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Showing posts with the label Healthy Living

Returning To The Office: A Parent Perspective

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"Lord Sugar will see me now." Exciting news, I went back to the office! It's one day. But technically, I'm back, and it feels great. The day arrived, where Dad would battle henceforth and mingle in the city. It took my youngest son by surprise. Why was dad leaving the house? Are we going to war? Has mum kicked him out? No dear boy, this is how the world works! He was just eighteen-months, in March 2020, when we entered lockdown. There's a "lost" generation who don't understand pre-pandemic protocols, or ever seeing their fathers in suits. But  "the times they are a-changin'" (Dylan, 1964) . Some parents are tormented by the "return to office" dilemma. Routines and childcare arrangements may change. But frankly, I'm happy and this is why. The Commuting Experience Thumbs-up to commuting! Strangely, I enjoy my commute. To some, commuting feels unnecessary or unproductive. Or time that could be used better. But would you ever

Why I'm Ditching Amazon Prime

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Alexa, can I cancel Amazon? Recently I cancelled my Amazon subscriptions.  Amazon Prime went first, which was costing me £79.99 a year ($110). It's a premium service, offering next-day delivery and some streamed services. I also cancelled Amazon Music, their Spotify equivalent. This was £9.99 a month ($13). I guess I had an epiphany. I was struggling to find value, and without value, what is the point? Cancelling them saves me £200 a year ($270). It's your call, but consider your relationship with Amazon. What value are you getting? Is it laziness? Are you consuming too much? Would you miss it, if it went? Read on and I'll provide a bit more insight. Amazon Prime = Too Much Consumption Consumption is fine, in areas of necessity. But too often, we overconsume. Amazon make it too convenient and easy. Goods are cheap, particularly on sale days and "Black Friday" events. But Amazon aren't always cheapest. I prefer to support local business, in these post-pandemic

Cycling 52 Miles: London To Southend

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We are the champions, my friend. Recently I had the pleasure of cycling 52 miles, from  London to Southend. I say "pleasure" in the loosest sense. My ass felt so sore, I walked like John Wayne for two days. The whole event was a random occurrence. A  friend was planning to complete the circuit with his wife.  Unfortunately she pulled-out with injury, so he asked me if I fancied it (the bike ride, not his wife).  Without thinking, I agreed. I'm moderately fit, how tough could it be? I guess with hindsight, I jumped into it too eagerly. I didn't want to bottle it, and let down a friend. I resumed cycling, just last year.  Back then, my focus was to remain fit and fend-off the "dadbod".  If you've read my ' Cycling: Embracing The Bike, Tour de Dad ' post, you'll know my story.   My longest cycle was  20 miles; well short of 52 miles! It probably  screamed "mid-life" crisis. My wife certainly thought so. The good news is, I survived and

Parent Fitness, 7 Principles of Healthy Living

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You've got this dad! I just read a book called ' Total Fitness After 40 ' by Nick Swettenham. It blew my mind. It covers the seven principles of health. I was prime clickbait. A forty-year old dad, overcoming injury. My injury occurred in May, after I cracked a rib. During the recovery, I pondered my mortality. Where can I improve? What can I do better? Parent life is exhausting. Who doesn't what more energy?  I realised there were was room for improvement. Health extends beyond nutrition and exercise. As you age, you must cover all aspects of body health. Sadly, too many don't! Forty seems to be that age, where the excuses creep in. Parent life is busy, but find time to maintain yourself. Don't fall apart, sort it out! This is serious business, so I won't be cracking many jokes or ribs! Staying Healthy, As We Age I believe the impacts of aging are overstated. For men, our testosterone depletes a little, but we can still gain strength and muscle. It may be h

Why I Started A Blog, Six Months On

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Joe (Dad) Bloggs. Happy blogger-versary, six months in! Blogging works for me. I'm too busy for podcasts and YouTube, they take effort. It's a passive hobby, some fun, nothing more.  Not everything works in blog world. I'm learning that. Some posts hit, some do not. If you are reading this, I suspect you have some interest in me. Thanks for reading! Aside from last month, I've been consistent. I post weekly, no pressure. Sometimes it resonates, sometimes it doesn't. That's ok. I just get it done. Why do I blog? Let me take you on a journey. Why I Started Blogging When I graduated (in 2019), I stopped writing. I got lazy. When you study, you write continuously. In my final year, my prose were tight. Words flowed  like Angela Lansbury on Amphetamines ( click here, if you don't get that reference ) . Then I graduated, and the writing stopped .  Without deadlines and dissertations, the motivation went. If there's no incentive to write, you don't write! T

