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Day 11: Hello Monday!

It’s Monday.

I used to hate Mondays. I mean, I’ve always liked the idea of a new week and a fresh start, but since they’ve usually coincided with the first day of my work week, I’ve kinda sorta dreaded them. Now that I work from home, I actually really enjoy Mondays. I don’t schedule any work – instead I take the day to get organized for the work week, run errands, and do things around the house, like clean and meal plan.

Unfortunately, Mondays have been a tad off since we returned from vacation. The big kid is on summer break, and I’ve cut back on my workload to spend more time with her and the little kid. I’ve been trying to continue to make the most of my Mondays, but it’s been hard. I’ve been struggling a lot to get back into my routine, and without my routine, I just feel… chaotic? All over the place?

The reminders I set yesterday seemed to help a bit with ensuring I stayed on top of my step count. Although I missed a couple when they went off, I did see a few of them – and something is better than nothing. Although I didn’t hit my step goal until later in the evening, I was close to 15,000 steps several hours earlier than usual. I’m pretty sure I have the reminders to thank for that, especially considering the eventful day we had yesterday. Little kid developed a fever and the big kid got tossed off her pony during her riding lesson. She’s fine – she brushed herself off and fortunately walked away from it with nothing more than a small bruise, but it was scary, to say the least.

I understand I’ll be limited in what I can do today with a sick kid at home, but there’s still a lot I can do. For example, I can set some goals for the week. I haven’t been very consistent with logging my meals, and I doubt my eating habits have changed at all, but my weight’s dipped again a couple of pounds since Friday. I’m sure it’s just water weight, but I’m going to try to do better at logging all of my meals this week, just to see how much I’m eating on average each day.

I also really need to work on getting my sleep schedule back on track. My ADHD makes it difficult for me to fall asleep. If I don’t manage it, I can be up all night just staring at the ceiling and setting myself up for failure the next day. If I don’t get enough sleep, I can’t get up on time in the morning, which throws off my morning routine and entire day. Also, if I manage to get up on time and try to function on little sleep, my medication becomes basically ineffective, and I spend the day walking around in a fog, eating everything in sight, and getting little to nothing done.

I didn’t get nearly enough sleep last night and skipped my morning routine, but I’m going to do my best to fight the fog and turn my day around. Hopefully, little kid will feel better soon and I’ll be able to take him on a short run with the jogging stroller while the big kid rides her bike. He woke up pretty happy and energetic, so it seems like my chances are pretty good.

Have a happy Monday!

Current step total: 2,707

Current step goal streak: 1 day 
Previous step goal streak: 1 day 
Longest step goal streak: 6 days 



Day 3: Today was hard.

Riding the high of yesterday’s success, I’ve decided to try to keep logging my food every day. I don’t plan on making any diet changes just yet – my priority is walking 15,000 steps each day – but I figure I might as well give it a try. And if I fail, that’s ok, because it’s not my primary focus.

Which is a good thing because today was hard folks. It was the last lazy day of a very lazy week. We had family in town and since it’s summer, I’m working less to spend more time at home with the kiddos. Unfortunately, I haven’t been feeling so hot. The adrenaline from the last two days of this challenge have kept me moving, but today… well, today was hard. I alternated between finding ways to get my steps in (like pacing around the house and walking to the grocery store) and laying on the couch complaining of all sorts of “I feel sick” symptoms.

In the end, I have my husband to thank for helping me reach my step goal today. This morning, I decided to tell him about the challenge and blog. I figured I would need to do some walking around the house throughout the day to get my steps in and naturally, he’d be curious as to what exactly I was doing. I’m lucky, I have a pretty awesome husband, and as usual, he was supportive of my latest goal. He asked me what my step count was throughout the day, reminding me to move. He kept me going whenever I felt like giving up. He also kept me from losing my shit (pardon the expression) when my Garmin suddenly went black. For an hour or so there, I thought I’d lost my ability to track my steps. Luckily, it was still tracking and eventually came back online.

Now, after hitting my goal, here I sit, watching Avengers: Infinity War (again) while whining to myself about how gross I feel and hoping I feel better tomorrow in order to workout at 5:00 am. As much as I hate the idea of going to the gym tomorrow, I am desperate to get back into my “normal” daily routine. Without a routine, I feel off, but more about that some other time.

Keystone habits

In my Day 1 post, I mentioned Charles Duhigg’s book, “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business.” If you haven’t read it yet, it’s definitely worth a trip to the bookstore or library. In his book, Duhigg writes about keystone habits – habits that have “the power to start a chain reaction” because they offer small wins and have the ability to disrupt other parts of your life. He uses exercising as an example, stating that someone who starts working out regularly will likely begin to make other changes in their lives. For example, they may start sleeping better and feeling more energetic throughout the day, so they may become more productive at work. Or they might start eating better and smoking less. That one decision to be more active, has the ability to basically change the person’s entire life.

