Day 774: Exercise motivation

It is hard to get psyched up to exercise in the morning. Maybe I do need to re-introduce music to the proceedings.

Then again, I did work out this morning, hard, and yesterday morning, hard, so clearly music’s not a requirement, but a help.

This morning was another interval thing on the rower — it’s only about 20 minutes of work, but holy jeez, what a 20 minutes. I’ve taken the “90% kitchen 10% gym” thing to heart — if I really do a good job with food, and get some quality exercise in every morning, that’s a good thing. I walk to and from work, and around town.

And it has been working. A bit of a weight stall after coming back from the February 1 debacle, but on the whole, things are trending along nicely. Still weirded out by the fat percentage versus weight equations, which seem to vary interestingly now.

Day 759: Shovelin’ and Backslidin’

Spinnin’ and shovelin’, to be more accurate. The shoveling needed doing, but I’ve never been super satisfied with just that as exercise (something I have to do doesn’t feel like exercise, if you know what I mean), so I put in 10 kind of meh minutes on the spin bike first.

I’m keeping up with everything (with a couple of minor stumbles), and pretty much keeping to the Path, but my intensity is flagging a little. I think I’m okay with this, for the most part. My mantra of “at least 10 minutes of exercise a day” is built on the confidence that as I lose some weight and get a bit fitter my appetite for it will grow.

I’m also backing off the banjo in the evening by practicing less, but kind of starting over with a “play and sing” approach because just playing was helping me get better, but… I can’t play and sing! So I’m dialling back where I’m at for playing by several months to start re-doing the simpler music and singing along with it.

Day 751: Meh, Weights

Weights this morning… bah. Not that the exercise was bad, but I think I need to actually look at some routines and take it a bit more seriously than “lift some stuff.” I’ve got a book — I think it’s a quarter-century old now, but weights don’t change — and I’ll set aside some time to pore over it and find some ways to get variety and optimize a bit.


Oh, boy! Today was my first day starting High Intensity Interval Training on the rower, which by the midpoint had become Medium Intensity Interval Training, and by the end, if we’re honest, Rather Not A Lot of Intensity At All Training. RNAIAAT.

I’m selling myself short — it was good effort, and I put in about as many kms in under half an hour as I usually do in a 30 minute jag, and I certainly feel worked out.

SNOWPOCALYPSE CONTINUES but I don’t need to shovel out the end of my driveway after the ploughs have gone by, because we don’t own a car. We rent cars and we’ll need driveway access then, but in a few days a big snow thing will come by and shoot all that snow into a snow truck where it will be taken to live on that big snow farm upstate with all its friends and maybe I’ll get to visit at some point but it’s such a long drive.

Time and appetite for exercise is always the challenge. I feel like this HIIT stuff will be super hard to maintain daily — even alternating between spin and rowing — so I think I might start doing strength on some days and HIIT on others. Tomorrow, weights; Wednesday, HIIT, etc.

Once again: amazing the difference a big glass of water (500 mL, I have a mason jar) makes first thing in the morning. Just kicks you in the teeth. It’s great.

Day 749: Late! Snow! Dungeons!

SUPER late today!

First, I was up till 1 a.m. playing D&D with friends online. So I slept in.

Second, SNOWPOCALYPSE! It came down last night, and the location of our house and the direction of the wind meant I got about a street’s worth of snow in the driveway, so exercise today was a killer arms-and-shoulders shovelling workout. HIIT starts tomorrow!

Day 747: Stall

All right — it’s been a week and I haven’t dropped an ounce; I can officially say I’m stalled. This early! It’s frustrating.

I’m being pretty diligent about food; exercising daily at least a bit (and usually a goodly amount). Here’s the possible culprits:

Of it all, I’m guessing my metabolism is a bit slower than I’d like it to be — and switching up exercise to try to get a little more intensity in there is a good idea.

I’m going to start there — for the next week, try to do more interval training on the rower and less solid state stuff. I’ve pulled down some interval ideas from the Concept 2 site, and am looking up how to set up intervals on the rower.

I’ll be honest — I’m having a hard time getting stoked about exercise in the mornings these days. Maybe the intervals will shake things up and get me excited again!

Day 743: I don’t wanna

Exercise! Exercise may be the hardest demon to slay in the new year. I have friends who work out every morning and seem to dig it, but it’s definitely my ugh moment between getting up and going to work.

