Day 653: Careful With That Food, Eugene

A not-great day for exercise today — cat-based insomnia — but I had a good day for food yesterday, and a good exercise session yesterday.

So it’s “careful with food” today, as I get ready to move out. I haven’t weighed myself in a while! I got the scale back while I was on vacation, but vacation. And now I’m frankly a bit too anxious to do it. I’m going to give myself a week of eating well before I give that a shot.

Day 632: No Scale

We loaned our scale to a friend for a week or so who needs to keep track of something for a medical reason; we didn’t pry. But I can’t weigh myself for a while, which is strangely liberating.

Not weighing myself is usually a bad sign and a predictor of future dumb behaviour. But this time I feel like I’m on an upswing: coming out of a big stressful period, things going well at work, volunteer life busy but productive.

Exercise is consistent, sleep has actually been pretty good (another up early back to bed day for me today), and I’ve been in the okay zone for food. Sobriety is obviously good.

No weighing for a week! We’ll see what happens. I didn’t leave off on a high note.


Day 467: Sadness Cookies

A short one today: a good friend and lover of dogs had to say goodbye to a friend the other day, so I’m trying to juggle everything while baking cookies, which means I’ll have to run downstairs momentarily to take them out of the oven.

The good news is I have my mornings down to a science to the point that I can sort of slide baking cookies into my routine. Exercise is ON POINT this week, even if food hasn’t been great — this circuit training thing is destroying me, in a good way, four days a week, and rowing and running are going strong.

Food and weight? I’m in a holding pattern, and I’m okay with it. I’m not losing weight the way I want, but I’m not GAINING weight, and with everything going on, honestly logging what I eat and tracking my weight, sleep, mood etc. every day is a good baseline. I don’t think I can be motivated on all of the things, all of the time, so my motivation is sliding from diet to volunteer business. That’s okay.

Quick blog post, quick recording, off to get cookies out of the oven!

Day 296: Failure Analysis

Well, I’ve had a great 24 hours with the not-new rules. Got up this morning, read my “SUCCESS!” poster, and proceeded to do all the things. So far, so good!

But I know I’ve been here before. And I’ve fallen off before. So I think I might take a few minutes this morning to look at the Daily Weight tallies and see if I can see a pattern in terms of starting and stopping weighing myself. It will be a general indicator of overall adherence, because weighing and food logging are usually the first things to go.

So maybe there are trends? Maybe not. Maybe I’ll peek right now…

…wow, I was SOLID from March through April. Nine straight weeks. Then off for 10 days in May, on for a week, off for a week, first week of June, on and off in July, and pretty solid in August. Rock solid for the last three weeks of September.

Notes from that:

  • I make progress when I track. For sure. Its totally visible.
  • I haven’t been as bad as I thought, over time. I would have guessed I spent 50% of my time with weighing, when it’s more like 75%. I’m better than I thought! I should be easier on myself.
  • There’s no real easy pattern like “three weeks on and then I fall off”. I clearly did best in the first two months of weighing. I tend to stop on weekends, if there’s a trend to be seen easily.

I’m… not disappointed, but I was hoping for something more easily observed. Like “watch out after the first three weeks!” kind of thing. But it seems like I’ve had a few start-of-month renewals, and some pretty good long runs. Saturdays and Sundays are the days to watch for sure!

So no immediate lessons, but it’s good to see that I’ve been better than I thought about it. Back on that horse, this time with daily affirmations…



Day 281: Aftermath

Wow. So I weighed myself last night, and let’s just say I’m going to give myself a few days before I start logging that again, lest I despair.

I learned a few things about myself during bachelor week. The key thing being that the real bachelor is the friends I made along the way. Also that I’m better in a partnership than I am in bachelorhood, or at least I’ve evolved systems that have made me a partner.

So I’ve kinda let myself go over the last week. Nothing tremendously terrible, but that’s a thing. And I still have the cough from my cold a month ago, which means it’s time to suck it up and call the doctor. I really try to avoid that, but I think we’re now in “lung infection” territory, which is bad. Pneumonia would be worse.

Anyway — it’s Thanksgiving Monday here in Canada, so we’re giving ourselves one more day of bummin’ around. My wife needs to decompress from her trip. I… well, I like bummin’ around. So tomorrow is back to basics.

Again, this whole project seems to be kind of “advance and retreat.” Each advance puts me a bit further ahead than the last. So bachelor week was a retreat, in many important ways. Time to advance again!

Day 248: Doing Good, Looking Bad

This is not the first time I’ve lost weight. I did this dance back in the early 2000s, faster and more successfully. I was younger then! And had a much simpler life. And the whole foot-break thing was what threw me off for a few years.

At any rate. I’ve lost weight before. And this bit is the worst.

I’ve lost about 10 pounds (up and down), which is not nearly as much as I’d hoped by now, but it’s still an achievement. And I’m hitting the point where I’m doing better, but looking worse.

I can’t explain it. It’s like 10-pounds-heavier me was heavier but more tightly packed. I could see the shadow of a six-pack. I didn’t really have man-boobs.

