According to Albert Einstein, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
However, it’s terribly convenient when you’ve done something previously that you want to replicate. I’m ready to do 2018 over and hopefully produce the same effects. This was the year I lost the weight, smashed my goals, got my courage and confidence back, and really came into my own. It’s kind past me to leave myself a roadmap through this blog, even though I travelled this road before, it’s a nice reminder on all the turns I took to get there.
I do need to remember that while the goals are the same, the circumstances are a little different. We were not mid-pandemic in 2018. In some respects, this doesn’t matter a bit but with Omicron still a THING right now, I’m a little hesitant to get back to the gym which means I’m lifting, but not heavy and doing the same circuit over and over until we can meet with the new trainer. I’m also not swimming. It’s been a month since I’ve been in the pool and while I feel a little less hesitant to do this than breathe heavy in a gym indoors, it’s still being around people without a mask which feels bad right now.
And, of course, my job is way more exciting/stressful than it was in 2018. Whatever past me -that sweet summer child – said to the otherwise, my day to day was a cakewalk compared to 2022. I love it, but it does mean work encroaches on my personal time rather than in 2018, my personal time sometimes encroached on work (four years ago, I might have had time while waiting on something from someone, and, say, go track my food for the day, or put together a training plan, or calculate diet quality, and I don’t have these downtimes now). I have been doing much better with my time management. My focus hour is non-negotiable to get scheduled over, I’ve been able to quit working at a reasonable time most days, and I’ve been better about pushing back on meetings for which I don’t have time. However, it’s a far cry from what life was like in 2018.
Since this was my #1 goal for 2022, and it’s the end of the first month at it, here’s a check in for posterity
- Making myself a daily checklist of non-work things – doing better. I don’t have time for all of them, and some days I still just eff off and be utterly unproductive, but much more often, I’m one with my to do list and do fun/useful things instead of just doomscrolling.
- Giving myself 1 hour per day (and a half day on Friday) true focus time – wayyyy better then 2021, but not perfect. I’ve done a great job preserving this time – but sometimes I forget to shut down Teams and I’ll munch this time with correspondence. It’s a good reminder to reset and not do that. Once success not listed is that I’m also holding the line and keeping a lunch scheduled (which is often my workout!)
- Enforcing shutting down my work computer at least once a month for a fresh start – great reminder to do this Monday since it’s the last day of the month!
- Using a daily cut off time where work ends and I’m unavailable – I actually haven’t done this much but it’s because I’ve been able to quit working at a normal time most days.
- After hours chats – These have been less frequent and when they’ve been happening, utterly non-work related and been the equivalent of havin’ a beer/social time.
- Carrying work “home” with me – I feel like I’ve been way better. I’m not waking up in the middle of the night thinking about work. I’m not spending full weekends or evenings ruminating on things. On Friday, Joel and I were decompressing, and we gave ourselves a time cutoff – at 6pm we’d stop work talk and I think I only violated it once after with a short comment I had forgotten earlier.
All in all, I feel less like I’m drowning. So, I’ll call it a win. Next month I would like to maintain my progress here, and improve the frequency in which I can say I’ve gotten true work focus hours five days per week.
Yet again, let me reiterate that it’s been a crazy relief not to be training for an Ironman. The ability to do less and focus on a distance that feels like something I can rock, not just limp through, is super encouraging for me.
Since we last spoke, I’ve ran twice, lifted three times, cycled three times, and been back on my recovery, stretching/rolling/icing/boots at least every other day. I made and actually followed a training plan (missing only one run because my upper back decided to spazz out). While this isn’t necessarily revolutionary (I was at least SOMEWHAT following one for Kerrville), I actually had some enthusiasm for it, so that’s different!
