I’m home sick today, cold sweats, eyes stinging, bones aching and head pounding. To be honest I feel like a reanimated corpse who’d rather be just left alone to rot. There’s a bug going around at work. I really hope it isn’t a zombie variety. O_O
So here is the my monthly post before I crawl back into the corner of the couch,clutching my coffee while shivering under a blanket.
- 233 lbs, down 5 from last month. Very happy with that. I hope it becomes a trend. It’s been nearly a year at the same weight after losing the first 100. But hey, I didn’t gain it back.
- I went 26 of 30 days without sugar. That’s 87% compliance. Of course, I’m not counting the 99% Lindt chocolate. Don’t judge. It’s delicious.
- Walking and running has been pretty much on track given the weather, but I’m off the wagon with weight-training.
- Commitment for this month is to hold the course and get my exercise regimen back on track.
- Super-satisfied with some of my writing shorts lately.
- I’m really enjoying the community at Writer’s Carnival and happy to get the opportunity to volunteer my time. It’s quite magical.
- The prompts and responses at Writer’s Digest seems to be on an up-swing these days. Lots of great authors and stories there.
- My piece “Artemis’ Nightrise” is getting republished this month at Dark Futures. Last time was a contest win. This time, I get paid. Sweet.
- I’ve decided that i won’t be making a ‘go’ at NaNoWriMo this year. I have way too much on the go to be ready and commit to that endeavor. The story bubbling around in my head may not wait until next year though, so stay tuned.
- The big hairy deal for the month is the release of “Midnight Abyss" on Halloween. It’s a collection of short stories and poems that a slew of us put together. I have two stories in it, ‘A Love, Darkly’ and ‘Eddie Zero’, as well as a poem called ‘The Clown’. Those following along might have read early versions of these. I can’t wait for you to read them. The other stories and poems are full of AWESOME and WIN too.
The book comes out on October 31st in dead-tree print and ebook formats. Check out Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Goodreads for details.
- I have a bunch of other things going on at work as well, including the EDUCAUSE conference in Aneheim, a bunch of campus visits and co-teaching an all-day project management seminar. There’s a heap of crazy exciting project work on my docket as well. Weeeeeee!
- Empty nesting is going A-OK. I really enjoy being able to share space with my wife. We’ve never known each other without kids underfoot. These are good days.
- Kids and grandson are all doing great. There’s a lot of which to be proud.
- Shout out to my stepmother and mother-in-law. These ladies are dealing with a lot health-wise lately. Send them your good vibes.
See ya all on the flipside!
September has rolled around again. Our youngest has been delivered to university to continue his journey into Awesomehood. My bride and I are alone without children for the first time. Ever.
I’m very proud of how the kids turned out. We’ve done all we could do to prepare them for life. It’s time to let go, because focusing on our marriage in this next era together is both exciting and a little scary. I hope she still likes me. She probably does. I think.
We each have our own friends and interests so I think we’ll transition well. For example, writing short fiction has really become a joy for me. The community at Writer’s Carnival has been nothing short of amazing. If you have any inclination to scribble words on paper and just need support and a push, come on over.
Now, I didn’t post last month. It was crazy busy. I flew pretty fast and loose with my diet. I weighed in today at 238 lbs.That’s up 4 pounds since Canada Day.
Up. Down. Up. Down. The scale has been stuck in the 230s for months. If I were to hold that as my only measure of health, I think Bill Murray would look like the sane one.
Things started to stall last September when I toyed with Intermittent Fasting. It probably would have happened anyway. I lost that first chunk of weight very rapidly.
Thankfully, this isn’t the only measure. My fitness has improved in leaps and bounds and continues to do so. I walk, I run and I lift. I do these things not because I’m forcing myself, but rather because I have the energy to do such. That’s one of the biggest surprises for me. Exercise is no longer torture and is something I relish.
When I started my primal/paleo push back in April 2012, I adopted a 30 day challenge approach. This September is another square month that lends itself well to marking Xs off on a calendar.
So, here’s the plan: I’ll score an X for each day I don’t have any refined food, including sugary things. That’s it. I’ll take a picture of my calendar at the end of the month and post it.
Happy Canada Day! May bacon and coffee keep and protect you in these troubled times.
