Jump to content

IfItPlugsIn: Building Solid Habits

Recommended Posts

Building Solid Habits



So I've fallen off the challenge train a few times.  Normally, when I hop back on, I end up with the same goals, and don't seem to be moving forward.  At this point in my life, I don't feel like the challenge format is working for me.  I can't structure my life in 6-week increments.  When I slip up mid-challenge, I give up until the challenge is over.  When there's a break between challenges, I lose focus and have a hard time getting back in gear.  Right now I need to build some solid habits that will keep me going. 



I do have some fitness goals to work towards, and a busy life that I need to stay on top of.  Obviously, I feel my best when I get 3+ workouts in each week and eat right, but working full time and handling 3 boys (1, 3 and 5 years old) tend to drain my energy and I skip working out and take the easy way out of meals unless I do some planning.


Solution: Habit

I think that a little bit of planning will go a long way.  I need to plan workouts and meals each weekend, so I these things become habit for me (and expected by my family), and I don't fall into old ways.  I am able to focus on each day individually, short-term goals to work towards, and no real end in sight (making this a lifestyle change, and not just a 6-week challenge).



I enjoy both cardio and weightlifting.  I'm setting my goal at 4 workouts per week, 2 cardio, 2 weights.  This may get skewed, depending on how many workouts I actually get in, and what goals I have in mind at the time.


A friend suggested we run a half marathon together this spring, and I all-too-eagerly agreed.  I need at least 12 weeks of training to get ready for the event in May 2014.


A co-worker has been hinting at wanting to participate in "Rumble on the Ranch," a local obstacle course race in August 2014, so I have a feeling I'll agree to participate with her.


Stuffing my Face

I feel good when I eat limited amounts of gluten and sugar.  I don't feel the need to completely eliminate either, but I do need to cut back.  I like the idea of mostly Paleo/gluten-free, but I don't want to restrict macros or certain foods entirely.  I try to stay in a calorie range, give myself some leniency for special events/mood swings, and am learning to listen to my body.  I use MyFitnessPal to track, when I feel like I need to.  Any comments on this will be totally subjective.  One habit that will help immensely will be meal planning.  On the weekend, I do my grocery shopping for the week, and then plan out meals.  Hopefully, this will curb spontaneous eating-out, and quick fixes (like frozen pizza and sandwiches).



Living in a testosterone-filled house, with 3 little ones is interesting to say the least, and I need to find a few ways for me to keep my sanity.  I'm not putting a quantified goal to these, but laying them out so I remember that I need to take care of myself in balancing my active life with some relaxation.


Take an Epsom salt bath (goal is 2-3 times per week).

Read a book.

Salon services (You would not believe how much this falls to the wayside. It's honestly become a once a year occurrence).

Continue making my own beauty supplies (currently I make my own face wash, body/face lotion and lip gloss).

Girls only events.


Are you sick of reading my babbling yet?  Me too.  Time to get to work.


  • Like 1
Link to comment

Yay, you're back... I'm back too lol.


I'm still doing a challenge, but my format is pretty similar in that I'm just trying to cement my habits and get back into a routine. It's not exciting stuff, but it's necessary, ya know?


Can you share your facewash recipe? I am doing oil cleansing, but only at night and could use something for refreshing my face in the mornings.

Link to comment

Yay!! I will most certainly be stalking the hell out of you here! 


Tell us about your homemade body/face wash!


I love your sanity ideas. They are some of my favorites, too.

"I'm just going to remember to not eat like an asshole most of the time" - MoC

three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: one must squat.- Brobert Frost
 Half-Elf Warrior | Current Challenge
 New Battle Log | Old Battle Log
Special thanks to AkLulu for drawing my awesome avatar!

Link to comment

Yay! I missed you! I'm glad life's not taken over completely. Your kiddos are the same age as one of my sisters and her life is utter chaos!

I totally understand the salon stuff. I have no kids or husband, and really struggle to do anything with salon style stuff (hair styling, other hair "maintenance", facials, manis/pedis, etc.). They feel like they take up such a huge chunk. But when I actually do it, it's soooooooo nice!

I do a face scrub with coconut oil and sugar. I love it, and do it once a week (scrub in until sugar dissolves, let sit for about 10 minutes, wet wash cloth and lay on face, then rinse and gently clean face). I also ended up buying jojoba oil. Read that it's the closest match to your skin's oil. I use that daily (at night).