- Monday: 30 min speedwork (spinups) on the bike
- Tuesday: circuits (did 3!), 2.5 mile super happy run
- Wednesday: 40 min speedwork (spinups) on the bike
- Thursday: off
- Friday: circuits (2),
skipped my 2-3 mile run
- Saturday: off
- Sunday (today): 1 hour bike, 2-3 mile run,
- Monday: circuits, 2-3 mile run
- Tuesday: 30-45 min bike speedwork
- Wednesday: circuts, 2-3 mile run
- Thursday: off
- Friday: 30-45 min bike speedwork, circuts
- Saturday: 1 hour bike, 2-3 mile run
- Sunday: off
If it looks the samey same, that’s intentional, right now I’m just trying to build the 5-day/week habit. On the run, I’m working form rather than anything else, and there’s no reason for me to traverse more than a few miles until my stride feels like my own again. I’m ditching the third circuit this week to get back on a MWF schedule. On the bike, I’m pulling about 2-3 mph higher than I was previously. I can’t quite face the FTP test yet but maybe Joel can talk me into it soon. Overall, it’s like 4-5 hours per week right now but it’s a quality 4-5 hours and I am happy with this.
Training regularly was my #3 goal for 2022 – but since I was geared toward the IM distance, most of the points are invalid. So, let me come up with some new ones:
- Get back to the pool 1x week when it’s reasonable to do so. Either a super non-peak time at the indoor pool or when the allergies are better at the outdoor one. When I do swim, focus on form and speed vs distance. Short 100s with rests and drills are better than 2:10/100y easy swims rn.
- Continue doing some level of speedwork almost every ride and ride 3x week. Take an FTP test in Feburary (and each month after).
- Run 2-3x week short and speedy. Keep runs to 5k max UNTIL I have fixed my stride (that is, can run ~10 min/miles easy). Speedwork here once a week.
- 3x week weights. Get back to the gym as soon as it feels safe to do so, but maintain at home until then.
- Follow a training plan. When I fail to plan, I really plan to fail. I do much better when I schedule myself time to workout because if I don’t, I’ll push it from the morning to lunch, munch my lunch procrastinating, and then after work I’m just wiped and don’t wanna. If I know I need to bike before work on Wednesday because it’s the time I have to do it, I’m way more likely to actually do it!
The Fifth Sport
I am actually tracking shit again – both my calories and my weight. It’s the first time since the glorious 2018 shedding of weight and apathy that I’ve been able to make myself do it regularly.
I have actually tracked enough that I can verify that my average calories per day for the last 7 days average 1488. Neat! My goal is 1500 average, and I was able to get there with one day of 1200 because I wasn’t that hungry, and a few 1400 days to make up for a 1600 and 1700 one. I was tracking diet quality in 2018, and maybe we’ll get there again, but for now, I’ll just stick with the calorie counting and try to put more veggies in my mouth (I definitely don’t eat as many of those as I used to).
Originally, I cut off the actual weights and was going to just show the trend, but let’s be honest at how far I’ve slipped since 2020.
My weight never quite hit the number of ultimate and extreme panic (200) but it got SHOCKINGLY close. Of course, I decided to start weighing right around that lovely time of the month, so of course the trend goes UP right away, but it’s coming down nicely. I’m hoping I make it back into the 180s regularly in February.
I don’t like the numbers, but the only way I succeed is to track, so here we are. This is where we start.
As this is goal #2 for the year, let’s also make with the January recap:
- Track my food – check. This has become a habit. I’m doing this daily, typically as I eat every meal now.
- Aim for 1500 calories a day average – check. I did overeat a bit yesterday but I just know I need to bring the average down today with high-volume low-calorie foods.
- Continue to weight train – check!
- Weigh at least 4 times a week – check! I don’t like the number, but I know the only way to change it is face it.
- Make use of healthy meal delivery services – I’ve been leaving the house to pick these up instead. It’s been working. If I get to the point where I don’t do that anymore I’ll get on the food delivery train but I’d rather choose each week.
- Noom et al – have not explored any other apps yet. I think this is okay. I know tracking works, just need to stick with it.
All in all, February’s goals are to concentrate on the things I can control and try to walk the same path as my 2018 self as she became more comfortable in her skin. Even though every step might not be the same one I took before, hopefully they’ll still lead in the same direction.