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

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