If I were to be completely candid, I'm not happy with how 2018 went. I had some large aspirations, and I didn't make the majority of them a reality. I had a case of acute burnout and many disappointments. The good thing about 2018 is that it forced me to make some tradeoffs and consider what things were important to me and what things needed to go away. All of this makes me excited for 2019.
Paleo Round 2
I returned to a Paleo diet after a 3-year hiatus. Since quitting Paleo over three years ago, I gained 60 pounds. Since I didn't think there was anything special about Paleo, I wondered for a long time if there was something wrong with my body. When I initially gained all of the weight I suspected I had some auto-immune or digestive system disease. I spent a year going to doctors, nutritionists, and other health professionals and after many blood tests (I hate needles with a passion), nothing was found. I tried a few expensive gyms and worked out hard every day (90-120 minutes burning over 1000 calories), but I remained the same weight. In 2016 my Doctor recommended trying Phentermine, which is a weight loss drug. It worked, but I lost 20 pounds and couldn't lose any more. Once I was off Phentermine, I ballooned back up to my peak weight despite heavy food journaling and maintaining a calorie deficit.
In August of this year, one of my best friends started a Keto diet. He started losing weight like crazy, and I thought about giving it a try. The one problem for me was Keto is pretty heavy on dairy, and I am lactose intolerant. I was reminded of Paleo and committed to trying again. The first few weeks I didn't lose any weight, but then the weight started coming off. I've lost about 35 pounds since then and am planning to drop the raiming 25 to return to my ideal weight by March. I've decided Paleo is the diet I'll keep the rest of my life.
With this decision, there are a host of things that are hard about it. Food is expensive; people make fun of me for eating substitute kinds of pasta and rice. Despite the positive impact the diet has on my life the snarky comments and "why don't you try the real thing" are discouraging at worse and acutely annoying at best. Most of this criticism comes because of my excitement and sharing my diet. In 2019 I'm going to keep most of this to myself and live my life.
The trite platitude "I would be nothing without my spouse" is still dull, but I've seen the truth of it this year. My wife helps make everything I do (even if I consider it not enough) possible. She's supported me through taking on this seemingly crazy diet and helps talk me off the ledge more than I care to admit. She is the person I turn to for advice on everything, even if it's a topic she wouldn't call herself an expert in. To say I love her is not telling enough.
For Christmas last year I got a Mavic Pro, and it brought back some of my youthfulness. I read a post on Artifact Uprising about one trick to taking a great photo is to get a different perspective. With a drone, you have a wealth of perspectives at your disposal. It's also incredible to fly my drone and see how excited other people are about the drone. For 2019, I’m going to try some more daring photos.
I talk about and reference this book every day since I read it. It's "the" book on Human-Center Design or designing for humans. The thing about this book that was so eye-opening to me is that it gave me a template or a lens by which to view design. No longer do I use words like "intuitive" or "bad" for design, now I have a much more precise way to talk about frustrating user experiences.
Movies, TV, and Music
2018 was a downer in all of these categories. I went to the movie theatre plenty of times, listened to all the well-reviewed albums and start many TV shows, but few of them stuck with me for more than a week or two. With Oscar Season™ in full swing, I'm hoping one of these movies changes my opinion. Of all the music I listened to this year, I probably liked Saba's album the best. There are some highly anticipated albums in 2019, and I hope they don't disappoint.
Here is a rough list of things I'd like to accomplish in 2019:
Write. In 2017 I published 36 blogs in 2018 I posted four including this one. I won't get back to 36, but my goal for 2019 is 20 posts.
Focus on the local community. Most of my travel is for public speaking, and I'm only planning on speaking at one conference this year. Utah's tech scene is growing, but the meetups are lagging in quality. I will focus my energy on helping the organizers here and offering to speak when I can.
Return to cycling. Over the last few years, I've been casual on my bike but being 60 pounds heavier than when I was a hardcore rider made it hard to enjoy. Now that I'm losing weight, I'm going to be back with a vengeance on my bike.
Family travel. We traveled quite a bit in 2018, and those are some of the fonest memories we have. Two thousand nineteen will be another year of travel for us.
Read one fiction book. Outside of "The Goal" I didn't read any fiction in 2018. I got a handful of fiction recommendations from Twitter, and I'm going to try to get through at least one of those.
Books Read: 27 (Goal was 24)
Programming Languages Learned: 1 (Ballerina)
Average Sleep Per Night: 6.2 Hours (Up from 5.7!)
Weight Lost: 35 Pounds
Step Back Threes: 300