Jump to content


Photo

5 Ways to Start "Manning Up" After Sedentary Life.


  • Please log in to reply
26 replies to this topic

#1 Firewalker

Firewalker

    Landlubber

  • Crew Leader
  • 24 posts
  • LocationWinnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Posted 13 December 2011 - 03:45 PM

I've had a pretty easy life for the past little while. I went to work, came home, watched TV, played video games, went to bed, got fat, got lazy, got useless. I would generally only get off my ass at work. Now, I did this for quite a few years and got used to the easy life. It's hard not to. However, in the past year or so, I've gone through a bit of a change and decided my shit job in Security wasn't going to pay bills for my family (well, soon to be, it's just me, the wife and a cat for now). I decided I needed something new, so I went into welding.

Changing from the easy life of doing nothing all day, to one where I'm working hard for the day, meant that I had to get back into shape. I had developed a nice beer gut and some formerly tougher parts had grown weak. This had to change so I figured out 5 simple ways of making my life easier by living harder.

1. Just because you can do it easily, doesn't mean you should.

I always found the easiest way of doing things because I was lazy and had no motivation. However, in my new trade, I had to do a lot of lifting and carrying and what not that used muscles that hadn't seen movement in years. Now the simplest of tasks for others were a bit of a struggle. I decided that if they were a struggle, that eventually they would become easy if I just kept at it. So I did.

Eventually, the difficult things became easy. Now I wasn't improving, I had simply plateaued. So I figured, instead of making it easy on myself, why not add a bit of challenge into it?If I have the time, Instead of one load of plates, I'll take one and a half, or two. This can apply to any job or task. Raking leaves or shovelling snow? Don't just rake or shovel your yard, ask your neighbour if they need help. Walking to and from work? Get up early and find a longer route.

If it gets easy, take on more. Take on as much as reasonable, then add a bit more to that. You'll find that the challenge becomes something you actively seek out, rather than avoid.

2. Stop consuming shitty stuff.

This is the easiest concept, but hardest challenge. It used to be that I'd have to have two donuts and an extra large 2 cream, 2 sugar coffee in the morning (I still have the coffee, but I've cut it down to 1 x 1 and I also use milk instead of cream, some things, you just need to prevent murder ;) ). On top of that, dinner often consisted of fast food as it was just easier and faster than cooking at home.

Since I needed to pay for college (welding course at a trade college), I lost the luxury of spending money on fast food. This meant I had to plan for meals in advance in order to budget out our grocery costs. So, my wife and I sit down and figure out our meal plan for the month. We keep the meals balanced and the portions reasonable. However, not only has our food costs dropped from $500/ month to $100-150/month, so has my weight, sort of, but I'll get to that later.

Not only is shitty food expensive in the long run (for example, on the cheap side: 4 x $2 burgers + $2 drink = $10 / night x 7 = $70/ week x 4 = $280 / month on DINNER alone), but it's more detrimental to your health. I am 29 years old, had the blood pressure and cholesterol level of a 45 year old smoker and would get winded going up stairs. All of this was because of shitty diet. I know this seems simple, but the math alone was enough to break out of the fast food prison for us.

The other thing is alcohol. I was an alcoholic when I met my wife. I didn't need AA or anything, I just needed a reason to stop drinking. She gave me that reason. When I met her, I weighed 250 lbs (at 5'11" that was mostly gut). I recommend cutting alcohol consumption down to an "occasional" type of thing. I really only drink on special occasions now, in a social setting, rather than just getting blitzed for the sake of it. I feel better, and my wallet is fatter for it.

If you're an alcoholic and can't stop drinking on your own, you don't need to go to AA, but it can help to get some sort of outside assistance. Talk to your doctor for recommendations.

3. Be a man, not a boy.

This is difficult to grasp for some of us, I know it took me a while, but I got it. Being a man isn't about eating meat, drinking beer and fighting bears (although those tasks do make your balls huge, just saying). Being a man is about responsibility for yourself and your family. It sounds simple, but it isn't.

Taking into account your actions and how they affect others is not something we, as humans, are built for. It takes conditioning, something I lacked growing up.I grew up in a great home; no divorce and had a happy childhood filled with great times. However, I was pretty much given everything I could ask for. I rarely had chores beyond raking leaves or shovelling snow (which would be done half-assedly so I could get back to my video games). My parent's were great parents, but had trouble disciplining me or teaching me important things like responsibility.

