Day 992: Fewer allergies, phoning it in

Feeling better, suddenly — maybe this was a bit of an autumn cold that coincided with allergies around me? Maybe my allergies are weird? Who knows.

But taking a day of exercise definitely reinforced that I’ve been kind of phoning it in with exercise for a little while, and not doing my food tracking either. This was expressly not supposed to happen when I started school… my monastic student life was supposed to have exercise and good eatin’ on the menu, dammit.

I think Dry and Mighty might actually be a better enforcement mechanism than this, actually. Something to discuss with my wife — a weekly responsibility thing where we check in on this stuff.

Day 734: I Packed a What?

Day Two of Cat Bonkers — I slept in the guest room with the second cat last night, as we felt bad that he has to be locked away until the cats re-familiarize themselves with each other. Pets!

My wife was up at 4:30 thanks to First Cat deciding that in my absence she was a suitable target; she was, obviously, because she got up at 4:30 and decided to share that joy with me. Fed the cats with her around 5, and packed a lunch.

But it’s the weekend! I’m eating at home! Why pack a lunch?

Because I think it might help.

It’s not something I’m committing to on the regular, but I’m really enjoying salads for lunch, and I am trying my very best to adhere to the “plan it in the morning and stick to that plan”… er, plan. The best way to do that, I figure, is to actually pack my mid-day food and whip up supper before I leave for the radio show, and thereby know my food for the whole day before my day really begins.

So I guess I’d better get cooking!

Day 702: Back to Bad Habits

Arrgh! Exercise eludes me, and only one day back. Up at 3:30 for peeing, then cat-in-Christmas-tree related reasons, took forever to fall back asleep, so back to late sleep. Now I have to do the Tiniest Gallery, which I’m a few days overdue for, but the November artist wants her art back (which is fair!) so I gots to get the new display up this morning.

I feel bad about the not exercising. I’ll compensate through low food and a brisk walk to and from work, but it’s irritating not to get that done.

49 days remaining of daily food logging!


Day 701: Feels Close to 1000

It’s weird how 701 days is about 10 months from 1000 days, but a thousand days feels… close, suddenly. And a good benchmark to aim for. It’s been almost two years, and I think a fair bit of self-discovery, but not really achieving the fitness/exercise goals I was aiming for in January of 2017.

It’s pretty easy to see where the flaw is: I love eating bad food, I don’t like keeping track of bad food eating, and I’ll take any excuse to stop tracking food eating and start eating bad food again.

When you put it that way, it seems like a pretty simple fix, doesn’t it?

  1. Stop eating bad food
  2. Keep track of the food you eat
  3. Repeat forever

I mean… duh.

So maybe the problem’s been I’ve been trying the whole enchilada at once: the diet, the tracking, the exercise, all the beans. All the marbles. All the bean-marbles.

But with 300 days to look at, maybe I should try to build better habits one habit at a time, instead of crashing into the mountain repeatedly trying to do a bunch of things at once.

Food tracking seems to be the hardest, so possibly it’s a matter of starting there and just trying to go hard on food tracking for, say, 50 days. One-sixth.

Not to say I shouldn’t strive for the other stuff too, but if I have to pick one thing to not compromise on for 50 days, it’s food logging. So, to January 22, 2019. Good thing I don’t drink, or this might be tough on the 1st…

Day 447: Confident Eating

My first entirely on-track food day yesterday in… a while. I don’t know what’s been getting me so snacky lately, but it was very confidence restoring to just eat meals, no snacks.

I did have to mentally check in and tell myself “discomfort is part of the process” multiple times through the day. I don’t want to rail about the evils of Western society or anything, but I really do think I picked up the idea, somewhere, that ever feeling hungry is bad. It’s okay to be a little hungry!

Don’t starve yourself!

I’m figuring out my food in the morning and making sure I’m getting more than enough calories. But I’m really going to strive to not eat more than what I plan. “No snacking” seems like a simple idea, until it’s 8 p.m. and you’re just kind of idly thinking it would be really nice to nosh on something.

I did well yesterday, which should be fuel to do well today. Ticking off the “Did Not Snack” box on the checklist last night felt good. I want to keep that going.

Day 402: Eating Safe

February Sprint continues. Still feeling good — uncomfortable at a few points during the day, but we unpacked that yesterday.

I was just checking in on minimal safe calories per day, though. I want to get the weight loss stuff back on track, but I also don’t want my kidneys to explode or something. So while I’ve had a run of a few days at about 1,000 calories per day, that’s pretty much just a ramp in, and I need to start thinking about eating a bit more on the regular.

