Tag Archives: Goals (met and un-)

Deliberate starvation

I find that I have a lot of trouble mustering the courage to write about weight loss here. I mean, to really write about it, to give numbers and talk about specific failures and how I felt and how much weight loss sucks.

My one goal for 2008 (from March 1, 2008 to March 1, 2009) is and was to lose 35.9 pounds. I’ve lost 14.6 lb since then (for a while I flailed about, very confused as to what to do), which leaves me with… 21.3 lb. In about 21 weeks.

Doable, if I keep on the path I’m going.

I use the Hacker’s Diet Online to track my weight fluctuations daily, and its trend calculations are very informative. I know how many calories I’m taking in per day (give or take about 100), and the weight-tracker tells me my daily deficit. I can adjust that for how many pounds I want to lose within a week and proceed to commit what Hacker’s Diet author John Walker calls “deliberate starvation”.

And my goodness, is it deliberate starvation.

The hardest thing — of everything — are the weekends, most notably the social ones. Well, social events in general. Often, there’s eating out or snacking or even just lingering tasty food smells…

This shit is not about willpower. Willpower doesn’t provide consistent, day-in, day-out weight-loss. It’s about motivation and gumption, and sometimes it’s about being fucking pissed.

I’m pissed that I’m having to “deliberately starve” myself again. I already did this shit. I didn’t gain it all back, but I gained about 57% of it back.

That’s ass. Epic fail.

So I’ll take my lumps now, and wonderful supportive people like Gregory will have to listen to me whine about being hungry and offer me “willpower” or (better yet) remind me of my motivations when I stumble.

It’ll never get easier than it is right now.

One credit card down!

With the payday last Friday, I sent in the final $500 to one of my high-interest credit cards. One more credit card left, then I’m down to student loans and money I owe my parents.

Such a nice feeling…

I haven’t decided whether I’ll cancel the credit card yet. There are good reasons both ways. I’m not overly worried about my credit rating in the short term, so I’d feel fine canceling it. I’m not tempted to use it, either, though, so it’s not like I need to cancel it to avoid the temptation. I’m more worried about service charges or annual fees.

I should be able to knock out the other credit card no later than by the end of December. Percentage-wise, that’s only a few percentage points off the total amount of debt I have, but it is the scary debt that keeps me awake at night.

Little Engine That Can

I was partway through a post about struggling to find continuing motivation when I decided to reread Zen Habits’ “Get Off Your Butt: 16 Ways to Get Motivated When You’re in a Slump. Unsurprisingly, it got me out of my slump. The winner for now, I think, was #13, “Read about it Daily”.

It had been a while since I read blogs — and most of my blog subscriptions are geared towards my goals. Yesterday I took time and read through many of the 300+ entries waiting for me, and found myself excited again. Not crunk, exactly, but ready to move forward with drive, and excited about the ideas being bantered about.

I got paid today for my occasional weekend work at the hospital — yes, I still have that gig from last summer. That money went straight towards debt, untouched by human hands. I’d been using that supplemental income for all sorts of nefarious and wasteful purposes, and this morning, as I was running out the door — late as hell — I scheduled the payment to the credit card company.

Emily over at Remodeling This Life wrote a post about snowflaking your way to a better self that beautifully sums up my thoughts right now. I have trouble some mornings getting out of bed to go to work. I have even more trouble eating well consistently and running a clean house and paying down debt. Taking on all these things at once in any sort of massive endeavor isn’t going to work.

But lately I’ve been okay with chipping away at things on weekdays. Running the vacuum cleaner while water’s boiling for pasta. Doing sets of planks or push ups when I try to figure out a code issue (at home). Doing a set of counter push ups when I go the restroom. Making two of my three meals a day small and my third not-so-bad. Planning my D & D session with WO in little chunks. Filling out a form for my new job (!!) during lunch, and maybe another later during downtime in the evening.

Weekends aren’t nearly so bad. I schedule my energy as I please and get done what I want. It’s the weekdays — over 71% of the week — where things slow to a crawl. By Friday, I’m craving alone time to curl up at home and read. Recharge time. I need to clear more of my weekday nights of outside obligations.

Honestly, I miss being unemployed. I got so much done, especially technical and creative pursuits. Maybe I just need a Sugar Daddy/Momma in order to get that self-directed life. 🙂

Shameless plug: MS Walk

March 29, 2008. 07:30. Symphony Park. Charlotte, NC.

I’ll be walking in the MS (Multiple Sclerosis) Walk with Dulin, Shelly, and several others. The walk is either a 2.5 mile or 5 mile walk, depending on how I feel that morning (and, likely, what others are doing).

