Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Housekeeping

I wanted to apologize to everyone for the somewhat iffy updating schedule I've been on over the last few weeks.

Back in March it became apparent that my long-suffering back needed some serious attention. It's currently held together with a variety of hardware, and despite some reasonably strenuous physical therapy the musculature was actually growing weaker instead of strengthening. One side effect of that dysfunction was an almost continual series of chest pains in addition to the discomfort in my back I've grown used to. While scary, those pains turned out to be harmless.

Ultimately, all of these problems sprang from my weight. After the first round of repairs my level of physical activity dropped precipitously and I became far too sedentary. That caused me to pack on the pounds, triggering more back discomfort, which made it even harder to be active. Lather, rinse, repeat and you get my weight blowing up by over a hundred pounds, and I wasn't a small man to begin with.

That lead to the rather harsh realization that if I didn't get the problem under control I was facing a really crappy future. The weight was going to put increasing strain on my back, which was going to become even more painful and out of alignment, which would make any physical activity more difficult. That cycle would ultimately end with me being in a wheelchair, or worse.

All that culminated with me adopting a serious lifestyle change. Since March I've been on a daily workout schedule that included light cardio, stretching, and weight lifting. I wish I could say it's been a wonderful experience filled with happiness and joy, but it hasn't. It's been painful, exhausting, and frustrating.

Few things are more humiliating than someone that could be your daughter cheerfully encouraging you to do some light stretching...that leaves you walking like a zombie for four days. Or the equally cheerful guy adding "just five more pounds" the the bar. It hurt. Like a son of a bitch. Not the pain of injury, because they're far too careful about form and posture for that to happen. No, this was the quivering ache that shows up a day or two after the workout, the sign of muscles long unused.

Worse, these cheerfully sadistic little helpers dragooned my family into their evil machinations. All that work is useless unless your body has time to recover from it, and that means sleep. Eight hours worth, every night, no matter what. And they don't care that you get up every day at 3 AM, and have for years. That just means you have to be in bed, and tired enough to fall asleep, by 7 PM. That leaves precious little time for anything.

As a result I haven't been able to devote nearly enough time to the blog, much less any ancillary projects. For that I apologize.

On the other hand, all that pain and misery is worth it. Not only because it's going to keep me out of a wheelchair, but because, after all these weeks, I'm actually starting to enjoy it. Today I noticed that for the first time in my adult life my shoulders are actually wider than my waist. Sure, it's only by about a millimeter on either side, but it's still pretty cool. More importantly, I've strengthened my lower back and legs enough that my pelvis is shifting into it's proper orientation instead of being tilted.

Mind you, I'm an old, out of shape geezer. If *I* can get these kind of results in just four months I can only imagine the benefits to someone younger. I don't want to give a "Come to Jesus!" speech, but if you're struggling with your weight there's no better time to make a change than right now.

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Love this blog, checking it daily. It's inspiring, it pushed me to start building some related things myself. Almost everyday I'm finding a new post here, I'm happy you are updating at all. And congratulations that you have found a way to make things better in your life. Thanks for the work on here!

aSmarterU said...

Congrats on making the effort to better yourself or as someone once told me ... become a stronger version of yourself.

It isn't easy, it isn't meant to be. I'm glad to hear all your hard work is paying off.

I too have been on that same journey. I started 5 months ago with only half an interest. After I went and visited my doctor, it was time to get serious.

The program I decided on is a 90 day; beat you up and work your butt off routine. I go back to the doctor in 3 weeks to see the improvements.

I'm glad to see you blogging still but make sure you make the time for yourself first. We'll still be here when you are ready to blog more often!

Ari said...

But us other old over-weight geezers love your blog! Get better and congratulations on your accomplishments so far!

Ari said...

Well all of old overweight geezers are pulling for you! Take care and keep well.

gndn said...

Glad to hear that working out is working out for ya. I think I could stand to lose a few pounds.

oz said...

wish you the best and please take care of yourself! I have enjoyed your blog for many months and dont mind waiting between posts

alex said...

I love your word choice. And your health is important. *nods* keep up the good work!

Senator Tso said...

Just wanted to give you a thumbs up. I'm at this point as well. Got a dad working on his third heart attack, and I just see myself where he is in a decade or so. It's been small things, but just being able to endure any physical activity for longer periods than I could say months ago is a huge deal. Keep on keeping on. And good luck.

bea said...

Good luck man, love your site. And SINCERELY hope your doing well. To get old IS to get outta shape sometimes.

Jason McKittrick said...

Glad to hear it's turning out for the better.

My 37 year old cousin just died from weight related illness so I can definitely appreciate your situation.

Keep at it. Cthulhu needs healthy cultists!

Zero Mostel said...

Thank you for your update. I wouldn't say it was a "Come to Jesus" speech, but more of a "run from the cultists!" speech.

Lord knows I should loose another 50 lbs, but I have no one to blame but myself.

Thanks for the encouragement.

C. Haunton said...

I'm glad you shared that. I'm going through more or less the same process (but without your serious back issues). I've been fat (and fine with it) my whole life, but now I'm at an age where it's too much of a toll to carry around all the extra weight. I'm 32 lbs down so far (with A LOT more to go), and I've felt the first twinges of that, "hey, this loosing weight thing feels pretty good" sensation.
Every time I look at Cthulhu idols on the site I'll remember that there's a fellow traveler out there getting through the same thing. Be sure to post again when you hit your target so we can tip a pint (of mineral water) for you!

Springinsfeld said...

