November Update

Hi, everyone!

I know I’ve been basically MIA for the last month, but I have not been idle. I started re-reading “4-Hour Work Week” by Tim Ferriss and started to take the lessons to heart. Instead of just reading the book I started taking the proactive steps that he recommends to accomplish my long-term goals.

There was one question asked in the book that really struck home and pulled me away from blogging for a while.  “Are you inventing things to do to avoid the important?”. Sadly, I was doing that, a lot. This blog was one of the things that I would use as an excuse for why I wasn’t writing my book. I justified ignoring my book on the grounds that I wrote for my blog, but the result was zero pages of book and dozens of blog posts of varied quality. I was using my creative energy towards something that wasn’t in line with my long term goals.So, I wrote that question on a post-it, stuck it to my monitor, and got to work.

Another concept in the book that altered how I work throughout the day was going on a “low-information diet”. I realized that I spent hours on sites like Facebook each day and it really didn’t benefit me. What did I gain through hours of scrolling and reading articles? Sure, I was “informed”, but how did that help my life? The information I read online would anger me or tempt me into debating someone online for no reason, but that create anything. It didn’t help me with my book, it didn’t earn me more money, it didn’t increase the quality time I had with my partner or friends. All it did was take up my time and drain my  mental energy.

Now, I have a Chrome app that only allows me to go on Facebook for 10 minutes per day. The result? I still get the information I need to be “informed” and if I need to get in touch with someone or ask for help on Facebook then 10 minutes is plenty of time to do it. I got hours of my life back each day and I have been redirecting that energy towards improving my daily life and working on my long term creations.

The most important accomplishment in the last month was my writing. I finished the first draft of my book. I went from a blank page to about 40,000 words in 25 days. I would trade over a year of Facebook time for a completed first draft, a month was a very small price. My second accomplishment is my meditation practice, it is still incredibly difficult but I meditated 28 days out of November and I’m up to 20-minutes a day. I have also started training myself to dance with poi, which at this point has done little more than make me realize how uncoordinated I am with my left hand, but I’m enjoying it.

There were other accomplishments as well… cooking new meals weekly, running or biking almost every day (including a 10-mile run), relearned Trigonometry and pre-Calculus on Khan Academy, started a daily Stoic reflection, and teaching myself GIS and data visualization on Coursera. By re-evaluating what I spend my time on and discarding the things that weren’t in line with my goals I ended up with plenty of time in the day. Instead of scrolling Facebook, doing dishes three times a day, or checking emails, I’m working on things that will help me move forward in life. I still clean and check emails, I just don’t do them as a way to put off the difficult work I should be doing. I had to ask myself, instead of spending 15-hours per week (or more) surfing Facebook, what else could I do with my time? How would my fitness level improve if 1/3 of that time went to exercise? Could I become fluent in a foreign language, subject matter, or musical instrument if I spent an hour a day focusing on those instead of reading political blogs? Am I using my time in a way that is going to help me experience the things that I want to experience?

So, now that I have my time somewhat under control, what are the other pain points in my life? What behaviors do I have that are not taking me to my goals? The first one that stands out is alcohol consumption. In November I consumed 52 alcoholic drinks (and I’ll probably drink a couple tonight at Naughty Bingo). I am not saying I should abstain, alcohol consumption can be justified as both a goal of life (it brings pleasure) and as a tool for long-term happiness (helps make friends), but it is clear that isn’t the case for ALL my drinking. Those 52 drinks last month equal about 2.5 lbs of fat from calories (roughly), and it also cost me around $200. Not only that, if I drank more than 3 drinks in a night my average time running the next day was 9 minutes, if I drank less than three drinks my average running time the next day was 25 minutes. Drinking clearly comes with some direct and indirect costs. My plan for December is to cut alcohol consumption in half, so only 26 drinks during the month and only one night with over 3 drinks.

