I’ve been a computer geek literally my whole life, at least as far back as I can remember. I grew up getting “online” back before there was a thing called “internet” and quickly transitioned into all of the technologies associated with it. What started off as costing way too much to be online and with mostly text based interactions has become, as we all know, a pervasive and universal multimedia rich infinite stream of connectivity. But is that connectivity too much, or at least too much for me?
Since I started dialing my fitness regiment in three weeks ago I’ve been striving to get a perfect 4.0 grade across all five of my daily goals for an entire week. I was getting really close, but each week had one or two hiccups/slip ups that kept me off the perfect mark. No longer. I finally got a 4.0 across all my categories for an entire week for the first time since I started trying to do this whole daily grading thing (even back to my Nutritarian Experiment of 2016). First, I’ll congratulate myself for a job well done. Now, a word of warning. When I nail something like this I often have an impulse to try to extend it longer and longer. Inevitably I stumble, just like anyone else does with anything like this. That stumble then usually leads to a crash. That crash then leads to a period of rationalization of how I was doing well so deserve a little “reward” for it, whatever that means, and that I’ll get back to it tomorrow. String a bunch of tomorrows together and I get years of getting back to it “tomorrow”.
This week may be a perfect week again, or it may not not. Instead of focusing on these longer term trends like I usually do I’m going to take my “being in the present” mindset that has been working these past three weeks forward. I’ll concentrate on nailing my goals today, and only today. I’m not going to worry about what I screwed up yesterday, or if I’ll screw up tomorrow. I’ll still track and trend all of these things as an observational and historical thing, but I’m not going to expend mental energy on it beyond just working it out today.
After a year of false starts, many written about here ad nauseum, but with maintaining my tracking of nutrition and fitness goals every day, I can say that this time around I’ve started off on the right foot on dialing in my fitness/lifestyle goals and getting myself back on track.
As I’m sipping a glass of champagne while finishing up some coding for the night (yes, I’m one of those people that don’t think you need a special occasion to drink champagne) an interesting self experiment came to me. I’ve heard of and seen video of people who are put in driving simulators to show the difference between difference levels of blood alcohol levels and the impact on driving performance. I’ve sadly seen the direct effect on people as well. Wouldn’t it be interesting to try to do a direct measurement of this in a safe way?
I’ve written several times about the use of periodic fasting days to counteract our periodic feast days as well as health benefits of fasting from the perspective of supposed cancer fighting and potentially longevity. I’ve also mentioned fasting as a means of accomplishing weight loss too. Now that I’m a couple months into that practice, I figured I’d show what that actually looks like.
While using the Goal Accountability Project as a means of keeping myself honest on where I am with my health it occurred to me that a graphical punch is as important as a daily check in. It’s one thing to look at a table of numbers and see that I haven’t been hitting the marks I want. However it is of far greater impact when you see a picture of it. As the old saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.
“Getting fit” is often synonymous with “losing weight” in most discussions. Back when I was setting up this blog for a long term eating style experiment I was in pretty good shape. My strength training was a bit of a crap shoot but my cardio was as tuned in for me as it had ever been; I ran my first (and to date only) marathon at the end of that planning period. I therefore didn’t see it as a weight loss experiment but as a fitness and longevity experiment. I therefore sought to quantify my fitness in as concrete a way I could. What I came up with was holding myself to a military fitness standard (link).
Yesterday I had a tongue in cheek conversation with a friend about our resolutions. He asked me what my resolutions were for this year. I stated: “To not exercise, eat continuously, and try to add thirty pounds of fat…I’m trying the reverse psychology thing.” Knowing my penchant for trying new things it isn’t totally ridiculous that he took me literally, but I quickly corrected that notion before I got a call from one of my family members asking what the hell I was thinking about. I used to do resolutions, but I don’t, that doesn’t mean that the roll over of the calendar isn’t a good occasion for me to double down on trying to dial it in.
October 16, 2016, when I got back from my honeymoon, I said I was going to be emphasizing a fitness focus by looking at using a goal accountability report card. Really this is getting the tempo for doing these things more into 2017 and beyond. Work and life took my eye off the ball but it didn’t stop me from actually keeping the report card. What’s the point of an accountability exercise if you only do it when you know you are going to score well? That’s like only going to the doctor when you are healthy. The sobering reality is that right now I’m failing on my five goals, but I didn’t need a report card to actually tell me that.
In the end of 2010 I started tracking all of my nutrition, daily calorie burning, and moods full time. Years of doing it off and on during 12-week fitness challenges, weight loss periods, et cetera prepared me well for this process and made it second nature. Now it’s coming up on the end of 2016 and I have pretty much everything I’ve eaten, my daily calorie burn estimates, and my moods tracked for several years. The problem is that the platform I had tracked it in, FitDay, is all but defunct. How will I resurrect that data?