DM Blog

Diet and Exercise


I came across this YouTube video via @neillsturgess on Twitter and thought I should share it on my blog. Check it out:

23½ hours: What is the single best thing we can do for our health?

Just 30 minutes a day of exercise makes quite the difference!

I remember when I was younger, (and very scrawny no matter what I did), I would always look at "fat people" with disgust and wondered why they didn’t just do something about it. And then about five years ago, I finally started gaining weight. At first it was nice to finally gain some weight and not be so scrawny, but then I started getting fat. I wasn’t too worried about it though, since it was always very easy for me to lose weight, so I just kept living in the moment, eating bad and putting off the exercise for "later". It never occurred to me that my health could ever decline to the point that any exercise at all would be impossible… (I’ve mentioned my health in some of my articles in the past, but for the most part I’ve tried to keep out the details.)

To be fair, I know it’s very unlikely (maybe impossible?) that my current state of health is a result of being overweight, (it’s not like I’m obese or anything), but every single day I can’t help but think how much easier things would be if I wasn’t overweight. Fat people get sick more often and have a harder time recuperating. it’s logical that someone overweight would have a harder time than someone fit and in great shape, no?

The problem is, the biggest obstacle to me losing weight and getting in shape right now is lack of exercise (due to an extreme lack of energy). A while back I started eating less, smarter and better – more fruits and vegetables, less meat, no junk food, less fried foods, not eating late in the evening, etc., and the good news is I haven’t gained any additional weight, but without the exercise component I’m not going to lose weight anytime soon… But if just walking our three dogs for fifteen minutes puts me in bed for the rest of the day and makes me sicker, it’s pretty hard to even think of doing any running or cardiovascular activities that are required to shed the weight… No energy: no exercise. The will is definitely there, but my body just doesn’t want to cooperate!

My advice to those reading this is to not put off exercising even for a day. Just do it! I never in my wildest dreams imagined that I could get so sick that I wouldn’t be able to do anything about it. I would rather be dealing with my current health issues from a fit and in-shape body, but there’s nothing I can do about that now. Really, do it while you still can – just go out and exercise!

Last week I was on a one-week trial of a stimulant to see if that would help my energy levels and to see how my body would react. It was the best week I’ve had in a long time and for that whole week, I felt like it was actually possible to get my life back! During that week, apart from playing music again, getting so much done that I haven’t been able to do in a long time, and walking the dogs almost every day, I went to the gym twice and even went swimming! My only fear was that maybe I was doing too much too soon and that I’d have to pay the consequences later, but can you blame me? If for a whole year you’ve been unable to do anything meaningful with your life and all of a sudden you get this magic pill that let’s you go back to your regular self, isn’t it normal to want to get it all done in a day and maybe feel a little anxious trying to figure out what to do first? I’ll admit it wasn’t without some side-effects, but it was by far the best week I’ve had in more than a year and it felt great.

Unfortunately, it was only one week. Apparently that stimulant can be very addictive and with time your body can build up a tolerance to it (you have to take more and more just to get the same effect). So this week I’m on a new stimulant that isn’t addictive and is meant for more long-term use, but so far it sucks. I knew before I started taking it that it would take three or four days for the effects to start kicking in, but so far all it does is make me sleep all day since I’m even more tired than before. It also makes my face feel numb and my throat constantly feels like someone is trying to choke me – it’s hard to swallow, hard to breathe. These new pills also make me super depressed, moody and easily agitated, (Michelle is a Saint), and I’ve noticed that the side-effects seem to get worse with physical activity. Yesterday, just walking to the Physiotherapist’s office from the subway drained me completely – I was literally dripping with sweat when I got there, I felt super dizzy and exhausted and I was sure that I was going to vomit any second. It was a horrible feeling and the worst I’ve felt in a while, but I’m still taking these new pills daily (now on my fourth day) to see if it gets better with time… I have to give them a fair chance.

For comparison sake, I compare this experience to how a sixteen-year-old boy feels in high school when his girlfriend massages his genitals while making out, only to smack his hand when he reaches for her breast – such a tease! (No, I’m not speaking from experience, the majority of my "girlfriends" in high school were cougars that I met while gigging…) One week on a stimulant that showed me what it would be like to have my life back, but just one week? Such a tease!

It also makes me wonder – what if I were to take this stimulant for longer, let’s say three months? And in that time, apart from getting my life back, I was able to exercise daily and lose weight… If I had to come off the pills after three months knowing that all my symptoms would return (basically just putting off my illness until later, when I was more fit and in shape), what would be different? I don’t usually like taking pills (Michelle knows I don’t even like taking Tylenol for a headache) but would it be worth it? Would it be easier to deal with if I was in better shape? Hm.

Anyways, these new pills are making me sleepy and summoning me back to bed. Thanks for reading – I hope you spend as much time exercising today as you have spent reading this. I know I would if I could… Just do it!