I’m chillaxin’ in a parking lot waiting for the parade to start. A crazy-ass dog lays at my feet. My spawn continues his Reign of Ossim by marching with the Sackville Community Band, playing snare.
The debut performance of Adam’s composition was nothing short of outstanding. I continue to be amazed by his focus. He graduated third in his class and scored some respectable scholarships. He’s all geared up for Acadia University this fall to study music. Just gotta acquire a double-bass…
I hit the scale and managed to be down 4 pounds. 231. I’ll take it. My commitments were on track this month and there were results accordingly. How about that? Correlation between effort and effect. Who knew?
So, I’ll keep up living a primal lifestyle, eschewing grains and processed crap. I’ll lift some heavy stuff and move around a bunch, but I won’t do any of it to excess. As Mark Twain says, “Everything in moderation, including moderation.”
It’s been a good writing month as well. The community at Writers Carnival has been amazing so far. I moved my stories to a side blog at writing.douglangille.ca. There are a couple under Standalone Tales with which I’m particularly satisfied. Outside of those, the one I’m having the most fun with is Eddie Zero though. Who doesn’t like a sociopathic hero?
The summer is shaping up to be a busy one with family visits and such. Stress and fun in equal measure.
So, how’s 2013 going for you so far?
So, it’s a Saturday morning and I have the house to myself. It’s June 1st. That means it must be time for my monthly reflective post. It’s been a busy month with our youngest finishing high school and getting ready for university in the fall. He’s a bright kid with a fantastic future. It’ll be weird with just the two of us rattling around the house come September. Well, maybe.
Anyway, first off. I weighed in this morning at 235 lbs. That’s a zero change from last month, but at least it’s not a gain. So there’s that. I have to keep reminding myself where I came from in this journey north of 330 lbs. I’m due for updated blood work. That should give me a better sense of my overall health and progress.
I mostly stayed on track with my commitments last month. I did indeed complete the Bluenose 10K without dying. I managed to write nearly everyday. I kept up with my fitness regime as best I could, adjusting for the weather and the month’s other time demands.
Diet-wise, I was pretty loose. Outside of some birthday cake (mostly icing), I stayed away from the grains. Then there was that cookie. Oh, the ice cream from Cold Stone. Twice. And then there was that chocolate bar. The bag of hickory sticks. The other cookie. Some more ice cream. You see where this is going. Dammit.
Part of the problem is that I do better with journaling and I’ve gotten away from the habit. It’s an excuse, but since I upgraded to the new Blackberry, I lost a convenient always-with-me tool to aid in tracking. Curses, MyFitnessPal! Can you see me shaking my fist? At least I got my Endomondo back…
The other part of the problem is situational. The current thinking is that willpower is a finite resource. It’s a muscle that can get overworked and fatigued like any other. I have most of my day fairly structured. Egg skillet for breakfast. Salad, tuna and boiled eggs for lunch. Suppers are usually what everyone else has, substituting broccoli for the starch. I like to cook, so it’s not a hardship. It’s a damn good thing I like broccoli. Sunflower seeds and almonds fill the snacking gap. My beautiful bride and amazing son are fantastically supportive with my dietary needs. I’m generally not exposed to bad choices at home. That’s how I manage my willpower. I try to make it so I don’t have to use it.
I’ve whined before about the wide availability of candy and junk at work. Well-intentioned people doing nice things. It my issue, not theirs. If it’s in front of me, I’ll eat it eventually. Sometimes, it feels like I’m a recovering alcoholic at a beer garden. Like I said, it’s situational for me.
Now, the month of May has been particular challenging. My mother-in-law has been staying with us. All. Month. Long. She has vascular dementia and it’s progressing very swiftly. It’s really hard on my wife on many levels. Her mom is confused, argumentative and depressed. A lot of history exists between them. My evening routine is pretty set pat. I get home from work and get supper out of the way. I tag my best girl out to give her a break. She retreats to her craft room. Her mom can be left to herself for short periods, but in the evenings it’s hard. She sundowns pretty bad these days. It’s unkind, and possibly dangerous, to leave her alone. So we sit together. I am completely caught up on Criminal Minds, The Mentalist, Flash Point, Family Feud (gotta love Steve Harvey) and Match Game. It’s rained most of the month, so I’m getting shack-whacky anyway. Everything is on hold. I’m not getting stuff done.
