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Big Adam

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  1. Day 16: No Games: ❌ No Junk Food: ✔️ I played games for a few hours last night. I said the other day that I was sure that I had recovered from my cold. Well, maybe not. I felt tired and sluggish and had a cough yesterday. I was frustrated enough that I felt like playing games was reasonable. I thought: Geez, I was excited to get back to Jiu-Jitsu and start going on dates again. I thought it would be back to my normal routine. Now I need to wait again and maybe cancel my dates. Screw it, I'm playing some games. I still went to bed on time and didn't eat any junk. Afterwards, as I journaled before bed: I thought about what practices in the past have helped me stick to good habits. I realized that I hadn't done my gratitude journal consistently. Nor had I been meditating as I used to. I outlined a few daily practices that I think will help me. Important: the notes below are guidelines, not rules. The only things I need to do to call my day a success are refrain from games and junk food. The bullet points below are what an ideal day looks like: Ideal Rituals: Each Morning before work: Write three things I'm grateful for and read Daily Stoic. Right after work: Cleanse my brain with a walk, gym session, or nap before doing anything else. Before Bed: Journal, then meditate a few minutes. Ideal Habits: Eat two meals per day and fast between meals. Go to Bed on time every night. Game only on weekends (after this challenge) Schedule time each day for Social Media and TV and only use them within those blocks. Masturbate only twice per week and use your imagination instead of porn. Again: What I've outlined above are my ideal habits. I will use them as just that: The Ideal, not the minimum Passing Grade. No Games and No Junk food is the passing grade. All the above is the Valedictorian Route. I've written these ideal habits down and put them up on my wall as a reminder. I did my morning ritual today and plan to go to the gym right after work today.
  2. Day 15: No Games: ✔️ No Junk Food: ✔️ Good day yesterday. Had a long call with an old friend in the morning. It felt good to reconnect with him and we decided to do it again in about a month. I'm glad I reached out. Growing up, I always felt like I was imposing by calling someone up just to talk or setting up a time to hang out without anything special planned. I'm learning to get past that mindset. Went to the gym, cooked some good food, and tried to clean out the P-Trap in my bathroom sink. I succeeded in cleaning it, but couldn't reattach the trap without the sink leaking. It looks like it's missing a part. Whoever attached it last time - I don't know how they got it to stop leaking because there is no bolt or rubber stopper to secure it to the sink. I put in a maintenance ticket with my landlord because although I'm comfortable with a regular p-trap, I don't know what's missing for this one. Week 2 Progress in my three areas of focus: Weight: Went up slightly. 176.2 last week to 176.8. Probably from those two nights where I ate nuts. This week I'll be back to Jiu-jitsu on Monday and Wednesday weeknights. This will make diet compliance easier since I certainly won't be bored at home on those evenings. Supplemental Income: Read a few more chapters of the Real Estate book. Dating: Scheduled dates for Tuesday and Saturday this week. Other Victories: Finished my Owl woodcarving and gave it to the Coffee Shop as a gift. Reconnected with two old friends on my own initiative.
  3. Day 14: No Games: ✔️ No Junk Food: ❌ Got back to Jiu-Jitsu yesterday morning. That felt good and was a great way to start off the weekend. Went home, had a steak lunch, then hung out with a friend at my local coffee shop. First half of the day was excellent. In the evening, I got bored and restless. Rather than taking a walk or meditating, I just browsed the internet attempting to distract myself. I felt very strongly tempted to play games and also very strongly tempted to eat junk. I made a compromise with myself and bought some mixed nuts with rasins to snack on. Still technically junk food under my self-defined rules. But not something that will affect my sleep or cause my weight to spike. I did not play any games, but it was close. If I'd had my controller available, I probably would have. So how do I deal with the next close call like that? My first thought is that I should take a walk to clear my mind when I get bored and restless. Maybe structure my time in the evenings more wisely. I can set aside 15-20 minutes for aimless internet browsing, but when that time is done, I need to go do something else. I'll try making a loose schedule for the evening tonight.
  4. Day 13: No Games: ✔️ No Junk Food: ✔️ Nothing unusual yesterday. I went to Jiu-Jitsu this morning. Should be a good weekend.
