Day 918

Day 918 Record Keeping
Day 890 Fixed Meditation (30 min)
Day 764 Writing (draft 1200 words)
Day 304 Rowing (HIIT, 18.5 min, 30s:30s, 3300 m)
Day 45 Mobility/Stretching 79 (Couch stretch)
Day 142 Pantry Check
Day 140 Food Recording

Early to Rise
Day 73 Bacon & Water
Day 73 Sleep Recording (1|2/3:30|1:10|1:40)
Day 46 Bedtime Curfew 81 

Good sleep, good wakeup. Attempted to stay up late (cause I haven’t been sleeping well anyway) but didn’t. Instead watched stuff till really late, then fell asleep. Had good sleep.

END OF NO DRINK CHALLENGE!!!!! More on this later

Day 917

Day 917 Record Keeping
Day 889 Fixed Meditation (30 min)
Day 763 Writing (2/30, 1000 words, see note below)
Day 303 Rowing (30 min/ 4200 m )
Day 44 Mobility/Stretching 80 (Couch stretch)
Day 141 Pantry Check
Day 139 Food Recording

Early to Rise
Day 72 Bacon & Water
Day 72 Sleep Recording (1|2/3:30|1:10|1:40)
Day 45 Bedtime Curfew 80 

Incredibly horrible sleep, good wakeup. My curfew got automatic and is in the 80s now. This doesn’t really make sense because everytime I move the curfew up the less natural it becomes. I need another way of doing skill pushes for things like this.

I also need another way to do my writing. Writing for 30 minutes at a time in rounds may be great for certain things. But if I’m just doing scamping stream of consciousness writing without an internal editor, it’s better to attach success to words rather than time. One is about extending…and knowing me that means I have a tendency to fidget to take up time…the other is about hitting a real mark as efficiently as possible. 

Ideally I’d like to do this stream/scamping writing one day, then edit the next. I’m setting a thousand words for the scamping…we’ll see how that goes. For editing it might be on a section by section basis. The idea is to completely separate the two - we’ll see how this goes.

Sleep….jesus, I need to do something about this, because it leaves me totally wrecked during the day. I thought not drinking would give me better sleep…instead I’ve had pretty bad sleep - don’t know if the one has anything to do with the other.

Speaking of - this is day 30 of my No Alcohol Challenge!

Day 915

Day 915 Record Keeping
Weekend Habits
Day 139 Pantry Check
Day 137 Food Recording (initially forgot to do again)
Day 7  Sunday Meal Prep 70

Early to Rise
Day 70 Bacon & Water
Day 70 Sleep Recording (1|3|11:30|12:30)
Day 43 Bedtime Curfew 80

Good sleep, good wakeup. Sleep curfew is super automatic. Will move it up to 12:40 pm. Forgot to do my food recording AGAIN, which is very strange, as it has been so automatic. Yesterday night I was in a particularly bad mood, so that might account for it. 

Day 28, No Alcohol Challenge. Felt a particular combination of stuck, bored, and overwhelmed last night, so really craved a drink. It’s fascinating, I don’t really crave alcohol’s ability to lighten the mood. I mean, I crave that too, but it’s more a combination of both things -the ritual of going out and having something to do to distract and alleviate boredom….AND a substance that tastes good and makes me feel jovial. And it’s more the former than the latter.

It’s funny how over the years the easy way out - going to get a drink or indulging in a food I like - has come to put me in my “happy place” more than other activities. One outdoorsy person I know goes on hikes in the wilderness. Others mountain climbing. I used to be like that too with biking. And I want that again.

And furthermore, with meditation, I want to not need to have a happy place - I want to be able to carry that with me at all times. I feel all the tools are here, I just need to fit them together and see what really works.

Day 914

Day 914 Record Keeping
Weekend Habits
Day 138 Pantry Check
Day 136 Food Recording (FORGOT TO DO)

Early to Rise
Day 69 Bacon & Water
Day 69 Sleep Recording (1|¾:15|11:30|12:30)
Day 42 Bedtime Curfew 80 

Ok sleep, good wakeup. Forgot to do my food recording last night, rectified that now. Bedtime curfew is getting to be completely automatic. Feels like I’m just spitting in the wind considering that I still get up late, but I think it will pay off eventually. I’ve started opting out of the bacon part of my “bacon and water” habit. I think intermittent fasting might have some benefits in terms of fat loss, and since my eating schedule essentially has me doing that besides the bacon, I might give it a try. Will do a separate post on that.

