Day 787: Too much work, fasting today

Not as bad yesterday, but still not great on the work front; a few people have helpfully pointed out that the only reward for work is more work. Which, I mean, thanks but that’s not really solving the problem per se.

I’m a problem-solvey guy but I have to admit I don’t really see a solve here. Sometimes, I think, you just get… crunch time. This is crunch time. And as much as I don’t wanna crunch, I gotta crunch a bit.

Another fasting day today; Tuesdays seem to work well for it, and I do find it helps to have a “clean out” day every week. So we’ll try Wednesday this time out and see.

Day 780: Old Man, Winter

Ollllld maaaaaaaaan winterrrrrrr, with apologies to Paul Robeson.

My wife said to me yesterday “this is the first winter that I feel old,” and I have to agree that this is a long one. I also feel old this year.

I think it’s a confluence of things, including shift work making it hard to consolidate a time for outdoor activity. If you’re not doing winter stuff, winter is nothing but a fatiguing pain in the arse.

“So do winter activities!” you say! It’s a great idea, and it’s one of those things were since December we’ve been vaguely intending to, but life just keeps happening underneath and around us. Our weekends tend toward the busy, and while I don’t fall back on “no car” as a universal excuse for everything, it does winnow your options down significantly.

Right now, we’re hunkering down and counting the days — one month from now, we should be into spring. Right?

Incidentally, fasting went well yesterday — it was a bit of a nail-biter late in the evening, but I managed. The key now is to eat normally today, not like a lunatic: plan food, log food, enjoy food responsibly.

Day 724: Boxing Fast (almost)

Oof. I ate (mostly) real food yesterday, but it was a feast and a half, and after eating all the good Indian vegan food I’m (a) proud [I did about 90% of the cooking] and (b) feeling very large and very bloated.

So I’m’a fast today. Why not? My wife’s working a 12-hour shift, I’m running on enough calories to fuel a rhino, and I’ve only had some coffee and orange juice so far today. I don’t feel hungry at all.

It’s mainly a matter of distraction, and I have a TON of distractions and things to do today. Soooo… fasting for boxing day! Get that reset button hit after a big eating day.

Day 428: Necessary Sleep In

Oh, man! I’m just getting up. Slept in today. WORTH IT and I don’t even care.

It’s been powerful busy at work lately — a few big OT days last week, stopped by yesterday for a while. And while the side hustle, etc., hasn’t been really ‘on,’ I’ve been making things happen at home: building some furniture, and yesterday finally getting around to assembling figurines for Necromunda, which I bought myself at Christmas. Now I just have to find somebody to play it.

So I got up this morning, thought NO WAY, and went back to bed for an hour and a half. I’m going to make it a fasting day — haven’t had one of those in a while, so I’m due — and keep on top of calories that way.

I really needed that sleep.

Off to work today — gonna be a busy one in a lot of ways, but there’s a particular hump I’m getting over today, and things will be resolved in the morning. No issues in terms of my job being insecure or anything, just a situation to manage. I’m confident I’ll be managing it as well as anybody could. It’s just gotta be managed.


Day 331: Fasting Deferred

I don’t know if I straight up said this yet, but fasting is now generally on Mondays — this week Tuesday, due to travel and my wife’s birthday yesterday.

And today was SUPPOSED to be the big get-back-to-everything. But I forgot to seal the grout on our shower yesterday, so I had to do that first thing this morning. Because it takes forever for the shower to completely dry, so doing it after being away for a few days was best. But now I can’t shower, because the grout sealant has to dry. So no exercise this morning.

As a result, I’m kind of falling sideways back into good habits… fasting today, exercise tomorrow. weighing myself in a few seconds. It’s weird, but I think I’m finally becoming that person who craves better habits. I felt aggravated this morning that I couldn’t exercise. I’m sort of excited by fasting today. The slow, slogging pace of transformation.

It’s not a decision you make and then something that happens after you make that decision. That’s the lesson I’m gradually absorbing. It’s decisions you make every day, and an internalizing process that takes a real long time. In my case, 332 days. So far.


Day 306: Fasting Went Okay

Fasting went okay yesterday! Having your wife in on it definitely helps. Now I just need to not let that be an excuse to be The Food Monster today, but that’s what the (shameless) consistent logging is all about, right?

After ten solid months of looking at this every day… I’m cautious. More cautious than I was back in January. Mainly because I seem to build systems that work well when things are going well but don’t hold up to stress.

If I look at times things have fallen down for me this year, there’s always a reason:

  • Illness
  • Extraordinary stress
  • Family issues
  • Injury

I’m not spontaneously saying “screw it, brah” at any point. Things are happening and knocking me off-course.

So now, when things are going well, is the time to think about throw-off-course factors.

It’s back to the balance between being ambitious and not wanting to take on too much. My old patterns are to take on too much and flame out. That’s still my pattern at work and in volunteerism, which I need to work on.