But now that I’ve lost a few pounds, everything’s looking kind of bloaty and saggy.

And, coincidentally or not, running has been real hard this week. 10k this morning, but every step was just kind of annoying. The whole run felt like I had energy locked in me somewhere but out of reach.

I have a vague memory of all of this before — it’s some sort of weird interim phase. It’s like the medium point when you’re growing your hair out. There’s like this shoulder-length bob that you get for about three-four months.

Those are memories from much longer ago, by the way. If I grew my hair out now I’d look like Limekiller from Bloom County. Now that’s digging in the crates.

Day 116: Daily Weigh-In

Yesterday was the first day I straight up didn’t weigh myself. I would say “forgot,” but it was only semi-forgetting. I was fogged on a lack of sleep. So I remembered the weigh-in, but only when I wasn’t in a position to to it.

That aspect of things is going well — a simple number, easy to do and to log. Really, failure to weigh yesterday was due specifically to sleep fail. And again, it’s all connected — good sleep, good exercise, good diet, staying sober.

Weigh-in every morning, first thing

The key really is to do it very first thing: get up, go to the bathroom, get on the scale, log the number. It’s oddly not a habit yet, though, despite it being a thing for almost two months now — you’d think it would become instinct at some point, but it still takes conscious thought.

Of the “simple ideas that are working out,” though, it’s one of the leaders. Again, it’s linked at the top menu of this site, so you can keep track of me (and some exercise numbers, too). Public accountability for the win!



Day Fifty-Six: Weight Loss Rates

It’s a pretty garbagey Internet, when you look at it. Content marketing has a lot to answer for; literal hordes of people generating whatever (especially on reasonably popular questions like weight loss rates) at about one cent a word to populate blogs to drive advertising.

So I’ll take the Centers for Disease Control as the most authoritative source on weight loss rates: losing 1-2 pounds a week steadily is the most successful way to control weight loss. And the general advice that this is a lifestyle thing, not a temporary “diet” thing, is good too.

Weight loss rates index to lifestyle changes

“Lifestyle change” is hard, though. So I’m looking at daily weighing as a kind of motivator for that. Hopefully — if all goes as planned — the “forget about it number” will just be a kind of second check-in in the morning.

I had a great time at a LAN party yesterday — more on that tomorrow — but man, there was a lot of bad food and some not-great food decisions. I slipped into the old habit of justifying bad food with not drinking. Again, lifestyle change is hard.

So the aim now is 1-2 pounds a week, stably, for the medium term.

And that’s about it for weighing — time to return to random topics for a bit.

Time for the weigh-in!

Day Fifty-Five: How to Weigh Yourself

Continuing on this quest for perfect weighing:

Essentially: the same time, every day, as naked as possible.

That’s really about it.

Obviously, your level of nakedness will depend on where you are when you do it (and your level of comfort). But you want consistent circumstances; for me, that tends to be first thing in the morning, right before showering. I might switch that up to “right after I get out of bed”, because that’s the absolutely most consistent time.

The daily weighing, weekly averaging should take care of fluctuations from there.

Saturday mornings are actually kind of weird for me, because it feels like it should be a lazy weekend morning. But due to the radio show, I actually leave the house about 40 minutes earlier than I do on weekdays, so I have less time than usual. So Saturday is my exercise break day, but I’m still going to try to weigh myself.



Day Fifty-Four: When to Weigh

When to weigh? I’m talking frequency here, not time of day — that might be tomorrow.

I’m coming from a place where I refused to weigh myself at all because it’s kind of a bullshit metric for health. Which I maintain is true… your weight isn’t an indicator of how healthy you are. I know a lot of guys that are skinnier than me whose asses I could kick by most metrics. I can run 5k in under 25 minutes, and sustain mixed cardio for 30. Neither of these things are Crossfit God stuff, but better than most folks can do.

So I’m not hung up on weight as a number as a perfect indicator of fitness.

That being said, it’s a metric, and as I said yesterday, I kind of need something that I can hang progress on. The whole “feel-look” thing doesn’t quite do it for me after fifty-plus days, so I’m looking for an actual number that I can hang my hat on. And as much as I hate it, weight does that.

When to weigh? Daily.

So here’s my daily weight. Again, public accountability. I’m going to add it to the main menu as well. The sheet will track weight, exercise, and an every-Sunday average.

Why the every-Sunday average? So I don’t make myself crazy with the daily weigh-in. I think it’d make me nuts to do it every day and take it super seriously.

There are two broad schools of thought (other than “don’t weigh): weigh daily, for maximum knowledge, or weigh weekly, to reduce stress. The current science seems to say daily weighing is most effective. Or, y’know, not, depending. It’s a mess.

But the compromise I’ve come to, which makes sense, is to weigh myself daily and try to put that out of my mind entirely. It’s just a number. Weight fluctuates, depending on what’s been going on with a bunch of stuff. Fuggedabout it. Log it and move on.

What I want to pay attention to is the weekly average, and the trendlines.

This way, I hopefully won’t make myself crazy with the daily weight, but I won’t be staking everything on a weekly weigh-in, either.