Fuck, 2020 felt like a dumpster fire to a lot of people in the world, and that means me too!
Note: please excuse me if it feels like I’m rambling. It’s late and I’m typing this on a keyboard I’m not really used to so it takes longer to get my thoughts out with extra editing.
I’m just so disappointed in myself. I know it’s late as of the time of this writing, but I think that might just point towards something I feel is true. I know what I need to do, but overcoming that split second instinct to run towards the comfortable is obviously hard to ignore.
Just now, I thought it might be a good idea to go to Whataburger just to get some unsweet tea, since they’re the only place open late with anything close to fresh tea. But I know I’ll be tempted to order something else in that drive thru line. It’s too easy and I’m looking for any excuse.
In 2019, my wife bought me a coat on a random trip to the mall. It’s a very nice peacoat that cost her a lot of money, but she knew how much I missed my old one and she figured I deserved it for whatever reason. I really like it and I got a lot of compliments on how good I looked when I wore it out and about, especially with people I had not seen in a year or two.
It finally got cold enough this past month to warrant wearing a coat outside more. I got up a 6am to get ready to volunteer at church, when I realized it would be an excellent day to wear the pea coat. I was devastated when it didn’t fit. I almost wore it to prove to myself it was possible. I could have stretched it out and done up the buttons, but I knew deep down in that instant, that I was lying to myself and it wasn’t worth it. I reached over a few hangers and grabbed the biggest coat I owned, which is also much to insulated for indoor wearing, and zipped it up. I distinctly remember my hand passing over the 4 other jackets in my closet and settling on this one. It’s much to big, but it’s comfortable and it hides my imperfections. It hides the overeating I’ve done for months.
But it can’t really hide me from myself…
So tonight, I’m writing something. Maybe it’s more empty promises. I’m not sure. I’ve saved a few of my favorite salad restaurants in a Google map, hopeful that I’ll turn to them in my next moment of weakness, but I’m not sure I’ve convinced myself yet.
I think I’ve barely convinced myself this blog is worth posting.
I think I’m burnt out. Wow. Super surprising. The real question, is what the fuck am I burnt out on?
In the past few weeks, I’ve tried to look at every area of my life and take a break from what I can. My coworkers graciously picked up my slack at work for a few days, though I know my productivity since coming back has suffered. It’s so hard to focus. I can usually wake up after a good night’s sleep, 8 hours or more, and then by the time I walk to my office, the dread has set in.
Nature helps somewhat. I’ll make a move outdoors and I can feel somewhat rejuvenated, but the feeling is fleeting. I’ve tried visiting friends and family and again, I get that same temporary satisfaction of human contact, but then I have to retreat home to my cutout in the uptown skyline.
Pair that with the complete and total dietary failure and it just feels worse. I can’t help but dive into this self sabotage headfirst; concern for my future self thrown to the wind in search of momentary satisfaction.
And then the pity party afterwards. The catharsis of complaining to myself and to others. Synapses of satisfaction firing for a brief moment before they power down for another solitary serenade. It feels freeing to bitch and complain to the 3 people who I know will read this; some possessing real power to drastically alter my life, for better and worse.
I don’t know what to do. I probably definitely need a therapist, but the looming of Covid-Part-2 Electric Boogaloo has kept me away from professionals and amateurs alike. Instead I have you.
Thanks for listening, but I don’t blame you for leaving my sorry ass alone either.
My weigh in this morning was 241.4 but the average for the month is a little higher. As you can see from the below chart, this past 12 months has been ups and downs. You can see the gradual decline from my past posts discussing my progress before falling off the wagon.
This month has been interesting for sure. At the start of the month, I took a road trip with my 16 year old brother from Texas up to the Great Lakes. During our trip I stuck to my eating windows but went absolutely hog wild with what we ate. We were having a good time trying all of the local food and enjoying each other’s company.
Side note: Wisconsin cheese curds are fucking amazing…
I thought I’d mention something else here as well that my wife keeps bringing up.
My current ritual is to weigh in on Friday mornings right after I wake up and use the bathroom. Depending on what I’m doing in regards to work, this might be 9-10am even if I wake up at 8am. During that time from rise to first bathroom break, I do not drink any water. I also try to not go ham with the water on Thursday night. My thought is that if I wake up and chug a 32oz cup of water, that I’ve essentially “gained” 2 pounds. In terms of keeping an accurate track of my weight loss numbers, this seems like an okay practice.
My wife thinks is unhealthy to think of water in such a negative way. I’m not sure if we’re having some sort of miscommunication as I’ve tried explaining it different way and she says she understands and still thinks it’s problematic. Tell me your thoughts. I’m interested to hear them!
My weekly routine
I’ve had various people ask about my routine so I thought I’d update the internet here with what I’m doing and what’s working currently. If I change something in between these posts I’ll try to remember to make a not of it in future posts.
At the start of the week, I’m usually volunteering with my local church. Eating is a social activity we usually partake in with friends so I keep Sunday’s a bit lax. Obviously with Covid-19, we’re not going to church or seeing friends, but I still eat Dinner and sometimes a light lunch. I aim to stop all food intake by 10 PM.
This is a fasting day. No food, only water and my meds (asthma pills and some supplements). Ask your doctor if your medicine needs to be taken with food. Mine do not.
