Closing no junk January

Today, no junk January comes to a close. I consider it a partial success. I didn’t make it every single day without junk, but overall, there was significant progress. There were a couple days that I gave in and had a sweet or some chips or crackers. However, I was able to get back on the horse each time and I believe I improved my habits. I don’t crave the bad foods as much as I did previously. I don’t have the desire to go out in the evening and buy a bag of chips, case of beer, or cheeseburger. Most nights when I feel snacky, I’ll make some popcorn on the stove now.

When I have a couple beers now, I do notice it a lot more, both in how I feel and on the scale. I’ve replaced much of my beer drinking with water and tea which I feel a lot better from. I’ve even managed to cut back on my coffee which I think is helping me sleep better. No more 24 to 48 ounces of coffee throughout the day with three to six beers in the evening. In fact, since I have cut back so much on alcohol since late November, I can see a drastic improvement in my sleep quality when compared to before. This is made very evident with my Fitbit’s sleep tracking.

Mentally and physically, I’m feeling much better. I still have my off days where I don’t feel so great, but for the most part, it’s an improvement. Exercise has helped with that, though I have missed my last two sessions. I need to make an effort to get back on the horse on Monday.

All in all, I hope to continue with this healthier lifestyle I’ve been working on and continuing to improve it. I believe that it has even helped me in my personal and family life. I still have a long way to go and many more changes to make, but the seeds have been planted and they have sprouted. With plenty of sunshine and water, it is my hope that they grow in majestic trees, standing tall over what once was so that I can be the best me that I can possibly be.

Progress

Life is hard. Very much so. While the past couple months have treated me quite well, it’s had its downs. Being able to be much more open with my thoughts and feelings has been a tremendous blessing to me. It’s greatly improved many aspects of my life as well as helped me to make important changes. For example: I am have been working out three days a week now. To accomplish this, I get up at 4:30 in the morning and walk through the snow to an unheated garage at sub-freezing temperatures. Sometimes, I have to force myself to do it, but I do get up and do it. I also drink far less than I used to, only having two or three beers a week, if that. I am considerably less irritable because of it.

The downside to being more open with my emotions is after having them cut off for so long, I still struggle with how to deal with them. When bad news strikes, my brain seems jumps straight into the worst case scenario and fails to understand how to appropriately respond to it. This may result in an emotional break down whereas in the past, I may have been more likely to respond with, “Okay” and then move on. Neither of which is terribly helpful. One is uncontrolled and the other is overly controlled. I wish I could find some balance and middle ground with this, though I’m sure this will come with time.

I will say that overall this has been overall much better for me and my family, even if I can’t handle it correctly all the time. The times that I can’t I am embarrassed and ashamed. I need to remind myself that life is a struggle and can be painful, but it’s exactly that which forces us to grow stronger. It is my hope that as time progresses, this will help me to be the best husband and father that I can be. And when the time comes that I shall pass, I hope that my wife can back and is proud of who she chose to call husband and that my children were proud to call me father. Perhaps that is the highest goal of any man. Though I stumble, it is the one I strive most for.

I think I have a bright future ahead of me. Still I realize that there will be more pain ahead for nothing good ever comes easy, so I must be vigilant so that when it comes, I can deal with it in the best manner possible. It’s going to take a lot of work, but I believe that it will be worth it. So here’s to the future. Here’s to a better body, a better mind, and a wonderful family.

Changes for the New Year

Last year I resolved to read a book a month. I failed that resolution as is tradition. However, I did manage to read seven or eight books which is better than I normally do and that figure is not including audiobooks, so it’s definitely an improvement over attempts to keep resolutions in previous years.

The day after Thanksgiving, I resolved not to have anymore alcohol for the remainder of 2019 and I have succeeded at that. In fact, I still have not had a drink and don’t really have a desire to. Joanna has stated that she has seen a definite change in my personality for the better. Knowing and achieving this has given me confidence to making real change in 2020.

In November, I decided that my main goal for 2020 was to get down to 14% bodyfat. At the time I made that goal, I was sitting around 24-25%. Since then, I’ve managed to get it down to 22-23%. That’s with putting in little effort and no exercise. Now that the new year has begun, I’m going to get more aggressive with it. My wife and I are kicking it off with a No-Junk-January. That means no white bread, candy, chips, crackers, ice cream, etc. The only “cheat day” would be her birthday for obvious reasons. We just need to make sure we don’t gorge.

I also plan to give up tobacco completely with only the occasional cigar on special occasions. I had my last smoke on New Year’s Eve. Sorry, Black & Mild. It’s for my own good.

Another health focus goal is something I call GOWAD. It’s a play on GOMAD which stands for Gallon Of Milk A Day. It’s somethings some bodybuilders use build their bodies. In mine, the W stands for Water. I don’t expect to achieve this everyday, but by shooting for a GOWAD, I hope to have an overall healthier body. Better hydrated. Less hungry. Peeing a lot. Goodness there will be so much pee.

All of these combined I’m hoping will get me in a better mental state. The lack of alcohol has already shown improvement. With this better mental state, I expect to be more calm, less easily agitated, more focused. This in turn I hope will make me more productive as well as a better husband and father.

I see a lot of up for this new year and I’ve already shown I can accomplish my goals if I put my mind to it. Here’s to a new me.

Logic and Resolutions

On December 31st, I decided that I wasn’t going to wait until the new year to start getting in shape, I was going to start it right then and there. My faulty logic being that if I waited until the 1st then it would be a New Year’s Resolution and since New Year’s Resolutions are universally meant to be broken within ten to fourteen weeks, I should start beforehand to improve my odds.

Now, I knew that in order keep going, I needed a good workout app. There were some criteria that needed to be met before I would decide on the app I would use. First, it had to have week long routines pre-built into it. I knew I would make poor choices if I had to make my own AND I didn’t want to risk getting bored doing the same workout everyday. Secondly it needed to be intense but not overly long. Workouts twenty minutes or less are a lot easier to get in when I can than carving out a block of forty to sixty minutes on a regular basis. And finally, the workouts needed to be bodyweight. I didn’t want to risk getting equipment out to become a chore and I wanted to be able to do this anywhere.

moonexercise

“What do you mean I forgot the bench? I don’t need no stinkin’ bench!”

So with that criteria, I found a great app that met my needs. It was called Home Workout MMA Spartan Free. Excited to get into it, I took my lunch break, locked myself in the back room, took my shirt off, and loaded it up. I was promptly greeted with Leonidas in track pants, shirtless and screaming in my face.

spartan

Clearly a workout designed for if I should ever need to kick someone into a hole.

I could tell that this was going to be intense, so I started with the newbie routine. Twenty minutes later, I was beat. It kicked my ass and I felt great. On New Year’s morning, I woke up and my glutes were so sore. The first words to my wife that morning were, “My butt hurts.” She responded with, “I promise I did not spank you in your sleep.”

It was then I remembered workout I had done the previous day as a sly smile and an elongated, “Oh yeah” came across my lips. I’m about halfway through my second week of the routine and it’s still a beast, but I must say I feel great and it doesn’t feel like a chore. Once the newbie routine starts to become easy, I’ll jump to the next routine up. Here’s hoping I keep with it.