Day 27, No Alcohol Challenge. Last night went out with friends, people ordered drinks around me, I got tea and a water.

Day 913

Day 913 Record Keeping
Day 885 Fixed Meditation (30 min)
Day 759 Writing (2/30 - HARD)
Day 299 Rowing (HIIT, 17 min, 30s:60s, 3300 m)
Day 40 Mobility/Stretching 79 (Couch stretch)
Day 137 Pantry Check
Day 135 Food Recording

Early to Rise
Day 68 Bacon & Water
Day 68 Sleep Recording (1|1:30/2:50|11:50|12:30)
Day 41 Bedtime Curfew 78 

Great sleep, good wakeup.  Excellent progress in HIIT, went up 200 m today.

Day 26, No Alcohol Challenge.

Day 912

Day 912 Record Keeping
Day 884 Fixed Meditation (20 min)
Day 758 Writing (4/30 - REALLY HARD)
Day 298 Rowing (20 min/3200 m)
Day 39 Mobility/Stretching 78 (Couch stretch)
Day 136 Pantry Check
Day 134 Food Recording

Early to Rise
Day 67 Bacon & Water
Day 67 Sleep Recording (1|1:40|11:30|12)
Day 40 Bedtime Curfew 75 

AMAZING sleep, good wakeup. Hard writing interrupted by a long phone call. Lowered dailies for everything else. Going to bed has been particularly automatic lately. Might be time to switch times again. 

Day 25, No Alcohol Challenge. Met friends yesterday. Went to all of my kryptonite places - Mexican, where everyone was drinking margaritas around me. A brewery, where everyone was drinking amazing beers. And my favorite cocktail place where everyone was drinking. Lydia was drinking too, and she at one point accidentally wanted me to taste one of her drinks. Several places did no have non alcoholic beers so I had to inquire after other drinks - had a sparkling water, a lemonade, and a ginger beer with no alcohol.  Passed it all with flying colors!

Day 911

Day 911 Record Keeping
Day 883 Fixed Meditation (30 min)
Day 757 Writing (2/30 - hard)
Day 297 Rowing (12:50|1:50/5|11:30|12:20)
Day 38 Mobility/Stretching 78 (Couch stretch)
Day 135 Pantry Check
Day 133 Food Recording

Early to Rise
Day 66 Bacon & Water
Day 66 Sleep Recording (12:50|1:50/5|11:30|12:20)
Day 39 Bedtime Curfew 72 

Horrible sleep, good wakeup.  I really need to look into books on how to get to sleep - was only able to get to bed at 5 am.

Day 24, No Alcohol Challenge. Have friends in town, meeting them tonight. Don’t particularly feel the urge to drink.

Day 910

Day 910 Record Keeping
Day 882 Fixed Meditation (30 min)
Day 756 Writing (2/30 - hard)
Day 296 Rowing (30 min/ 4400 m)
Day 37 Mobility/Stretching 78 (Couch stretch)
Day 134 Pantry Check
Day 132 Food Recording

Early to Rise
Day 65 Bacon & Water
Day 65 Sleep Recording (1|2:30/3:30|12|1)
Day 38 Bedtime Curfew 75 

Good sleep, good wakeup.  

Day 23, No Alcohol Challenge

Yesterday went out, had a virgin margarita, which actually really good. Hit all the sour salty notes that I wanted.

Day 909 & 21 Day No Alcohol Challenge Complete (Or Is It?)

Day 909 Record Keeping
Day 881 Fixed Meditation (30 min)
Day 755 Writing (2/30 - hard)
Day 295 Rowing (HIIT, 17 min, 30s:60s, 3100 m)
Day 36 Mobility/Stretching 79 (Couch stretch)
Day 133 Pantry Check
Day 131 Food Recording

Early to Rise
Day 64 Bacon & Water
Day 64 Sleep Recording (1|1:20/2:50|12|12:40)
Day 37 Bedtime Curfew 71 

Fantastic sleep, good wakeup.  

21 Day No Alcohol Challenge Complete
The Challenge I began early this month (21 Day No Alcohol Challenge) is complete. I didn’t drink a sip of alcohol. 

