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seriousjay

Jay's Epic Journey

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Day 26.

First rough day. I crashed pretty hard at work. Felt physically weak and exhausted, which ended up turning into mental fatigue after the physical symptoms disappeared. Didn't have much choice but to ride it out and started feeling temptations a little stronger than previously. Probably due to the perceived fatigue. Around 3:30 I started feeling back to pretty much normal. I've had this happen before but never really paid as much attention to it as I did today. Very strange how it all unfolded honestly. I'm chalking this up to just normal back-to-work exhaustion, especially considering how much I've ramped up my physical activity over the past few weeks. If it persists after next week, will need to re-examine things to find the cause.

Not really a whole lot else to add. My dad and his kids came back from Ukraine and as I expected, it isn't annoying to me like it was last time they were here. I'm actually enjoying having them around. Looking forward to more of that.

I think on Sunday I will go back to the Gate of India. It isn't quite 1 month but close enough!

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Day 27.

So today I made the conscious decision that when we go to the restaurant we planned to go to, that I would allow myself to break my calorie budget for tonight. I went over my budget by about 1100 calories and the food went down well enough, but I felt like crap shortly after. Could barely move. I have no idea how this didn't bother me before. I had even planned for this by eating relatively light for most of the day. I definitely won't be doing this again.

I think it's getting close to the time where I would like to set a few concrete goals for myself to work towards. I don't think I'm spinning my wheels at the moment. It's not even that I feel particularly directionless. The things I've been doing HAVE been towards a specific purpose. I think just the act of setting the goals and creating a plan to achieve them should help me focus my efforts a little bit better. Maybe open my eyes to something that I may not have realized yet.

I think it might also be time to re-evaluate the things I've been wanting to do and getting rid of the baggage. For example, I haven't gone searching for a geocache in a while. It's been on my mind, but I've never felt particularly motivated to go out and do it. I might just be giving up too soon, and I'll probably set some time aside on Sunday to search for another one. I'm just not really feeling it right now.

Lastly, any thoughts that this might be a "fake" attempt to change my lifestyle yet again are pretty much completely gone. It really does feel like I'll be successful this time.

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Day 28!

I've been reading my journal on and off for the last couple of weeks (finished page 6 just now). I find it fascinating how I am now able to recognize that certain feelings I had before had more to do with what video games have done to my mind rather than something from real life. Just as an example, this passage:

Quote

OK.. post for the day. So last night I ended up working until 4 AM and spent most of today just recovering from that. I'm actually more than a little annoyed at how little people seem to appreciate the lengths that I go to to help. This may in fact be more a problem with me than with the outside world. The other thing that annoyed me was that my cousin asked me to come in later again today after working 20 hours yesterday.

I was always looking to do something dramatic in the past and then expecting to receive great praise for it. I mean, part of that was definitely a need for validation, but I think another significant part of it was that video games operate the same way. You get dramatic things happening on a regular basis. I think I've done a very good job to this point of lowering the bar for what to expect on a day-to-day basis.

I'll probably post more later today as I wanted to figure out some concrete goals to work towards and post them here. I just wanted to get this particular observation down for now.

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OK so some notes about my current goals:

Short term goals:
- determine at least 1 solo activity I can do in my spare time that isn't on the computer.. something that is more than just a time waster
- get to 180 lbs

Medium term goals:
- get married by 35

Long term goals:
- figure out what to do with my life professionally

Some weekly things I want to do:
- one hike a week
- cook one meal a week
- read one chapter of Becoming a Supple Leopard
- read one chapter of a personal development book

On the fence stuff:
- reading a novel (could be the solo activity)
- geocaching
- spend time writing

How I am going to try to accomplish these things:

Solo activity: Just going to boil down to trying new things. Geocaching doesn't seem to be working out for me. I've gone out 4 times now and it hasn't felt that interesting at any point really. I'm going to try to do it a couple more times but this one seems like a dud. I might need to look over the hobby ideas guide from GQ again to try to come up with more ideas for this.

Get to 180 lbs: This one is very easy to turn into a SMART goal. In general, you're looking to lose about 1 pound a week. I'm currently about 215, which means 35 weeks to achieve this, or about 9 months. I am very well on my way to achieving this, as I am going to the gym 4 times a week and have cleaned up my eating habits considerably. Furthermore, the 1 hike per week is contributing as well. I don't think it will take me 9 months to complete this, which is exciting!

Married by 35: This is mostly spelled out for me. I either need to try online dating or continue with my social activities every week. It's a little slow going so far but I imagine it'll ramp up as I continue to make more friends. I probably will try online dating again at some point though. I'm not really sure when. It'll probably coincide with how my weight loss goes. I want to slim down a little bit more before I engage in this.. preferably want to hit a waistline of about 38 or 40 first. It isn't out of shame, but I want to actually look the part of someone who is taking health and fitness as seriously as I say I am. Anyways, I figure to be married by 35, I need to enter into a very serious relationship by next summer or so.

