As August winds down, the temperature begins dropping as we welcome the winds and rains of the monsoon. Children return to school, and family schedules slowly begin to normalize. Everywhere we go, we can feel the approach of fall in the air - that gentle slowing of movement and metabolism that heralds the oncoming winter season.
Except, of course, in my house. Here we are suddenly bouncing off the walls, getting out of the house more every week than we used to do in any given month. Drive-throughs have been replaced by home-cooked meals, though admittedly very small ones. Long-range planning has suddenly become a concept, where we usually used to only deal with whatever any given day had in store for us.
The schedule around here has certainly changed. I am now getting up around 6 every morning. We head out for a morning bike ride every day, and still walk the dog every evening. Bed time is now closer to 10 - 11 pm, rather than my usual 9 pm.
It isn't just more time awake, though. Everywhere you look, there are signs of increased energy. Vixen is running around the house, growling and yipping and playing with toys as if she were a puppy again. Lor is pulling out arts and crafts projects that have lain forgotten for years and re-starting work on them. And I am now really writing: instead of hastily writing the blog and then going back to reading or gaming, I am now spending a minimum of 4 hours a day writing, 6 days a week. It is as if someone slipped a permanent vitality potion into our (high protein, low carb) breakfasts each morning.
A dietician will tell you that it is due to the complete shift in the protein:carbohydrate ratio in our diets. A personal trainer will inform you that it is due to the increased amount of exercise we are getting. A doctor might say that it is simply due to losing excess weight and stabilizing our daily nutrients.
I think that these are all at least partially correct answers, but ultimately I think it has more to do with mindset than anything: We are no longer resigned to living with the sedentary lifestyle brought on by my obesity and our other illnesses. Lor and I are suddenly interested in the world outside our front door because we no longer feel ourselves cut off from it. And Vixen is just spastic because, well, Vixen.
It is not all sunshine and roses, of course. Our increased energy expenditure has us now dropping down for naps for a couple of hours every afternoon. We do get to the far side of a long ride or day and look at each other, realizing that we have pushed just a little too hard and now are going to have to struggle to make it home. But this is no different than any other kind of resistance exercise - you push to failure, then next time you are a little bit stronger.
We still have lots of things we want to add - Lor wants to start an aerobics class, I desperately want to get back to the gym. But, I no longer look at those things with a resigned malaise as "may happen some day". I now know, with a little more time investment, we will actually get there.
More Naps May Be Required,