Home > Done with work for the year!

Done with work for the year!

December 21st, 2021 at 11:53 pm

I had accumulated time off that I needed to take, and it worked out to be able to take it at year end, so I am officially OFF until January 3rd!

It's kind of scary, actually.  When I work, I don't really have to think about what to do with my time.  The to-do list is longer than can be accomplished but the priorities are clear.  There are invariably lower-priority things that *Don't* get done, so now I have to figure out which of *those* I want to accomplish.

The big goal for year end is always doing a year-end review and planning for the year ahead.  I've already started doing some of that.

In 2021, I did manage to complete a long-term "big" goal of attaining my CFP certification, so that gets moved off of the list.  I've decided that my 2022 "word of the year" is "Foundation," with a focus on physical foundations, specifically health and home decluttering.

I actually started the health project right after completing the CFP, and (working with a health coach) I've become much more consistent about exercising.  When I look at my Fitbit graphs you ca see that, from January thru July (when I took the CFP exam, I was averaging somewhere between 5 and 18 "active zone" minutes per day.  My activity level ramped up during August and I've averaged over 30 minutes a day from September on.  I even have managed to jog a non-stop mile a couple of times so far--something that I hadn't done in over a decade.

I'm happy about my exercise progress and want to continue that, and build up more of a strength component, but during the new year I also want to see if I can make some progress on my weight (or, as my coach encourages me to call it, "body composition," a less loaded term).  I just finished reading a book, "Burn," by Hermann Pontzer, that makes a really strong case against the "Calories in/Calories out" model.  Our bodies are so good at adapting to our exercise activity that increasing it doesn't really make any difference in your weight, unless it's in the very short term.  Losing weight needs to be really all about food, and particularly about eating "real" (that is, minimally processed food (though cooking the food is fine--this is not about a raw diet.)  I'll also be going back to my 16:8 intermittent fasting schedule as often as I can, since I can often stick with that, and will try to add in daily "fasted movement" before breakfast and a post-prandial walk after dinner as often as I can.  I'll actually be working with two health coaches during Q1 of 2022--one, who ran a free 7-day challenge this past month, who is really good at focusing on the day-to-day granular entries and who is more of an expert in nutrition and exercise physiology, and the other, the one who I've been working with since August, who is more of a "mindset" coach and is all about the big picture.  So the first big goal for Q1 of 2022 is to keep up the exercise consistency and tweak my nutrition plan with the goal of taking off 3" off my waist (which would be about 20 pounds).  That would be lower than anything that I have weighed since 2000.

I also have a goal during 2022 to start decluttering my house.  I want to make a *start* at this during my break, but I'm giving myself the whole year to make some progress.  The big goal during break is to 1. clear off my dining room table and file/toss the recent mail (bad habit of mine; bills always get paid on time but organizing things only gets done sporadically); 2. get the old bed out of the bedroom since I have been happily sleeping on my shikifuton on the floor for over a month now; and 3. if I can, clear out some of the unworn clothes from my closet, clear out the bathroom cabinet, and clear out the kitchen cabinets and refrigerator.

Because I'm staying close to home so I can be with my Buffy cat, I have no plans to travel, but I hope to fit in a few meals with friends I haven't seen (provided the pandemic doesn't get too crazy).  Otherwise I mostly just hope to unwind and rest up for the busy year ahead--I have to hit the ground running on January 3 and it will be very busy during Q1.

Happy holidays, everyone!

5 Responses to “Done with work for the year!”

  1. Lots of ideas Says:

    I have been on the decluttering path for a while. A few things I did
    - switch almost everything to paperless billing and paperless statements. If it never arrives, I never have to file it, shred it, or toss it out. can always find what I need online.

    - decide the charities I am going to support at the beginning of the year. I do not open requests from any place else - straight to recycle. A better choice would be to ask them to take me off the list - maybe I will make that a goal for 2022.

    - have a ‘throw away/give away 50 items a week’ challenge. You can do fewer items, or a longer time period. This is great for closets, cabinets, boxes, drawers. It sadly doesn’t take long to get to 50! I ask myself ‘would my nephews wonder why I kept this?’ And if the answer is yes, I probably toss it!

    - if you get magazines and have a pile of partially read ones, set a timeframe - like three months - and toss or donate anything older than that.

    Best wishes for a happy decluttering journey!

  2. Fern Says:

    Congrats on your Foundations theme for 2022. But, I have to disagree about calories in, calories out, as keeping a daily food diary at makes clear. Also, if I eat extra calories one day, I pay the price when I weigh myself on my Renpro smart scale, which records fractions of a pound and really makes clear the connection between consumption and weight.

    That being said, lately I've felt that my weekly 24-hour fasts have possibly less effect on my weight than when I started doing them I guess about a year ago. They have become easier to do through practice, and I almost wonder if my body has somehow adjusted to the fasts as well.

  3. Dido Says:

    The key is to look at what happens long-term, not short-term. Yes, short-term there are variations, particularly as our bodies will retain more water when we've eaten something with more carbs or sodium. When you measure the day to day, you're measuring something that is distorted by short-term variations. If you want an online site that will automatically calculate a trend line for your weight over time, see I've been using this for a couple of years and you can generate some nice graphs over time of your weight trends (under Charts) and your stats for minimum, maximum, and mean weights for the week, fortnight, month, quarter, half-year, and year (under the Trend tab).

    Also--it is calories in, calories out, but not in the sense that we usually think about it--what we fail to realize is that our bodies are not machines and there is not a linear relationship between the amount of activity we do and the amount of calories we expend. Our bodies adapt and, over time, the same amount of exercise that originally caused us to burn a lot of calories becomes something that makes relatively little difference. For example, in one study, they got young men and women who didn't exercise who committed to a 40-week training program to build up to run a half-marathon. They measured their daily energy expenditure before they started training and at weeks 8, 20, and 40. At the beginning, the participants were running 20 minutes a day, 4 days a week; by the end, sessions were 60 minutes long and they were running 25 miles a week. All that running increased their muscle mass and initially burned 360 additional calories per day--but by the end, even with running more, they were only burning an extra 120 calories per day. Our bodies adapt, so even if it is "calories in, calories out," it's NOT the case that you can keep doing the same amount of extra work to increase calories out. Energy expenditure plataeus over time with increased exertion rather than increasing linearly.

    Your body has, I'm sure, adjusted to the fasts and they do become easier over time, according to the exercise physiologist I'm working with. I'm not exactly sure what the nature of the adaptation is, however. And I bet that the fasts have less effect on your weight because you have gotten down to what your body senses is the right weight for you.

  4. Dido Says:

    See Figure 4 on this page for graphs of the theoretical Additive vs Constrained Models of Energy Expenditure

  5. rob62521 Says:

    Body composition -- love it!

    You've been a busy bee and have accomplished quite a bit! Way to go!

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