How I spend my money is another place that could be improved, particularly when it comes to books. Right now my bookshelf has 44 unread books, 3 books I’m currently reading, and 16 completed books. All of these books were purchased in the last two months. I need to re-evaluate how I decide to purchase books. So, I’m taking all my credit card information off of Amazon. If I want to purchase a book I need to enter in the card information by hand each time. I’m also going to try and put a 48-hour waiting period on all purchases (is there an app for that?). I can’t think of a single scenario where I need a book in a tight time frame. Also, no new book purchases until my “unread” shelf is down to ten books, which means I either read 34 books or I realize that I will never read them and I donate them to the used bookstore down the street.

I also need to figure out how to make friends, as lame as that sounds. It is tough as an adult in a new city to meet people, particularly when I work from home. I’ve started working through Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People” and it has some great tips that I’m going to proactively use, but I’m such an introvert and homebody that it is hard to force myself out of my shell. Luckily, Wilmington has a ton of opportunities for me to do social things around my interests (Dungeons and Dragons, board games, yoga, fitness, rock climbing, vegan, spirituality, etc). This isn’t really an area that I’m wasting time or energy, it is an area that I haven’t dedicated resources to like I should. Instead, I have gotten in the habit of focusing all my friend energy into Facebook (don’t get me wrong, I love my connections on there, but I need something more physical in my life).

So, that is how my November went. I didn’t announce a lot of this stuff ahead of time because I’ve found that announcing something actually discourages me from accomplishing it. Saying “I’m writing a book!” feels like it is productive when it really isn’t. It is better for me to write a book and say “I wrote a book!”. Looking forward to making that announcement is an incentive for me.

I’m looking forward to December and to seeing how my new goals and projects work out. I may try to blog a little bit, but only if I feel a real drive to do it. It can be stressful sometimes, but I try and remember to not take any of it too seriously. The point of life is to have fun, not to be 100% productive. If I have a few days (or more) where I accomplish nothing, that’s cool. Sometimes you need to lounge in front of Netflix with pizza and Oreos instead of going to the gym. Immediate pleasure is sometimes reason enough to do something.

Week 7 Update

Overall, this week went pretty well. I wasn’t perfect in my routine, but who is? I have found myself really bored with my body weight workout. All I’ve been doing is a day of push-ups and a day of planks (the house I’m currently in doesn’t have a place for my pull-up bar), I’ve seen some nice improvements but I find myself dreading the workouts because of boredom. To help remedy this I’m going to start using this workout 2-3 times a week and use push-ups and planks as a progress measurement tool. On a related note, I’ve seen almost no growth in my chest or arms since starting this routine. Part of this is probably because of human error and inconsistent measuring, but most of it is that my routine hasn’t really made muscle-building a priority. The only exception to this is my thighs where I am seeing pretty consistent shrinkage, I think I store a lot of fat in my thighs as well as my waist. As my weight approaches a level that I’m more comfortable with, and once I move into my own house this week, I will start focusing more on muscle production. My performance and health will improve if I have strength underneath the fat I burn away.

I have also started taking two Coursera classes (one on writing and one on data visualization), and I’m also using Khan Academy to improve my math skills. I’ve hit a rough patch with my book writing and am having trouble getting myself over it. It is a struggle but I am still working towards it.

My nutrition work has been going really well and I think I’m going to start to stray a little bit from it. I think a cheat meal (or day or evening or something) each week will help keep me motivated. Ideally, I’d get to the point where having things around the house daily wouldn’t be a huge temptation or become a slippery slope, but I’m not there yet. Maybe in a couple of months I can enjoy just one alcoholic drink or small treat daily, but right now I’m going to just allow myself one night a week to not worry about calories.

The measurements (What is being measured: This weeks measurement (Change from last week, change from day one)