I have an extended metaphor for it that I need to record with special effects and music at some point called you are a wizard in which I basically explain that you’re a wizard, and you can cast a spell that makes you healthier and more confident and better looking and your clothes fit better and people think more highly of you. But you have to perform the ritual for 30 minutes every morning, and the ritual is physically demanding.

You’d do that, right? A magic spell that delivers all that stuff, in exchange for a paltry 1/48th of your day every day?

You’d be nuts not to! And that’s exercise, baby.

Despite even having that kicky metaphor rolling around in my head, and my go-to list of motivational phrases, it is still harrrrrrrd some days to kick it into gear.

I’m doing it, though! I have to. I’m on this path to getting where I want to be in 2019, and I’m not deviating. I didn’t eat chips yesterday at game time (had some fresh fruit, though). I’ve successfully been a non-snacking mofo for two straight weeks. I can lock this down, I just have to do the work.

Day 738: Spinning is &^%$ hard

Added a couple of charts to the 2019 Tracker, so hopefully those trend lines will help inspire me in moments of despair.

Spinning! It’s HARD! I knew that already from previous spinning — I even went to a drop-in class once, and my wife was an avid spin studio member for about a year. We bought a high-end-of-the-low-end bike for Christmas 2017.

It’s been a while since I’ve spun, and holy DIVER. I set myself up for 20 minutes of mixed speed and resistance, and those shuttle jump-up-and-down things. At Minute 12, I had to stop because I was legitimately getting a bit worried about a heart attack.

And, I mean, that’s cool — something every day, and that was certainly something. But a good lesson that I can’t just leap back into things I was once good at (or reasonable at) like it ain’t no thang. I’m’a have to add a minute to every session til I’m back up to 20, then 30.

I’m more of a rowing guy anyway…

Day 737: So Much For The Easy Weight

I just went through 2018 looking for my longest streak. 20 uninterrupted days of logging. Only 20! That surprised me, as well as how absolutely terrible the back half of the year was for logging and fitness in general. I chalk it up to some work issues, which were resolved before the end of 2018, and I now have a streak to break: 20 days. Three weeks! One already down. No sweat.

The last few days, I think I’m through the easy weight — whenever I get back on track, there’s kind of a four-or-five pound drop that happens almost immediately. I don’t know if it’s just water weight that I’m carrying due to eating garbage that happens to be salty, or if it’s mind over matter, or if focusing on my health makes me poop more — whatever it is, there’s a quick rush of “easy weight” that always makes me, well, overconfident.

I ran out of easy weight a couple of days ago — I think I’m into the grinding work of this now, which is fine. Everything is fine.

Art by the legendary KC Green, from Gunshow. Buy his stuff!

It does get harder from here, though. I think — again — this is almost a job for Sober Brain, where I need to take the same determination I apply to not drinking and just turn its unblinking eye on following the program every day come hell or high water.

It’s a good program; it works. Even if I didn’t know I was doing it, I spent two years developing it through trial and error (and error, and error).

Day 736: Think Like A 175-lb Man

It’s not yet a week into the new year so I’m not about to throw myself a parade yet, but it’s been a pretty good week.

Weight is down modestly (and safely), I’m now using the body fat scale to track body fat (which I haven’t done in five years of owning this body fat scale — I read some early “ehh, it’s inaccurate things and thought ‘bah’. More recently, I’ve come around to “even if it’s inaccurate it’s probably consistently inaccurate, and I’m in lousy enough shape that those readings will probably be positive over time”).

The news is NOT GOOD! But it will be getting better with time.

My headline today is I set myself an ambitious 30-minute row, sat down, and after the first two minutes was all “you know, I only promised myself at least 10 minutes a day of exercise — I can nope out of this after 10 minutes.”

But then I did the “think like a 175-lb. man” exercise. What would that version of me do? What will that version of me be like? 

That guy’ll do 30 minutes on the rower happily.

So I did.

And after a while it felt pretty good. Exercise without music — part of the whole “flow to the door” thing is I try not to use the phone except for logging my weight until after this is done — is hard. It’s harder than I thought it would be. I think I may need to add an “attention span” component to this project. But I did it, and I’m glad I did.