Tuesday, September 23, 2014
To be honest, I'm expecting a kind of crazy, rough round. We just closed on our first house, where hopefully we will live for a very long time, and we will be gaining possession of the house next month. Then we will not only be moving in, but also finishing the basement. So for the next 12 weeks I will be packing (in a different city than the one where I am really living now), moving from 2 apartments into 1 house, painting the house, painting the apartment, cleaning the apartments, contracting someone to finish the basement, buying shelving and other furniture that we need to make the new home work (mostly storage but we are also going to replace the couch and my husband's chair, as the ones we have are dying and have been dying for years), a freezer, etc. We're going to bouncing back and forth between two different cities, moving in multiple shifts, etc. And I also need to start hard core job hunting ASAP (should have really done so already, in fact) as well as writing articles and a book proposal for publication. Even though I currently do not have ready access to a functional office and am typing currently on the dining room table, which isn't good for a lot of different reasons.
My goals I posted earlier, and they seem reasonable--even easy goals--but I'm afraid of being overwhelmed. We have so much on our plate right now, it's going to be hard to keep even simple goals in mind. I've already barely holding onto my fitness streak--which I just started--by the skin of my very sore teeth. I'm on week 4 (I think) of a migraine, which is unusual for me, but the stress of the move plus the dental issues I think is aggravating it.
This is not my first BLC so I know it's a real challenge. But this time I expect, to be honest, that it will be more challenging than many. But I have survived challenging rounds in the past--like the 2 rounds that made up my last year of Grad school. If I can survive that, I can survive this.
I expect that my team--as well as the Hogwarts team, which I just joined, and my other spark friends--are going to be a big help, because I know in the past that they have been. You guys keep me inspired, motivated, and encouraged when I feel overwhelmed, frustrated, and discouraged. You understand and cheer on my little victories as the victories they are, however small, and sympathize when I am struggling. You guys are awesome.
I expect that my team will keep challenging and pushing me to try new things.
I expect that at the end of this round I will be a little lighter, a little thinner, and hopefully a whole lot fitter.
We're going to rock round 26. They are calling it the marathon round and in some ways, with everything we're juggling, it feels like a marathon. But you know what, all the better to cross that final finish line!!!
Monday, September 22, 2014
This weekend, being the first weekend of the new BLC round, we had a fitness test to measure a baseline we are working to improve over the course of the round. I had a rough time with this in part because I had a root canal last Monday that is really bothering me, plus dealing with a migraine on top of it. But I got it done, and if the numbers aren't the best that's okay because the point is to get better from here, right?
Plank (full): 30 seconds
Jumping Jacks: 69
Sit/Rise test: 9
1 mile walk/run: 17 minutes and 22 seconds.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
I realized that I'm still struggling with a lot of the same things I was dealing with last round as far as goals.... too much stress, too tired, and still figuring out this life after grad school thing since I basically graduated and then moving took over. It's been just one thing after another and being split between two residences while buying a house has us both... of balance. Simple things like keeping healthy food and my normal workout routines are suddenly huge and overwhelming challenges.
So my goals need to be flexible because things are really up in the air right now--the challenges this week may be totally different from next week, which are probably different from the week after that. I may have options available to me in one location that are not available in another. And I'm just... overwhelmed and really, really tired. So my goals are modest and subject to change.
The big picture goals:
1) SLEEP. While not quite so desperately, I still really need sleep and it's something I've been struggling with--especially since the end of July, when we really seriously started house hunting. Part of it was the house, part of it was sleeping on an air mattress really messed with me (we have a real bed in both apartments now), and part of it was sleeping in an unfamiliar place. But I need sleep. I do best right now with a good, solid 9 hours of sleep, but that's hard sometimes to get. But if I don't get enough sleep, I don't handle the rest of the stuff I need to deal with very well.
2) I really need to find a way to get work done again... I mean anthropology. Specifically, this round I need to get out a book proposal, get some articles submitted or publication, and put together a paper presentation for a conference. And right now I don't even have a space to get work done, let alone time. So this needs to be fixed somehow.
3) I need to cut back on the pop (and caffeine) again. I had mostly cut back after I graduated... but the pop crept back in at Pennsic and the caffeine crept back in because I'm chronically so tired. I know part of the reason I'm struggling is because it's not as easy at the moment to make my tea properly (I only have 1 good tea kettle--the kind that heats the water to specific temperatures suited to different kinds of tea, for example) and I don't have the space to make it in. Pop is so much easier... but I need to stop drinking so much of it.
4) I need to figure out a new exercise routine and follow it. I've never been a fan of regimented programs--they don't work for me. But right now I don't have space to workout at home, at all--the one apartment is much too small (and the floor is currently filled with boxes, bags, and a pavilion), the other apartment is full of boxes every where because we never fully unpacked.... it's a nightmare. I don't have regular access to my normal walking routes and to my fitness center... so I need to figure out something. Sadly, I've been trying to come up with a really workable solution for a month now and still am stuck. Once we get the house it will be easier... but we won't be fully moved in until the end of November and I don't want to wait that long.
5) RELAX. I really need to learn how to relax. I need to shed some stress. Right now it means remembering to take some me time, remembering to exercise, and maybe mixing meditation back into the mix. I may try different things. I just know that I really, really need to reduce the stress. It's better than it was before I graduated, but I'm still much too stressed and I've been under stress for so long that 1) I think I've been dealing with adrenaline fatigue for... years really now. Utter adrenaline burnout. 2) I literally don't know how to relax. Even when I'm doing something relaxing--taking a bath, reading a book, hanging with friends, I'm still... tense. Have an underlying stress/worry. I think too much. My muscles are too tense. I need to learn how to relax.