Tie back to the situational nature of my relationship with food. One functional loss that comes with dementia is taste. Everything tastes bland except for bitter and sweet. The gerontologist took my mother-in-law off her diabetic mediation and restrictions. She was losing too much weight. My pantries are now stocked with cookies, chocolate and ice cream. I have yet to figure out how to cope with this Willy Wonka environment. Home is not a safe place for my health goals. The inactivity and junk food are a part of an older version of me that I thought vanquished.
She goes back home to Sydney next week, but will be back in early July for most of the summer. Our home is the staging area for the visits of my brothers-in-law and their families this summer. It’ll be stressful but worth it. I miss my nieces and nephews.
To that end, my only real health commitment for the summer is to figure this out and survive. Specically, it looks like this:
- Remain grain-free and as paleo as possible al la Primal Blueprint.
- Walk 5K to work everyday. No music. This is my secret weapon for mental and physical health.
- Do 30 minutes of interval running every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at lunch. Hit the treadmill at home if need be.
- Do 30 minutes of weight training every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Wednesdays and weekends are rest days.
It’s May Day! Pagans unite for a celebration of Spring and Rebirth!
Today was also my monthly weigh-in day. 235 pounds. Wah-waaahhh. That’s up again this month, but I won’t be yelling “MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY” (see what I did there?)
You see, I kept my commitments for April and that’s a WIN.
More importantly, I think I’ve unlocked the code to establishing my fitness habit. It’s really about adopting an existing routine and pinning the desired habit to it.
I have to go to work anyway, so I might as well get my walking in. I get off the bus 5k from work. This has been in place since the fall.
I already have a year-long habit of not eating at my desk for lunch. I take the first half-hour and make it happen. Taking a social approach is helping too. Some beginner yoga on Mondays, weight in the gym at work on weekdays starting with ‘T’ and interval running on the other days (including non-yoga Mondays). This worked well in April.
I suspect that the addition of weight-training might be complicit in the betrayal of the scale. *shakes fist*
I didn’t gain all my weight at once. Things fluctuate. It’ll come off again once my body adjusts to the new demands. I have to remind myself that the scale is only one measure (and a poor one at that).
For example, today I hit the treadmill and did something I’ve never done before. I ran for 22 minutes straight (4 minute warm-up and cool-down). I focused on my breathing. I was so in the zone that I could have easily kept that pace for quite some time.
I’m pumped for the Bluenose 10K. Will I run the whole length? Probably not, but I’m cool with that. ‘Completion-without-dying’ is my goal. I’ll give it a hook running it though. *shrugs*
On another note, I had a great month with respect to my writing habit. I was talking with my bride last night. This is becoming something larger for me. I really enjoy the craft as a creative outlet.
I am struggling a bit with Writer’s Digest and the community there. Most of the people are supportive and provide great feedback, but there were a couple of bullies a month or so ago that scared a few people off. It changed the tone of the site a bit. Something is missing now. I needed more if I wanted to train and get ready for the NaNoWriMo ‘marathon’ this November.
Writer’s Carnival started up about a month ago and the community there is extremely active and healthy. Time will tell of course if that remains true. Trolls are everywhere. Meanwhile, I’m getting some excellent feedback on how I can hone my writing chops into something worth reading.
The prompts at WD are great and community at WC is awesome. So, I’ll just write at both sites. I’ll continue to post here of course.
This month’s commitment are straight-forward.
- Stay the course with my health and fitness habits. Hold faith that my body will adjust.
- Get ready for the Bluenose. Enjoy the experience.
- Write everyday. Every. Damn. Day. Make it a habit.
My plan is to take advantage of the interval 8-8:30am between my arrival at work and when I crack open Outlook. Create then.
That means that my posting frequency in May will go up. You were warned.
Anyway. It should be a great month.
So this morning, I weigh 231 pounds. That’s up one pound from last month. March sucked in many ways, and strict adherence to my plan was among them. But, hey —
Most importantly, I’ve kept it off.
So, even though my rate of loss has stalled a bit and I can be frustrated, it is important for me to reflect and hold on to the WIN.
Easy. I’m going to live my life - a healthy life. Adopting a primal/paleo lifestyle wasn’t and isn’t temporary. It’s one of the lenses through which I approach life.
This month’s challenge is pretty straight forward: use a half-hour of my lunch hours to structure my fitness work plan.
