Day 23 – Positive routine change

23 02 2010

The best image I could find under 'Holy Grail'

Another really busy day at the office so no real time to think, let alone find new rules.

Today made me realise how quickly some new rules have just become part of my daily routine. I’m not even noticing a lot of them anymore which begs the question of whether I’ll carry on abiding by them when the project finishes on Sunday at midnight. I think some of them have actually been really beneficial. I have reduced my food intake. At 30 the way I was eating before wasn’t an issue but I think it would have been in a few years.

By that I mean I wasn’t fat but I’m now eating a lot less and don’t feel hungry or miserable. I’ve found a way to change my diet without it really impacting my life. That’s surely the holy grail for government and official bodies, people finding a way to cope with different circumstances that are ultimately better for them but don’t seem so in the short term. I guess it’s part of our adaptability as a species. The initial transition to a new framework can be hard and unpleasant but we find a way to cope and there’s not necessarily any net loss of happiness or wellbeing.

So getting back to that routine I thought I’d take some time to highlight what’s actually involved in a day for me now. This doesn’t include any of the random rules I find or suggested actions that don’t need to be done every day. There are generally two or three of those.

06:45 – alarm goes off

07:05 – get up and make tea

07:10 – record tea on iphone app

07:15 – bathroom

07:30 – breakfast – I used to be religious about eating the same breakfast every day. Large bowl of muesli, two pieces of toast and a banana or kiwi. Now I’ll often just have a medium bowl of muesli and leave toast until work or skip it altogether.

07:40 – record breakfast on app, looking up anything non-standard, a slightly smaller banana for example. If required enter new nutritional values and save food

07:50 – clean teeth in accordance with government recommendations, circa three minutes

08:00 – put on pedestrian conspicuity band and leave house

08:00 – 08:45 – walk to work. 14 official road crossings, waiting at an average of 13 of them. You can’t imagine how good the two green men feel.

09:00 – 12:30 – work, taking regular screen breaks and recording any cups of tea and following all guidelines if walking or catching tube to any meetings.

Lunch – walk to sainsbury’s and buy innocent veg pot. An unassailably good way to get three portions of fruit and veg, feel full and actually enjoy lunch. Possibly add some protein like prawns or chicken if necessary.

After lunch to home – repeat of the morning but often I’ll take a look at to either clarify or look up a new rule. If I’ve been sent anything by a friend or colleague I’ll check that out too and stick it in my notebook. It’s also a good opportunity to find any conflicts or potential conflicts.

Evening – walk home, 15 official road crossings, would you believe there’s a road which has a pedestrian crossing one way but not the other? Amazing the things you notice and indeed come to care about!

Evening – leave office and if meeting someone walk to pub. I’ve got pretty good at picking routes locally that help me avoid either the tube or busy junctions where I know I’ll have to wait. It’s a fairly limited life now! Max four units of alcohol unless it’s one of my two days off a week. That’s pretty much a pint and a half of bitter. Hard at first but now much easier.

Dinner – check food diary for the day to see what’s left in calories, fat, sugar etc and any outstanding requirements and then plan meal accordingly, weigh, cook, eat and then record details. This often means leaving food at the end if I’ve miscalculated or have eaten a big lunch.

Late evening – fulfill any requirements from long standing or random rules like checking smoke alarm, checking bank account, cruising price comparison sites to check getting best deal on savings/ISA etc.

23:00 – Write blog

23:40 – Flossing or interdental brush on three days, three minutes of teeth cleaning, wash and dry feet

24:00 – Glorious rule free sleep.

The irony is I have probably forgotten loads of the things I actually do in a day to comply with the rules. They have become invidious!


Weight: 13st 10lb

Body fat 18.8%

Frustration 5 (I think there’s a good four points of generic baseline frustration this far in to the project)

Infractions 10.5

Wellbeing 5 (I feel a bit ill and am convinced the chips I had last night gave me spots. I’ve lost all my tolerance for filth!)

New rules today:

  • Abide by practical freezer tips from Sue Perkins (does she need the work?) on love food, hate waste website
  • Create a two week meal planner (interested to see how that ties in with the FSA (food not money) sat fat challenge. Could there be a conflict there? Why are two government departments telling me what to eat for a week or more? I’d love it if they suggested Great Busted drizzled with a caviar jus nestled atop a swan terrine. Always a possibility.
  • Bust freezer myths with arctic aunt (seriously!)
  • Microwave any stale chocolate cake



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