Woah!

I finally stepped on the scale this morning after successfully avoiding it for more than a month, and it confirmed what my too tight clothing has been telling me. (BTW, the scale image to the left cracks me up. That blue light … it’s like the dread that goes directly to my noggin as I await the final number on my Aria scale.) Image

Anyhow, I’m going to re-prioritize a little. I focus exactly ZERO attention right now on my health and well-being. Nothing. I focus all my attention on school, my family, business and other people. For the last few months, I have spent a little on my home which keeps it from being a total sty but just the bare minimum. I have free time but I often use it to just zone out rather than doing anything productive because I’m mentally tapped and frazzled at the end of the day. I suppose zoning out is for me but it doesn’t feel that way — it feels like survival. Anyone know what I mean?

I started today with just being mindful of what I’m eating, and writing it down with an amount. Writing it down is key for me. I want to see that I’m eating things in balance. I’ll start with that and see where I’m at next week. You thrive where you place your energy and I need to place more on a healthier me, too.

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Habits, Systems and Goals

This article is brilliant and completely in line with what I have been talking about regarding habits. Basically: if it’s the system or plan that gets you to your goal, set up and follow the system  and don’t even pay attention to the goal and you’ll get there anyway without the stress of looking at that seemingly unattainable goal out there in the future.

Duh!  That’s one of those brilliantly simple and obvious things that seem like an epiphany when you figure it out.

A system is a plan made up of repeated steps. Repeated steps are just habits.

My goal is to re-shape my body in such a way that it works better and fits betters into my clothing. It doesn’t matter what the specific numbers or sizes are. My system is to change the way I eat long term and get more activity in – in an organic way, I’m no dieting gym-bunny. The habits I need to make that system work are adding vegetables into all of my meals, increasing the amount of water I eat, improving the quality of my snacks while reducing the amount of snacks I eat, getting my 10,000 steps a day and starting a running training program.

If I make all those habits regular, if I turn them into a system that repeats over and over and over then the goal will happen whether I think about it or not. So, I’m not going to be miserable focusing on the 50lbs I was hoping to lose by summer. I won’t feel like it’s so far away and so huge and unattainable that I should not bother at all. No, instead I will think about my habits – establishing and maintaining them – so that all the little things I need to do to achieve my goals will be completed, on auto-pilot. One day I will wake up and realise that I’m achieving my goals, and even better: I’m achieving them easily, with little thought or inconvenience.

What kind of habits are you trying to establish?

Habits and Tools

I have terrible habits and habits are where it’s at.

My weight has been holding steady which is good in that it’s not going up. But it sure isn’t coming down. And, though I’ve been far more active in the last few weeks, a quick examination of what’s going in my mouth reveals a shocking lack of vegetables and a huge amount of starches and sugars.

So, I have to change my habits. I need to make eating better more regularly an unconscious part of every day.

I’ve written about Lift before and I found it very useful. Quickly: it’s a site/app where you define habits you want to create and then track how well you do each day. It works well. But, it’s undergoing some updating and they’re including a goal feature.

I don’t know if people will be able to define their own goals but they currently have a number of goals in different categories. They look a lot like those memes going around FB and Pinterest such as 21 day squat challenge or 30 day plank challenge that list activities to do each day that build to the goal of a firmer stomach or something similar.

I got an email the other day that announced the website overhaul and the launch of a new endeavor within the Lift app called the Quantified Diet Project. A person chooses one of 10 diets and then the app provides guidance over the course of a month to follow the diet and achieve whatever goals you define – lose weight, get healthier, sleep better, have more energy, feel less depressed, etc.

The diet options are pretty wide-ranging, to. Everyone ought to be able to find something that works for them out of the plans: paleo, slow carb, vegetarian, whole foods, gluten-free, now-sweets, DASH, calorie-counting, sleep and mindful eating. The really interesting thing, though, is that Lift is pairing up with UC Berkeley who are doing a massive diet study and you can choose to be randomly assigned as a control participant.

I am thinking of following the Whole Foods approach which is based on the Summer Tomato/Foodist approach. I loved the Foodist book and Darya’s Summer Tomato blog.

