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Posts tagged ‘step challenge’

Now what?

Having made the decision to give this challenge another go, I decided to go through my old posts for motivation. When I started this challenge, my intent was to post every day, and for a while, I did. I made myself do it – even when I didn’t want to. It was great for accountability’s sake, but the posts themselves left a lot to be desired. On a whim, I decided to delete some of the more mundane ones, but, I got a tad bit carried away. It seems I may have inadvertently deleted a few posts that I would have preferred to keep (like my Bod Pod results). C’est la vie.

I can’t go back and recreate those posts, but I figure it might be a good idea to do an update post of sorts, kind of like a Day 1 versus now thing. A lot has changed since I wrote my very first post on this blog last summer:

  • I had an ectopic pregnancy that required emergency surgery.
  • I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, celiac disease, and lactose intolerance.
  • I gained some weight, then lost it again – rinse and repeat a couple of times.
  • I attempted and failed to complete this challenge more than once.
  • I didn’t complete any of the DietBets I joined.
  • I think my Experiments 1 and 2 may have failed.
  • I created an Instagram account and a new blog to write specifically about cooking and eating gluten and dairy-free food.
  • I quickly got bored with the new blog and abandoned it, but I kept the Instagram account.
  • My views on all things health and fitness related shifted – there will definitely be posts about those changes in the future.
  • And most importantly, my priorities changed – I care less about losing weight and a lot more about being healthy.

I’m sure those changes will affect the tone and content of this blog a bit (maybe more than a bit), but for today, I’m going to keep it old school and just focus on goals.

In yesterday’s post (which I wrote very late at night, while knocking back some cocktails), I mentioned that I’d had two thoughts while watching the movie Julie & Julia: I can still enjoy food, and I need to refocus on my health.

That right there my friends, those two thoughts, are why I came back to this blog. I want to wholeheartedly commit to doing those two things, but I need help. I need accountability. I’m weak. I stumble. I fail. I make poor decisions. I stay up until 2 am, knowing full well that I need to be up by 6 am for work and I’m going to feel like shit in the morning because I didn’t get enough sleep.

But, I’m also determined, hopeful, stubborn, and unwilling to fold. No matter how many times I stumble and fall down, I eventually get back up (even if it takes a while). Despite falling off the wagon over and over and over again, I’ve continued to climb right back on it. So, now that I’m back on my feet and back on the wagon, I’m ready to try again.

And you know what trying again means, new goals! For this latest attempt at walking 15,000 steps a day, every day, for a year, I want to work on goals inspired by Dr. Rangan Chatterjee’s book, “How to Make Disease Disappear.” If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. I’m pretty much obsessed with it – and the good Dr’s got a great podcast too.

Anywho, the book focuses on what Dr. Chatterjee calls the “four pillars of health” – sleep, food, movement, and relaxation/stress. I could easily spend hours writing about his pillars and all of the great information I read in this book, but that’s a whole other post unto itself. For now, I’m just going to dive straight into the goals:

  • First and foremost, I need to walk 15,000 steps each day – it’s the whole point of this blog.
  • Secondly, I desperately have to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day – I am severely sleep deprived. 
  • Third, I need to drink 64 ounces of water daily – I’ve been feeling pretty dehydrated lately.
  • Fourth, I want to practice time-restricted eating instead of CICO for all the reasons (to be explained in a future post).
  • Fifth, I have to get back in the gym. My little muscles are just ghosts of their former selves at this point.
  • Sixth, I seriously need to get back to meditating every day. I never thought I’d be a person who meditates, but I have to tell you, that shit is life-changing.
  • And finally, seventh, I need to cut back on the use of electronic devices. Just trust me on this one. for now.

I know it’s a lot. There’s a good change that I may be in way over my head by trying to make so many changes all at once. In fact, I’m still trying to decide if I really want to go there and set myself up for failure, or if I should just focus on one or two of these at a time. Maybe it’d be best if I add a new one each week? I don’t know what I’m going to commit to just yet, but I’m going to make a decision about it tomorrow for sure. I can’t keep putting this off, I need to start now.  Anyone want to join me?

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Day 52: I ate a mountain of french fries

I’ve been feeling pretty proud of myself the last few days. I am on a 5-day step goal streak, I’ve been hitting the gym, and I’ve managed to get more mindfulness and water into my daily life. I’ve also been doing pretty ok with the whole avoiding gluten and dairy thing – it hasn’t felt as hard as I expected it to be.

Until today.

Today sucked. Or rather, this evening sucked.

