Day 454: Not much to report?

A good holiday yesterday — long walk with my wife, tinkered with some volunteer projects, and messed around with a board game I’ve been meaning to teach myself. Went to a friend’s place for games in the evening.

I actually have to run to do the radio show — so a short one today! My wife is on board for Healthy Holiday Weekend, so we’re going to be sensible about food, which is good.

Day 437: Back to Good

Good exercise this morning, pretty good on food yesterday — I think I can say I’m officially Back on Track. It’s going to take a solid week of being attentive to get back the week I lost, though.

I mentioned this the other day: my setbacks set me further back than the length of the setback. I don’t know how to articulate the issue more clearly than that. One day off puts me two days back. One week off puts me three weeks back.

It’s frustrating, but I suppose age is supposed to be.

One tries not to freak oneself out — “you mean I have to be on top of this, rigidly, forever?” is exactly the kind of thing that makes me stress eat. So it’s a one day at a time thing, letting every win bolster your confidence for another day. I imagine that’s why my losses come in streaks too — “one day at a time” works for good days, but tends to clump the bad ones as well. “Yesterday was terrible, how can I come back from that?” kind of thinking.


Day 435: Running Again

First run of the year! Painful. Slow. Ugly. But done — 6.5k, a wheezing, shambling mess. Again, DONE.

I was just looking back over old data, and last September was the last time I was really ON TRACK — six months ago. I’m struggling to remember what happened in September and October of last year that threw me off so badly, but then I remembered: I HAVE THIS. I just need to dial the blog back to last September/October and check in!

A bad week last week, and a few setbacks, but I’m feeling good and confident and on track now. I’m adjusting to some schedule changes in my wife’s working life. More importantly, SHE’S adjusting to some schedule changes and being amazing about some demanding shift work that’s getting her up as early as 3:30 a.m. and sometimes coming to bed around 1 a.m. depending on when she’s on the clock.

All in all, things are looking as good as they have been in the last 435 days. Sobriety’s been great — barely even a whisper of the drinking nag — I feel good to be running again, and I feel like after a week of being a bit sloppy I’m actually anxious to eat right and get back on track.

Day 434: Quick and Quiet

Mainly just a check-in today, because I have a houseguest in the next room and don’t want to wake him up…

  • Haven’t been great about “Church” the last few weeks, so that’s a priority today
  • I need to start treating Udemy like REAL SCHOOL and not like a fun thing I do sometimes — I’ve been real bad about it in 2018. Brushing up on these skills should be mandatory!
  • I need to find a Thing. I don’t have a Thing.


Day 433: I Miss Being Good

After a bad week, I’m anxious to get back on track. It’s an interesting feeling, and it gives me hope. I’m actually a bit twitchy to get exercise and eat properly.

I have to admit, when I’m feeling down, taking an exercise and bad food break is about 50% “ugh” and “50% “thank god” — I don’t like the reasons I’m doing it, but freeing up the mental space around it is temporarily refreshing.

But I’m anxious to get back to it! Which, again, a bit surprising and very gratifying. I don’t think I’ll ever become one of Those People, but it’s nice to know that after a year and a bit, I’m calibrating toward a natural state of eating sensibly and exercising.


Day 386: Ticking along

Everything seems fine. That’s a kind of dull topic of the day, but… everything seems fine. That’s good! I should be super happy! I am pretty happy, actually.

Exercise is on point. I’m doing well with diet. Sleep last night was pretty good, and it was a fun, productive weekend that was a good blend of getting things done and having fun doing those things.

Volunteer stuff is busy, but not quite overwhelming, and the business is due to some major projects that are moving forward at a pretty good clip, so humps rather than high baselines.

Here’s a thing: I’ve just spent a week not playing No Man’s Sky. I really enjoy playing No Man’s Sky. But I’m getting a lot done and also feel pretty good not playing it. The question is obvious. Do I go another week without?

My inclination is yes: the game isn’t going anywhere, I have some stuff that needs doing, and… well, I feel okay not playing. So I’m going to commit to another game-free week. Oooh! That feels tingly. Anxious. Okay. I’m committed now. So let’s do it. Game-free week is on!

Day 383: On top, fearing bottom

Okay, another pretty good morning of up-to-exercise. It’s been over a year, and I’m wondering how I keep from slumping on this; if people are a bit sick of the cyclical nature of the podcast, trust me, I am too.

Initially, I thought this would be an “up and up” sort of experience: reporting successes, being inspiration. Instead, it’s kind of a “muddling publicly” experience. I’m just giving voice to my… gradual progress? Can I even say I’m progressing? I’m not even sure at this point.

I’m not down! It’s important to say that I’m not depressed. I’m doing well, right now, I’m just stymied by what happens to make this stick.

My gut (ha!) is that I do well for a while, then some sort of weight loss or body fat or psychological or other trigger goes off and says “but now you must eat!” and I go bananas.

I’m kind of at capacity with stuff right now, or I’d dive into the data on this a bit more. I have 383 days of talking about it behind me, so there must be some clues there. It’s not a good few weeks coming up, but I should actually analyze all of this at some point.

Hm. Maybe I should have some sort of check-in checklist every day so I can start mapping where I’m at with things.

Food: On Track

Weight: Overweight

Exercise: Vigorous/On Track

Mood: Good

Sleep: Adequate

Night-Before Checklist: No

Work Stress: Moderate

Volunteer Stress: Moderate

Home Stress: Low



Day 318: On Track

The whole “leisure with intent” thing was kind of a moot point yesterday, as I had a lunch meeting, then a volunteer board meeting after work. So I didn’t have any time to manage! It was all pure stuff.

Tried to apply it this morning, though, and it seems to be okay? I literally just pulled myself out of a “well, I guess I should”… spiral of starting to do things like set up an alert for the Canadian dollar (I subscribe to some pay-as-you-go Internet things that bill American, so I should proactively top up when our dollar is doing well). Not even slack things, but not-the-podcast.

I feel like I’ve bounced back well from staycation week: getting up promptly, exercising, food tracking. weighing. Weight is not as nightmarish as it was right after staycation, either.

On the whole, things are going well. I’ve also been noodling over some format change ideas, and I think I have a good one. It’s a bit of an investment, but I’m ready to make it.

So “stay the course” for today, with a side helping of “think of the future of this project.” Not a bad way to start the day.


Day 117: Small Decisions

It all comes down to small decisions, right? Which is tough for me in the moment — when I want something, it’s easy to come down on the other side of it. “It’s just a __________”. Snack, skip day for exercise, etc. But I’m making (slow) progress with weight and fitness — losing pounds and feeling better. So it’s easy to look back and see that as the result of a lot of small right moves.

Small decisions are tough because they’re small.

It’s hard, in the moment, to see things in aggregate. So I constantly make ‘exceptions’ for myself — I’ll stay up late tonight, I’ll have this one snack, I’ll lowball exercise just today. From any outside perspective, obviously this snowballs. But it’s hard to see it in that moment.

So getting on the scale this morning and thinking “not bad,” I really tried to flash back to small decisions over the past few days. Going a bit harder with exercise, not snacking, sticking to a meal plan.

Mainly, the small decisions have to do with food. Which, as we’ve established, has been a real weak point for me. But it’s been good to see some progress, and trying to wire small decisions to that progress is my big play right now. Is “small decision, big consequence” a new mantra?