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Alexandrite: Making Choices


Alexandrite

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Hey there everyone! Mother, wannabe homesteader, tinkerer and such, here to take on those most devious of all demotivators - poor choice results.

As I continue tumbling through postpartum land, 7 months out, I realize that my challenges are looking a little lackluster. I seem to struggle with motivation, commitment, and interest, which is typical of many of us going through changes in life. However, if I am totally honest with myself it is because I am making too easy of choices at even the simple levels, instead of doing The Harder Thing for The Better Result that I can be proud of later.

I *could* sit back on my laurels, not change a thing in my regular habits of movement/eating, and my body would actually change on its own slowly, thanks to a fast metabolism and breastfeeding. But it isn't the kind of progress I really want to celebrate. It also comes with unwanted side effects, the biggest being poor posture, low muscle tone, and low energy. What do I want my choices to reflect in me?

So! Let's list out some of those harder choices:

Choosing

- a protein or vegetable over a sugar

- a restorative yoga routine daily before any game time

- bodyweight three times a week (MWF)

- Pelvic stretching exercises everywhere over standing or sitting for too long

- Staying organized over letting stuff slip (using the family planner)

- Using extra minutes on phone for WaniKani over FB

Some big helpers will be tracking daily progress (thinking I may join the colorful planner crew) on paper, not being able to play games unless I have completed that day's yoga and bodyweight, planning meals more specifically by using Blue Apron and budgeting to give better boundaries on what I can buy, and requiring twenty WaniKani reviews for every 5 minutes I want to spend on FB.

Choices and Rewards.

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Brain-Building Assassin, a.k.a Radical Domestic Jill-of-All-Trades

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Isaiah 40:30-31

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Following! I sympathize with your postpartum challenges. For me, I had a messed-up C-section that left me with permanent neuropathy and severe pain. I was on opioids for months, so no breastfeeding, and I couldn't sleep. It was a trainwreck. I wished I'd had NF back then!

 

I am also a wannabe homesteader and incessant tinkerer. I'd love to hear what you're working on!

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I like the theme for the challenge! I also struggle with the "I have to do x" instead of "I get to do x" attitude when it comes to healthy things. Is there any way to make those "have to"s into something more fun and engaging, so that you look forward to them instead of begrudging them?

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Manarelle the Level 56 Amazon Assassin

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Following! I sympathize with your postpartum challenges. For me, I had a messed-up C-section that left me with permanent neuropathy and severe pain. I was on opioids for months, so no breastfeeding, and I couldn't sleep. It was a trainwreck. I wished I'd had NF back then!

 

I am also a wannabe homesteader and incessant tinkerer. I'd love to hear what you're working on!

Oh, most of it is handicrafts right now. Just sewed or fixed up three costumes for the kids and myself, which felt great getting the sewing machine back out even if I have to see on the floor.

I'm also working on crocheting some slippers, cross-stitching a stocking, building websites, and learning about solar panel stuff (my brain loves science but dislikes math...).

I am so glad you found NF! It's been amazing being able to share the struggle here instead of dumping on my husband all the time.

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Brain-Building Assassin, a.k.a Radical Domestic Jill-of-All-Trades

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I like the theme for the challenge! I also struggle with the "I have to do x" instead of "I get to do x" attitude when it comes to healthy things. Is there any way to make those "have to"s into something more fun and engaging, so that you look forward to them instead of begrudging them?

I think it is literally that there is a choice in my case, that my have-tos are critical, like caring for children or doing neverending dishes, instead of getting to work out or sleep. Wonderful sleep. I know i just need to prioritize and it will feel better. My children won't enjoy being cared for by a mother that is overly exhausted, haha. Just finished a couple weeks of sick kid/baby and hours upon hours of middle of the night care. It will take me weeks to build my energy/sleep reserves back up. So that makes it tough for me mentally. I would rather sit and relax than do yoga of course, but yoga will make me feel better in the long run.

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Brain-Building Assassin, a.k.a Radical Domestic Jill-of-All-Trades

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Isaiah 40:30-31

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So Sunday and Monday don't count for the challenge so far. Sunday I ended up volunteering to help take care of "Grandma," my Aunt's mother-in-law that is in her 90s. It was a nice time with just me and the baby as Dr. Focker took the kids to church. I couldn't exactly fit in anything while watching her and the baby.

Monday was of course Halloween, and I busted out another makeshift costume for my child's school party (monkey) plus homemade cookies for the class, then got her changed and off to another class party (snow white that time). Then spent the rest of the day sewing zippers back on to my Belle costume and adjusting the fit. I'm pretty proud that no one ever taught me how to sew but I can "jerry-rig" a costume like nobody's business. Usually can eyeball a seam and get it right first time! So off we went to galavant in the night, or at least for one hour, because everything closed or ended at 8pm. Which was fine, we were so ready to be home and relax.

