Day 975: Yes, On Track

Yesterday and today seem to have me back on track; I’m just back from a 7k run, tracking food, did the checklist yesterday, the whole nine yards. It feels good! I need to get my school schedule dropped into my work schedule, let the team know about my adjusted hours, and basically get work geared back in after a long weekend.

So yeah! Downstairs now for a bit of pre-work work on Dry and Mighty, and then on to business. Logging food and all that good stuff. Hooray!

Day 973: September!

Oh, snap! I have Tiniest Gallery to do today…

It’s September! School starts this week, and a good time for general rebooting of the good habits I’ve piloted over the last almost-1000 days. So back on food tracking, after a late night (D&D) and considerable grogginess.

Now drinking some coffee and had some breakfast, but it’s time to get cooking! Metaphorically.

Day 960: Lazy weekend!

It turned out to be a bit of a lost weekend, which is fine — some work on the next project, lots of just kind of muttering around, cleaning, laundry, that sort of thing. I think I needed that as a general restorative. The important thing is the mood is up, which is good — sometimes not doing much leads to a slump, but I’m feeling pretty good.

I’ve been off-piste for tracking for the last while, which started with moving my checklist box — I think I need to reposition that as central, and get back on evening planking and checking in, and especially banjo, which I actually kind of miss.

Day 821: The “yo” in “yo-yo”

Ahhh, I knew that the break that kind of spanned the back half of March would be bad on the scales, and I’m back on the scales and no surprises, it’s not great. In the interim I ate a lot of cheese, which was fun.

But — as they say — fall down seven times, get up eight. I think I’m at “fall down thirty-four times” or something at this point, but I keep getting up! And each time the streaks run a little longer and the gains are a little more substantial. I’m cracking the formula, it’s just taking longer than I thought.

My longest streak of 2019 is 31 days of logging; I can top that. Starting today. No big distractions like birthdays or anniversaries or vacations coming up either; I think I’m looking at a nice long ramp of no ‘interruptions’ to put myself on solid footing to break that 31-day streak. I’m running again; I’m committing to simplifying my life. I can do it!

Day 793: Grinding back on track

After last week’s work-related derail, I feel like I’m fully back on track, and a few things on that front:

  • First, I’ve backfilled my notes on my tracker sheet so the gap has a bit more analysis at the start of the gap. I think I need to do a better job of tracking work and how it affects me; there’s nothing before the gap about work stress and 10-hour days, etc.
  • Second, it really is an “all or nothing” affair. The precipitating factor of the gap was not having checklists, and that seemed to just kick off a “all systems no” effect where I just kind of blah’ed out across the board.
  • Third, I can do this! Time to rally.

Day 710: Cyclical

Got up at 4:00 (wife has an early shift), drank water, exercised, fed the cats, made coffee. Business as usual, or it should be! 

Those of you who have been along for the ride for a while probably know that I’m happy to be back on track. The interesting question is “…but for how long“. 

I’ve been bad about daily tracking for QUITE A WHILE — yikes, September — and it has NOT GONE WELL in the interim, weight and exercise while. So time to dust that off. 

Paradoxically, while I find doing lots of this stuff tends to make me less keen on doing this stuff, the only answer I can think of is MORE JOURNALING. Really getting into that comment column in the tracking sheet. Here’s what I can see from previous breaks: 

  • Work business/stress
  • Bad diet leads to breakdown
  • Bad sleep (probably from above) leads to breakdown

It’s not very conclusive, though. I feel like something a bit more “diary-ish”, like the one-sentence journal approach, might be helpful. 

Today, though, getting the jump on the new year’s resolution by getting back on the water/exercise/food tracking track. 

Day 674: I Don’t Like Logging

The next thing I don’t like about being good: logging food. I can’t stand it. It feels like I’m nannying myself, I often don’t have the information to log when I want to log it, the app literally nags me every five seconds to buy their premium version (and fair enough, they gots to get paid, but I still find it annoying).

At its heart, though, I know what the real issue is.

I don’t like being accountable.

At the end of the day, I’d far prefer just to eat garbage when I feel like it, consequence-free. My brain, even though I’m a pretty smart dude, still doesn’t make a tangible link between a piece of pizza today and a sad chubby man on the scales the next day.

Logging is accountability. It’s kinda fuzzy sometimes and it takes a little time out of my day every day. But it’s accountability.

And I don’t like it.

For 674 days I’ve been looping in and out of actually tracking, and I always loop out in full knowledge that this is when this stops working. And I still do it.

We recur to my Smart Guy problem periodically; I’m a smart dude and I know better than to fall into these traps, but I still fall into them. I’ve got some sort of Smart Justification machinery that trips me up. Not giving up is obviously key, but I need to be head-on about why I log, and why I don’t log.

Accountability, baby!

 

Day 590: Rethinking Full Focus

After yesterday’s podcast, I jumped on the scales following a nearly month-long break and… yeesh. It was pretty dire. Like “maybe I should pull a Tom Hanks in Castaway and see if somebody can strand me on an island for a month” kinds of results.

So we’re back to that old core truth: I need to log food. I need to track things daily. And dancing around it just doesn’t work.

It’s… hm. It’s been eighteen months; more, really, since I started this. I seem to circle around the same issue.

I am a smart guy. This is indisputable. I am really goddamn intelligent. I can make websites and podcasts. I’ve written a few books (although never had the guts to try to publish them). I have a prestigious job at a top university.

But I cannot do this consistently. It’s maddening!

I know that intelligence doesn’t equal motivation. There are probably genetic triggers and what-have-you going on.

But really. I’m a smart guy. I can lick this thing. I just haven’t found the key that will keep me from sliding off doing this when I slide off doing it.

Arrgh!

Day 432: Relative Stress

It’s been a bad week! But things are going pretty good now.

The massive work hump is… well, it’s NEVER wholly under control, but it’s sort of back to a dull roar right now.  I feel less panicked. I’m sleeping better.

Light exercise this morning, and I feel like things are more or less back on track. The tragedy of age is that three or four days off-track will push me almost a week off course — you’d think there’d be a logical 50/50 “be good/be not-good” ratio, but there isn’t. Going off-piste briefly actually means losing much more ground, proportionately.

In this daily tracker thing, I’ve got columns for overall mood, work stress, volunteer stress, and home stress. It’s been interesting ranking the three every day. Generally speaking, they tend to cluster. I’m not sure if that’s because I just get stressed about everything when I get stressed in a single area, coincidence (this is still a pretty recent project), or… something else.

With my wife back earning an income, though, my household stress has been arcing down pretty consistently. I hate financial stuff! But it is super important.

A quick run through the 2018 tracking so far… I thought there’d be clear stress precursors to going off-track, but there doesn’t seem to be. “Bad exercise breeds bad exercise” is the one rule of thumb. Huh.