Seeking Motivation

I started running again after a couple month long hiatus.  It was just like getting on a bike, or something.  You know, a bike without wheels.

To be honest, I haven’t been just running.  I’ve been working really hard at cross training.  One day I run, the next day I stationary bike, the next day I run, then I elliptical, then I run, then I quickly walk inclines….  I’m enjoying the bountiful options that the exercise room provides.  One of these days I’m going to pick up the weights, but I have an easier time maintaining a workout on a machine than trying to figure out what weight routine to do next.  So maybe I’ll take that leap soon, but I’ll need some research first.

In the meantime, I’ve been trying out a website called SlimKicker.  To be honest, it’s not terribly different from all your other fitness/health motivation sites.  You can enter the food you eat, you can enter the exercising you do, you can enter challenges to push you, you can join a community for encouragement….  Right now I’m kind of on the fence about the site, but I’m giving it a shot.

As for entering food… I suck at that.  I know I should probably do it.  I know it will make me more mindful of the calories I take it.  But to be honest?  I hate doing it.  And I’m not going to keep up with something I hate doing.

I’ve been tracking my exercise, and earning “points” for the exercising I do, but it’s a very limited amount of motivation.  I’m not saying that I need something for free, but the points you earn for doing things on the site (everything you do, not just working out) go toward a reward you plan to give yourself when you level up.

I know people say that rewarding yourself is important, but I can’t think of anything I’d like to reward myself with.  Food seems a very dangerous thing to reward myself with, and also a little pointless since I don’t believe in depriving myself.  I can’t really justify buying myself stuff because 1. I don’t really need more stuff and 2. I don’t really have the money for stuff.  At the moment I’m at an impasse.  I’m sure there are other ways to reward myself, I just can’t think of them.  I might consider looking in to treating myself with a massage, but I’ll have to investigate my budget.

The challenges seem the most promising.  If you haven’t noticed, I somewhat respond to giving myself short little challenges.  I also like that there are emotional health challenges as well as physical health challenges.  I think they are important and go hand in hand.  So lately I’ve been browsing the challenges trying to figure out what I’d like to try first.  I hope they come up with more variety.  Honestly, this site has a lot of room to grow.

The thing I find most disappointing about SlimKicker is you can only track your weight.  I only weigh myself a couple times a year.  I prefer to track my progress with my body measurements.  If they added body measurements to the site, I would consider it darn close to a win.

So right now?  Right now I get a little kick about adding points toward my goal every day.  Right now it gives me something to plan.  A month from now I may have forgotten about it, or moved on to the next big thing.  Maybe a massage will change how I feel and make it a forever thing.  Let’s find out.


Step One: Sweating the Small Stuff

Since I can’t get professional help yet, I’m doing my damndest not to sit idly by and wait. It’s still a “symptom”, but I think it’s a good step toward keeping my spirits up and starting good habits. I know it seems counter-intuitive, but I plan to sweat the small stuff.

I don’t mean getting bluesy about a nasty customer, or things like that, but more in the sense of being mindful of not letting little things slip by. The wrapper from food left on the counter, the spill of egg white from cracking an egg open… You know, things normal people take care of right away, but that I have a tendency to ignore and let pile up.

It’s my first step for myself to break out of the lazy funk I’ve put myself in. Time to be proactive, and all that jazz. Complacency is no longer an option.

Monthly Challenges: UFO Progress and May

So…. Yeah.  It’s not pretty.  I think we all knew I wouldn’t advance very far on my list.  But in case you were super curious, here’s the final result of two months:
  • Partlet  To my horror (delight), I discovered that this wasn’t actually cut out, and therefore not a UFO.  So it’s automagically off my list.
  • Big totes
  • Felt bags
  • Messenger bag
  • Floral skirt
  • Bird skirt
  • Teal place mats
  • Frog tote
  • Bird tote
  • Panda tote
  • Floral cozy
  • Repair cozies
  • Pads
  • Autumn place mats
  • Boxers
  • Coffee tote
  • Skull tote
  • Yellow bag
  • Pot holders
  • Nelephants
  • Fix peace necklace
  • Corduroy skirt
  • Fix wrap skirt
  • Sushi cozies
  • Black floral cozies
  • Iron out cat and black floral wallets
  • Green wrap pants
  • Fix brown tote
  • Republican cozy
  • Six onesies
  • Sundress muslin
  • Animal tote
  • Patriotic place mats
  • Strawberry tote
  • Green peace tote
  • Blue flowers tote
  • Clocks tote
  • Turquoise stripes tote
  • Red peace tote
  • Blue paisley tote
  • Pink flowers tote
  • Brown flowers tote
  • Pink stripes tote
  • Vinyl bag
  • Finish brown pants
  • Coasters
  • Lemon bag
  • Blue bag

May’s challenge had better be successful, or I may give up on challenges all together so I stop feeling like a damn failure.  And May’s challenge is….

Making that not that.  (That is the sexiest grammar you will ever gaze upon, so soak it in while you can)

It is time once an for all to tackle the mess (understatement) that is my sewing area.  I really think my lack of progress was in very large part to the state of the dungeon.  I literally have room to turn my chair from side to side, and that’s it.  It’s got to end.  In the process I’ll pitch whatever UFOs I deem don’t make the cut.  I will also be gathering up any costumes or costume supplies I no longer care to own so that I might sell them in a MNSoC garage sale toward the end of the month.

