Day 761: Day Off

Well, I almost made it through January. Some family things going on that took a lot of time and emotional energy, so food logging and the checklist did not go. Very late night, very late morning, and I literally have time to do this and run out the door.

Tomorrow is another day! But yesterday/today are going to be a bit of a wash. Back on the checklist tonight, the whole enchilada tomorrow.

Day 301: Cheat Days

I definitely ate too much yesterday — but logged it — but that’s no excuse. Which we’ve established. The idea of “cheat days” has never worked out well for me in the past, but maybe that’s something worth unpacking again, just as a means of guilt management.

Should I have “cheat days?”

I don’t know. I feel like scrupulously logging everything for good or ill will be my “cheat day” every day. It’s keeping me… not honest in terms of intake, but in terms of reporting.

So I might try to take it real slow foodwise today. Lots of water. Try to get myself back on keel after a big food day yesterday.


Day 197: Breakin’

It’s been a great weekend, and a bit of breakin’ from routine for an extended cheat day — not going nuts or anything, but it’s hard to be on top of everything and still host guests, so I’ll take that excuse to slack off a bit.

Today’s a day off work for me — burning off some vacation — so I’m going to be focusing on Side Hustle as a straight 9-5 and seeing how I can do at getting that closer to launch.

I’m excited about the side hustle thing, but also nervous. Longevity and consistency are a challenge for me, sometimes. And I may need to make some tough choices about volunteerism if this starts to go well — it’s going to take some time.

Getting back on it today; as I was saying to my wife this morning, breakin’ a bit is good, and it’s important to have the trend line as well as the rigor. So today the rigor is back — starting with a good day’s focus on the side gig stuff. Well, maybe a little goofing around, too.

Breakin’ (up) is easy to do.

It’s pretty easy to fall into break patterns, and in the past I’ve been focused on “how I make healthy the default, so sticking with good habits doesn’t feel like ‘I need a break’.” I’m beginning to accept that’s a slow road. But I made a few small decisions over the weekend that I’m proud of. And I’m definitely happy with the sobriety stuff (massive water drinking helps a lot).

The sobriety is always the foundation. I don’t know if that makes it an excuse for bad behaviour sometimes, or if the bad behaviour is one of the ways I deal with sobriety. But I’m hitting all the notes for the half-marathon training. I’m eating pretty good all things considered. So I’m not worried about brief breakin’ sprees from time to time.

It’s how I bounce back that’s important.

Day 165: Noping into Self-Care

I’m calling it. I’m officially on a Not Being Great About Things break.

Here’s the illustration of where I’m at, headwise, at work right now:

I forgot I’m on vacation next week. Like, somebody tried to book a meeting with me, and couldn’t, and asked “what gives?”. I looked at my calendar and, oh snap, I’m on vacation next week.

I forgot. About a week of vacation.

So for the rest of this week — today and tomorrow, really — I’m backing off the diligence a bit. I’m co-running this conference, keeping on top of a few major projects, putting out fires.

So I’m not going to go ape, but I am going to be a little less self-critical for the next two days. Dial back the “everything must improve” jazz and get through the next 72 hours without going crazy.

Is this optimal behaviour? Nope. Will I feel bad about it next week? Maybe. But I’m rescheduling a chunk of my vacation because I have commitments that I can’t possibly get done by Friday, and I’m on high alert for the conference. So I’m treating myself to a few days of being lax.

And I know I need to reach a state where I don’t think of indulgence as my ‘default’ state. But I’m not there yet, and saying ‘suck it’ to Better Me is a small gesture of empowerment that I could really use right now.

I recognize that this is a 360-degree pivot from yesterday, when I was “arrgh! I’m slipping! Need to get back on it!” That’s what you get with this project. I am a land of contrasts. And this contrast needs to just take it easy where it can for now.


Day 142: Post Cheat Weekend

It’s funny how food has replaced booze in my sobriety. And by “funny” I mean interesting, not hilarious.

I’m coming off a kind of planned Cheat Weekend. Nothing too scandalous, but I sort of deliberately slacked off on the food-tracking and checklist for the Victoria Day weekend in order to give my self a bit of a staycation for a few days and get back on track today.

Back on track! I’m taking this opportunity to reorder my nightly checklist. Nothing major, but mixing things up into a slightly more logical order so I’m not running up and downstairs multiple times.

Check-Out Checklist V 2
The updated check-out checklist. Some re-ordering.

So a good rower workout this morning, back on the hunt for some fresh workout music, and looking forward to a solid 10k tomorrow.

But it is weird coming out of the Victoria Day weekend feeling like I’ve been non-booze binging. And I haven’t even been that bad. I had two veggie burgers instead of one for dinner last night. Ate a lot of chips. But I still feel like I’m coming off a bad weekend rather than, y’know, a pretty normal weekend.

So I guess I’m normalizing good habits to the point that it feels like an old-school bender to go off them? Does that make sense?

It’s probably good. It’s a bit aggravating. I feel like I should be just happier that I’m off booze, but I’m now kind of stuck on The Next Thing: beating food, losing weight. And again, I recognize that this kind of drive is good, but the kind of preying perpetual guilt that surrounds it is a bit crap.

At any rate: it’s good to be feeling uninjured and rested after a pretty good goofing-off weekend, but now it’s time to log that food and that weight and get this train a’rolling.