Dealing With Slumps and Regaining Motivation

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Demotivated dad! I seem to be stuck in slumps-ville. Slumps are destructive little buggers. They creep up on you, and before you know it, you aren't attacking life with the same zest. I blame my recent injury for this decline. A number of weeks back, I cracked my right rib, getting out the bath, dumbass. It was clumsy and stupid.  Weeks of soreness followed, on prescription painkillers. Exercise took a back seat, as I recovered. Ribs take around 6-8 weeks to heel, so I'm waiting it out. I feel like a wounded animal. A dad losing his edge. Fitness and health levels have declined. Never underestimate the importance of a healthy life.  Low motivation becomes a cancer. It can damage all parts of life. Now it's time to snap out and stop feeling sorry for myself.   Passions like music, reading, learning, blogging and fitness are taking a backseat. It's time to reset, recalibrate and get things going! Calibrating Body and Mind Slumps normally have a trigger. Low motivation doe

Broken Hearts and Broken Bones

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Breaking Dad, Breaking Bones. Nothing like a bit of physical and mental pain. First my wife's grandfather passed away unexpectedly, which was really sad.  I then went and cracked my rib, ouch. More on this later, but my sides are sore and I'm on prescription pain killers! I try to remain upbeat, when life throws out these challenges. Finding the motivation to write blog posts, becomes tougher.  But that's life, full of unpredictability. The route out of every hole, is always up.   Dealing With Loss Her grandad Robin was a fabulous guy. He could talk forever, but he had the stories. That's the tragic part of loss. You never get to hear their stories, in their words, from their perspective, again. You never get to hear their stories, in their words, from their perspective, again. All loss is tough, but unexpected loss is worse. You aren't prepared for it, and then it comes. But you always have the memories. There's a famous scene in Blade Runner, when Rutger Hauer

Cycling: Embracing The Bike, Tour de Dad

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I like to ride my bicycle. Cycling has enjoyed a surge in popularity of late. According to sources, the pandemic generated an additional £1bn of UK bike sale s  (Forbes, 2021). What the Wiggins is going on? Bike rides were a large part of my youth. Back then, I had the freedom to roam and explore. I feel for kids, who've lost this freeness and adventure. Social media connected us, then convinced parents that the world was unsafe. You can't fart without it hitting Twitter. Plenty of my friendships were cemented over bike rides. Think of the movie 'Stand By Me', on bikes, with less Corey Feldman and corpses. Until last year, I hadn't rode for twenty years. Now I'm back in the saddle, making up for lost time. This post is about my journey back into cycling.  Getting Into Bikes Again   So since shifting lockdown pounds, I have been maintaining my fitness. As it happened, my 40th year came at the right time. The good wife treated me to a hybrid bike, which was not ch

Fashion Advice, For The Maturing Gent

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The mature gentlemen! Many men lose their fashion mojo in middle-age, or after becoming fathers. Just like the 'dadbod', it can slowly sneak-up on us. This is a tragedy, because men often look at their best, during their 'James Bond' years.  In truth, anyone can dress badly, at any age. At forty, I have entered the classic 'danger period' of middle-age. Women are not free from risk, but Gok Wan solved a lot of their problems. We don't have a 'Gok Wan'........we have no-Wan! I have always recognised the need to mature my look over time. It can be difficult adapting, adjusting and upgrading the wardrobe accordingly. Some men lose the plot with clothes and never recover, it should not be like this. Men can age like a fine wine, if they want to. It is great for our mental health, because evidence shows dressing well boosts confidence. However, it can be confusing to understand boundaries and the 'cans and cants'. I find it tough, because I still

Dry January and Alcohol-Free Beers

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Many people committed to 'Dry January' last month. The annual event where people (try to) go alcohol-free for January. Recent events made this one tricky!  Look at me, I'm alcohol-free! The pubs may be closed, but the lockdown stress is real. A day of home-schooling can transform many parents into seasoned boozers. And  according to the British Liver Trust, there have been a 500% rise in calls regarding alcoholism. Aside from two days, I abstained from alcohol for most of January. I managed 29 days out of the 31. Having killed off dad-bod last year ( see here ), I was desperate to avoid slipping back into the kingdom of Dad-bodsville. Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy a drink, but the health benefits from sobriety outweigh my enjoyment of it. At my age, a hangover feels like I've done 12 rounds with Tyson Fury. I need all my spare energy, to play with the kids. Right now, life is overwhelmingly stressful. It is easy to reach for booze. I don't judge anyone and I

How I Said "Goodbye" To Dad-bod

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Fifty Shades of Dad-bod! The global pandemic was disastrous for my waistline. The stress of the situation led to some serious gains, but not the welcomed kind! I soon amassed a spare tyre and was heading for oblivion. Many have gained weight during the pandemic, but you can reverse the damage. The reality is, I'll be homeworking for the foreseeable. But home-working requires great self-discipline. Many home-workers are now considerably less active than they were pre-lockdown. Too often I was raiding the cupboards, for biscuits, sweets or whatever I could find! My wife has a proper job in the real world, so she wasn't home to motivate me with encouraging words like "stop eating you fat b*stard!".  Shamefully I gained 2 stone (12 kg) between March and July. It wasn't just the food, I started drinking more alcohol. Partly  through boredom, partly through pandemic-stress.  Proudly I fixed this situation and here is my journey out of planet dadbodsville. The Realisatio