you get nothing without hard work
hanging out in bars is self-destructive
It was my birthday a couple of days ago ~ another year older and deeper into lockdown. Given the premise that this is a new age for me I’ve decided to give myself a complete makeover. And I mean doing it all for myself because there’s nobody to do it for me ~ and anything someone else does for you never lasts. Any real and beneficial change I want to make has to come from within.
This makeover will be directed at significant improvements of my body, mind, emotions, and spirit. It’s also going to include looking better and having a much nicer, kinder, more effective, and more likable persona.
The truth is that I started this big self-improvement programme just after Christmas when I gave up alcohol. If you drink, smoke, take drugs, gamble, or suffer from any of the other life-destroying addictions, then the first step on any self-improvement / self-development / makeover is to quit your addiction(s). And trust me, if you do drink, smoke, take drugs, (including stuff like Xanax), or gamble ~ then you are addicted. (The list of life-destroying things people can become addicted to is long and inclusive.)
My plan for becoming the very best version of Jack Collier that I can possibly be is very simple;
- stay away from alcohol
- have a good daily exercise routine
- eat and drink healthily, (mine is a Paleo / Mediterranean diet)
- get enough good sleep, retire and rise at the same time every day
- cut out a lot of mindless, time-wasting stuff; TV, internet, social media
- look as good as I can all the time; bathed, shaved, hair, decent clean clothes
- study and learn interesting challenging stuff, from proper books by real writers
It should be easy, given some self-discipline and determination.
none of this crap
who could like that guy?
here in England it’s day 353 of complete lockdown
some ways I’ve been able to stay fairly sane
stay away from booze, especially hard liquor, alcohol never helps anything
get plenty of rest during the day and 6 to 8 hours of good sleep every night
if you need to, try herbal sleep aids
otherwise avoid street drugs and powerful medication
eat in a healthy and nutritious way
take high-quality and appropriate food supplements
stay active, go outside, fresh air and exercise are important
anger and resentment against the unfairness is futile
even if you can’t meet anyone for a conversation
stay connected by phone and the internet
take enforced self-isolation one day at a time
personally, I found that prayer helps
remember, there is nothing whatsoever you can do except obey the stupid lockdown laws, regulations, and guidelines
first of all stop dicking around
Not so long ago I was miserable, irritable, and utterly ineffective. I didn’t ever leave the garret, except to buy booze, I never spoke to anyone, and I didn’t do anything interesting. Every day was the same as the day before. I was sick in body, mind, and spirit. From time to time I had dark suicidal thoughts. Even though my life was a mess, it was a mess with an efficient daily routine behind it. I was very good at doing nothing except wasting the time I had on this earth.
There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all. ~ Peter Drucker
There are lots of ways and a myriad of techniques that I could have used to turn my life around, but before everything else I had to have the strong and unshakable desire to change myself and make my life better. No Fairy Godmother was going to appear and make everything all right. I wasn’t suddenly going to find an attractive woman who would give me the magical motivation to improve myself and my life. Nothing good happens in life unless we make it so.
You can start to read lots of books, sign up for lots of expensive courses, and find tons of stuff on the internet that will say; ‘change your life around by following this advice’ ~ and they are all utterly useless unless first you have the willingness and determination to change. Changing your life for the better takes every hour of every day of the rest of your life. Being a better person needs willpower, and if you don’t have any willpower then create an unbreakable routine towards becoming the very best version of yourself you can possibly be. If you can’t do that, then fake it to make it.
First of all I had to decide what I didn’t want. What were the very worst things in my life. What was I doing that was negative and self-destructive? Think about it ~ what are the very worst things in your life? What do you want the least? What is killing you? For me that began with agoraphobia and booze. I had to stop drinking, and I had to get out of the garret, physically, mentally, and emotionally I had to get out of this place.
None of this was easy, but this blog is some small evidence of how far I’ve come since those dark days.
If I can become a better person, then you can too.
you don’t need a gym to exercise effectively
I have decided to be happy and healthy
we don’t need to feel alone and lonely
For a while I have been ill, with a myriad of symptoms I couldn’t understand. And, when I say ill, I mean that there have been times when I went to bed I wondered if I would wake up again. There have been days when I wasn’t strong enough to take out the trash, and days when I wasn’t well enough to even take a bath.
