The Superbowl surprises me every year. I’m not a sports guy. I just forget about it. But I do have sympathies of my sober fellow travellers on this day in particular, even more so than some holidays, as this is a key “buddy drinking” day in the sportosphere, and it must be hard as heck to “do” the Superbowl while staying booze-free.
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.
Weight’s back on track — good willpower yesterday — but insomnia strikes again, with some work issues getting me up at 2 a.m. and not back to bed until around 4:30, and then in the guest room. Late sleep doesn’t mean not sticking to the Path, though, so it was just delayed cat feeding, the 10-minute exercise minimum (which, with weights, can feel like plenty) and now on to this.
Insomnia has definitely been on the uptick, after spending the first few weeks of 2019 sleeping like a baby. I ordered a book a while ago on it, but it seems to be stuck in shipping somewhere.
Snacking and sleep are the Achilles’ heels. There doesn’t seem to be a strong correlation, though; I would’ve expected a “insomnia leads to tiredness, leads to bad decisions,” (or the same thing, but with stress at both ends: stress is bad sleep, and stress is bad food) but that doesn’t happen with the food, just the sleep. It’s weird.
Yesterday got away from me a bit — our lunch plans were derailed, which led to a kind of improvised afternoon/evening, and then some extra unplanned snacking. Popcorn and nuts, which isn’t exactly devouring a bag of chips or whatnot, but still.
Up early with nightmares (and cats), so this morning’s off to a weird start as well, and also with some low-willpower nut snacking. I’ll have to loop back and be honest in the calories for yesterday and so far today.
I’m going to open my spreadsheet for positive reinforcement — those graphs showing the downward trend really help — and regroup for the rest of the day.
It’s interesting that it’s not really a mindful act to stray; the best description I have is a tight self-justification loop, but that’s embedded in a certain kind of impulsive mindlessness. It’s a bit hard to describe, but if you can imagine a small cog of “whatever, you need this” spinning inside a much larger haze of not really thinking too much, that’s how I end up straying.
I think that’s one of the things about the water drinking that really helps, especially first thing (which I didn’t do this morning): it forces me into being awake and mindful. “Drifting” is the dangerous thing.
Gosh darn it, I had a good idea for this morning when I was exercising, and now I’ve lost it. Staying the course! The idea of “The Path” is still pretty vital to me; it’s keeping me on track at times I otherwise might have folded.
Yesterday was KEY SANDWICH RESISTANCE, which has previously been a real problem for me. What can I say? I love sandwiches! This is definitely one of those transitions from youth over time; where once my Achilles’ heel would have been pure sugar, now it’s combinations of bread and filling. Mmmm! Sandwiches are now on the Resist List a second time! Well done me.
Today’s going to be a bit tricky in that I’m going out for lunch and a movie with my wife; I’m going to check out the menu right now to try to pre-log that food, and make a best guess for calories. The Path!
It’s weird, the things that get stuck in your head. Right now, it’s a going-to-sleep conversation from last night that made me laugh out loud, which is just a riff on the Eminem “Lose Yourself” bit “there’s vomit on his sweater already, mom’s spaghetti” (and if poetry is detail, I know the guy’s a creep and all, but damn that couplet packs in a lot of information).
So now it’s permanently in my brain as
there’s vomit on his sweater already
mom’s a Yeti
and that has just been cracking me up all morning. I don’t know how these things get stuck up in there.
All right! A bit of a stall on weight, and body fat (I just ran a calculation to be sure the body fat scale works, too, and isn’t just delivering the same ratio of body weight every day). But yesterday was a huge one for snack resistance, with delicious temptation laid right in my path, and I’m happy to have abstained. Reminiscent of “February Sprint” last year, this whole “stay on the path” thing seems to be a mantra that really works for me.
The key difference is this isn’t a sprint, this is a lifestyle, and there’s a certain amount of allowable nostalgia to that. “Ah, I remember when I used to grab a bunch of sandwiches and enjoy them”, in the sense of “ah, I remember a cold IPA on the deck on a hot summer day”. But in both cases, ending with “…but that’s not what I do now.” I suck at meditation, but I think the early lessons in “let the thought enter your brain, don’t fight it, but then let it slide right back out again” is a useful one.
Sticking to the program, though. I got up in the middle of the night — first time in AGES so went back to bed after feeding the cats. And then my wife thought she’d set her alarm but she hadn’t, so oversleep by 45 minutes or so.
Still, sticking to the program: 10 minutes of exercise (baseline), and then on with the day! Yesterday really laid it all out in depth — I don’t know if I have much to build on from there except to say I have an internal goal of beating my 2017 logging record, and an intention to stay on the path for… well, as long as I can, really, but 100 days seems like a reasonable goal for the first big chunk of it.
Long today! But good long. Very detailed.
I did NOT feel like doin’ it up this morning. No particular reason (except maybe 10 days of being good in a row). I just felt like I’d rather first, stay in bed, and second, sit down and have a read rather than do the exercise things.
I stayed on the path, however.
Since I’m a bit of a drama llama, I’ve taken to calling this whole deal “The Path” for the last 36 hours, which amuses my wife no end and makes it sound like I’ve joined a cult. With about 10 seconds of effort I’m sure I could discover that it’s a terrible name and associated with some horrible religious movement or new age fooferaw, but I’m kind of fond of it now, so I’m not going to look.
Here it is; what’s been working for me (despite being logey about it this morning) so far in 2019:
- Get up and get clothes for day
- Go downstairs and feed the cats, pack my lunch, and chug about 500 ml of water
- Back up to exercise; 10 minutes AT LEAST but usually 25-30 of a few (very few for now!) pushups and situps, then rowing or spinning
- Shower, shave, brush teeth
- Other computer stuff: correspondence, site maintenance for the canoe club if needed, music for the next WAFFLES!, etc.
- Downstairs for coffee, clean the litterboxes, finish getting ready for the day
- Log food for the whole day
- Leave for work (M-F)
- Have a normal day. Eat only what I’ve packed and planned for in the morning.
- Come home from work, have dinner (as planned in the morning). Have a normal evening. Then the checklist:
Then on with the rest of my evening, or off to bed, as time allows.
It’s… I guess it’s pretty regimented, as these things go. But the key thing is it’s working for me and as long as I don’t deviate, there’s no reason it should stop working. It’s a total time of 90 minutes in the morning (most of which are things I need to do anyway, I’m just strict about the order) and 30-40 minutes in the evening; far fewer things I HAVE to do there, but all things that add value to my life.
So yes. The Path. It’s silly to have a name for it, but I like things like that; I’m dramatic.