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Aquarii

Aquarii: Pivot

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Yeahhhh, I am back, again. I know, I know, the only thing I have consistently done lately is not be consistent with my challenges, haha. I feel like I should probably be disappointed in myself. In the past I would have been. In the past I would have felt like a failure when I look back on the fact that I don't think I have completed a single challenge in like a year or two, much less participated in all of them. But I am not my past self.

 

The past year or so has been a time of tons of personal growth, career growth, relationship growth, financial growth (because of career growth, lol). Not so much growth on the physical front, but hey, maintenance isn't the end of the world when there are other things competing for your attention. Anyway, lots of growth, but growth never happens the way we think it will. And sometimes it comes through "failure" or at least what we want to perceive as failure. 

 

For example, in my last challenge, I set a bunch of running goals, which is fine. Except that I was setting goals for someone I wasn't anymore. I was setting goals for the little girl who was always embarrassed about being one of the slowest kids in gym class and on the soccer team. It was for the girl who was always bigger than most her friends. It was for the girl who thought running = fitness. But that girl, that person, that isn't ME anymore. *I* don't give a damn about running. Sure, I like to go for a (very) quick jog on occasion, and I love going for walks. But running is probably one of my last choices for fitness activities I want to learn or participate in. And I really don't see the need to let my 10 year old self control my 25 year old life choices. Chances are, unless there is a very real threat of a zombie apocalypse, I won't be spending a large chunk of my time training to run...and even then, I just need to run enough to outrun someone else ;)

 

Needless to say, I failed quit my running challenge pretty quickly. Because I realized I was doing it for all the wrong reasons and my heart really just wasn't in it. I have stayed strong with my dance classes, even adding in another one (on the same night...because two hours of fairly high intensity dancing is a great idea, right?). 

 

I am someone who has always struggled with perfectionism. Always. And that tends to trip me up a lot with these challenges, because if I am not perfectly hitting all of my goals, or "giving up" on some of my goals, it gets harder for me to keep posting. So I am going with a different approach this time. Who says a challenge has to be all or nothing? Who says it can't completely change halfway through? No one, and even if they did...I can do what I want when I want to XD.

 

So, for my challenge, the rule is simple, I am allowed to change my goals at any time under three conditions:

1) I am not allowed to change it the day of or in the moment, I can change it for the next day. This prevents me from "changing my goal" simply because I don't feel like doing it in the moment.

2) I have a reason for making the change (again, I am not allowed to change my goal just because I don't feel like it)

3) I have decided on what I am going to do INSTEAD. If I have decided that the goal is no longer worth my time, then I have to decide what will replace that time, and no, binge watching Jeffree Star videos on YouTube does not count as a valid replacement.

 

I am going to start my goals off a little more on the simple side, and I might pivot to something more challenging, or add in some more challenging things as I move forward:

 

 

Intermittent Fasting during the work week

I will hit weekends too, if I can, but if my husband says he wants to make me breakfast on the weekend, I am not saying no =P 

Image result for intermittent fasting meme

 

 

 

 

Twice-daily skincare routine

I have basically never been consistent with a skincare routine, but I am 25 and my skin has decided it is not very happy with me. I have been playing around with a basic routine, and I have ordered some new products to try out (because what I have is just not cutting it for my fairly dry skin), sooooo this should be fun. And hopefully my face doesn't break out in an angry mess. It seemed to handle the fact that I waxed the equivalent of nearly half my face when I was bored the other night, soooooooooooo, I think we will be ok XD

Image result for jeffree star skin care memes

 

 

 

Maintain 3x daily walks

I used to work in retail, typically logging a minimum of 8-10k steps a day, but in January of this year, I got an office job. The only way I stay sane (and at least slightly active) is by taking 10-15 minute walks every few hours. But for those of you who don't know me, I HATE THE COLD WITH EVERY FIBER OF MY BEING WITH THE BURNING PASSION OF A THOUSAND SUNS. So, as it gets colder, I need to be more proactive about maintaining my walks. 

Image result for just keep walking memes

 

 

 

Maintain my dance classes through the end of the session (late Nov)

I hate the cold, I hate the days getting shorter, I don't want to do anything when it is cold and dark but read books and watch YouTube videos, and steal body heat from my husband or cat. As the days are getting shorter and colder and my motivation to be outside of the house is waning, I need to be more proactive about keeping up with physical activities. I love my dance classes, but I was very close to skipping the other day, because it was cold, and rainy, and I just didn't feel like going. There is no room for wining here, buckle up, buttercup and get your butt to your class, Aquarii. This isn't rocket science. SAD be damned.

