Author: Frank

It took three attempts to break in for me to put up walls around our property

It took three attempts to break in for me to put up walls around our property

Dealing with a break-in at your apartment is scary, especially when it happens in the middle of the night while you’re sleeping.

  • I’m thankful that my husband was the responsible one to insist on installing a security plan with an alarm when we moved into this house.

I had never owned an apartment security system, but it’s essential when you live in the city. Every one of us is on a road where all of the houses have large front & back yards, but we’re only walking distance from downtown. That’s why we are recognizably vulnerable to robbers living in this area. You’d recognize that people would be deterred by those signs the security contractor puts in your yard to ward off would-be burglars before they get an opportunity to attempt a break-in. When it happened for the second time, I started to get irritated. In a fit of rage I decided to call a commercial fencing contractor to build a concrete fence & gate to wrap around our property. I wanted them to put security gates at the end of the driveway with a keypad & microphone. If someone wants to come inside, they’ll have to hit the button on the keypad to speak with myself and others or my husband first. After the fencing contractor built the huge wall & security gate around our property, we haven’t had any more problems with burglars. Scaling the concrete wall isn’t simple, especially with the mental prongs at the top. I think our apartment is a literal fortress now. We just need to dig a moat around the wall & fill it with irritated alligators.

Chain Link Fencing

Setting up a home gym

Setting up a home gym

I have been told time and again that the key to physical fitness is staying motivated. You have to be focused on your goals, and stay active no matter what. Well, this may not be a popular opinion, but that never worked for me. The key to physical fitness for me was boredom, and without the COVID lockdown I probably never would have started working out. After a few months of being trapped in the house I got so bored out of my mind that I decided to start exercising as a way to kill time. I dug some old workout equipment and mats out from the storage shed and set them up in the spare bedroom as a makeshift home gym. I don’t know where all that workout equipment came from, it had been in storage for a long time before I even moved in. It was dusty and needed a good cleaning, which proved to be a workout all its own, but at the end of it I had a passable home gym. I started spending an hour or two in there every day, cycling through weight lifting, situps and pushups, and working the heavy bag. I have to admit the 80 pound leather sandbag, like the kind professional boxers use to practice, was my favorite part of the room. I had to pace myself, and run through all of the stations of my home gym, just so I didn’t tear up my knuckles too much! I never imagined it would be this much fun, and this rewarding, to set up a home gym.

 

Personal Physical Training

Consulting a personal trainer for advice

Consulting a personal trainer for advice

The time has come for me to get off my butt and do something.

  • I don’t know what that “something” is, but I know it’s important to pick a direction and commit to it.

My last few doctor’s appointments have been increasingly dire. I am putting on weight, which is bad at my age, and along with that my blood pressure is creeping higher and higher. I am right on the cusp of being stage 1 hypertensive, and with my poor overall health this could lead to some really bad stuff. I need to be more active, I need to lose weight, but I don’t want to join a gym, that isn’t for me. In general I don’t like being around people, so the mere thought of going to a gym full of people who are in much better shape makes me feel anxious. I don’t want extra stress, I actually want a health and wellness plan for myself that will reduce my stress, not increase it. I decided to talk to an old friend of mine who had started working as an online personal trainer during the pandemic. He found out is paid a lot better than working at the gym, so now he hosts online classes and consults people on their wellness plans. I asked him what was the best way for a low-stress, high-impact workout plan I could follow without joining a gym, and I have to say he was incredibly helpful. I started a simple, practical daily routine of exercise, nutrition, and sleep that will push me in the right direction.

Training methods

My wife has lost a lot of weight and is healthier than ever

My wife has lost a lot of weight and is healthier than ever

They say nice guys finish last, but I have to disagree on that one.

They also say that after marriage people just start getting slower, older, and fatter, and I have to disagree on that one as well.

