In a struggle to be happy and free

Drystone Wall


The funny thing about change is it tends to cascade.

Yes, I know I’ve made the claim before in these pages, but this time it’s going to stick. I’ve started a regular exercise regimen. Previously, this announcement was followed by three or four days of the best intentions, then nothing. This time, it’s been three weeks and I’m still going strong.

I understand your scepticism. Three weeks is just three weeks. The thing is, three weeks is hyooge for me. As I said, previous efforts lasted only days. What I do is spend 20 minutes per day on the exercise machine. The manufacturer claims 20 minutes a day, three days a week, will bring you fitness and weight-loss. I started at 15 minutes every day and jumped to 20 last week, my goal is 30 minutes every day, because my doctor suggests 200 minutes a week of cardio. That’s roughly 28½ minutes per day, so let’s call it an even 30 minutes, okay? The extra ten minutes a week won’t kill me.

I’ve noticed some things already. With the addition of some free weights, I’ve already noticed some changes in my arms. The 20 minutes on the machine is already much easier than 15 minutes when I started three weeks ago. I was tempted to push to 30 minutes a day very quickly, but there’s no need to feel like I’ve been beaten. It’ll come.

I mix up a protein drink and have half before and half after each session on the machine. I don’t drink any Coke at work any more and my intake at home is significantly reduced. So after spending three months trying to cut it out of my diet and craving it like mad, I’ve cut my intake in half with no effort. Even more impressive is that I’ve lost weight. I’m some seven or eight pounds lighter than the last time I weighed myself, which could’ve been as long ago as two or three months. Certainly this isn’t all due to exercise. I can’t be absolutely certain, but I hope I’m not losing weight that quickly!

My diet’s also changed. Kendra had a cottage barbecue on July 12. I brought far too many bags of chips. As she usually does, she insisted I take the uneaten chips home with me. Totally contrary to my typical behaviour, I hadn’t even touched them a week later. In the past, they’d all be gone within two or three days. I still have one of the bags for goodness sakes! Who the frack am I?!

The only problem is I don’t believe I’m eating enough good food as a replacement for the junk I’ve cut down on. I have to work on this. More trips to the grocery store are clearly in order. The protein drinks are powder mixed with milk and I now go through four litres of milk in about eight days. I am going to the grocery store more often anyway.

The thing that surprises me most about exercise is it just feels so damned good. I like to feel what I’ve done in my muscles afterwards. I like the good feeling coursing through me after I get off the machine. I like feeling that I’m spend with five minutes to go, and pushing through to completion anyway. Perhaps most of all, I like the feeling of the sweat running off me. Not only is it a purely visceral pleasure, but it means the exercise is working. It’s a wonderful feeling…and the reason I now take two showers a day.

It’s going to stick this time.


Sunset in TV land


VW diesel refuel #22


  1. Debbie

    Rick, congrats on the new program. I started exercising in the beginning of April, as well as changing my eating habits. It is amazing how much better I feel. I think you will be able to keep it up since you have already seen improvements. I have had a small setback with an injury but am looking forward to heading back to the gym — I have been annoyed that my new routine has been upset! If you had told me I would be doing this a year ago, I wouldn’t have believed it.… Nice to know others have similar reactions.

  2. _Don

    >The extra ten minutes a week won’t kill me.

    You never know. 🙂

    Isn’t it amazing how a little change can make a big difference? Good on you. Now if you can get into eating veg, you will be set.

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