And after that I put on some vitamins C&E. And vitamin B3. These came about when I was fighting acne (I can't remember specifically, but I think it said sometimes acne comes from a lack of amino acids/vitamins in the skin itself). Anyway, not sure it helped with that.. But maybe it did. I credit the AAT more. But regardless, I love, love, love them. And will probably keep buying/using them. 


The other thing I use is tea tree oil. If my face is breaking out or has broken out or feels itchy or whatever, about once a week I'll apply some after my shower, let it dry. Apply the vitamin serums. Then apply a very small amount of coconut oil (either straight or in lotion form with shea butter and vitamin E) or plain jojoba oil. 




Haha. Sorry, didn't mean for that to be so long. But I wanted to post here to see what feedback anyone has, if any!


I've been struggling with inspiration for my planned/batch cooked meals. I need to do better with that. I have been getting too bored too easily! 

Shape-Shifting Ginger
Current Battle Log

2" washers for smaller weight increases

Link to comment

I'll have to double-check on the amounts in the face wash.  My mom has the recipe, since she buys all the essential oils that go in it.  The base is aloe, coconut oil, carrot seed oil, and a small amount of castile soap.  Then a few drops of essential oil for scent and/or effect that you want.  I use ylang-ylang because I like the scent, grapefruit for energizing in the morning, and sea buckthorn for an anti-aging property.  LOVE IT!  Acne has pretty well disappeared, and I had just a small amount of rosacea on my cheeks.  When I added the homemade lotion, that pretty well went away too (along with the small wrinkles that had started around my eyes - soooo thrilled with that!).  The lotion is coconut oil, jojoba oil, carrot seed oil, horsetail butter, and essential oils for scent.  I'm hoping it will help with my stretch marks too, but we'll see.  We just made gloss/chap-stick for the first time yesterday, but I already love it.  That one is jojoba oil, beeswax, and essential oil for scent/flavor (we used peppermint).  We also added some mineral makeup powder for color, and it came out just right.  I can already tell the cracks that had started in my lips are healing.


SS - I think there are so many to handle skincare - kinda like diet for other bodily symptoms - and you have to find what works for you.  I finally realized, after about 15 years of acne, that I had always thought my face was oily, so I'd use harsh cleansers to strip as much oil away as possible.  In reality, my body was just trying to keep up with what I was putting it through.  When I started using oil on my face, it made my skin less oily... kind of counter-intuitive, but it worked.  I quit doing scrubs on my face because of the "harshness" of it, but maybe with just coconut oil and sugar, it would be good.  I've never used tea tree oil on my face, but I've heard really good things about it.  I do use a tea tree/peppermint shampoo and conditioner from Trader Joe's - all natural/organic ingredients - and it took some time for my hair to adjust to it, but I really like it now.


I'm seriously excited to be back!  I was waiting for the next challenge to start before posting again, but then decided that I don't need to wait, and may even do better without an actual challenge going on.  I've gained about 10 lbs back that I am antsy to lose, and just missed the encouragement from all the lovely folks here :love-struck:

Link to comment

The chemistry thing is like dissolves like, right?


And I read that if your face HAS oils, it knows it, and doesn't over-prodcue them. So the more you dry your face out, the more it over-produces oils... Am I right about that?


All I know is my face FEELS better than it has in years. My acne isn't 100% yet. I suspect there's another allergy hidden in there, still, and I still haven't treated eggs... Which is a known issue. And I think sugar affects me more than I want to admit. So if I go too carby one day, a day or two later, I'll start to get random breakouts. All the more reason to tighten up the diet! 


Anyway, I agree. Going all natural and avoiding the harsh stuff has made a HUGE difference. I try to convince everyone to try it. But it is scary when your face is already revolting. But, whe nI was in the depths of it (actually crying b/c of my face), I finally said, "Even if it got worse, it wouldn't look worse to outsiders. This is as bad as it could be." So I jumped in. And am better off because of it!


I switched to an all natural shampoo. At first it was rough, but I love it now! All my attempts to make my own shampoo has been a huge fail, but that's a 2014 goal.


I also rub plain jojoba oil directly into my lips at night. So awesome! 

Shape-Shifting Ginger
Current Battle Log

2" washers for smaller weight increases

Link to comment

Checking in... Zumba on Monday, and the scale cooperated on Tuesday morning.  Yay!   Yesterday we had business meetings, with lunch brought in (sub sandwiches and cookies). So tired at the end of the day, that we had pizza for supper.  Scale responded accordingly this morning.  I took an Epsom salt bath last night, and it did help me feel better.  I'm off to a slow, sad start. 