Image result for dance memes

 

 

 

Finish 2 Books

I have slacked off on my reading lately, but thankfully I was ahead. If I finish two books by the end of this challenge, and two more in December, I will hit my New Year resolution of 30 books for the year!!

Image result for books memes

 

 

 

To those of you who are new to my challenges, HEY!! HI!! HELLO!! WELCOME!! Yes, I am as crazy as I sound. Things are never boring around here. 

 

 

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I think too often we think we should be growing in everything all the time, when reality is that we tend to focus on different area at different times. I like your challenge , and the way you've given yourself permission to change some goals

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17 hours ago, Elastigirl said:

I think too often we think we should be growing in everything all the time, when reality is that we tend to focus on different area at different times. I like your challenge , and the way you've given yourself permission to change some goals

 

I discovered that the hard way in college. I was trying so hard to be good at everything, and I succeeded, I was pretty good at just about everything I was working on (except for a social life, lol) but I wasn't really excellent in anything. Because I was spread so thin, I never reached the mastery I truly wanted in any specific area. I am trying to be more aware of this as I move forward in life post-college. There is certainly nothing wrong with a jack of all trades, but I have come to realize that being REALLY good at the things most meaningful to me is far more important to me than being decent at everything. And that requires sacrifice. 

 

It reminds me of this quote I heard recently, I believe James Clear posted it, I don't know if it is his own or if he was quoting someone, but it went something like:

Quote

Saying no to something is saying no to one thing. Saying yes to something is saying no to everything else.

 

I have come to the realization that I really need to prioritize what I say "yes" to, because for everything I say yes to, I am giving up the time that could go to something else. And I need to make sure more of the things that I say "yes" to are the things that are most meaningful to me. Even if my pride and perfectionism would rather I try to be good at everything, without regard of how important it is.

 

I am working on embracing being ok at the things that are of minimal importance so I can take the time to be really great at the things that are of most importance. But sometimes I do have to try something out before I realize if it is something I really care about or if it something I just want to be basically proficient at, hence the freedom to change as I discover where a specific activity or goal falls in my hierarchy of meaningfulness.

 

 

 

In other news, I haven't really started my goals officially. I decided to spend the weekend focusing on cleaning and getting organized, since a lot of my goals revolve around the workweek anyway. 

 

This weekend has been pretty productive. I finally forced myself to do the things that have been sitting on my to-do list for weeks, like get plates for my new car and consolidating bank accounts so I don't have to pay monthly fees. I have also been tidying up the apartment (an organized environment always makes me feel better and ready to be more productive). I also prepped veggies for my lunches for the week, and made this cranberry concoction that I love (made with cranberries, apples, oranges, and cinnamon), which made my place smell amazinggggg. Combine that with having the windows open on this beautiful Midwest autumn day, and my apartment just feels so fresh and relaxed. 

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On 10/28/2019 at 5:00 PM, GoodDoug said:

Following!

 

On 10/29/2019 at 6:12 AM, Novaurora said:

Following along again.  As someone who often gets inconsistent with challenges, or immediately wants to change something, I'm here to support you!!

 

Welcome! Good to see you both here :)

 

 

So far my challenge is going pretty well. Today and yesterday I missed one of my walks, but yesterday was because I was preparing for a pumpkin painting contest I was leading at work, so I was still walking around for that one. I am going to count that as a win, since I still ended up with just as many (if not more) steps than usual. Today though, I missed one because I waited for it to stop raining and then the temp started dropping really fast. I still did force myself out into the cold twice, before it got dark. 

 

Other than that, I am on track with all my other goals. AND, I seem to have picked up another habit along the way. For the longest time I have been trying to get into a twice-daily teeth brushing routine, but then I would forget before I left for work or when I happen to stay up really late at night. I just couldn't get the habit to stick. But, now that I am taking a few extra minutes to do my skincare routine at the bathroom mirror, my toothbrush is just right there, so I add that to the end of my skincare routine (yay for habit stacking). So now I have a twice daily skincare routine and teething brushing routine, when I only really have to work for getting started with the skincare. 

