Monday, August 25, 2014

So...How'd It Go?

Last week, I was telling you about my new tactic to group both writing and weight-loss into one big intertwined goal. I decided that I would start in on the My Fitness Pal thing, logging all my calories that I ate each day. Adding to that, I was supposed to write 5,000 words on the week. If I did all those things, I got to give myself a treat when Rish and I got together on Monday for our usual Dunesteefing.

Well, how did it go? I found some interesting things that came from this experience. First of all, logging my calories isn't as difficult as I've always made it out to be. Secondly, actually logging those calories changes your perception of food. When I started logging my calories, I made the pledge to myself to log all of them, no matter how many damn calories I ate. In the past, I've always logged my calories until I got to that diet busting splurge that sent my calorie count skyrocketing over the moon. Once I did that, then I just gave up, called the day a bust, and decided to try again the next day. This time, however, no matter how much I ate, I logged it. I forced myself to log it.

There were days when I was 2,000 calories above what I was supposed to stop at. It didn't matter, I kept on logging. I allowed myself to splurge as much as I wanted to, as long as I logged it. And a weird thing happened. After splurging all I wanted for a couple of days, I, without making a conscious decision or anything, stopped splurging and curbed my eating to get it to fall within the calories that I was allowed. Something about seeing the tally just made me want to change things to meet the goal. Maybe it was the report each day that tells you, "If every day were like today, you'd weigh XXX pounds five weeks from now." Usually, it would tell me that I'd gain 10 or 15 pounds, which, of course, was not what I wanted. So, without really consciously deciding to, I changed my habits.

Unfortunately, my writing habits didn't fare as well this week. My son is two and a half years old right now, and he's just in that zone where he can't take a nap, because he'll be up all night if he does, but he also can't manage to stay awake all day long if he doesn't take a nap. It's super frustrating, and it's bitten me in the ass most days this week. He keeps falling asleep at about 4:30 or 5:00 PM, which is the worst time of all. He will be up until at least 11:30 PM, usually later, if he falls asleep at that time.

Seems like we have two options, shorten his nap is one, but if we wake him up as soon as he falls asleep for a late nap like that, then he is unbearable to live with for the rest of the night. So, that seems to be out. The other option is wake him up really early in the morning, so that he takes his nap much earlier in the day, and is therefore tired again when his proper bedtime arrives. That may be the way we have to go. During the summer, we didn't want to do that, because who wants to get up hours early and deal with a crazy kid? But now that everyone has to get up for school at 6:30 AM anyway, maybe we should just add the baby to the mix.

Anyway, work has been really crazy of late, so I haven't been able to do a lot of writing on my lunch hour, and often when I do have time to write, all I want to do is sit and veg out. So, I need to make up the missed writing time in the evenings instead, except that the baby is up all night, and requiring my attention, because when he's up late, I can't just let him do his own thing. If I don't keep an eye on him all the time, he will be in my room, waking up my wife who has to work very early in the morning. So, my time has been short for writing. I fell woefully short of my goal of 5,000 words this week. I'm not quite sure exactly what I managed, because I can't remember where exactly I was in chapter 2 of Sunny and Gray when the week began. What I do have is 1,720 words in chapter 2. So, I'm approximately 3,300 words short of finishing that chapter. I shall do my best to improve on that this week.

I guess that means that I can't reward myself with pizza and Mountain Dew tonight when I get together with Rish. However, for the third week in a row, we won't be getting together anyway, because Rish will be working. So, I guess it's all for naught. I don't get the treat that I wouldn't have gotten anyway. I guess, like last week, I'll spend the evening working on editing the show. Rish finished editing the chatter portion of our next Dunesteef episode, so I need to assemble it together with the story, and get it posted. Of course, I'll only be able to do that if the baby doesn't decide to take his nap at 5:30 on me again. If you see a new episode tonight, you know things worked out. If you don't, well...


  1. Oh you have my sympathy about the toddler problem. What we had to do when our daughter (about a year older than your son) hit that phase was put her down right after lunch for quiet time. She didn't have to sleep, but she had to stay in her bed, and 99% of the time she fell asleep. Sometimes she doesn't wake up til 4:30 and we have to go in and wake her up and she'll be wired til long after bedtime. I know that this doesn't work with every kid, particularly the ones who refuse to stay in bed, but maybe it would be worth a shot? Good luck! And way to go on your calorie tracking, it's hard to get into but once you start it's actually decently easy to stick to!

  2. Oh no, the dreaded toddler 5-6 pm nap! When my kids were there it was really hard to deal with because like you said, they were just cranky as heck if they stayed up all day, but any napping left them too full of energy for a reasonable bed time.
    Congrats on your calorie logging! I really think logging it all, the good, the bad and the ugly gives me the freedom to make intelligent decisions without actually depriving yourself. just acknowledging what is going in my mouth and not mindlessly putting handfuls of chips/candy/etc. in without thinking about it makes it a lot easier to be accountable. I've got a 125 day logging streak now! Good luck to you!!