Link to comment

Natural recipes for those that asked:


Face Wash
3 T aloe vera (we use the clear gel that you get in the sunscreen area)
3 T coconut oil
up to 1 T carrot seed oil (we used 10 drops)
3 T castile soap (we used 1 1/2 T) We add this after everything else – even after the essential oil – because of foaming
Essential oils – 3 drops of 3 of these essential oils (all good for oils skin/acne) bergamot, cypress, eucalyptus, geranium, grapefruit, jasmine, juniper, lemon, lemongrass, orange, patchouli, petitgrain, sandalwood, tea tree, or ylang ylang
We used:
3 drops Ylang Ylang extra essential oil (good balancing oil)
3 drops Pink Grapefruit essential oil
3 drops Sea Buckthorn Berry essential oil (good oil for mature skin or keeping skin youthful)
Blend the ingredients (except  the castile soap) together using a small spatula – NOT WOOD – it absorbs the EO’s. Pour the mixture into a jar or bottle, then add the castile soap (use a funnel if you need to), cap and shake.
Body Butter
1/2 c coconut oil
2 T horsetail butter (optional)
1/2 tsp. Vitamin E oil
1/2 tsp. jojoba oil
20 drops carrot seed oil
Essential oils of your choice – we used Fennel 4 drops, Vanilla 5 drops, Orange 7 drops.  Or you can just use vanilla and/or spices from your kitchen.
Whip with mixer until fluffy and put in jar.  If your coconut oil is really hard, you can soften it, or melt about 1tsp of it to help it mix smoothly.
Link to comment

Working out hasn't been happening lately.  I have a bad case of "too much shit, not enough space."  I would like to rearrange my workout area, so it's readily available when I actually have a few minutes to do stuff.


I had to travel for work the last 2 days, so eating has been pretty bad too because airports.


Good news about travel is that I somehow got booked in the "bridal suite" at the hotel I stayed at.  The place didn't have a gym, but I did get a spa tub, so I took advantage, and also finished the book I've been reading.

Link to comment

Ha! Nice! Gotta love a random bridal suite!  I would take that, for sure.

"I'm just going to remember to not eat like an asshole most of the time" - MoC

three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: one must squat.- Brobert Frost
 Half-Elf Warrior | Current Challenge
 New Battle Log | Old Battle Log
Special thanks to AkLulu for drawing my awesome avatar!

Link to comment

Monday 11/18 - Zumba


Saturday 11/23













Day 2 DOMS has set in, and I can really feel it in my legs.  Surprisingly, the squats felt really good while I was doing them, and I probably could have gone for more.  Shooting for Zumba tonight and Wed. and 1 more workout this weekend (maybe after Black Friday shopping?).


Traveling again for work next week, so I'm not sure how good I'll be about workouts, but I'll see what I can do.

Link to comment

Nice workouts! I love when squats go well :)


Ha, post black friday shopping workout? Girl, you cray! hahaha But seriously, that's awesome. 


bodyweight circuits while traveling, maybe? 

"I'm just going to remember to not eat like an asshole most of the time" - MoC

three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: one must squat.- Brobert Frost
 Half-Elf Warrior | Current Challenge
 New Battle Log | Old Battle Log
Special thanks to AkLulu for drawing my awesome avatar!

Link to comment

It's been how long since I've posted?!?!  Before Thanksgiving, yikes!  Holidays have come an gone, and the bad news is that I gained some weight back.  The good news is that I'm back on track in a lot of areas and that situation is improving.  I'm up about 3 pounds from my lowest post-baby-#3 weight, but down over 10 from Jan.


1.  Workouts - I am still teaching Zumba occasionally, and attending at least once a week.  We also got a new treadmill, so I can get started on that half-marathon training before it's warm enough to run outside.  Lifting has slipped, but I'm ok with that until I get my weight back down, and half training in full swing.


2.  Tech-driven eating - I'm such a sucker for gadgets.  My husband got me a FitBit Flex for Christmas, and I'm loving it.  I've synched it with MyFitnessPal, so I'm keeping track pretty well with that.  I'm not stressing too much over my eating, just because I don't have the energy.  I'm trying to make good choices, especially for breakfast/lunch, and letting supper be a chance to enjoy time with my family.


