Feeling Fat and Looking Back

We paid for a gym membership all 12 months of 2017. Turns out I only went during the first six months of that:

  • January: 10 visits
  • February: 13 visits
  • March: 12 visits
  • April: 1 visit
  • May: 4 visits
  • June: 6 visits

There may have been a couple more in that last half of the year that I didn’t record in my workouts note. But I know I didn’t go once from October to December and it doesn’t sound like me to workout and not record it.

It’s a trope to be thinking about this kind of thing in January, but I’m getting too fat again and who cares what month it is.

46 workouts isn’t really a high number. Plenty of people work out for 40+ hours a month and that’s all I did all year. One real workout a week is 52, so even that would be better than what I did last year.

I’ve also been stress-eating a lot and eating sugar way more than usual. It’s systemically a bad time for me and my body.

Looking into changes but right now I more just feel sorry for myself.

Spray Paint Motivation

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Spray-painted message in the YMCA parking garage.

“From this point to the Downtown YMCA front desk using the stairs, you will burn around 14 extra calories. Do this every day and that will add up! It’s my Y.”

A quick Google search says losing a pound requires about a 3500 calorie deficit. 14 calories every day is 5110 calories a year, so that’s 1.46 pounds a year.

Skip the elevator; I always do.

Drinking Less Coffee: A Project

Hello, my name is Alex, and I’m a coffee addict.

I’ll always be an addict. But for now I’m an addict who’s taking steps to drink less coffee. I plan to have at least two weeks of drinking nothing stronger than decaf coffee and herbal tea.

Earlier in the fall, I would’ve very much defended my addiction. There’s even an awesome CGP Grey video that says it’s okay.

But evidence began to mount that I couldn’t ignore. Baristas at my new favorite coffee shop told me I was drinking too much – and I was drinking nearly a pot of coffee at home along with all the coffee I had while there. My sleep was getting worse and worse. I was useless mentally until my 3rd cup.

These are not conditions for success. I could hear Tim Ferriss’ voice in my head all the time telling me to drink nothing stronger than green tea for a year (his advice to a friend who was addicted to stimulants.)

I’m not committing to a year, but I decided to start a reduction. My plan has been to back down a bit more every week then do at least two weeks of no caffeine at all:

  1. As much caffeine as I want until 12pm
  2. Up to 3 servings of coffee before 12pm
  3. 2 servings before 12pm
  4. 1 serving before 12pm
  5. No caffeine
  6. No caffeine
  7. ???

First week went better than I expected. I definitely found myself struggling in the afternoon for energy but wasn’t getting headaches and it helped with sleep from day one. Stopping at 12pm should stay around even after I add coffee back.

The second week I accidentally cheated. Because one of my favorite mugs is larger than most. But I didn’t realize how much larger. 3 cups from this thing is really more like 5. So I just re-did the 3-serving week successfully and sure enough I’ve been dealing with headaches, low energy, and difficulty with focus.

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My enormous Star Wars mug. It drew me to the dark side with its vast amount of coffee.

Today starts the 2-serving week. I’m genuinely worried about whether or not I can hold myself to it. We’ll see.

I’ve learned a couple things already though. One, I really prefer regular coffee to espresso when it comes to getting a caffeine fix. One day Ber was out running an errand in the morning so I had herbal tea at breakfast and she got us lattes. They say there were three shots of espresso in that latte but I may as well have had a glass of milk. I just need a steady drip at all times, it would seem.

Two, I don’t hate decaf as much as I remember hating it. I think I just remember all the times I wanted a bit of energy and didn’t get it. But I’ve been drinking a bunch of decaf in the afternoons and it’s not been so bad. It just makes me feel old.

Three, I really am an addict. It was a problem. I should have dealt with it earlier. I’m dealing with it now.

WWWP5k: The Worldwide WordPress 5k

I ran the WWWP5k this morning and there’s still time for you to sign up! Wait, how does that work?

Any time between Monday, September 19th to Sunday, September 25th, travel a 5k anyway you’d like. Walk along the beach. Run on your treadmill. Jog with your dog. Hike in the woods.

Once you’ve done your 5k, post about it on your WordPress site, tag the post with wwwp5k, and publish it for the world to see. Need a WordPress site? Start one for free on WordPress.com.

Since Automattic is currently gathered in Whistler, BC, Canada for our annual Grand Meetup I had the pleasure of running with about 100 of my colleagues near our hotels. It was a rainy and wet, but not as cold as you’d think! Having not run once since my last 5k in May it wasn’t exactly my best performance but I did enjoy the outing.

To encourage Automatticians to join in this mornings run, we’re making a donation to Soles4Souls for every participant here at our Grand Meetup. How could I pass that up? Totally worth getting up early.

Team Owlbear Runs Throo the Zoo

Back in December Ber made her intentions clear. Once the baby was here and she was cleared to exercise again, she wanted to get back to running. She decided to run in the Throo the Zoo 5k, which happens every year at the Louisville Zoo on the 2nd Saturday in May (the week after Derby.) Her enthusiasm spread throughout our family Christmas and my sister, Julie, said that she’d love to come down and join her for the run in May.

Fast forward to the spring and the time had come. Grace is here and healthy, and Ber was cleared to run once more. Her best friend and running partner, Kirsten, joined the team. Kirsten’s fiancé, Cory, joined alongside her. I’ve been jogging and working out for several months, so I decided I would run as well (so long as we could get a babysitter – Grandma was excited to help with that.) Together we formed Team Owlbear.

It proved to be a cool, cloudy day – perfect for a race. All had a good time!

Pre-race

Finish Line

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Team Owlbear’s results

Derek Sivers on Simple vs. Complicated

But if you talk with people that love running, they’ll say, “Yeah! You just pop out for a quick run.” And if you ask them about the steps involved, they’ll say, “There’s just one. You just run.”Derek Sivers on the Tim Ferriss Podcast

I love this example Derek uses to explain how humans tend to think of simple vs. complicated the same way they think of easy vs. hard.

People who hate running can list off all the steps of running and why each one is a huge pain. People who love running think nothing could be simpler.

Listen to his full story at 21:55 of this episode of the Tim Ferriss podcast. Or listen to the whole thing like I did – a great listen during a run!