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Archive for the ‘spending’ Tag

Weigh In 12/10/2018   Leave a comment

Time for the weekly weigh in.  Good news this week.  As you know I actually gained a pound last week during the weigh in, and for the monthly update no less.  This week I’m happy to report that I’ve bounced back.  Last week I weighed in at 272.2 pounds.  This week I weighed in at 269.6 pounds.  So I not only lost the pound I gained last week, I lost an additional 1.6 pounds on top of that.  Sweet.  On top of that I’ve breached 270 pounds which means I’m either at, or very near, what I used to weigh in high school.

For muscle mass I was 27.7% last week and 27.9% this week.  In terms of pounds that’s 75.4 pounds last week, and 75.2 pounds this week.  Lost a little muscle possibly, but at .2 pounds that could be a measuring error.  Not too worried about it, although I’d be happier if it were definitively climbing.

For body fat I was 36.4% last week and 36.1% this week.  In terms of pounds that’s 99.1 pounds last week and 97.3 this week.  So 1.8 pounds of fat lost.  Between that and the muscle loss that still leaves about .6 pounds of weight to account for which I would assume is water weight.

So exactly three weeks from today will be December 31st.  Last day of the year and last weigh in of the year.  If I lose another 7 pounds between then and now I’ll have lost 90 pounds on the nose for the year.  7.5 pounds a month on average.  I’d be very happy with that goal.  To have lost a full 100 pounds this year I’d have to lose 17 pounds, which I don’t see happening.

Not a lot of change in my meditation or exercise routines this week other than small incremental increases.  Same with mood and mindset.  Just a little better than last week, nothing major to report.

When it comes to finances I have to admit I’ve slipped a little.  I purchased an LED salt lamp I didn’t need, I just wanted.  I justified it by telling myself that it was for creating a better ambience in the room while I meditated.  The reality is that I don’t need to create ambience, especially since I meditate with the eyes closed most of the time.  Other then that I’ve done well with spending and getting debt paid off.

YouTube is going pretty well.  Nearly at 200 views.  Excited about that.  And I’ve begun recording an extra video on Wednesday’s to put up later in the week.  Starting with the new year I’d like to make a goal of getting at least two videos up a week.  I think that by doing so my views will go up a little quicker which brings me that much closer to being monetized, which is a big goal of the channel.  The primary being to put out videos that reach people and help people.  I’d like to spend more of my time doing that and that’s why I want to monetize.  If I could make a living off of it I could devote myself full-time to it.

The book has been revised a bit, but I should be putting in a bit more time on it.  With the end of the year three weeks away I’m working under the assumption that it won’t be out for sale by end of 2018.  But it still should be out early 2019.  We’ll see how it goes.

That wraps up this weeks update.  Let me know what you think.  The final goal I’ll mention this week is doing better about getting a post up every day here.  It may just be to get a quick thought up, but I’d like something every day.  So to that end I’ll wish you a good day and plan on seeing you tomorrow.  Later.

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Weigh In 11/12/2018   Leave a comment

Did my weekly weigh in this morning.  Last week was a disappointing gain in weight.  This week was a triumphant comeback.  A week ago I weighed in at 277.2 pounds.  Today I weighed in at 273.0 pounds.  A 4.2 pound drop for the week and that places me 1.4 pounds under what I was 2 weeks ago.

For muscle mass I was at 27.2% last week, and now I’m at 27.7%.  In pounds that’s 75.4 pounds last week and 75.6 pounds this week for a gain of .2 pounds of muscle.  Not a lot, but a gain none the less.

For body fat I was at 37.3% last week, and now I’m at 36.6%.  In pounds that’s 103.4 pounds last week and 99.9 pounds this week.  I’m down 3.5 pounds of fat.  More importantly I’m now under 100 pounds of body fat.  So very excited about that.  I even had to redo the math a second time when that came up because it surprised me so much.

Exercise wise it was a great week.  I closed all three rings every day of the week.  I got in 2 workouts a day of fifteen minutes, or more, each.  I’ve been including more body weight exercises in there, which explains the slight gain in muscle.  I feel stronger and healthier each day.

Mentally, it’s been a very positive week for me.  I’ve noticed at work that I’m not letting things that would have gotten under my skin rattle me anymore.  I respond better to customers who are being difficult.  And the few times I did start to lose my cool my mind immediately jumped in to remind me I’m a happier person now and it diffused.  I’m reading more, and I think a little quicker.  As I approach the end of the year I just feel better and better.

Finance wise not much to report.  I’m doing better with my money and haven’t wasted it on silly things.  I catch myself when I want something and think about whether it’s really a necessary purchase or not.  The answer is mainly that it isn’t.  Bonus time at work is coming up soon and I plan to use the bonus to pay down credit cards.  Overall I feel a lot more positive about my finances.