6) I need to eat regularly. This is more important than ever because the disrupted lifestyle has really messed with my meal patterns and it's not good for me... I'm getting more headaches, blood sugar crashes, etc. than I have in years because I'm forgetting to eat on a regular basis. Sometimes I don't eat because I don't have food and no way to get it. This needs to be fixed.
My SMART goals:
1) SLEEP. Get at least 8 hours of sleep (not necessarily how much sleep the fitbit says I got since it reads me as "awake" every time I roll over, but the time from when I go to bed with the intent of sleeping to the time I wake up) 5 days a week.
2) CAFFEINE: Drink tea instead of a soft drink in the morning--and then stick to a non-caffeinated beverage after that for 5 days a week.
3) Work at least 2 days a week on anthropology stuff (more is good, but I know some weeks coming up more won't always be an option).
4) EXERCISE: Get at least 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week, plus resume fencing again, hopefully at least once a week though I will have to miss fencing this week (was out of town when practice happened). Figure out some exercise options--plans and back up plans--so that I'm not stuck wanting to workout but no idea of how to make it work.
5) RELAX: Make sure that I get some downtime every day, at least 15 minutes. Reading, journaling, video games, tea with friends, crafting... whatever, just something that helps me decompress physically and mentally. Try meditating again a couple of days a week, either sitting meditations or moving meditations (prefer moving ones).
7) WEIGHT LOSS: 1/2 pound a week, so 6 lbs for the challenge.
Wednesday, September 03, 2014
This is a bit late as I usually post this as soon as registration starts, but life has been *really* crazy for me lately (and for some reason my internet access annoyingly less than reliable... grr!).
BLC 26 will be starting very soon--the doors open it sounds like on Sept. 10th though the actual challenge won't start until the 17th.
For those of you are not familiar with the BLC on sparks, it's inspired by the TV show the Biggest Loser but it's quite different from it, in that it emphasizes HEALTHY and SUSTAINABLE weight loss. While it is a weight loss challenge and we are required to weigh in every Wednesday, it is about doing so in a healthy way. There are a lot of teams, and the teams have different focuses and personalities--some are really strict, others more flexible. Some emphasize nutrition, others exercise, others social support. Some are competitive and others less so. So no matter what it is that you personally need to support you on this goal of being a thinner, healthier, stronger you... there's a team for it. There's even a team of people who have reached their goal weight but want the continuing support and challenges to help them maintain their goal weight and healthy lifestyle. It is a 12 week challenge--this is not a short term boot camp or fad diet, but about a long term, sustainable commitment to a healthier YOU.
The BLC is about *accountability* and having fun while pushing ourselves (within our own personal limitations!) to be better, healthier, stronger people. I almost didn't join the BLC originally because I lose weight so painfully slowly (and let's be honest, I've gained more over the last few years than lost--which is all my fault, largely a result of too much stress, and not the BLC's fault) and because with my hip issues there's a lot of stuff I can't do. But the BLC has been one of the best things I've ever done for myself. It kept my healthy lifestyle on the table when I was stressed out of my mind with grad school--no small feet. I'm on my third team now--last round I was on CAMO and I am hoping they'll let me back in *grin*--and all three teams were HUGE sources of support when I most needed it. And I'm still friends with my team mates from all three teams. All three teams were more than willing to work around my hip issues and encouraged me to do the best *I* could do--not the best someone else can do.
I've graduated now and while this summer has been topsy turvey (too many things going on to talk about here, but among them my husband getting a new job so we're in the process of buying our first home) and I'm really looking forward to this next round because I really need to get my feet back underneath me. I need to completely re-figure out my routines, especially my fitness routines. I need to re-find my focus, my motivation, and most importantly it's more than time to kick this fat to the curb and to reclaim the strong, healthy body I deserve.
If you are interested, my understanding is that the registration is still open, but sign up quickly because it's first come, first serve, and I don't know how many spaces are still open.
Monday, July 21, 2014
We are supposed to create a plan for our break, and I just wrote a post earlier today about how, much as I am a planner in most of my life (to a fault sometimes, LOL. Just ask my husband!) it hasn't worked well for me on the healthy lifestyle front. Instead, I have focused on a combination of goals, flexibility, and strategies.
For example... my goal for the last few rounds has been to maintain an exercise streak of at least 20 minutes a day 5 days a week of exercise. But that also has to have room for listening to my body. So I try to adjust my plan week to week depending on what other stuff I have going on, when my rest days have to be, etc.
This break... that flexibility is going to be even more key. Between now and when we start the next round, I have a 2 week long re-enactment event, a 5 day writer's retreat, and at least 2 weddings. Oh, and hopefully buying a house soon. Not to mention putting together a book proposal and some articles, hopefully. My biggest priority is to listen to my body--and to rest. I desperately need rest. I've been so stressed. I am going to be REALLY active while at the SCA event--lots of walking, fencing, probably some dancing thrown in. And more walking. Not to mention stuff like setting up camp, hauling firewood, ice, and water, etc. Usually by the time I get back my body is in so much pain I can barely walk and I will need some time to recover. The weddings it will be balancing travel and wedding fair and still eating responsibly, and exercising while away from home (hopefully I'll be able to swim). The writer workshop I will be challenged to remember to eat regularly (the person I am going with is worse about eating regularly than I am) and probably going for regular walks. And the house hunting? I will need to guard my sanity, make sure I get rest time. Maybe even start relearning how to truly relax--I no longer seem truly capable of relaxing, even when I'm doing something fun or soothing.
It's not a great SMART plan because my goals aren't concrete and measurable, but I need them to stay fluid, flexible, and realistic. Saying "X number of fitness minutes" doesn't make any sense when I know I will over do it for 2 weeks and then need to rest--really rest--to recover. My needs and problems will change as circumstances change.
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