Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Beginning

Now that I've decided to begin this journey, I guess it's time to get out a basic blueprint.  Knowing myself and what has or has not worked in the past, I base these on the following:

1. I cannot do cold turkey.  Food or lifestyle change.
2. I loathe failing myself, and this loathing leads to more failure.  The spiral continues.
3. I need accountability.  I can talk myself out of anything.
4. My pride is one of my biggest hurdles.
5. I am awful with money.

So, with those five factors in mind, this is what my plan for reformation.


- Exercise everyday.  At least something.  It can be a quick calistenics session, or an hours-long lifting session but I have to work my muscles somehow every day.

- Move often.  No more sitting on the couch.  If I want to watch TV, I can either do it standing, exercising, or sitting on the floor with no support.

- Eat plenty of fresh food.  After a great deal of research, I've decided to begin this experiment following the Primal Blueprint guidelines for diet.  This, as well as anything on this blog, is subject to change.

- Play.  And beyond that, play without concern for how I appear to others.  Who cares if my neighbors see me wearing a tiara and having a tea party with my four year old?  Or pretending to be a monkey with my 18 month old?

- Get plenty of sleep. My body and mind will need rest from all the activity, especially at first.

- Make and follow a budget.  I can already tell this is going to be a fairly expensive endeavour.  Especially the dietary changes.  The days of blowing money on movies and snacks has ended.


- Eat processed food.  I'm not quite to the point of making all my food from scratch but at least I can buy lots of meat, vegetables, fruits, nuts, berries, and water. Speaking of water...

- Drink anything that isn't water.  I get between 25-30% of my daily calories from sugary beverages.  That's just unacceptable.

- Beat myself up for failing.  Especially for failing to meet my unrealistic and unspoken expectations of my own behavior.  Not only does it not improve my behavior, but having those expectations at all makes me feel as though I'm starting from behind.  But behind compared to whom? I sense potential for a whole blog post on this subject.

- Use the previous bullet as an excuse to just do what I want.  The purpose of not self-flagellating isn't to give myself an excuse.  It's to prevent backsliding.  Holding myself accountable and beating myself up are two different things.  I just have to learn the distinction.

- Forget to update my wonderful audience on my progress.  Having never run a blog before, I can imagine it would be fairly easy to let the life changes overwhelm my time and forget about all you good people.

So, there's the basis.  I know I'm going to add more to this later, but for now, I think this counts as a good start.  I know this is not an actual plan.  But, baby steps.  I've just set the ground rules the plan is required to follow.  This feels like a definite good start.

Monday, April 28, 2014

The Post That Will Inevitably Be Linked To Often

So, this is my first post.  The commencement of a lifelong journey in self-improvement and self-discovery.  The movement from slacker to self-actualized, alpha male.

If you can't tell from all the hyphenated self words, a lot of the emphasis of the blog will be on the self, the individual.  Because this is where it all starts.  Having sat in the same place you (probably) are, I know that a true slacker can mentally countermand essentially any form of external motivation.  See that motivational commercial on TV with all the rippling abs and sweaty muscles?  Imagine how much they are deprived of to get that body!  See the "Visit my state and see all the great things!" commercial? Sorry, enthusiastic resident, I have no savings or money.  Hear your coworkers' stories about their crazy weekends? Sounds exhausting.  Your excuses may be different but no less "valid."

Note the "" around valid.  Because excuses are only as valid as how much people believe them.  One person can sit on a couch and dream about college but know he has absolutely no money to get there and no chance for a scholarship/grant.  Another person can dream about college and spends hours on hours collecting recyclables to get the money to go.  The difference? Priorities. 

And thus we reached the crux of the blog.  This process is about invalidating excuses and rearranging priorities.  Or, more accurately, it's about chronicling my personal process as I do those things.  I'm not going to pretend my original intent is to help anyone but myself.  But if this helps others achieve similar goals of improving themselves, so much the better.  I sincerely do hope that what I write here and post on my YouTube channel helps others. 

So, feel free to join me on this journey.  This blog will, no doubt, evolve as it and I progress.  I'm excited to see what changes the future brings.  I'm also a little terrified.  But that's another blog post.

-The Reformed Slacker

PS- Pardon the writing.  I haven't written anything that wasn't an official Marine Corps document for several years.  Hopefully it becomes less burdensome to read as the posts pile up.