And I feel a lot more positive about my life in general.  I’m less than 2 years from turning 50 and the road ahead of me looks better to me every day.  And I’m more confident about my long-term goals, like enjoying life on the road going from place to place as I get older.  Kind of a vacation that’ll last the rest of my days.

I hope things are going well for you all, like they are for me.  If not, hang in there.  With time and patience it can get better.  I know because it has for me.  Have a great day.

10/29/2018 Weigh In   Leave a comment

I did my weekly weigh in this morning.  I came in at 274.4 pounds.  I’m very happy with that as it’s a 2.2 pound loss from last week.  My muscle mass went from 27.2% to 27.4%.  In terms of pounds that’s pretty much the same muscle weight, but it is the one percentage I do like to see go up.  My body fat went from 37.5% to 37.1%, or from 103.7 pounds to 101.8 pounds.  So most of my weight loss this week was body fat.  Great news there, and I’m excited to be so close to having less then 100 pounds of body fat.

Exercise wise I was a bit under expectations.  I traveled to Nashville on Thursday and caught a bug while I was there.  Spent a couple of days in bed, so very low activity level.  On the plus side, being in ketosis I weather being in bed much better.  Back on my glucose diet that would have led to me being starved by the end and making really bad food choices the day after recovery.  On the ketogenic diet my body just relied a little more on itself for fuel, which explains the 2 pound fat drop, even though I didn’t exercise as much.

Meditation wise I did improve.  When you’re laying in bed for a couple of days you have plenty of time to get some done.  I think that also made the recovery a lot more agreeable.  Even when sick, if you’re keeping a positive, meditative mindset you still feel happy overall.

On the YouTube channel, I’m doing really well.  Already up to four videos and I’ll post my fifth in two days.  View wise, things are going well better than I had hoped.  I had planned on real slow going at the start. Maybe 5-10 views tops per video.  My lowest views is the last video I posted at 13.  Altogether I’ve gotten 116 views, nearly triple my highest expectation.  As of last night my videos have been watched for a total of 385 minutes.  I even have 6 subscribers, and I thought it would take a month or two before getting my first.  This is a situation like I talked about in yesterday’s post.  I just set an intention for success on my YouTube channel instead of specific benchmarks and the universe is providing better results than I imagined.  I still understand that this is a long-term success project, and I’ll keep putting up new videos every week, but I’m certainly satisfied with how things are starting.

On the book front, sadly the results aren’t as good.  When I got started on the YouTube channel I let that take priority.  And it became my sole focus.  While the book is mostly complete from a first draft perspective, it should be in the final draft stage by now.  Since the YouTube channel is moving along nicely I’ll devote more of my time in the next few weeks to the book.

On the money front, some old habits crept back in.  Mainly in the form of books.  I enjoy downloading samples to my Kindle so I get an idea if I’ll like a book before I buy.  Unfortunately some habits die hard. After reading a few samples and liking the books I jumped on Amazon and bought them.  Although the books are ones that are good reads for being a better person, they weren’t necessary purchases so they were a violation of the rules.  So I’m posting it here for accountability reasons.

That wraps up this weeks update.  Had a few shortfalls but mainly I feel like this week was a move in the right direction.  I’m focusing on keeping it going and closing the year out strong in these last two months.  Next week will be my monthly update with pics.  See you then.

Spending Challenge Update   Leave a comment

I said a while ago that I was adding accountability to my spending habits. I laid out new rules governing my spending for the next six months.  I got this idea from the book “The Year of Less” by Cait Flanders.  I’ll leave an Amazon affiliate link to the Kindle version of this book, and two others I’ll mention, at the end of this post (just click the book covers).  So I decided for today’s post I will give a quick update.

I’ve had remarkably little issues sticking to this game plan.  I have had a number of items I’ve come across that I was at first very excited about, and would have gone on to impulse buy.  Then I thought about having to come back here and admit I broke the rules and the urge just went away.  I didn’t even really have to spend a lot of time going over it in my head. Or running through the reasons I wanted to start getting my finances in shape.  I just knew that there was no way I could justify the purchase because it was just an impulse buy.  And that is the habit I’m trying to break.

As I did point out, though, I’ve had little issue sticking to this, not “no trouble at all.”  I had a minor transgression today that I wanted to share.  I love reading, and more importantly I love reading about things that make me a better person.  I started reading a book called “Hustle: The Life Changing Effects of Constant Motion” by Jesse Tevelow.  I purchased this book before I started the challenge so this book wasn’t a violation.  I haven’t read the whole book yet but I’ve read enough to know I like Jesse as an author.  The book is, obviously, about hustling and how hustling can benefit your bottom line.  I’ll do a better review after I’m done with the book.