  • Weight: 164 lbs (-1, -14)
  • Waist: 33.5 inches (-.5, -3)
  • Neck: 16 inches (+.5, +.5)
  • Chest: 39.75 inches (-.25, -.25)
  • Left Bicep: 13.5 inches (+0,-.5)
  • Right Bicep: 13.25 inches (-.5, -.75)
  • Left Thigh: 23 inches (-.5, -1.25)
  • Right Thigh: 23 inches (-.5, -2.25)
  • Left Calf: 14.5 inches (-.25, +0)
  • Right Calf: 14.5 inches (-.25, +0)
  • BMI: 24.93 (-.17, -2.13)
  • Body Fat %: 19.00 (-1.10 -6.02)
  • Average Daily Calories: 1802.14 (-56.14)
  • Average Waking Mood: 6.29 out of 10 (+.14, +3)
  • Average Midday Mood: 7.29 out of 10 (-.43, -.14)
  • Average Evening Mood: 7.86 out of 10 (+.29, +.57)
  • Average Morning Sex Drive: 5.71 out of 10 (+.14, +.29)
  • Average Midday Sex Drive: 6.57 out of 10 (+.57, -.29)
  • Average Evening Sex Drive: 6.14 out of 10 (+.43, +.43)
  • Walked: 7.25 Miles (-3)
  • Total Walked: 90.5 Miles
  • Ran: 11 Miles (+-5.25,
  • Total Ran: 70.25 Miles
  • Biked: 52.5 Miles (+28.50
  • Total Biked: 103.75
  • Pull Ups: 0
  • Total Pull Ups: 196
  • Max Pull Ups Set: N/A
  • Push Ups: 196
  • Total Push Ups: 1,778
  • Max 2-Minute Push Ups: 68
  • Plank: 900 seconds
  • Total Plank: 3,210 seconds
  • Max Single Plank: 300 seconds
  • Meditated: 75 minutes (+5
  • Total Time Meditating: 325 minutes
  • Average Nightly Sleep: 7.93 hours (+.61)
  • Daily Orgasm: 5 out of 7 (-1)
  • Blog Posts: 6 out of 7 (-1)
  • Foreign Language: 7 out of 7 (+3)
  • Work on Book: 1 out of 7 (-5)
  • Khan Academy: 5 out of 7 (+5)
  • Coursera: 5 out of 7 (+5)
  • Resting Heart Rate: 54bpm (-8, -5)

Currently Reading:

  • “Destructive Emotions: A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama” by Daniel Goleman (Psychology and Science – Career Development
  • “The Gift” by Hafiz (Poetry)
  • “The Great Hunt” by Robert Jordan (Fiction, Audiobook)
  • “The Ego is the Enemy” by Ryan Holiday (Personal Development)

Week 5 Update

It has been another busy week for us and my routine has been a little off. I missed a lot of work outs and several runs, and have been kind of struggling to keep up with my writing and my meditation. Hopefully, now that we are in Wilmington (yay!), I can get into a better routine again. We are staying in the spare room in the house of an awesome, beautiful, sweet, kind, gloriously cool friend that we met on Couchsurfing (another reason to travel is that you get to meet cool people who can help you out in new cities).

I actually gained one pound this week, but my waist shrank by half an inch so my body fat % was actually down. I think there are three overlapping cause of my weight gain this week:

  1. The way I report my measurements is, by necessity, just a snapshot of two points in time and not a motion picture. Those individual snapshots can be outliers in the grand scheme of things, which throws off the weekly report. The graph below shows my weight change over the last five weeks and, despite gaining a pound this week, I am still along the trend line. Basically, my extreme low last week was an artificial low based on dehydration, empty bowels, etc.Week 5 Weight Change
  2. I also had kind of a bad fitness week. I had several days of higher calorie consumption and missed some exercise. This could have impacted my results for today.
  3. It is also possible that I’m approaching a plateau. In the past my body has trended towards 195lbs, 180lbs, and 170lbs. I am right in the 170 range right now. If in a couple weeks I am still stagnant at 170 (and I decided I want to keep trying to lose weight), I’ll look into some exercise and dietary changes to push my system past this plateau.

Anyway, here are my current measurements, with the normal disclaimer that human error and variations in my body like full bowels, hydration, etc can create inaccuracies. I’m still happy with the direction things are heading… burning fat and getting stronger. I know I haven’t posted any photo updates recently, it has just been logistically difficult. Hopefully I can remedy that soon.

It is set up like this Measurement: Current (change from last week, overall change). For example, my weight is 16 right now so it will look like this “Weight: 16 lbs (+1, -11)”. I gained one pound in one week and lost eleven pounds since “Day 0” (July 8th).