 

I have also been reducing my coffee intake. For the last week I have cut it by more than 50% (under 16oz a day, down from 35-40oz). I haven't really noticed any significant changes yet, but I am sure it is good to have a little less caffeine coursing through my veins.

 

Tomorrow starts November. I kind of want to do a 30-day challenge along with the habits I am building/maintaining in this challenge. Haven't decided on what yet, though. 

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Dear future Aquarii, dealing with anxiety by eating foods that make you feel terrible is not a good solution to the problem. Don't, just don't. Sincerely, your past self.

 

 

Today has been a bit rough. Work has had me fairly stressed lately...well, for a long time, but particularly lately with a project I am stuck on. And dealing with a lot of traveling and seeing family this weekend has me anxious. Annnnnddd life in general just has me a bit on edge. Anxiety is a fun thing to have, no? 

 

This week has just been weird. At the beginning of the week, I was like "Wow, I am really starting to feel a little better again. This is great." And then halfway through the week, after the day going just fine, I was like crying myself to sleep, and then was fine the next day, but behaving more impulsively than usual? Soooooo, something tells me I am PROBABLY a bit disassociated from my emotional state right now. 

 

*sigh* sometimes I just wish my mental health would GIVE ME A BREAK. This year has been this constant roller coaster. 

 

Anyway, I am ok. Missed one of my walks, and had to add on like 30 min to my eating window because I made dinner a little late (MIGHT have to throw IF to the wind for the day if I need to take more ibuprofen before I go to bed, but it is an occasion where it would be necessary, so I am not counting it against me if I have to), but other than that I was pretty successful with my other goals. 

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Hey! Yes, I am in fact still alive. Despite my recent lack of activity on here, I have been sticking to my challenge goals, for the most part. So, for a two-ish week update...

 

Goals: 

 

Intermittent Fasting during the workweek

So far I have stuck to this fairly regularly. Every once in awhile I am a few minutes outside of my window or something, but ultimately, it has been pretty solid. I am realizing that making it workweek only, and giving myself more freedom on the weekend, has been very helpful to my success. In the past, weekends were typically where I got derailed. Now, since I have the option to take the weekends "off" from IF, I can maintain success streak, even with some crazy weekends. Like last weekend, when I was traveling and visit family all weekend and had a lot less control over the times I was and was not able to eat.

 

Twice-daily skincare routine

In the first two weeks of this challenge, I have only missed this on one day. And I was traveling then, so out of my usual routine. I am quickly discovering that this is so much more than a skincare routine. It is a commitment to twice a day, taking 10 minutes to care for myself, to tell myself, yes, you ARE worth the time, money, and energy to make yourself feel better. It has also made my skin feel and look so much better, even in just a few weeks. And naturally, that helps me to feel better about myself as well. It has also continued to help me build a better teeth-brushing routine. There are so many wins with this goal, I don't know why I didn't do this sooner.

 

Maintain 3x daily walks

I don't think I specifically mentioned this in my original goal, but this is only for weekdays. That said, this one I have been FAIRLY good with, but certainly not perfect. We have had some nasty weather lately, with severe temperature drops and lots of rain. I have managed to get in at least two walks for every weekday of the challenge, and over half the full three times. I am happy with that. In the past I probably would have either skipped the walks altogether or only gone once on bad weather days. 

 

To add to that, I did my first 5k today! It was 30 degrees and early in the morning, which I was soooo not a fan of, but I made it. I didn't run it. I walked most of it, but I did periodically jog or run in some areas. It was also for a charity, so the main goal was to just show up and show my support. It felt good to get out on a weekend, when I would usually stay inside all day in these colder months.

 

Maintain dance classes through end of term

I have stuck to this, despite really wanting to bail a few times because I was tired. I even committed to some more late-Nov and early-Dec classes if they decide to run them over the break. The dance classes are only once a week, so it isn't like it is a huge commitment. But I know it is good for me to get out and move my body, especially as it gets colder. It is also important for me to do something other than go to work or hide in my house, which is pretty much what I do when I am not at dance.

 

Finish 2 Books

...about that...I have actually finished the two books I was working on and started another. That is one of the reasons I have been so quiet on here. I found out the books were not able to be renewed (yes, I am an active user of my local library), so I powered through them all week, so I could return them....only slightly late. But, they are done and returned now, so all is good. I have two other books from the library to work on as well. I am TRYING to resist purchasing or loaning anymore books until I can get through the current stack I have out AND some that I have purchased this year that have been patiently waiting on a shelf. It is a hard battle, I have a very long list of books I really want to read NOW, but I gotta take it one or two books at a time, haha. I am now only two books away from my new years goal of 30 books this year. Pretty sure I will hit it, if not surpass it. Then I have to decide what my goal for NEXT year will be. 