There were some really interesting things I learned. 
1) I can have just as much of a good time drinking water or tea or nonalcoholic beverages - even late into the night.
2) It’s not really that hard here. Most places offer sparkling water, or tea, or mocktails and nonalcoholic beer. It’s pretty easy.
3) I can concentrate more on the conversation.
4) Conversation is the high, not alcohol. I gain an immense amount of pleasure just with conversation and camaraderie alone. And matting the two together isn’t necessarily a good thing.
5) I get an odd, perverse sense of accomplishment and pleasure from not drinking. I believe Nietzsche talks about this in one of his books where he talks about asceticism. He doesn’t like it and rails against it. I’ll have to look it up.
6) I lost weight. I’ve been in a long plateau with losing weight even after doing HIITs. 
7) I’ve definitely spent a lot less money
8) My other former vices have definitely been itched, but it’s not as bad as I thought it was. 
9) I didn’t get better sleep, which I was hoping for - my sleep actually got noticeably worse. I don’t know if that’s some sort’ve withdrawal or due to something else. 
10) I binge eat much less - my nights have much more of a sense of control.

I read this interesting article today about women and alcohol:

I think it’s fascinating in how we let ourselves view alcohol as a treat, as a reward, as a well deserved break for everything. In a weird way, it saturates every other form of pleasure - watch a movie? Why not indulge in a drink too? Talking with friends? Do it with a drink. Bored and want to go for a walk? Why not stop in for a drink.

There’s something really disturbing about that. I think we do this for other things like food as well. But in bleeding into other activities, I feel we dull or desensitize ourself to those other pure pleasures. Completely outside of the benefits of not drinking to this project, it’s not how I want to live life.

I don’t know if I’ll go completely sober. But I do know I want to experiment with it more. So I will be continuing the challenge for a full 30 days and see how I feel then.  Today is Day 22.

Day 907

Day 907 Record Keeping
Weekend Habits
Day 131 Pantry Check
Day 129 Food Recording

Early to Rise
Day 62 Bacon & Water
Day 62 Sleep Recording (1|2/3|12:30|1:20)
Day 35 Bedtime Curfew 70 

Good sleep, good wakeup. Yesterday was completely interrupted by VISA paperwork - as usual it was quite stressful, but my reward for dealing with it did not involve breaking my No Alcohol Challenge, which I feel is a real danger zone with any negative habit or indulgence. When stress comes knocking, one naturally defaults. Instead I got Mexican and water.


I definitely feel that treats in the form of food are also not a good thing - but one thing at a time! That night I also decided to try making my own virgin mojito…sparkling water, watermelon, and mint. It didn’t quite work out to my tastes, though it was good. May have to modify it next time, but it was a good change of pace.


Today is day 20 of my No Alcohol Challenge. Per my initial formation, it should end tomorrow. But I’m not certain if I’ll do that. I’m thinking about just extending it to a full 30.

Lydia and I discussed how we would continue it on. She brought up the notion of either doing another one month on and one month off, where our “on” weeks it’s acceptable to drink once a week. I really don’t know what’s best, but I strongly feel that folding in challenges into a larger program is key. There are too many people who take a challenge, complete it, and then go back to exactly how they were and don’t push their base behavior line. I don’t want that to happen to me.

Day 905

Day 905 Record Keeping
Day 877 Fixed Meditation (20 min - time restraint)
Day 751 Writing (3/30 - hard)
Day 291 Rowing (HIIT, 17 min, 30s:60s, 3000 m)
Day 32 Mobility/Stretching 77 (Couch stretch)
Day 129 Pantry Check
Day 127 Food Recording

Early to Rise
Day 60 Bacon & Water
Day 60 Sleep Recording (1|4|11:50|1)
Day 33 Bedtime Curfew 68 

ABYSMAL sleep, good wakeup. 

Day 18, No Alcohol Challenge. Met a friend at 2 bars and a restaurant. Ordered two sparkling waters and one tea. 

Day 904

Day 904 Record Keeping
Day 876 Fixed Meditation (DID NOT DO)
Day 750 Writing (DID NOT DO)
Day 290 Rowing (DID NOT DO)
Day 31 Mobility/Stretching 75 (DID NOT DO)
Day 128 Pantry Check
Day 126 Food Recording

Early to Rise
Day 59 Bacon & Water
Day 59 Sleep Recording (1|2:30/5|12:40|1:10)
Day 32 Bedtime Curfew 70 

ABYSMAL sleep, bad wakeup. Incredibly sore from the couch stretch and hamstring smash - that with my HIIT on Monday left me incredibly sore, and I had a lot of problems falling asleep because of it. Totally drained and sore the this morning, I was totally drained, failed to discharge any of my major habits.

What’s interesting is how automatic all my other “Identity Habits” are - did all my small tasks automatically. Worth thinking about.