  • Weight: 167 lbs (+1, -11)
  • Waist: 34 inches (-.5, -2.5)
  • Neck: 15.25 inches (-.5, -.25)
  • Chest: 40.5 inches (+.5, +.75)
  • Left Bicep: 13.25 inches (-.25, -.75)
  • Right Bicep: 13.5 inches (+.5, -.5)
  • Left Thigh: 23.25 inches (+.75, -1)
  • Right Thigh: 23.25 inches (+.75, -2)
  • Left Calf: 14.5 inches (-.5, +.25)
  • Right Calf: 15 inches (-.5, 0)
  • BMI: 25.39 (+.15, -1.67)
  • Body Fat %: 19.75 (-1.42, -5.47)
  • Average Daily Calories: 11917.86 (+124.29)
  • Average Waking Mood: 5.14 out of 10 (-0.435)
  • Average Midday Mood: 6.86 out of 10 (0)
  • Average Evening Mood: 7.43 out of 10 (+0.36)
  • Average Morning Sex Drive: 5.00 out of 10 (-0.43)
  • Average Midday Sex Drive: 6.00 out of 10 (-0.14)
  • Average Evening Sex Drive: 6.43 out of 10 (+0.645)
  • Walked: 10 Miles (-15.75, 73)
  • Ran: 5.5 Miles (-15.5, 43)
  • Biked: 10 Miles (+4, 30.25)
  • Pull Ups: 11 (-57, 196)
  • Push Ups: 109 (-216, 1,164)
  • Plank: 1.5 minutes (-6.5, 27.25)
  • Meditated: 50 minutes (+20, 180)
  • Average Nightly Sleep: 7.14 hours (-0.63)
  • Daily Orgasm: 6 out of 7 (N/A)
  • Blog Posts: 5 out of 7 (N/A)
  • Daily German: 0 out of 7 (N/A)
  • Daily Write Book: 0 out of 7 (N/A)
  • Resting Heart Rate: 76bpm (+16, +15)

Currently Reading:

  • “Destructive Emotions: A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama” by Daniel Goleman
  • “The Gift” by Hafiz

St. Louis Routine – Post Mortem

Last Thursday my partner and I took off from Myrtle Beach to visit her family in St. Louis. This was the first real challenge to our health and fitness routine and, overall, things went pretty well. It is always really difficult to keep a food and work-out schedule while travelling, particularly when four out of the seven days we were driving 10ish hours a day. Disrupting the routine also creates opportunities to have a good time (which is kind of the point of increasing our fitness, to have more opportunities to enjoy life), but those opportunities cash in some of the health credits we’ve racked up over the last couple of weeks.

So, here is a rundown of how we did. I don’t have any regrets or anything, though there were areas for improvement next time we travel (probably in mid-September).

Perfect: There were only two areas where I wasn’t disrupted at all… I kept track of my calories and I weighed myself daily (we brought our scale with us).

Pretty Good: We only missed one run day while traveling, which is pretty good. We also only ate out for three meals out of twenty, and we were relatively healthy during those times. My calories were only significantly higher than average on two nights.

Okay: I blogged most days, but missed a couple. My orgasm frequency was also pretty good (which is definitely a challenge when you are staying in other people’s homes). I drank a little bit more beer than I wanted, but it wasn’t anything too crazy and it was only at social occasions.

Needs Improvement: I didn’t do any reading, German practice, meditation, book writing, or working out (except for running). I really don’t have an excuse for this. I was lazy and thrown off by being in a new environment. I also justified slacking because I was “on vacation”, which is kind of true but I need to want to be able to keep some sort of routine even when traveling or on vacation. Life is never ideal.

Overall, I did okay, but I’m excited to get back to Myrtle and into my routine. I am almost a month into our time in Myrtle and it is time for me to re-evaluate my schedule and add more areas for improvement. I’m particularly interested in adding weight-lifting and intermittent fasting into my routine. I also need to really put some thought into things like learning a new language, I don’t seem to have a strong passion or desire for it and I’m not sure if it will provide a good return on investment.

Anyway, life is in flux and we will see what the future brings.