If for some reason I succeed with time to spare, I have a couple extra things that need cleaning, but I refuse to mention them out loud. If I get to them, awesome, but if I don’t, and you know what they are, I’ll feel like I’ve failed.  Even though I said they were extra credit.  Yes, I was one of those kids that felt extra credit was mandatory.  What of it?

Whoooooooo Are You? Oooh oooh, oooh oooh

I have a confession to make.  I have been avoid this blog.  Actually, the theme of today has been facing things I’ve been avoiding, so this is fitting.  The reason I’ve been avoiding it is because November’s challenge was an absolute failure.  Okay, it was a half failure.  I believe I wrote for 18 days.  I have plenty of excuses for why I didn’t make it the whole month, but let’s just chalk it up to me giving up.  It is what it is, let’s move on.  I still do plan to post the things I did write in those 18 days, but that will come later.

I did continue challenging myself through December, and December’s challenge was to eat at least 5 servings of vegetables every day.  For the most part I’ve done really well.  I started a calendar, but after veggies became somewhat of a habit, I stopped keeping track on “paper”.

As you may notice, there’s not a ton of variety.  I’ll be honest, I don’t really have a lot of time for variety.  The Hippie hasn’t been around much–working on a business he’s determined to get running–so I haven’t been cooking much at all.  I did try to make most of my alone meals salads instead of fast food.  I really would have liked to have been adventurous and tried new veggies I’ve never had before, but this month also corresponded with a couple unexpectedly high bills, and I really need to try to keep my grocery bills at a minimum which meant more Aldi–not exactly known for its variety of produce.

What I did learn from this is a new appreciation of the veggies I already liked.  I tried to come up with newer ways to eat them (one way will become a blog post soon), and I tried not to make it too much of a chore.  I decided about halfway through that I was getting sick of eating the same stuff, and if I didn’t want to eat veggies, well, then so be it.  But to avoid not making my goal (and there’ve actually only been a few days that I didn’t hit 5  and one day that I flat out refused to eat veggies (and frankly way more days that I went way over 5, so I consider it a wash)), I made sure to eat veggies as early on as possible.

My favorite easy way to jump start veggie eating was by putting veggies in my eggs.  Here’s my method for easy breakfast eggs:

  • One mug (you can spray it with cooking spray, but I’ve found that this does nothing to make clean-up easier)
  • One Egg
  • Veggies you like: I used spinach or asparagus and mushrooms
  • Tomato sauce

If using spinach or frozen asparagus, precook it.  I loaded up the mug with spinach and zapped it in the microwave for 1 minute.  Drain the liquid.  Add the rest of the veggies, chopped, and spoon in a couple tablespoons of sauce.  Add egg and beat until everything is combined.  Microwave for 1 minute, stir, microwave for another minute.  The eggs should be set by now, so stir up and plate.  Sprinkle with a little Parmesan cheese if desired.  Eat with toast if you’re like me and for some reason the idea of eating scrambled eggs without bread grosses you out.  It’s a texture thing.

The way I see it, this breakfast, if done right, is around 2 servings of veggies.  A veggie snack and a serving or two at lunch and dinner and you’re golden.  I will certainly work toward keeping this up.  I am fully conscious of my veggie choices, unlike when I gave up sweets and was just conscious of the fact that I was being a mean ol’ jerk.  I do need to reign in my sweet consumption again, though.

Or at the very least up my physical activity (that was a segue, see what I did there?).  That brings us to January’s challenge.  Since January is *the* month of resolutions, I decided to tackle two challenges.  One is a challenge of omission, the other a challenge of addition.  The addition challenge is to work out every day.  I’ve got a lot of exercise videos queued up on Netflix, and I’m already used to getting up an hour early for work (during the holidays we open at 8 instead of 9, so I was going in earlier).  The omission challenge is to not buy anything except for groceries and the small handful of meals eaten out with friends.  I’ve done this challenge before, but it’s time to do it again.

Motivation: Get Groovin’

I mentioned previously that cleaning can be considered a workout, and that that workout can be intensified by putting on some great tunage to shake your rump to.  So what’s a girl to do when none of the music in her collection suits her mood?  Or what if she’s feeling kind of blue and doesn’t really want to do anything, let alone clean?

Enter Stereomood.

In the vein of Pandora and all those other sites that help you find new music to listen to, Stereomood fills your computer with plenty of great stuff to listen to.  Just use the word cloud to choose your mood.  There’s even a “spring cleaning” option.

So now you get to kill two birds with one stone: Boogie down while cleaning and find new music you might not otherwise have heard.  When you’re done cleaning, so back to the main page and click on relax.  Grab a bonbon and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

There are other mood-to-music websites, but I find the music quality (sound quality) to be superior on Stereomood.  I haven’t tested this out completely, but it also seems as if you get a longer playlist allowance.  If interested, other choices are Musicovery and MeeMix.

*Let it be known, I am in no way affiliated with Stereomood.  It came up during a StumbleUpon session, and I thought it would be great background to my cleaning session (as my sewing session was a complete and utter bust).  Then I decided to blog about it.  So there you have it.*