Monetizing failure: April report

Things have continued to go well through April, with the new rule (no work food, other than raw vegetables and fruit) improving my diet significantly. As expected, though, I’ve uncovered a number of ways to be bad without straying into financial consequence territory. For instance, though lunch now consists of a homemade PB&J and the occasional fruit salad, I’ve also been bringing in chocolate bars to sate my hunger (these and these, in particular). The fact that they’re fair trade is all very well and good, but does little to help my waistline.

On the positive side, I’ve also stopped adding sugar to my coffee. This might not seem like a big deal, but given that I usually add 2 tsps per cup, and have 3-4 cups of coffee per day, it adds up. I still use half-and-half, but I’m not quite ready to go full diesel. One step at a time. (this is also unofficial – not part of the challenge)

Exercise has been going well. I feel like I’ve finally gotten to the point where random body parts don’t suddenly fail when performing unusual activities. Like when I pulled a hamstring while playing touch football with friends last year, or had a muscle seize up when rock climbing in February. Going to the gym is no longer a chore, and hopping on the elliptical machine for a half hour is no big deal. Sometimes, I even look forward to going to the gym (weird).

Even so, I know from experience how quickly I can get derailed. It’s too easy to get sick, injured, or busy, and a sick kid can throw your entire schedule off track.

For May, I’m planning on closing a loophole and accelerating the workouts a little. It’s been nice to have three days off over the weekend, but no longer necessary. So, starting in May I’ll be working out every even-numbered day (instead of MWF). Also, I’m swearing off candy bars at work (granola bars are still fine, as are the occasional indulgence). And, every day I will do 20 sit-ups and 20 pushups. This isn’t much – the challenge is that it’s every single day. No excuses, no holidays.

Lastly, I’ve been going to bed later and later, and for no particularly good reason (2048 does not count as a good reason). Sleep is highly correlated with just about any index of health, happiness, and effectiveness you’d care to measure, so working on this seems like a good next step. On the other hand, I recognize that there may be times when I’ll need to stay up for work, will want to finish a blog post, etc. And so, I think the best rule will be to have no passive internet usage after 10:30. No Twitter, no Facebook, no news, no games.

Standard exceptions (injury, sickness) and penalties ($100 to charity per infraction) apply.

Happy Spring!

5/12 Update: I injured my shoulder doing push-ups last night, so have put all upper body exercise on hold. :(

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