So now’s the time to think about how I’ve failed over the course of the year to date. And ask myself how things will be different when the same stuff happens. That’s a tough question. But I’ve got a set of conditions that I can point at that throw me off-course. Bad colds. Muscle pulls. Work nightmares.

Internalizing strategies to get past these now will be helpful when they happen again. I doubt I’m going to never get sick again. I’m pretty sure I’m going to pull a muscle. Work is bound to get… extreme at some point.

So I need to start laying some interior groundwork now for taking all that on while I’m at the peak and not wait to dig out from the trough, so to speak.


Day 305: Fasting, Take Three

Fasting day! This is the third time in four months I’ve tried to boot up the twice-a-week fast thing. And, as usual, I’m feeling pretty good about it.

But this time, my wife’s on board. This might be the game-changer. I do my best when we’re reinforcing each other. When we’re out of sync — one of us is exercising but the other isn’t, one of us is trying something with food and the other isn’t — it generally is hard to maintain. Both of us on it together? Prognosis is good.

There’s always the question of when something fails and warrants another try, and when something fails and it’s Not For Me. It’s really hard for me to know which is which. Those of you who have been on this bus for a while know it hasn’t been a straight line. That it’s about failure and re-attempts more than a linear path to Doing Better. Getting back up has been more important in many ways than moving forward.

The fasting thing — I think this is the last kick at that can. I can’t think of more optimal circumstances than a month where we have no travel plans (until the very last weekend), a low risk of tragedy, and both of us in on it together. If this doesn’t work out this time, it might be Not For Me.

I hope it does work! I’m excited by it. I kind of enjoyed it the first go-round; the second go-round was brutal due to life circumstances.

First time through got put off due to illness. I don’t intend to get sick, but that should be something I factor into consideration. A “sick plan” for fasting would be a good idea. Something to discuss.

Off to not eat! Wish me (and my spouse) luck…


Day 274: Back to Fast

All right! Just about over this cold, first Monday of October, and my wife’ll be out of town for this week. Pretty much optimal conditions to reboot the fast experiment.

Let’s be honest: this weekend was NOT GREAT for food. I attribute it to being busy, and also stress burn-off post mourning and post-running-around. It’s been a weird couple of weeks. So I feel okay about not firing on all cylinders. Back on exercise today. Back on food tracking. It’ll be good.

Oh, and I installed a chin-up bar! Guess how many chin-ups I can do. Zero. That’s how many.

So: fasting Monday and Thursday for October. I’m not looking forward to my wife not being home this week, but at least I won’t have to worry about seeing somebody eat when I get home. I’m just gonna have to stay busy and drink TONS of water to get through those days, and hopefully this will reset my biological… clock?… a bit.


Day 260: Neti Pots and Push-Ups

Kind of a housecleaning day… still not over that cold, which means fasting is still suspended. I know my philosophy is now more gung-ho in terms of recovery, but I think that kind of body stress can’t be helpful. Maybe October as the new trial month for this?

So yesterday I tried a neti pot for the first time. It was… interesting. Not as horrifying a sensation as I thought it would be. I now realize I have no idea how sinuses work. And it actually seemed to help, at least for a few hours, so I’m’a keep that going.

Today was also Day One of the new exercise regimen, which now builds some strength training into the rowing days. Strength re-training, really, as I realize that I have really let things go. I used to be able to knock out 20 pushups without really thinking about it. Those days are over, for sure… but I’m kind of excited to think about getting that back.

So I’m off for food logging, neti potting, and getting some volunteer stuff in order. Tally ho…

Day 247: Short Run / Fast Fail

Arrgh. Another failed fasting day yesterday. I caved with excess snacking, and my wife was not in a position to help me with keeping on top of it. So I’m feeling kind of low this morning. Still managed most of the day, though.

The question is whether I’m capable of fasting for a full day. Are these kinds of freak-outs a weak will or my body telling me something pretty important?

So Thursday will be another kick at the can; maybe it’s time for me to re-evaluate whether or not this even works for me, conceptually. If I can’t manage it repeatedly, it may just not be the right fit, and being agonized/miserable isn’t a compensation for whatever the gains might be.

I can’t remember if I’ve brought this up before, but I heard a phrase I liked a lot recently. “Failure is feedback.” That’s a nice thing to hear. And to think about. So I know I’m failing, but what’s the feedback? Again, it’s either “I can’t do this full stop” or “I need to change something about how I’m doing this.”

Still not being great about daily weight and food logging, in part because of the fasting, too. I figure “no need” to log food on fasting days, and then I get off track and stop bothering, and/or get super busy in the mornings and don’t get on top of it. And if I don’t get it done in the morning, it doesn’t get done.

Good things happening in my personal/volunteer life; some rewarding volunteer work being done. Time-consuming, but it feels nice to be doing something that has direct positive impact.