Friday, 31 October 2008
Thursday, 30 October 2008
Today I had a scheduled day off because I had booked myself to go to a seminar given by a world-famous behavioral coach, Marshall Goldsmith, that I didn't want to miss. So, of course, I went (after managing the skipping despite the neck pain - it woke me up three or four times in the night).
It was worth going. One of the best parts was when Marshall was explaining how he "fines" his clients small sums of money that they can easily afford for negative behavior and he introduced that into the seminar, "fining" participants Y50 (equals 50c) for similar behavior. He asked the attendants if anyone knew a worthwhile charity to whom the money should be donated ..... and I was the only person to put a hand up so I walked away with a pocket full of loose change, and a $20 bill from Marshall, for the Philippine Self Help Foundation, a micro finance organisation helping the poor in the Philippines run by a saint called Richard Foster, who I met in the spring.
At least that made me feel good to compensate for the physical discomfort that just got worse during the day.
And I have the weekend from hell coming up. We are moving office so I MUST go in tomorrow to finishing packing my desk and papers. I feel obliged to show my face on Saturday and Sunday to show support for the team actually doing the work and then the founder of the company flies in for meetings and an inspection of the new office on Monday, a public holiday. I will have to meet him at his hotel at 8am on Monday morning.
Once again, the sensible thing would be to rest but as readers of the blog will have realised, I seldom do the sensible thing.
Either way, the effort I am able to put into PCP has taken a battering so in the same way that Amy is considering extending her programme, maybe I should do the same. Something to think about.
Wednesday, 29 October 2008
Once again, I waited for a negative feeling that just didn't come. In fact, it was a bit of a letdown. I enjoyed it but actually left the restaurant feeling hungry. That suggests that my PCP lunch is more filling.
So apart from worrying about the potential monosodium glutamate content of any Chinese meal, and eating white rice instead of brown, it was completely unremarkable, making me wish I had tried a new Indian I've spotted or my (previously) regular Thai place.
Health-wise, I'm still struggling with the stiff neck which today translated into a fairly constant headache so I cut back the workout again but skipped OK.
Congratulations to the PCPJ team who completed their project today - Kumiko, Kazue and Kazuhiro. Well done .... and we are only two weeks behind you.
Tuesday, 28 October 2008
And getting home tonight with a workout still to do, needing to find some energy from somewhere.
So, in these circumstances, as I may have mentioned before, there really is only one thing to do. Play this VERY LOUD
And voila, a three quarters completed workout (still missing out a couple but a great improvement).
Monday, 27 October 2008
Better luck tomorrow.
Sunday, 26 October 2008
Saturday, 25 October 2008
Friday, 24 October 2008
I spent most of the afternoon in doctors' waiting rooms getting tested. Nothing has come up so more antibiotics (blah).
Then the real reason for not taking the day off. If I had stayed at home, my conscience would not have let me go out in the evening and I had a ticket to the WBA Featherweight title fight between Indonesian Chris John and Japanese Hiroyuki Enoki. John won his 10th title defence by a unanimous points decision. It is the first time I have been to a world title fight. John reminded me of Adrian's hero, Manny Pacquiao!!
I hope a restful weekend will help.
Thursday, 23 October 2008
To cap it all, it started raining this evening, I hope it lets up by tomorrow.
Wednesday, 22 October 2008
By evening, the head/neck pain is sufficient for me to take today as another rest day and hope it will improve by tomorrow.
I haven't heard back from Doctor Fred what it might be but I tested negative for mononucleosis, which I was worried about. I had that about 35 years ago and believed it impossible to catch again but Fred said it was possible. At least I don't have to worry about that - it was nasty first time around.
Sorry I'm not more cheerful.
Tuesday, 21 October 2008
One thing that I have noticed in my behavior is that sometime in my past, probably as a child, someone (my parents?) implanted in me the notion that you "shouldn't" go sick unless you really have no choice. So I have this "guilt complex" about taking time off (even though I will always tell my staff to go home if they are not feeling well). It is great when the doctor says "rest" but usually it is my choice because I'm the only one who knows how I feel and I push myself to avoid the feeling that I'm "skiving". I get that feeling even though I'm the "boss"!! Ah well.
