Self-Regulation Failure: Impact on Health

Through the use of daily rituals, increased planning, and execution of daily behaviors, I’ve made some pretty interesting changes in my ability to self-regulate.  My health markers have improved, my body fat has been in the single digits for about a year, and my personal productivity is at an all-time high.

I thought it would be interesting to see what it looks like when I fail to keep on schedule and allow my behaviors to deviate from my typical regularity.

A quick review…

I’ve been keeping things simple by making small changes in behavior over time.  Lock one in and then add the next and the next and so on.  For example:

Consistent bed times and wake times (including monitoring via OURA ring)

Management of intensive stressors (two intensive training sessions per week, two moderate to easy, light daily movement activities)

Blood sugar management via consistent eating plan with avoidance overeating and minimal alcohol

Inflammation management via consistent eating plan and supplementation (curcumin, EPA/DHA, D3, and a couple other things)

Brain health and performance supplementation (Cerevan and Neuro Coffee)

A regular study, reading, and writing schedule (to promote learning and creativity)

My monitoring and adjustment of behaviors has allowed me to hit personal records for deep sleep, REM sleep, lean body mass at my current body composition (I’m heavier but waist size is unchanged), and based on my to-do list I’ve been quite productive.  Here’s an example of the results.

Self reg success

This weekend was an IFAST Family reunion of sorts.  Whenever we sponsor a continuing education course, the change in schedule, eating, and social activity tends to gets a bit off course.

Here’s what happened…

Wake time is still perfect but sleep time was off.  When the family is in town, I gladly sacrifice sleep to spend as much time as I can with everyone.  The IFAST Family is huge now and there’s so many “kids” to catch up with.

An intensive day of learning demand a great deal of effort and energy.  This adds a bit of cognitive stress that I need to absorb.

I fell off the wagon (well, more like DOVE off the wagon) in regard to blood sugar management.  Eating plan was on point all day but the evening’s eating included pizza, a couple of margaritas (ROCKS, no salt!), some red velvet cake, some more red velvet cake, and some red velvet cake (not a typo).

With getting to bed late and the time change, I knew my markers would change when I couldn’t lower my resting heart rate as I was falling asleep.

Here’s the result:

self reg fail

Here are my thoughts in regard to my response to this weekend’s altered behaviors.

My efforts over the last year will result in a minimal impact on overall health. I’ll absorb these stressors easily.  In about two days, I’ll be back to normal.

However, my thoughts go to looking at the concepts of self-regulation and consistency.

What if my behaviors this weekend were the daily or weekly norm?

How quickly would my health degenerate?

How difficult would it be to manage my weight?

Would I be able to control my attitude and emotions?

How would all this add to my perceived stressors?

How would this impact my overall happiness and satisfaction with life?

I’m not beating myself up for my dive from the wagon of self-regulation.  I can take it.  I’m prepared for it.  I’m already back on schedule.

Food for thought.

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