Rethinking A Few Things

I went down pretty hard on Thursday – at a time that feels like the afternoon to me, but which everyone else would call “not even lunchtime”. Thanks, crazy early schedule. But I get off the topic.

I went down pretty hard. It might have Ben the flu, or it might have been a cold, or it may gut gave just been exhaustion. The point is, I went down. And I spent some time talking to my wife, and (thanks to her insight, because she is wise) I realized a few things.

I’m going about things the wrong way.

I don’t think it’s a shock to anyone who’s been reading this blog do a while – like, the lad year – that I’m frustrated with my lack of progress. What I didn’t realize – I mean, really realize – is that I’ve given up. Oh, I didn’t talk like I did. I still gave lip service to the idea of watching my calorie budget and exercising, but I haven’t been consistent with those things for a while. Worse, I’ve gotten down on myself for it, and I’ve been using my goals to beat myself up.

Yeah, now that I write it down, it doesn’t make sense to me either. But it’s what I’ve been doing to myself. It like I’ve been getting some perverse sense of pleasure out of setting myself up to fail, and then failing, and then wallowing in doughnuts as a way of rewarding and punishing myself.

Weird, right? So what am I doing about it?

This isn’t a quick fix thing, really. But the realization is freeing me up to accept what I’ve done, and to forgive myself. I mean, yeah. I messed up. That happens. I’m human. Messing up is a thing that we do. So is fixing it, once we realize what we’ve done.

Forgiveness isn’t easy. I’ve got one of those annoying inner voices, after all. You know the voice, right? The one that tries to undercut your confidence by bringing up that embarrassing thing you did in high school twenty-five years ago? That voice, when I’m down on myself, goes into overdrive. I’ll be arguing with that voice for a while, I suspect.

I’m also cutting myself some slack. I’m taking my calorie budget back up to 2,500 calories per day. That’s higher than the USDA recommended 2,000 per day, but every calorie calculator I can find says that it should still have me losing 1 to 3 pounds a week. And it feels less restrictive than the 2,300 calories I’ve been failing to eat each day.

Finally, I’m going to be reassessing my exercise goals. Sure, I need to do more than walk. But I’m probably better off with a modest exercise program that I actually do, then an ambitious one that I do sporadically if at all.

Nope. This isn’t going to be easy. But it’s all things I need to do.

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The 501st Post

WordPress informed me that yesterday’s post was my 500th post. If I’d known I was hitting a milestone, maybe I would have done something more elaborate. Or, maybe it. I really was that tired, yesterday. And I still am, although I’m beginning to think it’s mostly being caused by the falling temperatures and shorter days and the stress.

Gotta live the stress, right? Thankfully, I’ve only got 16 days left until this test is over.

So, 501 posts. I’ll be honest, here. Way back when I started all of this, I wasn’t really sure I’d last. I’d tried exercising and weight loss before (without success), and I’d even tried blogging about it once before (it didn’t help). I was skeptical that his would be any different, but I knew I had to try. And now, 501 posts later, I… well, sometimes I’m still skeptical. I’m not where I wanted to be, after all. Really, I wanted to be at goal by now.

But then I look at the subtitle for my blog: “Changing my life, improving my health.” It sounds trite, but that subtitle sums up the whole point of all of this. Sure, I’m not even halfway to goal anymore – stress and the poor eating habits I develop from stress have eroded some of my progress. But i haven given up. I’m still getting up at 3 am to walk a mile and a half before work, and I’m still walking 6 and 7 miles a day. When I started, walking 2 miles seemed an insurmountable goal. I can’t run after my son for hours, but I can chase him longer and farther, and I can still pick him up and swing him around if I catch him.

I have changed my life, and for the better. And if I’m not at goal yet, that just means I have even more change and even more improvement to look forward to. And I can still look forward to sitting down with n my doctor’s office to talk about those last 20 pounds he thinks I should lose at that time, and reminding him that he’s literally talking to half of me.

501 posts. Thank you, everyone who’s been reading this, for coming along on this journey with me. And don’t give up on me! The best is yet to come!

Maybe Feeling Unmotivated Pays Off?

Right. Yesterday I wrote about how the treadmill died on me and I didn’t get to finish the 5K workout for Monday. And how I went walking after that, but I couldn’t work up the willpower to run. Remember that?

I just checked my FitBit. It turns out I walked 8.75 miles yesterday.

I figure that some of that is due to my department relocating to the 3rd floor in my building, and to me deciding to take the stairs as much as possible. But, let’s be honest here, not all of that is stairs. Which means that, despite the treadmill thing, I did all right.

Taking It Easy

Wow, that was an awful week. I made it in to work on Friday, started dragging again on Saturday, slept 12 or 13 hours on Sunday, and ended up taking Monday off because I was dragging hard Sunday evening.

