are all $19, if I remember correctly. That price is good through February 28th, so we shall see. Freedom Fitness has slightly better prices and no contract that improves their standing over Anytime Fitness. Freedom Fitness just asks for first and last month's dues up front and a 30 day notice prior to leaving. Both people that provided tours emphasized the need to build muscle to be able to better burn calories and shed pounds even faster.

I have much to think about and even more to do. And the hardest part of all of this effort yesterday was wanting to quit. I just didn't want to deal with anything. Part of that is the exhaustion catching up to me. Part of that is the drudgery that represents so much of the job search process. And part of that laziness; I want to be done. I was quite grateful when a crisis arose to take the attention of MBWM and me away long enough that the OA meeting was nearly half over before the whirlwinds died down. Now, unlike the quote at the top of this post, I don't believe I am about to succeed. My joints hurt too much. I am too exhausted. And I am stuck in the early-middle part of the marathon. I am not about to succeed, which may be why the temptation is there but not at its greatest. And while I don't believe I am about to succeed, I know that there is success ahead of me. The timely success is measured in hurdles great and small that keeps me going.

One of those successes that I hope to report is how wonderful Anytime Fitness was. I am replacing the Y with Anytime Fitness this morning. That replacement was as an aid to my exhaustion. I'll be able to sleep in by about an hour. And hopefully that will make the day all the more successful. Especially since late yesterday I located an awesome chemist position that I has me motivated to hone my resume to an exceptional masterpiece.

Yours in the knowledge of success that comes when you keep on keepin' on,


P.S.: This week will be a series of pictures that I found while cleaning out my smart phone.

Here are a couple pictures I took at the Y. The first one is an artistic (?) look at some of my exercise equipment. Should I entitle this one, "Keep Out"? "Maintaining Safety Barriers"? "Protecting My Interests"?

I found the poster below quite interesting. I didn't learn anything, but I wanted to review and extend the information through research. What I found most interested was the fact that this poster was posted at the Y.

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