Maybe I am the outlier in all of this, but marriage has changed my life, and upgraded my health and also that of my bride. When we got married my wife weighed just over 200 pounds. She carried it well, I found her gorgeous, but she never liked the way she looked. We have been married for 6 years now, and she has lost almost 50 pounds from a moderate exercise regimen, and has never stepped foot in a gym. At first she avoided going to the gym because she felt self conscious about her body, but over time she just decided she didn’t need it. She is an explorer type, she likes being out in the world, so she has shaped her health and wellness plans around outdoor activities. I don’t work out very often, maybe once or twice a month, but I always use the gym. I know that working up a good sweat is a part of the process, but I prefer sweating in the air conditioning of the gym instead of the outdoor humidity. The key to my wife’s fantastic success was approaching her health and wellness with a holistic approach. She focuses on a healthy diet, on getting good sleep at night, and likes to supplement her outdoor adventures with a couple of weekly yoga classes. She is sexier than ever!

Gym

Working the forge is my new workout program

Working the forge is my new workout program

Have you ever seen that TV show “Forged in Fire” about metalsmiths? It’s a competition show, sort of like a cooking show, only instead of making meals these guys make blades out of small pieces of metal.

It’s really fascinating to me, and eventually led me to trying my hand at it.

You can find a small forge for only a few hundred bucks, and after that it’s all about putting in the blood, sweat, and tears. Mostly sweat, if I’m being honest, but I tell you that the forge is the best gym I’ve ever been a part of! I get all the exercise I can handle while working the forge and hammering out the hot metal. I spent years paying gym membership fees, and most of the time I never got my money’s worth out of it. The forge itself, and the needed equipment to handle the metal, cost a pretty penny, but it wasn’t any more than two years worth of gym membership fees. So I quit the gym, of course, and will use this as my main form of exercise for the next couple of years and see how it works out. If I end up a fat blob with a lot of great knives, then I will start selling them off to pay for gym membership fees again. But if it works out like I want it to then I will develop a new skill, get a lot of cool products from the process, and maintain my level of health and wellness without going to the gym ever again.

Nutritional Programs

You don’t need a gym for a good workout

You don’t need a gym for a good workout

What’s your excuse for sitting on the couch, doing nothing? Was it a hard week at work? Are the kids acting a fool, again? Problems with your spouse? Stressed out because of money? Let me tell you, there is always going to be a really good excuse to sit on your butt and be sedentary.

You have to find that intrinsic motivation inside yourself to get you up and active.

If it helps motivate you at all, I can speak from experience and say that leaving the house to work out actually helps me avoid all those other problems. The kids, the spouse, the money stress, all get left behind when I hit the gym for a workout routine. At the gym I put in my earbuds, I blast some music, and I push my body to the limit, all of which allows me to clear my mind. The gym is the closest thing to peace and quiet that I get, so I relish every moment of it. Now, for any of you who make the excuse of “I don’t have a gym” or “I don’t like the gym” or even “I can’t afford the gym” I have an easy answer for that… you don’t need a gym. The point of a workout program is to push your body and improve your health, which you don’t need any equipment to do. You can walk, jog, run, do Yoga classes on Youtube, ride a stationary bike, or any number of a hundred different exercises. Whatever you do, just crank up the music and hit it hard!

 

Nutritional Counseling

NEw personal trainer is fearsome

NEw personal trainer is fearsome

When I was a lot bigger I used to compete in drinking contests.

Stupid, I know, but I had an almost mutant ability for consuming beer, and I would go head-to-head with other idiots to see who could drink the most. It may surprise you to know I never almost died from alcohol poisoning, but on the other hand I put on about forty pounds in six months, and kept on getting bigger. I thought that quitting the contests would be enough to slow down my growth, but at this point I needed to make more radical changes, like exercise and dieting. I knew full well I didn’t have the discipline to do this, so I asked around for a good personal trainer to help me. I can be a very difficult person when I am stressed, so I needed a personal trainer who was tough, and wouldn’t take any crap from me. I finally settled on a mousy looking young woman named Emily, who had a fearsome rep as the toughest personal trainer in the entire gym. I have to say, Emily didn’t disappoint, and she laid out an ambitious workout program for me, along with a new nutritional plan she wanted me to follow. I came to learn that Emily is in AA and used to be a big drinker, so she likes pushing her clients towards total health and wellness, especially those of us who drink. Emily never tells me to not drink alcohol, but per personal training program usually leaves me too worn out to want a drink!
Workout planner

Finding a way to work out

Finding a way to work out

During my junior year of high school my whole life changed.

