Each day I’m getting further and further behind. I’m sure you know the feeling of not knowing when – or how – you’ll get around to doing what you’ve missed, much less what you’ve got on your plate for the coming week.

I joined the Nerd Fitness Rebellion 5 weeks ago, according to our fearless nerd leader Steve. Every Friday he sends an email with the coming week’s quest. While I’ve ventured out on my own and completed other missions, I’m still working on some week 4 tasks (week 6 are also sitting in my inbox now).

The emails include a “don’t worry if you are going at your own place” disclaimer, but I’m not reassured. To me, it seems like another way of saying “not gonna tell you that you suck because you might give up, but you suck. Slacker!”

Is it any wonder my inner monologues exhaust me?

Admittedly, I struggle to stay motivated despite lack of visible progress. Perhaps I underestimated myself when picking my nutrition level on the NFA timeline. I’m not really challenged by the items I’m supposed to be working on. I’m also not the best at being flexible with rules.

bacy eggs (2)

My first recipe from the NFA website

The plan calls for cutting out all grains for breakfast in level 3, my current step. The module eases participants into a paleo approach to food. Before really jumping into these level, I need to decide if that’s the path I want to pursue. Plenty of ladies in the Nerd Fitness Facebook group follow their own eating plan, so it’s not essential. However, I joined Nerd Fitness because I wanted guidance. Now that I have I, I’m resisting?

Could this be the reason I’m not seeing changes as I’d like? I claim to not care about the scale or the size of my pants. “I just want to be healthy,” I tell myself, but my disappointment tells the true story.

Diet is just one component of the Nerd Fitness Academy. I’m on hold in my progression of the fitness module, thanks to a couple of not-quite-injuries I’ve had the past couple of weeks. I’m still going into the gym, but only doing lower body exercises which don’t require holding weights.

Today my workout consisted of leg and calf presses, in addition to leg extensions. I finished up with some core work before calling it a day. While this is certainly no day of slacking in the gym, none of the exercises will advance my hopes of completing a pull-up. One single pull-up is all I’m working toward. Insult to injury, fearless leader also sent out an email on how to progress toward the move, which seemed to taunt me as I sit on the upper body injured reserve list.

Have I mentioned the third part of NFA, and arguably the most important? Obviously, I need the most work on shifting my mindset. Steve and the nerds realize that knowledge about diet and exercise don’t tell the full story. I’ve known what it takes to lose weight for over a decade, yet that alone hasn’t gotten me to my goals. Mindset quests challenge us to rethink our perspective. Reframe the way we see success.

For the past 5 weeks, I’ve walked 5 minutes first thing every morning. My work-day alarm is set for 5:55 and I’m back in the house as my morning coffee finishes brewing. Some mornings I’ve seen the tease of the rising sun as I move my feet to start my day. A few mornings Jay has joined me for a walk-and-talk.

headlamp (2)

This morning’s walk

After a hard rain, I hear the creek over my thoughts. The birds chirp. I see two of my own shadow and get freaked out.

While only a one-time thing, it was yesterday and totally freaked me out. The vast majority of my walks have been an enjoyable, however. They help me enjoy those moments before I have to start getting ready for work. When I’ve tried setting the alarm to get up for other reasons (writing, reading) I’ve not had the same success, yet now the walking is allowing me extra time for things.

GOAL: To be more active and better able to enjoy the things I love.

PROGRESS: Hard to deny.

I’ve always enjoyed strong coffee, and don’t quite remember when I started doctoring it up with flavored creamer. Americanos are my drink of choice at a fancy coffee shop, adding only half and half. When I decided to switch from the sugary creamer, I didn’t really consider drinking coffee black. Lowering my sugar (or artificial sweetener) consumption would be the small tweak I was willing to make.

Yet somewhere along the way, I decided to drink my first cup black. A friend gave me flavored k-cups, and I chose to drink those with no additives. Then I switched to making 4 cups in my standard coffee pot and drinking my first cup sans the white stuff. While the second cup lacks the freshness of the first, I’m starting to take it straight up as well. Once my current bottle of half and half is gone, I’ll make a clean break. Saving 25-80 calories a day doesn’t seem like much, but it still adds up over time.

GOAL: Remove empty calories from my diet. Cut things out I won’t miss or make me feel deprived.

PROGRESS: Empirically proven, if barely noticeable.

Stopping to take a moment and reflect on my why and my what, I guess I’m making progress after all. Patience isn’t a superpower I possess, but maybe I’ll get bitten by a radioactive spider while I wait for these changes to pay off.

Any bets on what I achieve first – my first pull-up or a patient attitude?