Professional life: This one is a bit tough for me. I'm not even really sure how to go about this. The only real idea I've had to this point is becoming an author. I figure I might discover something to be passionate about as I continue my social and outdoor activities as well. I just don't have much of a plan for this right now. I suppose I could start by setting aside some time every week to try my hand at writing for now and see where that goes.

Weekly stuff: This is just a matter of scheduling time at some point in the week to do those things. My week would probably look something like this:

Mondays: 1 hour gym
Tuesdays: 2.5 hours volleyball
Wednesdays: 2-3 hours hike
Thursdays: 1 hour gym
Fridays: 1 hour gym, read Supple Leopard
Saturdays: cook a meal, writing
Sundays: 1 hour gym, reading personal development book, 1-2 hours geocaching

There will be some social activities thrown in there that will throw this off a bit but this would be the general plan.

Well that's about what I've got for goal setting for now. I'd welcome any input on anything I've put down here.

EDIT: I think it would help to define what my professional life would look like. Or at least, what my professional life should enable: Essentially, I would like to be wanting for nothing, be able to spend sufficient time with family and friends, not worry about how much things cost. This doesn't necessarily mean having the biggest house, the most expensive car, or anything like that, but a comfortable life where my family can focus on being together and constantly improving ourselves instead of worrying how to pay the bills.

Edited by seriousjay

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Day 34.

Figured I'd post since I haven't in a while. Other than a potentially disastrous situation that I was able to help avoid at work, nothing too crazy went on this past week. Going to Niagara Falls today with a friend. Tomorrow going for my favourite hike ever. Things are good.

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Day 35.

Today was a little annoying because when I tried to explain to my dad that I have certain standards when it comes to the type of person I want to enter into a romantic relationship with, he immediately felt I was thinking far too narrowly. He seems to believe that by age 30, all the women worth having are already taken, that maybe 10% of women in this age range are available, and the only reason they are available is because nobody wanted them. He seems to believe that I need to lower my standards.

Obviously I don't believe any of that, but it's just annoying that I can't seem to get unconditional support from my immediate family members. There's not a whole lot I can do to change that either. So I guess when it comes to this, I won't be getting much help from them, at least not in the way that I want. Oh well.

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17 hours ago, Deku said:

Sounds like your dad is the one thinking too narrowly.

Yeah I think so too. I think he's both stuck in old-fashioned thinking, as well as jaded by his own experiences in marriage. He's had two marriages that he hasn't been overly happy with. His "motto" is "being married is bad, but being alone is even worse". I just can't agree with that line of thinking at all.

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Day 37.

Tried to take some pictures today for the purposes of an online dating profile and it just struck me that I don't like the way I look at all. Maybe it's just residual feelings of self-negativity or whatever, I dunno. Hopefully as I get more in shape, this will change, but I'm not feeling too great right now.

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Day 38.

Well I seem to be over whatever happened yesterday. I realized that I have two choices with respect to my appearance: either wallow in misery over it or make the best of what I have. I chose the latter.

I also bought a flute last night on Amazon! It's supposed to come in next Wednesday. Looking forward to that!

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Day 43.. I think. I'm so bad at day math.. lol.

I finally got around to making my dating profile the other day and for some reason it was so stressful lol. But it's done so we'll see what happens.

Things are still going just great I would say. Today was a tough day near the end of work because my back was hurting so much but I think I'm alright now. I need to start coming up with more interesting lunches. Sandwiches are starting to get boring and I'd like to move away from processed foods anyway.

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Day 44.

This has been a tough couple days so far. The fact that I'm still trying to figure out who I am, what I like, etc. and all these people on online dating sites pretty much all seem to already know where they're at is a little discouraging and starting to affect my mood. I've tried to talk myself through it a couple of times already but I'm still not feeling great about it.

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Day 46.

The Willpower Instinct is a great book. A lot of what it talks about specifically applies to why I was struggling so much to change myself in my previous attempts. When I was reading certain passages, I honestly felt like the book was just describing me. I highly recommend it to anyone who can't seem to figure out why they can't get going.

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I wouldn't compare yourself to others on a dating website. Every single one of them is putting their best foot forward, and likely exaggerating to boot. Statistically it doesn't make logical sense that all these unmatched people near or over 30 would also be such appealing/perfect candidates for a relationship. You should expect to see more people like you and me who have had some obstacle in the road until now. So if their obstacle for waiting this long isn't in their lifestyle/career/looks, then it might be something like a difficult personality. Just be glad that whatever has led you to being single is something that you can tangibly work on and solve.