I’m crazy excited. It’s not a race, but I consider it a first step in my goal to engage in races in the near future. Plus, it’s the first fund-raising walk I’ve done since freshman year of college.

To make the walk worthwhile as a fund raiser for MS, however, I need to, well, raise money. If you’re in Charlotte, you could also join Team Chipmunkabun (don’t ask… I didn’t name it) through the same page.

Multiple sclerosis is unpleasant stuff. I’ve known two people diagnosed with it, one of which will be walking with me that Saturday. Another was a young girl, just 3 years old, who often couldn’t get out of bed. I was young then myself and didn’t really understand her affliction beyond that it was “MS” and what her symptoms were. I was in her proximity for about 5 years, and she always struggled, every day. There didn’t seem to be much hope of relief for her.

The proceeds from the Walk will be used by the National MS Society to fund research for a cure and help maintain and instantiate programs to help support those diagnosed with MS.

So. If you can or are willing to spare a few dollars, I’d very much appreciate your support. I plan to have a fully-charged digital camera there with me to get pictures of the turnout.

Succeeding at life

I’m at an interesting, forward-moving period in my life. As you may have noticed by the abundance of links around here on the topics, I’ve been studying up (geeking, if you will) on productivity and personal finance.

My personal finance skills have been shit all my life. My parents were horrible role models in finance — no savings to speak of, horrendous amounts of debt, and a nice stack of neglected debts (foreclosures and the like). What I learned from my parents was how to live paycheck to paycheck. It wasn’t that money slipped through the cracks, necessarily, but it was that they were fine living in the moment.

Living poorly off of a teacher’s salary for 6 months (which is really plenty of money) taught me that I don’t want to live that way. I’ve written already about my debt — I have it, and ignoring it won’t make it go away. I’ve also written already about my budgeting. Nothing new there.

But I’ve been integrating personal finance with Getting Things Done productivity with Zen-To-Done productivity, and I’m in a strangely elated place.

I read both of Dave Ramsey’s “important” books — Financial Peace and Total Money Makeover. There wasn’t much new in the books, since I’d read the details of his process through blogs. What was new, though, were the forms in the back of the book. I’ve digitized those forms into Google Spreadsheets for my viewing and editing pleasure. I don’t use his paper budget, but I did get ideas for expenditure categories I hadn’t thought of from his.

Now, my budgeting isn’t quite settled yet. I started budgeting at the beginning of January, and left CMS at the end of January. I didn’t have steady income for about a month after that, but kept up on the budgeting. Now that I’m gainfully employed, the checks will start rolling in. So I haven’t had a full month of income while budgeting yet. Nonetheless, PearBudget is serving me well.

Next up is GTD and ZTD. When I left teaching, I decided to spend my time off focusing on my productivity, projects, and goals. I did a very good job on the productivity and projects. I use Palm Desktop and ShadowPlan for my GTD implementation — nothing particularly fancy there. What’s nice, though, is that my PDA (especially when combined with my Targus Stowaway keyboard), is a complete mobile office for me, sans Internet. (In fact, the first draft of this post was typed in SiEd.) I’ve gotten into the habit of doing weekly reviews and setting my 3 Most Important Things every day. It’s been awesome, and I feel like I’m making progress in my life.

Last weekend, though, was the first of the month. It was my first First of the Month, though, so I woke up on Saturday at 06:30 very excited. I did my GTD weekly review and ZTD monthly review of my goals.

Goals? Hmm. I have projects, but I’d been treating those as goals. A bit of reading I did (here and here) suggests that I should set yearly goals separately. I don’t like New Year’s resolutions, so I didn’t bother setting any back in January. Last weekend, though, following that advice, I wrote out my lifetime goals and set my one for the year. Rather than focusing on several goals this year, I’m going to go full out on one. Zen Habits suggests that you make one of your MITs every day something that helps you reach that goal.

It’s hard. There’s so much I want to do. My plate is full of projects — the game WO and I are writing, my volunteering, my cats (who require a decent amount of playtime, lately), weight loss, upwards financial progress — to take just one goals and hit it every day is intense.

I have a slew of posts I’m writing and even more topics I want to write about. Now that I’m more comfortable with my job schedule, posting here will become a higher priority.

And I’ll finish with what I promised so long ago: cat pictures! They’ve been out of their cones for about two weeks now, but I still load up these pictures when I need a laugh.

Jackie (my Sexy Mama kitty):
Big cone!

Look me in the eye...

Greg (my distinguished gentleman of a cat):
Gorgeous Greg

Greg in a cone