Weigh-in #105+6: Messy Two Weeks

Peak: 256.6lb
Previous: 248.4lb
Current: 248.0lb
Loss this week: 0.4lb
Total Loss: 8.6lb

Last week’s weigh-in was a fairly big gain if I remember right (something like 5lb). It was enough to want to hide it from the world and stick my head in the sand and I didn’t write a weigh-in post. There’s an irony in preaching a public disclosure of your weight in order to leverage social accountability and then not actually posting when it hurts the most to do so. It’s a good-uncomfortable feeling though. Embracing the discomfort has helped me turn things around and I’m happy to post a minor net-loss today.

My diet and routine has spiked between being really good and really bad over the last 14 days. It’s felt like a roller coaster for my mood too; I’ve been up and I’ve been down. I think part of this has been caused by “end of season blues”. All the friends I’ve made here are slowly leaving. The season is ending and people are moving on to new things, or moving back to old. I’m stressed with my study and stressed with with trying to figure out what’s next for me. There are lots of conflicting desires and trying to resolve them is making me feel drained; I haven’t fully internalised the idea that you can’t have everything, and my mind toils away trying to solve a problem that can’t be solved.

I’m now halfway through this 12-week block. My goal is a 25lb loss which means I’m 3.4lb behind where I should be for halfway. Still, I’m moving in the right direction. Given my current social environment and lifestyle I’m pretty happy it’s not worse! The next 6 weeks are arguably going to be more of challenge as I anticipate I’ll be on the road a lot. When I leave Nelson I’m going to have to consider some strategies for dealing with this. Off the top of my head I like the idea of treating this as a bit of a backcountry hike… albeit within an urban environment. I will have a limited ability to prepare food and the temptation will be to eat out a lot – bad for my wallet and my diet. I’m thinking about simple breakfasts, trail-mix “lunches”, and giving myself some flexibility with eating out in the evening. I guess a lot of this depends where I am though… which is another set of decisions I’ll have to make shortly.

 

 

W5.D1-4: A Blur

I’m not sure where the last 4 days have gone. Monday and Tuesday were a blur of hardcore assignment writing. I got in the zone and spent a solid 10 hours in front of the computer over each of those days. I completed my assignment and I’m fairly happy with it, which for me is a rarity and a mark that I put some effort into it. My brain is now scrambled. I’ve had two nights of bad poor sleep and despite my efforts yesterday to relax and unwinds I am still in a daze.

Food has been painkiller this week. I equate my level of mental effort with physical effort, and rationalise that I deserve or need more sweets and treats to fuel my body and mind. The scale is well up on Monday and I feel depressed that this could be a gain week.

I think it’s the sleep that’s hit me hardest. Right now I’m ready to crash again and it’s just about midday. My head is ready to burst. Maybe a walk will help.

Weigh-in #104:

Peak: 256.6lb
Previous: 250.4lb
Current: 248.4.lb
Loss this week: 2lb
Total Loss: 8.2lb

A good-enough week to see a -2lb loss. I’ll take that every time please.

My studying is going really good, perhaps too good. It has become my sole focus and all my energy is going into it. That’s great considering where I was before but I’m concerned that it’s going to affect other things I want to achieve.

This is a retrospective post as I forgot my Monday post. I was too busy with my studying.

W4.D6 – Big ass study day

Nice! I worked on my project from about 12pm through to 9pm. There was a break for lunch and dinner, taken in front of my desk, but that was a solid effort.  I feel like I’m winging the project a little bit, but I’m finding my analysis really interesting so hopefully my tutor will too.

Today was as great day for my diet. I’m driven by the number on the scale this morning and a desire to post a loss on Monday. I got tempted by my sweet tooth this evening but I powered through the craving and now it’s 9:20pm and I know I can “last until the morning”.

Tomorrow needs to be a big day working on the project too. Probably another 8hr+ shift. Gotta love a deadline to kick my ass into gear!

W4.D3-5

Not good days for my diet. Wednesday I went to the local co-op to get some eggs as they have the best organic eggs in town. They also have the best local chocolate, maple almonds, cheese and biscuits. Yum! Doh! Thursday was a friend’s birthday and that caused some indulgence that spilled into Friday with some recovery pizza whilst I crashed out on the couch all day. Surprisingly though my weight has bounced back down to 250lb, so a good Saturday + Sunday will hopefully see me post another loss again on Monday.

Study was solid on Wednesday and Thursday, and no existent on Friday. That’s ok though – I knew I wasn’t going to be very useful on Friday.

 

W4.D2 – Amazing day

What a fantastic day. We had some fresh snow!! At last! And what a difference it made to how much I enjoyed myself. I stopped worrying about what would happen if I fell and my confidence soared. One my favourite days on the hill this season. We had blue skies, sunshine, great snow… and a couple of crisp beers whilst we ate lunch outside with a view of the mountains. It was perfect.

Then I came home and cranked out 3hrs of studying. Boom! I feel great.

The way I feel is really interesting. Right now I’m completely satisfied with how I spent my day. I’m going to plonk my ass on the couch in a minute and watch a movie/tv absolutely guilt free. There’s no anxiety about feeling I need to do more today, or that I didn’t put effort into the things I value, or that my time could have been spent better.

