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 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.

Day 718: Motivation vs. Tough-Mindedness

It’s not a specific thought, but it’s been rattling around my head. Motivation is key, but there’s also something to be said for sheer bloody-minded determination. Are they two different things? I don’t know — it seems like one is “push” and the other is “pull” — one is the “spread your wings and fly” kind of sentiment, and the other is “I’ve decided it’s going to be this way, and by God it is” attitude.

I… lack both, at the moment. It’s been a medium week for exercise and a bad week for cookies. I think not drinking took a chunk of motivation and bloody-mindedness, but since I’ve licked that, I haven’t taken on the next challenge. It may have to be dramatic, like Quit Drinking. Maybe I’m a quitter — better to stop than to moderate — but maybe I also need drama. DRAMA.

Day 710: Cyclical

Got up at 4:00 (wife has an early shift), drank water, exercised, fed the cats, made coffee. Business as usual, or it should be! 

Those of you who have been along for the ride for a while probably know that I’m happy to be back on track. The interesting question is “…but for how long“. 

I’ve been bad about daily tracking for QUITE A WHILE — yikes, September — and it has NOT GONE WELL in the interim, weight and exercise while. So time to dust that off. 

Paradoxically, while I find doing lots of this stuff tends to make me less keen on doing this stuff, the only answer I can think of is MORE JOURNALING. Really getting into that comment column in the tracking sheet. Here’s what I can see from previous breaks: 

  • Work business/stress
  • Bad diet leads to breakdown
  • Bad sleep (probably from above) leads to breakdown

It’s not very conclusive, though. I feel like something a bit more “diary-ish”, like the one-sentence journal approach, might be helpful. 

Today, though, getting the jump on the new year’s resolution by getting back on the water/exercise/food tracking track. 

Day 709: The Big Why

This has been something I’ve been mulling over since it came up a few days ago — why bother? Not in like a crazy depressed way, but is there some core piece of motivation that I should be looping into here?

My wife has a pretty key thing that she brought up on Saturday: she works in the hospital system, and sees what happens to (a) the destitute and (b) the infirm. So her motivation for exercise and good financial practices is… well, terror. Seeing what happens to people who get older and haven’t taken care of themselves. Seeing what happens to people who don’t have family to tend to them in their old age, especially if they’re effectively destitute. 

And yes, things happen regardless. But putting all the odds in your favour is a good idea. As motivators go, I don’t know how “mortal fear” pans out, but when you have the stark evidence of what can go wrong in front of you, doing better suddenly makes a whole lot of sense. 

It’s not an entirely satisfying answer, but it’s a good start. Mortal terror! That’ll do until the real motivation kicks in. 

Day 691: The Last Six Weeks (Resolution Time)

My wife sent me a neat link yesterday — an article about making a resolution for the last six weeks of the year, as opposed to waiting until January 1. It’s a good idea!

Off the top of my head, and this has been on my mind since I ran through the Perfect Me thing (although I’ve been bad about implementing it), it’s that motivational idea of “make the decisions of a 175-pound man.” It’s a reasonable weight to shoot for, and it’s an easy way to do a quick head check on things. I haven’t been great about it for the last couple of weeks, but there’s been a rough start to the whole enterprise with being sick and all.

It’s served me well the last couple of days in resisting snacks and getting up and exercising. It’s not about huge change, or getting dramatic about stuff; it’s about just asking yourself what that ideal-state version of you would be doing, and then doing what that guy does. Imaginary person behaviour modeling.

So maybe that’s my jam for the next six weeks! Try to live in the skin of the better version of myself. See how that guy exists. Fake it til you make it, is I guess the angle I’m leaning toward here.

Six weeks til the end of the year — let’s give this a shot.

Day 688: Jugglin’

Looking forward to vacation next week, among other things because it would be nice to feel like I’ve got a few days to get my feet back under me.

Short exercise this morning due to late sleep due to cat rampage (Operation Don’t Get Up, originally a cat tactic, doesn’t work if the cats are hell-bent on stomping on you in bed), and gotta run off in a few minutes to make a volunteer appointment happen to get somebody else involved with the station. It’s a race! Everything’s a race!

So I’m, er, racing. A chunk of this is me doing it to myself: I choose to take online courses in the evening; I choose to put this much into volunteering. I choose to take on more than I have to, and do better than I strictly need to, at my job. I can’t really complain too much about struggling to keep up when it’s a completely self-generated situation.

That does not, however, change the feeling of being behind in the race. Today, the trade-off was less exercise for sleep and volunteerism. I’m looking forward to next week and some time off, when the trade equation isn’t nearly as onerous.

 

Day 670: Implementing…

I have this plan, now I just need to do the plan. I’ve been good about the exercise, pretty good about food (post-Hallowe’en means a lotta loose candy floating around).

Print the thing! Post the thing! Read the thing every morning!

That’s… it, really. Stick to this plan, see results, be motivated to stick to it more.

 

Day 567: Everything’s A Toy…

We’ve discussed Small Cat Energy, and my wife’s observation based on STRONG TRUTH of Sir Digby Chicken Caesar yesterday:

“Everything’s a toy if you try hard enough.”

And it’s true! Anything can be a toy if you try hard enough!

For the cat it is particularly true; in the last 24 hours he has played with a number of cat toys but also

  • his water dish
  • a receipt
  • several bookmarks
  • a paperback novel
  • our feet
  • the other cat (they’re doing better now)

In the realm of seeking wisdom where you find it, though, everything’s a toy if you try hard enough is not a terrible rule for life.

It’s kind of a good rule for life.

 

Day 564: Waiting for The Thing

This is, ultimately, what I’m most guilty of when it comes to change… waiting for The Thing.

Not Benjamin J. Grimm, the ever-lovin’ blue-eyed thing (although he’s worth waiting for). You know, the thing. Some sort of transformative idea or moment where it all falls into place and I just start to get it. 

An epiphany. A Road to Damascus moment. A…  I don’t know, bittersweet symphony?

It’s not coming. It’s hard to cop to this — I’d really, really LIKE it to come — but it’s just not going to happen. Change is going to be a slow, grudging, gruelling process that aggravates me every step of the way.

A year and a half in, and this is still a grind! I think partly because I’m still waiting for the thing.

The sooner I can relinquish the idea that it’s all going to “click,” and that I’ll have some sort of time when it all falls into place and stays in place, the sooner I think I’ll do better overall. It’s just hard to accept that it doesn’t ever get easy. It’s just varyingly difficult.