Time to make some changes – March 2021

This past year was not the best year for many reasons, and I think many of you can probably relate. So this year, I decided to make some small changes that I thought might help my overall physical and mental health.  For the past two months I’ve written about the goals I’m hoping to achieve, and you can read about those goals here.

I must admit, February was awful. The only goal I continued with was my daily step goal. I was able to manage 10,000 to 12,000 steps per day but gave up on all my other goals after the first week. I know the reason I didn’t do so well was because of some personal issues I was dealing with at the beginning of the month, and I just couldn’t get motivated after dealing with all of that. So after the first week of February, I decided to give myself the rest of the month off and restart my goals at the beginning of March.

Needless to say, I’m happy February is behind me now and I’m hopeful that my emotional state will just keep improving. I haven’t even weighed myself yet because I’m afraid to look at the scale. I have a doctor’s appointment scheduled at the end of this month, and I was really hoping to be in better physical shape by then. I know I can’t achieve all of my goals overnight, so I’m giving myself a little bit of grace, and I’m also giving myself some credit for at least sticking to my walking routine. I’ll be back next month and hopefully, by then, I’ll have better news to share. I’m determined not to give up because I know that won’t get me anywhere. So here’s to restarting once again! 🍻 Cheers! ~M xo

Time to make some changes – Part II

This past year was not the best year for many reasons, and I think many of you can probably relate. So this year, I decided to make some small changes that I thought might help my overall physical and mental health.  Last month I wrote about the goals that I aimed to achieve, and you can read about those goals here. And this month, I just wanted to give a quick update on how things have been going.

Here are the goals I was originally aiming for and the results of my efforts:

1.) Drink one gallon of water daily, which equals four water bottles.

Drinking one gallon of water a day proved to be fairly easy, and I didn’t miss a single day. There were a few times when I’d forgotten and ended up having to drink about half a gallon right before bedtime. When that happened, it made for a very sleep deprived night as I found myself getting up to pee every five minutes. Lol… Luckily I learned my lesson and adjusted my water drinking schedule so that I could finish all of my water earlier in the day.

2.) Lose 5 lbs. a month until I’m at my goal weight, which is 125 lbs.

I decided that weighing myself every day or every week was probably not a smart idea. From past experiences, I’ve always found the results of frequently weighing myself to be defeating at best, and so I decided to only weigh myself once a month. This morning, I weighed myself for the first time, and I am pleased to say that I was able to lose four pounds this month. It’s not as much as I was hoping for, but it’s at least a start.

3.) Eat oatmeal every day to help lower my cholesterol and eat Cheerios as my snack, which is healthier than chips.

I started the month eating Cheerios as my snack but ended the month caving into my cravings for other snacks. I think once I started seeing what seemed like good results; I gave myself a little more freedom to eat more of what I shouldn’t. I did alright with eating oatmeal on the days that I ate breakfast, but when I wasn’t hungry for breakfast, I didn’t eat oatmeal at all. I still don’t know if eating oatmeal has affected my cholesterol levels or not, and that’s probably something I won’t find out until I have repeat blood work done at the end of the year. I plan to stick with this goal, but I also want to be more diligent in my efforts.

4.) Finish reading one book every month.

I surprised myself and actually finished a book this month. I started by rereading “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” by J.K. Rowling. Although I didn’t find the book to be as exciting as the first time I read it, I still enjoyed it, and I realized just how different the book is from the movie. I decided this month to take a break from the HP series and read the book “Home: A Memoir of My Early Years” by Julie Andrews.

5.) Walk at least 10,000 steps every day.

I was surprised to find that I averaged 12,000 steps per day. I’m going to continue with my goal of 10,000 steps a day, but aim for more if I can.

6.) Do a seven-minute workout every day.

I used the “7” App to achieve my seven-minute daily workout, and it was quite a challenge to keep up with it because I loathe any kind of rigorous exercise. But I am happy to announce that I actually stuck with it all month and only missed one day. I still don’t know how I missed that one day. It just completely slipped my mind, and I woke up the next morning wondering how I’d forgotten to do it. I plan to continue my workouts because they don’t take a lot of time, and they seem beneficial.

7.) Journal at the end of each day and keep a daily planner.

This was one goal that I didn’t stick with. I think I made it three days in when I found myself wondering what I could even write about. I’m generally stuck inside without much to talk about, and so it seemed repetitive to write about the same things every day. And the daily planner never got started because I decided not to take college classes this semester. I’ve decided, instead of journaling or keeping a daily planner for the rest of the year, that I’ll write down one thing that made me happy each day. I want to start looking for the things that bring joy to my life so that I can look back on the year and see all the things that made my life so special. Too often, I find myself focusing on the negative aspects and I know that doesn’t help me.