3.  Sanity - I've let up on the baths and books (which I know I need to do again), but I'm super excited about the 2 upcoming girls weekends that I have planned.  First, I'm spending a weekend with my sister in Minneapolis.  We're going to a dinner theater showing of the Little Mermaid, doing some shopping, and just hanging out (sans kids!).  In April, I've booked a trip with a handful of sorority sisters to Vegas!  I've never been there, so I'm super excited.  We're just making it an extended weekend (3 nights, 4 days), so nothing too crazy, but it should be a blast.


4.  Other news - I started oil pulling.  I'm going to give it a try and see what I think.  So far, I'm using about a tsp of coconut oil, and just doing it while I'm in the shower.


One cool thing about the FitBit, is that it tracks your sleep.  I can see that I'm getting enough hours in bed, but also how broken up the time can be, depending on the kids.  It's still a pretty rare occurrence for me to get a restful night.  Totally what I expected, but also eye-opening at the same time.


Stop reading now, if you're put off by bodily function stuff.  You've been warned.


I'm so sick of puke and poop!  My youngest has been battling colds, teething, etc., and it has been non-stop diarrhea, puke, and mucus coming out of him.  My husband is a sound sleeper, and gags at the sight/smell of it, so guess who has been cleaning up?  End rant. 


I'm going to do my best to start posting regularly again.  I miss you all!  Off to search for challenge threads to follow...

Link to comment



I'm so glad this popped up on my feed :)


Sounds like things are still pretty awesome. Glad to hear it!

"I'm just going to remember to not eat like an asshole most of the time" - MoC

three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: one must squat.- Brobert Frost
 Half-Elf Warrior | Current Challenge
 New Battle Log | Old Battle Log
Special thanks to AkLulu for drawing my awesome avatar!

Link to comment

Your girls weekends sound awesome! I keep trying to get my sisters to do something like that, but it's hard to convince them to leave their kids. It's like they think they married incompetent men. ;) 


I like your plan of doing well with breakfast and lunch and enjoying family time at dinner. It's not worth all the stress of making a separate meal when you'd probably do just find eating whatever you make/have. 


Keep up the great work, and good luck with the marathon training. My sisters are running a half in May, I think. If you said when yours is, I missed the month. But I know training is a lot of work and time-consuming. But I think they count their first halves (and one sister did a whole) as one of the coolest personal accomplishments (meaning beyond marriage, kids, etc.) they've had in their lives. This will be your first, right? 


I'm still waiting for the caffeine to kick in, if you can't tell! 

Shape-Shifting Ginger
Current Battle Log

2" washers for smaller weight increases

Link to comment

My half is in May also, so I need to get my butt in gear. It's definitely one of those things that you just want to have the pride of saying you did it.

Zumba rocked last night. So much more fun than running...

Good news/bad news: in an effort to get more work done (and because my work installed new internet monitoring software), I've been avoiding personal sites. However, I just put Tapatalk on my phone. NF was the one thing I was having trouble doing from my phone, but once I get used to it, I think I'll really like it. Goodbye, productivity!

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Link to comment

I've been hella busy, so here's the rundown of my workouts:

3/4 - Ran 3 miles

3/5 - Ran 3 miles

3/8 - Ran 4 miles

3/10 - Zumba

3/14 - Ran 5 miles

3/15 - Zumba

3/17 - Zumba

Whoa, cardio queen, huh? Oh well, hopefully it will make the weight drop off (so far so good).

We've also had gnarly sickness rotating it's way around our house. I've had 2 sick days in as many weeks, and have been taking care of 3 sick babies. Hopefully we'll be in the clear of that soon.

I don't feel at all close to being prepared for my half, but I guess I'll just do my best to train as much as possible. I have quite a bit of travel coming up that might interfere (girls weekend in Vegas, visiting family for Easter, and a work trip), but I'll have to keep my head in the game if I want to finish the 13 miles.

Guess that's all I know today!

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Link to comment

Ha! Lots of cardio! I bet it'll help with your half more than you think (says the woman who does not run).

"I'm just going to remember to not eat like an asshole most of the time" - MoC

three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: one must squat.- Brobert Frost
 Half-Elf Warrior | Current Challenge
 New Battle Log | Old Battle Log
Special thanks to AkLulu for drawing my awesome avatar!

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

New here? Please check out our Privacy Policy and Community Guidelines