Category: Habits

Jul 06, 2015
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Make it Stop!

Make it Stop!

Ten Extra Pounds, Part 5 Concern about ten extra pounds motivated me to act. Mostly, I worried. Unfortunately, as an emotional eater, my response was counterproductive. I ate like there was no tomorrow. Most days, I do fine from the time I get up in the morning until supper. Travel and catered meetings aside, my problem is post-supper grazing. I’ll snack until bedtime and then get up two or three times a night for more. On travel days, delivery is fast and easy. A sandwich from Jimmy John’s is my go-to choice. Sometimes I get chips, sometimes not, but I always get at least one of their delicious chocolate chip cookies. After my day in Savannah, I split a large …

Jun 29, 2015
By Michael Rupured
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Road Trips

Ten Extra Pounds, Part 4 Gaining weight two weeks in a row had me concerned. Exercising only on weekends wasn’t offsetting the damage. Try as I might, however, I couldn’t get back to my normal routine. I had to go to district meetings in each quadrant of the state. The coordinators in each district put me on the program right before or after the noon hour. I go along for lunch to network and catch up on all the real news. I drove 200 miles (one way) to Tifton and, two days later, over to nearby Watkinsville. Driving makes me hungry. In both towns I ate chips and salsa like I’d never seen food before. In Watkinsville, a plate of …

Jun 22, 2015
By Michael Rupured
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Working It

Ten Extra Pounds, Part 3 A six-mile run and a generous reward system caused me to gain a few pounds. No reason for concern. Nine times out of ten, I lose weight the week after a bad weigh in. Persistence is the key to success. Getting back on track became my top priority. The universe, however, conspired against me. Back-to-back buffets at the office got my week off to a bad start. There’s always too much food. I do what I can to make sure nothing goes to waste. A caterer prepared trays of sandwiches, chips, brownies, and chocolate chip cookies for our faculty retreat. The hummusy-tasting pimiento cheese sandwiches were a tad dry. The chips were easier to resist …

Jun 15, 2015
By Michael Rupured
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Just Rewards

Ten Extra Pounds, Part 2 Last week, I confessed to gaining ten pounds. Mom suggested the extra weight was muscle from working out so much. Isn’t she sweet? Exercise did play a role. Working out explains maybe one or two pounds – and that’s being generous. Running is to blame for the remaining eight or nine extra pounds. Ironic, I know. Running three miles several times a week has kept the forty pounds I lost a couple of years ago from coming back. Eventually, to get the same result takes more effort. So I stepped up my game and ran six miles. Running twice my usual distance made me feel invincible. For the next week, I ate like I was seventeen …

Jun 08, 2015
By Michael Rupured
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Weighing In

Ten Extra Pounds, Part 1 I weigh myself throughout the day and record my weight once a week. Vigilance works. Checking the scales enables me to act before an extra pound or two turns into ten. Since 2010, I’ve paid twenty bucks a month to track my weekly weight online. Yeah, I could do the same thing for free with a spreadsheet. Paying keeps me honest. Mostly. Every week, I record my best morning weight from Sunday or Monday — whichever is lowest. Since losing forty pounds more than two years ago, my weight has stayed about the same, plus or minus no more than five pounds. At least I’m consistent. Lately, things have gotten out of hand. Despite my watchfulness and …

May 04, 2015
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on The Elliptical and Me

The Elliptical and Me

I don’t perspire — I sweat like Niagara Falls. Consequently, I prefer to run without a shirt — a preference that rules out running for most of the winter. Last year, I forced myself to run on a treadmill at the gym. I tried to focus on the silver lining, but time on the awful machine passed slower than ice-cold molasses. Hated it. An exercise program I followed last fall included cardio suggestions. Since I was running two or three times a week, I skipped the extra cardio. When the weather turned cold, I decided to try the recommended twenty minutes on an elliptical. Couldn’t be worse than the treadmill. Loved it. Sensors on the elliptical monitor my heart rate, which is shown on …

Apr 13, 2015
By Michael Rupured

Busted Routines

I’m very much a creature of habit. Toodles and I move through our days like well-oiled machines. Routines drive our actions from the time our feet/paws hit the floor in the morning until our heads hit the pillow at night. Doing things in a particular order helps me get more done and keeps me from having to think about what’s next. Disruptions push my needle into the crotchety zone, and sometimes, flat out piss me off. Shocking, I know, but true. Routines have always worked for me. I could be wrong — wouldn’t be the first time — but that’s how I remember things. Lately, instead of helping me get everything done, my well-established routines too often get in the way of what I want to do. My …

Feb 09, 2015
By Michael Rupured
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A Man and His Hat

Growing up, I rarely wore a hat. Covering my head messed my hair up too much. If it got really cold, I’d break down and put on a sock hat or pull up the hood on my sweatshirt. You do what you gotta do. Until he got older, my father never wore a hat either. In sub-zero weather, he’d don a tan, fleece-lined aviator hat — the kind with ear flaps, which he never, ever pulled down. Otherwise, aside from the fire helmet or visored uniform cap he wore on the job, his head stayed uncovered. Comes a time when every man needs a good hat. Dad’s codger hat (his term) was a Greek fisherman’s cap made of wool — black, I believe, though it …

Jan 05, 2015
By Michael Rupured
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Revisions: Now or Later?

Approaches to penning a novel fall somewhere along a continuum. Writers on one end — plotters — think through every detail ahead of time. Those on the other end — pantsers — make stuff up as they go along. Either approach can result in a high quality novel. I bounce back and forth as the mood strikes. The right side of my brain is a plotter. The left side sabotages any attempts to plan things out. Keeping both sides happy is a struggle. Writing a good story is about getting to know the characters. Early in the process — whether pantsing or plotting — I don’t know them very well. By “the end,” we’ve become old friends. I still might not know everything about them, …

Dec 29, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Swap Resolutions for Priorities

For most of my career, instead of days off for “lesser” federal holidays, my employer has given us the week off between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Depending on when the holidays fall, I usually add days of vacation time to either end — both if possible. Most years, the holiday vacation is my longest break from the day job. Being off for more than a day or two gives me a chance to catch up. In the early years, an overly ambitious to-do list for my holiday vacation meant ending the year feeling more defeated than renewed. Eventually, I figured out what I was doing to myself and scaled back my plans and expectations for the long holiday break. The journaling I’ve done since 1979 …