Viewing entries tagged
health

My cyborg heart, Citadel updates, and why 5% is good

My cyborg heart, Citadel updates, and why 5% is good

Yesterday I had my annual cardiology appointment — a general "pacemaker tuneup" kind of thing. This can be a little grueling, with people stabbing me, stealing my blood, forcing me to run on a treadmill, and making me wait around without my beloved technology to keep me company.


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Kevin Tumlinson is the author of numerous novels, novellas, and non-fiction books, and the host of the Wordslinger Podcast. Try three of his best books for free when you download his starter library at kevintumlinson.com/starterlibrary.
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The Wordslinger Diet

Being a writer and a Creative Director is a somewhat sedentary lifestyle, fraught with overlap. M'bellly overlappin' m'belt, mostly. So, like the rest of the Western World, as of 1 January I started doing things that I hoped would help me trim up. Not unusual, and not my first time. But this go, I decided to skip the "resolutions," and instead make a commitment to changing my actual lifestyle. Instead of dieting, I set up a system that lets me eat what I want and still knock off the pounds. No willpower required. Here's what I've put together — 


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Kevin Tumlinson is the author of numerous novels, novellas, and non-fiction books, and the host of the Wordslinger Podcast. Try three of his best books for free when you download his starter library at kevintumlinson.com/starterlibrary.
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That time a children's playground made me cry

For the past two weeks I've been exercising every morning. It isn't much. No "Insanity" or "P90X" or "DDP Yoga" or anything cool and trendy. Just me, a pair of sneakers, a stretch of road and a public park.

In the park is a playground that has thinly disguised workout equipment. Seriously, who are these people trying to fool? Paint a pull-up bar a cheerful blue and it's suddenly "fun." Put a flag on top of a climbing wall and it's a castle. These are all ways to trick children into being fit and healthy, and I, for one, am appalled. Because they really, really fooled me at first. 

Actually, I knew what I was getting into. I knew, at some point, I was going to hurt and curse that playground for what it was—torture and punishment for every lazy day filled with chicken wings and ice cream that I ever had. That playground is "the price." But it's a price worth paying if I want to look and feel and live better. He said, rather convincingly. 

I start my workout by getting up at 5 a.m. and walking to the park, which is three blocks away. I walk at 3 miles per hour, on average, and it takes me maybe 10 minutes to get there. Then I spend the next ten or fifteen minutes doing planks, mountain climbers, balancing, and a maybe climbing up and down on the equipment. I try to mix it up a little every day, but those are the basics. And then it's more walking, for about 20 to 30 minutes, through the park and back around to the house so I can shower and get ready for the rest of the day. 

I used to get up and write during this time, so I feel just a little deprived. I have to resort to "writing in my head," getting the ideas together, talking them out in an interesting internal dialogue, and then firing them into my laptop and break-neck speed before starting the rest of my day.

This sounds like I'm adding-to, with exercise plus workload, but honestly this is how I did it all along anyway. Wake up at 5 a.m. Procrastinate and fill myself with angst and anxiety over what I needed to write, then panic after seeing the clock just before jamming everything onto the screen at a pace that makes my keyboard smoke. Nothing has changed except the way my pants are fitting.

It's only been two weeks in this new routine, but I'm starting to see and feel results. I've dropped six pounds, because that's a thing guys can do. I feel less lethargic and more spry. I'm even starting to see signs of definition in the ab area. It's well camouflaged, and only a keen observer with a trained eye could spot it, but trust me, it's there. 

I'm determined to have a six pack again. True, this will harken back to the days when I thought it was cool to wear tiny corduroy shorts in florescent colors, with half shirts that revealed my mid-drift. You know ... "sexy if you're a chick" stuff, but cringe-worthy if you're a guy who isn't living in the '80s.  Whatever humiliations my past might hold, however, I would very much like to see my abs again. It's on my bucket list. 

I'd also really like to walk and talk at the same time without become so winded that people become concerned for my health. And I'd like to be able to wear cloths that use numbers for sizes, instead of X's and L's. Although I would settle for an M, or maybe even a coveted S!

Becoming fit takes commitment. That's what I learned the last time I was fit. Staying fit takes even more commitment, because there's a tendency for me to say "OK! I'm done!" In actuality, a fit lifestyle is a continuous thing, not something I can finish or achieve. And traditionally, I do much better with things that have endings. I know a book is done when I write "the end." I know a contract is fulfilled when I get a check. I know a meal is over when I'm sitting on the couch feeling a persistant disgust and nausea and what I just ate. Although that last bit needs some tweaking. 

