Day 25 of 100 Days of Health

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It’s time for my quarterly update on how things are going with this year’s 100 Days of Health drive. And overall, it’s going pretty well!

As usual, willpower only gets me so far. The first week was supercharged! The next week was strong, but I slipped up a bit. Week 3 lost consistency, but I did get back on track. This is still only the beginning. I remain committed to going all 100 days, and am now tweaking a few things to ensure that I get the most I can from this.

First let’s look at the goals, and what actually happened so far.

DAILY
  • stretching/grounding warm up (Tai Chi, yoga, etc.)
  • 2-mile walk (typically around the lake)
  • workout routine (alternating upper body, aerobic, lower body, aerobic)
  • less than 12hrs of computer time
  • minimum 6hrs of sleep
  • eat/drink healthy things only, between 10am-9pm
  • 8 cups water, vitamins, brush & floss
  • one of the following:
    1. make or attend health appointment
    2. achieve pre-set target milestone
    3. targeted optimization to daily routine (can only use this once a week)
Did that happen every one of the last 25 days? No, it did not. It didn’t happen in three ways.
  1. Sick days which were a legitimate and anticipated exception. In this case it was a direct result of my second vaccine which wound up turning the 25 days into 21.
  2. Missed the mark, just one day so far. With the appropriate and anticipated consequence of a 1-min ice cold shower. Where I live, ice cold literally means “freshly melted snow” this time of year. Which is probably a healthy thing to do…I just really don’t like it! Which is exactly the point, and makes it effective.
  3. Slippery slope days, of which there were a few. These are days that aren’t exactly off target, but aren’t quite on either. I’d said that cheats are fine, as long as I document them in advance on the calendar and they only occur once a week. That’s kinda stretched with some retroactive exceptions and bending/blending activities. This is the thing to watch!

I’ve found I had to get up earlier to pull this off. I now rise at 5am every day. I am not a morning person and this kinda sucked for a while. But I actually adapted pretty quickly and found that I really do enjoy going for my 2 mile walk just before dawn while listening to music or an audiobook.

Naturally, this introduces some challenges to getting enough sleep though. I haven’t done that as consistently as I’d like, and I’ve been tired a lot (and sore a lot from the strength building). In general, I do feel really good though! It’s helped me deal much better with the stresses of my job, which have continued to be pretty intense for me and get in the way of my routine often.

Here are some highlights daily milestones & appointments, a new and key part of this year’s 100 days adventure.
  • Doubled number of pull-ups in one set from 5 to 10
  • Dropped 1-inch from my waist circumference
  • Dropped first 5lbs
  • Declined alcohol at the end of a really stressful day when I wanted some
  • Scheduled appointments for Dentist & Orthodontist
And these are some of the slippery things I’m keeping my eye on:
  • Counting walking as my aerobic exercise for the day. The first 2 times I did this, it actually was. I was doing more than 2 miles, and I was alternating walking, jogging, and sprinting the whole way. That’s good! But counting my 2-mile baseline walk is clearly not what was intended, and I won’t let myself have a checkmark for that for the rest of my 100 days.
  • Eating something before 10am because otherwise (due to meetings) I wouldn’t have a chance to eat until 2pm. This was the right idea, but with a bit of better planning, it wouldn’t have happened at all. Going forward, it won’t.
  • Eating after 9pm because I didn’t know what time it was. Going forward ignorance is no excuse.
  • Spending more than 12hrs in front of the computer working because of a major project deliverable going wrong. This does sometimes happen, too often right now. I don’t know that I can prevent it yet, but when I don’t, cold shower time. That’s a miss.

Also, I’ve been tracking things between my notebook and my Strides app which I love because of the timed reminders and built in analytics. But the detail of my paper log is still better in a few ways. Paper is a better capture device, while Strides is a better reminder device. But paper is also somewhat more malleable in that I can use it to fool myself better than the “structure first” approach of a digital log.

As such, I’m going off paper for the next 25 days. Strides only (which fortunately can be used in airplane mode), and I’ll evaluate again at the 50 day mark.

So here are the tweaks I’m making for the next 25 days
  1. Strides only tracking, with alarms for time-based reminders
  2. All exceptions are pre-calendared (or they don’t count)
  3. Every item in my daily routine and every milestone can be attributed to only to the checkmark/log item that it is dedicated to before I do it (no retroactive tallying)
  4. All appointment-setting milestones will be initiated within the next 25-day cycle
  5. Stop eating/drinking by 8pm daily (instead of 9pm) for 14hr fast daily, and be in bed by 9:30pm for default 7hrs sleep per night (instead of 6hrs)

Any other suggestions? Does this inspire you in any way? What has worked for you? The comments help :)

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