I had a bad week during week 5. I binge-ate, was fairly awful at exercise, and practiced very little mindfulness. I swore I would be back in action last week (the 19th – 25th).
Due to a handful of circumstances that I could have planned better around, we ate out nearly everyday last week. I binge-ate, ate completely off-keto, didn’t pursue my nightly responsibilities (as far as cleaning, meditation, preparation for the next day, etc) so those needed to be completed in the morning so I missed exercise, etc, etc. Last week was, in terms of progress and self-care, the worst week since the lowest points of 2017, which in turn was one of the worst years of my life.
Why? Well, honestly, it’s a lot of things. A handful being:
- Lack of mindfulness – not being aware that my actions will have unintended or unforeseen consequences is honestly the biggest productivity killer for me. Do you ever run around frantically in the morning, accomplishing nothing but creating a tremendous amount of chaos, to the point where you feel like you’ve done a lot but mostly you’ve just …not? That was me all last week. Because I spent my evenings eating garbage and watching ER, I put off doing anything of value. This ate up my mornings, and prevented me from exercising, which then put off my whole day. At work I was not nearly as productive as I’d like to be, which has pushed a project back. This frustration lead me to coming home and wasting my evening, etc ad nauseum.
- Preparation for my daughter’s 3rd birthday – I have a problem with all-or-nothing, which I’ve written about before. By seeing my daughter’s birthday as an inevitable indulgence of cake and chips, I allowed myself to believe that the whole week was a pointless waste of willpower to diet, and I gave up. I told myself that Monday (today, the 26th) would be me getting back on my keto and exercise. Last night I stayed up far too late and woke up late with a splitting headache, and of course, didn’t exercise. I am committed to my diet, but I am still frustrated. By focusing on my daughter’s birthday as an “end-date” for self-destructive self-indulgence, I put far too much pressure on today, and not nearly enough on the 7 days of last week that I squandered.
- Lack of sleep – this one is a killer, in more ways that one. Cortisol drives fat storage and resistance to fat burning, and lack of sleep increases cortisol. Through nobody’s fault but my own, I got less than 5 hours of sleep pretty much every single day last week. This kills my willpower, creative drive, motivation, and makes me sluggish and irritable. None of these attributes lend themselves well to a self-care and healthy living mindset.
These key areas of my life set up my tremendous two-week failure. Finding the root cause, as I’d spoken about before, is the key. My root cause is how I spend my evenings, I believe.
I’ve struggled my entire life with a self-sabotaging case of fear of missing out. I would go on a diet, restrict calories or macronutrients (typically back in the day it was fat and that was dumb) or start hardcore exercising, but then I’d see a birthday was coming up, and I’d allow myself to pave the road up to that date with bad eating or laziness. I’d tell myself that I’d get back on track super strict afterwards but then of course something else would come up. I’d get FOMO about dates, parties, and even dumb things like a new sandwich at Hardee’s ( this isn’t a joke and it’s sad).
As I got older, that diminished, but it was replaced by a new kind of FOMO – typically I feel like I didn’t “experience” enough during the course of a day. This is a new phenomenon, something that has come up in the last 5 years, now that I have a wife and kids. I wake up, go to work, come home and spend time with my family, cook, clean, and then sit down to relax at like 9:30. In a perfect world, I should get to bed at 10, maybe read until 10:30 and then get 6.5 hours of sleep. I should get more than that, but I function reasonably well at 6.5.
THE THING IS THAT I DON’T DO THAT BECAUSE OF REASONS.
I stay up until 11, 11:30, or later, and then still force myself up at 5. This isn’t functional, naturally, but the anxiety I have is real, and I am unable to sleep most days if I “go to bed too early”. I simply feel like I haven’t gotten enough out of the day, even if that means making myself sleep-deprived so I can catch more of those Pokeman-bugs. This is a dumb way to live, and something that I will actively address, starting tonight.
Jay and Silent Bob and the Silent Killer
One of my favorite people (that’s not related to me) is Kevin Smith. I love his movies, his personality, and his laid-back attitude. He’s a champion for LGBTQIA+ rights, a nerd, and just a cool guy, AND he cut sugar last year and dropped a bunch of weight.
Nevertheless, he had a MASSIVE heart attack yesterday. It was such that had he not lost the weight he did in the last year or two, he would have certainly died, and probably sooner. Now Kevin is a lifelong smoker, all the way back to Clerks and probably before, so there’s no doubt that this contributed to his condition. Regardless, I can’t help but see this as a kick in the ass. I love my kids, and I love my wife and family and friends; I have no desire to stay fat, weak, and sick a moment longer than I need to. Food is good, but you can only eat food while you’re alive.
There’s no good reason to dick around with your life. Comfort is nice and warm and easy, and progress is painful, but I’d rather be in the pains of growth my whole life, constantly improving, than to suffer the pain of being in a box of “comfort”. We use drugs to treat things like type 2 diabetes, telling ourselves that it’s a progressive disease that can’t be cured, but that’s bullshit. Type 1, sure – it’s autoimmune, but type 2 is a lifestyle disease. Heart disease is, for the most part, a lifestyle disease, and it makes me wonder how much cancer rates are inflated by western diets and lifestyles.
Life is busy in 2018 – it’s complicated, noisy, consumerist, and brutish, but it doesn’t have to be. Food shouldn’t be complicated, exercise shouldn’t be complicated, and priorities shouldn’t be complicated.
I’m not doing a “good stuff, bad stuff, goals” this week, because I know what was bad last week: last week was bad. What was good last week? Last week was good! But I didn’t pay attention to that because I was too busy being stuck in a over-indulgence-then-guilt cycle to see it.
The real FOMO we should be concerned with is the fear of missing out on life – being too heavy, or too sick to play with our kids. The fear that nobody will ever see our paintings, or hear our singing, read our plays or listen to our guitar. Fear that you’ll die unfulfilled, that you’re working too many hours for a job that pays you the same at 40 hours or 60, for a corporation that doesn’t care about you one bit. So maybe it should be fear of missing out on important stuff. FOMOOIS.
FOMOOIS! Gonna get that tattooed on something.