  5. Day 12: No Games: ✔️ No Junk Food: ✔️ I think I'm finally recovered from my cold! And hope so. It's been annoyingly persistent. I think taking yesterday off and getting a lot of sleep really helped. If no symptoms reappear, I'll go back to jiu-jitsu tomorrow morning and start setting up dates again. Other than the usual: My new nightstand arrived. I spent an hour assembling it and rearranging my bedroom. The whole room feels much nicer. Prior to this, I was using an old Vacuum Cleaner box as my nightstand 😄. Looks much more like an adult's bedroom now. I also finished up my latest woodcarving. It will be a gift for my local coffee shop. I go there almost every day and know the people there. The shop has an owl theme, as you might gather.
  6. Day 11: No Games: ✔️ No Junk Food: ✔️ Yesterday was normal. I took off work today so I could catch up on sleep and hopefully get over this persistent cold for good.
  7. Day 10: No Games: ✔️ No Junk Food: ✔️ Back to normal yesterday. Still slightly sick. It's a pain in the butt. I skipped the gym after work because I felt unusually tired. Took a walk, did some woodcarving, called a friend I hadn't talked to in a while. Following up on my weird mood from day 9: Part of making myself an attractive person is staying in contact with friends so that all of my need for connection doesn't fall onto the head of one person. Hence giving my friend a call. I plan to be proactive in maintaining relationships with my distant friends and setting up events with my local ones. If I do meet a great girl, she can't be my sole source of connection. I need to be able to call and hang out with other people. And I don't need to create those relationships from scratch. I'm blessed to have some good friends. I need to be proactive in keeping those relationships fresh and not expect them to always reach out first.
  8. Day 9: No Games: ✔️ No Junk Food: ❌ Yesterday was weird. I skipped Jiu-Jitsu in the evening because of the annoyingly persistent minor cold symptoms. Around 8:00, I felt a weird sense of despair and noticed that my mind was extremely self-critical. I really wanted to say "to hell with it" and play video games + eat junk food to get rid of the feelings. I didn't. I had some popcorn and pistachios - technically junk food under my personal list, but not too damaging to my diet. I didn't play any games and I went to bed on time. It was a very strange mood. I kept thinking that my time for romance in my life was over. That 32 is too old to find a really great girl and have a great relationship, let alone get married or have kids. Everything about my life seemed inadequate. Like "I should have a better apartment by now", a better job by now, a girlfriend by now, friends I see more often. In the light of day, I don't think all that is true. But it really felt true last night. I'll continue with the gaming fast because even though I don't think the above judgements are true, I am in a slight rut. I don't feel that I've made significant progress towards my goals in a while. I'm not very prone to depression, but I had a case of it back in College when I felt similarly "stuck". It was trying new things that got me past that. I'm not sure what the next step for me is, but I think cutting out games will leave my head more clear and better able to determine the next step.
  9. Day 8: No Games: ✔️ No Junk Food: ✔️ Normal day yesterday. Annoyingly, these very minor cold symptoms are still hanging on. I feel fine, but still have a minor runny nose and the occasional cough. It's just enough to make me worry about getting other people sick. And I really want to get back to Jiu-Jitsu on weekday evenings.
  10. Day 7: No Games: ✔️ No Junk Food: ✔️ One week complete! No games or junk food last night either. Around 9:00, I was tempted to buy some nuts or snack mix, but chose to just get some fruit instead. Week 1 Progress in my three areas of focus: Weight: Down from 177.2 lbs last week to 176.2 today. Supplemental Income: Read half of a book on Real Estate Investing. Dating: No action this week due to being sick. I felt fine yesterday and feel good today, so I'll get back into online dating this week and make an effort to have conversations with strangers when I'm outside. Other Victories: Ordered some new furniture for my apartment. Cleaned behind my stove and Refrigerator. Nothing too gross, but clearly it hadn't been cleaned in years.
  11. Day 6: No Games: ✔️ No Junk Food: ✔️ Friday was another normal day. Still reading. Still slightly sick so I don't want to be around people in-person.
