Day 446: Halfway there

If I take my highest weight since this project started, and my goal weight, I hit the exact midpoint today.

This is good! I haven’t been this light since… last September. I’m about eight pounds lighter than I was at this time last year.

That’s a good feeling.

This is also when the wheels fall off, traditionally speaking.

Last time around wasn’t my fault — okay, it was my fault. Ultimately it’s ALWAYS my fault. I can’t say it wasn’t. But the last time I was at this point, my wife’s dad died, and we spent about six weeks travelling, mourning, handling things, managing a tough financial situation ourselves exacerbated by the sudden need to travel… it was a rough bit. We powered through, but it threw me severely off track.

Right now, knock on wood, there’s nothing like that on the horizon.

That being said, I feel like this is a good moment for a surge. Play it really tight for a couple of weeks, see if I can drop down another few pounds and get a buffer going.

This was a big part of the February Sprint that I started strong with but kind of forgot. I need to be okay with being uncomfortable. Being slightly hungry is not the worst thing in the world. Living in that space is okay. That’s what I need to do — not starve myself, by any means, but not feel like the slightest itch of hunger needs to be scratched.

 

Day 423: Preparing for March

Not much to say — light exercise today, after a weird night of sleep. Vaulting into March, and at the risk of repeating myself to death, it’s pretty much “stick to what worked in February” from here. Aim to exercise every day, do the food logging, do the nightly checklist.

Crap, I forgot to weigh myself. Be right back.

There we go.

That’s the kind of thing I’m talking about, though; being consistent with weighing, logging, etc. I don’t think I surged forward in February, but I think I’ve shown myself that I can be consistent.

The move-forward from here is just to keep this up, and keep pushing into this bad relationship I have with food. I’m still compelled to snack in the evenings, which is unnecessary and counterproductive. That’s the biggest downfall right now, for sure.

 

Day 422: Last two days

Looking at the final stretch of the February Sprint; definitely settling into the idea that this should keep rolling into March. Good morning this morning; my wife got up early for work, so I was up a bit early (operation Don’t Get Up failed slightly); good workout, getting to this on time.

It’s hard keeping focus for the whole day. That’s what it comes down to; my not-great relationship with food and the fact that it does take some part of my brain to keep me from straying into “graze mode”.

This means that the key thing is changing the relationship with food. Trying to aggressively focus on this for February — the sprint — has helped a lot, I think. But recent slippage tells me it’s not a deep change. It’s, well, a sprint.

Really recalibrating the “default: eat” response that I have is a long-term thing. Repetition breeds success, and I’ve exercised considerable power over it in February. I feel pretty good. But I think, again, this is something that is going to take deep work.

 

 

Day 421: Rounding Out

It’s pretty easy to see the “finish line” from here, but I think the one big takeaway from the February Sprint is going to be it was more about hitting my stride for life than a sprint, after all.

“One day at a time” is the mantra. That, and “fake it till you make it”. But food motivation is turning out to be the surprise villain of the piece. Especially in the evening. We’ve talked about morning me and evening me before. Wow… a while ago, actually.

I really should go back through this thing at some point.

At any rate, I’ve got a couple days left in the Sprint, and then… I like this lifestyle. This lifestyle works for me. I’m doing well with the diet and the tracking and so on. I should just try to keep it.

 

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…