- Mondays: Yoga with Stefanie and the gang
- Tuesdays: Weights with Andre and Clint
- Wednesdays: Interval running with Andre and Clint
- Thursdays: Weights with Andre and Clint
- Fridays: Interval running with Andre and Clint
This is atop my existing habits of carb restriction, the 5k walk to work in the mornings and quick-n-dirty calisthenics while making breakfast.
I’m still working on my pull-ups. I have the bar mounted in the entrance to my laundry room, much to the peril of those taller than me. Every time I go there (which is often), I give it a go. It’s irregular, but working for me.
I’ve also registered for the 10k Bluenose Run on Victoria Day weekend. If I can stop rolling my ankle, it should be a fun event.
Oh, one more thing. I’m still doing my weekly writing thing in preparation for my novel-crafting effort this coming November. If you’re interested in reading my short-fiction training efforts, you can find them here.
I’m a little late getting this update out. It’s been a busy time.
Weigh-in was good — down 4 pounds in February. No change in my measurements. Whatever. Did I mention that I logged a loss?
For those waiting for it, I finally crossed the 100 pound mark. Yes, at 230.0, I’m officially -101lbs.
However, I pretty much missed anything resembling consistency with respect to strength training. I still managed to log 83km.
I also made it to being able to do one damn pull-up. It’s ugly, but done.
Of course, I now realize that the second dead-weight pull-up is *way* harder. Figures.
This month’s commitment is really about trying to get the calisthenics back on track and to amp up my daily walking to 10km. Basically a do-over on February.
I missed the early-bird registration for the Bluenose Run by a payday. Still in the plan though. Stay tuned.
Oh, in case you’re following along, my weekly writing commitment is still going strong. It’s also getting a little weird. Read “Stormy Night" from the beginning for a lark. I have no idea where this is going and how I’m going to make it all make sense. It’s quite satisfying, so I’ll keep at it.
Like I said, it’s a mixed bag of “win” and “booyah” with a little “what the fudge happened there” thrown in.
As of this morning:
- Weight: 234 lbs
- Neck: 16”
- Navel: 43”
- Waist: 42”
- Hips: 45”
- Body Fat: 33.23%
That’s a loss of 5 lbs and a net gain of 2” resulting in a +1.25% in estimated body fat. I’ll take the weight loss and accept the change in geometry — it’s a delta within the 1-3% error range.
I’m actually quite pleased with the results of January’s commitments after gaining 2 pounds during the candy season of Halloween through New Years.
I didn’t focus on progress so much as daily compliance with my eating strategy. That worked well. Especially during the last two weeks — I stayed within my caloric and macro-nutrient tolerances.
I struggled with establishing a consistent routine for the circuit training this month. It’s a work in progress. I did indeed tweak it:
- 10 burpees
- 10 lunges per side
- 15 second horizontal plank
- 15 dumbell rows per side
I can get 2 or 3 sets in while making breakfast. I need to be doing 3 or 4. I also need to add more weight to the DB rows as soon as I can squeeze out a few bucks. The 4L water jug works great, but 10 lbs is clearly not enough. Body-weight rows / inverted push-ups are not even on the table yet let alone an actual pull-up. I did pick up a pull-up bar — I can hang from it quite nicely. Quite humbling. Oh well. We all need
dreams fantasies goals. I will continue my hero-training. I will channel Jerry Seinfeld to enhance the habit.
Now, walking was a kick-ass win this month. I crossed that miserable bridge nearly every workday - about 5 km. I logged a whopping 131 km in January. Booyah!
I’m on track in training for the Bluenose Run on Victoria Day weekend. I have until the end of February to register. I feel quite confident about the 10k. Perhaps I’ll commit to the 21k jaunt instead. See how the month goes as I add walk/run intervals to my regime.
The real surprise of the month has been in writing. The original plan was to come up with a weekly blogging habit. I broke it out by topic category and such. The goal was to exercise my writing muscle in preparation for NaNoWriMo in November.
I still have a stack of other blog ideas that are percolating.
To sum up, this month’s commitments are to:
- maintain strong Primal Blueprint eating compliance,
- add walk/run interval training to the regimen,
- do 3-4 circuits every frickin’ frackin’ day, and
- continue with weekly installents of Stormy Night
By next month’s update, I’ll have registered for the Bluenose.