  12. Day 5: No Games: ✔️ No Junk Food: ✔️ Still going strong. In the immortal words of Barret Wallace: AIN'T NO GETTIN OFF THIS TRAIN WE"RE ON Pleasant surprise this week: Though I've been eating plenty of fruit and not stinting on meals, I'm losing weight. In the past I've needed to cut fruit as well as junk food to lose weight, but it seems that my current activity level is high enough that I can lose weight while still eating fruit and enjoying filling meals of meat and vegetables. Hopefully this continues as I get closer to my ideal body fat level. No serious temptations yesterday. I expect Saturday and Sunday to be somewhat difficult. I'll see if I can plan something for those nights. Maybe invite some people over for a movie.
  13. I feel you on the mindless web-surfing. It's a problem for me as well, especially if I'm not particularly busy at work.
  14. Day 4: No Games: ✔️ No Junk Food: ✔️ The momentum continues! Worked a normal workday, then hit the gym, read, and did some Woodcarving. I'm almost finished with my current pieces. One is a pair of penguins that I'll give to my Dad on his Birthday. The other is an Owl for my local coffee shop that I visit almost every day. I'm especially pleased with the Owl. I think it's the best piece I've made since I picked up the hobby at the start of the year. Between 9:30 and 10:30, I found myself tempted to get junk food. I'm not sure why. Perhaps because I was bored, but not yet tired and ready to go to bed. Instead I meditated for 5 minutes and then watched two episodes of Community. That was enough to get me past it, then I began getting ready for bed.
  15. Day 3: No Games: ✔️ No Junk Food: ✔️ Slept well again last night! A shower right before bed seems to help. I read another chapter of my real estate book last night and worked on my woodcarving projects for about an hour. Also hit the gym and did some extra work for my job so I wouldn't be stressed today. I had a bit of a cough yesterday, so I won't go back to Jiu-Jitsu tonight. If I'm completely symptom-free by Friday, then I'll attend the Saturday morning class. Whatever I have, I don't want to spread it to my teammates.
  16. Day 2: No Games: ✔️ No Junk Food: ✔️ I finally got a solid night's sleep last night. Woke up once to pee, but other than that I slept the whole night through. I feel much better today. I didn't do much yesterday because I was tired. Got a little bit of reading done in the evening but mostly watched Community and farted around on the internet. No games though. I have much more energy today so I'll hit the gym after work and then aim to do a good bit of reading and woodcarving tonight.
  17. Day 1: No Games: ✔️ No Junk Food: ✔️ I brought the PS4 and my spare controller to my parent's yesterday. Now the 30-Day challenge begins in earnest! In the evening, I read an intro to real estate book for about an hour and did some woodcarving. I slept poorly again last night. Feeling slightly sick today, so I'll need to skip Jiu-Jitsu in the evening. Hopefully my sleep returns to normal soon. Everything is harder when I'm not well-rested.
  18. Today is Day 1 again. I relapsed big time yesterday. Played games, stayed up till 2AM, ate enough junk food to make my stomach hurt. Felt like crap when I went to bed. Clearly, I haven't been taking this seriously enough. To be honest, I came into this more concerned about the junk food than anything else. Abstaining from games was just a way to disrupt the habits that often lead to me eating junk. So I was a bit lackadaisical about avoiding games. Well, no more. I'm committing to this 30-day challenge. I'm going to drop my PS4 off at my parent's house today and it'll stay there until October 26th. I've uninstalled Steam from my computer, cleared my Youtube history to get rid of let's plays and other gaming content showing up in my recommended feed. I'm getting rid of my spare controller too, so the only option I'll have to play games is re-installing Steam and using mouse + keyboard. And I don't really like using mouse and keyboard. I was thinking last night that I don't have much to show for this year. I haven't tried anything new, gotten outside my comfort zone, or made progress losing weight. Part of that is my same old habits. There's nothing morally wrong with playing games, but gaming is a comfortable, easy habit that keeps me from making changes to my life. If I was totally happy with my life, than there would be no reason for me to stop gaming. It doesn't disrupt my work, nor do I choose it over social events when those are available. It doesn't destroy my life, it just keeps it from changing. It's a dream-delayer. Main areas where I want to make changes: Weight: I'm in better shape than most guys my age, but still carry more body fat than I'd like. Diet is what keeps me from progressing there. I do Jiu-Jitsu three times a week and lift regularly, so my exercise is fine. It's Diet and sleep that need to be on point. Hence the need to cut our junk food and to not stay up late gaming. Supplemental Income: I make good money from my job and it's stable, but I don't want to do it forever. I'd like to make money outside of my job. Hence the interest in Real Estate. I'm going to read a book or two on that over the course of this 30 days. Dating: I've been single since COVID hit and would like to meet someone. Now that businesses in my area are opening up again, it's a good time to get back into dating. My usual social events still aren't back, so I'll need to rely mostly on dating apps like Hinge. I'd also like to get more comfortable starting conversations with women I meet at coffee shops or elsewhere when I'm out in public. Not trying to "pick them up", but just starting a conversation and getting a number if it's going well. For today, I'll get rid of the PS4 and controllers so I don't have an easy way to game. Then start going through some of the exercises in the "Respawn" program.
