Archive for February, 2012

Emotional state today: Up

This morning I declared to myself that because it is February 29th, it’s a bonus day and nothing that happens today counts, so I could do whatever I wanted. I meditated, read a great book all morning, coached one of my favorite clients, volunteered at the local art house movie theater, stayed to watch The Artist (which I really enjoyed), read some more, went to the best yoga class I’ve ever taken, and meditated some more. I felt good—free from anxiety for most of the day. Like a nice, easy exhale.

I had a big breakthrough tonight in my meditation practice. I decided to make it a game in which the object was to catch myself whenever my mind wandered. It helped tremendously with my ability to concentrate, and it was even fun. Each time I caught my wandering mind, I would find myself with a huge smile on my face. This “reframing” of meditation as a game transformed my wandering mind from evidence that I was bad at meditation into a prize that I was happy to discover.

This is the second breakthrough in a week or so. I feel like I’m deconstructing my meditation practice into granular pieces that I can focus in on and become more skillful at. It’s encouraging.


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Emotional state today: Mildly up

For today’s workout I focused solely on pushups, 8 sets of 25 or max. I completed four sets of 25, a set of 15, and then three sets of 12 for a total of 151 pushups in 15 minutes. It’s interesting that the average was 10/minutes, just like the one workout I do. This is a 1% increase from last time.

Next time I do Workout C, which is that same configuration of pushup sets interspersed with lunges.

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Emotional state today: Mostly neutral, with periods of down

Two victories today and an observation:

First, I meditated for 35 minutes first thing this morning. My attitude was very positive, and my concentration was good.

Second, I exercised after several days off. This past weekend was full with a trip to visit family and 11 hours in a seminar. I realized that I could have fit in some pushups. That’s going to be my intention from now on; any day I can’t do a full workout, I will do a set of pushups. The routine I did today was Workout B. I completed 88 burpees in 12 30-second sets, a 5% increase from last time.

Finally, the observation: Today was the first day off of the 21-day cleanse, and for breakfast I had two eggs and a little bit of salmon. Later in the day I noticed that I was mildly congested. So I’m getting some good feedback from my body about the effects of certain foods. Looks like eggs are on the way out!

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Today I took an online test that calculates your “biological age” in contrast to your chronological age (how many years it’s been since you were born). If your biological age is lower than your chronological age, then you’re relatively healthy; if higher, then you’re relatively unhealthy. Given that I’m feeling physically like I’m in the best shape of my life, I wanted to try to quantify that with this test.

Now if you know me, you know that I look a good 5 to 10 years younger than I am (I’m about a month away from 41). It’s the first thing I hear whenever someone finds out my age. “You look so much younger. How do you do it?” My answer (half joking, half serious) is usually, “Clean living.”

So of course, I expected the result of this test to be somewhere between 30 and 35. I even harbored a secret hope that because of these 100 Days of Fitness, it might actually be below 30. Nope. My biological age is…


How could this be? I read through a summary of the results. It seems I did great in the categories of immune system, body fat/weight, exercise, and food & digestion. But I did very poorly in the category of stress/expectation. These were the questions about anxiety, outlook, emotions, and thoughts.

So all of the benefits I get from diet and exercise are completely undone by my negative thoughts and emotions. Let me repeat that:

All of the benefits I get from diet and exercise are completely undone by my negative thoughts and emotions.


You see, I knew this concept was true in theory. I had no idea it was happening to such a large extent to me.

I’m so grateful to know this at this new, very personal level. It makes my mental health a clear priority for me. I know how to be healthy physically. That will always be something I can do well. My focus clearly needs to be on developing my skills for mental health…

Once again, through insight I’m led back to something I’ve said many times is very important to me: creating a habit of sitting meditation. Today it officially becomes a daily part of these 100 Days of Fitness.

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Emotional state today: Mostly up.

Today was a strange day, eating-wise. I had breakfast, then drove home from my cousin’s house (about a 3-hour drive), had a late lunch, and no dinner. I felt fine the whole day, no hunger, my energy was good. But I only consumed about 1300 calories.

I notice that after a period of eating very healthy, I seem to need a lot less food each day.

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Emotional state today: Up

The big victory today was going out to see one of my favorite bands with some of my favorite people, and I drank club soda and ate a garden salad. In both cases (seeing the band and going out with the people), I typically associate beer with these activities. I like to drink when I see the band so that I’m more comfortable on the dance floor, and I like to drink with my friends because of our history doing that together.

It wasn’t challenging to not drink beer. It was challenging to not drink beer and still have fun. I danced, and it felt a little awkward, especially because I was one of the only people out there. I stayed out late talking and joking around with them, even though I was often distracted by my normal sober chattering mind.

That’s the key. I think I could have lots of fun being sober in these kinds of situations if my mind would only shut the fuck up.

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Emotional state today: Down, ending up.

I was in a pretty resentful mood today, especially about the diet. But after a nice, intense yoga class I felt so much better. Like the resentment had burned up in the fire of intensity.

I also did an intense Workout A earlier. I felt weaker than usual, and I’m wondering if my caloric intake is too low. It was a subtle feeling, so I don’t think I’m doing anything dangerous, but it’s something to pay attention to.

My results were 4 sets of squats and pushups for a total of 100 squats (same as last time) and 100 pushups (a 5% increase from last time). It was interesting because I thought I’d done a lot less than last time because of the low energy feeling I had. I’m still pretty far away from completing all 8 sets.

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