This ended up faulting me as a man, as it took me longer to realize what I was supposed to do. They did their best, and I love them for it, but they could have been harder on me to prepare me for the real world.

I learned that being a man is all about providing for yourself and your family. You need to contribute to the house beyond financial means. Help out with the dishes, do some yard work, etc. Do those chores you were supposed to do as a kid. Beyond that, you do need to put food on the table. If that means taking on two jobs, then do it. I'm working on weekends and going to school on week days. If I could fit work in the evenings, I'd be doing that too (I do need to sleep though).Responsibility is a hell of a motivator.

If you know another person is relying on you, it makes you get your shit together pretty quickly. If you're married, and you're concerned you're not doing enough, then do more. Don't ask what needs to be done, just find what needs to be done and do it.

It's that simple. If it means bringing more money in, then try your best (these times are tough, so it's easier said than done). If it means working at McDonalds even though you have a Masters degree, then so be it. It's not demeaning, it's providing for a family, and that is NEVER demeaning, no matter how it is done.

A true man will do anything to make sure the family is taken care of.

4. Live Like You're in the 30's

This one is probably the easiest to accomplish. You've had a long day, on your feet for 8 hours, and the last thing you want to do is go to the gym. That's fine, I feel that way too.

With my workload, I am exhausted when I get home from a long day. I really don't want to lift weights after doing so much work in the shop (although, to be fair, see #1 for how I get my extra exercise in).

The easiest way to relax while still taking a load off is by not using any TV, computers, iPods, iPhones, whatever. Want to take a load off? Go for a walk to a park with your friends or significant other. Get out, go somewhere, but do it by foot. Go to a library, read a book, walk back home. It's simple.

Live like you're in the 30's and avoid all of our modern conveniences. If you want to just relax, do it away from home and get there by foot. When you start to realize how much more enjoyable life can be without technology, you'll also learn to appreciate the technology we have more without abusing it. You don't need a car to go to the store 5 minute away, get off your ass and walk there.

People swoon after the simple life of the 30's for a reason. It's because there was no bullshit to keep us distracted back then. We had to strive to survive and if we didn't we died. A mentality like that goes a long way in days like these.

5. Learn to love living.

Sappy time.

I was a pretty miserable bastard for the longest time. Truth be told, I still have my moments (clinical depression is pretty hard to deal with, but that's for another story). However, when I decided that my life was shit because of the choices I made and made a change to better myself, I learned one thing that will make you the strongest.

Living life is great.

Motivation to make yourself better is the best conditioning tool that no one talks about. Being fat and sad is one thing, but being able to break yourself out of that is tantamount to moving the Pillars of the Earth. It's the hardest thing a person can do. If they're battling clinical depression, that adds another layer of difficulty. A motivation element needs to be present in order to be a better person. This is the part that needs a person to take a huge look inside themselves to see what is needed to change their life.

For me, it was realizing that I needed to provide for a family that I wanted to start. My wife saved me from drinking myself into an early grave, but it was the personal choice of wanting to give her a better life that made me snap out of "Child mode".

If you're finding it hard to do anything in life because you just feel it has no point, you need to realize that it has a point. Living isn't easy, and it does suck at times, but you have to take time to step back from the shit and smell the roses that are planted in it. For guys in the forces, you know what I'm talking about. "Good Livin'".

As a welder, I have a better analogy: Life is tempered by the heat of our tribulations and the cooling of our triumphs.

You need to push through the shit and learn to enjoy your accomplishments. Failure does happen, and it can be tough, but the key is to remember that no matter how many times you fail, you can always try again with knowledge gained from your failures. If you found a marriage that didn't work, you'll know what not to do next time. If you had to quit a job or got fired, you'll know what not to look for next time. It's all about learning from failing.

Failure is the biggest key to success. If we never fell as babies, we would never have learned how to get back up.

In Closing

I hope this ramble has provided something for those who are in a slump like I was. I've not been posting on here for a long time because I've been busy bettering myself. Thanks to this site, I've found some tools to make accomplishing the above 5 steps easier, and now I hope the anecdotes above will make it easier for you to get back on your feet.

I know writing this crap has been a bit challenging (not as challenging as reading it, HAH! *rimshot*), but it'll prepare me for my next goal. I hope to complete a GORUCK Challenge around my 30th Birthday in September (depending on if I can get to one around then, might be a bit later or a bit earlier depending on how things go). If I can accomplish that, then I'll know that I've made some serious strides in my life from someone with no point in life, to a man who can take care of anything that may face him.