Week 2 Update

Alright, another week has gone by and I’m still pretty happy with the results. The week started off pretty rough and I had a hard time getting into my daily routine. There was a lot more going on around the house, which made it more difficult for me to get the day started off on the right foot. That is mostly just an excuse though, I need to be able to operate in non-ideal circumstances and blaming a bad start to the day to justify not accomplishing things is shitty. The truth is, I was just lazy and didn’t meditate or write as much as I wanted to. I was able to keep my run schedule and such, which is good.

I haven’t been getting as much sleep as I’d like because my dog is an asshole. I’m not sure what is really going on with him, he is waking us up for breakfast really early. I think the new food we started him on isn’t keeping him as full as the old stuff. Oh well, I’m sure we will figure something out. Despite the lack of sleep I have been feeling pretty good on only 7ish hours.

I also haven’t had any heartburn in two weeks. I’d guess either alcohol or the processed foods I used to eat were the culprit. It has been rather nice to be free of that inconvenience. Speaking of alcohol, there were not really any cravings for beer this week, which was also nice. This next week will be challenging as well, we are going to go to St. Louis for about a week starting on Thursday (probably). That mans I won’t have the kitchen I’m used to, we will be driving two days (which is always tough to eat healthy and get exercise) and there will be lots of food and drink to tempt. I’m not going to abstain from new experiences, but hopefully Anna and I can keep each other accountable and enjoy in moderation.

Overall, I’m happy with the direction my fitness is going. I’m burning off excess fat and getting stronger. I feel healthier, more energetic and productive, and more mentally strong. I know that many of the measurements are going to stop having such drastic changes, such as weight loss. I will eventually plateau my weight loss (which is good) but that means I need to find something else to measure as a motivating factor. Hopefully by then I will have access to a gym and can keep track of weights or something. I also realize a lot of these measurements are fickle… I’m trying to measure myself with a tape measure, which means human error, and weighing myself on the scale is not really an accurate representation of my weight because water in my system and a full bowels can effect the outcome. I’m keeping track more to look for trends instead of absolute measurements. New photos are available in here, as always they contain terrible tan lines, a sloppy man bun, and full-frontal nudity. I decided to use a real camera and a couple of poses so that it is easier to visually track my progress. It is hard to compare photos but I feel like I have more definition in my back and shoulders (though, that might be the tan) and my waist is slimming down a little.

Oh well, here are the measurements. It is set up like this Measurement: Current (change from last week, overall change). For example, my weight is 173 right now so it will look like this “Weight: 173 lbs (-2, -2.5)”. I lost two pounds this week, and two and a half overall.

  • Weight: 173 lbs (-2, -2.5)
  • Waist: 35 inches (-.5, -1.5)
  • Neck: 15. inches (-.25, 0)
  • Chest: 39.7 inches (+.25, -.25)
  • Left Bicep: 13.75 inches (+.25, -.25)
  • Right Bicep: 13.5 inches (+.5, -.5)
  • Left Thigh: 23 inches (-1, -1.25)
  • Right Thigh: 23.5 inches (-.5, -1.75)
  • Left Calf: 15 inches (+.25, +.5)
  • Right Calf: 15 inches (+.25, +.5)
  • BMI: 26.3 (-.46, -.76)
  • Body Fat %: 21.18 (-1.86, -3.84)
  • Average Daily Calories: 1696.86 (-66.57)
  • Average Waking Mood: 5.43 out of 10 (+2.19)
  • Average Midday Mood: 7.43 out of 10 (+0)
  • Average Evening Mood: 7.14 out of 10 (-.15)
  • Average Morning Sex Drive: 5.43 out of 10 (+0)
  • Average Midday Sex Drive: 6.71 out of 10 (-.15)
  • Average Evening Sex Drive:6.14 out of 10 (+.43)
  • Walked: 18.5 Miles (-.25, 37.25)
  • Ran: 11 Miles (+6.5, 16.5)
  • Biked: 9.25 Miles (4.25, 14.25) – My bike is at the shop getting repaired and probably won’t be back this week
  • Pull Ups: 66 (+15, 117)
  • Push Ups: 390 (+50, 730)
  • Plank: 9.25 minutes (+.75, 17.75)
  • Meditated: 30 minutes (-40, 100)
  • Average Nightly Sleep: 7.61 hours (-.25)
  • Daily Orgasm: 3 out of 7 (-2)
  • Blog Posts: 7 out of 7 (+1)
  • Daily German: 6 out of 7 (+1)
  • Daily Write Book: 0 out of 7
  • Resting Heart Rate: 54bpm (-4, -5)