8.) Control portion sizes of food.

I think I’ve been doing reasonably well controlling the portion sizes of my food. I’ve been mostly measuring out my serving sizes, and I’m now better able to gauge how much I should be putting on my plate, even when I don’t measure out my food.

9.) Avoid adding butter, salt, and creamer to foods.

I’ve been good about avoiding all of these foods, but sometimes butter is still getting the best of me because I love it on bread. I also want to start avoiding mayonnaise for the rest of the year and anything that contains large amounts of fat calories.

10.) Avoid soda and alcohol.

I avoided all temptation to have soda or alcohol this month, and I plan to continue this goal for as long as possible. I just feel so much better when I eliminate these two types of drinks from my diet, and so I know it’s important that I maintain my efforts to avoid them.

I plan to continue giving monthly updates on my progress because I think it helps me stay accountable. I hope all of you who have decided to make some changes this year have been successful. We just have to keep trying our best! Cheers to another month of success! ~M xo

Time to make some changes

This past year was not the best year for my physical and mental health.  I think the fact that I stayed home the majority of the time was a big factor, but I have also had some recent health issues and found out that there are some lifestyle changes that I need to make.  With all of that in mind, I decided to set some goals for myself.  Here are some of the changes that I want to try and make part of my daily routine.

Goals:

1.) Drink one gallon of water daily, which equals four water bottles. 

I have always had a problem staying hydrated, and recently my blood pressure has been really high.  So I did some research and found out that drinking more water can help lower blood pressure.  The reason water helps is because when your body becomes depleted of water, it tries to secure more water by retaining sodium, which can then cause high blood pressure.  Of course, I also learned that drinking too much water can cause high blood pressure and other health issues, so I plan to stick with the daily recommended amount, which is one gallon of water per day. 

2.) Lose 5 lbs. a month until I’m at my goal weight, which is 125 lbs.

I’ve noticed my weight slowly increasing over the past year.  I went from 127 lbs. to 140 lbs.  I think a lot of this is because I’ve been less active, but I’ve also been eating larger portions of food and eating when other family members are eating instead of when I’m actually hungry.  So I think by adjusting when I eat and measuring out my food, I’ll likely do better.

3.) Eat oatmeal every day to help lower my cholesterol and eat Cheerios as my snack, which is healthier than chips.

Oatmeal is supposed to be a good way to lower cholesterol, and I recently had two different doctors inform me that I need to get my cholesterol under control.  I really don’t want to go on medication, and I’ve been told I’m too young to be having this issue at my age, so I know I need to make some drastic changes to my diet.  I’m planning to watch my intake of greasy foods and eat more whole foods.  I also love eating chips, and dill pickle chips are my favorite.  So I’ve decided to switch to Cheerios, which I also enjoy.

4.) Finish reading one book every month.

I find myself starting a lot of books but not always finishing them, and I really do love books.  I also find reading to have a very calming effect on me, and since I’ve been struggling with a lot of anxiety lately, I thought putting reading on my goal list would help provide me with a reprieve from the daily stresses.

5.) Walk at least 10,000 steps every day.

For the majority of 2020, I walked 10,000 steps a day.  Last month though, I had some knee issues, and I completely stopped walking.  Over the past few weeks, since my knee is better, I’ve gotten my regular walking routine back, and I’m starting to feel so much better because of it.  So I just want to continue doing this, and it’s probably a goal I will try to continue for the rest of my life. 

6.) Do a seven-minute workout every day.

I recently found this app called “7,” which is a free daily workout app.  (It’s the blue one in case any of you decide to look for it in the app store.)  I love the app already because you just hit the go button, and it gives you a different seven minute timed workout for each day of the week.  I ended up doing the workout with my family today, and it really kicked my butt.  Lol… It just shows me how out of shape I really am. 

7.) Journal at the end of each day and keep a daily planner.

Keeping a journal is something I’ve done off and on for years, but I want to start sticking with it more often, even if I don’t write a lot.  Plus, with the new school semester starting soon, I need to have a daily planner to keep track of my studies and daily goals. 

8.) Control portion sizes of food.

As I already mentioned, I need to be better about this, and I think measuring out my food will help.

9.) Avoid adding butter, salt, and creamer to foods.

I always lose weight when I eliminate butter and creamer, and I figure cutting out sodium can’t hurt either.

