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Jett

Jett Gets Stuck in a Rut

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Normally getting stuck in a rut is a bad thing, I guess, but right now I would love to be "stuck" repetitively doing healthy behaviors. Like my last two challenges, this is a routine-building challenge. The main goal is to get myself to do the same circadian-rhythm-fixing actions at the same time every day, so that I don't get wildly out of phase with the world around me.

 

The "lynchpin" actions, in order of importance, are:

  • Wake at 7:30 AM, use sun lamp light therapy
  • Take melatonin and get ready for bed by 10:00 PM

  • Eat lunch by 1 PM

  • Eat breakfast by 9AM

  • Eat dinner before 8 PM

  • Exercise before work (~8:30 AM)

 

Organizing that into a schedule, I get:

 

7:30 AM: Wake up. Turn on sun lamp.

8:15 AM: Go for a walk, or other exercise

9:00 AM: Breakfast, then leave for work.

1:00 PM: Lunch

6:30 PM: Head home (arrive ~7:15)

7:30 PM: Eat dinner

8:00 PM: Free time (TV, hobbies, art, gaming) - use blue light blocking glasses

9:45 PM: Take melatonin. Get ready for bed.

10:30 PM: Bed time.

 

So my #1 priority goal is to maintain this schedule until it becomes automatic.

 

I also have some other goals:

  • Stay hydrated: at least 1.5L of water per day
  • Write a gratitude journal entry each night
  • Meal prep on weekends
  • Eat Intuitively
  • Try to eat at least 1 fruit and 1 veg per day

 

I feel like my challenges are pretty boring, since I don't really score them anymore. I guess I can keep track of how I did each day, but I don't have any particular plans for if I do well. IDK, maybe I should. Right now, it just feels like more trouble than it's worth to come up with a prize for something I "should" be doing anyway. Maintaining a good schedule should be its own reward, right?

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I think I'm going to track this challenge in a more colorful, visual way. Red/strikethrough means didn't do the thing at all, red-orange means I was way off, timewise, yellow means I got it done within 1 hour of the ideal time, and green means I got it done within half an hour. Apologies to any colorblind viewers!

 

3/27:

7:30 AM: Wake up. Turn on sun lamp.

8:15 AM: Go for a walk, or other exercise

9:00 AM: Breakfast, then leave for work.

1:00 PM: Lunch

6:30 PM: Head home (arrive ~7:15)

7:30 PM: Eat dinner

8:00 PM: Free time (TV, hobbies, art, gaming) - use blue light blocking glasses

9:45 PM: Take melatonin. Get ready for bed.

10:30 PM: Bed time.

 

Hydration: [================]D (blue is amount drunk out of my 1.5L water bottle)

Nutrition: O O (a red circle represents a fruit, a green circle represents a veg. I need at least one of each)

 

IE log:

I have been struggling a lot with the fact that I have recently gained quite a lot of weight. Close to 10 lbs! I know that it is because I have been trying to follow Intuitive Eating, which means I have been allowing myself to eat more food and higher-calorie food than in the past. I am fighting with myself to be okay with being "fat" and trying not to return to a dieting mentality. I feel like there's something wrong with me in that when I let myself eat whatever I want, I just eat lots of junk food. Shouldn't my body know that I need good nutrients and vitamins, too? How long does it take before I start actually craving fruits and vegetables?

 

To combat this, I have added the 1 fruit & 1 veg minimum daily requirement to my challenge. I'm actually hoping that by eating a wider variety of whole foods, I will develop a taste for them. But I also feel like I can't force-feed myself something I don't want, or I'll be violating the IE principals. Fortunately, that hasn't actually been an issue so far. I don't particularly crave the fruits and veg, but I also don't mind eating them.

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3/28:

7:30 AM: Wake up. Turn on sun lamp.

8:15 AM: Go for a walk, or other exercise

9:00 AM: Breakfast, then leave for work.

1:00 PM: Lunch

6:30 PM: Head home (arrive ~7:15)

7:30 PM: Eat dinner

8:00 PM: Free time (TV, hobbies, art, gaming) - use blue light blocking glasses

9:45 PM: Take melatonin. Get ready for bed.

