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I'm trying to get a little more physically and mentally active again. I fell into a lull as summer and summer employment ended, which resulted in a short period of lethargy and consequential weight gain. Now I am doing a bit of exercise again and walking more.

I have always been mindful of getting exercise, but effusion of the knee (water knee) started happening last summer while I was still hiking, paddling and cycling. Not that it has been painful, but it is a precursor to arthritis, which I do not wish to encourage. Therefore, I slowed down, quitting the paddling by October when the team was planning one more competition. Now I can walk short walks for 20 to 30 minutes throughout the week without problematic symptoms.

Seasons changed, getting into a frame of mind to be satisfied with life indoors, especially writing. (I even started a book project.) Without as many hours of work, which reduced the income as well as the motion, I am afraid I was becoming a couch potato--until my clothes got a little too tight for comfort and I saw unflattering pictures of myself and my flabby middle. So its back to watching the diet and getting myself moving.

I am working regularly again, up to 28 hours. The work entails more use of transit, which has gotten me walking at least to and from bus stops. Motivated to speed things up and cut weight down, I am deliberately taking more inconvenient routes that require more walking, and I sometimes even get on and off the bus a few more blocks farther from my place. In fact, I have walked the 25-minute trek from the LRT station up the ridge to my place instead of taking a connecting bus, even in the rain. 

I wasn't eating a lot in terms of volume, but things like cheese and peanut butter had worked their way into my routine, and I was permitting myself to have a little chocolate and fast-food with fries a couple of times a week. I don't know about others, but that kind of stuff clings to my waistline in no time. I do have a slower than usual metabolism, as I am affected by hypothyroidism, and I probably have an efficient system anyway.

 (I must remember to take the pill for the hypothyroidism right away in the morning, before I eat anything. I often take it after I've started eating, which means the medication gets swept through my system faster and less of the hormone is absorbed. That practice keeps my body rate down below normal.)

Other than picking up the physical pace, I am also fighting against the habit of sitting down to the TV or computer immediately after dinner. I find little tasks to do. I try to find little errands to run after work to keep me busier, too. For example, I head to a library or store, or get cash and add value to my bus card, even when those tasks could be done more efficiently at another place and time because I want to be active both mentally and physically. I am planning a birthday gathering and a New Year's Eve's Eve open house.

Well, I was coordinating the event to mark the anniversary of the October Revolution, a project comrades of the ILPS committee I am a member of, which did get me out postering and leafleting before the day of the event on Nov. 10. (The event well, and I enjoyed the sudden absence of activity once it finished for a day-and-a-half.) 

We had a break from the usual work day today because a pro video crew was present in order to film a commercial to promote the school. The manager told us teachers to expect a crew to be around and enter our classrooms. Maybe he didn't know what was being hatched up. The crew had personnel and some recruited university students act out scenes to tell the typical story of how an student at an institute lacks confidence in the beginning, then winds up getting accepted into an ivy league university. Ha-ha! The usual fantasy that these kind of outfits run by Chinese or Koreans want to spread. But it was a fun day. They singled me out to do a lot of scenes, telling me I was the star teacher. Hey--there are only two of us, and the other is kind of introverted who does not wear what is normally called "professional dress." So they are selling my image all over. I signed the release form without protest because it is in my interest to do a good job and contribute to the efforts to promote the school so that it successfuly recruits more students and secures me a job for the long term. I just decided to go with the flow and play along.

The prospect of developing arthritis is a bummer. Just when I was getting motivated to do some craft and cooking projects like quilt work, seasonal fruit cakes and painting. (I created some crafts for the above event.) Actually, I find my thumb joints are occasionally sore, so I have avoided some keyboard use or produce chopping somewhat. It comes and goes. My brother recommended glucosomine. He surprised me the other day during a phone conversation when he told me he has been taking it for 15 years because he was experiencing painful arthritis in the hands back then. Says he's fine nowadays. I will buy glucosomine this weekend. I hope to stave off this hound for a few years. 

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