Monday, 20 October 2008
On the other hand, I felt washed-out all day and visited the doctor on the way home. The doctor I went to see last Wednesday is the one in the local clinic - when I'm really suffering, it doesn't make sense to travel an hour each way to see my regular doctor in Tokyo. But I dropped in on Doctor Fred and got a sympathetic hearing plus something that may loosen up the muscles in my neck. And I had a blood test to check some things out. Fred showed a great interest in PCP so I will have to introduce him to Patrick.
This meant I got home early so I'm getting ready for an early night, after steaming some vegetables to take the place of salad.
By the way, today is the three quarters mark!!
Sunday, 19 October 2008
I had a good night's sleep, got up, did the skipping quite well, followed on with the workout but once again missing out the abs exercises (my neck really does tense up with both the v-sits and the side crunch).
So I've been pondering on motivation and how to snap out of what seems to be a self-perpetuating cycle.
I will report back!!
Saturday, 18 October 2008
After a gentle morning, I tried my skipping, and that felt normal (i.e. the "normal" aches, especially in my back, rather than the sickness related ones). Afterwards, a bit more stiffness and pain in my neck than before I started, but not too bad.
I left the workout until the evening and managed OK except I decided to pass on the abs exercises. The v-sits give me trouble anyway and side crunches do not seem a good idea at the moment.
But after a good night's sleep tonight, maybe tomorrow will be better yet.
Friday, 17 October 2008
Last night was a repeat of the night before only my painful awakening was 2.30 not 4. I went to sleep earlier and about four hours sleep seems to be the amount before the pain breaks through. Once again it took about an hour and a half before I felt I could try to go back to sleep..... this time, though, I slept through until 9.30.
The sleep did me some good and I felt a bit better. But the work has been building up so I decided to go into the office in the afternoon. So I did my skipping which after a slow start, also went OK.
I set off feeling pretty good but even the walk to the station took it out of me and by the time I reached the office, I was feeling pretty shaky. And by the end of the afternoon, even worse. So, did I do the sensible thing and go straight home? Of course not. I have been promising myself this curry for weeks and so off I went to "Malabar", near Edogawabashi Station, for local readers.
As previously announced, I consider this to be the best aloo gobi in Tokyo so that was an easy choice, although the chilli prawn just below it on the menu was a bit of a temptation (but I know from experience how hot that one is and it could have been a risk lol).
Since I choose not to eat bread, I needed some rice.
And as this meal was definitely looking a bit light on protein, I added some fish tikka.
So my meal ended up looking like this :
And when I had finished, looking like this :
The net result?
I definitely felt full, with no temptation to add any more, which is what I might have done in the past, so maybe I have learned my limits. I had the "normal" "full" feeling after a heavy meal, something not felt since the beginning of the PCP, probably down to oil in the meal because the quantity wasn't actually much more than I am allowed at lunchtime on my PCP diet. I was waiting for some further reaction later but it didn't come although I felt full for a long time afterwards.
So, it was a "good" indulgence. The bad news? I would cheerfully repeat the exercise tonight if allowed!!
Unfortunately, by the time I got home, the aches and pains were back with a vengence and I resorted to painkillers which I don't like to do, and went to bed.
Thursday, 16 October 2008
Wednesday, 15 October 2008
A trip to the doctor in the afternoon just described what I already knew - swollen glands in my neck and throat causng the muscles to lock up and giving me the headache. The cover-all solution, of course, is a course of antobiotics. I hate taking antibiotics because they kill the good bacteria with the bad but as I have the things, and I really do ache, I've decided to take them.
So, let's see what tomorrow brings.
