Fitness, Healthy Eating, Running

Diet changes that stuck (and some that didn’t)

Over the past few weeks, I have been trying to evaluate what I still need to do in my healthy eating and fitness quest. I mean, progress was made for sure. I am in a much better place than I was a year ago. There is still a lot of room for improvements though, so I thought I’d stop and look and what’s working and what isn’t and more importantly, what needs to change.

So the first thing is in the fitness arena and that really involves the facts that a) the running is going well even though I don’t always get to run as much as I want and b) the rest of the fitness stuff is not working so well. I don’t like being in the gym. I like the actual process of lifting weights, usually but I have reservations about dragging my butt in there especially when there is a nice track that I can run on. I’ve even fallen off on the yoga which is very bad because it means I’m getting no muscle work. That needs to change. I need to figure out a way to get some kind of strength training in on a regular basis. Even knowing that it helps my running that much more to go and build muscle, I still struggle. It’s a work in progress for now.

The remainder of this is food centric. The positive things include that I have eliminated a huge amount of bread from my life. This includes cereal which has always been a weakness for me. I think once we get to a place where I feel more inclined for warm oatmeal and (healthy) baked breakfast stuffs this will be better. Just getting rid of the bread has helped though. Of course this past week hasn’t been good in terms of bread because I made this wonderful bread with cheese yesterday for dinner (it went with spaghetti, which is worse but I digress) but I’m going for the thought that as long as it’s not a typical part of my diet then it’s good. I’ve still managed to eliminate most of the processed foods from my diet. This is very good because they are the worst for you, obviously. I’m trying to focus on including yogurt more and increase veggies again. It’s easy to forget the veggies. Again, hopefully shifting to a place where I can cook with the oven without melting in the kitchen will help.

I’m trying to come up with a good tracker for my bullet journal. If I find one, I’ll share. That’s where I am though. It’s an ok place. Just keep moving forward, right?

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Books, Fitness, Healthy Eating, Running, Writing

It might be a miracle

It’s been several months since I began running again in earnest. It does a soul good to be able to pummel the ground repeatedly with your feet. Unfortunately, I live in an oven. Or at least that’s what it feels like from (usually) May until September. That’s almost half the year if you’re keeping track. And generally it isn’t the heat that is the true problem here. It’s the 90% humidity that accompanies it. That can make breathing hard when you aren’t doing anything. Then put exertion in the mix and you have a recipe for crawling rather than running.

Our weather this year has been odd. It hasn’t been as hot as it usually is and it didn’t warm up until much later than usual. So you can imagine my surprise when I went running Sunday and did three miles with all negative splits. I’ve never run all negative splits, since I started running years ago. I could get the second mile negative but then the third would be a disaster or the second mile would be awful and the third would be better (but not better than the first). Now part of this is a poor ability to pace on my part, which I’ve been working on. But part of it is the horrible heat.

When the weather is cooler out, I can typically run about even splits, a second or two over or under for each mile. Sunday was remarkable because the second mile was almost third second faster and my third was a few second faster yet. It wasn’t a ten minute pace (it was around 10:30) but it was a vast improvement over the 11:00 to 11:30 that I’ve been running. I have no idea what I did differently and could not replicate it today. I’ll keep working at it though.

I have also made efforts to get my food healthy again. I was lax during the last few weeks of school due to stress, so I wasn’t eating as much and some of it was not the best choices (there was a lot of pizza… pizza is my kryptonite). So I’ve really put effort into ensuring that I’m eating a good breakfast and getting lots of fruits and vegetables in, especially while they are really good. I was good about not resorting to eating out all the time. So while my choices weren’t the best choices at home, they were at least choices that I largely controlled the portions and sides for. Small victories, right?

As a brief aside, I will also add that I am working on two more books currently, as I move forward on my day zero project. I have also started a book with a full complement of characters, a brief outline and somewhere around 12,000 words. This is progress and hopefully it will continue. I have research notes and may actually get a notebook to keep details in so that I don’t have to keep flipping to different computer files (it’s easier sometimes to have paper!). I haven’t decided yet what to do with the book once it’s finished. First I have to finish it but I can say with confidence that this one is the most likely yet to actually reach a point where it would be complete. Of course, I’d also need an editor because I am bad with grammar and can make mistakes that are very amateur. A person with good editing skills would need to look over this thing before I even contemplated publishing it.

See what I can accomplish when I have time off?

Books, Bucket List, Bullet Journal, Life, Running

My Day Zero Project

So, the premise of the day zero project is to complete 101 tasks in 1001 days. These tasks are intended to be things that are challenging or interesting to you. Things you might not otherwise try to do. So, in the vein of accountability, I’m going to list the 52 things that I have on my list currently. I am also open to suggestions, if anyone has a suggestion about things to do that should or could go on my list. My official start date was July 1, 2017. That means I have util February 26, 2020 to finish everything. I still need 49 things. It’s a bit varied and there is some overlap… and some places where I’m not overlapping. It’s my project that will hopefully get me adventuring again. I will update when I make some progress (I have started on a couple of things). Wish me luck!

My list is

1. Go on a road trip
2. Complete a 365 day photo challenge
3. Do some volunteer work
4. No fast food for a month
5. Write a book
6. See 10 classic movies I’ve never seen
7. Complete a coloring book
8. Write a letter to myself to be opened when the 1001 days is over
9. Learn a poem by heart
10. Ask 20 friends to suggest one book, and read them all
11. Get a facial
12. Go rockclimbing
13. Attend the New Orleans Jazz Festival
14. See the Northern Lights
15. Make a Christmas song playlist
16. Mail a letter to Santa
17. Watch It’s a Wonderful Life
18. See the lighting of the Rockefeller Christmas Tree
19. Host a cookie-baking party
20. Deliver homemade holiday treats to someone unexpected
21. Do a random act of kindness for a stranger
22. Have a Christmas cookie swap
23. Learn meditation
24. Learn to make cheese
25. Learn to longboard
26. Write one page of my novel every day for a year
27. Learn how to paint with oils
28. Blog at least once a week for a year
29. Take a photo of the same place every month for a year
30. Run a 5K every month for a year
31. Send one handwritten letter per month for a year
32. Bake something new every month for a year
33. Spend an afternoon taking photos once a month for a year
34. Complete the 52 week money challenge
35. Keep a blog for a year
36. Drink from a coconut
37. Swim in every ocean
38. Visit a friend in a different country
39. Attend a TED event
40. Sleep in an overnight train
41. Save $500 in an emergency fund
42. Perform 5 random acts of kindness
43. Complete a 30 Miles in 30 Days Challenge
44. Complete a 30 Day Yoga Challenge
45. Climb an indoor rock wall
46. Go to Disneyland from opening to closing
47. Make a pie on Pi day
48. Eat lobster in Maine
49. Take a picture for each letter of the alphabet
50. Make a list of the top 5 people who have positively influenced me and write them letters
51. Keep a “My Day in Six Words” journal for 6 months
52. Read 50 books