Day 420: Post-Sprint

I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s worth digging into it. I’m almost done with this February Sprint thing, which I think was worth doing. I’ve definitely failed on some fronts (mostly food), generally succeeded on others (pretty consistent exercise, even if it was sometimes phoned in) and really done good in some areas (food logging, daily checklist).

I’m on track for weight loss. I feel pretty good.

But all of this, in summary, was really just me doing what I’d promised myself I’d do in the first place. And in the context of me trying Really Hard for a month.

It’s certainly thrown “my better self versus my bad instincts” into sharp relief.

So I think March might just be… keep it up. No big evolution from the Sprint. I’m making progress in the right direction, and again, this is kind of just a month of reinforcing what I should be doing in the first place.

Today is Sunday, which is always a weird day. I’ve settled on “no exercise, but the other stuff should still get done” as the Sunday plan, which I’m’a stick to.


Day 419: Final Days; No Bedroom Clock

Last few days! I’m looking forward to finishing strong.

I’m still on track but have allowed myself to lapse into “well, I shouldn’t do this, but I’ll log it and then it’s okay” the past few days. My wife made banana bread last night, for instance. So for the next four (!) days, I’ll try to get back to Original Principles of only the foodiest of foods shall pass my lips. I’m doing fine with the Sprint, but I want to finish as strong as I started.

Sidebar: we got rid of the clock in the bedroom about a month ago. I don’t miss it. Here’s the thing. When I wake up in the night, I want to look at the time. It’s mainly just curiosity.

But looking at the time doesn’t help. It just kicks off another chain of anxiety, at worst. “It’s 3 a.m., so now I gotta go back to sleep, because if I don’t, I’ll only have gotten five hours of sleep… oh, now it’s 3:30, God, I’m going to feel terrible tomorrow…” The other option is “Well, it’s 4:45, I might as well just get up.”

Not knowing what time it is narrows that window to “your alarm hasn’t gone off yet so try to go back to sleep.” That’s the only sleep-related thing for my brain to chew on. Now, my brain will always chew on other things. That’s its bag. But at least I’m depriving it of that one specific source of worry.

A month after not having a clock, I’m struggling to think of once conceivable good thing it does for me. I can’t come up with me. So now I’m bedroom clockless. I also don’t keep devices within arm’s reach in the bedroom (we have one old iPhone up there, which is basically just for playing music on).


Day 418: Bad Snack, Bad Sleep

Focusing on the good of the sprint: this is no small thing, but I’ve tracked, logged food (or didn’t log food with intent) and checklisted (ditto) pretty much every day this month.

Yesterday a bunch of stressful stuff happening. It’s important to separate the temporary hassle stressful from the life-affecting stressful. This is in the former category: temporary hassle. There was (healthy but excessive) snacking, and sleep was TERRIBLE.

Sprint continues, though: good exercise this morning, and meditation at lunch will help me get through the tiredness of bad sleep. Looking at my tracker this morning and realizing that I’ve really stayed on top of that in 2018 so far — and food logging — is definitely a point of pride.

Weight is on target for where I want it to be. Frankly, I was hoping the sprint would get me ahead of target, but on target is not a bad thing.


Day 417: Six days to go!

Strong showing in the Sprint yesterday. I mean, they should all be strong showings, right? But with some recent stumbles I’m celebrating the triumphs. Six days to go, and I’m reminding myself of what I said at the start of the month. I’m’a be a bit hungry (safely hungry). It’s a bit uncomfortable. But I need to get into that space of discomfort and unpack a little.

I’ve inspired my wife, which is nice — she’s been talking March Sprint, which is a noble goal, but she also has some actual events for her beer consulting business coming up in March. So my recommendation is going to be save a sprint for a point when you know you can lock into goodness.

To be honest, I feel like I’m going to be coming out of February trying to keep this going. It’s not like I haven’t had a few bad breaks this month, so if I’m committed to, I don’t know, “28 days of being good” I’ll need to push this into March to accrue that.

Six days to go, though — eyes on the prize.

This is where the alcohol management philosophy of “I will not drink today” comes in. Don’t freak out by thinking about forevers and long-term plans. I’ll keep the sprint up today. That’s all I need to do.

Day 416: One Week to Go

As promised yesterday, back on track today. I know I come and go on “Sundays are off days,” but I’m glacially coming to the conclusion that I shouldn’t have “off” days for food logging and the checklist. Exercise, sure. But an off day for tracking really messes up my stride. Plus it gave my weak brain an excuse for the holiday Monday, which is no bueno.