My symptoms included;
- extreme fatigue, lack of energy, weariness
- weakness, aches and pains
- depression, low mood, irritability, confusion
- dizziness, unsteadiness, fluctuating blood pressure
- being thirsty all the time, craving salt
- Nausea to the point of throwing up
Honestly, I had no idea what was causing this, and of course my doctor is running various tests. Privately I wondered if I had the coronavirus, or a parasite, or just the ‘flu ~ although the symptoms didn’t quite fit any of the possible causes.
However, a couple of things to do with the way my blood pressure was going up and down could be related to low adrenaline and low testosterone ~ and that’s something called Addison’s Disease.
The reason I have this problem is due to years of boozing too much, and years of mental, emotional, and spiritual stress ~ resulting in damage to my liver and my kidneys.
The treatment for Addison’s Disease is to take strong daily medication like hydrocortisone. I’m not doing that. Instead I am going to look after my body, mind, and spirit ~ especially being kind to my liver.
No alcohol whatsoever, less fat, no dairy at all, cut down on my intake of salt, refined sugar, caffeine, and potassium, (work that one out). I’ll get a lot more fresh air and exercise, stick to a good Mediterranean diet, continue to take good dietary supplements ~ and Avoid Stress.
Just being pretty certain what’s actually been wrong with me, and having a solid plan to cure myself, means that I am already feeling a hell of a lot better.
Most of what ails us comes from within; what we do and don’t do, what we eat and drink, and how we feel. I know I can change all of that for myself.
eggs are not dairy
and potato is good for you
when things get bad it takes everything you’ve got
keep on keeping on
It’s now the 332 day of lockdown, and this morning it took a lot of determination just to get out of bed and get moving. I could say that I wasn’t feeling so good, but that wouldn’t be true, today it’s all in my mind. If you haven’t suffered the agony of strict self-isolation for almost a year, then you don’t know how I was feeling at 04:00 this morning. Kind of lethargic and depressed, with a touch of meaningless thrown in.
As a matter of fact, lockdown is completely meaningless. All this destruction of the very fabric of modern society is doing is to make politicians and health officials feel better about the myriad of public inquiries they are going to face when all this is eventually over.
So, how do I get through this mess?
- set small goals for each day
- if that’s too difficult set small goals for the next hour
- keep as fit and healthy as possible
- eat regular, high quality meals
- stay away from booze, drugs, candy….
- read something challenging every day
What I really want to do is get out of the garret and go somewhere warm and sunny ~ but taking a vacation is illegal here. I want to see my friends, but that’s also illegal here. In fact having any pleasure at all is just about illegal here.
So, I will look of the bright side, and do the best I can.
every door is locked
everyone should be able to do the conga
I like this track, and I like this dance. What more is there to ask?
A touch of Latin Beat.
Fred and Ginger
strut your stuff down main street
Another part of my morning routine, learning the ultra cool swaggering walk, aka the Travolta Strut. I have this nailed, lots better than some Zebra.
You can tell by the way I use my walk that I’m a woman’s man.
Stayin’ alive ~ more than only just.
don’t try that walk if you’re a woman
it will make you look like a hooker
elvis is in the building
In my fitness and fun programme I’m teaching myself to shuffle dance. It’s a lot harder than young and fit women make it look. I’m also learning a very cool moon-walk. The Travolta strut I can do better than Travolta.
I believe that my latest flame is a great dancer
Tonight we’re gonna make it happen.
After this lockdown is over.
she may need to lose a few pounds
let nature decide on your sex-drive
not doctors and drugs
she should make my temperature rise
In the past when I heard of people who stopped taking their medication for schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, depression, or some other mental issue….. because the drugs made them feel like they; ‘weren’t themselves anymore’ ~ well I used to think they were being stupid.
For the past few days I’ve been taking a drug called Amlodipine to help lower what was my catastrophically high blood pressure, and it worked dramatically quickly ~ which is good. There have been some immediate side-effects ~ which is not so good. I’ve been drowsy, a bit confused and clumsy, my memory is crap. and I’ve got a constant headache. There’s another side effect; no interest whatsoever in sex, total lack of sex-drive, zero libido, and no chance at all of having an erection. I checked, one of the side effects of Amlodipine is to dramatically reduce the production of the male sex-hormone testosterone.