 

 

So, life has been busy the past few weeks, and it will stay busier than usual for the rest of the challenge. I was looking at my calendar earlier this week, and I realized there are only maybe one or two weeks between now and the end of the year where I don't have some sort of event or party to attend for work or family. I am also on the social planning committee at work, so I will probably have a little extra going on as we plan for our holiday event (which is going to be at a winery!!!).

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On 11/1/2019 at 11:17 PM, Aquarii said:

Dear future Aquarii, dealing with anxiety by eating foods that make you feel terrible is not a good solution to the problem. Don't, just don't. Sincerely, your past self.

I feel this sentiment...I feel it so hard.  hope you're doing better!

 

On 11/1/2019 at 11:17 PM, Aquarii said:

*sigh* sometimes I just wish my mental health would GIVE ME A BREAK. This year has been this constant roller coaster. 

GIRL, ALL THE HUGS FOR YOU. Sorry I've been less than supportive lately.  I've been absent and dealing with my own ish... But, I totally get this.  And I can relate <3 

 

Great job keeping up with your goals!!!

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9 hours ago, GoodDoug said:

Nice job on the challenge so far. For the IF, how do you feel it is working for you? Is it helping? Or have you even seen a difference yet?

 

The short answer is: yes. The long answer is: it depends on your definition of success.

 

Have I lost any weight since starting IF? No. But my intention was actually to maintain weight, not lose it. A lot of people lose weight with IF because of its impact on insulin and because it tends to reduce snacking, especially late-night snacking. To combat that, I make sure to eat as many calories during my eating window as I would if I was not fasting. Actually, I have been eating more lately, with no change to my weight.

 

Some other benefits: I have less trouble falling asleep, and my quality of sleep tends to be better (I have found that eating close to bed time wreaks havoc on my sleep, so ending my eating window by 7-8pm typically allows me at least 3 hours between eating and bed). I feel like I have more energy (that could be the fasting, the better sleep, or the additional calories...or all of the above). I find myself snacking less, focusing the bulk of my eating around two eating periods, which often results in higher quality food choices. And my digestion seems better. I also find that I tend to carry a lot less bloat/water weight. When traveling last weekend and eating out a lot, I did not see as high of a spike in my weight (from water retention) as I usually would.

 

I have tried IF a number of times for short periods of time, so I knew what to expect. I mostly like to do if for the benefits listed above. I have also heard it can help with body re-composition and muscle building, which is something I want to start focusing on. I do find IF can be a bit of a struggle for me sometimes. I eat a gluten free, dairy free diet (my body does not like either), and I am not a huge fan of meat. I typically only eat meat 1-2 meals a week, and I sometimes add collagen to my smoothies. So, I eat a mostly plant-based diet, which can often mean a lot of bulky foods. Trying to eat nearly 1000 calories of plant-based foods can sometimes be a bit of a challenge if not planned correctly. I already eat a pretty healthy diet, so IF is more like icing on the cake and not an intervention. 

 

IF also saves me money in occasional lattes and alcohol, since the times to consume those usually fall outside of my eating window, lol.

 

 

1 hour ago, Novaurora said:

I feel this sentiment...I feel it so hard.  hope you're doing better!

 

GIRL, ALL THE HUGS FOR YOU. Sorry I've been less than supportive lately.  I've been absent and dealing with my own ish... But, I totally get this.  And I can relate <3 

 

Great job keeping up with your goals!!!

 

There is absolutely no need to be sorry. I totally understand taking time to get your own life in order. It is so important to focus on taking care of yourself. But I definitely appreciate you taking the time to stop by and leave an encouraging comment for me :) Last week went a lot better than the prior week, and I am going to try and keep that momentum going.

 

 

 

So, the weather here got REALLY nasty today. It was like 60 degrees in the morning, but had dropped to 32 by around nightfall. It was raining, and when it got dark it turned to sleet, then to snow. I decided to skip my dance class and just go home after work, because I was concerned about the roads icing over. Driving often makes me anxious. Driving in the dark, even more so. Driving in the dark in snow and ice...no, just no. I don't want to deal with that level of stress in my life unless it is necessary. 