10.) Avoid soda and alcohol.  

I always feel so sluggish when I give into my cravings for soda, and I don’t typically drink a lot of alcohol.  Still, in recent months I started drinking more wine than I usually do.  So with all the medical issues I’ve been having, I’ve just decided to eliminate alcohol to see if it helps me feel better.  I figure it can’t hurt, and it’s something I can certainly live without.

Anyway, these are just some of the changes that I’ve decided to make.  I think all of these goals have the potential to become permanent changes in my life.  I hope everyone can do better in this new year.  We just have to keep on trying.

Happy New Year, everyone!  ~M xo


Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/illustrations/change-new-beginning-renewal-671374/

Saying goodbye to social media

There have been so many disappointments in my life over the past several years and I think a lot of those issues started with being on social media and the repercussions that came with being on there.  I have mulled over this subject for months and months now and I have finally decided that the time has come for me to close all of my social media accounts.  And as many of you have probably noticed, I haven’t been writing much in recent days.  I just feel like I need to take a step back in many ways.  I have so many other priorities right now and I feel like I need to be focusing my time in other areas of my life.  If any of you need to contact me, I can still be reached by email which can be found if you click on my Gravatar.  Thank you all for understanding, and I will still be providing the writing prompts every month and doing my best to keep up with all of that.  Love you guys… ~M xo

Would you rather?

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I was just playing one of my favorite games with my girls tonight called, “Would you Rather.”  It’s a great question and answer game and for one of the challenges my oldest daughter had to come up with her own question.  She asked this… “If you had the ability, would you rather change something in the past for the better or something in the future?  And as I thought about this question, I thought I’d rather change something in the future, because the idea of changing the past always makes me wonder if I’d likely then screw up the future.  But then my youngest daughter had this perspective, she said she’d rather change something in the past because in that way it would likely fix something in the future as well.  So in her mind, she was killing two birds with one stone.  Lol… She is always so much more optimistic than I am.  I suppose it’s a gamble either way no matter what choice is made.  What would you do and why?

Him vs. Her – The window to his soul

Recently, I’ve been asking myself how it is that my husband and I have had such a quick turn-around in our marriage.  Since September he made the decision to go above and beyond what any normal husband would do, all in order to prove to me that he really wanted to make our relationship work.

I fought him for several months, not believing a word a word of what he was saying and figured he would go back to his old typical ways.  Six months later he has surprised the heck out of me.  He has completely changed into an entirely different person.  It’s as if God said, “Alright Michelle if this is what you want, your perfect wish is granted!”  And then instantly, he handed me somebody new.

At first, I thought an alien had quite possibly taken over my husband’s body.  He is actually so different, that I had to get used to him all over again and frankly it sort of scared me at times.  All of a sudden I had a stranger living in my house, telling me how much they loved and adored me over and over.  And it’s been non-stop for six months now.

So I’ve been trying to figure out what finally broke through my concrete exterior, in order for him to reach in and take back my heart; which had undoubtedly gone into deep hibernation.  After pondering this for quite some time, I’ve finally figured it out!  It’s his eyes… he is finally looking at me!

During our 23 years of marriage, he would never look me in the eyes when he spoke to me.  He just couldn’t do it.  I would ask him to and he just never could.  So connecting with him was very hard, because I could never really relate to him on a deeper level.

Now, when I look at him, he doesn’t look away.  His focus is completely on me and his eyes say it all.  He loves me and what more could a girl want!  He has finally revealed to me the window to his soul.  And I have to say, the view takes my breath away every single time I’m met with those baby blue eyes.  I can only hope that window remains open for the rest of our days.  I would hate to lose such a beautiful sight.

 

 

A quick update…

Hey everyone,

Just wanted to give all of you a quick update.  Since the start of the new year, I have been trying to figure out a way to make this year better than last.  I know I can’t have a repeat of last year, as it nearly killed me.  So after doing a lot of thinking over the last couple of weeks, I have decided that I really need to focus more of my time on novel writing.  I also want to make some changes here on WordPress.  So you may see me introducing a variety of new and different types of blog posts from here on out.  Another thing is, I am no longer going to be active on social media.  So Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc… have all been removed from my phone.  These platforms have just become too much of a distraction for me and I can’t seem to focus on the work that I need to get done because of it.  I may decide to check those accounts once a month if I have some free time, but I definitely won’t be on there more often than that.  Anyway, here’s to hoping that I’ll be able to make some progress this year.  Hope all of you are doing the same.  Love you guys!  ~M  xoxo