It feels like a very important part of my personality has been removed ~ I don’t feel like myself anymore. I’m not me. And, not only do I feel weird, I don’t like it one little bit.
You might wonder how I know my sex-drive and lustful desires have disappeared, given that I’ve been in lockdown for months, and not had a date in all that time. The strange thing is I knew, and I know that my masculinity has disappeared along with the testosterone which used to flood my body. I’m not interested in women in any sexual way whatsoever, and strong sexual feelings have been with me since adolescence. Some other aspects of maleness have also gone; like I’ve lost my sense of direction ~ I don’t automatically know where North is anymore. Spacial awareness is out of the window, single-mindedness and black and white thinking has gone, and I’m finding it difficult to focus on one task at a time. I’m depressed, tired all the time, and irritable. Even my voice is changing.
Who knew that testosterone does much more to the male body than creating and increasing sexual desire and performance? (I’ve even checked this out by watching some internet porn, and nothing, zip, nada.)
Some women say that men are merely life-support systems for their penis. And that the way to a man’s heart isn’t food, it’s casual sex. All I know is that it’s horrible when a man’s masculinity vanishes.
a great body, fabulous ass, fantastic pose
what effect is that having?
Seascapes and Serenity Lost is available on Amazon
healthy eating is a way of life
Most Americans are unhealthy. The USA spends twice as much on heathcare as the average OECD country, yet has the lowest life expectancy and highest suicide rate among the 11 OECD countries. Almost half of adult Americans are obese, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the USA, and almost 35 million Americans have been diagnosed to have diabetes. Most of these illnesses can be put down to unhealthy lifestyles ~ about one third of Americans are classified as ‘physically inactive’, and the US Department of Health says 80% do not take enough exercise to be even moderately fit and healthy. Things are not much better here in England.
To eat a healthy diet, to live with a healthy lifestyle, isn’t difficult. It does mean giving up a couple of things; drinking and smoking chief among them. There are also some things we should consume a lot less of; refined sugar, caffeine, stuff made with white flour, dairy, canned food, fast food, processed food, take out meals, sugary carbonated drinks, and anything and everything with high fructose corn syrup in it, (HFCS).
Now that I have to control my recently diagnosed high blood pressure, the kinds of dishes I’ll be eating are shown here.
Petra at Food Eat Love has a great recipe for Beef with Ginger and Grapefruit. Beef is more than just OK, and both ginger and grapefruit are great for keeping one’s blood pressure under control.
Beef with Ginger and Grapefruit
Oily fish is very good for our health and so are cilantro and citrus. Tiffany at Creme de la Crumb combines these ingredients in her Baked Honey Cilantro Lime Salmon in Foil. An easy and healthy 30 minute dish. Supposedly, honey has some surprising health benefits.
Baked Honey Cilantro Lime Salmon in Foil
A good breakfast is important to maintain a healthy blood sugar level. Jessica Merchant has a collection of her 10 Favorite Weekday Breakfasts. From that I’m featuring these Pumpkin Protein Pancakes, so easy and so healthy.
Pumpkin Protein Pancakes
A healthy hearty diet need not be lots and lots of salads, we can also eat comfort food and Holly at Spend With Pennies has a great side dish of Colcannon ~ mashed potatoes and cabbage, fabulous served with corned beef. Potato and cruciferous vegetables are good for helping to control one’s blood pressure. (there is the obvious farting issue when it comes to eating lots of cruciferous vegetables)
Joy the baker has this very interesting dish; Mushroom and Brussels Sprout Hash. Brussel Sprouts are cruciferous vegetables and really good for us, and mushrooms have lots of potential benefits when it comes to preventing cardio vascular diseases.
Mushroom and Brussels Sprout Hash
Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest has this very attractive recipe for Healthier 25 Minute Kung Pao Chicken. I have just got to try this easy, healthy dish ~ using brown / wild rice.
Healthier 25 Minute Kung Pao Chicken
but a glass of good red wine is probably beneficial most evenings of the week