Annnnd… Back.

Hey everyone,

Thanks for your patience! I’m sure you saw the pictures from the previous post, so I don’t have to tell you that Hawai’i was absolutely amazing and I can’t wait to go back there someday.

But that said, it is time to get back on track. This vacation has gone on long enough and I have a health journey to continue on.

Some news on that though. I have made a separate blog for my daily tracking, progress, and lifestyle changes. (Check it out here: https://wordsbythepound.home.blog/).  This blog you are currently on will go back to being more about my creative outlets (writing, drawing, etc.), opinions, news and announcements, entertainment, and personal growth.

So if you are just interested in the health stuff, hop on over to the new site using the above link, and be sure to follow and subscribe there. If you want insight into my writing or anything else that pops into my brain that is not health-related, you are in the right place.

Let’s do this thing!

  • DAC

Back From Hawai’i

So… if you have never been to Maui before, I cannot recommend it enough. It was absolutely beautiful and we had the most amazing time. Hands down, best vacation ever.

But don’t just take my word for it. Check out these pictures.

So much fun.

Anyway, on Monday it will be nose back to the grindstone, tracking food and getting this health journey cart righted.

See you then.

– DAC

Goal Progress​ Report: May 26th – June 1st

A day late on this… Sorry. I forgot to make it yesterday.

Goal Categories

EXERCISE/ACTIVITY GOALS

Activity Weekly Goal This Week
Steps Taken 63000 steps 49412 steps
Exercise Days 5 days 5 days
Exercise Duration 3.5 Hours 3 hours

Summary: Still not quite at the goals set for steps and duration, but a vast improvement over the last week. 🙂

FOOD GOALS

Activity Weekly Goal This Week
Water 448 oz 360 oz
Vegetable Servings 40 servings 20 servings
Meatless Days 3 days 1 day

Summary: Again, not quite there yet, but again big improvements in veggies eaten and water consumed. Baby steps?

QUALITY OF LIFE GOALS

Activity Weekly Goal This Week
Sleep 50 hours 41.5 hours
Dedicated No Screen Time 7 hours Not Tracked
Writing Time 7 hours 0
Productivity 10 hours 5 hours
Blogs Published 4 posts 0
Daily Tracking 7 posts 7

Summary: So while the other two categories had some gains, this one still is hurting a bit. Again, I did not track (and flat out did not do) the planned “No Screen Before Bed” goal. Also, I spent zero time writing anything new, but I did spend some time editing and reading my current works.  No blogs published… again despite the drafts sitting here in WordPress. Also, my Japanese lessons have really fallen to the wayside. Ugh…

Weekly Summary: 

So we have some wins in a few departments, but not so much in others.  I really need to get on track with the quality of life goals.

Bummer… I really wanted to hit most of these landmarks this week. Still, I can’t beat myself up. I need to keep pushing myself and keep moving forward.

Weekly GIF: 

Baby Steps…

Goal Progress​ Report – Week 5/19 – 5/25

Goal Categories

EXERCISE/ACTIVITY GOALS

Activity Weekly Goal This Week
Steps Taken 63000 steps 40492 steps
Exercise Days 5 days 2 days
Exercise Duration 3.5 Hours 1 hour

Summary: I have to give myself a little leeway here as I was sick for most of the week and spent a few days in bed trying to rest. The days I did exercise (Thursday and Friday) were great, and I also exceeded my daily step goal both those days.  So that’s something.

FOOD GOALS

Activity Weekly Goal This Week
Water 448 oz Not Tracked
Vegetable Servings 40 servings 8 servings
Meatless Days 3 days 1 day

Summary: I’m shocked by how low that vegetable number is, and because of that I’m going to add a veggie serving counter to my daily meal tracking going forward. Also going to start using the Fitbit app to track my water intake.

QUALITY OF LIFE GOALS

Activity Weekly Goal This Week
Sleep 50 hours 40 hours
Dedicated No Screen Time 7 hours Not Tracked
Writing Time 7 hours 1 hours
Productivity/Personal Growth 10 hours 3 hours
Blogs Published 4 posts 1 posts
Daily Tracking 7 posts 7 posts

Summary: Ah sleep, my old nemesis. We meet again. Despite being sick and in bed for a couple days, I managed to not hit my sleep goal.  WTF…

Writing, Productivity, and Blog Posts also suffered. Sad, because these three categories can all count toward the same goal. If I write for an hour on a blog, and then post said blog, I get credit in all three.

I do have three blog ideas currently started and saved in my drafts though.

Also, the “no screen time” just did not happen this week at all. This really sucks because I want this time to read, relax, meditate and other activities that encourage personal growth rather than tapping things with my thumbs.

Weekly Summary: 

So… in hindsight, maybe starting this weekly post on a week I was super sick wasn’t the best idea, but this still gives a lot of good/real eye-opening information. The only goal I hit this week was my daily tracking.

Even with tracking daily, and being sick, I was really surprised how few servings of vegetables I had been eating. Also, my creative productivity/writing needs to drastically improve.

Weekly GIF:

Yeah, this whole week gets a big thumbs down… Gotta do better next week.

thumbs down.gif

A New Month, Observations, & Some New Ideas

 

So it’s the start of a new month and, I really got to say, I’m very proud that I have stuck to this blog and tracking things on a daily basis. It has been a tremendous eye-opener, as looking at what you are doing and how you are spending your time each day really puts things into perspective.

That said, I’m seeing a lot of areas where I can improve:

  • I need more sleep.
  • I need to spend more time writing.
  • I need to curb my cravings and have a bit more self-control when unhealthy foods are around.

Also, I’m looking towards adding a few ways to level-up my tracking.