As for looks, have you considered spending one of your hours of free time, maybe on one of your walks, looking at mens fashion magazines? Sometimes it feels good to buy a trendy good-looking outfit. Even just 1 reliable outfit can give you confidence when you go out for those butterfly-stomach social settings. You'll go in knowing that no matter all else, at least you dress well. Dressing well is often appreciated no matter how you look beneath the clothes. I think you can get away with a looot of physical shortcomings by being cleaned up and well dressed, the same way girls do with their clothes and make up!

I should clarify: you can be subtly well dressed. I'm not saying to be vain and obsessive about clothes to the point they define you,  your confidence and personal value around others. That's not what I'm trying to advocate! More of a complementary goal to your working out.

Speaking of which, I can understand if you want to wait on shopping for more progress on weight loss, but that doesn't mean you can't plan! You might surprise yourself; that good feeling you get from time investment on improving yourself can also extend to clothes, sort of a reinforcing of your other positive self-care habits (after all, you're spending your attention and time on how to look your best—one thing that's in common with the gym or eating healthy). Plus, having even just 1 outfit on hand is still good for some date in the future, so you don't kick yourself the day before wondering what to wear for this girl you might want to marry. Not to mention, it takes practice to figure out what you want. I've bought things I never ended up wearing and learned my lesson to not try that again! By no means am I a fashion king, but I went from having baggy, "whatever-I-found-in-the-closet" clothes to fitted shirts and slacks that reflected a commitment to my personal care at the time. It only takes scoring one complement to make the entire outfit feel worthwhile. I feel it helped me.

For your long-term goal: Would going back to school be an option? If you are very motivated (or very bored/desperate to occupy free time), you can look at interesting job possibilities that require less schooling. Things like nursing are quite possible later in life, which pays really well, only takes a couple years of schooling, and has long weekends (work week is concentrated to 3-4 days). My uncle lived off his mom until he was 45 gaming from Ultima Online, WoW, and up through Guild Wars 2,  when his mid-life crisis finally struck (slightly delayed but it still came). He became a nurse + got married by 48. Since you are much younger, you will have many more opportunities. For example, I'm fairly certain most types of engineers only need 3-4 years of schooling and are often sufficient with a bachelor's if I'm not mistaken. There are many types of engineers; maybe one might interest you!

At any rate, going back to school to facilitate a lifestyle change you're interested in is only a secondary bonus of going back to school. Most importantly of all, school is a fantastic excuse to consume free time reading, on material that's building your brain as well as your future! Reading to study will have a sense of purpose, and the reward when you pass exams is extremely gratifying and can develop into a positive loop that motivates you to study more for the next exam, effectively restructuring your habits around productive and personally rewarding goals.

Of course, school is a big commitment. You have a job and have become used to its income. It will depend on your financial savings as well. But even if it's ambitiously difficult to achieve (maybe even seems impossible!), that doesn't mean it's not worthwhile to spend time on. Right now occupying our free time even remotely productively is an improvement over the past. Just having a healthy goal to work towards can be meaningful in and of itself regardless if you reach the finish line. Certainly it's a better alternative than the road that we've walked most our lives until now. So be ambitious. You can always change your mind later. Worst case you lose time on something healthy that also gave you purpose and distraction.

But in order for it to have meaning, I think you have to plan to achieve it. Just if you get afraid of trying or overstressed, then you can remember it's okay to slow down or change gears altogether for something else.

Anyways just spitballing here! Keep going strong! Sounds like you're doing really well.

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2 hours ago, blaisem said:

I wouldn't compare yourself to others on a dating website. Every single one of them is putting their best foot forward, and likely exaggerating to boot. Statistically it doesn't make logical sense that all these unmatched people near or over 30 would also be such appealing/perfect candidates for a relationship. You should expect to see more people like you and me who have had some obstacle in the road until now. So if their obstacle for waiting this long isn't in their lifestyle/career/looks, then it might be something like a difficult personality. Just be glad that whatever has led you to being single is something that you can tangibly work on and solve.

As for looks, have you considered spending one of your hours of free time, maybe on one of your walks, looking at mens fashion magazines? Sometimes it feels good to buy a trendy good-looking outfit. Even just 1 reliable outfit can give you confidence when you go out for those butterfly-stomach social settings. You'll go in knowing that no matter all else, at least you dress well. Dressing well is often appreciated no matter how you look beneath the clothes. I think you can get away with a looot of physical shortcomings by being cleaned up and well dressed, the same way girls do with their clothes and make up!