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I almost can't believe I am still in the game this round of challenges. Usually by this point I have become discouraged, frustrated, said "screw it" and given up. That being said, I would say this week has been my least successful of the challenge, and just giving up and disappearing till the next challenge has crossed my mind a number of time. BUT, I am still here and still moving forward.

 

Intermittent Fasting during the workweek

I was 100% on this...until Friday. On Friday I ATE in my window, but I did end up having some alcohol outside of my window. I did do IF today, on Sunday, so I still managed to get five days of IF this week, even if they were not on the right days.

 

Twice-daily skincare routine

14/14 - This has become a regular part of my routine at this point, and I am loving it. I still am dealing with little adult acne breakouts here and there, especially when my hormones decide to lose their mind, but my skin does not break out as much and heals a lot faster. It is also so much softer, the color is more even, and all around I am just so much happier with my skin. 

 

Maintain 3x daily walks

I have slacked on this a bit. Part of it is the cold. It is so hard to convince myself to go outside for a 10-15 minute walk when it is like 20 degrees outside. The other issue is that I have been going in to work for the later shift (I work for a company with flex hours, so I can come in any time between 8-10am, as long as I put in a full eight hours). Because of the time change, it gets dark a lot earlier, so if I don't come in for the earlier shift, it gets too dark for me to feel comfortable going for the last walk. So, this week I need to work on getting out whether I like the cold or not (unless it is pouring down rain, I don't do cold and rain together), and I need to work on my sleep/wake-up routine so I can get back to coming in earlier like I was before my sleep started spiraling. I have at the very least managed two walks per day, which is better than one or none, so it is certainly not a total loss.

 

Maintain dance classes through end of term

I missed my class this past week. The weather was really bad with rain that started freezing into sleet, which then turned into snow. I was not interested in risking icy roads for a dance class.

 

Finish 2 Books

I have already finished the two books I was working on, and am currently about a third through another. I would like to have this third book finished by the end of the challenge.

 

 

This week has been challenging. I have let some stress and frustration from work get to me and wreak havoc on my sleep. And for the past few weeks I have let more sugar, snacks, and eating out creep back into my diet, which has also not helped with sleep, and certainly have not made me feel my best. Not sleeping well also makes me more prone to snacking, and combining the exhaustion of not getting adequate sleep with unhealthy snacking, I end up drinking extra coffee to try and break through the fog...which then makes getting good sleep even harder. 

 

So, this week I really want to work on cleaning my diet back up, getting to sleep at a more reasonable time, and reducing coffee back to the lower amount I was at. 

 

Today I made a lot of strides in helping myself start the week off well. I got some cleaning done, got the laundry done, went grocery shopping, batch cooked my lunches for the week, didn't snack or eat any sugar, drank less coffee, drank plenty of water....and did some pampering and fun stuff. For the fun stuff, while I was waiting for my laundry I watched some makeup tutorials to finally learn how to use the makeup brushes my siblings got me for my birthday almost a year ago. I also recently got some new makeup that I really wanted to learn how to use properly (I am just so behind the times, I really only knew how to do really basic stuff and I never got the results I wanted). The end results of that experiment:

 

IMG_1213.jpg.a0891fef70b176c394c0837b7ec06e4b.jpg IMG_1215.jpg.c36b34f4b1ef17fbb11ec18874c52c3a.jpg

 

I have never tried such dramatic makeup, but I am actually kind of living for it. There is just something very empowering about wearing makeup that really makes a statement. It was a lot of fun to try out, even if there are some parts that I need a lottttt more practice on. Thank goodness for YouTube tutorials. 

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1 hour ago, Novaurora said:

Hey, great job this week on not giving up!  Have you thought about replacing that walk with other cardio?  Something like this darebee program. I did it for a while and I'm thinking of going back to it because it kicked. my. ass. But I loved it

 

I have heard so many great things about the darebee program, and I honestly prefer bodyweight training to wait training when given the option. But, I live in a one-bedroom apartment on the third floor, and the floors are kinda thin. So any kind of jumping around would drive the neighbors downstairs crazy. The complex does have this tiny little room with a few pieces of gym equipment, but not really adequate space for bodyweight, and the equipment is often in use (why think think two treadmills and one multi-purpose machine is enough for a complex with hundreds, if not thousands of people, I have no idea).