 

Currently Reading:

  • “Destructive Emotions: A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama” by Daniel Goleman
  • “The Great Hunt” by Robert Jordan

Week 1 Update

Well, a whole week has passed since I moved to Myrtle Beach and started my new routine. I’m pretty happy with how things are going so far. I’ve been doing a lot of measurements (because I like data) and I took some notes on how I’m feeling and such. I also decided not to include pictures this week, but I’ll probably do monthly update photos. I am taking pics each week and will store them in this public google doc (Warning: Nudity Inside). This weekly update will probably be much longer than most due to all the changes. Anyway, here are the numbers and the change since last week:

  • Weight: 175 lbs (-.5)
  • Waist: 35.5 inches (-1)
  • Neck: 15.75 inches (+.25)
  • Chest: 39.5 inches (-.5)
  • Left Bicep: 13.5 inches (-.5)
  • Right Bicep: 13 inches (-1)
  • Left Thigh: 24 inches (-.25)
  • Right Thigh: 24 inches (-1.25)
  • Left Calf: 14.75 inches (+.25)
  • Right Calf: 14.75 inches (+.25)
  • BMI: 26.76 (-.3)
  • Body Fat %: 23.04 (-1.98)
  • Average Daily Calories: 1763.43
  • Average Waking Mood: 3.29 out of 10
  • Average Midday Mood: 7.43 out of 10
  • Average Evening Mood: 7.29 out of 10
  • Average Morning Sex Drive: 5.43 out of 10
  • Average Midday Sex Drive: 6.86 out of 10
  • Average Evening Sex Drive: 5.71 out of 10
  • Walked: 18.75 Miles
  • Ran: 5.5 Miles
  • Biked: 5.0 Miles
  • Pull Ups: 51
  • Push Ups: 340
  • Plank: 8.5 minutes
  • Meditated: 70 minutes
  • Average Nightly Sleep: 7.86 hours
  • Daily Orgasm: 5 out of 7
  • Blog Posts: 6 out of 7
  • Daily German: 5 out of 7
  • Resting Heart Rate: 58bpm (-1)

Notes

Daily Life: Overall, the new daily routine is pretty awesome. I feel like I am getting a lot done and I am happy with my progress on all fronts. There have been some struggles though… going to bed around 10pm and waking up around 7am has been tough for me. I’m really groggy in the mornings, but after my morning meditation and a cup of coffee I do much better. The meditation practice is tough, it always is for me, but I love the app I use (Headspace) and I’m proud of myself for meditating every day this week.

Living in one place for a while has allowed me to get some silly aesthetic things taken care of. I’ve been able to consistently treat my tinea versicolor with Selsun Blue and it is clearing up nicely. I’m now on a thrice a day teeth brushing routine which is whitening my teeth. And I can go to the beach a couple times a week to even out my terrible cycling tan. Unfortunately, Myrtle Beach is kind of puritan and doesn’t allow nude sunbathing. I’ll need to settle for a surfshort tan until we get to Wilmington and I can rig something up in our back yard.

My sex drive is way up compared to the bike ride. I think this has a lot to do with not exercising 6 hours a day in a high stress environment and getting a good night sleep every night (even if it is about an hour shorter than I’d like). This is good though, I wanna get those daily orgasms to help prevent prostate cancer. Strangely, my sex drive is highest in the middle of the day. That is abnormal for me, I tend to be a morning banger. I guess these things change. It is good that Anna and I both have online jobs and are around during the day so that we can knock out some afternoon delight. Also, porn and lube exist. It has also been nice to be able to reciprocate sex pics with some of our friends. There are several people who help get out our voyeurism and exhibitionist side using the magic of text messaging and SnapChat. This is also going to give us the chance to explore more BDSM and our other sexual interests that require a stable location.