Thanks again for reading.

Edited by mikejulietpapa, 29 January 2013 - 12:28 PM.
Fixed formatting that got screwed up by forum migration.

  • mikejulietpapa, iExpresso, Anderson and 3 others like this
Come forth, Lazarus! And he came fifth and lost the job.Posted Image

#2 spenceman

spenceman

    Life Member

  • Plank Owner
  • 556 posts
  • LocationAZ

Posted 13 December 2011 - 04:42 PM

Great post! This wouldn't make a half bad article for the main page of ITS Tactical.

PlankOwnerSignatureAZ.gif FBI's Most Wanted for charges of serial thread hijacking.

I'm like a cheap wine. I get better the more you drink.


#3 Kenny

Kenny

    Salty Dog

  • Crew Leader
  • 137 posts
  • LocationWatauga, TX

Posted 14 December 2011 - 07:27 AM

Firewalker said:

It's all about learning from failing. Failure is the biggest key to success. If we never fell as babies, we would never have learned how to get back up.

IMHO, failure is not learning from your mistakes.
Posted Image

"Semper Fidelis - Always Faithful. Semper Erectus - Always Hard"

#4 Firewalker

Firewalker

    Landlubber

  • Crew Leader
  • 24 posts
  • LocationWinnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Posted 14 December 2011 - 05:52 PM

Thanks spenceman, appreciate the vote of confidence! I just figured I needed to get this out somewhere that wouldn't slag it at first chance, and really, this community is pretty fair that way. Kenny said:

Firewalker said:

It's all about learning from failing. Failure is the biggest key to success. If we never fell as babies, we would never have learned how to get back up.

IMHO, failure is not learning from your mistakes.

Six to one, half a dozen to another. I think that mistakes are basically failures. Failure is not meeting a desirable or intended objective. A mistake is a failure that results from improper application of knowledge. Just a matter of semantics really. I'm using the general definition of the word. Failing can be minor things such as failing to tie your shoe laces tight enough causes them to come loose and trip you. It doesn't have to be grand in scale to take place. I do agree though. Failing to learn from your mistakes is one of the worst things a person can do. I learned from mine, and I do my best to avoid repeating them.

Edited by Firewalker, 14 December 2011 - 05:54 PM.

Come forth, Lazarus! And he came fifth and lost the job.Posted Image

#5 Mustang0268

Mustang0268

    Life Member

  • Crew Leader
  • 67 posts

Posted 16 December 2011 - 09:03 AM

Firewalker... Nice post, well said, well thought out.  I have a 26yo son who is going to read what you wrote, help him I hope. Mustang
Posted Image

#6 RealWoodsmen

RealWoodsmen

    Salty Dog

  • Crew Member
  • 157 posts

Posted 18 December 2011 - 05:25 AM

Fantastic article, I agree with Spenceman that it should be an ITS article; it was very well written. I really enjoyed the part about 30's living. I will purposely do things the harder (but not stupider) way to build some "character" so to speak. Now that I think about it, we really don't need a lot of the tech we have these days to live. All I can think of is running water, and a form of light. Of course we still need food, perhaps a car, but for comfortable living, running water and light is really all that's needed. Heat too. I do believe that someone once said "The best Catholics are converts". You don't really know what it's really like to be living until you've been through hell and back. Amazing article, keep on doing what you're doing!
"If at first you don’t succeed, call in an airstrike."

Semper Fi, do or die.

#7 DarkKnight

DarkKnight

    Landlubber

  • Crew Member
  • 5 posts

Posted 21 December 2011 - 12:31 PM

What advice would you have for the desk jockeys out there? I'm in a similar predicament as you mention in the first part but I'm relatively comfortable with my current career. However the 9-5 grind does get to me...

#8 Firewalker

Firewalker

    Landlubber

  • Crew Leader
  • 24 posts
  • LocationWinnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Posted 24 December 2011 - 10:07 PM

