Small Changes & Slow, Steady Progress

Progress is slow, but I feel like I’m getting there. As hard as it can seem when I’m not doing it, once I get into a good pattern, eating healthier and moving more seems fairly easy. Right up until it’s not. So much of it depends on mood and motivation. Even while I keep waiting for an emotional crash, it hasn’t come, and I’m still feeling good. I’m hoping that the habits I’m working on now will help me be more resilient when it all seems too hard. So with less need to focus on what I’m eating, I’m looking at the other things that are contributing to my progress.

I’ve got a good morning routine, and I’m sticking to it pretty well. I’ve added a habit tracker app (Habit Hub for Android, my wife is using Daily Habits for iPhone) to my phone, and I’m not sure that it’s helping, mainly because I think I’ve already got the morning routine down. But I really want to expand that with more habits throughout the day, so it might help better with those.

And I said in my last post that I was going to start tracking my food in an app that measured in calories, and I’ve done that for the last two days. I use MyFitnessPal, and it’s been a pain-in-the-butt to enter all the food and recipes into it, and I doubt it will be something I do on a regular basis, but the results (so far) have been worth it. I’ll probably do it for the rest of the week, just to get a good idea of the number of calories I’m eating each day. So far (Monday and Tuesday), I’m averaging around 1500 calories a day. MyFitnessPal says I have an allowance of 2900 cal/day, so I might have to think about bumping up the calories a little. I suspect that if I tracked for 14 days or so, my average would be somewhere around 1800-2000 calories. I think that’s pretty reasonable.

And one other little change I’ve made this week is that I’ve added another workout to my routine. It’s a short (14 minutes) biceps workout, and today was my first day. The main reason I like it is because it doesn’t involve any getting up and down off the floor, but also because the instructors seem like nice, normal people. After perusing a few hundred (maybe not really, but it seems like it) YouTube fitness/weightlifting videos, nice and normal both seem to be pretty rare. Maybe if I were looking for RIPPED or MASSIVE [insert body part name here] in 30 DAYS, brutal workouts and screaming, unbalanced instructors would be just what I’d want. But I’m not. And I don’t. Luckily, they’re not all like that, and I think if this one works out well, I’m going to look for a leg workout next.

The one thing I’m still not making progress on is getting more sleep. Fitbit says that I’m averaging about 6h 15m a night. My sleep routine is definitely better than it was a few years ago, but I’m still strugging to get much more than 6 hours a night. My goal is 7 hrs, and it really should be 8. At this point, that seems impossible. To get 8 hours sleep and get up at 5am, I’d need to be asleep by 9pm, which probably means I’d need to start getting ready for bed at 8pm. I listened to a podcast this morning (an episode of Every Little Thing called “Your Bedtime is Killing You” that was all about the importance of getting enough sleep. I knew that sleep deprivation contributed to depression and obesity, but it turns out the list of physical, mental, and emotional problems associated with not getting enough sleep is a lot longer than I thought. And yet as important as it may be, I can’t see myself getting ready for bed at 8 o’clock. I really don’t know what, if anything, I can do about that.

One thought on “Small Changes & Slow, Steady Progress

  1. Great job Wil! I’m impressed with that average calorie count. I don’t track my calories, but I did early on. I’d guess I am somewhere in the 2000-2500 daily range. But it might be better, I’m not sure. People rave about MyFitnessPal, but I hate finding the food I’m eating or entering it. I don’t trust the existing things on there to be right either. So I find it annoying.
    Keep up the good work. I definitely connect with what you talk about in terms of mindset and how you can definitely get in a positive flow and feel like it’s really not that hard. Then, somehow, things change and it feels like I literally have to pull myself up off my butt to get moving. My lifting weights goes from something I enjoy to a struggle. And my diet temptations feel unbearable. In my mind I think things should always get easier and easier, but yet inevitably there will be these bumps in the road that challenge your momentum and your mindset.
    Thanks for the update! One day at a time…

    Liked by 1 person

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