10:30 PM: Bed time.

 

Hydration: [================]D

Nutrition: O O

 

IE log:

Eating spicy food makes the water consumption go up!

Yesterday I tried a soup that I'd never had before: https://hot-thai-kitchen.com/yen-ta-fo/

It was very delicious! I had leftovers for lunch, and there was just enough spice in it to really get me drinking from my water bottle.

I'm feeling inspired to try to find the ingredients and make the soup for myself. Maybe this weekend.

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3/29:

7:30 AM: Wake up. Turn on sun lamp.

8:15 AM: Go for a walk, or other exercise

9:00 AM: Breakfast, then leave for work.

1:00 PM: Lunch

6:30 PM: Head home (arrive ~7:15)

7:30 PM: Eat dinner

8:00 PM: Free time (TV, hobbies, art, gaming) - use blue light blocking glasses

9:45 PM: Take melatonin. Get ready for bed.

10:30 PM: Bed time.

 

Hydration: [================]D

Nutrition: O O

 

IE log:

I find it kind of funny, since I was just saying that I don't really crave veggies, but I've had a really good day so far with intuitive eating - which included choosing vegetables! I had my usual 1 cup of oatmeal for breakfast, but then instead of my usual midmorning snack, I ate a donut that someone brought in to the office. I can't say I was particularly "in the mood" for a donut, but I was slightly hungry, and as soon as I saw it, it looked good. I took a few minutes to eat it slowly and not do anything else, to enjoy the moment. And I did enjoy it, though it wasn't as amazing as I "expect" donuts to be. So I didn't eat the other food I'd brought for a snack, and waited until I was actually starting to get hungry before I went for lunch.

 

I asked myself what I wanted for lunch, and the cheesy pasta in my bag didn't sound all that good, especially since I'd had the donut (so I know that will already give me some indigestion, which the pasta would also do). I realized that what I actually wanted was a salad! Then I decided that I wanted to spend some of my lunch break by the ocean (which is about a 15 minute drive from my office). I checked to see what restaurants might be near the beach that would have a salad, and then I realized that a Chik-fil-a is on the way between my office and the beach. I don't know if they have salad, but I experienced a vivid taste-memory of their chicken wrap, and realized it would suit my craving quite well. I also queried myself to see if I really wanted the full "meal", which is a wrap, soda, and fries. And somewhat to my surprise, I didn't want the fries or soda. So I just got the wrap by itself, and some water, and had a very pleasant lunch by the ocean. I even went for a short walk along the waterfront.

 

I find all of that to be kind of strange, because it's the sort of "lifestyle" that I always wanted to want - eat "healthy", be active, go outside - but I've always struggled to really enjoy it. It's always felt fake if I restrict myself to the "healthy" food without getting something greasy and fatty that I really wanted, and usually exercising is a forced activity. But this time I can say that I truly did all of that because that's what my soul wanted at that moment, and it felt really good!

 

I don't know if this is some sort of turning point that will lead to a lot more days like this, or more of a fluke. I hope I genuinely become the kind of person who eats salads and wraps for lunch most days, and goes for long strolls on the beach during lunch hour. But I also won't try to force myself into a stereotype. If it happens naturally, good. If not, then I'll just keep working on accepting myself.

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Yesterday evening went into the crapper due to a presentation I had to give this morning about my progress on a project for work. I wanted to have at least one thing working from start to finish (the two majors parts of this project were both at about 80%). I did manage to get one part working, with a few bits and bobs missing. But then it somehow broke before the presentation, so that sucked. D:

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4/1

7:30 AM: Wake up. Turn on sun lamp.

8:15 AM: Go for a walk, or other exercise

9:00 AM: Breakfast, then leave for work.

1:00 PM: Lunch

6:30 PM: Head home (arrive ~7:15)

7:30 PM: Eat dinner

8:00 PM: Free time (TV, hobbies, art, gaming) - use blue light blocking glasses

9:45 PM: Take melatonin. Get ready for bed.