The day started out all right. I had some bone broth soup for breakfast. I went to the gym. I did some work and a little meal prepping. I even volunteered at my daughter’s school for a couple of hours. It was turning out to be a nice, productive day. Then we went out for dinner after visiting the poop museum (yup, you read that right, a museum dedicated to poop). My daughter wanted a burger and I figured I’d be able to find something I could eat there too, so we went to the burger spot.

Well, it turns out I was wrong – oh so very wrong. This place only serves cheeseburgers, and asking for a burger without the cheese and/or bun just isn’t a thing. That’s just not how it works here. So, while everyone else enjoyed what they excitedly described as “the best burgers they’ve tasted since moving to Japan,” I ate a mountain of fries.

I have never wanted a burger so badly in my life.

It was awful. That meal was a slap-in-the-face reminder that having to avoid gluten and dairy sucks big ones. It legit hurt my feelings.

I know I should focus on the fact that I managed to resist the temptation. I should be proud of myself for staying strong and all that bullshit; but truthfully, I just feel shitty about it.

I keep telling myself that it’s just food and that cravings are just mind games your brain plays with you, but it still feels crappy. It still makes me sad. I mean, I love food. Food is life!

But, all that being said, I’m going to bed tonight without stomach pains and I’m not running to the bathroom every few minutes. I feel good physically, even if I don’t feel so swell emotionally – and that’s a good thing. I can’t expect it to always be easy. I know it’s going to be hard more often than not, but in the end, despite the suck, it will be worth it – even if I can’t take comfort in that fact right now.

Day 45: Walking the walk

In my previous post, I committed to avoiding gluten and dairy in hopes of improving my health, but to be honest, I’ve been putting it off since then. It’s not that I’m unwilling to do it, I know I should, I just don’t think I’ve felt ready to pull the trigger just yet.

That being said, I did take some steps in that direction. On Friday, after my metabolic assessment appointment, I spoke to the wellness counselor about scheduling a few weekly coaching sessions. I’ve heard a lot about wellness coaching and how helpful it can be, but I’ve never given it a try myself. Considering the changes I’m trying to make and my history of struggling when it comes to changing my diet, I figured now would as good a time as any to give it a try.

Afterwards, I swung by the library and came across the cookbook section. I looked through what they had and decided to borrow two: “Nom Nom Paleo” (the yellow one) and “The Science of Cooking.” I skimmed through them as soon as I got home and did a little meal planning. I made dinner tonight using one of the recipes from Nom Nom Paleo, and it was really good – even my family liked it.

On Sunday, I decided to make some bone broth – specifically seolleongtang, a Korean bone broth soup my husband really likes. I’ve read that bone broth is good for gut health, so I figured I might as well jump on the bandwagon and see if theres any truth to it.

Finally, on Tuesday, I took some new progress photos and body measurements. Although I’m making these changes for overall health instead of weight or fat loss, I still want to be able to keep track of any physical changes that might occur. I also had my first coaching appointment. It went well. I felt motivated after meeting with her and decided to pull the trigger on the whole avoiding dairy and gluten thing.

I’d like to say I’ve been killing it since then, but it’s been hard. I’m not craving breads or cheeses, but I’ve struggled with “hidden” gluten and dairy. Gluten seems to be in everything, including the gochujang and soy sauce I use all the time. It’s so frustrating.

I’m ok though. I’m not discouraged just yet. It’s challenging, but in a good way, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how creative I can get with this in the kitchen. Hopefully, I can share some fun finds on this blog in future posts. Wish me luck! I’m going to need it.

Day 33: Tracking things

When I committed to giving this challenge another try, I told myself that I would stick to one goal or habit at a time. Once I was able to successfully keep that goal/habit for at least seven days straight, then (and only then) I could consider adding another one.

But me being me, I went ahead and modified my goal tracking spreadsheet after my most recent Bod Pod, and put a whole bunch of stuff on it. I didn’t set any new goals or anything, and I didn’t commit to religiously tracking everything, but I did tell myself that I would at the very least try to track these things. And I have for the most part.

I don’t know what it is about spreadsheets, but I love them. I find them motivating. I like having data to analyze, and being able to see how the different things I do affect how I feel and look, and what I am able to do. It makes this whole process seem a lot less like work and a lot more like some fun science experiment (which would explain my earlier Experiments 1 and 2). It may sound silly, but approaching this challenge and my goals in that way has made it so much easier to stick with it.

My spreadsheet also serves as a great visual reminder for me to stay on track towards making the positive changes I’ve committed to. I hung it up on the pantry door in my kitchen. There’s nothing else hanging there, so it doesn’t get lost among other papers (like the stuff I hang on the fridge does), and I see it everyday. Granted, I guess it could make me feel bad by putting my “failures” on display for all to see, but so far, I’ve found it to be motivating – for the most part (it doesn’t seem to help much with my steps).

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