Day 189 (F, 110708) — Forming Habits; Max Capacity Training Day 24

You're Amazing

How do you form new habits?

I have two things I know I should do — things I want to do — but which I find extraordinarily difficult to actually do.

  1. Look Up While I Run
  2. Eat Slowly and Taste My Food

Watching My Feet. Early on in my running program, I got a tip from a long-time running coach: remember to look up and enjoy your run.

The problem is that I look at the ground when I run.  I just do.  No matter how hard I try to look up and enjoy the pre-dawn sights, within 20-30 second, I find myself watching my own steps again.

Then I remember again that I do enjoy watching the few cars and wondering about the people in them.  That I like looking through the semi-darkness to see if I can find the flowers which are giving off their wonderful scent.  That I won’t trip and fall flat on my face if I don’t look at my feet.

So I look up.  Then I subconsciously let my head drop again within mere seconds.

And each time, I’m left wondering “How can I change this?”

Slow the Fork Down. I eat too quickly.  Like a man who hasn’t eaten in days, or, alternately, like a man who has eaten constantly and does it out of mere convention, I rarely taste my food.

I’ve written about this before, about paying attention to what you eat.

I find myself eating on automatic all the time.  No, I’m not talking about the autopilot eating which leads to finishing a whole bag of chips without realizing it while you watch a sitcom.

I mean that, even when I am eating my planned 4HB meals, I find myself eating as if the order to bug out in 5 minutes had come down and I need to shovel in as much food as possible before we have to go.  I look down and half my food is gone and I don’t remember eating a single bite.

This is an even bigger problem on Cheat Days (like today).  I think I feel guilty on some level about eating PopTarts or cookies and so I find myself not really taking the time to enjoy them like I should.

As with watching the scenery when I run, I want to consciously enjoy my food, but I too often forget and turn it into a competition (against myself) to see who can eat the fastest.  (I always win . . . and lose.)

The Solution.  I’m going to just be a different person.  Seriously though . . . I can’t seem to shake these bad habits.  No matter how hard I try, no matter how much I want it, no matter how often I “fix” it, I slide almost immediately back into the old patterns.

Anybody have any specific suggestions about fixing this?


So long as no babies are born today, and perhaps depending on whether or not we get the air conditioner fixed upstairs at the house, I will do Max Capacity Training Day 24 this evening.

[Unless our A/C gets fixed this evening, I’ll do my workout tomorrow… there’s no way I’m going to workout in a room that’s at least 85° with no ceiling fan!]

This is the same four exercises from Monday and Wednesday this week, this time using Time Attack.  As usual, I’ll split the exercises into ten rounds and record my results below.

  • Crocodile Pushups: 84
  • Deck Squat Jumps: 45
  • 1 Leg Wall Squat: 165
  • Jack Knives: 114

This was really, really hard.


I’ll explain the picture at the top of this post tomorrow…..


Plan (and Reality) for Week 27:

Day Fast? SCD? Run? MCT?
Sunday Yes No No No
Monday Yes No Yes Yes (6.61) Yes
Tuesday Yes Yes No No
Wednesday Yes Yes No3 Yes No
Thursday Yes Yes No (5.91) No
Friday Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Saturday No No Yes No
Red indicates a negative deviation from the plan.  Green indicates either a positive deviation from the plan or a measure of achievement according to plan.
NB: I changed my planned runs this week to be on MWF, just like my MCT workouts.  I plan to give my body some rest on Tuesday and Thursday.  All of this is, of course, subject to change according to the post above.


1You know . . . the “heart healthy” kind of place that is full of sugary sweets like gigantic muffins with 2000 calories, mostly from sugar, white flour, and fake blueberries?  Or “healthy” carrot cake which has more bad stuff in it than any grocery store lard-frosted sheet cake with Dora on top ever thought of having?  Yeah, that kind of place.
2 Which is going to be tough for me.  I stopped counting carbs a long time ago, simply relying on avoiding the bad foods as my best method of keeping them low.  Now I am, unsure of the carb count in many things.  I guess I’ll have to go back to looking like a first-time Atkins dieter, carrying around a small carb-count book for a while until I remember how to estimate things better.
3 Wednesday, I broke my fast around 4:30 when I snacked on some salami.  Later, I had a tasty but too small meal of pork chops, broccoli, and green beans.   I also had nibbles of chicken tenders (with much of the batter removed), fried cheese, potato skins, etc.  When I got home that night, I had some hot dogs.   Finally, I had 1.5 Atkins bars.  It wasn’t a lot of non-SCD food but I still wonder . . . just how many BLTs (Bites, Tastes, & Licks) does it take to count as having had too many disallowed foods?

6 responses to “Day 189 (F, 110708) — Forming Habits; Max Capacity Training Day 24

  1. New John,

    When I need to focus on something, I try to bring my mind into the now. I try not to allow my subconscience to follow paths who’s trailheads are in the future or the past. I bring my mental focus to my breath (it’s a now-activity that is always present (well, it should be present, otherwise I’ve got bigger fish to fry)) and don’t fight the wandering thoughts, but don’t follow them either. I just keep bringing my mental focus back to my breath.

    If I wasn’t enjoying my surroundings yesterday morning as I biked to work, I would’ve missed the sidewalk chalk that said, “Inhale Love, Exhale Hate”. It put me in a great mood for the day.

    (Wow, I sound like a hippy today.)

    • Get a job ya damn hippy! 😉 😉 =D

      You remind me of a while back when I used to bike around the lake near the apartment we lived in. There was a damn which, obviously, ran next to the lake.

      On top of this damn someone had spray painted the ground. It read “You still don’t know you’re amazing.” It was always the best part of my ride. =)

      I took a picture of it. If I can find it, I’ll add it to this post. Found it. It’s now at the top of the post. I’ll explain it in more detail tomorrow.

  2. As far as keeping your head up, is there something you could count during your run? Maybe something like houses with the porch light on? That would force you to look up and be different every day.

    As for eating slower, there is the old chew each bite X number of times thing. (Why do I hear Robert Wuhl’s voice in my head on the mound in Bull Durham as I type this? Candle sticks always make a lovely gift.)

    • Yep. I’ve tried the “chew X times” thing. No luck. I’ve also tried the “put your fork down between bites” tactic. No joy there, either.

      Thanks for the idea about keeping my head up. I hadn’t heard of / thought of that. I’ll give it a try tomorrow morning and let you know how it goes. =)

  3. Pingback: Day 190 (Sa, 110709) — Results for Week 27; An Inspirational Memory | New John for a New Year·

  4. Pingback: Day 220 (M, 110808) — D’oh!; Max Capacity Training Day 25 | New John for a New Year·

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