10:30 PM: Bed time.

 

Hydration: [================]D

Nutrition: O O

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4/2

7:30 AM: Wake up. Turn on sun lamp.

8:15 AM: Go for a walk, or other exercise

9:00 AM: Breakfast, then leave for work.

1:00 PM: Lunch

6:30 PM: Head home (arrive ~7:15)

7:30 PM: Eat dinner

8:00 PM: Free time (TV, hobbies, art, gaming) - use blue light blocking glasses

9:45 PM: Take melatonin. Get ready for bed.

10:30 PM: Bed time.

 

Hydration: [================]D

Nutrition: O O

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4/3

7:30 AM: Wake up. Turn on sun lamp.

8:15 AM: Go for a walk, or other exercise

9:00 AM: Breakfast, then leave for work.

1:00 PM: Lunch

6:30 PM: Head home (arrive ~7:15)

7:30 PM: Eat dinner

8:00 PM: Free time (TV, hobbies, art, gaming) - use blue light blocking glasses

9:45 PM: Take melatonin. Get ready for bed.

10:30 PM: Bed time.

 

Hydration: [================]D

Nutrition:

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4/4

7:30 AM: Wake up. Turn on sun lamp.

8:15 AM: Go for a walk, or other exercise

9:00 AM: Breakfast, then leave for work.

1:00 PM: Lunch

6:30 PM: Head home (arrive ~7:15)

7:30 PM: Eat dinner

8:00 PM: Free time (TV, hobbies, art, gaming) - use blue light blocking glasses

9:45 PM: Take melatonin. Get ready for bed.

10:30 PM: Bed time.

 

Hydration: [================]D

Nutrition: O O

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4/5

7:30 AM: Wake up. Turn on sun lamp.

8:15 AM: Go for a walk, or other exercise

9:00 AM: Breakfast, then leave for work.

1:00 PM: Lunch

6:30 PM: Head home (arrive ~7:15)

7:30 PM: Eat dinner

8:00 PM: Free time (TV, hobbies, art, gaming) - use blue light blocking glasses

9:45 PM: Take melatonin. Get ready for bed.

10:30 PM: Bed time.

 

Hydration: [================]D

Nutrition: O O O

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4/8

7:30 AM: Wake up. Turn on sun lamp.

8:15 AM: Go for a walk, or other exercise

9:00 AM: Breakfast, then leave for work.

1:00 PM: Lunch

6:30 PM: Head home (arrive ~7:15)

7:30 PM: Eat dinner

8:00 PM: Free time (TV, hobbies, art, gaming) - use blue light blocking glasses

9:45 PM: Take melatonin. Get ready for bed.

10:30 PM: Bed time.

 

Hydration: [================]D

Nutrition: O O O

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4/9

7:30 AM: Wake up. Turn on sun lamp.

8:15 AM: Go for a walk, or other exercise

9:00 AM: Breakfast, then leave for work.

1:00 PM: Lunch

6:30 PM: Head home (arrive ~7:15)

7:30 PM: Eat dinner

8:00 PM: Free time (TV, hobbies, art, gaming) - use blue light blocking glasses

9:45 PM: Take melatonin. Get ready for bed.

10:30 PM: Bed time.

 

Hydration: [================]D

Nutrition: O O O O

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4/10

7:30 AM: Wake up. Turn on sun lamp.

8:15 AM: Go for a walk, or other exercise

9:00 AM: Breakfast, then leave for work.

1:00 PM: Lunch

6:30 PM: Head home (arrive ~7:15)

7:30 PM: Eat dinner

8:00 PM: Free time (TV, hobbies, art, gaming) - use blue light blocking glasses

9:45 PM: Take melatonin. Get ready for bed.

10:30 PM: Bed time.

 

Hydration: [================]D

Nutrition: O O O O

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I like the color-coding approach; it makes it easy to see at a glance how I'm doing overall, and which parts of my schedule I'm consistently failing at.