 

My husband and I have been talking about getting a local gym membership for a year. We need to stop talking about it and just go do it so we can have some more space to move around. It is something we can work into our budget at this point, as it is pretty affordable, it is just a matter of actually doing it.

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13 hours ago, Aquarii said:

BUT, I am still here and still moving forward.

The week 3 slump... Back when we had six week challenges, we used to joke that getting past week 3 was the sign that you were really committed! Honestly, week 3 is the tough one, you are past that honeymoon period of week one's "do all the things!" and the second week of, "oh man, we're still doing this?" it becomes the slog of routine. But then something magical happens if you keep going... you find that you are excited to do it and that, yeah, it is hard, but it is also worthwhile.

 

It looks like you are on track and very thoughtful about where you are in the challenge. One thing to look at throughout this challenge is if the 3x daily walks are something you want to keep for next challenge. But you can't know until you give it a good shot, which it sounds like you are trying to do.

 

Keep it up, we are cheering for you!

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On 11/18/2019 at 1:02 PM, GoodDoug said:

The week 3 slump... Back when we had six week challenges, we used to joke that getting past week 3 was the sign that you were really committed! Honestly, week 3 is the tough one, you are past that honeymoon period of week one's "do all the things!" and the second week of, "oh man, we're still doing this?" it becomes the slog of routine. But then something magical happens if you keep going... you find that you are excited to do it and that, yeah, it is hard, but it is also worthwhile.

 

It looks like you are on track and very thoughtful about where you are in the challenge. One thing to look at throughout this challenge is if the 3x daily walks are something you want to keep for next challenge. But you can't know until you give it a good shot, which it sounds like you are trying to do.

 

Thanks for the advice. Walks 3x a day in the summer was so easy, I have always loved walking, and at work it gives me a chance to step away from my desk for a few minutes and decompress/work through an idea. But now that it is really cold, gets dark really early, and often rains, it is more of a challenge. I am finding I have been successful at maintaining at least 2 walks a day, but maybe only about 1/2 the time hitting all three. And my workload is finallyyyy starting to pick up again at work, which means less available time for walks. I will probably keep the goal for the rest of the challenge, but I will definitely reconsider whether I am being realistic considering my pure hatred for cold, lol.

 

 

In other news, I will hopefully be checking out a gym this weekend. It has tons of glowing reviews online, and the way people talk about it in their reviews, it definitely sounds like the vibe I am looking for. Lots of free weights, active but not crowded, no BS lunk alarms (for my army vet partner's sake, not my frail ass, lol). And it is like a mile or so up the road (proximity is important, I know if it is too far away, it reduces the likelihood of me going on a work day). 

 

Also, I finally hit my first pivot for this challenge. I am pretty surprised I made it through most the challenge without having to pivot. I was expecting to do so a lot sooner; maybe I am getting better at dialing in my goals. Anyway, a couple days ago I decided that starting yesterday, I was going to open my intermittent fasting window for 16:8 to 14:10. I am currently working on trying to increase my calories, increase my protein, clean up my diet, increase my carbs (which goes hand and hand with protein, which I will explain in a moment), and clean up the quality of my carbs and diet as a whole. The problem I am facing, is that I eat a primarily plant-based diet, with about two meals a week containing meat/eggs, and beef collagen periodically added as a supplement to my plant-based protein smoothies. My body handles a higher percentage of carbs much better than really high fat, so though I try and get some of my protein from nuts and seeds, a bulk of it has to come from stuff like lentils, oats, tempeh/tofu/soy, beans, etc. And those things are BULKY. Oof, so much food. 

 

Basically, I am finding that trying to fit nearly 1000 calories of high protein, high-ish carb vegan foods into a meal is a bit painful, especially when my body is not accustomed to it. So, I am opening up my eating window, at least for the time being. As my body adjusts to higher protein and more food, and as I zero in my diet and find optimal ways to get my protein needs in with preferably a little less food (but not less calories), then I may shrink the window again, because I do like the convenience of a more two-primary meal approach. But for now, I am going to give the 14:10 approach a whirl, which is supposed to still have all the benefits of the 16:8, with just a slightly larger window.

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This has been an interesting week. In preparation for going into a new year and not wanting to bring clutter, baggage, and emotional dead weight into 2020, I have been cleaning house. 

