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All around us, it was as if the universe were holding its breath . . . waiting. All of life can be broken down into moments of transition or moments of revelation. This had the feeling of both. G'Quon wrote, "There is a greater darkness than the one we fight. It is the darkness of the soul that has lost its way. The war we fight is not against powers and principalities – it is against chaos and despair. Greater than the death of flesh is the death of hope, the death of dreams. Against this peril we can never surrender." The future is all around us, waiting in moments of transition, to be born in moments of revelation. No one knows the shape of that future, or where it will take us. We know only that it is always born in pain. Big Why I have respawned more times than I can count. And I think the main reason is that my big why wasn't strong enough, or big enough, or revisited often enough. I always start out strong but then something happens to disrupt the routine, or I get distracted, or lose focus, and it all comes crumbling down again. I was having a deep conversation with my partner and he said, "I wish you could just be happy with yourself the way you are, and I think you would be happier overall if you just accepted yourself as you are, instead of constantly trying and failing." I understand what he was trying to say, but I think there is a fundamental part of me that says, "You could be better." It says, "You weren't always like this, and staying this way is a failure." There's a logical part of it that says, "A healthier lifestyle would be good for your mental health because endorphins are a great remedy for depression," and "Most of your depression and insecurity comes from being unhappy with the state of your health and appearance, your inability to buy clothes, the loss of looks you once had under pounds of extra flesh, and being too unfit to do things you used to be able to do so easily." So, while I appreciate that he was saying what he said from a place of love and with the hope that I would love myself as much as he loves me, and be happy with myself in who I am now, I think that I will respectfully disagree. I deserve to be in the best condition I can be. I owe it to myself to look after my body. When I know what the right choices are, it makes no sense that I keep making the wrong choices. SMART Goals/Quest list This is a master list; I won't work on them all at once but I will work towards these big goals with the challenges. Nutrition: 1. Eating planned meals according to macros: 33P/29C/38F 2. Weighing and tracking food on MFP for at least 30 consecutive days 3. Phasing out carbonated drinks (including diet soda) in favour of water, tea and black coffee. 4. Cutting down on sugar and processed foods over time. 5. Reducing take-out meals to 3 times a week. Mental: 1. Getting control of my depression through meds and therapy. 2. Improving self-care such as brushing my teeth at least twice a day for a month. 3. Meditating every day for a month. 4. Overcoming social media addiction. 5. Updating progress here at least once a day. 6. Using my bullet journal to manage my time effectively. 7. Doing deep thinking about relationship stuff to improve our communication. 8. Tidying the apartment for 30 minutes every day. 9. Completing a konmari of the apartment before we move to Ecuador. 10. Quit smoking. 11. Developing real life, sincere friendships. Fitness 1. Exercising every day (30 day fitness challenge app). 2. Building a regular workout routine (on paper and in practice). 3. Developing a yoga practice routine on my rest days. 4. Spending at least 30 minutes outside each day (once I have left China and its air pollution). 5. Swimming at least once a week. 6. Do a 2 minute plank. 7. Do a pull up. 8. Run a 5k. 9. Climb a volcano. And if anything pops up to throw me off track, I will be prepared. After all,