Building A Better Me

December 26 | -10°C 🌨 | DAY 274 @ 🏠

I will be turning 40 in May. That is still five months away, but since I’ll be done school in April and should be focused on getting a job in publishing/film or continuing to build a creative portfolio.

Since I have been feeling lousy lately, and indulging in habits that are not the healthiest, I’m giving myself 31 days to jumpstart a healthier lifestyle, rather than have a midlife crisis.

During the month of May I will be cutting out:

  1. Sugar
  2. Booze
  3. Cigars/Pot
  4. Social Media

During the month of May I will be filling the void, left by the previously mentioned list, with:

  1. Whole Foods
  2. Exercise
  3. Proper Sleep Routine
  4. Hobby of some sort

I figure if I can lose some weight, get a proper sleep and stop eating like a teenager I might start feeling better.

I’ve been feeling like hell for numerous reasons:

Stress

Lately, I have been dealing with a lot of stress. I’m in my final year of university, and even though it is going well, I’m not happy with some aspects of it. I had to quit my job back in September (another source of stress) so I could finish my degree, and I constantly miss having that reliable dual income, and worry about the added debt we’re taking on so I can graduate from university. COVID-19 has me stressed because I worry about my family. My daughter and I had to get tested for COVID-19 back in October and that it not something I ever want to do again. Shortly after our tests came back negative, her school offered us the opportunity to do homeschooling until restrictions get lifted. This means, in addition to my schooling, I have to spend 2-3 hours a day teaching her. Luckily, she is only in kindergarten, so this is a class I feel qualified to teach.

Weight/Back Problems

I’m not at my heaviest weight, but I think I’m at my unhealthiest, if that makes sense. Since I’m trying to do so much better at university this year than I have in then past, I am spending a lot more time just sitting around. Eating greasy foods with enough preservatives to embalm a mummy. Passing out on a non-ergonomic couch whenever I am able to sneak in a nap. Because of this, my back and hip have been giving me trouble. I know I have a pinched nerve in my neck that puts me through hell when it flares up, and when that happens, I spend more time just laying around being unhealthy.

Bad Habits

When I quit my job I started smoking cigars occasionally. Not enough to become addicted, but I use it as an excuse to go outside and get out of my head for a couple minutes. I started drinking more in hopes I might be able to get some sleep. I also started using edibles and smoking pot, which is something I never really did before, and this will be the easiest thing for me to give up, as it’s not doing for me what I want it to do.

Insomnia

I have insomnia. Not sure why. I am supposed to be participating in a program to help me treat it, but the tracking system is all kinds of inconvenient and I just don’t have the time to do it right now. I recall a large part of it was just maintaining a proper sleep schedule, which is just impossible at the moment. I currently wake up between 7am – 10am and go to sleep between 12:30am – 3:30am. Those aren’t the times I go to bed, they are the times I actually fall asleep. Some nights I will just get up at 1am and read a book or try to write.

Predictions

Cutting out sugar, booze and smoking will make exercising a lot easier. Giving up social media will reduce my stress/anxiety and will hopefully let me get on a healthy sleep schedule. Eating whole foods will hopefully keep me feeling energized and keep me from dying while exercising. I’m also hoping a hobby will destress me and keep me from eating junk food and adding more weight that I don’t need.

I’ll be using WordPress and YouTube because I don’t consider them to be forms of social media, and so I can track my progress on this project. Anything that gets posted to Facebook/Twitter/Instagram will be from my automated system. I’ll be deleting those apps from my phone and iPad so I’m not tempted to look at them. I have actually been tempted to downgrade to a flip phone, but my wife keeps telling me I’ll regret that decision. I may need to get myself a newspaper subscription for that month so I can avoid the urge to log in to Twitter or Facebook so I can “just check the news before I start…”

Goals

  • Lose a little weight.
  • Not wake up tired everyday.
  • Not have to take muscle relaxers and lay down on a hardwood floor for an evening to make my back feel better.
  • Not feel as reliant on social media for information and entertainment.
  • Keep some healthy habits and try not to go back to the bad ones.

I’m curious to see how the month of May will impact the results of my annual physical in June compared to last year. I have been trying to eat healthier since my last physical, but that has been really hit and miss since September.

I still have five months to prepare for this, so that will give me time to cutback on the bad stuff so it’s not a huge shock to the system. Plus, it will give me time to write up a schedule that I can live with to make this happen.