Tuesday. Ah Tuesday. Spent most of the day dealing with fussy, misbehaving, disobedient children that couldn't help themselves because of the candy and excitement from the night before. It has been an off day ALL day. I feel like an airhead, exhausted, and I couldn't for the life of me remember much. I managed to do bills, clean kitchen, and make meals/food, but that was about it. I honestly want to just not count today either. Maybe I will start the challenge tomorrow? Haha. My FB habits are going to need some strong redirection also. Since my last break from FB I have fallen right back into overuse and obsessive checking. Time to pull back. Pretty sure I am going to announce another month-long FB fast starting tonight.

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Brain-Building Assassin, a.k.a Radical Domestic Jill-of-All-Trades

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13 hours ago, Alexandrite said:

I think it is literally that there is a choice in my case, that my have-tos are critical, like caring for children or doing neverending dishes, instead of getting to work out or sleep. Wonderful sleep.

 

Yeah, hats off to all moms - taking a day off isn't really an option. 

 

13 hours ago, Alexandrite said:

I managed to do bills, clean kitchen, and make meals/food, but that was about it.

 

That's one heck of a "that was about it"! Hope today is going better for you, and good luck with post-Halloween aftermath!

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Manarelle the Level 56 Amazon Assassin

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Week 1 down, nothing to count. Left yesterday for a trip to Idaho so we can celebrate my father's birthday. Whole weekend is filled up with errands, events, kid wrangling, etc. Going to have to make this a 3 week challenge. More to come Sunday.

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So I made it home safe and we had a great evening on Sunday. However I had been out of sorts and kind of prickly emotionally all day long and couldn't figure out why. My throat started getting sore Sunday night and I knew. =( Caught some kind of throat thing. It hurts to swallow, etc, and Monday Dr. Focker stayed home to field children while I slept every two to three hours from exhaustion. Despite feeling like I was half asleep the whole time, he convinced me to air up the tires and go riding on my bike since it was such a nice day, so +1 for physical activity. I'm feeling better today energy wise. Still have a sore throat but it is NO match for salt water rinses and echinacea lozenges!

I've already started out the day well, doing almost 40 wanikani reviews and putting the laundry away.

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The bike thing is actually big for me. The last time I rode was when I was pregnant with my daughter around 4 years ago. Very happy to feel the sensation of riding a bike again!

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Isn't it wonderful to find/rediscover something so invigorating? I rediscovered walking in the woods this year and can't get enough of it. It's just me, my staff and my provisions, as challenging as I want it to be, or not at all. 

 

When I lived in Colorado and had all those dedicated bike trails at my disposal, I'd ride 20 miles a day: ten out and ten back. I'd put an audiobook on low volume and off I'd go. (But in THOSE days, they were cassettes and I had to stop every hour to change them. Kids, ask your parents.)

 

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Look, it's almost Friday already! I will be honest - lingering sickness, politics, and coping mechanisms in the form of obsessive Stardew playing may have all had a part to play in this week's semi derailment. But! I have slowly begun to knock down the 400+ review queue I had on WK, averaging around 85% accuracy! And I am keeping up on house cleaning (kind of have to with a now crawling baby), meal prep (I really don't want to eat much junk anymore thanks to our exchange student being particular about it too), and organization - because I got fired up finding a great new layout for the financial spreadsheet and now have mastery over all our budget mwahahahahahaha.

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Brain-Building Assassin, a.k.a Radical Domestic Jill-of-All-Trades

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Yep, 7 days later and I am STILL fighting off this crap. Dr. Focker got it twice and has missed two days of work this week. It has been very hard to go out and do errands or get much done at home when I'm hacking my lungs out or speak with a nasally tone that makes everyone look at me suspiciously as someone with germs. Our exchange student M is the only one that hasn't gotten sick - she keeps to her room and school, so good for her.

As far as choices? Well, I have made a point of cooking, instead of eating out. We have gone almost a month now, which is pretty big for us. In fact, I gave Green Chef food delivery a try and scheduled it last Friday, and sure enough that was when I got sick and forgot to defrost meat, so I would have called in pizza or something. Instead I HAD to cook because everything arrived fresh and ready to cook. Haha! I still enjoyed Blue Apron more - the recipes were easier and didn't try so hard to be upper scale.

Physical wise I haven't done squat. The cold and cough that hit our family has me wheezing just running errands and taking care of family. I shudder at the laundry that needs being done today. But my daughter sparked an idea - she would benefit greatly from doing yoga and pilates with me, so why not do it together? I know that there are some of us on here who do exercise with their kids, and it would be great to get that started early as a habit. Plus it takes care of at least one child, lol.

Here is to recovering completely. Looks like this challenge got sucked into "life happens." But hey, there's always today, and tomorrow, and the next! And despite pigging out on chocolate one or two days this week to save myself emotionally from the exhaustion, I have in fact been eating well overall. Our fridge even killed some of our salad and veggies at the back of the fridge, but it didn't stop me! Going to keep working on our new budget spreadsheet and get things worked out so we can be more organized - that at least is happening. Our counter is covered in the foot high stack of mail I need to finish going through.

