As we close in on the end of the month, I have to admit that I am really pleased with the month of “deprivation” in terms of my dangerous snack foods. It’s been a revelation in terms of feeling better, in general, and losing a couple of pounds, too. Also, as I wrote a few days ago, it led me to understand that I was embroiled in an unhealthy relationship with potato chips. I’ve taken a “never again” stance with chips, and I don’t plan to slide back into the Mini Wheats trap, but I’m really not one to deprive myself (a nice way of say I have little to no willpower) so I can’t say I’ll avoid the rest forever. Overall, it has been an interesting and not-as-hard-as-it-first-seemed proposition.
The secondary aspect of Motivation March was an entirely different story. I started the month determined to exercise every day. I have learned that it is easier to avoid something every day than it is to DO something every day. Particularly when you have a busy life. This led to some guilty feelings which ended up kind of snowballing on me in exactly the way I wish they hadn’t. At some point in the month I exhausted myself and my running has suffered. It’s hard not to feel incredibly discouraged with not only not gaining ground in my favourite form of exercise, but actually losing ground. Eventually, though, I’m told the snow will actually vanish and I will be able to run outside (I ran outside today but it was challenging). I’ll build myself back up, but over-exercising was just not a good decision. My thinking is that going hardcore on things should be directly related to whether said “thing” is amenable to doing it (or not) without a break.
Going without food that is bad for me led to a large net benefit and it was encouraging to feel better everyday. Exercise is fantastic, but no one can go every single day without hitting some kind of wall. This was just not a good idea.
Ultimately, I don’t feel terrible about not achieving the exercise goal, I feel a little ridiculous for trying too hard for something I knew would likely not end up with a net benefit. Lesson learned.
So next month I think we’re going to call The Month of Sleep. Everything I encounter about making one’s life better includes the admonition “sleep more.” Almost no one I know (except Helen and Mia) follow this to any realistic degree. It’s hardly shocking they’re also two of the fittest people I know (also incredibly cool, gorgeous and motivated women). I’ve always had terrible problems with sleeping, so I’m hoping Mike will agree to try to actually get our 8 hours, every night, on a totally regular basis. No night-owling, no sleeping in on weekends. No caffeine after 4pm, no exercise within 3 hours of bed time, no reading on and on because I just can’t put that book down. You have to admit this guy looks extremely well-rested.
I hope this brings a net benefit, and I am suspicious that it likely will. Maybe it seems overly existential to say this, but having a strictly regular sleep routine feels like it might eliminate some of the “clutter” in my day/life/head.
And just a note about one particular 5 Down item from today, volunteered by my children. Much like my mother did, we had a “no gun” policy in this house. Of course, the rule got bent a little with things like Bionicles (who come with guns, usually) but we never had toy guns. So, just like that kid who ate his Poptart into a gun, my sons (Max, I think) found this use for PVC pipe:
Day 150 scorecard: 750 down, 1075 to go
2. Sugary Latte Drinks
3. Mini Wheats
5. Candy: I went to Bulk Barn today. That place kills me. But I am stronger than it.
Exercise: 6k struggle outside.