Hello Friend,

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A datapoint along the journey

DelayedGratification

Senior Don Juan
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(I see a lot of postings of people who are at the beginning of the fabled "working on themselves" and others who at least claim to have conquered that mountain. Not much in between. This post is to reaffirm that it's a process, and it's ok to be not-there-yet, so long as you're still making progress. This is a snapshot of where I am right now)

Been in and out of a crap headspace all week. Bottomed out on Saturday, which was going to be a work day but decided I needed the mental health day more.

The past few weeks have felt like a strange mix of progress and plateau. Upped the workout game, a consistent 3x/week. Added Vit C/D/E plus supplements to the morning routine. Have been able to go up a notch on the weights. Sit-ups are now 40-50 reps, whereas I had been at 30 for a long time. Into the first full week of an Intermittent Fasting pattern, which is getting easier to do.

Don't know what to make of my weight. I'm up 6-7 pounds from my low in the spring. Sometimes my abdomen looks pretty flat, sometimes not as much as I'd like. There's always the remnants of a spare tire, but it's more of a bicycle tire now. Muscle definition is peeking out from behind the shrinking fatty layer---abs, pecs, delts. Definitely more muscle mass compared to the spring, so I'm going to assume that's where the weight came from.

When I look in the mirror, I see more of a "before" pic of a cutting testimonial rather than an "after" pic of a weight-loss testimonial. Face is sculpting more, with cheekbones more prominent. Sometimes I like what I see, sometimes I'm disappointed because I've mentally raised the bar.

First full week of trying a lightweight skin care regimen, from which I can already feel and see positive effects. I've been experimenting with minor hairstyle changes, just to mix things up.

When I've been out and about, I'm getting a minor but noticeable social uptick without any effort on my part. Women more openly making eye contact. A few times making an effort to engage me. Today at the Apple Store the woman handling the sale put her hand on my shoulder as she went to fetch another staff member. It was platonic, but noteworthy in the moment nevertheless.

All I'm doing is just going about my errands, carrying myself better and with more poise. I'm assuming the response I'm getting is a result of my gradual internalizing of a more positive self-image. It helps that I probably do look better. Not like I'm smashing and dashing, but I feel at least less inconspicuous.

My goal is to transition from looking better than most men my age to objectively looking better than most. Equal parts physique and personal presence.

The physical part has been a long road, but at least the mirror and I are on friendlier terms.
 

DelayedGratification

Senior Don Juan
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Messages
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The Power of Zero

Finally had a date with my GF last week after she came back from a long vacay. She noticed the results of pushing myself harder for a month.

The 16/8 Fasting has reminded me of what I've called the "Power of Zero". When you're calorie-restricting, it's really easy to lose track, which is why people resort to calorie-counting. Which I despise doing. This is all simplified by Fasting. It's very, very easy to remember "zero". As in, "gee, how many crackers can I have? zero." or "did I already have a belvita this morning? nope, you've had zero." and so on. So until 1pm, I can zero calorie intake. Simple. Then, often I try to see how much farther I can extend the Fast, just to keep the power of zero going.

The other thing that helps, like just this morning, is enjoying the results. In the grocery store I walked past the hot rack, loaded with breakfast sandwiches. And I took stock of how good it felt to have a nice, taut core strength in my body. I decided I liked that feeling better than I would enjoy the sandwich.

The flip side is on exercise. My GF was lamenting that she's out of a routine with the gym, and is in that phase where it's difficult to get back into a rhythm. My comment was, that while some amounts of exercise are more optimal than others, anything is better than zero. That line of thinking is what enables me to break out of a rut, because the last thing you need to do is make the rut deeper by raising the bar too high.
 
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