I don’t want to get into the maudlin details, but I had to uproot my life and move out to a farm in the dire wastelands of the midwest.

I was a city boy through and through, and such a drastic change really shook me. I gave up on sports, my grades hit the skids, and I started putting on a lot of weight. I had played football before, but out here the school was too small to even field a team! There was no gym in the entire town, and I lost interest in doing anything at all. I was always huge on weight lifting, but I didn’t have my own weight set so there was no option for me here! I found that without a steady health and wellness program my muscled physique slowly began to soften and turn to flab. I was always a big dude, but now without no gym access I was turning into a fat dude. I started a new workout program quite by accident, during a long walk around the outside of the property. I found an old, abandoned barn, and although it didn’t have gym equipment in it, it did have an old tractor, some chains, and hundreds of pieces of pipe. I decided to approach the barn like it was a gym, and started pulling the tractor short distances, and lifting the pipes across the room like weights. It wasn’t nearly as good as a gym, but at least it was something!

 

Personal Training Center

I had to have a glamorous bedroom

I had to have a glamorous bedroom

I am a spoiled woman who needs to have everything she wants.

My parents were well-off and we were all raised to be a bit of the bratty type.

When we wanted something we got it, regardless of what it was. If dad and mom didn’t give it to my sister and I, we would throw fits. I now know that we were acting horrible, but that is how we were raised. I married a simple man and I knew I couldn’t have what I had as a child. The only thing I insisted on was having a glamorous bedroom for our daughter when we bought our home. I picked out a bed that had sheer curtains hanging from the tall posts on the back of the bed. We painted the walls a royal pink and had a gold tone clock on the wall. The duvet was thick and satin. There was natural wood furniture that wasn’t painted white, but sun-bleached white. The fun part was that my husband and I hand-made the wood furniture. I was learning that it could be fun to work with your hands and not have other people making it for you. The glamorous bedroom was just about ready to move into. When our daughter finally got to see the house, she was thrilled with every bit of it. Seeing her face when she looked at her bedroom was awesome. She couldn’t believe the beautiful and glamorous bedroom we had made for her. When my husband told her that he and mommy had made the furniture, she was shocked. She didn’t think we knew how to make handmade furniture.

Elegant furniture

Meal delivery saves me so much time

Meal delivery saves me so much time

I ten to put particularly long hours at work.

My job is demanding and stressful.

I make my work a priority and I am determined to advance. I frequently stay late at my desk and sometimes work on Saturdays. I don’t complain, because I enjoy my work. I would prefer to focus on succeeding at my career than wasting time grocery shopping and cooking. Because of this, my cupboards and refrigerator are often bare. When I eventually arrive home from the office, I’m spent. I need a healthy and delicious meal for fuel. However, the last thing I want to do is prepare it. I have realized that a meal delivery service is the ideal solution. It’s different from ordering take-out from a restaurant. I go online and access a wide munu of meal choices. The options are much like home cooking. Each meal is healthy, nutritious and caters to every type of taste. I order what I need for the entire week. I can pick a breakfast item for dinner. I can include sides such as soups, salads and desserts. The meals arrive in organized and clearly labeled packages. I just pop the dinner in the oven. The house smells wonderful. Within 30 minutes to an hour, I enjoy a tasty dinner. I am not stuck washing pots and pans. The meal delivery service is healthier than take-out. I can be more conscientious about how many calories I’m consuming. I feel good about what I’m eating. There’s none of the mess or preparation. I typically order dinners for five days of the week. Now and then I include dinner and lunch for Saturday or Sunday. When I consider how much I’d spend at the grocery store, the meal service is quite reasonably priced.

 

meal prep services

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