Balancing the scales of my life. And the ones under my fat ass.

Another 3 mile run this morning. Two 3-mile runs in less than 12 hours, after an absence of god knows how many weeks, has made my legs a little sore, but nothing I can’t handle. I don’t need to do much for the rest of the night, aside from walk to The Phoenix to see Mogwai. That’s tonight; tomorrow is another Hot Docs screening, followed by yet another on Thursday. Busy week, and I don’t think I’ll be seeing much of home.

It should  be a good test for me, actually. Clearly I need to try a new pattern since the current one is leaving me, well, fat. I am now 45 pounds overweight, and the heaviest I’ve been since…let’s see, since the 23rd of forever. The pattern’s a familar one, harking back to my Delano days when my weight last peaked: work crazy hours, go home, eat something terrible, get up early the next day, repeat. The increase in working hours gets the better of me, as I lose both the energy for exercise and the patience to eat something healthy. If it were happening for one or two days at a time, that would be one thing, but I’ve just accepted the fact that a 12-hour work day is now the norm.

So what happens to the rest of that day? If you take away boring crap like getting ready for work, commuting, taking out recycling, blah blah blah that still leaves about 9.5 hours. I sleep about 6.5 hours per night, so I have 3 left to play with. So that becomes the crucial eighth of a day in which to get shit done, and therein lies my conundrum. Here’s what’s left to do in the day:

  1. Eat
  2. Watch TV
  3. Read
  4. Blog
  5. Exercise

Those things are in approximate order of priority. Now, before you accuse me of being a shit husband, I do spend time with my wife, but Nellie’s hours are just as bad as mine (if not worse) so it’s not as if she’s sitting at home on the couch at 5:15, sighing and lonely. The first two items on the list are spent together. They are usually also combined into one exercise, sadly.

Why that priority? Well, eating is obvious, though my eating habits aren’t the best when time gets tight. But one thing at a time. Watching TV isn’t a real priority, except that it’s one of the few things I get to share with my wife, and the few shows that I watch I really like and if I don’t watch them that night it’s unlikely I’ll be able to catch up later. The PVR helps, but I still watch the same amount of TV in a given week, so it’s moot. Anyway, I watch maybe 2-3 hours a week, so TV’s only eating into about 30 minutes a day.

The next three are the root of the problem. See, I have this obsessive need to keep up to date with my interests. And I have a lot of them. According to Google Reader I scan about 500 news items each day from my 200+ news feeds. Throw in a few daily-read sites, the 85 people I follow on Twitter, and the omnipresent books and magazines, I spend a lot of time consuming information. I like to do this. I feel compelled to do this. I have news feed categories for books, economics, entertainment, friends, humour, movies, music, news, politics, opinion, photoblogs, sports, tech, toronto, travel and TV, and I like knowing about all of those things. But you can imagine what happens: by the time I finish reading this stuff, and then blogging about something…that’s it. I’m done.

So I’m faced with a trade-off: exercise for an hour a day, but read less or stop blogging. Alternatively I could find a job that requires less hours, but I don’t see that happening. I like my job and don’t think I’d be happy unless I was in a job like this one, so…here I am. I’m back to eating into the obvious time sink: information consumption. If it means spending as much time exercising my body as I do exercising my mind, that’s probably not a bad thing. But feeling like I’m getting dumber…that’s not going to be a good feeling for me.

So back to why this week is a good test: if I make sure to run each morning, my commitments during the week (which I usually keep free due to the afore-mentioned compulsion) will keep me away from the computer at night and I’ll see whether hitting the ‘Mark All Read’ button on thousands of news items makes me break into a steady twitch.

Now if somebody could rig up a way for me to attach a netbook to the front of a treadmill and let me click my way through my feeds, then I’d have somethin’…

0 responses to “Balancing the scales of my life. And the ones under my fat ass.

  1. I don’t want to buy a new treadmill. I want to affix something portable to the front of one the several to which I have access.

  2. Do you walk to/from work? Walking is so under rated for a form of exercise. As for these 12 hour days..that is not the norm. Its not right that you and T-Bone put in so many hours. Who do I talk to?

  3. I like that idea, but see two problems:
    1. It’s 33 minutes each way (according to Google Maps) as opposed to 15 minutes by subway, so I lose another 30+ minutes/day;
    2. Walking to and from work in the winter would be unpleasant, but in the summer (I’m wearing a suit, remember) it would be unbearable.

    Still, I might try to make walking to/from work part of my routine on Fridays, when I’m dressed more casually and usually have a more flexible schedule. Thanks for the suggestion!

  4. I suspect you can walk quicker than google maps quotes. Wear a t-shirt and carry your jacket. These sound like limo excuses to me 🙂 You’ll also then not have to schedule extra exercise time each day.

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