In the book he mentions another book he wrote called “Authorpreneur: Build the Brand, Business, and Lifestyle You Deserve.  It’s Time to Write Your Book.”  One of the reasons I started this blog is way back in the day I used to write, a lot.  And it felt so good writing.  So I wanted to get back into writing to recapture that feeling.  I’ve been considering ways to turn my enjoyment of writing into a way of making money as well.  While I understand how to write (although as I’m sure you’ve gathered by my posts so far I’m a little rusty) I don’t really know much of anything about how to make money off of it.  While I am published, it was in high school and collegiate level literature anthologies.  So no paycheck involved in those.  This book will help fill in my knowledge gaps to get from where I am, a writer, to where I want to be, a paid writer (hopefully well paid).  So I purchased the book.  And then I realized right after I did it that I was violating the rules.  I didn’t use my reward points to get it, I just instinctively clicked the 1-Click buy button on Amazon.  Now the offense totaled a whopping $0.99 but it’s still an offense so I share it with you today.  I just hope that, once read, it leads to knowledge that allows me to recoup my investment and a lot more.  That’s the only oops I’ve made.

So that’s where I stand on the spending challenge.  With just one little slip up I’m calling it so far so good.  I’ll update my progress again soon.  If I slip up again I’ll update you sooner.  On the whole though I’m feeling really good about this challenge so I’m guessing I’ll stick with it.  As promised here are the links to the books below.  Have a good day, people.

07/09/2018 Weigh In   Leave a comment

Posting this a little late again.  I apologize for that.  I’ve tried to tell myself that it’s because I’ve not been feeling well.  I’ve lived in the great Northwest most my life and now live in Madison, Alabama where this time of year it is both hot and very humid.  I’m doing better then I was last year when I first got down here but the bottom line is this weather still doesn’t agree with my Northwest physiology.  But that isn’t the real reason, and I know it.  For the first time since I started weighing in I’ve gone up in weight without it being connected to my day off from Keto.

Not sure why, or what’s different in this past week.  I ate like I normally do and I’ve been good about exercising even in the heat and humidity.  It wasn’t much (gained .6 pounds) but I know it was body fat as my body fat percentage went up from 40.3% to 40.5%.

Were I a betting man I’d guess it’s because there have been some personal stresses in my life due to changes I’m making.  I’m not happy with my current job and I’ve been looking elsewhere. That creates a bit of uncertainty in my life and that creates stress.  I’ve been meditating each day and thought I was keeping it in check but it’s the only thing I can think of, other then the weather.  I suppose the weather could be partly to blame, and that would suck as it’ll be a few more weeks of this and I wanted to drop at least 5 more pounds before I fly back to Washington State for a visit. However I’m most inclined to believe it’s the stress.

And that creates a little more stress.  That’s the problem with stress is that it so easily builds on itself.  The thing is though I know that’s it now.  So I’m being hyper vigilant about my thoughts.  When a doubt or a criticism creeps in I quickly correct it.  On the whole I just know I’m making the right choice.  That this is what the universe has in store for me.  And I focus on that.  I’m working on adding what I call “mini meditations” into my day where I just stop and relax my mind and repeat positive affirmations in my head.  I’m also journaling regularly to get the thoughts out on “paper” (my journal is on my iPhone/iPad) which makes it easier to deal with them.  I just keep first and foremost in my thoughts that these things are endurable and I’ll be better on the other side.  So to that end I’m going to do a daily post for the next week as a trial run to see how that goes. Maybe it helps me, maybe it helps someone who reads it.  Either way I’m all about taking steps to be a little better today then I was yesterday, and a little better still tomorrow.  Take care.

 

Spending Accountability   Leave a comment

Just wanted to send off a blog about my new spending practices.  One thing I noticed after I posted the original blog is that I hadn’t taken into account subscriptions to things like Netflix, Curiosity Stream, and language apps I use.  I gave it a little thought and I came to this decision.  We all need entertainment and education.  The measure of whether I would keep it or not is whether or not I actually use it.  Netflix I use regularly enough that it’s a keeper.  But I noticed that there were things like iTunes Match I was paying for that I can’t even remember the last time I actually used it.  And with iTunes Match I had the added silliness of paying for Apple Music, which I do use, which duplicates the very features of iTunes Match is use.  You’re welcome, btw, Mr. Cook.