You can go to the Lift website and download the free iOS or Android app to use the tool or just use the website itself. Be sure to click on the Sign Up To Be Notified button.

Anyone want to join me?  What diet do you think you’ll choose?

 

Dance

I’ve only danced a few times this autumn. In 2.5 years of weekly dances, it was the first time I’ve actually missed weeks. Typing this here as a promise to myself to get out on Thursday night and enjoy the evening by dancing it away.

It’s December?!

The smallest, quickest of updates. I’m nearing the end of my term at school,  and I’m currently procrastinating with studying for an exam tomorrow just long enough to write this note. I’m doing better at this school thing than I would have imagined. I’m very excited to see my final grades but less excited to need to sit in a room to spill out the contents of my head over the next week and a half. I still have no solid idea what I’m actually working toward in university — I thought I knew but changed my mind — beyond  personal growth but it’s been a fun journey so far. I’ve taken a mix of science and humanities classes and the absolutely most useless things make my heart sing.

I haven’t had much time to do anything else in life. I have some projects I’m working on, I still sketch a little, I manage some other things, but I’ve been survival eating and have worked backwards a bit in that respect. I’m really looking forward to the end of next week when I can take a breather, not worry about doing anything at all on a timeline and just enjoy my family, a book of my choosing, and putting my feet up.

Sometimes You Have To Say No

It’s midnight. I have not yet had a late night snack. I will not have a late night snack tonight. I keep thinking of all the lovely things I could eat, but then I tell myself “No! I will not eat anything tonight.”

Habit the first: no late night snacks.

I mean, if it’s so late that I’m hungry, it is past my bedtime.

Here I go, off to bed.

No snack in hand.

No Halloween candy. No salsa and chips. No toast with peanut butter. No boiled eggs. No homemade hummus. No homemade guacamole. No no no no.

Good night.

A Tale Of Two Pits

This past summer I wrote about my initial experience with a natural deodorant. You can read about my excitement here: That Sweat Don’t Smell.

I had wanted to get away from my long term use of aluminum salts in commercial deodorants. I wanted a more natural option and I wanted to make my own, but I didn’t want to invest a lot of money in the raw ingredients if the end products wasn’t successful for me. I bought a small local-ish made deodorant that smelled good and seemed to have good ingredients: baking soda, corn starch, coconut oil, tea tree oil and lemon essential oil.

It smelled great and I was amazed that for the first couple days there was literally no sweat smell and no wetness problems in the middle of summer. Huzzah!  But, my elation was short lived. By the third day my pits were a bit itchy. By the fourth day they were insanely itchy and there was a slash of red across the pits.

I wanted to give the deodorant a decent trial, so I kept using it for a few days. Perhaps my body needed to adjust. But it didn’t. I made it 6 days and had to give up. The entire surface of my pits were bright red, itching and raw feeling. I had a chemical burn.  I immediately discontinued all deodorant use.

It took two weeks for the chemical burns to heal. In that time, I emailed the company to let them know. Their response was really unsatisfactory. They said that it was likely the tea tree oil. “C’est dommage.”  I was hoping they would offer to send a sample of a different formulation. That’s what I would do if someone told me my product gave them chemical burns. Certainly there was no warning on the label. I was a little ticked, but I’m sure the rest of their products are great. I’m not going to be giving them another $7, however.

After 2 weeks, I went another week without using any deodorant. I was sort of fascinated with my natural personal smell. It smelled strong!  And bad!  And weird!  I kept sniffing my pits and recoiling and then laughing at myself. When my husband started remarking that he could smell my pits without being close to me, I decided to return to the world of commercial deodorants.

A few months later, I’m still a Lady Speed Stick devotee. My first stick back was Summer Citrus and I recently picked up Fruity Melon. I love the silly fruity scents.

I haven’t ruled out making my own deodorant. It definitely won’t have tea tree oil in it. But I have heard some people say that it is the baking soda or corn starch that they react to in natural deodorants.  I sure hope that’s not my experience.

Have you tried natural deodorants?  What was your experience? Is there a brand you love?