I should clarify: you can be subtly well dressed. I'm not saying to be vain and obsessive about clothes to the point they define you,  your confidence and personal value around others. That's not what I'm trying to advocate! More of a complementary goal to your working out.

Speaking of which, I can understand if you want to wait on shopping for more progress on weight loss, but that doesn't mean you can't plan! You might surprise yourself; that good feeling you get from time investment on improving yourself can also extend to clothes, sort of a reinforcing of your other positive self-care habits (after all, you're spending your attention and time on how to look your best—one thing that's in common with the gym or eating healthy). Plus, having even just 1 outfit on hand is still good for some date in the future, so you don't kick yourself the day before wondering what to wear for this girl you might want to marry. Not to mention, it takes practice to figure out what you want. I've bought things I never ended up wearing and learned my lesson to not try that again! By no means am I a fashion king, but I went from having baggy, "whatever-I-found-in-the-closet" clothes to fitted shirts and slacks that reflected a commitment to my personal care at the time. It only takes scoring one complement to make the entire outfit feel worthwhile. I feel it helped me.

For your long-term goal: Would going back to school be an option? If you are very motivated (or very bored/desperate to occupy free time), you can look at interesting job possibilities that require less schooling. Things like nursing are quite possible later in life, which pays really well, only takes a couple years of schooling, and has long weekends (work week is concentrated to 3-4 days). My uncle lived off his mom until he was 45 gaming from Ultima Online, WoW, and up through Guild Wars 2,  when his mid-life crisis finally struck (slightly delayed but it still came). He became a nurse + got married by 48. Since you are much younger, you will have many more opportunities. For example, I'm fairly certain most types of engineers only need 3-4 years of schooling and are often sufficient with a bachelor's if I'm not mistaken. There are many types of engineers; maybe one might interest you!

At any rate, going back to school to facilitate a lifestyle change you're interested in is only a secondary bonus of going back to school. Most importantly of all, school is a fantastic excuse to consume free time reading, on material that's building your brain as well as your future! Reading to study will have a sense of purpose, and the reward when you pass exams is extremely gratifying and can develop into a positive loop that motivates you to study more for the next exam, effectively restructuring your habits around productive and personally rewarding goals.

Of course, school is a big commitment. You have a job and have become used to its income. It will depend on your financial savings as well. But even if it's ambitiously difficult to achieve (maybe even seems impossible!), that doesn't mean it's not worthwhile to spend time on. Right now occupying our free time even remotely productively is an improvement over the past. Just having a healthy goal to work towards can be meaningful in and of itself regardless if you reach the finish line. Certainly it's a better alternative than the road that we've walked most our lives until now. So be ambitious. You can always change your mind later. Worst case you lose time on something healthy that also gave you purpose and distraction.

But in order for it to have meaning, I think you have to plan to achieve it. Just if you get afraid of trying or overstressed, then you can remember it's okay to slow down or change gears altogether for something else.

Anyways just spitballing here! Keep going strong! Sounds like you're doing really well.

I actually already have a first date outfit. That's one of the first things I took care of, to prevent precisely what you described about having to figure it out the day before! Haha. I definitely see dressing well as a matter of self respect. If I love myself and care about myself, why wouldn't I also look the part? Still working on what good fashion is actually all about though.. haha!

Yeah at this point I know I have to be patient with the online dating. I'm in this for the long haul and that definitely means it's going to take time to find the right person. The biggest thing I can improve right now are my pictures, so that'll be the next step.

I actually am not having problems at all occupying my free time. On the contrary, I find that I'm already struggling to find room for everything! Between going to the gym 4 times a week, doing my extra exercising stuff at home, hiking at least twice a week, volleyball on Tuesdays, + extra events and taking care of my house, my schedule feels pretty packed! That being said, going back to school is absolutely an option if I find something I'd like to make a career out of that requires schooling. It's not really on the horizon though. It's a great thought though, thanks!

And yeah man, things are going really good. I still have some kind of meh days, but those don't really bother me as much as they used to. I'm sure I'm going to run into even more challenges as I continue on, but so far it's been great and I look forward to what lies ahead!

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3 hours ago, Cam Adair said:

Hiking by yourself is awesome for sure. That fresh air ?

 

Not to mention being able to go at your own pace, be with your own thoughts, etc.

It was refreshing for sure.

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Day 51.

Everything was good up until I did my flute practice today. It didn't go so well and I guess I'm still beating myself up too much over things like that. I'm still kinda feeling bad. Hopefully tomorrow is better. I am going indoor rock climbing!

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Day 52.

So I did indoor rock climbing today. I definitely enjoyed the social aspect of it more than the climbing itself, but I'll definitely have to go out a few more times before I really make a determination about that. Regardless, it was very nice!

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