The Best and Worst of Times

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”.  Charles Dickens, “A Tale of Two Cities”

(Yes, technically the book title should be underlined, but my blog editor doesn’t give me an underline option…).

Friday was a great day.  I was awake, alert, full of energy and creativity, firing on all cylinders.  I could really feel this whole fitness regimen working.  I was on my game, tackling all the big problems like Eli Manning on a dash for the end zone.  One of the best parts, and an unexpected boon, was how focused my mind seemed to be.  I normally have pretty bad problems with ADD (no, I’m not medicated, either), and I really didn’t seem to notice that.  On top of that, my blood glucose seemed well under control, which is a big thing.

This morning… tired, sickly, unfocused… blood glucose back up (160mg/dL), just not feeling right at all.  Worse, being back here (feeling like… crud…) feeds into those mental thoughts of “I can’t do this.  What’s the point? Why bother?” and so on.

What happened?  The weekend.  Now, don’t read this like I’m beating myself up.  This is an engineering analysis… a “post mortem”, or “failure analysis” … but “failure” in the engineering sense, not in the human self-esteem beating, I’m a bad person sense.  In the engineering world, “FA” is how you learn what went wrong, and then apply those lessons to getting it right the next time.  It’s a positive thing (or should be), a way of moving forward and improving the product, not a way of laying blame or negativity.

Friday was great.  I even got in a 2.5 mile “Couch to 5K” run Friday evening.  Saturday was a mess.  I started out by overeating on breakfast and “treating” myself to a Panera chocolate pastry. Yum! But too many calories and too much sugar.  Didn’t help that I also had their Breakfast Power Sandwich.  Then we had the usual “Bad Saturday” mess of fouled up plans and unexpected turns of events… culminating in me forgetting to take my medicine until 2:00 AM … yes, the middle of the night… complete with a “bonus” PB&Banana sandwich to keep it from tearing up my stomach.

Sunday was just… long. Good, but long.  I was up at 6:30am to be at church in time for pre-service rehearsal with the band, and then working all morning.  Instead of a jog, I took a nap, and then ran errands, followed by evening service.  No exercise. Dinner was a very late and “too tired to cook” 8:30pm dinner-sized pile of General Tso’s Chicken.

Turns out the good General is in command of the enemy forces.

So the combination of some pretty-poor eating, messing up my medication schedule, and skipping exercise all weekend (I did get a 2.5mi walk in Saturday, though) has led to a predictably poor start for the week.  The moral: don’t fall off the wagon.  This is a war I’m waging.  Every bad meal, every skipped workout, every mis-timed medication dose is a battle lost, ground ceded to the enemy, precious time and resources squandered.

The good news is that each sunrise heralds a new opportunity to fight on another day.  Each good meal eaten, every step of pavement beneath my feet, every pushup completed is a shot fired straight into the heart of the enemy.  Today is another chance to get back on the wagon, to resume the march, and to continue the war on my health issues.

Another bright side is that the stark contrast between Friday’s “high” and today’s “low” shows very clearly the benefits of doing it right, vs. the consequences of letting things go.  I don’t want to feel like this.  I want to feel like I did on Friday. And now I know clearly that I can, and how to get there.

I can’t discount the possibility that part of this weekend was simply accumulated fatigue.  I’ve been doing pretty well with the diet and exercise for about 3 weeks now, and I was probably due a couple of rest days.  However, given the amount of stress and activity going on, this weekend was anything but restful, and I still made some bad choices food-wise.

So today we start over. Again.  And tomorrow, we’ll start over. Again.  Every day until the last day.


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