Day 886: Continue to Not Negotiate with the Food Table (Day 24 of 100)

Almost a quarter through the hundred days and I feel like I’m really on track. The first 10% of this was a bit of a muddle, but I’m in the groove and a quarter done! Woo!

Today brings… another food table. Another event! But yesterday went really well, in that I just packed a lunch and a snack, ate my own food, and didn’t even begin food table negotiations. Today’s just a repeat, so easier than yesterday, I’ll expect.

(shouldn’t get cocky, though).

It is good to feel like I’m in the groove here. 25% in. One day at a time!

Day 885: Never Negotiate With the Food Table (Day 23 of 100)

Big event at work today, and it’s one of those events where there will be a speaker and “light refreshments provided,” which usually translates as mixed sandwiches, crackers and cheese, squares, and possibly a cake. A Food Table.

Sandwiches are my nemesis, as I think I’ve mentioned before. I don’t know why, exactly. I’m not a sandwich guy at home. I rarely make sandwiches and I don’t desire sandwiches in my routine life. But put me in front of a table of half-sandwiches made by somebody else, and it’s like a terrible switch flips in my brain. Sandwiches!

Texting with my wife (4 a.m. start, she was at work for 5), she asked why I don’t stick some snacks from this event in the Magic Bag, as that’s kind of the whole Magic Bag idea. After some reflection, I realized that it’s easier for me to avoid the Food Table than to negotiate with the Food Table.

Once I’m in a relationship with the Food Table, there’s a lot that can go wrong. I can crumble in the face of sandwiches. I can just kind of pile stuff on a plate absent-mindedly as I talk to somebody else. I can start doing that mental math-game calculus of well I did do twenty minutes of spin this morning so just one more…

Avoiding the food table, though, is a delight. Pure and simple. Just avoid the food table.

More importantly, don’t start playing the mental math game of what-counts-what-doesn’t-count, etc.

So yes. It’s going to take some willpower in the face of sandwiches, but there will be no Food Table negotiations on this day.

Day 884: Still computerrrrrrs (Day 22 of 100)

I am fighting the temptation to turn this into an “Ubuntu is hard!” blog and podcast.

But Ubuntu is hard. I actually got hectored the other day for not having an intimate understanding of it when looking for help on a Plex-related issue, which was annoying, but one soldiers on.

It’s a pain, but at the same time, it’s also an education — arguably, messing around fixing Ubuntu so I can run Plex is a better use of my time than actually watching things on Plex, which is kind of ironic, when I think about it. I’m learning a ton about filesystems, how Ubuntu works, file organization, and getting a refresher on a lot of things I once knew like tarring archives, etc.

So I’m off to resolve an invalid arch-independent ELF magic error, then fill the Magic Bag, and another day at a time! Which is still going well, by the way.

Day 883: Computerrrrrs (Day 21 of 100)

Yesterday was a wash; the Ubuntu install on the Plex server went down with an initramfs error, and I spent over five hours bashing away at it (with some very nice folks at Ask Ubuntu helping me out); I’ve put so much work into the Plex database that I want to exhaust every option before reinstalling Ubuntu.

Not much of a “so what” to that except that NOT SNACKING IS HARD, GUYS. Maybe just for me, but the number of times I was bored/frustrated with the process and my mind wandered down to the kitchen was insane. It really is, for me, a booze-level addiction. The magic bag works wonders, but at the end of it, it really is a “one day at a time” thought process where I do have to sometimes literally white-knuckle through that urge to just eat something and fire those happy receptors in my brain.

You’d think I’d weigh 400 pounds or something; it’s almost equally interesting that this isn’t monster “eat two pizzas” urges, but the urge to just lightly graze constantly that has got me in the state I’m in now. Which isn’t, like, horrible, by North American standards, but still not where I’d like to be.

10k in 58:18 this morning, which is pretty damn good for me. Weight loss stalled, but whatever, this isn’t about burning pounds urgently, it’s about mastering the fitness and diet portions of things.

Day 882: Sunday in the Magic Bag (Day 20 of 100)

Not gonna lie, last night was rough. I did it! Don’t get me wrong. No snacking, I did it, but it was a white-knuckle late night as I waited up to pick my wife up at work at midnight. Hooray for shift work!

Weekends have always been the weak point; this is my first Sunday since setting up the magic bag metaphor (and I’m really a sucker for story, I think; this really does help). So logging after this, and then filling the bag for the day. I’m not averse to “cheat day” philosophies, as long as it’s in the bag.

It’s also rainy as heck today, making this a good day for… something. Not sure what. But it’s not an outdoors day, for sure.