Of course, the Internet being the Internet, it’s 99% horseshit out there. Fortunately, if you know how to do site-restricted searches, you can go right to the source and search, like, Health Canada for estimated calorie requirements. Is it perfect? Probably not, but it’s at least based on something, which is more than I can say, for, like, WebMD or whatever.

So I think coming in at about 75% of my “maintenance” intake, which comes out to about 1600 calories a day for food.

Let’s get this straight: I do not enjoy this kind of food tracking. It’s hard for me to lean into. I just find it fiddly and annoying. But it’s the February Sprint, and I can get behind a few weeks of aggressive food tracking to drop some pounds… healthily.


Day 308: Slip-Up; Daylight Savings Time

Remember when I said not weighing and logging was a warning sign? Yesterday — didn’t log. Now, we were out super late, house concert thing, tables and tables of snacks and food, and I did not drink, but still. I ate way too much. When I got home I felt bad and couldn’t even remember all that I ate. So I didn’t log it. I failed in the task. Worth looking at.

Not a tailspin, but this is the warning parameter I set for myself, so it’s a good thing to look at. What compelled me to eat when I’d already had enough food for the day? What could have kept me from snacking rapaciously? What story do I tell myself in the moment to make overeating okay? And is that a story I can improve or change?

Well, yes. It must be. People do better. I’m a person. So there’s something to unpack in the not-logging and the overeating that’s helpful.

That’s my task for a rainy Sunday: not to spend the whole day beating myself up, but to at least take a bit of a deep dive, replay last night, and see how I could have handled things differently. Mentally train myself to do better the next time I face the same challenge.

And log my g_d food today!


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 300: Logging Itself

After a bit of a week at work, I indulged in more Bad Snacking yesterday than I should have. Definitely not sticking to the plan outlined at the beginning of the day.

So that was not great. But — I did log it. It doesn’t look great on me. It’s not a good look. And logging “peanut butter” is a bit more clinical than “eating peanut butter out of the jar with a spoon”, which is the brutal truth.

Lucky for me there was very little peanut butter left in the jar.

(also: what is it with peanut butter? It’s like a genetic trigger or something. I love the stuff).

So I’m a bit disappointed by the snacking, but a bit proud of the logging. Note that the pride in the logging does not okay the snacking. They’re two siloed pieces of shame and pride. Logging the snack does not approve the snack.

(Culturally, I feel like at some point it became okay for people to be jerks if they pre-emptively disclaimed their jerkitude. It’s still not okay to be a jerk.)

I’m gonna have to log everything if this is going to work. That’s all there is to it. The urge to not log means I’m ashamed, and when the shame silo is filling up with… disappointment wheat… that means it’s time to take that disappointment wheat and bake it into self-examination bread. And cut off a hearty slice of self-examination bread and slather it with insight butter. And eat that. And log it.

Or something.


Day 283: Diet Refocus

Now that Bachelor Week and those sloppy ways are behind me, it’s time to get back on food focus. I’ve been not-bad about eating lately, but it’s 100% true that logging makes all the difference.

The problem is, I hate doing it.

Well, hate’s a strong word. But I really strongly dislike doing it. And I can’t quite figure out why.

It’s kind of gamified, which I like. It’s… fiddly, which I don’t enjoy. And I don’t like everything being partially known, so trying to do it in the morning and not knowing what’s planned for the evening bugs me.

And I’m not always honest with it if food opportunities present themselves during the day, which is annoying and makes me feel guilty.

But there’s no denying that it’s probably the single clearest key to success. So overcoming that obstacle needs to be a priority.

So I’m going to take 10 minutes right now to self-brainstorm ways around this. I’ll append those notes to the blog when I’m done.

10-minute brainstorm…

  • Dedicate time on Sundays to weekly meal planning (pre-grocery shop)
    • …why doesn’t that work when we tried it before?
    • calendar it as a constant? noon-2 on Sundays is ironclad “prep for week” time?
  • Look up “constants” (brown rice, beans, etc.) and make sure I have those on hand
  • Move from Lose It / Fitbit food tracking to paper?
  • Enforce morning checklist as well as evening checklist (but hard to manage time)
  • Have “default” meal for when no meal is planned (rice, beans, veg, sauce) and stick to that — maybe make and freeze in bulk?


  • Lack of meal planning for week on Sundays
  • Shifting commitments during week make it hard to plan ahead
  • Inconsistent meal planning on both our parts
  • Software is really annoying to try to look stuff up with
  • Cheating means not logging, which leads me to more not logging (guilt – laziness)


  • Meal planning on Sundays
  • Harder stance on changing plans during the week
  • Meal planning on Sundays
  • Set aside time every morning to plan food for day
    • Make daily schedule (up at 5…)
  • Don’t cheat! Gamify/affirm/check in more firmly every day