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/

Day 7 of our 21 day adventure

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Did I ever tell you that we own a timeshare? Have I ever told you how big of a mistake it really is to buy a timeshare? Well, if I haven’t, I’m telling you now… stay far Far Far FAR away from anyone explaining timeshares! I’m serious! And if you sell timeshares, SHAME ON YOU!!! Oh you know what I’m talking about!!! Don’t try to tell me that you’re innocent! Timeshares are the biggest scam out there and everybody knows it! At least everyone does except for Brian and I! We have owned a timeshare for the last 20 years, and apparently we are still falling for their lies. I won’t go into the gory details of our most recent encounter, but let me tell you, we were foolishly swindled once again! Anyway, this was how we started our day; the first seven hours of it to be precise! The promised one hour spiel, turned into a seven hour interrogation of sorts. Thank God that is over!

Now back to the grand adventure…

IMG_0717We are now perusing the “Strip,” going from one casino to the next; looking for something interesting to do today. I have always wanted to see what all the hullabaloo was about, in regards to the M&M museum. In actuality, the M&M museum is nothing more than a four story shopping mall, of floor to ceiling M&M paraphernalia. The only cool thing was the free 3D show that they offered, which took all of about 15 minutes to watch. Hey, at least I can say I’ve been there and done that!

IMG_0666After mostly window shopping and exploring the hidden treasures of Vegas, we remembered that we needed to keep track of the time so that we wouldn’t forget about our evening plans. The only consolation to our early morning debauchery, was that we were given free tickets for a fancy dinner and also two tickets for “Vegas the Show.” Making out way over to Planet Hollywood was nothing short of a miracle, because the crowds of people on the Strip were covering the pathways like ants on a sugary treat.

IMG_0814We finally made it over to Pampas Churrascaria Brazilian Grille. I’ll have to say, I was pleasantly surprised to find the atmosphere quite appealing despite how busy the place was. We started off with the salad bar, which in itself was enough to satisfy a king or a queen. Of course that was just the beginning, the main course was just as heavenly and I don’t think that I have ever tasted anything so satisfying in my entire life! I guess I’m secretly Brazilian! Who knew? The food was to die for and seriously, if I ever end up on death row and get to request one final meal, I’m ordering food from this place!

IMG_0865Once our stomachs were full and our cheeks a little rosier from the piña coladas, we found our way through the maze of people over to the Saxe theatre where Vegas the Show was playing. For some reason there was a mix up with our seats and they ended up seating us front center stage. We kept expecting someone to come tell us to move to the back of the theatre, but fortunately for us, we got to watch the show from the best seats possible! Vegas the Show tells the musical story about Las Vegas and features celebrity impersonators who sing their greatest hits in order to preserve the memory of how Vegas used to be. There were showgirls, dancers, variety acts, and sets that represented the city as it once was. We saw Elvis, the Rat Pack, Tina Turner, Elton John, and many others who gave wonderful impersonations of the original artists. The way the actors portrayed Vegas, was reminiscent of what I remembered from our first time there and it made me feel a bit sad that so much has since changed. Day seven was surely an adventure that I won’t soon forget, the good and the bad…