Tuesday, 14 October 2008
I think that the summer temperatures also had something to do with me getting into the habit of "pacing" myself. We started on 15th August when it was HOT and I definitely didn't want to overdo it in the heat. Now it is cooler, there is less risk of that, although I certainly felt warm by the end of the workout. It is a switch to being more active instead of being more "stylish" but since no-one is watching me anyway, I can afford to lose a few style points.
I'm still not 100%. My neck muscles are still locked up, which is giving me a headache.
So I'm heading off for a massage (which I missed last week) and an early night.
Monday, 13 October 2008
And I had a 60 day revelation today. I commented yesterday about having trouble with the "to failure" instruction. I've worked out why - I've been pacing myself!! By that, I mean, holding something back to make sure I can get through the exercise. I guess the arthritis has made me cautious about overstraining myself so what I've been doing is the opposite of "to failure". When you hold back, you make sure you can continue but then the exercise never seems to end!!
I actually had a bad start to the day because after skipping I really did fell dizzy - the room span so I left the workout, and left it, and then found something else to do and then left it some more.
I thought about taking it as a rest day but as it is Sports Day and the rest may be good later in the week, I finally started about 10.30pm. So I tried to get through it quickly and "voila", I began to run out of steam and feeling I couldn't do any more : in other words "failure". By taking things rather more slowly, I was allowing my body to cope as it went along which is great for stamina but not for what we are doing. I'll see how I get on tomorrow.
I spent some time yesterday checking out Looney Tunes cartoons because I had run out of signs that Wile has actually held up (or made, in the case of "Free Bird Seed"). The only picture of me not holding up a sign so far is the one with the umbrella, and he certainly has held one up either trying to use it as a parachute or to keep off the rocks that are about to drop on him, and the other non-authentic one is me holding up menu chart made by Patrick. I'm pleased to say that I now have at least five more authentic signs that I can use so I should manage a unique sign in each weekly photo through to the end of the project.
Meep, meep (OK, I know that is the Roadrunner's line).
Sunday, 12 October 2008
I'm having trouble with the "to failure" instruction. The bands, by definition, are flexible so the amount of tension they are put under dictates how hard the exercise is. I can make them so tight that the resistance is maximum and failure will come almost immediately. I didn't think that was the object of the exercise (pun intended) so what I have done is worked on the exercises I am supposed to do "to failure" until I'm feeling a bit light-headed/dizzy.
I had a fridge clear-out today. Completely out of eggs and all the meat and vegetables were cooked. So, a relatively expensive trip to the supermarket this evening to restock. I'm now OK for the next few days.
Tomorrow is a public holiday in Japan "Sports Day". I have Parent Teacher Conferences in the afternoon for my younger son, who turned seventeen yesterday.
Saturday, 11 October 2008
Getting back to Adrian and Emiko's blog, I put myself on a strict diet about eight years ago and got my weight down from 106 to 81kg (a medical examination had told me I was 25% overweight - I didn't believe it until I actually got the weight off). Recently it had edged up to 92kg.
Anyway, the point of my ramble is to comment on what Abel and everyone is saying. It isn't actually that Adrian is too skinny, it is that modern society accepts being overweight as the norm - so many people told me that I had become too thin, even though I was exactly where the doctor told me I should be. You know, "you are tall, you can carry it" and other similar comments. The fact is that being overweight is not good for us but we just accept it most of the time. And we then come to equate overeating with pleasure and the feeling of being too full as being the way we should feel after eating.
So Tim's answer to the question "when are we supposed to start caring about our diets?" is straight away!! A lot of our eating habits are just that, habits. I still retain a lot of good patterns from the previous diet. I'm not sure whether it was actually bad for me or not, but I decided to cut out gluten. This means no wheat, barley, rye or oats. That is no bread or cakes and therefore no hidden calories in the form of butter and sugar that gets put into those things. I was brought up on sandwiches. particularly as a bedtime snack, but once I had made the change, it was easy to say no. And I had already switched over to brown rice (I actually think it tastes better too).
