I guess I’m going to do this every month or so, mostly because it keeps me honest and motivated and on track, and because I think that at least some of you are on the same path as I am.
How am I doing on my life reboot goals? Let’s see.
- Drink less beer.
So this one ended up being the most difficult thing to be consistent about, and I finally just decided that, at least in the short-term, I’m just not going to drink any alcohol at all. I’m about two weeks in, and holy shit has it made a huge difference in literally every area of my life. Here’s something I wrote at my Facebook thing this morning:
You know, it may not seem like much, but this is a big deal for me. I’ve been struggling to get my weight below 165 for months, and nothing I’ve done has seemed to work. I’ve been able to get down to 163 for a day or so, but I’ve mostly floated between 163 and 167 for too goddamn long, and I decided that it was time to instigate OPERATION: GET FUCKING SERIOUS ABOUT THIS.
So I finally cut out the last thing that I could cut out of my diet and lifestyle: booze. I haven’t had any alcohol in two weeks, and for whatever reason, that appears to have been the key to unlocking the door that leads to “UNDER ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY POUNDS FINALLY”.
I realize that weight is just a number, and I realize that what’s important to one person is not necessarily important to another person. I also realize that trying to get to a particular number may not be helpful or even healthy for some people, but for me, chasing 159 has been good motivation to stay active, eat healthy, and take better care of myself for a whole bunch of reasons that aren’t even about that number.
I don’t really go way up and way down. Since I started actively trying to get healthy about a year ago, I’ve lost 32 pounds, and stayed on a general downward weight trend. That’s great, but just getting the last few pounds to drop off has been so hard, and so frustrating, that I was wondering if it would ever happen.
So getting this weekly report from FitBit that’s not just a down arrow, but a down arrow that’s over one pound is awesome. It’s empowering, and it makes me feel like I have a level of control over my body and my health and my life that I haven’t felt for too long.
Shoutout to my son, Nolan, for giving me great nutrition advice, to Zombies, Run!, for making it easy and fun to exercise every day, and to myself, for being disciplined and committed to taking care of myself.
- Read more (and Reddit does not count as reading).
I spend about an hour every night before bed reading. So far, this month, I’ve finished Leviathan Wakes, three issues of Lightspeed Magazine, Part One of The End of All Things, two issues of Mother Jones, and three issues of The Nation.
Reading is such an important part of nourishing my brain and inspiring me creatively and intellectually, and it’s something that is worth making time to do. It’s also just plain enjoyable, especially when so much of television is boring as hell. This week, I’m going to see if I can clear the pile of comics I’ve had building for a couple months, including issues of Bitch Planet, Trees, The Fade Out, Saga, and Wicked + Devine.
- Write more.
In addition to writing lots and lots and lots of answers to asks on my Tumblr thing, and doing that AMA that turned into a partial FAQ, I started seriously working on my next work of short fiction. I’m about 500 words in, and I’m going to get at least that today. My self-imposed deadline is the JoCo cruise in just under a month, so I have something new to share with the nerds. Oh, and I did that dumb thing about Blake the alien.
- Watch more movies.
Have you heard about MUBI? Every day there’s a new amazing movie, and it is there for a month. It’s curated by people who know what the hell they’re doing, and it’s just fantastic. I’ve been watching stuff there, and some standouts include Steamboat Bill Jr. and a rewatch of Clerks. I also stumbled into an amazing collection of B-movies and exploitation movies on Amazon. Mixed in among them is the infamous classic pre-code film The Road To Ruin. Anne and I have been watching screeners, too, including The Big Short and The Martian. I still need and want to see Star Wars.
The whole point of watching more movies was to get inspired to be creative and start figuring out what I could make on my own. I’m definitely getting inspired, but I still haven’t figured out what I could film with my DSLR, a crew of two people, and a tiny cast on maybe three locations. I’m getting there, though.
- Get better sleep.
I read a thing on Medium about how this guy stopped drinking alcohol, and one of the things he didn’t expect was how well he started to sleep. I can add my voice to that. For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been getting tired earlier than I have in years, getting into bed, and falling asleep well before midnight. I think, on average, I’m going to bed at 10pm, and falling asleep quickly. Last night was the first night in a long time that I had a stressful dream, and I haven’t had a nightmare or a panic attack in my sleep in over a month. I’m waking up before my alarm every morning, and getting a lot out of every day as a result.
- Eat better food.
This has been really easy, and a lot of fun. Anne and I pick out recipes from cookbooks and websites, and then we make it together. When we eat out, we go to a place with healthy food options, and I just don’t eat any junk food at all. I haven’t had midnight cheese in months, and I don’t even have the cravings for midnight cheese like I used to. Keeping track of my macronutrients has been very helpful for maintaining a balanced and healthy diet.
- Exercise more.
I was running almost every day, and I was up to week six of the Zombies, Run! 5K program when I hurt my left calf so badly I had to call Anne to come pick me up and drive me home. I’ve been getting physical therapy and massage for it, and I’ve been able to slowly rehab it to about 60% of normal. I’ve been able to walk for long distances without much problem, as long as I stop to stretch frequently. I’ve even been able to run a little bit — well, jog, actually, probably around 5 MPH — as long as I stop and stretch it when it starts to cramp up. It’s really frustrating that I don’t know exactly what caused the injury, and it’s annoying that it’s taking so long to heal. When it finally does heal, I am probably going to have to go all the way back to week three in the training program so I can work myself back into shape. There are certainly worse things in the world, but I’m really ready to be back on track with my training, because I’m running the Zombies, Run! Virtual 5K in March, and I want to run a marathon this year, too.
So now I’m going to grade myself, and wrap this up.
- Drink less beer: A
- Read more (and Reddit does not count as reading): A
- Write more: B
- Watch more movies: A
- Get better sleep: A
- Eat better food: A
- Exercise more: B
26 points out of a possible 28? Wow. I don’t think I’ve gotten grades this good since I was in elementary school, and my cynicism hadn’t fully formed, yet.