 

Going through my things, I have gotten rid of hundreds of items, whether they be as insignificant as old makeup and office supplies I never use, or as emotionally weighted as old letters from people who have hurt me that I want to move past. It feels good. It feels good to let go of the past to create more space or room for new things that better fit with who I am now. 

 

And that led to a much harder evaluation of how I am spending my time. I spend a lot of time consuming, and not enough time creating. Going into next year I want to create more balance in that area of my life. I spend a lot of time on YouTube, watching Netflix, listening to music and watching interviews with artists, and researching best nutrition and exercise techniques. But I don't spend much time practicing music, writing, making my own videos, and going to the gym. And that needs to change. I don't want to cut consumption out completely. I love appreciating other people's art and passions almost as much as creating it myself. But there needs to be a LOT more balance there. I am still uncertain about exactly how I will try to create more balance in this area, but I have at least identified it and am doing a lot of soul searching about how I really want to spend my time.

 

And finally, I am really stopping to think about the people I give the most time to and trying to rework that, making less time/removing negative and toxic people in my life, and making more time for people who bring positivity, encouragement, and people who value my time and efforts.

 

 

*ahem* Anyway, ranting aside, I might be getting a gym membership today!! New Year, New You is starting early this year XD As I cut out things holding me back, and bring in things that help me move forward, I am feeling more and more confident about really making some huge strides forward in 2020. This year has been a rollercoaster, but through it I have really had a chance to ground myself and learn more about what really matters to me, so I can't wait to see what is coming not that I am starting to lock in and focus more.

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Well, turns out no gym membership today, after all. To be fair, I did give it my best shot. I went in during the hours that were listed on their website as being open for their front desk (the gym itself is 24/7, but the desk for registering is limited). But, the front office/desk was completely closed down with a sign that said "sorry, you missed us." So, I guess I will have to try back later.

 

On the plus side, the gym is in this mostly abandoned indoor mall. It is a HUGE mall, but aside from a Bass Pro Shop, a Kohl's, a play area, an arcade, and the gym, it is completely empty. BUT, the interior is still open for people to walk around inside. Well, the doors closest to the gym were closed, and the only open doors were on the opposite side of the mall. So we had to walk across the entire mall to get to the gym. It was so cool, it felt like being in some sort of post-apocalypse movie, where you see evidence of a world that once was and has disappeared.

 

The mall must have been awesome when it was active, the interior design was very well done. I wonder what happened in the end, because the paint inside looks fairly nice and new, making me think they probably remodeled and repainted shortly before the mall went under. I think I will start going there more often. Since it is open to the public, it is a perfect place to walk around indoors away from the elements. 

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Too bad the mall is doing poorly, but it sounds like a nice place to go for a walk. I'm with you, I love walking, but not in the dark and cold. Love the way your phrase   wanting to be more creative as balancing consuming with creating. I do enjoy watching movies and Netflix, but I think it is important to also be creating things. I think thinking of it that way is a good start to finding balance. Sorry about the friend drama, but it sounds like you handled it wisely.

 

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I really like the way you talked about consuming vs creating. I’ve been thinking about that a lot, but I feel like you articulated it in a way that makes it more real for me. So thnx for that

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On 11/23/2019 at 7:53 PM, Elastigirl said:

Love the way your phrase   wanting to be more creative as balancing consuming with creating. I do enjoy watching movies and Netflix, but I think it is important to also be creating things. I think thinking of it that way is a good start to finding balance. Sorry about the friend drama, but it sounds like you handled it wisely.

 

 

11 hours ago, GoodDoug said:

I really like the way you talked about consuming vs creating. I’ve been thinking about that a lot, but I feel like you articulated it in a way that makes it more real for me. So thnx for that

 

I am glad you were both able to really connect with the concept used there. I wish I could take credit for it, but it is something I have heard commonly thrown around with the YouTubers, authors, and Podcasters I follow, ironically enough. 

 

 

 

4 Week Update:

 

Intermittent Fasting during the workweek

As I mentioned, I switched to a 14:10 window midweek, instead of the 16:8. Though a day or two I utilized the full ten-hour window, I guess I have somewhat adjusted to the 8-hour window, because I found myself naturally sticking to it, and this weekend, I think my window was even smaller. Anyway, I hit it 100% during the workweek, AND during the weekend as well.

 

Twice-daily skincare routine

100% on this one still. It is also continuing to positively affect my teeth brushing and now flossing routine. It has become more of a foundation routine that initiates a series of morning and evening habits. 

