100 days challenge: weeks 1 & 2

in the previous post i gave a comprehensive explanation of what my 100 days challenge is about. at the time of writing that post it was already sunday of the week number two. today the third week has started and therefore now i will give some update about what happened during these 14 very first days.

day 0

i call the sunday before the beginning of the challenge as the day 0. i do not know what happened to me during that day. seems like it was just a usual sunday. i went to a coffee shop and spent there a significant amount of time. i was preparing for the last exam of my master’s studies. i had already made the decision to stop drinking coffee before the official start of 100 days. therefore, i got myself a cup of green tea (yes, it also does contain caffeine). a slice of cheesecake with some berries the species i of which i do not remember was on my plate. i also went to mcdonalds after that. and had the mcroyal with fries and water. not a soda. something has been going on in my mind that day. all in all, at some moment during that day i decided:

tomorrow i am waking up at 5am and going for a jog.

and this idea was so firm and concrete that for some reason i did not even question the seriousness of it. i was 100% sure and confident. and i do not know why. looks like at that moment somehow i became obsessed. 

day 1

that is it. i am in my bed and it is 4:45 am. the phone is screaming. and, what a surprise,

i jumped out of the bed as soon as the alarm started.

i had not done this for ages before that moment. i used to snooze at least 10 minutes every morning. but this day 1 was not the case. this was the cold turkey good morning and let’s go. at such times streets are calm, empty and nice. and the view is usually amazing. the sun is rising. i also decided to start posting moments from my morning jogs to instagram. the idea of posting daily pictures from early jogs to social media also made me feel somehow more committed. i felt that i am sharing a nice idea and i should keep this up.

days 2-14

during these days i have been developing a brand new routine. i put myself into a cold shower in both ways: literally and metaphorically. i believe i stressed my comfort loving brain really good because i could feel the i do not want to response very well especially during these very first days. i started recognising that. i commenced considering my brain a small child who cries and beats the floor at the grocery store with his hands and legs because his mommy would not buy him that candy. i used to think:

at the moment this is hard, but i am taking over the control. and i do not quit. i simply do not.

days passed and i started getting better and better at that. this felt both strange and hard. sometimes i felt like a bastard who is coming up with some another bullshit and cannot just be like everyone else. i had many different thoughts. and i call them the brain cell tricks. i am talking about all the precious ideas my brain comes up with once is in some uncomfortable state. here are just a few of them:

  • okay, it has been a few days already, why do not you congratulate yourself with that good smelling heart shaking cup of coffee?
  • you have been going hard enough, let us get that waffle with a cup of coffee.
  • come on, everyone uses warm showers. why are you using this cold water? maybe today i am not in the mood for the cold water. maybe tomorrow?
  • oh, it already has been a while, i deserve some rest.
  • you are just a human being, give me that piece of chocolate.

i could go on further but i think that the point has been made clear. the brain is trying to deceive me by using some very advanced techniques. it is trying to erase all my uncomfortable behaviour patterns and achieve its goals. is this dopamine, is this something else, i do not know. i am not a neuroscientist. but these thoughts are not just lying on the floor and hitting it while screaming and asking for a candy. they are rather convincing and they lured me so many times in my life before. however, step by step i became better at recognising them and saying no when i had to do so.

the routine

waking up times. i started getting out of the bed together with the very first beep of my alarm clock. at 4:30 am on mondays, wednesdays and fridays and at 5:30 on tuesdays and thursdays. at the beginning this was hard and uncomfortable. however, after some time i discovered some strange phenomenom:

the faster i get out of the bed, the sooner i start feeling fresh.

i was happy with that. and i continued further. i would usually sleep between 6 and 8 hours a night. also, another thing is that my body does not know what saturday and sunday is. it does not care and currently has even started turning on a few minutes before my alarm clock. is not it amazing how well the human body adapts to different tasks and routines?

sports. i used to go jogging on mondays, wednesdays and fridays. on tuesdays, thursdays and saturdays i used to go to the gym to have my strength workouts so that i would not only be running. resistance training is important as well. and sundays i started calling the long run days. this basically just stands for its name. the first sunday i did half marathon and the second i did 30k meters of steady and slow jogging. all these activities except for the long runs i used to do fasted. there is no much time for preparing and eating some breakfast when i wake up at approximately 5 am. and this is perfectly fine. my performance has not suffered due to that. again, is not it admirable how fast and well the body can cope with such circumstances?

nutrition. i cut off all the obvious sugar. pastry, sweets, candies. junk food as well. stopped eating pizzas, drinking sodas. all foods with tons of hidden sugar as well. for example, ketchup, flavoured yoghurt and many other things that look so innocent but once you check the nutrition label you get surprised by the amount of sugar that good contains. i started drinking only water, water with lemon or some green tea. that is pretty much it.

i am trying to stick to whole foods. i try preparing most of them by myself because then i know what i add there and there is the possibility to know the approximate proportion of macronutrients and calories i am getting. i do not know the exact amount of them because i sometimes consume meals that have not been prepared at home. during sundays – long run days i usually consume around 4k kcal.

fitness results

during these first two weeks i have not lost any of my strength which i consider to be a kind of progress given the routine i am in. i jogged 126km in total and lost approximately 2.5 kg of my body weight.

lesson learned

these two weeks sum up to some small margin of the whole 100 days period. however being the very first they have indeed been important. i understood that all these cravings that had been impossible to avoid before actually became manageable. i understood that there is only one infinitesimally small yet the most important moment that defines the state of my nearest future: the decision moment. all i have to do in order to avoid something that does not go hand in hand with my goals is to decide to say

no, i do not actually need that

or

yes, i should do that

to myself at that decision moment. the more often i do that, the easier it gets. the weaker these cravings get.

another very important thing what i have been trying to do was to make these good decisions unconscious. i will explain this by an example. before i used to make a decision to do what is comfortable for me by default. i was not thinking about it. my brain asked for it, i gave it. therefore now i have been trying to turn this upside down. i am trying to make uncomfortable decisions my default state. so that i wake up, put my running shoes on and go outside as easily and automatically as i used to pick up that fifth ice cream from my freezer.

the end

this has been my first two weeks. there are so many good thoughts about this time in my head. i usually remember something more after i publish a post. however, during this long journey i hope i will put all of them here. i will also keep logging my status updates each week.

achieving things might be relatively trivial yet it does feel amazing.

remigijus

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