One Year Of Discipline, Day 15: Every Day Is A New Day To Talk To Your Family.

One Year Of Discipline

This is my Grandma. Ruth Oppermann. She died in 2008, after a long and fulfilled life.

She survived World War II and helped rebuild the economy afterwards. She started as a kindergartener, then raised three children to adulthood. After the marriage fell apart, she called a few old friends and colleagues and immediately got a new job in the German administration for Unemployment Benefits. She was always proud of not being without work a single day of her life.

My Grandma and me were always best friends. Even after I moved to the United States, we would talk every week on the phone.

Then she got a bronchitis. She told me on the phone that this cold was pretty annoying, but we’d talk soon the following weekend. I think she even laughed about it.

Two days later she was dead. Peacefully slipped away over night.

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One Year Of Discipline, Day 14: Every Day Counts

One Year Of Discipline

 

You either move towards your goals or away from them. If you stand still, time pushes your goals further away from you. What happens if I don’t work on my fitness this week? I have one week less to get to 8% body fat.

If we do nothing, we don’t “delay” taking action. We simply move backwards.

Of course, we won’t die immediately if we only have Fast Food for a whole week. And we won’t become lean and ripped after just one week of daily workouts.

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One Year Of Discipline, Day 13: The Big Sleep

One Year Of Discipline

It happened to me. I slept too long today and missed the window from 5 – 7 am within which I wanted to get up by 45 minutes. While this does not make the whole “One Year Of Discipline” challenge invalid, I am still disappointed about my slip-up.

The worst thing I could do in this situation is to say “fuck it, I just stop it here”. No. Just no. This is what I committed myself to doing, I stick with it come hell or high water.

These moments test my character.

There is an old saying: you only fail if you don’t get up. If you read yesterday’s journal entry, I have trained myself to see anything undesirable that happens only in terms of “what do I want to improve – and how will I do it“?

Obviously, what I want to improve in my case is getting up at 5 am again.

To get there, let’s analyze what the problem might have been. Why did I oversleep?

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One Year Of Discipline, Day 12 – The Improvement Triad

One Year Of Discipline

A good practise to track your progress is by keeping a journal. I am keeping one right now, of course – this daily blog post.

Yet I have never really found a good explanation how to keep a useful journal.

When I started, I sat down for an hour and wrote up everything that had happened that day. Sometimes I would even write and comment on observations throughout the day.

Those days ended with 2,000 word blurbs that were fun to write – but I would hardly ever go back and read what I wrote. I simply did not have enough time to relive the whole day.

So long texts seem ultimately counterproductive to me. I want to use my journal as a place to track progress, learn from it and improve. What then works?

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One Year Of Discipline, Day 11 – Distractions

Getting distracted the right way.

As I am balancing a day job in research with writing this blog, it’s really important for me to make the most out of my time.

One Year Of Discipline

This figure demonstrates the difference between progress with “bad” (-> twitter etc.) and “good” distractions (-> taking a walk etc.). If I let my mind stay engaged with the computer screen during breaks, it will react to random impressions on the screen and divert from my original task, making it harder to get back.

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One Year Of Discipline, Day 10

A description of the “One Year Of Discipline” challenge can be found here.

It was a great day which I used mostly for relaxation after a week of not getting more than 4 hours of sleep per night.

Interestingly, my body fat has significantly dropped to 21.3%. Could be a big outlier, but I am definitely on my way to less body fat. Is that the work of the juices I drink?

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One Year Of Discipline, Day 9 – Presence

A description of the “One Year Of Discipline” challenge can be found here.

One Year Of Discipline

Snow. Thick flakes were slowly clouding the roads and houses outside my bedroom window. I watched them. Listened to the cars passing by. They were almost silent. Somewhere in the distance, the church bells rang, as people slowly got up and switched on the lights one by one as darkness turned into day.

Aren’t these moments worth everything in life?

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One Year Of Discipline, Day 8: Mindset change

A description of the “One Year Of Discipline” challenge can be found here.

A carrot-orange juice made the day before and stored in the fridge is still tasting good the next evening – even though I do prefer my juice fresh.

Our lab hosted Happy Hour today, which basically means we are providing pizza and beer for the whole department. I went and relaxed and had a great time – haven’t had that for a long while. Last year, I would actually not often go to these events, I preferred getting my work done and having one-on-one conversations with friends instead. Over time however, my mood soured a bit. Just slightly. So today I was doing my best to “work the room” – and had a blast. I felt really happy. I always thought I was more of an introvert, but I think I draw more strength, positivity and happiness from being around other people than I realize.

That was part one of a change in my mindset.

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One Year Of Discipline, Day 7: Juice Flo

A description of the “One Year Of Discipline” challenge can be found here.

One Year Of Discipline

Today, I am officially adding another routine to my daily “arsenal” – drinking a glass of juice, mostly in the evening.

First of all, this will help me with the cravings for sweets I often still experience.

Second, yesterday, a colleague commented that my skin looked better compared to december. And that only after drinking ONE glass of juice the day before! 😉 Probably not… However, I do want to have my skin looking good, and several reports state that regular juicing is improving your skin… so all the more reason to do it. See, for example, Fit-Juice and 30 Days to X.

Third, while I am eating a diet reduced in carbs – and juice does have a little bit of fructose in it – I am working out every day, so a few clean carbs are probably fine. Furthermore: I lost body fat after I had my first glass of juice on 01/06/14. So I will install that habit.

The base of my juicing will be Mike Cernovich’s site Fit-Juice and the ebooks that he has recently published. I will keep you updated on a regular base on which juices I drink, so you can take the journey with me. You can check out some of the recipes here. After 30 days of juicing, I will write a comprehensive review of Mike’s books (which contain further information, e.g. a scientific background about juicing, an extensive cost-benefit analysis of different juicers available, tips and tricks about cleaning them, storing juice etc.) If you already want to check them out, you can do that here (*).

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One Year Of Discipline, Day 6

A description of the “One Year Of Discipline” challenge can be found here.

I went to the gym today, and while I was finishing off with some cardio, I had the dubious “blessing” to watch some daytime TV. Health tips.

Quite funny. Big show. First, we learnt how to avoid heartburn. But “avoiding” is not quite how they put it.

It was the “WAR” against heartburn. And mind you, there were “land mines” and “IEDs” that we had to avoid, mainly: acidic food. Ok… did not think that that was a problem, but something wasn’t quite right. Then I realized.

We were fed tips for healthy living from a doctor who was morbidly obese himself.

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