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The Mental Game

The Mental Game

It is fascinating to me how one day a certain workout that is relatively easy to get through and then a week later the same workout (there were workouts in-between) is mentally grueling to get through even though physically they were not much different. That is how mine was today. I’ve been working out almost exclusively on my Concept 2 rowing ergometer lately and wow, today I struggled to finish my workout. Physically I was tired but I could do it relatively easy. But man, mentally I was fried going into the last 2000 meters. Normally it is the first 1-2k that get me.  I ended up improving my time for the whole distance (5000m) but there were a couple of times where I almost called it a day and ended the workout.

I’m glad I stuck with it. As I mentioned I improved my time significantly but I believe where I got the most out of this was the beginning steps of developing “grit” in my workout regimen. Developing that grit is important to me for creating that habit. Granted this was only part of the process but I truly believe it is an integral part of my development.

Consistency

Consistency

Consistency has always been an issue with me in many aspects of my life. Whether it be working out, chores around the house, or even interacting with family and friends. I struggle to maintain habits in the early stages of habit development. However, once I develop a strong meaningful habit I am pretty good at keeping it up.

Once I have a good habit I’m pretty good at keeping it but for me its something that takes time to grow into a lasting one. There have been times when I’ve started some good habits and maintained them for a couple months but all of a sudden “life” gets in the way for a short amount of time and I struggle to make that habit a regular part of daily life again. It’s an ongoing process of development for me.

So, what do I do when I break a good habit? Do I just forget it an move on? No! I keep trying to get it back. I try not to punish myself and I start over. It’s not the end of the world and it may take time to develop it again and with effort and being mindful of what my goals are, I will get it back.

I was a doing a good job of writing and working out and “life” got in the way last week for a couple of days. I got back to my workouts but my writing went on hiatus until now.  This is me getting back at it. The easy thing to do would be to let “life” win. It’s going to be a long war and there will be many battles won and lost but today I choose to win the battle.

Monday monday…

Monday monday…

This past Friday I will admit that I did not win ANY awards for dietary achievements. I just started off in a bad place and got completely off my intermittent fasting routine. First, I decided to finish my son’s breakfast because I did not want the food to go to waste.  That led to eating a big lunch because I knew my afternoon evening would be a bit chaotic trying not to be a helicopter parent while my son was having fun at his school’s fall festival. Then we decided to go to the football game that followed where they serve really good tri-tip chili. That would not have been so bad except that I washed it down with soda and about an hour later I decided I was hungry again (I could have easily gone without more food) and got myself a grilled tri-tip sandwich and another soda.

Saturday the quantity of food was not as bad but I did not do intermittent fasting. I did get on my rowing machine for a good 25 minutes or so which I felt really good about. Most of the day was spent recovering from the night before.  My son and I ate a small BBQ lunch at the local BBQ chain. As a family, we had a nice movie afternoon and ordered pizza. Yep, another winning dietary day.

Sunday was not spectacular either except we did go to the beach in the morning and got in the surf which was a good bonding time for me and my son so regardless of what else happened it was a very good day. Prior to the beach, I was able to get on the rowing machine for a real quick workout, so another win. I won’t mention the food part for the day.

This morning, I got my rowing in with another 5000 meters and I bettered my time from Saturday by almost a minute, WIN. I am not fasting again today but that is ok. Looking forward to a productive day.

I should mention that while overall my food intake over the past few days was not great, I did manage to get my Athletic Greens and fish oil in on each day so some “sort-of” wins for the weekend. Now I’m ready for a productive Monday and rest of the week.

Have an awesome day and week everyone!

That’s what happens…

That’s what happens…

I missed a day.

Yesterday I started the day and immediately got out of the good flow I had been working on the previous few days and I never recovered. I tried working out but was on a time crunch and it never really developed to anything worthwhile.  However, I did get out there and did a tiny bit.  Not great but better than nothing.

last year around this time I started doing cardio on the rowing machine where I was working and I got to a point where I kind of enjoyed it and felt some competitiveness starting to come out. However, once Spring came, my work schedule changed and I was not able to get myself going again.  Long story short, I’ve been wanting to get a rowing machine for my home since then and yesterday I finally pulled the trigger after finding a used one on craigslist. So, yesterday I drove about 20 miles away and brought home a used Concept 2 Rowing Model D machine. Set it up in my garage, cleaned it and did some simple maintenance on it so I could start using it. This morning I did 2000 meters on my rowing machine and I’m looking forward to making rowing a welcome part of my daily habit.

Now for the rest of today…time to make up lost time from work yesterday due to being distracted by my rowing machine purchase. Then it’s off to a little “festival” put on by the school where my son goes and wife teaches at (I used to teach there as well).

I might take the weekend off from writing but I should be back at this on Monday.

And on the Third Day…

And on the Third Day…

I enjoy working from home and I’ve been doing it 3-4 days a week for the past 6 weeks. I can be very productive both professionally and personally. However, there are days when I’m not as productive and I let myself go in different directions with not much guidance. So, for me to be productive I need to set up guidelines and habits. I need a list of things I need to get done that is prioritized. I work very well when I can work through the list and check things off as I complete them. That is why I set up the schedule the other day. That schedule in itself was somewhat detailed but at the same time very vague. Each part of that schedule by itself could and should be broken down to be even more detailed and that is what I need to work on.

So far the past couple days have gone well and I have pretty much stuck to that schedule. I’m getting my workout in, I’m not on social media as much and the intermittent fasting is going well in practice. My only “hiccups” have been the fine details. But I’ve also realized I need to build something else into that schedule, I need to put in more movement throughout the day. Yesterday I feel like I sat in my chair way too long (the slight discomfort in one of my butt-cheeks is proof to me). While I actually enjoy being on my computer working, it is not healthy for me or anyone to sit for such long periods of time.  That said, today my goal is to move more which is kind of a vague statement, not sure how I’ll accomplish it but I will. It’s not all that difficult just a matter of doing it. I’ll let you know tomorrow how it goes.

Also, I need to cut back on my evening ice cream. I have this bad habit of eating some simple chocolate ice cream in the evening when I dish some up for son…this may be the most difficult habit to break.

 

The Challenge is Real

The Challenge is Real

Yesterday I wrote about starting my new habits and after one day everything is going well. I know I can do one day of the new schedule at least.  Today I go for another day.  The hardest thing about day one was getting used to the intermittent fasting schedule. Typically with IF you want to go about sixteen hours between meals so Sunday night I had my last food at around 7 pm and then did not eat again until Monday morning after 11 am. I found that as long as I drank a fair amount of water I could ignore my stomach growling so the actual physical symptoms of not eating for that long were not that bad. What was difficult was the mindset to not eat something in the morning. I’m used to eating something in the first couple hours of waking up. In order to get past those thoughts, I had to keep myself mentally busy with writing, work, and house chores. Once I got to the 11 am time of being able to eat I was not “starving”, I had a sandwich and did some more work. The next challenge was eating the rest of the day and I got through that by snacking on Brazil nuts, Walnuts and a stick of cheese. Overall I think eating went very well I just need to be mindful of what I’m doing, and I’m sure I’ll have a few more challenges along the way.

Today, I started with my Athletic Greens drink, weighed myself in at 275lbs, got a short workout in, got the family out the door for work and school and now I am ready to take on day two of this new routine.

Check back tomorrow.