Lydia had a thought of maybe splitting up tasks or doing them at even lower levels. My thought was maybe switching to microcycling something like writing, which is the really hard task for me to do when I’m depleted. I do need some sort of widget that sweeps in and gives me a protocol to follow when I have a lingering failure to start. Because often the additional tasks aren’t so difficult - working out or meditating - there’s just no cut-off point when I can’t force myself to work on writing.

Day 17, No Alcohol Challenge. Yesterday I had water at a hookah lounge - interesting how predictable other vices become as a matter of course. Very interesting seeing that connection.

Today I met a friend, moved quite a bit and caught up with her in 4 locations - 3 bars and one restaurant. I had non alcoholic beers three times and a water at the restaurant. 

I really didn’t miss alcohol at all. It wasn’t awkward at all as she went through drinks. I do need to stop with the go-to of non alcoholic beer - I think it’s needless calories, but I feel it’s better than the excessively sugar alternatives. I might try juice or tea.

Day 902

Day 902 Record Keeping
Day 874 Fixed Meditation (30 min)
Day 748 Writing (3/30)
Day 288 Rowing (HIIT, 17 min, 30s:60s, 3000 m)
Day 29 Mobility/Stretching 72 (banded distraction hip capsule ext)
Day 126 Pantry Check
Day 124 Food Recording

Early to Rise
Day 57 Bacon & Water
Day 57 Sleep Recording (1|1:50|11:30|12:50)
Day 29 Bedtime Curfew 65 

Ok sleep, good wakeup. I think my hip is starting to slowly get better. Day 15, No Alcohol Challenge

Day 901

Day 901 Record Keeping
Weekend Habits
Day 125 Pantry Check
Day 123 Food Recording
Day 5 Meal Prep Sunday 59

Early to Rise
Day 56 Bacon & Water
Day 56 Sleep Recording (1|2/3|12|12:15)
Day 28 Bedtime Curfew 63

Ok sleep, good wakeup. Meal Prep Sunday was really good - had the option of not doing it (had extra food that I’ll eat in the beginning of the week), felt lazy about doing it, but felt a strong pull to do it anyway. Sleep is getting better - I’ve addd the slash (2/3) to designate not being able to sleep, reading or using my phone more, and then going to sleep again. I’ve been doing mobility exercises during the weekend these days because I need to - still have a bit of an impingement in my left hip socket and soreness on my back. Kelly Starrett suggests doing mobility exercises every day, no excuses. I really do believe that this and meditation should be practiced in some form or fashion every day - they’re just too critical when it comes to life.

Day 14, No Alcohol Challenge.

I’m loving how meeting people is largely no problem. That was original a part of the challenge, but I’m actually now seeing this separation between socializing and drinking as becoming the most important part of this challenge.

I have no problem with drinking. I very much dislike this fusion of two separate elements of my life together, and I believe that advancing in social skills will necessitate further separation of this. It will be interesting how and if I incorporate alcohol again after this challenge is complete. But….one step at a time.

Here’s a pic of me last night. Vichy is the brand of water all the old men here drink. It’s salty.

Day 900

Day 900 Record Keeping
Weekend Habits
Day 124 Pantry Check
Day 122 Food Recording

Early to Rise
Day 55 Bacon & Water
Day 55 Sleep Recording (1|4:20|12|12:40)
Day 27 Bedtime Curfew 62

Horrible horrible sleep, meh wakeup. Bedtime curfew is not developing as fast as it should. It brings up an interesting question, for certain habits it gets confusing when a habit has been discharged.

This is one of several questions I have with regards to pushing skills. If I’ve got “going to bed at 1 am” a habit when previously it was going to bed at 1:20, when I default I default to the previous time. Is that default a check for the habit at a lower skill, or did I do the habit at all? Or does it even matter?

No Alcohol Challenge, Day 13.

Went out to a place I used to always get beer at, got an alcohol free beer instead. I don’t like doing this too much, I’d prefer water, but it was my cheat day anyway.

Also got hookah last night at a nearby place. It’s very interesting that when I try to NOT do something, a lot of other vices start to rear their ugly heads. A long time ago I called this “crutching” - but this was more of a technique to allow space for self control pressure to release. 

Day 899

Day 899 Record Keeping
Day 871 Fixed Meditation (30 min)
Day 745 Writing (1/30)
Day 285 Rowing (15 min/ 2300 m)
Day 26 Mobility/Stretching 72 (banded distraction hip capsule ext)
Day 123 Pantry Check
Day 121 Food Recording

Early to Rise
Day 54 Bacon & Water
Day 54 Sleep Recording (1:20|2:10|1:40|2:20)
Day 26 Bedtime Curfew 61 (LATE TO BED)

Horrible sleep, very slow wakeup. Lowered several of my habits because of the resulting lack of focus.