Day 881: Managing overtraining (Day 19 of 100)

Yesterday’s run was brutal, and I spent the rest of the day feeling my heart — I haven’t worn a heart rate thinger in about two years (no use for ’em, in the end), but I recognize overtraining. Going up a flight of stairs at work got me sweaty.

So today was good exercise, but about being slow, deliberate, and paying a lot of attention to form on the rowing machine. I wound up sweaty anyway — it turns out control takes effort, just different effort than hard aerobics.

The Magic Bag will be put to the test this weekend as my wife’s working shifts; I do well when there’s somebody else in the house, not in a direct policing way, but it just sort of ambiently helps, somehow. One day at a time! Off for radio soon, then a day of various chores; then on my own to maintain good behaviour for the evening.

Day 880: Run Like Hell (Day 18 of 100)

Oh, man. “Run 5k in one direction and then run back” was definitely the winning strategy today, because left to my own devices I would have packed it in at seven. 3000 metres of torture today; leaden legs, heart thudding, just no mojo at all. But when you have to get home one way or the other, walking 3k is so much slower than running that you might as well run. Well, jog. Well, shuffle.

Tomorrow will wrap up my first Week Of Really Serious Exercise in a long time, when every day has been about putting in best effort rather than kind of just doing things. This is my third 10k in five days, and with tomorrow’s row I’ll have earned a Sunday of rest for sure.

I’m kind of enjoying the one day at a time idea, and it’s interesting now to search this blog to see if I’ve tried it before and forgotten that I did it. I sort of have. It’s weird how much of this only ever lives in my short-term memory and then gets erased.

Day 879: The Magic Bag (Day 17 of 100)

I pack a lunch, which is nothing special, but in my bad habit periods I also have a tendency to go down and pick something up at the school cafeteria, or meet a friend at a pub and order fries and a soft drink, and… stuff. I’m also a terrible home snacker. It’s a problem that we’ve talked about a lot here before.

This isn’t a new thing I’m doing, but it’s a little story I’ve made up for myself about a thing I’m trying to stick to (one day at a time!).

I have a magic bag.

Every morning, I can put whatever I want into the magic bag. Usually it’s a salad with some legumes for protein, some fruit, a snack like half an avocado or a cup of peanuts in the shell, or something. But I can put whatever I want in there! If I want to put a can of soda in there, I can. I can put a bag of Skittles in there. I can put eight bags of Skittles in there! As long as I have it in the house at the beginning of the day, I can put whatever I want in the bag.

And then, for the rest of the day, I can only eat what I’ve put in the bag.

It’s the kind of Cartesian drink/don’t drink thing that works well for me. I operate best with do/do-not, not shades of grey (you can open the bag of Skittles but only eat five). Literally putting my food into a bag and saying “anything outside this bag is forbidden is easier on me, mentally, than saying “you can eat whatever you want, just be sensible about it.”

Not everyone’s wired like me! That’s pretty obvious at this point. But these are the kinds of things that help. Magic bag!

Day 878: 1000 Snails, Trying to Make It (Day 16 of 100)

10k in SUB one hour today — 59:18, so just squeaking in there, but that’s a boost to the ol’ confidence. “One day at a time” did save me from snacking twice yesterday, too.

The run this morning took me down some misty paths, and it’s been humid in the evenings, so the one path down by King’s Crossing had me dodging snails — probably not literally a thousand, but hundreds. And I thought “there’s got to be a metaphor in here somewhere” — the snails, all tempted out by a moist night and the promise of the new, but now the sun’s coming up and the asphalt’s drying and they’re all struggling to get to safe harbour.

I couldn’t quite make it work, though. Am I the snail? Have I been a snail? They’re trying their best but get tempted into things they have to then work their way out of, maybe.

Metaphors are hard.

Day 877: Pictures! (Day 15 of 100)

This is not something I’m going to be transparent about, but I’ve been thinking that pictures might be a good motivator, so I’ve enlisted my wife’s help in taking front-and-side photos that I’ll update… probably weekly? to see whether there’s a visible difference in what’s going on. This is inspired in part by the Progress Pics subReddit, which seems to be healthy and supportive, not like crazy body dysmorphic or anything. Also very supportive of trans posters, which is nice.

It’s actually a pretty inspiring place to be for a bit, especially when I discovered I can search for stories of people in my height range. Reading some stories really does underscore the need for consistency and treating this as a lifestyle change, not as a project that will stop some day. Plus it gets my competitive / “kill the bear!” side going.

Right now, I’m adopting the AA “One Day At A Time” approach starting today. I have been freaking myself out a little with the “never snack again” mentality, which then turns into “snack today and you can never snack again tomorrow!”. So I’m trying to shift my headspace to one day at a time — it worked for drinking, and it can work for this.