Year of Health Checkin | #25

Hello dear friends 👋

We’re a third of the way through the year. In the spirit of working with the garage door up, I want to talk about how I’m playing this year of health on Easy Mode and what’s next.

Quick refresher: Year of Health is my theme for 2021. It’s a global intention to guide my choices and efforts. There are no rules to break and no targets to miss. Setting the bar low is my One Weird Trick™️ to long-term success. It works because consistency is more important than intensity when you’re starting out. Doing something regularly, even something simple, builds evidence that you’re the kind of person that does that thing. Over time, you progressively increase the effort, but it never feels like a huge change from what you’re already doing.

Lifting 🏋

I’ve been lifting on and off for over a decade. Since having kids, it’s been hard to lift consistently. Since everything was closed over the winter, I decided it was the perfect time to bring this back. Now I’m happy to report I’ve been lifting 2-3 times a week consistently since February. There’s no specific program. I just alternate a few major lifts I like.

Lifting is a keystone habit. When I lift, everything else gets better too. Besides the primary goal of being healthy and strong, I sleep better, have more energy, feel accomplished, practice doing something hard, get in shape to play at Masters Nationals in July, and stay anchored to physical reality.

Meditating 🧘‍♂️

My friend Misha (a Unicycle reader 👋) introduced me to the Waking Up app a few months ago. The intro is free and I kinda just stuck with it. Now I do 10 minutes most days in the morning before work.

So far I’ve found that practicing meditation helps me feel my attention more clearly. It’s like I’ve developed a new sense. When I’m playing with my kids and my phone rings, I literally feel my attention pulled toward it. That feeling prompts me to ask myself “is this what I want to do right now?”, which helps me get distracted less and spend more time doing what I really want. It’s kind of magical, and for me it’s totally worth the effort.

Food 🍣

I did six weeks of Clockwork Nutrition, a new experimental service that puts your diet on autopilot. They send you two meals a day (skipping breakfast because fasting is good), tailored to your dietary preferences. They handle the calorie counting, macro- and micro-nutrient balance, delivery, etc. This paired nicely with my lifting, as I’ve always had trouble gaining weight and they helped make sure I was getting enough (I’m at 172lb now, my heaviest ever). In the end Clockwork wasn’t right for me because it didn’t fit with the rest of the family, but it was fun to give it a try.

At the same time, my wife has been focusing on her diet too. Since she’s mostly in charge of food in our family (thanks dear ❤️), I’ve adopted her changes — cutting out added sugar and reducing meat and dairy.

Going Outside 🌄

Inspired by Fery (also a Unicyclist 💪) and the warm weather, I’ve been eating lunch outside. So far that’s been sitting on the porch and watching kids run around in the field. But now that local cafes have been opening up their outdoor areas, I’m planning to broaden my dining options. Getting in early, eating slowly, and doing some writing feels like a great once-a-week treat.

To spend even more time outside, the Grin family has upgraded our biking setup. My daughter got too big to sit on the back of my bike, so I sold it and got a cargo bike instead. It’s the minivan of bikes, with room for two in the back. We’ve been biking to school, soccer, and just going for rides on the bike path by our house.

Next: Microdosing 🍄

I’m considering doing a month of microdosing psilocybin or LSD. It should be fun and interesting, and if the stories are true it’ll do all sorts of positive magical things. I’m somewhat skeptical and very curious (and that’s the Unicycle sweet spot).

I have a lot of experience with psychedelics but I’ve never tried microdosing. If you have experience with microdosing or single-subject research, I’d love to talk to you.

The best is yet to come 🚀