I’m trying to get my monthly expenses to under $1,000, ideally closer to $800.With that budget I should be able to save for the final leg of the bike ride, save for Burning Man in 2017 or 2018, max out my Roth IRA, donate money to charities and friends in need, and maybe start paying off my student loans. So, I’m cutting out a lot of unnecessary spending (like my Audible subscription) and looking for cheaper alternatives (like going to the library). I love the library and I really am happy to have a nice reading routine again of one fiction and one non-fiction (which will probably be selected from Naropa Universities recommended reading list for the grad program I’m interested in). I’m currently reading “The Great Hunt” by Robert Jordan and “The Heart of Learning: Spirituality in Education” edited by Steven Glazer.

I have found myself really craving beer on a few occasions. I think it is a Pavlovian response. I’ve spent years drinking beer while I work, and now my body/mind want it when I sit down at the desk. So far, I’ve been able to resist, and I hope the cravings get weaker. Maybe I’ll even crave Earl Grey tea instead someday.

This week my bowel movements have been really off. I used to be pretty regular, but not anymore. I don’t think it is anything unhealthy, I think my body is just adjusting to lower calories and unprocessed food (though, the high fiber in veggies should speed things up. Oh well, I’m sure things will get into a new routine relatively soon.

I’m also excited to start scheduling time to work on my book. Now that I have a feel for what my week is going to be like for the next few months I can make it work.

Diet: I’m not consuming the 2,000 recommended calories each day, but I’m also not hungry and I am getting all the nutrients I need. This seems to match up with research that has seen a the body get more efficient the more you exercise. I’ve been cycling for months and my base metobolic rate is pretty efficient, I just don’t need 2,000 calories to operate. In fact, I’d bet I only need about 1,500 calories to maintain weight if I wasn’t exercising. Luckily, fruits and veggies are really nutrient dense and I can get all the vitamins and minerals I need.

I’ve been trying a new meal technique where I eat a huge breakfast and then have incrementally smaller meals throughout the day. It seems to work really well to prevent me from being hungry. My breakfast is about 750 calories, lunch is 400 calories, dinner is 300 calories, and I eat plain almonds and fruit in between meals as snacks. I have really enjoyed cooking my meals, it gives me a lot of control and makes me feel like I have a more intimate relationship with my food (not in a sex way, I don’t like mixing food and sex, it just isn’t my thing).

Exercise: My running has been pretty consistent this week, but we’ve taken it pretty slow so that our bodies can ease into running. It definitely uses different muscles than cycling and I don’t want my lungs and mind to try and work to their max, which will damage my legs. I’m not trying to be “a runner”, but I want to complete the half marathon. The event is something to motivate me to stay in shape and not slack on my diet and lifestyle. Things like that work well for me, but I’m not sure if just setting up a new half marathon or marathon every 4-6 months is going to work longterm. I need more variety than that, but I’m not sure where to get it…. maybe Tough Mudder’s and such? I wish I wasn’t so “badge oriented”, and maybe as I get more fit that won’t be as much of an issue. Or maybe I’ll find something that I really love and awards won’t be necessary.

In addition to running I’ve been doing pull-ups and push-ups to add some muscle variety. If I find a free or cheap gym I will probably stop using those as a workout and just sprinkle them in throughout the day. It certainly can’t hurt to knock out some reps during commercial breaks, while waiting for webpages to load, or just when feeling ‘bleh’. I’ve been walking a lot too, mostly thanks to Pokemon Go, having a dog, going grocery shopping every other day, and not owning a car. Those things all kind of catalyst into me wandering around in the hot sun regularly, but walking is good for you so I’m not complaining. I like wandering near the beach.

I am on the look out for more organized fitness classes. At the top of my list right now is Barre, Yoga, Kickboxing, or Rock Climbing. Myrtle Beach has limited options in the latter two, so it really is between Barre and Yoga. I need to see what classes are offered and at what price before committing.