I can only second what Adrian and Emiko said "moderation is actually the key to happiness". We can always imagine that we need to have "more". More food, more travel, more possessions. But they don't make us happier and the desire for more can never be fulfilled so it just makes us unhappier. The people who are content are that way because they accept that what they have is, by and large, "enough".
And of course, PCP is not about doing more (although that is not the way my workout seems this week), it is about doing enough, the right amount to get us into peak condition.
By the way, I get a bit introspective after I've been sick. Having too much time on my hands makes me question the human condition (and mine in particular). I watched a video on YouTube this afternoon called " Zeitgeist Addendum" suggesting that we should switch from a system driven by profit maximisation to the detriment of the planet and the human race as a whole (why do we permit so many people to go hungry?) to one that is committed to the intelligent management of the Earth's resources.
Friday, 10 October 2008
I woke up with familiar aches and pains. I still had a headache and back and neck pains. But I woke completely unaided (i.e. not the radio) at 6am with the clear sense that these are "normal" pains and that I was not sick any more. The headache isn't really normal but I often have to get moving to get my joints to accept that they can actually function without hurting.
So I got up and did my skipping and workout before breakfast, and did some business on the way to the office. Once in the the office, I felt tired but without the feeling I've had most of this week that I wasn't going to make it through the day. By the end of the day my head was hurting a bit but people in the office commented how much brighter I appeared today.
As we've said so many times, the mental state is just as important, if not more, than the physical.
Thursday, 9 October 2008
So I swallowed a couple of painkillers, something I usually try to avoid, and after breakfast, felt vaguely human. I decided to make the commute and because of that decision, felt that I was up to skipping. I did OK after getting through the back and neck pains in the first set.
I ate my lunch before heading out but already knew by the time I reached the station that all was not well. I made it to the office feeling the worse for wear but managed to get done what needed to be done.
And then home, feeling tired and achy, in no shape for the workout so I'll claim sickness privilege again. A long weekend is coming up so I can get back on track then.
I had a look at the back diagram Patrick recommended but it didn't mean much to me. I looked at the neck diagram too to try to see which bits have locked up but putting a name to them doesn't make it hurt any less!!
Wednesday, 8 October 2008
Staying put actually meant logging on to the computer, checking my emails and doing some work before heading back to bed.
In the afternoon, I acted on Emiko's suggestion and tried the skipping. I got through the sets OK but with a bit of back and neck pain. But it also pushed my temperature another point so I decided that the workout would have to be put on hold.
It occurred to me how easy it would be to drop out of PCP at this point. A couple of missed days and the pattern would be broken. Mustn't let that happen.
It is also much harder to stick to the diet if I am stuck at home. When I'm up, I tend to prowl around the house and nibbling is a real temptation.
Despite feeling ill, I actually had to go out this evening. I ran out of brown rice last night and as this is my carb of choice, had to make a run down to the supermarket for more supplies. I came back with 10kg which should keep me going for a while. Driving with a stiff neck is not a good thing.
Missing work highlights how our perceived commitments are actually a matter of priority. When faced with something more important, like not feeling well, work has to wait and skipping my school board meeting tonight was as easy as sending an email.
I've also been thinking about lots of things that I need to do that I have actually put off. I'll be making a list!!
Tuesday, 7 October 2008
I guess I miscalculated. I managed the skipping and workout OK but felt a bit shaky on the way down to the station and by the time I reached the office, was definitely feeling the worse for wear. I managed to get through the day but at the cost of a pretty severe headache and a few aches elsewhere. I'm sniffing a bit too, so maybe the flu. What does the PCP handbook say about genuine sickness?
I guess I'll see how I feel in the morning.
Monday, 6 October 2008
Four hours solid sleep later, I realised that maybe this was more than I thought. So after a quick lunch and another email to the office, back to bed. The next thing I knew it was 6pm!
I was dreaming too. I can't now remember the morning dream (travelling somewhere with someone, I think) but this afternoon's ended with me eating two bars of chocolate, something I wouldn't do consciously, and I was saying to myself, well, I guess this had better be my indulgence. Fortunately, it was alll in my mind so I am still on for my curry.