Well done Sir and keep at it, a great achievement, and it sounds as if the worst of it is out of the way.

Anonymous said...

Hi
thanks for the note. No offense take, for the erratic update. To me, you did a great job.
All that matters now is you health.
so take care and keep up the good work.
Regards
Laurent

Laurent said...

Hi
thanks for the note. No offense take, for the erratic update. To me, you did a great job.
All that matters now is you health.
so take care and keep up the good work.
Regards
Laurent

Barry John said...

I've been a daily reader of Propnomicon for well over two year. Like many websites I visit, I gain much inspiration and entertainment from it. The no messing around approach you take to posting quality work and getting to the point is both refreshing and disciplined. Propnomicon is not only a true bench mark but the bench mark in it's niche.
Reading this post very embarrassingly reminds me this is a man's work. I say embarrassingly because, as much as I have wondered who the great Propnomicon is and how you are able to consistently publish, without fail, the cream of small run and handmade artifacts, I seldom have any hint of fallibility, persona, humanity if you will. I believe this is too your credit and a testament to your straight forward style and as you mentioned in a post about firearms licensing you enjoy your privacy. Which makes this post even more touching.
I've come here so often and enjoyed it. You have given us readers so very much and for this I thank you. I hope your health issues are as brief as possible and you bounce back better than ever. Congratulations on your hard work and successes thus far.

Markus said...

Sad to hear from your back problems. Luckily I had never any weight problems and was always quite sportive, despite the fact that I ate as much and whatever I wanted (Ha, there´re probably people who´ll hate me for this). However at the end of last year I changed my diet, and nearly fully excluded carbs from my meals. For reasons which aren´t related to my personal way of life, I read a lot about the diets and health parametres of indigenous cultures, and how quickly overdoses of carbs cause all kinds of health problems. Avoiding carbs can work surprisingly well, because it´s quite different from all those diets which let you at a hungry stage all the time. I eat a lot of meat and much more vegetables than ever before, eggs, nuts and sugarfree dairy products as well, but next to no more sugar, bread, potatoes or cereals. The great thing is, if you avoid them for some time, you loose your hunger for candy. I lost around 14 pounds within a short time and had to buy new trousers, and it feels really better. I suppose the effects can be much more dramatic, if there´s more weight to lose.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, I didn't notice the "iffy updating schedule". I'm reading other blogs as well and for me it's better 5 days without anything interessting than each day filled with stupidity just to have something posted.

As Barry John said, quite well, it's a niche. I don't expect daily updates for niches. If it comes to this, it gets mainstream.

My personal favourites in your blog are:
- the stencils, drawings, cliparts (antartic expedition, matchbox templates, etc.)
- the various Cthulhu idols, each with its own charm

Get well soon and good riddance to the fat. :)

Best wishes from Germany.

Lisa said...

Congrats on getting back in shape and not throttling any cheerful little gym peeps!

CoastConFan said...

You take whatever time you need for your health. I expect to read your blog for the next few decades and I'm not going my to have addiction to Propnomicon's blog end prematurely. To quote an old Vulcan,"Live long and prosper".

Anonymous said...

Yeah, there are lots of us middle aged overweight types around. Good luck, and even if you have a less tahn positive episode or two, keep with it!

Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear about your problems and well understand because creaking knees put me in the same position. Many thanks for doing what you do because the weekly dip into your world of fantasy keeps me going. Cheers, Richard

Sean said...

Just wanted to give another show of support and say thanks for the encouragement. I have been very active but after contracting Valley Fever and then straining my abdomen trying to get back in shape, I have seen my resolve flagging. Working out is a lifestyle choice. Invest in yourself, it will pay dividends.

Axismodo said...

I was starting to formulate heartfelt response when I read barry johns post...bugger.I have only had the internet for nearly two years,your blog was the first I read,it has inspired;educated and led me all around the internet.When I switch on I use it to check my connection.I have become the guy in my town who you visit if you want the ominous,weird or faux ancient in your living room. My private enjoyment of a minor horror mythos has carried me far 'cause of your tutelage.Propnomicon is a fantastic resource.We value you.I think I can speak for most of us here,we are a patient bunch;take your time.Thank you.

P.A. Koroluk said...

I need to follow your example! Thank you for sharing this.

SavageGoldfish said...

Wishing you all the best with your health!
Been a reader for a couple years now, gotten tons of inspiration and techniques from over here, so here's hoping for many more years!
Have never properly thanked you for featuring so many of my Cthulhus as well.

Corey Young said...

Sorry to hear about your health problems, but very glad you're taking care of yourself. I was 340 lbs when I turned 32 and my back and joints were a wreck. My wife and made a pact and both lost a lot of weight (100 lbs for me, 70 for her) over the following year or so and it was the best thing we ever did for ourselves. I love this blog, so I hope you keep taking care of yourself and providing us with much more arcane loveliness.

Raven said...

Heartfelt sympathy, good-luck wishes, and all that....

But when *you* of all people describe yourself as "out-of-shape", I can only imagine that you regard yourself as having a deficiency of tentacles, or too small a bulging head, or insufficiently long claws to drape over the edge of your comfy rune-block....

Cmaaarrr said...

Thank you for sharing what's been going on, and the best of luck to you with the exercise and health focus! Making those changes, and sticking to them, aren't just hard... they're damn hard, and intensely frustrating, but necessary, and something that will pay off in the future.

Strong work, sir. Post when you can. I'd rather have less posts now so that you're with us for a long time.