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Severine

Severine: The unglamorous effectiveness of tracking things

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So today was really frustrating. Some of the celosia starts have developed a fungal disease so I need to rescue the healthy ones asap before they catch it too, which probably means staying up late tonight after rock climbing to pot them up. Sigh. Also, there was some maddeningly unnecessary miscommunication at the farm AND three of the god-damned goats got out. I managed to get them back into the pen eventually, but what a pain in the ass. Goats are pretty cute, but most of them are assholes, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Also today I had to muck out the stalls, which is fine, but never exactly a mood booster. As always, there are a thousand things to do at the farm and I feel behind, but feeling behind is normal and I keep trying to remind myself of that and stay calm.

 

I was hungry by the time I was driving home and tempted to stop for some sort of drive-through fast food, and I didn't, so I'm proud of that. I'm still 100% for food tracking this challenge, which like I said before mostly makes me annoyed at myself for having stopped, because I'm basically proving to myself now there's no excuse not to do it. 

 

Went to writing group last night even though I was tired. Once I got into it, I was really glad I went! Wrote a couple things I liked.

 

Still 100% on my anti-procrastination goal too, although today it was definitely something I did because I had to and not because I was feeling inspired. I seriously went through my whole to-do list, found the easiest thing, and forced myself to do it. Oh well, better than nothing. 

 

On the bright side: rock climbing tonight! It'll be good to work on the 5.9 that gave me issues last week. I'm not feeling super social at the moment (part of me wants to crawl into a cave and play Stellaris all night) but I'm hoping that once my friends get here I'll get in the mood.

 

I should go do today's writing before that, actually, because I sure as hell will not feel like doing it after dealing with the celoisa.

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Update on the first week:

Day Food Tracked? Calories Writing? Productive?
9-May Yes 1742 Yes Yes
10-May Yes 2613 No Yes
11-May Yes 1559 No Yes
12-May Yes 1852 Yes Yes
13-May Yes 2190 Yes Yes
14-May Yes 2040 No Yes

 

The good: I'm 100% on my food tracking goal and my anti-procrastination goal! The food tracking was easy, the anti-procrastination was harder but I did find it really useful. Convincing myself to cross one thing off the giant to-do list each day seems doable, even though some days it's a struggle. On those days I definitely go for the low-hanging fruit, but whatever, it's still progress and I'm definitely getting more done than before this challenge so I am calling this a win.

 

The middling: My calorie goal is 1800, but right now my average is sitting at 2000. I'll still lose weight at 2000 calories, so it's not necessarily a problem - if this challenge teaches me that 2000 is more sustainable for me than 1800 then fine, I can live with that. I'm not interested in making weight loss harder just to make it faster. HOWEVER...I'm more interested in the reason the average is what it is. If you look at the days, two really stand out: May 10 and May 13. Those are the two days this week I went to a restaurant and had a cocktail and an appetizer. So that's definitely something to watch because it really does affect the numbers. I've been eating healthy stuff overall though (even at the restaurant I had roast-veggie-based dishes both times) so that's something.


The not-so-good: I'm only at 50% for writing so far this week. Mainly because if I leave it to the end of the night, which I do because I'm me, I'm sometimes too tired. The problem is that late at night is also when I feel the most thoughtful/reflective and when writing is best. Ugh. No solution for this yet.

 

Overall, I rate this week to be pretty good. Net-casting spider quality, I would say.

 

giphy.gif

 

(I like spiders and insects!)

 

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Love the chart!  and spiders!  You should be proud of yourself for skipping that fast food, writing, and keeping track of your goals!  Your giving me oomph! 

 

 

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This is great!  Week 1 is great for introspection and trying to figure out what's working and why some things aren't working.  It's great that you were able to notice a pattern with the calories.  That's a good attitude that if 2000 is right for you right now, then that's okay.  I find that any diet-focus tends to push me toward healthier eating in general and it seems like the same is true for you.  

Congrats on a successful first week!

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Anti-procrastination goal and food tracking goal continue at 100%! Calorie average still hovering around 2000, which is 200 calories over my challenge target, but I'm losing weight (I have nerdy graphs to prove it! Shoutout to the Libra weight tracking app for Android and also TrendWeight) so I can live with it. 

 

However, I am currently sitting on a 3-day failure streak for my daily writing challenge :(  I'm going to try to break the failure streak tonight instead of letting it get to 4.

 

But instead of judging me for my lack of commitment to writing, you should watch this funny video about a sand spider. Volume on because it's the commentary that's amusing. 45 seconds, and nothing scary, I promise!

 

 

 

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Woot! Good luck with the writing! Sounds like things are going pretty well. And I love that spider! But why does he have a slightly French accent? As if he's about to insult some Silly English Kerniggits?

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Long overdue update! Recap thus far:

  • Food tracking: 15/15 days - A
  • Calorie average so far: 1986 - B
  • Productive days: 13/15 - A
  • Writing: 4/15 days - D (and that wasn't even on my original scale because I wasn't expecting such suckitude)

 

15-May Yes 1798 No Yes
16-May Yes 2247 No Yes
17-May Yes 1835 No Yes
18-May Yes 1816 No Yes
19-May Yes 1995 No Yes
20-May Yes 2408 No No
21-May Yes 1898 No Yes
22-May Yes 2142 No No
23-May Yes 1661 Yes Yes

 

 

So, the debrief. I'm rocking at tracking my food at sucking at making time to write. In my defence, managing two different farming operations is incredibly hectic and I'm also trying to coordinate complicated house repairs. Still, writing 500 words only take me ten minutes - I should be able to find time at the end of the night, especially given how helpful it is for me. But it's hard to prioritize writing when I could get an extra thing done for work before bed, or when I just want to be relaxing with my friends or partners.

