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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Re-imagining Disneyland – Part 2 – Adventureland

After we slow down a bit to really take some time and enjoy the sights, sounds, and other immersive details on the new Main Street USA, we are gonna make a left turn, put on our safari hats, and explore into the deepest reaches of the tropical jungle. A land where birds can talk, dark forbidden temples loom large, and where you may just get a glimpse of the backside of water.

Adventureland-Sign

Continue reading “Re-imagining Disneyland – Part 2 – Adventureland”

Remembering Your Heroes

A few years ago, when Robin Williams passed away, the initial shock of the situation hit me pretty hard. I was, for lack of a better word, devastated to the point of tears. This, in and of itself, surprised me because I was sincerely and deeply grieving for a man I had never met.

It took a few days before I could distance myself from it and really sit down to think about why it had affected me so much.  At that time, I even started writing a blog to express these feelings, but I ultimately decided to not publish it.

Basically, he was one of my heroes. He was someone I looked up to and saw as a beacon of goodness, joy, and laughter in this world. Every story I had heard about him only spoke about how kind and generous a person he was. How he took time to really connect with his fans, just to find out what he could do to make their day a bit brighter, to make them laugh, to make them smile.

It was learning that one of my heroes, someone I had placed on a pedestal, suffered from his own demons and ultimately succumbed to them, that had shaken me.

It hurt, I mourned, but something else happened too…

Ultimately, through his memory, Robin Williams opened my worldview a bit more to the hidden trials and challenges people with depression face every day. Most days, they put on a false mask of courage, smile through it, and don’t want to burden people with their problems… but the fact is, that those masks can only last so long. It made me reexamine and think about my own battles with anxiety, doubt, and depression, and to ask for help if I need it.

This happened again recently with Anthony Bourdain. It hurt, I mourned… but I also remembered that old blog I started about Robin Williams.

These tragedies make you remember that your heroes are human after all. They have their flaws. They are not perfect. Regardless, their presence in your life has an impact. It has meaning, whether you knew them personally as a friend or if you were just a fan. Hopefully, they inspire you to make your own little mark in this life and leave this world a better place than when you found it, just as they did. Most importantly, if you are hurting or suffering from depression, hopefully, their memory will encourage you to seek the help you need.

Till next time,

  • DAC

Re-imagining Disneyland – Part 1 – Main Street USA

Original Disneyland

While some people “fan cast” potential movies with actors and directors they want to see, I’ve always fantasized about what I would do to make Disneyland even more amazing. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Happiest Place on Earth more than you can possibly know, but if you take a step back with an in-depth look, you have to admit that not everything in the park is perfect. And like the man said, “Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.”

Recently, the Connecting with Walt  podcast (obligatory plug) started a series where the hosts re-imagine the park, land by land, into their ideal Dream Disneyland. It’s a good listen and you should definitely go check it out. The topic also inspired me to finally sit down, write out all the ideas I wish could be implemented, and share them through a series of blog posts.  Continue reading “Re-imagining Disneyland – Part 1 – Main Street USA”

My Thoughts on the New Auction Scene on The Pirates of the Caribbean Ride.

Oh boy, something (somewhat) controversial yet completely trivial.

So, I watched the new auction scene that has been inserted into Walt Disney World’s The Pirates of the Caribbean ride.  This new scene has been the subject of a lot of attention recently because the original scene that it replaced was arguably the most iconic and memorable section of the ride. It was funny, had memorable characters, and a bunch of infinitely quotable lines of dialogue.  It just had one small, teeny, tiny, itsy, bitsy problem.

It depicted a sex slave/wench auction… at a family friendly Disney park… in 2018.  That’s… really not okay. At all. At. All.

If you need a refresher, or have never been on the ride, here is the original scene:

And here is the new scene:

This scene change is also coming to the Disneyland version of the ride late this month (April 2018).

Now, I can see what the Disney Imagineer’s tried to do here. They made the Redhead more than just an object to be bought, which is fantastic, and I applaud them for giving her some agency and driving the scene with her words rather than with her sex appeal.

But honestly, the rest of the scene is not very good. Yes, it’s better than an auction of crying Audio-Animatronic women waiting to be sold to drunken pirates, but the overall writing/dialogue for the new scene is in itself is just… well… dull. It’s not clever. It’s not funny. It’s not quotable. I love a good pun as much as anyone, but “Quit your cluckin'”? Really?

Keep in mind this is coming from someone who agrees that the scene did need to be changed & updated with the times. But if you are going to replace such an iconic/oft-quoted moment in the ride, however problematic it may be, the replacement also has to be quotable and memorable. There has to be some extra effort put in to meet expectations. This just doesn’t do that. I don’t think anyone experiencing the ride for the first time will give this new scene a second thought as they exit toward the gift shop, and that really feels like a missed opportunity.

What do you think? Are you happy with the new scene and the dialogue? Leave a comment and let me know!

– DAC