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Brain-Building Assassin, a.k.a Radical Domestic Jill-of-All-Trades

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Please just disregard if this isn't something you are interested in, and I wish I didn't sound like an infomercial, but your post reminded me that we have some mood and brain similarities and I thought I'd share.  

 

Have you heard of the book "The Mood Cure?" My husband read it for work and decided try it out on himself, and me. It's mostly plant-based amino acid supplements with some diet recommendations - linking poor food choices directly to mood I think. (I didn't read it.) He has more energy and focus than he's had in years and he is making big diet changes that he hasn't been interested enough in to sustain in the past - now that he is linking his diet to his moods and energy more directly. He also bought me a different one to help my ADHD brain be more focused and alert and I'm really liking it - it keeps me focused through afternoon lessons.

 

I'm also taking another one for mood help one week a month so that shark week doesn't find me in a puddle of tears and depression. They are really short term, so you just take some on the day you need it which works really well for me.

 

Anyway, I hope you get well soon! I would love to hear more about your meal kit experiences we keep talking over the idea of trying one out, but were worried the portion sizes would be really small or that it would be too complicated to deal with at the end of the day.

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It is official: I will be cutting my FB time down to once a week on Sundays, just announced it. It feels good. I have already got my WaniKani queue down below 200 now from 400+ at the beginning of this challenge. And I will be starting a daily yoga time with my daughter on Monday. I am seriously thinking about becoming a yoga and pilates person/instructor in the future. I like it a lot and would enjoy sharing it with other mothers who would benefit from postpartum recovery focus. Onward!

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Brain-Building Assassin, a.k.a Radical Domestic Jill-of-All-Trades

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Isaiah 40:30-31

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Please just disregard if this isn't something you are interested in, and I wish I didn't sound like an infomercial, but your post reminded me that we have some mood and brain similarities and I thought I'd share.  

 

Have you heard of the book "The Mood Cure?" My husband read it for work and decided try it out on himself, and me. It's mostly plant-based amino acid supplements with some diet recommendations - linking poor food choices directly to mood I think. (I didn't read it.) He has more energy and focus than he's had in years and he is making big diet changes that he hasn't been interested enough in to sustain in the past - now that he is linking his diet to his moods and energy more directly. He also bought me a different one to help my ADHD brain be more focused and alert and I'm really liking it - it keeps me focused through afternoon lessons.

 

I'm also taking another one for mood help one week a month so that shark week doesn't find me in a puddle of tears and depression. They are really short term, so you just take some on the day you need it which works really well for me.

 

Anyway, I hope you get well soon! I would love to hear more about your meal kit experiences we keep talking over the idea of trying one out, but were worried the portion sizes would be really small or that it would be too complicated to deal with at the end of the day.

Thank you! I would be interested in hearing more. Dr. Focker is of the "whole foods" camp and usually isnt supportive of supplements so we have steered clear of them over time, but he and I both could benefit from a kick in the pants when it comes to our nutrient intake.

As far as the meal boxes go, they would be great for us for once a month or date nights for something restaurant-style quality. All the food from both companies (Blue Apron and Green Chef) rang in at around 500 calories, with Green Chef having more veggies in general. Not enough for my breastfeeding body necessarily but Dr. Focker liked it. The kids mostly were interested but we ate their servings in some cases. I honestly want to give someone else a try but those two companies were the only ones with "free box" promotions, the other companies will give you free "plates" but you have to pay for the rest of a complete box. I wasnt really sold on the idea at first so didnt want to put money out. Now I know what to look for. Price wise it just doesnt make sense every meal, but if it comes and avoids us going out to eat then it saves us money in the long run!

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Brain-Building Assassin, a.k.a Radical Domestic Jill-of-All-Trades

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I think you are right about the teacher thing. I definitely had to focus on more than just what I was doing. But both kids did yoga with me yesterday and loved it.

Ive made some great promises/bets this week. They have aleady helped. Still havent eaten out. Yay! Added on bed time by 8pm at latest, but normally 7pm. Yoga with the kids, mommy yoga. FB only on Sundays. Studying reading manga, currently working through Yotsubato. Good stuff. I feel good about the practice.

And Thanksgiving went off without a hitch and was a blast. Lots of food and family. And all my cooking was amazing!

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This challenge had a lot of sickness and setbacks. I honestly think I made it through alright and have made some habit building commitments that will help next challenge. Made it a whole week without touching FB once, and barely did an hour's worth today as my one day a week. WaniKani has been caught up! This is huge. I started the challenge with over 400+ reviews and 200+ lessons, and just carved my way right through them now that I use my mobile time in different ways than before. I am also enjoying reading manga in Japanese through Scribd. I tried yoga with my kids and they liked it. I liked it too, just not as meditative.

Onward to more habit building!

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Brain-Building Assassin, a.k.a Radical Domestic Jill-of-All-Trades

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Isaiah 40:30-31

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