Naturally enough, I was feeling fine by midday on Monday.

So, here’s where I’m at. I’m just recovering fro being awfully sick, so I’m not pushing myself. The 5K training is off the table until next Monday. Heck, I’m not even going to push myself to hit my 5.5 mile walking goal until then. I’ll walk on my usual daily schedule (sans hitting the treadmill each morning) and if I happen to hit that goal I’ll be fine with it. But it’s not mandatory.

Hitting my calorie goal is still mandatory, though.

Also, after talking to my wife, my exercise goals beyond walking are on hold until November 6. (Well, I say “talking”, but it was more like “arguing until I realized she had a really, really good point”…) See, I’m studying for the third(and final) level of my Certified Equity Professional certification, and that is a lot of work. Exercise and weight loss needs to be a secondary goal for the next eight weeks. So I’ll still be walking for stress relief, and doing some stretches, and watching what I eat. But the rest of my energy goes to studying.

Man. I can’t wait for this to be over.

What I Did With The Last Day Of Ny Vacation

I went to church.

Yes, there’s a story here. See, the first thing I did was drop off my son for his first day of first grade (where has the time gone?), and then I had to go and pick up the prescription for my glasses so that I could order a new pair. Well, on the way back, I spotted Christ Baptist Church (seen above) and said to myself “I bet there’s a Pokestop there, and I could stand to stretch my legs.” So I pulled over, and checked.

There wasn’t just a Pokestop, but a gym! A gym with a raid in progress!

A weak enough raid that I could probably beat it all by myself!

So, I entered the raid.

To make a long and potentially extremely boring story short, I won. And, in honor of my solitary win, I named the Bayleaf for the church (within the confines of the character limits):

Now, the point of all of this is not that I drove to a Pokestop and won a raid. Yippee, right? No, the point was that I was feeling busy when I stopped. I mean, I wasn’t actually all that busy, but I felt busy. Up until I stopped. By the time I was done, I had noticed how pleasant the weather was. I went walking, just to enjoy the day. I even took a picture of some ducks.

Real ducks. Not some sort of “Pokéduck”.

In short, stopping to play the game for a few minutes reminded me that there’s a reason beyond weight loss that I’m doing all this work. I’m doing it to be able to go for long, impromptu walks with ducks. I’m doing it to enjoy myself. I’m doing it because it makes me feel good.

Christchurch the Bayleef is a wise, skilled teacher.

Well. That Was Interesting.

Yesterday, I over ate. A lot. No, more than you think. A lot. And the interesting thing was that, while I was doing it, I was kind of watching myself do it. Sort of like I was kicked back on the couch, saying “well, I’ma eat all these Oreos now” and knowing I was overeating and not caring. It was a strange sort of feeling.

Then, about 6 last night, I figured out what was going on. I was tired. Stupidly tired. Haven’t had enough sleep in days tired. Why? Well, reasons. But I know for a fact that I overeat when I’m tired. I crave sugar and carbs and caffeine, as I struggle to keep myself going.

It was one of those revelatory moments. It also had me going to sleep at 8 last night, in an effort to a) get some sleep and b) avoid doing this again today. Because it’s sort of counterproductive, isn’t it?

So, I’m still a little tired today. But I’m not exhausted, which helps. I’m also aware of this now, which helps. And it helped motivate me to get up and go walking this morning. So, let’s see if I do better now.

Three Days And Counting

For the past three days, I've made my calorie goals! That feels like a huge achievement, because it's been a while since I was at all consistent and especially since dinner last night was Taco Bell. Taco Bell is it a fast food chain known for its healthy eating choices, but I did it!

That is, I hit my calorie goal. We won't get into how healthy it was otherwise…

So I'm feeling pretty good right now. I'm hitting my walking goals, I'm hitting my calorie goals, and I'm getting my head back on the game by reframing the story in my head. I'm working on focusing on the goal again, and the reasons why, as a motivator. It's not perfect yet – mental attitudes don't completely change by magic in a 24 hour period, after all – but progress is being made.

It's like my wife told me last night, when we were talking about this and some related issues. I need to stop selling myself short. I shouldn't be arrogant, obviously, but I need to recognize the hard work I've put in. I need to recognize my own strengths, and my own achievements, and be willing to take credit for them and build on them. It's not boasting to say that I've achieved something remarkable. I've lost 100 pounds by virtue of eating better and exercising. And, although I've got more to do, that fact doesn't diminish what I've already achieved. It just shows that I can do the rest of it.

My wife, everyone, is a wise and magnificent woman. It's something I don't tell her enough, because I frequently get wrapped up in my own problems. But I wouldn't have achieved any of this without her. Not because I need her to push me (although she has, when I needed it), or because I'm doing it for her (although she is one of the reasons I am doing this), but because she inspires me and she balances me and she lifts me up. I am a lucky man.