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Mayday, Yes I May, Jennifer May makes May goals

Thursday, May 02, 2013

It is May. (Yes, you MAY have already known that.) Today is May Day / Mayday, which to my memory was often pictured with a maypole, girls in spring dresses and flowered crowns dancing and weaving ribbons around it. Not that I ever actually saw anyone DO that.

Some fun little May factoids about me. My middle name is May. I've always liked it, as well as how it flows with Jennifer. In fact, I often sign off things as Jennifer May and fill that in as my first name rather than put M. as the initial. I've also been called Jenny May in the past, including in a song written by my grandmother when I was a newborn, though these days I do my best to discourage people shortening my name to Jen or Jenny or Jenni or Jenn.

I was given my middle name in honor of my great-great-grandmother, Jessie May. (Amusingly, though it had nothing to do with the choice in names, I was born on May Lane. I was not, however, born in the month of May. That was reserved for one of my brothers, who just happened to be born on Mother's Day that year.)

I like the word "may" as well. What comes to mind whenever I hear it is a child asking "Mom, can I go outside and play?" and the mother correcting his grammar with "May I ..."

The word "can" was used to imply physical ability to perform an action. I can change my habits. I can get stronger and more able. The word "may" was used when requesting permission or denoting that permission was granted. May I use your pen for a moment? The doctor said I may perform all my normal activities.

"Yes, I may" means I have the ability and the willingness, even if it is not quite as committed and certain as "Yes, I will."

I may be able to do an unassisted pull-up by the end of the year if I work hard at it. I may change my eating habits to include more lean protein and less pasta. I may change my schedule to get to sleep by 11:30 pm. Those have always been things I *can* do, but by saying I may, I put them more into the realm of planning, ideas of what I want to actually do, not just what I am capable of.

I might (past tense of may) have been slacking more than I planned during April. Today, for the first day in a while, I chose to walk from work to a light rail station rather than wait for and catch one of the close buses. This was part of why I had to take a mental breather. I'd gotten so burned out on feeling like I had to get all these cardio minutes that I was doing 13-35 minutes of walking before and after work many days out of a sense of obligation rather than enjoyment of the activity.

Today was a return to doing it simply because I enjoy walking. The weather certainly helped. We had a beautiful spring day (predicted high was 88F, but I don't get out into it until around 5:30 pm so it is a little cooler then.) Perfectly comfortable for walking.

I'm going to keep walking when I want to, but not tracking it. The only time I'll track my walks is when I head out to the track or make a deliberate effort to manage my speed and distance and time.

Speaking of tracking ...

I've been sampling alternatives. I already track during my workout using JEFit Pro, but I never really liked the way their website works. That means I use the phone during my workout, then come home and copy data to SP then copy the calories burned to my spreadsheet. The last few days I've tried to track my workouts on I do NOT like that at all; I find it painful to navigate. I'm not particularly keen about SP's fitness tracker either, but at least I eventually got everything I do added to the Favorites page and it is just a chore of scrolling up and down to find what I want to track.

What I'm actually leaning most toward is building my own spreadsheet tracking method, something that allows me to keep ALL the data I want in one place. (Calories is not the only thing I care about. I want to see my progress in areas like time, resistance setting, speed, incline setting, distance, HR range, or whatever I feel is most useful for a particular exercise.) If I do it right, I might even be able to make a simple version I can access on my phone during my workout to enter the data, then a more complex one I can simply copy that to once I'm home. Simplifying like that would make my inner geek squee.

Food tracking I haven't been doing, but starting Saturday I plan to get a lot of my entered data about nutrition copied over to my Living Cookbook software and begin tracking there. That was always the plan, but for the past year and a half I had been focused on getting as many SparkPoints as possible ... and each food tracked earns points, as did verifying nutrition info. Now that I took a break, I'm finding I don't want to get back into that pattern. I do, however, want to track what I eat, get myself back down to 2000-2100 calories daily, -and- get closer to a point where I track my kitchen inventory and plan meals based on what I have and what I put on a shopping list.