I'm committed to this, though. Not in that desperate "I really want to be committed to this" kind of way, that's more about convincing you to believe me than convincing me to do what's right. It's more of a "Yeah, I'm finally sick and tired enough of this that I want to change it." Which is encouraging to me, because that's the way most of the good stuff starts. When I'm finally fed up enough to push through the stuff I don't like just so I can have what I do like, that's a when all the fun parts happen.  

 

 


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____________________________________________________________
Kevin Tumlinson is the author of numerous novels, novellas, and non-fiction books, and the host of the Wordslinger Podcast. Try three of his best books for free when you download his starter library at kevintumlinson.com/starterlibrary.
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less of me - 257.8

I'm consuming enough of this now that I should be able to burn hotter than the sun for a few seconds. No one light any matches.With all the video posts lately I bet you forgot that I’m actually the “Wordslinger” and not the “Videoslinger,” didn’t you? Yes? No? It’s no, isn’t it. 

Well, it’s been over a week since my big announcement that I’m making less of myself, and that means I owe you an update of the updatiest variety. 

So last week, I weighted in at a hefty and bulging 265. I was getting out of breath just typing that entry, and I had the aroma of chicken wings about me. Today, though, I can proudly proclaim that I am at a still-slightly-bulgy but working-toward-dainty 257.8. I’m throwing the “.8” in there in the interest of honesty, but the truth is I just drop that tiny little sucker altogether in my head, so I can go around saying, “Yeah, I lost 8 pounds this week. Yeah. I’m that guy.”

Whew! To be honest, I was half afraid when I posted last Monday that I would end up GAINING weight. After all, Kara and I flew to Colorado on Friday for a weekend full of family fun and food frolicking. I was worried that after a few days of travel-eating I’d put back any weight I had managed to shed. But I did try to keep to things like chicken and fish while I was away, and even though I overdid it a couple of times, I more or less kept the calorie count down. I had just one measly mojito in the booze column, too, and I’m pretty sure that helped. 

Oh … and the Aztec Quesadilla Burger. Yeesh. That little beauty was about 1,600 calories all by itself. For those who may be Kevin Spotting, that’s as many calories as I tend to eat in a day right about now. Luckily, I had that huge hunk of deliciousness on a day when I hadn’t had much to eat for breakfast and zero to eat for lunch. Besides, it was Saturday. I’m retroactively making Saturdays my “day off.”

So here’s what I’m doing so far:

  • Light breakfast, usually a banana and an orange
  • Plain ol’ coffee (regular brewed most of the time, an Americano if I’m hitting an espresso bar)
  • Keep my calories under 1,600 per day
  • Exercise (which lets me buffer some “extra” calories), mostly hitting the bike every morning for about an hour and taking a walk in the afternoon for about 40 minutes
  • Drink more water
  • Eat less sugar
  • Eat lots of fish, chicken, and vegetables
  • Take magnesium tablets

That last one probably begs for some ‘splainin. I read about the benefits of getting enough magnesium in your diet, and some of those are pretty relevant to me. Muscle cramps are something I tend to have an issue with, for example.  It also helps “alleviate heart disturbances,” which is kind of vague, but considering my ticker has it’s own backup battery I’ll take any help I can get. It lowers high blood pressure (another Kevin need). It helps cut down cravings for sugar, booze, etc.  It helps calm anxiety. And it helps regulate insulin, sugar levels, excess sweating, cortisol levels, and a bunch of other stuff.

Basically, I don’t get enough of this stuff in my diet, so I suffer from about 2/3 of the things it helps prevent.

Magnesium gets depleted from your body thanks to stress, high sugar intake, and (wait for it) … coffee. Dammit. I probably chug down enough brew to keep my magnesium levels at effectively zero. And that stresses me out. I’m going to eat this entire box of candy bars.

Anyway, I didn’t mean for this to become the “all hail magnesium” entry, but there it is for ya. Magnesium. It fixes you.

So the weight loss thing continues. The first ten pounds are usually “easy” to lose, so I’m not going to get all hyper about it or anything. But know that I am dancing the happy dance of pantslessness on the inside. I anticipate that many more pounds will fall screaming into the abyss. And those that don’t will wish they had never been born.


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Tip in any amount you like, safely and securely via PayPal (no PayPal account requred). And thank you in advance for your generosity!


____________________________________________________________
Kevin Tumlinson is the author of numerous novels, novellas, and non-fiction books, and the host of the Wordslinger Podcast. Try three of his best books for free when you download his starter library at kevintumlinson.com/starterlibrary.
____________________________________________________________

BECOME A SLINGER

Get updates on new books, new posts, and new podcasts, plus be the first to hear about special offers and giveways. And pants jokes. Lots and lots of pants jokes.