The curry target is still the best aloo gobi in Tokyo but unfortunately, it is in a restaurant near where I used to live, now in completely the opposite direction for me on my journey home from work. Thinking about it, the non-PCP things will be the out of balance carbs (half the dish is potato and I may have rice with it) and the oil. On the other hand, lots of vegetable and no meat (so maybe a piece of tandori chicken or fish tikka will be in order). But I'll have to schedule it and apart from today, and today is now a bust, I've got another full week of booked evenings.
I guess I've got to take today as my day of rest (I must admit I can't even think about doing a push-up at the moment) and try to make sure I can get the workouts done during the rest of the week. The worst day is likely to be Wednesday. Unless I get it done on the morning, School Board meetings often go on very late in the evening.
Sunday, 5 October 2008
The morning weather was glorious but it clouded over this afternoon and it has been raining all evening. Looks like skipping on the porch again tomorrow.
Because of the long time I took over the workout, my meals got mixed up. I managed lunch before breakfast and only realised that when I was still feeling hungry in the early afternoon. I know Patrick wants the exercises done in order, I'm not sure about the meals.
One thing I think I've noticed in recent weeks is that I think I'm drinking less. Since I've been off alcohol for about fifteen years, in my case, drinking is mostly tea and water and I think that I am not drinking as much as before. Maybe less salt in the diet.
Saturday, 4 October 2008
It also messed up the diet for the day because I was provided with a lunch box, Judging by the quantities, it didn't look too different from my lunch allowances and certainly looked very healthy (with lots of vegetables, a bit light on protein, if anything), so I ate it but am not really sure exactly how much I ate.
Unusually for me, I actually logged on before Patrick was ready this morning giving me a great excuse to leave the workout until this evening. I must admit I don't like this "until failure" thing. Having said that, I just about failed on the Da Vincis anyway. Chest dips were a bit of a problem. V-sits were a bit easier - I added another cushion. But the side crunches are more challenging because my back just doesn't, well, twist. Maybe it will get better as the week goes on.
And tomorrow, nothing in the diary, so a lie-in is the order of the day.
Friday, 3 October 2008
Having said that, I did feel tired this morning at the end of the busy week and only did the skipping. There were no fixed plans for this evening so the workout should have been done in good time but I got tempted by a massage on the way home and didn&t finish the workout until 11.15pm.
The weekend doesn''t seem to be too busy for a change. I'm booked up on Saturday but to my amazement, I seem to have a free Sunday, although there is the laundry to catch up on.
I weighed in this morning at 81.8kg and my weight has been plus or minus 82kg all week so maybe it has bottomed out, particularly as my dinner is back on solids again from this week. I must say I will miss the fruit content, although not drinking my dinner from the blender.
Thursday, 2 October 2008
Other than that, not much to report. Skipped (in warmer weather) this morning and took my rest day. This week I seem to have spent a lot of time watching other people eat while I have politely refused, both at lunchtime and dinner. Dinner time is more difficult because while I can carry my lunch, I don't pre-prepare the shake and so have to wait until I get home.
I still haven't had indulgence one yet (I guess the time has passed) but I will think about indulgence two. Curry (with all that oil) has to be favorite at the moment.
Wednesday, 1 October 2008
So here I am, listening to the rain pouring down. Another typhoon on the way, following much the same track as the last one but heading further out to sea so not much chance of it coming ashore, but a lot of wet weather, nevertheless.
Got back late tonight as expected but managed to finish the workout.
When I get home late but have the workout to do, my meals kind-of run into each other. I'm allowed some carbs before the workout and an egg white afterwards. What happens in practice is the carbs are a few mouthfuls of brown rice but then the extra egg white gets thrown into my dinner shake. And then, if I am really late, I can go straight on and have my bedtime snack.
I will have a trip out to the airport tomorrow to meet a business visitor as he has to go straight into a meeting and we have things to discuss first. I hope the typhoon doesn't delay his flight and the transport doesn't get messed up at this end.