I really do have to keep it up seven days a week.

I also can’t underestimate how much being hurt affects my morale and ability to keep things up. My shoulder’s about 90% better today, but even non-shoulder-related-stuff was hard when it was bunged up. My sleep was bad, my exercise motivation was dismal. And when those things go, my food resistance erodes quickly too. I think I’ve pulled into a good recovery for the last week of this sprint, but it was a rough go.

One week left in the Sprint! I’ve had a weird middle patch; almost tidily predicted a week ago when I said my body was starting to rebel. Time for a big final push. I can get a lot done in a week.



Day 415: Sprinting While Sore

Shoulder kept me up last night, and for the last few days has been doing more of a number on my morale than I’d care to admit — weight’s ticked up a notch; nothing terrible but higher than I’d like.

The key right now is not to lean into feeling floompy. Dig in, get out. Light exercise this morning, keep an eye on food today (I turned Sunday and a holiday Monday into an excuse — nothing terrible, but not in the spirit of the Sprint, either).

Right now, I’m mainly just sleepy. Part of that is no coffee yet today, but if I’m at the point that I absolutely require coffee to wake up, that’s a good sign that I need to back off the coffee a bit.

So: a little bit back to basics today: do the exercise, log the food, keep it tight. See if I can get back on weight track and finish the last week of this strong despite the shoulder injury.

This is the month I’m going to leap ahead. I just need to keep that “leap ahead” in mind and push through. One more week to go…

Day 414: Holiday Monday; Sore

Late post today because I slept in a bit for a holiday Monday here in Ontario. What I was hoping was a temporarily sore shoulder/neck thing has turned into a pretty acutely sore shoulder/neck thing.

Shoulder and neck have been a problem since a bike accident in Quebec almost 20 years ago. It’s easy for me to pull and tear my shoulder muscles, and I guess some super vigorous rowing has done that. Nothing for it but to keep up the exercise, but light so I don’t exacerbate it, and stretch more routinely using some stuff I used in physio a couple of years back.

Yesterday was an off day for food logging — Sunday — and Saturday was a big sushi day, so I suspect I’ll have some ground to make up. But the extra sleep was nice, and I’m looking forward to an additional project day around the house before getting back to work tomorrow.

Work’s going to be a bearcat this week: short week, and also some things coming that are in no way my fault but are going to be my responsibility. So best to have a good day today, get a clear head, and refresh myself as much as possible.


Day 413: Stuffed with Sushi

Ooof. After a good run last week I failed the Sprint with sushi last night. It’s the first time I’ve been officially over on calories since I started the month. Still, I reconnected with an old friend, and made a new one (and even ran into another friend). So it was a great night. Just a stumble in the Sprint.

But the Sprint continues; I’ve got another day today to get back on track and eat sensibly. Sundays are exercise recovery days, so I’ve got to watch my food intake anyway.

Still feeling good and confident. I’m sure the scales won’t be kind but I’ve got a good trendline to look at that’s dipping down from the start of the month. As long as this is the blip and not the pivot, I’m in great shape.


Day 412: Weird Dinner Plans

Still sprinting along — a better workout than I usually get on Saturdays this morning. The big challenge today will be meeting friends for dinner (no problem) at 8 p.m. (problem). They’re in town for a Scrabble tournament, which ends at 7:30, so we’re meeting just after that.

That’s weird for me, foodwise. Normally not a problem, but February Sprint! So… do I have some sort of evening snack, then dinner? Do I try to hold off breakfast and lunch as long as possible, and just try to defer my whole eating clock by two hours today? What to do?

It’s a good life when this is your biggest problem.

Day 411: Back on my feet; work adjustments

Back on track! A weird week for the Sprint, but it continues. Good snack-resistance last night, good exercise this morning.

My wife’s working a new job, which is great financially, but it’s weird-hour shiftwork, so she had to get up at 3:30 this morning and I got up briefly to see her off, then went back to bed. I was worried that this might be effectively insomnia again, but I conked out proper, got focused and exercised well, and seem to be in good shape for the day.

I’m entering the back half of the February Sprint going strong. Key from here is just staying on it. It was hard to bear down on exercise for the first five minutes this morning. One million mental excuses. But I just kept going at it, and after a few minutes found the rhythm of the thing and put in a good 30.

We’re halfway through the month! Feeling good.