Some new ideas to try:

  • Accurately weighing and measuring the food I eat.
  • Taking pictures of my meals prior to eating them.
  • More workout details.
  • Posting my fitness goals and progress (weight loss, inches lost, etc.). This one I’m really hesitant about though.
  • More gratitude and self-confidence tracking.

I’m also very grateful for all the support and encouragement I have received so far from friends, colleagues, and random people on the internet. So thank you all.

Stay tuned for more updates.

-DAC

Food and Fitness Tracking – Accountability

One thing they tell you to do when you start any sort of lifestyle change is to start a food/fitness journal. Track what you are eating, the time you are eating, and how you felt after you finished. Did you feel satisfied? Happy? Guilty?

Same goes for exercise. What did you do? For how long?

Based on all the studies I have read on lifestyle change, this seems to be crucial to success. One study I read said that people who tracked their food and exercise on a daily basis were 2 to 3 times more likely to succeed with long term changes, including weight loss.

I’ve tried tracking in the past (Weight Watchers, My Fitness Pal, etc.) and had some limited success. They helped me drop a few pounds here and there, one time as much as 30 pounds which was fairly impressive.

Unfortunately, once you plateau (and you will), the weight stops dropping and the desired results stop being visible, that’s when Evil Doubt Brain rears its ugly head.

EVIL DOUBT BRAIN: “You’re not losing any more weight. Why are you depriving yourself of all these yummy things you enjoy? Dude, seriously? What’s the point? Hey, remember how good Cheetos taste? Let’s drive to that 7-11 on the corner and buy the jumbo bag! … Walk? Pfffffft, who has time for that? We have valuable video games to spend all night playing. Plus you’ll just get your new flip-flops all dirty … Go to the gym? What the hell’s a gym?”

… Yeah. Pretty soon after that, you stop tracking, then a few months later all that hard work and all those gains you made disappear. The weight comes back on, and you feel like shit.

The legendary William Goldman once said, “The easiest thing to do on earth is not write.”

As some who fancies themselves as a writer, I can say this is 100% true. However, I want to add that the second easiest thing to do on earth is to not pay attention to how much you are eating, how often, or how you feel afterward.

Now how do we fix it?

Here is what I’m thinking. Each morning I will start a new blog and keep it in my drafts. Throughout the day I will update it whenever I have a meal, a snack, go for a walk, hit the gym, and most importantly how I feel after. At the end of each night, I post the blog for the world to see. Strictly to hold myself accountable, and to let my friends and loved ones know I am still committed to the changes I need to make.

For now, I’m not going to track calories or carbs or whatever. I’m just going to do my best to eat sensibly without depriving myself of the things I love. I’m going to log the times I am active with the duration and intensity of what I’m doing. Lastly, I’m going to track my mood, as this likely has the biggest impact on my current wellbeing.

I’m going to play with the format for a few days and find something that works and is easy to update.

I’ll let you know what I come up with soon.

– DAC

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About Goals – Important Life Update.

“I have goals.” That’s an easy thing to say, right? After all, who doesn’t have some sort of goal in their life?

“I want to run a marathon.”

“I want to lose 20 pounds.”

“I want to learn to speak French.”

Everyone has goals. It’s that finish line way off in the distance that you want to reach before the sweepers show up and tell you the race is over.

Having goals is one thing. It’s something else altogether to act on, work toward, and accomplish those goals. It takes a lot for forethought, practice, motivation, dedication, and accountability to reach these goals with a satisfactory conclusion. And suffice it to say, the lofter the goal, the more time you will need to spend on working toward it.

I have goals… but I haven’t been pushing myself toward them. At least, not as much as I should be. Every year around this same time, I hop on this blog and spout some words about how this year is gonna be the year. This time I will fight for my dreams and make them a reality.

It works for a while. I crank out some blogs on topics I find interesting, start going to the gym, make an effort to better myself, practice a craft, etc.

Then I stop. Not all at once. It’s a gradual thing. I don’t even entirely realize I’m doing it most times. I get busy and put something off until the next day, saying “I’ll start fresh on Monday,” or some other equally hopeful phrase.  Then Monday comes and… well, I guess calling it a vicious circle would be an understatement.

I understand this post is sounding a bit cynical, but please bear with me for a minute, as that is not my intention.

You see, recently, a visit to my doctor gave me quite a wake-up call in regards to my health. Nothing dire, but troubling and a bit scary. I’m not going to go into details, but let’s just say I’m going to need to make some major changes to my lifestyle going forward, else the consequences will be a lot worse than just troubling and scary.  I’m going to need to change not only how/what I eat and my activity level, but also my mindset of how I go about making changes, setting goals, and sticking to them.

And there was a time in the not so far past where I would refuse to quit, despite the doubts my brain would throw at me.

EVIL DOUBT BRAIN: “You won’t be able to do that half-marathon on your first try!”
ME: “Wanna bet?”

EVIL DOUBT BRAIN: “You can’t write 50,000 words of a novel in 30 days!”
ME: “Oh yeah? Watch me do it 5 years in a row.”

You get the idea. I need to look at this new set of challenges in a similar way. I need to kick my doubts to the curb and push through with the changes that need to happen.

Over the next few months, I’m going to use this space to provide updates on the progress with health as I reach for these new goals. On top of that, I’m going to use this overall change of mindset to really push myself forward creatively. I’m going to force myself to level-up, for lack of a better phrase. There is going to be more writing, more blogging, and more reporting on how the submissions and query process is going. Maybe I’ll even start drawing again when I can’t find the right words that I want to say.

Basically, my body has told me that I can’t “start fresh on Monday” anymore… and I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

This is a rallying cry to embrace change, not a penance to fear. I’m being challenged, and honestly, I like rising to a challenge.

I’m going to stick this post at the top of the blog as a reminder. Any big milestones, updates, or changes I will link to below.

 

  • DAC