Perhaps this is correlation and not causal? Maybe feeling happy makes me feel satisfied… or does feeling satisfied make me feel happy? Or neither. I know that when I woke up I was already buzzing and feeling good. I was Mr Cheerful at the coffee shop on the way to the ski hill. I knew it was going to be a good day – I knew the snow was good, I knew the sun would be shining, I knew I’d be ripping it down the slopes… and the day lived up to my expectations. And then I made it even better and surprised myself by studying hard in the evening.

And what’s also interesting is that I drank beer today and I didn’t eat particularly well. But I just don’t care. All the big stuff was there: exercise, outdoors, friends, snowboarding, sunshine, study effort*, progress… and I feel absolutely exhausted in the sort of way that you know you’ve had a good day. It’s 8:30pm and I’m ready to curl up on the couch. I ate life with a big spoon today and now I’m full.

I want more days like this in my life.

 

* This is the feeling that I put effort into something. That I worked hard, didn’t slack off, and I achieved something meaningful.

W4.D1 – Beer o’clock!

Crapola day for food. I went skiing (woop!) and then ate unhealthy food at the lodge, followed by a decent number of beers in the evening. My weight spiked as a result. The conflict between indulging in booze and enjoying my social life rages on. I’m finding it a fascinating problem because it never was a problem before – my social life wasn’t active enough to support this problem. In hindsight the evening was great fun and definitely worth the deviation from a healthy routine. We had a cracking group of people friends enjoying each other’s company, laughing and just being happy together. Perhaps one of the most fun nights I’ve had here.

I managed to study briefly in the evening. Enough to keep my streak going, but I could have done more. I submitted my assignment and was happy with both the effort I put in and the quality of my work (and the strength of my knowledge). This is the first assignment for this module so it’ll be a gauge of how the tutor reacts to my writing (My tutor in the other module I’m taking marks my work ~10-15% higher than the tutor on a previous module, although perhaps I’m getting smarter/better at essay writing).

Oh, and I skiied… so it was a pretty awesome day.

Weigh-in #103: Good studying

Peak: 256.6lb
Previous: 251.0lb
Current: 250.4lb
Loss this week: 0.6lb
Total Loss: 6.2lb

Food has been disappointing on the whole. I ate out more than I should have and again, like last week, when I do that I tend not to eat as well as if I were at home. The other problem is the booze again. I went from drinking 1/7 last week, to 5/7 this week. I had no more than 2 beers or wines on any of those five days, but still… that’s like 400 calories/day of extra stuff that I could have done without. And the scary thing is I didn’t realise how often it was until reviewing this week; they were in my food log, but just not on my mind.

The focus this week then is on home-cooked food. I already know there will be days where this won’t happen. Thursday is “ribs night” at the pub and I enjoy this little ritual with my friends. I will be skiing this week and i


What a GREAT week for my studying. I can’t believe I’m on a 5-day streak :-). The shift happened after doing some thinking-out-loud with a fellow Zen Change Lab member (Yvonne @ Gainstorming). I think there have been two parts to it.

Firstly I’m now building “being a student” into my identity. I’m not someone who works and studies part time, or someone who is doing ski-season and studying on the side. I am now, first and foremost, a student.

Secondly I’ve reframed the short-term and long-term objectives. Long-term I want to become an expert in psychology; a grey-haired, elbow-patch wearing, superhero master of the mind! I have this projection of my future self. This awesome dude who went back to school in his 30s, became an expert in a new domain, switched career and took his life in a more meaningful direction, one where he uses his new knowledge to help people and make the world a better place. I really want to be that guy and that image is now driving me forward.

The short-term change is to focus on really understanding the topics I’m reading about. That sounds like it’s obvious and a standard part of “studying” and “learning” but I’ve found myself studying for assignments or exams… and not studying for the knowledge itself. I don’t really care about having the degree; it’ll make a nice line on the resumé and is a prerequisite to taking my knowledge further, but ultimately it’s all about me learning and knowing as much of this stuff as I possibly can, and not about a piece of paper. I would much rather know these topics properly and score an average grade, than score an excellent grade but have a flakey/patchy understanding.

 

 

W3.D7

Another good day of studying. I got up early for some more rugby, then café-hopped and finished writing my essay. It feels really good to get it out of the way and I’ll spend the next two days snowboarding (and studying in the evening!) as a reward.

Interesting –  I didn’t consider snowboarding a reward at the time, it’s more of a retrospective thing. It was never a “I’m going to work hard so that I can go snowboarding”, rather it’s more like “I’m going to feel good about snowboarding because I worked hard“. The reward is the feeling and not the activity itself. Hmn!

Food was fairly good today. I ate out, but didn’t overindulge.

W3.D6

A solid day. In the morning I watched some rugby, in the afternoon I spent time writing an essay on selective attention, then in the evening I chilled out with some movies.

Food wasn’t great, particularly in the evening when I paired movies and snacks together. I also had a cheeky glass of wine.

No exercise and no skiing.