Too Much of a Good Thing

I’m all about Gretchen Rubin— her podcast, her newsletters— it’s come up here before. She said something last week about the downside of being an upholder being that you’ll find yourself getting up in the middle of the night to run beside your bed to get your steps in. I’m not an Upholder, but I am the sort of person you’ll find running in place 5 minutes before midnight when I wear a Fitbit. Paying attention to it means that I want to try to hit my goals.

 

Last night, my desire to get my steps in came up against my desire to hit my sleep goals, and predictably, sleep lost. I went upstairs at a decent hour, and bless my overachieving little heart, I settled down to watch a video for a devotional thing I’m doing, before bed. I dozed off toward the end of the devotional thing at a thoroughly respectable 10:45, but I recognized that I was doing it and got up, replayed the end (I missed less than I thought), and maybe still needed to brush my teeth (a ridiculously elaborate WaterPik/flossing/toothbrushing maneuver that takes something like 10 minutes.)

That’s when I noticed that I was 1,500 steps shy of my goal, and only 300 away from an interim goal. I was moderately focused on my steps yesterday, taking two breaks at work to run stairs in pursuit of hitting it, so I wanted to finish it off. I thought I could hit the 300 marching in place while I brushed my teeth, but something went wrong and it wasn’t tracking it. I took probably 800 steps trying to get it to register the 300, and then thought I might as well just get the remaining steps. I literally marched all around my bedroom for probably 15 minutes (the animals were surprised when I did it for 500 steps the night before— this time I got the “this, again?” look), and then, surprise! I wasn’t particularly drowsy when I went back to bed. By 12:15, I was starting to despair of falling asleep at anything like a workable hour. I dozed off shortly thereafter, but didn’t sleep at all deeply and ended up short of the 6 hours I need to feel human. D’oh!

I think my rule is going to be I need to hit my 6 clusters of 300 steps by 6 p.m. That will put me further ahead on the overall goal earlier in the evening. Front-loading the steps so I can fall asleep when it’s time seems better than shorting myself that much on sleep.

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Leadership Development

I reached out to a Toastmasters member a couple of weeks ago. I had come off a Board meeting where I’d had to call a Board member out for trying to sneak a pet project onto our agenda without having gotten approval and then had an interaction with another Board member where I agreed to give him an inch and he tried to leverage it into a mile.

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Sleep Analytics

I’ve always struggled a little with sleep. When I was a little kid, I was never sleepy when I was sent to bed, and I’d lay there awake, listening to my family continue to move around the house. It’s always been easy to stay up too late and gut out the tiredness. Because of my allergies, I’ve always woken up feeling pretty awful, anyway, what’s a little sleep deprivation on top of that? During the summer, I can’t sleep if I’m too warm, and for me, too warm is 73 degrees. I’m lucky that in Denver, our nights are a lot cooler than our days, but even we have nights where the house doesn’t cool off that much on its own (and I won’t run the a/c at night.)

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It’s a Marathon

Things have been coming together— I set a plan in motion like a month ago, where I took a big task and broke it down. One weekend, I painted a room that needed painting, and rearranged it. The next, I recovered a bench I use as a coffee table, planted some flowering plants and cleaned the windows. Last weekend, I dusted and deep-cleaned bathrooms and worked on the yard. This weekend, I finally, finally, finally got the screens replaced, shampooed the carpets and upholstery, mopped and more yardwork. We’ve got guests arriving tomorrow, and it’s all been building up to this.

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Testing a Theory

This Arbonne thing is an example of a thing I do pretty frequently— I have an idea about something and I go ahead and test it, to see if it is what I think it is. A few years ago, I decided I just needed to exercise more, not change my eating. Doing triathlons, I discovered that I was eating enough to offset the exercise and even gaining weight. I had been telling myself that “calories in/calories out” doesn’t work for me. So I tracked my calories and lost weight. I’ve had a few theories (about eating more whole foods, about where my calories were coming from, how hard it would be), and testing them simultaneously means that causality is difficult to determine, but here are some observations:

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Arbonne, Day 14

Things are still continuing well with Arbonne. I had a little better luck with the “sweet potato as bread” thing when I did it on the grill and finished it in the toaster. I sliced the sweet potatoes and put them on the warming rack of my gas grill over a lower flame for awhile. When they were about half-done, I added the turkey burgers to the grill. I’m not sure if it was because it was raining, or if I’ve run out of propane, but the grill crapped out at about that point, so I finished them on the George Foreman grill or in the toaster. They could be used to pick up a sandwich, and provided a flavorful option. I sliced them thicker than the 1/4 inch referenced in what I looked up— more like 1/2 inch, but it worked out okay.

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