First off, Merry Christmas. I'm up late after having a bit too much "cheer" so I may as well put it to use... HAH! DarkKnight, if you're comfortable in your career, that's great. I'm not saying, "Stop working in an office it's killing you" for me, it was, but I'm an outdoorsy type. Office work is a relatively secure spectrum of work. I don't think anyone working at a computer is any less capable of being active than someone who works in a more physically demanding job, I just think that the times of activity are available in different formats. There are three easy things you can do to make office life a bit more bearable.1) Go for walks on your lunch break. Pack a portable lunch and go for a good walk, sit down, shut off your phone, don't take any emails, don't take any calls, and just eat lunch. Take a friend if you want, but leave the office at your desk. It's a break, so use it to break away from the office. Which brings me to point two...2) Leave work at work. Again, don't take any work calls, emails or whatever once you've gone for the day. This extends your work day and kills time that you should have for yourself and your family if you have one. I am bad for checking my phone out of habit. So if I'm hanging out with family, I leave it out of reach and off. Going to the inlaws? It stays in the jacket and out of my possession until I leave. This is a side-effect of this whole "Society of Immediacy" that we live in. Everything must be obtained now and if it isn't then it's the end of the world. No. Slow the fuck down. Live your life outside of the electronic cage. There's a lot for you to do away from the buzz of the grid, so leave it every now and then.3) Be active after work. When I used to work in an office downtown, I'd take the bus to get home when I could just as easily walk. I decided (as part of an eco-challenge) to walk home from work for a whole month (I carpooled to work with someone who worked different hours). I have to say, that the walk home was not just good for my health, but it allowed me to clear my mind from all the BS I had to deal with. It was a moment of zen that allowed me to shed the sheen of drudgery before I got home. I did it a lot more often (less in our brutal winters, more for survival than for lack of want) and I started feeling better physically and mentally. If you have a family, then after dinner, make time to all go for a walk. Leave the phones and gizmos at home and just go walk and spend time with each other. Go for a healthy treat somewhere, take a walk to a park and have some fun, just go out and be active. If you've not got a family, then even better, you can go for longer walks and take the time to really get your head on straight. Start with walks, then maybe migrate to jogs and start looking to challenge yourself more. One side note, if you really want to make life easier as a desk jockey, don't eat junk food. It's really easy to fall into that habit and blubber out at the sides, as I learned from experience. The main thing is to leave the office behind when you're done for the day, do your damnedest to be more active, and set some goals for yourself. If you want to be better, then have a goal you should attempt to reach. Don't set goals that are easy to attain, make them hard, but within reach. If you're overweight and out of shape, then don't worry about setting a weight loss goal, try setting a fitness goal instead. Let's say you want to lose weight, well weight is lost through exercise, so instead set a goal to run 5 miles after work. You'll find the journey there difficult at first, but once you reach that goal, you'll see that you've lost weight (or at least turned some of it into muscle). And once you reach a goal, set a farther one. Never stagnate, never stop improving. Self-improvement is a journey that only ends upon death of soul or body. Giving up or dying is the only way to stop improving. So start small and have attainable but challenging goals. If you make it easy, then you won't be challenged and you won't improve. A new year is upon us, so it'll give us all ample time to wipe the slate clean and start anew. Fuck resolutions... Resolutions are broken in the same breath their given. Give yourself a new year's challenge. Set a challenging goal and make it your life's mission to obtain that within a month. Then make a new challenge... make it harder... get some GOOOOOOOOOOD LIVIN! Don't give up. You can do anything you want to and if you have trouble, there's a great community here full of guys who've done humps through all kinds of shit, both in life and in work. From former LE & Military, to Joe Shmoe's who've lived a fuckton of life. There's always someone around to give some seriously great advice. I got a lot of the tools I used to better myself from ITS, and I'd probably still be in a rut without the tools gained from this place. To all of you, I wish you the best over the holidays, and have a happy new year. Thanks for reading and the kind words, I do appreciate them.
Come forth, Lazarus! And he came fifth and lost the job.Posted Image

#9 Phish

Phish

    Mate

  • Crew Leader
  • 54 posts
  • LocationSouth Florida

Posted 28 December 2011 - 08:01 AM

Great article!!! Kind of did the same thing myself, following similar steps. Life is great!!!/wp-content/forum-smileys/anim_beer.gif
Posted Image

#10 BWillis45

BWillis45

    Landlubber

  • Crew Leader
  • 4 posts

Posted 11 January 2012 - 06:03 PM

This is a great post! It's inspiring for me to keep working on improving myslef this year.
Brian WillisPosted Image

#11 LaevusLevus

LaevusLevus

    Landlubber

  • Crew Leader
  • 7 posts

Posted 12 January 2012 - 03:18 PM

Great post and timely to boot. About 5 yrs ago I changed jobs to one that is alot less active, and you guessed it, I got soft. I also turned 40 a couple years ago. So Im right there with you. Instead of couch time, I do something, anything. Ive started working out, and STARTING was the hardest part. Now I feel guilty if I dont get a workout in. I fully intend to try a GORUCK this year too. I even talked a buddy into coming along. Having a goal makes all the difference. Keep it up.
Posted Image

