The fourth week of my diet challenge is now behind me. With the added formalism to my grading I can really keep myself more honest about how things are going. As usual, while I’m able to keep the diet dialed in, other things just don’t get the attention they need. As schedules get more compressed and busy I often just don’t have the energy to get the exercise things done, or it’s a trade-off between sleep and exercise. Hopefully next week I’ll be able to address that with some schedule changes.
Goal 1: Eat a strict nutritarian diet (A)
While the diet is getting a little annoying when eating out at restaurants or friend’s parties, it’s not something that weighs on me every day. In fact, while I’ve started to have food dreams again these are about stuff like cooking giant vats of soups, or making some beans and veggies concoctions. At the same time not being able to eat anything but water at a friend’s party wasn’t great, although I still had a good time at the party. I would have loved to have had one of the cupcakes. That’s where I imagine free days in the sustainment phase are going to come in.
Goal 2: Sleep at least 7 hours (A-)
I’m slipping more on the sleep than I have been to date. Not one but two days I got slightly less than seven hours of sleep. One day beyond that was a lot less than seven. By Thursday it had all caught up with me though, and I crashed pretty hard that afternoon. I ended up sleeping for two hours, bringing my total up that day to about eight, and then slept for over eight hours the night after that. When you don’t have caffeine or other stimulants to keep you going sleep deprivation nails you hard.
Goal 3: Walk (and/or Run) for a total of at least 10,000 steps (B)
I didn’t have any F days, but I didn’t have a ton of A days either. That made my score average out to just slightly lower, but still a B. I’d like to try to redouble my efforts this week but I know that with the way my schedule is falling out that this could be easier said than done.
Goal 4: Do at least 5 minutes of calisthenics (C)
Big drop on the calisthenics front. A lot of that came from just being totally wiped out at the end of the week. One other day I was very tight and sore from the swimming and calisthenics from the other day. I have to remember that although these exercises sound trivial, I’ve been pretty much completely sedentary for two years. I need to ease into things. However if I had gotten the sleep in that I needed I’m sure this score could have been in the B to B+ range.
Goal 5: Do at least 15 minutes of yoga (C)
Yoga had the biggest drop of all, for similar reasons as the calisthenics did. Two days were again due to being wiped out. I refuse to drink caffeine to accommodate this, although I was tempted a few times.
Summary (Overall grade B):
My total score for the first time has actually gone down, not up. It’s still a B, but it’s a 3.17 instead of a 3.3. I’m writing this on Monday, so I know that I already bonked the calisthenics and yoga for the first day and didn’t get my seven hours last night either. I’m glad that diet is dialed in so well, but the challenge was more than just diet. It was about whole-body health. That means diet, exercise, and sleep. If I wasn’t tracking these things at all I’m sure I would have rationalized why I was actually exercising more than I actually was, and how the sleep was adding up. Just like with the nutritional tracking that I’ve done daily for years, I’m glad that this is no longer something that I can bullshit myself about.