 

As you can see from all the red, I've been struggling a lot. It's been getting better, the past few days, but I'm not out of the woods yet. Each day, I feel like I'm constantly behind, trying not to completely drop everything and fail to keep up my responsibilities. It starts in the mornings, when I wake up feeling tired and out of sorts. I think I know what the problem is...

 

One of the side effects of testosterone is that the soft palate is, well, softer. I don't know if it's an understood phenomenon, but it has been studied enough that there's a known link between increasing testosterone and the onset/worsening of snoring and sleep apnea. (The study I saw was done on older men taking testosterone supplements, not trans men, because, well, there's a lot more old guys taking T than trans men. But I assume the results can still apply at least somewhat in either case.) I already had a little bit of trouble with snoring before I started testosterone, but in the month or so since I started, I think it's gotten a lot worse. I've also gained a not insignificant amount of weight in the last 2 months, which would make it worse, too.

 

I've tried a few things to hopefully improve the situation. I previously had a fairly thick foam pillow, and it was cricking my neck into an awkward position, especially when I lie on my stomach. I've switched it for an extremely flat throw pillow (about 1 inch thick). This seems to help a little, although I still roll onto my side in my sleep, and that gives me a different neck position soreness. -_- I'm also experimenting with "nose strips" that open up the nasal passages while I sleep. I can't tell if they're doing much; considering that the problem is most likely coming from further back than the nasal passages, I don't see why it would make a difference, but my wife suggested it so I'm giving it a shot.

 

Some days I wake up more tired and with more of a headache than other days. I don't really know what level of hypoxia is dangerous long-term for brain and heart function, but I'm guessing that if I can feel the effects in the morning, I'm well into the danger zone. This is yet another reason I feel like I "need" to lose weight, and this one is hard to argue with. I don't want brain damage for low oxygen. :nightmare: The only other long-term fix that I can think of is getting a CPAP machine, which is a whole long, obnoxious process, and I'm not even sure if I could sleep with one on. (I'm extremely sensitive to things pressing against my head and face, to the point where I can barely stand to wear hats or sunglasses.)

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4/11

7:30 AM: Wake up. Turn on sun lamp.

8:15 AM: Go for a walk, or other exercise

9:00 AM: Breakfastthen leave for work.

1:00 PM: Lunch

6:30 PM: Head home (arrive ~7:15)

7:30 PM: Eat dinner

8:00 PM: Free time (TV, hobbies, art, gaming) - use blue light blocking glasses

9:45 PM: Take melatonin. Get ready for bed.

10:30 PM: Bed time.

 

Hydration: [================]D

Nutrition: O O

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4/12

7:30 AM: Wake up. Turn on sun lamp.

8:15 AM: Go for a walk, or other exercise

9:00 AM: Breakfast, then leave for work.

1:00 PM: Lunch

6:30 PM: Head home (arrive ~7:15)

7:30 PM: Eat dinner

8:00 PM: Free time (TV, hobbies, art, gaming) - use blue light blocking glasses

9:45 PM: Take melatonin. Get ready for bed.

10:30 PM: Bed time.

 

Hydration: [================]D

Nutrition: O O O O

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4/15

7:30 AM: Wake up. Turn on sun lamp.

8:15 AM: Go for a walk, or other exercise

9:00 AM: Breakfast, then leave for work.

1:00 PM: Lunch

6:30 PM: Head home (arrive ~7:15)

7:30 PM: Eat dinner

8:00 PM: Free time (TV, hobbies, art, gaming) - use blue light blocking glasses

9:45 PM: Take melatonin. Get ready for bed.

10:30 PM: Bed time.

 

Hydration: [================]D

Nutrition: O O O

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4/16

7:30 AM: Wake up. Turn on sun lamp.

8:15 AM: Go for a walk, or other exercise

9:00 AM: Breakfast, then leave for work.

1:00 PM: Lunch

6:30 PM: Head home (arrive ~7:15)

7:30 PM: Eat dinner

8:00 PM: Free time (TV, hobbies, art, gaming) - use blue light blocking glasses

9:45 PM: Take melatonin. Get ready for bed.

10:30 PM: Bed time.

 

Hydration: [================]D

Nutrition: O O O

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