Friday, May 10, 2013

Margin- Chapter 8

A few friends and I are reading this book together. Each week we are reading one chapter. On Fridays, I am posting my comments, then giving them the opportunity to add their thoughts as well. If you would like to join us or simply find out more about the book, you can read about it here.)

Chapter 8: "Margin in Physical Energy"

- Ok, so I've dropped the ball the last couple of weeks and haven't gotten a post written.  I'd like to say I wanted to give you more margin in your life, but that's not the case.  Here's my thoughts on this chapter:

- He talked about poor conditioning, sleep deprivation and obesity leaving us no physical margin.  A few paragraphs later, he talked about us not having the inner discipline we need to maintain good physical health.  I think "discipline" is the key word for the chapter.  Anyone can be unconditioned, but it takes discipline to regularly get exercise.  Anyone can stay up late and get up late, but it takes discipline to go to bed (or and get up) at a decent time.  Anyone can eat what they want, but it takes discipline to eat correct portions and make healthier choices.

- He brought up in the chapter how the three factors- conditioning, sleep, eating habits- affect each other.  I have seen that to be true in my life and I think part of that is due to discipline affecting each of the three.

- In the last post, I listed all of his "prescriptions."  I will not do that this time, just mention the thoughts that stood out the most to me.

- When he talked about developing a healthy sleep pattern, the big thing that came to my mind is going to bed at a good time.  With electricity allowing me to work into the night, I often go to bed later than I should.  Then, I have to choose between getting up at the time I should, or getting the amount of sleep I should.  In my life right now, going to bed early is probably the single most important factor in my discipline- it affects so many other things in life.  I am improving, but I still have a ways to go.  (*Note: I realize that I do not have children and the constant demands that they place on the rest of you.  I'm sure that if is difficult for me to get to bed on time, it can only be harder for the four of you!)

- I have a friend who studied physical education in college.  We were discussing weight, and he put it really simply: it is calories in verses calories out.  We can get really fancy trying to figure things out, but when it comes down to it, we need to be moderate in our eating and to be active in our lifestyle.

- Viola and I had to find out where we could get good exercise.  I love basketball, but so far I haven't found a place with an open gym night.  We like walking, but to get a good exercise, I need more than that.  Also, certain weather prohibits exercise outside.  For all of these reasons, we joined a gym in January because we need some vigorous physical activity (especially when we are learning a language- which includes a lot of sitting).  That way, we have a place where we can exercise despite the weather and we each can go at our own pace.  Again, I realize this is much easier for us without children, but that activity has helped us so much physically.  I don't know if you intentionally make time for exercise, but I would strongly encourage you to find something to do.  We only go for 45-60 minutes 3 times a week, but we feel the investment is worth it!

- I am thankful we are in a culture where the average person is fairly active.  If they need to go several blocks away, the majority of people will walk.  It is an encouragement to us to be active.

- One way I try to be more active is taking the stairs ... to my 7th floor apartment.  Rarely do I use the elevator.  (When Viola has me loaded down with groceries, I give in to the pressure!)

- I feel the chapter was pretty simple and straightforward: go to sleep, get exercise, eat right.  I look forward to hearing your thoughts. 

I've had my say, what say you?

Discussion on Chapter 7
Discussion on Chapter 9


  1. Definitely agree with the theme of the chapter being discipline. It was a challenging chapter but needed for our age.

    Sleep: Everyone tells you to have a good sleeping schedule for babies and kids. Its good for adults too. Many times I wish I could be like others who survive on 5 hours each night, but really someone working on a consistent, restful 8 hours is going to accomplish a lot too.

    As for eating and exercise, lets just say that I was challenged by reading this. Although I have dropped around 30 lbs in the past two years I have slacked off in that area and need to hit it again. For me the biggest change was eating better and not eating late night snacks. But they are oh so good…

    Glad to get back to the book. Some good reminders in this chapter that we all know, but need to apply.

  2. I think you hit the nail on the head, Jacob, when you characterized the theme of this chapter as "discipline." I think discipline affects this area even more than emotional margin. In light of this being a chapter on discipline, I think this is why this chapter was convicting.

    -"The need for sleep is undeniable and should be regarded as an ally, not an enemy" (pg. 99). I think this is a hard one to accept. Even as children, we used to "fight sleep" as much as possible, wanting to stay up. It seems the desire and obvious need for sleep grows as we do in age, but yet we still "fight sleep."

    -"Frequently I will scribble myself notes in the dark and then set the paper on the floor where I will see it first thing in the morning" (pg. 100). I really liked this idea. I have actually done it already, was able to forget about trying to remember it in the morning. The reminder was there on the floor waiting for me in the morning.

    -"Even Jesus napped" (pg.101). I enjoyed reading that.

    -I will admit that I do not have any regular exercise routine. So far, I go through phases where I have a lot of physically demanding activities or work and then a period of very little physical work. I need to start with something, though, that would be on a regular basis.

    -Anyone else think that the author had a good point as to why people (particularly in America) eat too much and too much junk? - he said, "it all tastes good, it is our habit, and we can afford to" (pg.102).

    -"One hundred percent of people who exercise tot he point of cardiorespiratory fitness will experience an increased sense of well-being" (pg. 106). Those are really good odds!!!

  3. I agree with what has been said above.

    Being part of a gym has helped me discipline myself to exercise. I'm very money conscious, so the fact that I am spending money makes me go. I'm also thankful that Planet Fitness has a dress code and attracts all types of people. I don't feel out of place not looking like a macho-guy.
    Feeling better helps me accomplish more!

    As to sleeping, I find that what keeps me out of bed is not usually something that could not be put off until later (or never.) So often, the details of the moment cloud my overall vision and plans and affect sleep time, and thus,tomorrow.

    1. You seem a macho-kinda guy to me. What equipment do you use? I pretty much just jog, but I would like to do a little bit of weight training as well. Also, at our new gym there are a couple of machines for stretching/flexibility that I want to check out.

    2. Generally, I use the elliptical. As for the names of some of the machines...I haven no idea. I workout my arms and my legs most of the time. Sometimes I do abs (if I'm feeling really fat!). I sometimes finish on a bike. I don't do any free weights. I don't lift anything super heavy and I try to do less weight, more reps. I think that is better for you long term. I have used one stretching item a few times. I helps you stretch your back and legs. It was nice. I wouldn't normally use it unless my back was tight from something else.