#12 Nato99

Nato99

    Mate

  • Crew Leader
  • 56 posts
  • LocationTacoma

Posted 13 January 2012 - 01:20 PM

As LaevusLevus said, I too put the big 40 in the rear view mirror a few years back and have been getting soft behind a desk for the last 10 years or so. It's MUCH more difficult to get out there and be active than when I was lean and mean but it's worth it just to keep the ache and pains away!! Thanks for the post FireWalker, and a boost of inspiration

Realistic Survival Equipment Outfitters - "common sense gear to help you make the best of a bad situation"

www.RSEoutfitters.com

CrewLeaderSignature.png


#13 Maverick9110e

Maverick9110e

    Swabbie

  • Crew Member
  • 37 posts

Posted 31 December 2012 - 12:15 PM

I tell ya i haven't posted in here quite a while, i still lurk occasionaly though. This post hit the nail on the head for me. I can definitley relate to your first post. I have a quasi office job, but i work up front and back running a warehouse too so i'm not a total desk jockey but it no hardcore job like welding or the like. But i've got the same issue, just gets to easy to be lazy, especially now that its freakin dark by the time you get home from work. Thanks for your post though as it's nice to hear the triumphs and ideas from someone else as well. I'd say the hardest part is the motovation to get your ass in gear. I know where i am and i know where i want to be but it can be a challenge to not take the easy way out, like you said you need a reason to shoot for it and keep it up or your bound to fail. I hope more read this and i agree that this would make a great article on the front page as well.

#14 Russell96

Russell96

    Landlubber

  • Crew Member
  • 3 posts

Posted 06 January 2013 - 04:56 AM

What a great post! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and observations. They are really useful.
Russ

#15 Stevequatt51

Stevequatt51

    Swabbie

  • Crew Leader
  • 34 posts
  • LocationSouth Florida, USA

Posted 26 January 2013 - 06:22 PM

Great post...it's good for each of us to take a look at ourselves and find room for improvement.
Posted Image
“People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” George Orwell

#16 Probablytaken

Probablytaken

    Mate

  • Crew Leader
  • 89 posts
  • LocationSalt Lake City, UT

Posted 26 January 2013 - 11:20 PM

To the OP:

For some reason, the formatting of that post was a bit off for me, so I took some time to pop it into a word processor and clean it up. I edited it for universal content, rather than a forum post, because I was hoping to share it with friends. If it's alright with you, I would like to be able to share this link:

https://docs.google....X7XXlzKXjg/edit

If you have any problems with the revisions, please let me know. I just want to be able to share this with others.
  • mikejulietpapa likes this
Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream.
It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same. - Ronald Reagan
Posted Image

#17 mikejulietpapa

mikejulietpapa

    Salty Dog

  • Administrator
  • 672 posts
  • LocationD/FW

Posted 29 January 2013 - 12:19 PM

To the OP:

For some reason, the formatting of that post was a bit off for me, so I took some time to pop it into a word processor and clean it up....


Thanks for fixing that! I'm going to edit the original post to make it easier to read as it's something that should be not be looked over but truly soaked in. Some great stuff in there!

(Oh and the formatting was most likely all jacked up from the forum migration. We've been going back and fixing what we can but it can be a slow process.)

5399202523_bd1cb04e2e_o.png


#18 LongHaul

LongHaul

    Life Member

  • Moderator
  • 609 posts
  • LocationAlaska

Posted 08 February 2013 - 05:38 PM

I think it's cool that the OP is now an article on the ITS website. This really was an excellent post!

5399202523_bd1cb04e2e_o.png


#19 Probablytaken

Probablytaken

    Mate

  • Crew Leader
  • 89 posts
  • LocationSalt Lake City, UT

Posted 08 February 2013 - 09:42 PM

Thanks mikejulietpapa, that needed to be done. As long as the OP doesn't mind I will hang on to my edit of it as well, since it's easier to hand to non-ITS readers.
Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream.
It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same. - Ronald Reagan
Posted Image

#20 CENTCOMSurvivor

CENTCOMSurvivor

    Down Wit' Da Hui

  • Moderator
  • 935 posts
  • LocationTampa/St Petersburg Florida

Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:40 PM

Yep, congrats on having this as an article. Its a great one!

5399202523_bd1cb04e2e_o.png





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users