Positive Or Negative – Am I Winning?

Positive 1 – In The Flow

The big positive: I’m very productive professionally this week, I’m in the flow. The day to day of the job is under control and I’m working through a number of strategic thoughts, exploring options in the real world, acting as well as thinking and reflecting. Large scale, long term, international. Lots of complexity and ambiguity and potential interrelationships between the options.

Meeting new people, some arriving with me, me seeking some new relationships out. Refreshing old relationships, kicking ideas around. As good as it gets if you’re me, I feel stimulated and challenged. This is why I do it. The possibilities, the chance to move us forward as an enterprise.

Negative 1 – No Sleep

I go to bed at 11pm and wake up maybe 90 minutes later for the first time. Then every 70-80 minutes or so. By just after 5am I’m saying to myself “it’s probably time to get up” – because my brain is already running flat out and sad to say, I’m pretty bored thrashing around waiting for the ‘normal’ time to get up. Coffee, quick read of the business pages and then clearing down the inbox.

We are operating on several time zones so I’m now live with colleagues on other continents and the day is off and running. I need to watch this, I’m both tired and stimulated. The tiredness will mount up and the bill will need settling.

I’m told one sleeps less as one ages. Is this it now, insomnia from here to the end of the road? I was a serious insomniac as a child so it’s a bit of deja vu. I don’t know if it’s the ageing effect. It’s probably an overactive mind. I’m a major introvert, so there is always a lot of internal dialogue and processing going on.

Positive 2 – Intermittment Fasting Progress

I did intermittent fasting from Monday to Friday last week. I very quickly got into the groove. On day one I thought about food a little bit late in the morning, before my 1pm to 9pm eating slot came around. The next four days was no issue. By Friday I had dropped 2.5 pounds and felt a lot better. I’m not gorging in the eating window. I am tracking nutrients and calories on MyFitnessPal and it’s telling me that I’m eating 1900-2000 calories. I don’t know if it’s intermittent fasting, or that the fasting is just leading to calorie restriction. My guess is the latter.

I didn’t go wild at the weekend, just ate normally, I talked to a friend who had cheat days so over the top he was wiping out the week’s gains. This week it’s tougher. Monday was ok, Tuesday a bit of a drag to get to 1pm. Wednesday, today, I cracked and had breakfast. But I haven’t gone wild. I may go back to it tomorrow. My guess is fatigue is accumulating through lack of sleep and my body is looking for fuel.

Negative 2 – Not Enough Exercise

Olympic bar loaded with plates for deadlifting on gym mat very positive session at Gymbox

I’m in the trap of starting work early because I want to and also because it’s a good excuse not to exercise. I say “I’ll do it this afternoon” but when it comes around, I bin it. I had a great deadlift session on Sunday, really good, but started to run out of steam on the upper body work section of the visit to Gymbox.

Monday I felt it and it was a day off anyway. Tuesday I should have cycled and I “delayed” it. Same again today. This time last year I was stacking the miles. This year I’m not feeling the love for cycling at all. Tomorrow it’s my first day this year with my excellent personal trainer Roman Caban. At least that strength and mobility session will get done.

Positive 3 – My Mood

I feel good, I feel alive, I feel optimistic. I feel I’m on my game. I am most certainly intellectually stimulated. Life is good. Work life, my relationship, enjoying talking to people. The weather is bright and that helps. At night it’s been a full moon, I have noted that, as I have fitfully slept.

Overall Score?

Winning more than losing. Re-reading the five points, it’s clear there’s an interrelationship between these factors. Buzzing and on great form mentally and intellectually. But enough energy being drawn there to knock the edge off exercise. A potent combination of over stimulation and lack of sleep starting to accumulate. One to watch, at one level things are going well, but at another enough small cumulative negatives are starting to stack up.

Remedial actions? I must try to exercise a couple of times by close of Saturday. Perhaps try a couple of short meditation sessions with my Calm app. I have a new novel due to drop on my Kindle, so I should set some time aside for that at the weekend. Overall, I need to be proactively mindful here.

Also published on Medium.

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