This concept of a keystone habit was the underlying motivation for this challenge. You see, last year, when I finally began losing weight after years of starting over week after week and failing over and over again, it was all thanks to one small change I decided to make. I hadn’t read Duhigg’s book yet back then, but I knew I was stuck in a vicious cycle of striving for perfection, only to fail, binge, and start over again. And, the more I did it, the more weight I gained. I needed to break the cycle and try something new. So, instead of starting a new workout program or diet, I decided to just log my meals every day. That’s it. No changes to my diet, no new workouts, no striving for perfection, just one thing: log each and every little thing I ate into MyFitnessPal.

And that’s what I did. I had originally planned to do it for two weeks without making any changes to my diet or lifestyle, but as I saw the numbers add up in MyFitnessPal (much higher than I had anticipated them to be), I found myself trying to figure out how many calories I should be eating. Once I knew what my calorie limit should be, I started to make different choices to cut back on how much I was eating. This change was unplanned. I didn’t do it on purpose really – it just sort of happened. And over time, my habits continued to change. It was a very slow process, but the weight eventually came off. More importantly, it didn’t feel very hard to do (unlike every other time I had tried).

Unfortunately, the problem with habits is that you never really get rid of the bad ones. Their triggers linger and lurk, waiting for just the right moment to suck you back in if you don’t stay on top of them. Despite the changes and progress I’d made, my old, “anything goes” vacation habits took over this summer, and getting back on track since returning home has been hard. I tried the whole logging my food thing again – it worked once before, so I figured it had to work again. But, it didn’t. It felt too hard to track my food on vacation, and I just haven’t been able to motivate myself to stick with it, until yesterday.

After my “small win” on Day 1, I was feeling pretty pumped yesterday. I decided to go for a short run with the little kid and figured I’d at least try to log my food. My husband and I took the kids to the park and played with them, instead of watching them from a bench. I even volunteered to walk the dog again (my husband usually walks him). By the end of the day, not only did I surpass my step goal, I actually managed to log everything I ate (and drank). Granted, I ate and drank a lot, but that’s not important just yet. What is important is that I did it. Baby steps.

Day 2: What was I thinking?

My decision to start this challenge yesterday was not very well thought out. It was around 4:00 pm when I published my post and I had barely cleared 4,000 steps by that time. So yeah, there I was, sitting in front of my computer with only a few hours to go and almost 11,000 steps left to take.

The easiest thing to do to quickly rack up some steps would have been to go for a run, but with my husband working late, I was on my own with the kiddos. Granted, I could have put the little one in the jogging stroller and let the bigger one ride her bike; but the jogging stroller has this almost magic ability to put the little one to sleep and at 4:00 pm, there was no way I was going to let him take a nap – there’d be hell to pay at bedtime. I decided to take them to the park instead, and while they played, I walked laps around the jungle gym. Unfortunately, that only added about 2,000 steps to my total. I seriously considered throwing in the towel at that point, but failing on day 1? I just wasn’t ready to give up yet.

Back at home, I did everything I could to keep moving. I took extra trips upstairs to put things away, paced around my living room, and took the dog for an extra long walk. By the time the kids were fed, bathed, and in bed, I had somehow cleared 11,000 steps. With 4,000 steps to go and less than three hours until midnight, I did the only thing I could think of: I walked laps around my living room for almost a full hour. Ridiculous? Yes; but effective. I hit my goal of 15,000 steps! Woo hoo!

Today I figured I’d start with some “before” stats to track any progress I might make over the next 365 days. I love tracking stats. My desk and computer are littered with half-used charts and spreadsheets I’ve created over the years to chart my progress. During our most recent move, I managed to locate and consolidate a bunch of old stats on a master spreadsheet of sorts. I have measurements dating all the way back to 2011! It’s fascinating to see how they’ve changed, and not-changed, over the years.

As I weighed myself and took my measurements this morning, I thought about which stats to share on this blog and how often to update them. Weight alone doesn’t tell the whole picture, but I’m not courageous enough to share any “before” photos. I also haven’t really given much thought to any goals I may have or any other changes I might make, other than hitting that magic number of 15,000 every day. So, these stats are really just a fun experiment at the moment – numbers to watch and see if they change at all as a result of this new challenge. I decided on sharing the stats further below and updating them weekly on Monday mornings.

And with that, I’m off to eat some breakfast and get some steps in. Happy Saturday!

"Before" Stats
Height: 60 inches 
Weight: 131.2 lbs 
Measurements (in inches):
Bicep 10.75
Chest 35
Waist 31
Hips 37
Thigh 22
Calf 14




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