Monday 23 April 2012


Well, self.improve() anyway.

I'm fed up with being sick and tired and sorry for myself and weak and unfit and bored and depressed. I feel stale and old and useless, which is a bad way to feel.

So. I'm fixing my diet, going towards a Paleo diet (which is, incidentally, gluten and dairy free by default, hurrah). This means: fewer carbs, more protein, probably a lot of bulk meals stored in the freezer. I've stared this process by changing my weekly shop slightly, and soliciting some recipes that are simple to do in bulk and store well.

I'm fixing my exercise, or rather, initiating some. Tentatively, I'll start with something like this:
- 5min warmup on treadmill
- 10min of intervals on treadmill for distance
- One-arm dumbell rows, 3 sets of 10
- Air squats/travelling lunges
- Plank, hold for max time;
- Bicep curls (for grip strength);
- Tricep dips
- Stretching.
 In about an hour. I'll try and do that once this week, and twice next week, adding weights as I can.

I'm fixing my brain. I'm getting off the ground with my ardvino project from the software side, and listening to a backlog of podcasts. I'm reading books other than my comfortable reads, including nonfiction. This week, "Programming Language Pragmatics" by Michael L Scott. I'm writing blog posts.

I'm fixing my social life. I'm actually going out to my weekly meet (and staying sober), I'm reading my twitter feed, and I've reactivated some old accounts on various forums to try and get some engagement there.

I'd appreciate encouragement and support. I need it, I think.


  1. Your goals sound awesome!

    I've been striving to eat more Paleo (it's a struggle sometimes with the rest of my family eating carbs around me). I tried Atkins and Dukan over the past 2 years, but incidentally landed on Paleo when I tweaked Dukan because I felt some of the restrictions were unhealthy. I later discovered my "tweaks" all fell under Paleo (eg the addition of raw seeds and nuts and no restrictions on non-starchy vegetables). You've probably already stumbled across their blog but I've found really helpful. Awesome articles, advice and recipes.

    Good luck with all your goals!

    1. Thanks for the link, I'll check it out :)

  2. Wow, that's pretty ambitious! I wish you all the best. Have you considered joining some communities to help you with the eating and exercising portions of this? I liked Calorie King when I was dieting, and I use Fitocracy now, both have decent communities and forums.

    Good luck!

    1. Yes, I've reactivated my nerdfitness membership. They're a pretty awesome bunch of people, and have a lot of good advice and support to offer.

  3. I'm delighted to be back in touch with you Elsie. This all sounds extremely positive and do-able. Well thought out. The diet sounds interesting - I'll research it for us. Love you lots, girl. Go Elsie!

    1. Hey Jennie :) Glad you found this. Hope everything's well in your world!

    2. It was so good to see you there on Facebook. The last 6 months have been complicated. Left a job of 11 years, Jane's engagement and marriage, getting back into Dad's memories and trying to settle into a new pattern. Trouble is I miss work and I fritter away whole days 'cos I can't figure out to best use them without structure. So easy to be annoyed and frustrated with myself. A friend just tells me to 'draw a line in the sand and step over it' - don't dwell on the past but take a deep breathe and move forward, I guess, it means.

      Besides all that, it's lovely to have Ruth and David closer here in Victoria and to have one married daughter near by - 15 mins drive away. Skype makes Allison's distance tolerable.

      I'm trying to exercise each week, too. Let me know how you go. :)

    3. Finding structure by yourself - I hear you on that one, it's really challenging. I find that having a set routine is really important, and also little mental hacks - like having a different computer colour scheme (or even account) for work and play. Your environment really influences/triggers your mental state. It's so much easier for me to focus when I'm listening to work music, having tea from my work mug, and looking at my work desktop. It's really hard for me to focus when I've got a World of Warcraft icon sitting there, in the normal quiet/street noise of my house, with my novel open in front of me. Having set times for things really helps too - a set get-out-of-bed time is really important especially. I also tend to set aside time at the end of each day to block out the next days' tasks and when I'm going to do them. Eg, today's plan was: AM - wait for fruitbox, shower, eat, load of laundry; PM - gym, groceries, code, nonfiction reading; night - cook dinner, breakfast prep, relax. That's very rough, but it gives me plenty of flex if I have a bad night, and plenty of room to do extra stuff if I get inspired - like write my new blog post, for example!

      Don't know if any of that helps, but I hope so!

  4. I'm really pleased to hear you want to make some positive changes in your life.

    I can empathise with feeling bored and fed-up, there's quite a few things I'd like to change about myself. I've found it easier if I'm not hard on myself about things. I haven't found it helpful to chastise myself if I didn't eat properly for the day, or missed some exercise. That just tends to make me feel down and not very worthwhile. I find it important to love myself as I am, or at least try to.

    I wish you all the best in your pursuits, be sure to let us know how you get on.

    1. I intend to blog more regularly from now on, although I'm wary of making an exact commitment since I seem to always fall short of such things. One cannot command the muse, etc.

      About my only concern is that I'm trying to do too much all at once - but I suppose I'll just have to be forgiving of myself and adjustable. Self-acceptance has always been my weak point.