Those tracking changes, in fact, are my biggest goal for May.

And, yes, it's time for some monthly goals again. I'm ready.

May Goals
1) Track all my food, meals and snacks, starting Saturday, 4 May, getting back to 100% tracking daily. Plan is to do this in Living Cookbook, but if that doesn't go well, fall back to SP's tracker rather than not track.

2) Bring my average daily calories down to 2050 daily. (I calculated this to include a moderate deficit and allow for my actual calorie burn. I've updated my goals a little on SP, but I'm setting this number myself and will adjust next month if needed.)

3) Decide how I'm going to keep tracking my workouts to make it both as simple and detailed as possible. Ideally, eliminate the duplicate tracking as much as possible.

4) Get back to writing. I did spend 30 minutes one night in April working on my novel, but I'm realizing I have other ideas percolating that are distracting me. My plan for May is to start multiple documents and get those ideas out of my head for later consideration (after all, I'll need a new novel to work on when November 2013 gets here) so I can get back to Dev and his dreams of death.

5) Continue expanding my social activities, but make sure to include very deliberate refresh time. (I'm a natural introvert / loner who recharges on solitude, so the more social I am, the more critical that away time becomes.)

6) Be more active in a couple of my Spark Teams and with my SparkFriends while keeping the time spent reasonable.

That should be enough.

Yes, I left weight out of it completely. My primary goal is to not hit / go over 180. Given the way my body responds, I rather expect to see adding a deficit back in start my weight back downward - but that is very deliberately not something I'm looking for.


I'll end with a few fun pics.

Dead Puppies aren't much fun -- Buster making absolutely sure there is no way I could sneak out Saturday without walking him. ((Haha, whoops. I cropped it without realizing that means you can't see that he's lying right in my open door.))

Flower that intrigued me more by its leaves than the flowers. The first picture includes the flowers (little yellow ones at the top of a long stem). The second is a closer in look at the leafy portion of the plant.

I don't know how easy he is to see, but this crow put me in mind of a little kid walking along a track saying "chugga chugga woo woo". He was moving fast, so it was a bit hard to keep him in the picture.

And ending with a peek at the creek while out walking the trail.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I loved everything, thank you! Wonderful text and wonderful pictures! emoticon
    1870 days ago
    I love the pictures, your doggy is so cute. I also like the word May. It just seems like good things come with it. Happy May to you.
    1873 days ago
    ornamental cabbage. You can probably eat it, too.

    I'm trying to get back on track this month. Not doing a great job. Tomorrow's a new day!

    I want to know more about your book.
    1875 days ago
    I love it "Jenny May" very awesome indeed :o)

    thanks for the pics and everything. fun blog!!
    1877 days ago
  • _JODI404
    I've missed your blogging, and glad to see that all is well!

    Sounds like you have some great goals for May!

    The flower is actually cabbage. Check out 'flowering cabbage' in Google images.

    I plant a couple in my flower box along with pansies for winter. My flower stalks got huge this year!!

    Hope you have a marvelous May as well!
    1878 days ago
    You are off to a great start! May you be successful!!
    1878 days ago
    Loved your pictures, especially the last two. I've always been fond of rail road shots. emoticon

    May you reach all your May goals and have fun while doing them and less stressed out by the process. emoticon
    1878 days ago
  • KARL1266
    Great blog. Loved the "inner geek" comment as that is me to a T. I'm finding I am changing things up a bit as well. MAYbe a case od Spring Cleaning? Who knows? Wish you well in attaining your goals and I raise a tall glass of water to you for a fabulous month of May!
    1878 days ago
    May is also a word that many wishes start with. So, that's the way I'm going to use it.
    May you manage to do an unassisted pull-up by the end of the year.
    May you change your eating habits with better ones.
    May you reach all your May goals.
    May your May be awesome!!!
    1878 days ago
    loved your blog and yes you May do all that you have set goals for. :)

    1878 days ago
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