 

On the bright side: I've lost 4 pounds since the challenge started and I've been eating really well--almost all homecooked healthy food, no fast food at all, and minimal sweets. Also good is that I've been maintaining a high level of activity, my climbing performance is noticeably improving, and I have way more energy than before.

 

The two non-productive days I had were fantastic days I spent with friends and family and I did a good job of switching off my worrybrain to actually enjoy some down time. Every other day I've been getting shit accomplished and that really keeps my anxiety in check, which makes everything feel easier and go more smoothly. This anti-procrastination goal, perhaps even more than the food tracking, has been a huge win for me and I think I may keep it for the next challenge just to keep me on track.

 

 

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It sounds to me like you're kicking butt, Severine! I feel your pain on the journaling - I too feel a bit off when I don't make time to do it, but so often don't. Maybe I'll set a goal around that next challenge.

 

Not to give you a way to weasel out of it, but you've been pretty active on posting, both to this thread and others (thanks for the lovely feedback on my challenge thread, btw). Could the time you spend writing on the forums count toward your daily word count?

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Ugh, what a week. So bloody busy. I could have made time to update here, but I kept putting it off. Stupid procrastination beast. Thanks to my challenge, though, I was NOT procrastinating getting shit done for work and home. Even though I was procrastinating posting on the forums. I guess if the procrastination beast has to have a domain, it should at least be something where it can do minimal damage, right? RIGHT? Thanks, rationalization. You're always there when I need you.

 

Anyway, here's the executive summary: 

  • At tracking my food: I RULE
  • At eating healthy and keeping calories in line with my activity and desired weight-loss deficit: I RULE
  • At writing every day: I AM UTTER RUBBISH
  • At knocking things off my to-do list and generally being productive: I AM APPARENTLY ABLE TO TRICK MYSELF INTO DOING SHIT DESPITE BEING RUBBISH BY NATURE

I am losing weight and have lots of energy, which is great. I'm eating homecooked food 95% of the time (because my partner is amazing and I am very lucky) and getting lots of activity each day because I work every day. I am a bit stressed out because of working every day and having a tonne of shit to do, but I am handling it better than usual, in large part I think because the anti-procrastination goal is helping me chip away at the tasks and thereby preventing them from festering on the list until they turn into anxiety-inducing blobs of daunting impossibility.

 

I haven't written at all this week. Ugh. Part of this is because the few hours I have had for down time I have used either for socializing (YAY! WORTHWHILE TRADE) or for playing Stellaris (OOPS). At least my spaze-lizard empire is coming along nicely.

 

The details for this past week:

Day Food Tracked? Calories Writing? Productive?
24-May Yes 1827 No Yes
25-May Yes 1866 No Yes
26-May Yes 1709 No Yes
27-May Yes 1712 No Yes
28-May Yes 2111 No Yes
29-May Yes 2319 No Yes
30-May Yes 2157 No Yes
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I actually wrote my 500 words last night! For the first time in over a week! Woo!

 

I think posting on the forums yesterday reminded me about that part of my goal and why I chose it in the first place. And had me thinking about my challenge in a positive way and more determined for the final week. So huzzah for momentum and accountability.

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Final report!

 

Overall I am really happy with my first challenge.

  • Food tracking goal: A+ 
    • I tracked my food all 28 days of the challenge. Woo! I'm happy to get my food tracking habit firmly re-established and I plan to continue on with this. It's great for keeping me honest about what I'm eating, and I make much better choices if I am paying ettention.
  • Calorie target goal: B
    • My average over the four weeks was 1987 calories per day, which puts me within 200 calories of my target (1800) which I decided would be a B. I'm extremely happy with this, though - my aim in setting a calorie target was weight loss, and I lost 8.3 pounds over the past 4 weeks which I think is pretty damn good. Also, given that I burn 2500-3000+ calories depending on the day (mostly due to working a very physical job) I think 2000ish calories is perfectly reasonable for weight loss. I'll be aiming to keep my calories between 1800-2100 from here on out.
  • Anti-procrastination goal: A
    • 26 out of 28 days I was productive and knocked something substantial off my to-do list. This has been a really productive month for me both personally and at work and I feel really proud of keeping the momentum going on this goal. I am, by default, really susceptible to procrastination and I get obligation-induced anxiety which makes the procrastination worse...so it's fantastic that this actually worked for me. I've noticed that I've been less stressed out this month and definitely accomplished some really important stuff.
  • Writing goal: D-
    • Okay, this one I completely messed up. I only wrote 5 days out of 28. Sigh. I need to do some thinking about how to incorporate writing more easily into my life, because when I do it I'm happier and more thoughtful and balanced.

Thanks to everyone who followed along! I'm open to hearing comments/suggestions if people have any. I hope your challenges all went well and I look forward to following along with your next ones :) 

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On 7 Jun 2016 at 3:47 AM, Severine said:

I am, by default, really susceptible to procrastination and I get obligation-induced anxiety which makes the procrastination worse.

What a good way of putting this. I have this too and it always feels like I have to write an essay just to describe it.

 

Good job on getting so much done. My best remedy is always to get the task done as quick as possible, before the obligation-induced anxiety starts, but it is so hard sometimes. So great job!

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