OR: December, Holy Month of Distractions.
What a month it has been. And I can’t say that is a truly positive statement. There have been more distractions than I can remember, more cheat days than I want to remember, and plenty of time wasted sitting in traffic, waiting in line at stores, or going from Point A to Points B,C,D,E,F and G.
I celebrated many landmark events: My 34th Birthday, my first anniversary with my girlfriend, Christmas, the wedding of a friend, the start of 2016, and one year free from alcohol.
I spent several days before Christmas with a short-lived but extremely potent cold virus. For 48 hours, I woke up, took cold medicine and vitamins, then went directly back to sleep, repeating the cycle until I felt better.
Frankly, the past 30+ days have been exhausting. It’s all been very distracting and counterproductive.
- I wasn’t even close to being as strict as I wanted to be on my nutrition. Too many hectic days ended with the purchase of prepared foods, as adding the grocery store, prep time, and cook time to our schedules would have taken us into the wee hours of the morning. The big problem with this was:
- I didn’t get ahead of a busy schedule. I played catch-up throughout the entire month. I almost never prepared food in advance, and it was rare that I had my day planned out the night before.
- I wasn’t strict about my cardio. I didn’t plan for it, and was always attempting to compensate for lost time.
- Every day was different, and generally packed with things I needed to accomplish. I thrive on a regulated schedule with designated times for each objective. To be completely honest, I was best with nutrition and training while working a conventional 9-5 job. This month consistently threw a wrench into my gears.
I have all of these negatives, but when I look at the big picture, I start to notice something interesting: I actually took far more positive actions than I had missteps this month. Considering this past month basically a failure means only one thing:
The standards I hold myself to are continually increasing.
And now, seeing the big picture… the progress I made this month is impossible to ignore.
- I started being far more active on Twitter. I had some great discussions with like-minded men, building my audience, and driving readership. Dare I even say it, I’ve made some friends in the blogosphere.
- I lifted consistently, with only one actual (and necessary) week off. Even when I couldn’t pull off cardio, I was still there for at least 45 minutes, 4 days a week, firing off squats, deads, pulls and presses.
- I started taking Osta-Red. I watched my body fat percentage
continue to decline (despite averaging a maintenance-level caloric intake) and my strength increase. I also saw what appears to be a slight boost in size, although that may just be an illusion caused by the fat loss.
- I deadlifted 405, which was a major goal of mine for 2015. And then I did it again yesterday (without chalk). It was a slippery one, and I almost dropped it. But I did get 405 up to the top. The next step is to get my squats to 315
- I ended up with some excellent gear. The majority of them were presents. I hate spending money one myself, so the fact that my girlfriend picked up these items that I had been eyeing up instead of getting me something dumb like a Playstation… she deserves to be commended for her choices: Adidas Powerlift Shoes, Chalk, a Fitbit Charge HR with a syncing scale, new shorts, new headphones, a new water bottle, a big jug of Xtend, a few cases of Quest Bars, a 22-inch Weber grill, and an amazingly nice coffee maker. I can’t wait to hole myself up in my house and my gym for the remainder of the winter with these items to help me zero in on some ruthless focus.
- I found a butcher that has increased my steak game exponentially. Thanks to my training partner, I get top-quality steaks at dirt-cheap prices, cut exactly the way I want. Ten minutes from my front door.
I have set myself up for massive success in January and beyond. I have one more day with some frivolous distractions, but beyond this, my calendar is fucking empty other than my game plan. It’s all broken down by month, but 2016 will be huge. By this time next year, I’ll have a whole new set of plans, and be in a whole new set of circumstances.
Bring it on.