So I went down the list of things I subscribe to and put them in two lists.  Subscriptions I’ve used in the last month, and obviously ones I haven’t.  Anything I was using I feel good about keeping but I’ll keep an eye on my usage.  Does the benefit justify the cost.  Column 2 was way easier to deal with.  Some of the subscriptions I got when I had good intentions and then never used.  So I’m out hundreds of dollars on some of these things with nothing to show.  Those, of course, I got rid of immediately.  On the list there were a few that I hadn’t used but knew I should, like wanting to improve my mind by learning languages.  Those I kept but with the caveat that once their usage goes down again they’re gone.

The final step in regards to keeping the subscription was the frequency at which I paid them.  A number of them I got on the monthly subscription because I wanted to test them out before I committed. But since I never tested them out I had wasted a lot of money I could have been saving by getting the yearly subscription.  So if I kept the app/subscription it was changed to the longest offering, which offered the best price.

The overall final step in this audit was changing how they were paid.  I have three credit cards.  They are all reward cards, one is for Apple, the other an airline, and the newest is Amazon.  I do a lot of business on Amazon so this card pays for itself.  I have let the Apple and airline card sneak up on how much I have on them.  This also costs a lot in interest I could be spending on me (or saving if I were being smarter).  So now all recurring payments and spending go on the Amazon card and that’s getting paid off at the end of the month so I don’t drown in interest.  I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t making progress on my Apple card as I always pay more then the minimum and it was the recurring stuff that was getting me behind my back.

Now that things are better organized lets see how this affects my bottom line.

New area of accountability   Leave a comment

So another area I’ve been working on improving in my life are my finances.  I’ve read a number of books on the subject but the one that resonated the most with me was Cait Flanders “The Year of Less”.  I already reviewed the book before so I won’t do it again here.  I’ll just give the overall gist which is she describes how she drastically reduced her spending habits for a year and how it went.  If you’d like to get a copy for yourself to check it out, here is an Amazon Affiliate link to it (just click on the pic):

I’ve been toying with the idea of doing a similar thing but that’s all I’ve done.  Now I’m ready to commit.  So I will share the rules for me as she did with her rules on her blog.  They’re pretty similar to hers.  The one difference is I’m running my experiment to the end of the year.

The first rule is I can buy any food I want but it has to be something I’ll eat in the next week, with the exception of the Ketolent keto shakes as you have to buy it in month supplies.  This one is pretty straight forward.  I have a bad habit of buying a lot of food and not getting around to eating it before it expires.  This wastes a lot of money, and just karma wise isn’t good as I’m wasting food others would gladly take to survive on.  If I buy something and have to throw it away because it expired I have to share with you on here what it was.

The next rule is I can’t buy a supplement unless I need it.  And need is defined as a supplement that fixes a deficiency in me that isn’t being taken care of by food.  What this pretty much means is I’m only getting electrolytes and multivitamins.  No more BCAAs or extras to “support” mitochondrial function.  I take a lot of supplements that I just can’t prove I need, many of which are very pricey.

Next is no toys, video games, collector’s items, or the like.  These are all wants not needs which drain money and eventually collect dust.

As for clothes, I am going to use the same rule she did.  The amount of clothes I own will stay constant. So if I buy something it has to be because I’m getting rid of another piece of clothing.  Also, it has to be a necessary buy.  So as I lose weight and can’t fit into my old clothes I can buy replacements, but I have to throw the old clothes out.  But I can’t just buy something because I like it, even if I’m willing to throw something away to maintain the balance.

Also, same as her, I’m leaving a cut out for gifts, toiletries, car repairs, or medicine.  But I’ll require myself to be frugal in those purchases.  Buy things on sale where I can, use generic brands instead of pricier name brands, and give gifts such that I’m not overspending to look good with my gift purchase.

The two final exceptions I’m allowing myself are as follows.  First, I use an Amazon credit cards that gets me points I can later use to buy things on Amazon. This doesn’t amount to increased spending as I naturally will get the points from the acceptable purchases.  The caveat is I have to have enough points to purchase the item, no “making up the difference” because I’m close enough.  Second, I can’t possibly know in advance everything that might happen between now and the end of the year.  So if an unforeseen event comes up that could possibly be a violation of the rules but I view it as a necessary exception I can make the purchase.  The catch is I have to come on here and explain my rationale.  If after explaining my rationale you guys think I was actually rationalizing I will accept whatever penance you feel I owe to make up for it.  I don’t foresee myself making use of this one, but figured as a just in case I’ll include it.

So that’s the game plan to see how much improvement I can make between now and the end of the year.  Come January 1st I will re-evaluate the rules and if they’re working I’ll continue but if not I’ll make changes to make them better.  I’ll also give progress reports on how it’s going.  That’s it for now.  I’ll touch base with you soon on how it’s going.  Take care.