  19. Day 9: No Games: ✔️ No Junk Food:✔️ Yesterday was good. Still sick, but not as bad as Tuesday night. I had a date scheduled for Thursday night, but cancelled it since I'm sick. Bummer, but it was just an online date. There will be plenty more opportunities after I recover. I spent the evening woodcarving and reading. Had the urge to play games in the last hour before bed, but decided to just watch two episodes of Community instead. I'm still sleeping poorly because of Restless Leg Flareups. I'm not sure what's causing it to be worse than usual lately. It seems to come and go randomly.
  20. Days 7 and 8: No Games: ❌✔️ No Junk Food: ❌✔️ I got sick this week (and still am sick). On Monday, I used that as an excuse to play some games. Yesterday, I did not. Even though I'm stuck inside for the moment, I still have things I can do besides gaming. I have books I'd like to read and a woodcarving project to finish. I also want o learn video editing. Gaming is just an easy go-to because it takes no mental energy and it's an entrenched habit. Tonight I won't play. I think I just have a basic cold, not COVID. I haven't been coughing, I just have a very runny nose and my eyes are watering as if there's too much pollen in the air. Hopefully I recover quickly.
  21. Day 7: No Games: ❌ No Junk Food: ❌ I messed up yesterday. Not too badly, but enough to break the streak. I was tired throughout the day and in the evening I didn't feel like doing anything productive. Didn't want to read, didn't want to woodcarve, didn't want to write. I probably should have gone for a walk, but I decided to play some games. I played Hades for about 4 hours. As for junk food: thankfully I didn't go overboard. I bought some low-calorie ice cream and ate a pint and a half. That's a lot of ice cream, but it was only about 500 calories total since it was low-cal. I also went to bed on time, so the relapse didn't do too much damage. Back to normal today. I threw out the rest of the ice cream so it is not in my freezer. I have work throughout the day and plans for the evening, so I likely won't be tempted today. The difficult times are nights when I have lots of free time and nothing planned. I'll need to have some sort of plan for those nights. And sort out my sleep so that I'm not tired and my willpower isn't low. I was tired on Sunday because my restless leg syndrome flared up the night before. Might need to switch up my medication or my diet or something so that doesn't happen as often.
  22. Days 5 and 6: No Games: ✔️✔️ No Junk Food: ✔️✔️ Friday and today were both fairly easy.
  23. Day 4: No Games: ✔️ No Junk Food:✔️ Another solid day. I was productive at work, then went to jiu-jitsu from 6-8, then ate dinner while watching an episode of The Boys on Amazon. Good stuff. Also ordered some nice furniture for my apartment. I want to research what it takes to buy a duplex. I have a lot of savings and it would be nice to have a permanent place to make my own. And I like the idea of renting out half the duplex to get some rental income. It's still just the germ of an idea. I'll need to do some reading and cost/benefit analysis before I actually buy anything.
  24. Hey Man, I think getting out of your parents house (when you can) will be a great way to help you overcome old habits and build new ones. Changing your environment can be a great way to break from the past and establish a new way of being. I hope you keep posting about your writing progress.
  25. Day 3: No Games: ✔️ No Junk Food:✔️ I haven't been sleeping well this week and was tired yesterday, so I didn't go to Jiu-Jitsu after work. That left me with a few spare hours. I spent them looking for new furniture for my apartment. I've changed apartments frequently and never stayed in one place for more than a year since moving out from my parent's house, so I never invested in good furniture and always purchased cheap temporary items. But I know that my environment affects the way that I feel. Having a few nice pieces would make my apartment feel more like "My Place" rather than just a place I'm staying for now. No temptation to play games. Some temptation to eat sweets. I just had some fruit and that was enough.