Day 128: Injury Two — Full Stop

This is a bad one. I wound up coming home from work yesterday morning, and spent the afternoon flat on my back, zonked out on painkillers. This morning, I’m feeling about 50% better, but still a lot of passive pain, and turning my head is a chore. So no exercise today. No weighing myself, either — I’m not going to get in my own head while I’m on a full stop.

So I’m taking a couple days off everything but the blog and podcast, it looks like. Maybe I’m due a break anyway. Yesterday’s determination to not over-eat ran headlong into my feeling bad and being a stress eater.

You’ll never guess which won.

Actually, you probably will.

It was the stress eating.

The stress eating won.

It won hard.

Full stop has to stop sometime.

So I’m on a break; stretching today and for the next couple days until this is over. But today I am getting back on food logging and not eating like a damn fool. Plus I made natto last weekend, and I’m looking forward to having that for lunch.

So I’m going to get grips on the non-exercise portions of this today; I think it’s okay to allow myself a Big Day Off when I’m in pain and feeling low, but ultimately just getting completely slack is going to make me feel worse in the long run, even if it helps when I’m hurting.


Day Twenty-Two: Bad Sleep II — No Exercise Boogaloo

Arrgh. Another bad night for sleep — this time not the cat’s fault, just me and my busy brain. Today, I opted not to kill the bear, and slept in. No exercise.

The bad sleep may have been due, at least in part, to some really bad food choices yesterday as well. My wife was out all day co-hosting an event. I didn’t plan my day, foodwise, and wound up just kind of grazing and eating poorly. Not intent, just a kind of laziness combined with a natural gravity toward bad food choices.

So I’m coming out of a real bad weekend in terms of my goals, and starting the week on the worst foot.

How do I right this ship?

First, by being kind to myself. Beating myself up over this won’t change anything and won’t help anything.

Second, by trying to learn from this. One lesson: I need to really plan my food, especially if I don’t have a partner around to work with.

Third, by getting right back on the horse. I can’t dick around for a day or two in a fug, I need to finish this, and then plan my food day. Then figure out a way to sneak in a little exercise at least (a good walk at lunch, maybe).

Fourth, I need a ‘planned cheat day,’ which sounds ridiculous. I think accruing a bunch of good days with no plan for a cheat day was ruinous, though.

Anyway. I’m disappointed with myself, but nothing’s changed — I need to learn from this, and recognize that being good to myself is more of a treat than ‘treating myself’ with old standbys when I don’t have anything better on the go.

I know I can do this, I just need to get out of my own way and let myself do it.

Back on that horse. Onward and upward.

Day Fourteen: Sunday, Sober Sunday

Man, it’s nice not to have a hangover on a Sunday morning. Not that I routinely did prior to this, but my wife and I would enjoy a few more drinks than strictly necessary on Saturday nights.  Once every four or five weeks, we’d feel crappy about wasting 25% of our weekend feeling rotten the next day.

Sunday is a good relaxing day, when you feel good enough to relax.

I doubt I’m alone in finding it kind of hard to figure out what “relaxing” is. I take on a lot of stuff in life outside my job. Things like the radio show, some community organizations, and other hobbies are fun. But they also take routine work, and I’m not always sure if doing that work is supposed to be leisure. Because it’s work!

Still, it’s good to have all my options open; it’s not yet 10 a.m. and we’ve had breakfast, I’ve had good coffee, read a book, and now I’m doing this. I’ve been bad about food for the last couple of days — Friday was definitely my “cheat day,” and I haven’t logged yesterday yet — but I’m feeling pretty good about the coming week.

Kind of a short one today! I need to catching up on yesterday in terms of food logging, and some project work I’ve been hanging onto. Both my wife and I love cooking: Sunday is a food project day for us. I’ve also got some studying to catch up on. Is it really relaxing, is it YAGO, or is it just another form of distraction? Hard to tell sometimes, but it’s good to have a clear head doing it.



Day Eight: Cheat Days Kind of Suck

A discovery after my first full weekend trying the trifecta: I’m not fond of cheat days. I thought I would be!

Cheat days stress me out.

What I thought would be a nice opportunity to just not worry about calories and food for a day became, thanks to my unending talent for overthinking it, a kind of stressful mental dialogue about how much cheating is too much cheating, logging food versus not logging food, pleasure versus guilt, and eventually getting really stressed about how stressed I was getting, and overthinking my overthinking.

I watched The City of Lost Children last night with my wife, and — 20+ year old spoiler alert — there’s a scene at the end where the mad genius clone Krank is locked into a perpetual dream loop. He is stealing the dream of a child using a helmet thing, but the dream turns him into a child, so he becomes the child whose dream he is stealing. And he’s stealing that child’s dream but it turns him into a child. So on and so on until his brain shuts down.

Cheat Days turn me into this guy.
Cheat Days turn me into this guy.

That’s kind of where I landed with the whole Cheat Day experience.

My options are don’t cheat… or cheat better.

The sobriety piece is absolute, by the way. “Cheat” is a food thing, not walking back on alcohol. Which should be obvious, but I’m putting it out there just in case.

And I think it’s good to have an exercise-free day every week. My wife and I went for a long walk, so it wasn’t like Fart Around On The Couch Day, but it’s nice to have a recuperation day to start the week.

I’m setting a calendar reminder for myself for next Saturday — seriously, I just opened GCal in another tab — to give Cheat Day some thought on Saturday evening so I can go into Sunday framing Cheat Days as an experiment rather than AGTIHTD*. We’ll see how that works.

*Another Goddamned Thing I Have To Do, which is a concept that’s growing in my brain that I’ll loop back around on at some point.