 

Maintain 3x daily walks

Some days I get all three, some days only two. So, this area could still use some work. I might just have to accept that with the early darkness and the cold, yucky weather, two might be a better option.

 

Maintain dance classes through end of term

Finished this one. The term for the dance classes has now ended. They are running some pay-per-classes over the break, so I need to decide if I want to do those, but I have at least completed the term.

 

Finish 2 Books

Still plugging away little by little at my third book. I have slowed down a little this week, but I have about 100 pages less, so I think I can still finish it by the end of the challenge.

 

I guess I caught my second wind this this challenge. Last week was my worst week, and this week has been one of my most solid weeks, so yay! And onward! 

 

Oh, and for most of my goals, since they revolve around the workweek, they are going to get a little dicey this coming week. I am not worrying about intermittent fasting on Thursday and Friday, because I am trying to hit like 3-4 Thanksgiving dinners during that two-day period. I might end up doing it anyway, but I am not going to hold myself to it. Same with walks. I will try to be active, but I only have a half-day on Wednesday, and am going to be all over the place for the holiday, so I am not worried about getting in my walks after Tuesday. I do plan to maintain my skincare and finish my book though. And I may make a second attempt at acquiring a gym membership.

 

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It just occurred to me that we are in the last week of the challenge. I am actually going to complete full challenge for the first time in over a year o.O I certainly haven't had a perfect challenge, but that isn't the point. Finishing the challenge is the point. 

 

I have been thinking about why this challenge has been so much more successful than the last ones, and I think it is a combination of a couple things.

 

First, I think I really connected with some easier goals that resonated with what I wanted and set the bar low enough that it was hard to say no. I didn't try and work out five times a week with yoga while running 4 days a week or something. I started small and, I included a lot of variety (food, exercise, reading/mental, skincare, etc). And I genuinely wanted to add my goals to my routine. I wasn't doing them because I thought I should, or because someone else thought I should. I was doing them because I wanted them to be a part of my life.

 

Second, I think giving myself the OPTION to pivot or change my challenge helped. I only used it once (switching to 14:10 intermittent fasting...except that I had already become so accustomed to 16:8, I am really in some grey area between). But I think just having the option to make changes was key. It shifted the mindset from "I have to do this thing this exact way" to "I am choosing to do this thing this exact way." Having the power to do it differently the next day if I really wanted to helped me to stay more connected with why I was doing it this way to begin with. Also, having to have an intentional reason as to WHY I would change to a different method also helped. When I think, "I can change this, but what is my reason for changing?" it is harder to make excuses to myself. Because if the reason is "I just don't feel like doing it," I can call BS and power through. 

 

Third, I forced myself to get on here more and hold myself accountable. It is easy to just bail on posting when my challenge isn't going well *cough*week3*cough*, but this time I kept posting through that, trying to examine why things were not going well, and pushing through.

 

Fourth (I know, this list is getting long, but I need to remember these things for future challenges, so bear with me), I have been pushing to really be more serious about protecting and managing my mental health. Some days that might mean sleeping in to make sure I get enough rest, taking my vitamins, taking supplements that help my brain make chemicals, using CBD more often, diet, etc. This one tends to derail me a lot, so it is certainly well worth the extra effort to make sure this area is not crashing and burning. Because if I don't actively manage it, it most certainly does crash and burn.

 

And finally, as the shows I watched on TV as a kid always said, "And thanks to your generous support!" But seriously, thanks for those of you who check in and offer your support and encouragement. It does mean a lot to me and certainly helps me to keep myself posting and accountable. Not to mention how inspiring it is to see you all killing it at your challenges :)

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Woohoo for sticking with the challenge an for figuring out what you need to do to make your goals work for you. For me, one of the biggest things was allowing myself to change a goal a bit if it wasn't working. This challenge , I ended up dropping a goal, guilt free, when I realized it was just too much right now

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9 hours ago, Elastigirl said:

Woohoo for sticking with the challenge an for figuring out what you need to do to make your goals work for you. For me, one of the biggest things was allowing myself to change a goal a bit if it wasn't working. This challenge , I ended up dropping a goal, guilt free, when I realized it was just too much right now

I agree with Elastigirl here. And I also think you hit the nail on the head when you talked about posting here keeping you accountable. I find that posting is often a good motivator... I want to report a success, dammit! But I also learn a lot from posting the failures as well.

 

Great job sticking with it.

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