Around 5-6 PM (or later) I’ll eat dinner with the goal of finishing by 10 PM. My current diet consists of two meals from https://www.cleaneatzkitchen.com/ and then a bag of popcorn if I’m still hungry. I’ve really been trying to eat my food slower and allow the hormones to work their magic to make me feel full. The problem I still have to a degree is my ability to inhale food at such a rate that my body can’t even react to being full.
Most of the time I’ll start my fasting timer right after I finish eating, irregardless of the time. Bed time is around midnight.
Basically a repeat of Tuesday. I may eat an extra serving of some frozen vegetables in preparation for Thursday, but it depends.
Another full fasting day! No food, just water and my meds. Like I mentioned before, I try to not go crazy with the liquids after 10pm or so because of weigh in on Friday morning. Basically I just want to ensure that I’ll have to pee soon after waking up and that my body is actually getting rid of the extra water I don’t need.
Weigh in day! I have a lot of work calls on Friday’s so it’s a busy morning. If I have to use the bathroom, I’ll do that and then immediately weigh myself. Tracking is always done in my birthday suit for maximum results and easier reproduction.
After that, it’s water and meds until 5-6 PM for dinner. Same meals as the previous week, though I’ve been known to grab some Wingstop on the weekend. Aim to finish eating by 10 PM.
A repeat of my other eating days basically. If we were having social events, I’m sometimes less picky about eating times, but I still aim for 16 hours fasted as least. Rarely do we have events before noon so in those cases I would politely decline anything until later in the day. If we do have breakfast plans with someone, I’d probably eat, but opt for as low carb as possible. Eggs, bacon, vegetables. An omelette does sound pretty good right now. 🙂
Re: Food choices
I’ve historically made pretty terrible food choices. Weighing 310 pounds is evidence enough of that. Self control when it comes to food has been very difficult for me, and frankly a lot of other things as well.
I’m very spontaneous and when I want something I tend to get it pretty quickly afterwards. New toys, going somewhere, eating something. I’ve really had to work at controlling these urges and work on planning ahead of time.
As part of embracing more planning and self control, I opted to purchase pre-cooked meals in bulk. I’ve essentially removed any ability to cheat by limiting myself to these pre-purchased meals and a handful of pre-approved snacks!
So far, I have to admit that it seems to be working. I’m not tracking it explicitly, but my daily calorie intake on feasting days is somewhere around 1200-1600 calories. For a dude who still weighs 240 pounds, this is a significant deficit from what my body needs to function, thereby forcing it to burn more fat.
During my first attempt at this last year, I would say I was normally eating more than 2,000 calories a day making my own food. The portion sizes were larger mainly, and I wasn’t afraid to load up on low carb, yet calorie rich, liquids like ranch or butter.
I wonder when I’ll get to eat “normal” food again but for now this is working. Especially with the world in a state of quasi-lockdown, it is nice to not have to worry about making grocery store runs. My wife buys food for herself on her way to / from work.
If you have questions, feel free to leave a comment or reach out on Twitter @daronspence . I’m sometimes slow to reply here on the site, but if more people comment it might motivate me 🙃
Problem: Door Sensor won’t connect to Z-Wave Network
At our office, we have a small Z-Wave network setup running a Raspberry Pi and Home Assistant, specifically Hassbian because at the time of our purchase the newest Pi 3B+ was not supported for Hass.io.
On the Z-Wave network we have a single door sensor on the front door that theoretically notifies us when someone enters the office. Long story short, we had it setup remotely and after 3 days of shipping via USPS, it didn’t work at the physical office. Bummer!
Now, a few months later, I’m here to troubleshoot in person while in town helping out with other things. I set the thing up in the first place so it shouldn’t be too hard to fix right? Wrong again!
The EcoLink Door Sensor seems to be a decent product. It has pretty good range; ours is located about 30 feet away from the controller. The controller is inside a giant metal server rack and behind a solid wall. Not the best conditions for sure! The manual however is complete and total garbage. Below you will find the steps to completely remove the device and re-add it to your network.
Reset the Device
To properly “reset” the device you must first determine if it’s currently connected. In my case, the sensor actually thought it was still connected to something. Placing a magnet against it would cause the green LED to give one long flash. In this case here’s how you fix it.
Check that your battery is not dead. If the sensor has been unconnected from a Z-Wave network for a while, it’s likely tried to pair itself continuously and drained the battery.
Navigate to your Z-Wave controller software and initiate a node removal. In Home Assistant, there is a button called “Remove Node”. Press it.
Remove the cover and battery from the device for 5-8 seconds. Do not wait too long though or the node removal will time out. Within 20 seconds of initiating the node removal should be fine.
Plug the battery back in with the cover removed. The LED should flash continuously if it was successfully removed. (Note: these steps will remove the device from any Z-Wave network it was previously connected to)
Click the “Add Node” button on your Z-Wave control software while the LED is blinking.
Remove the battery for 5-8 seconds and then replace the battery. The LED blinking pattern should change and stop soon after pairing.
At this point, you should see confirmation of the added node in your controller software. To complete the process, run a network heal to make sure everything is communicating efficiently.
Now you should be able to monitor the state of your sensor in Home Assistant.
If you have any questions, leave a comment or shoot me a tweet @DaronSpence