I’m noticing that my bedtime curfew is defaulting a few times to my old time. This has happened many times when I’ve tried extending my habits. If I step up, when I default, I’ll default to my old time (or number of sets).  This is particularly interesting in seeing the lay of the land in skill pushing (if this is a clear pattern).

Meanwhile, my mobility routine has hit the 70s after 26 days. Not bad at all. I’m really eager to push this, but I’m still reading quite a bit and watching videos online. 

Day 12, No Alcohol Challenge. Went to this fancy rooftop thing on top of a Gaudi building nearby. The event had free canapés and cava (a Spanish sparkling wine). It was a perfect moment to indulge, with the city spread out in front of me at sunset. But I did not.

Day 898

Day 898 Record Keeping
Day 870 Fixed Meditation (30 min)
Day 744 Writing (1/30, really good)
Day 284 Rowing (30 min/4400 m)
Day 25 Mobility/Stretching 67 (hip opener, lower back pressure wave)
Day 122 Pantry Check
Day 120 Food Recording

Early to Rise
Day 53 Bacon & Water
Day 53 Sleep Recording (1:20|2:30|7|1:30)
Day 25 Bedtime Curfew 65

Horrible sleep, very slow wakeup. Lots of pain from pulled muscle yesterday, had a really bad night’s sleep, intended to cut down everything to minimums, but only ended up doing that for writing! 

Day 11, No Alcohol Challenge. Had a late night with friends yesterday. Met at a brewery, moved to eat, then went to a roof top bar. No drinks - ended up ordering a non-alcoholic beer and had waters the rest of the night.


Day 896

Day 896 Record Keeping
Day 868 Fixed Meditation (DID NOT DO)
Day 742 Writing (DID NOT DO)
Day 282 Rowing (DID NOT DO)
Day 23 Mobility/Stretching 66 (DID NOT DO)
Day 120 Pantry Check (DID NOT DO)
Day 118 Food Recording

Early to Rise
Day 51 Bacon & Water (DID NOT DO)
Day 51 Sleep Recording (1|3:45|11:20|12)
Day 23 Bedtime Curfew 64

BAD sleep, ok wakeup. Met a friend visiting form out of country. It messed with my schedule and I did not do many of my routines, but I’m perfectly fine with that. :)

No Alcohol Challenge Day 9. Meeting a friend, drank water and coffee. I feel meeting people and being social is part of the challenge. It’s an additional stressor, so it’s always good to test it and see if you’ll default to old patterns.

Day 895

Day 895 Record Keeping
Day 867 Fixed Meditation (35 min)
Day 741 Writing (2/30 min)
Day 281 Rowing (HIIT, 14 min, 15s:60s, 2600 m)
Day 22 Mobility/Stretching 66 (hip opener)
Day 119 Pantry Check
Day 117 Food Recording

Early to Rise
Day 50 Bacon & Water
Day 50 Sleep Recording (1|3|9:40|10:40)
Day 22 Bedtime Curfew 64

Good sleep, ok wakeup. Really slow and distracted with writing today. 

No Alcohol Challenge, Day 8.

Day 893

Day 893 Record Keeping
Weekend Habits
Day 117 Pantry Check
Day 115 Food Recording

Early to Rise
Day 48 Bacon & Water
Day 48 Sleep Recording (4|11:40|12:29)
Day 20 Bedtime Curfew 57

Great sleep. Went to bed for no good reason, just got sucked down a well of random internet searches. A friend called right before my curfew, because of time zones I always feel more obligated to pick up. Another behavior I should consider implementing is a complete shut down of Whatsapp, WeChat, and other phone text apps. I already do this when I actually go to bed because, again, because of time zones, I’d be woken up all night. But I should do this an hour or so before bed. It follows the advice of several bloggers that talk about going to bed an hour or two before you’re going to sleep. The truth is, my sleep ritual isn’t really there, and it might be time to really think about bringing it all together.

EDIT: Forgot to mention Day 6, No Alcohol Challenge. Went out to dinner, ended up having my first non alcoholic mocktail, a ginger mojito. It was really good, good use of ginger to simulate that slight alcohol burn, much like vinegar in shrubs. Gave me ideas on how to make my own when I’m just craving a change of flavor. But it was really insanely sugary, and I started feeling my heart race towards the end of the meal.