Getting my Mojo Back!

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I swear this is the last time I’m going to do the whole “It’s been awhile but I’m back (again)” post!

This morning I woke up filled to overflowing with the “I’ll never get my life together” feeling. It just feels like there’s way too much that needs to be changed and just not enough hours in a day to get things done. And am I the only one feeling overwhelmed by all the messages we receive daily whether it’s social media or through email? There are all these messages shaming you into doing more and all this information about being a better worker/student/mom/dad/sister; how to be more efficient in the workplace, at home, school, the gym. There’s nothing wrong with doing more and being more I’m all for that but it just feels like there’s just way too much coming at me and it sucks that I feel like the only one who feels pressured by the influx of information. So with that said, I’m going to take a step back from social media and tailor my email subscriptions so that I’m not constantly bombarded with work related emails.  I’m going to keep blogging though because it’s therapeutic for me. I am going to focus inward, and try to block out the noise of the world.

The truth that I’ve realised is that things in my life may change but my need to improve and be better always remains, and because it’s always there in the back ground I owe it to myself to strive to be a better me; to put myself out there and work towards making my dreams a reality. But I haven’t been very active on the improvement front lately. That’s about to change right now! So there are a few things I feel like my life’s missing right now, or rather a few things that I feel are sort of like a foundation for personal change. I shall share them, why I think they’re important and how I’m going to embrace these changes and ensure I’m successful with it.

What: Exercise
Why: Well for all the usual reasons that we’ve all heard of before, you feel better, those endorphins are amazing, weight loss, clothes fitting better, ability to move easier, not winded after you climb those stairs, feeling like you have super powers and you can do just about anything.
How: Mr. H and I are gonna get started with Sean T’s T25. So we’re going to be working out 6 days a week. We’re both pretty similar personality wise so we’ll both need to push each other. I’m going to make a note of how I feel after the workouts. I think doing that will be a positive reminder when I want to give up or don’t feel like it. I’m also gonna make a fridge calendar where we can cross off days as we complete them and have a visual reminder. And finally we have to think up a reward for the 2 of us when we complete the T25 Challenge; set the date and time for completion and what our reward will be.

What: Creative Projects
Why: I think that we’re all creative beings you know, but as we grow older, and life’s stresses get in the way we don’t create as often as we used to. There’s this feeling of satisfaction that comes from doing something creative you know. And I miss that. I know that if I practice being and doing creative things that it will open me up to seeing things differently, not to mention creating can be very therapeutic.
How: What exactly do I do? PHOTOGRAPHY! At least this is what I’ll start off with. I’ve always loved capturing the mood in photographs but I’ve always felt like I need to wait till I have the perfect (expensive) camera. But till then I can still practice with my lame-o point and shoot and I can also use the DSLR camera in my office. I also want to educate myself on photography. And take pictures daily and post to my auu_snap blog.

What: Hour of Power
Why: It’s so easy to live life on autopilot. I feel like that’s how I’ve been living, doing the same things every day without passion, purpose or meaning behind them. I’ve read and listened to Tony Robbins’ Hour of Power where an hour is scheduled every day to really reflect on life and what you want to accomplish. I want to make this a habit for me as I feel it will really help me take ownership of my days, and change my mentality to a positive one.
How: I’m gonna do a post on this at a later date.

So…. let’s get it!

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September Squat Challenge!

I’ve had a rather stressful August. I’ve been bogged down at work on a project that felt like it just wouldn’t end. And as a result I haven’t been eating properly, eating “comfort foods”, not exercising, and not sleeping enough.

But, I finally put the finishing touches on it this morning, and for the rest of toay I tried to de-stress. What did I do to de-stress and take my mind off “stuff”? Create a calendar in excel for my squat challenge for this month. I first heard about this challenge from Hey Fran Hey! (I’ve absolutely fallen in love with her tumblr and check it almost daily!) Basically on the first of the month you start with a certain number of sqauts, what ever number you’re comfortable with, and for each consecutive day you add 5 quats. So I started off with 30 squats on Saturday, then did 35 on Sunday, 40 on Monday and 45 this morning, so far for the month I’ve done 150 squats.. Go me!

I was having trouble remembering how many squats I was supposed to do each day, so I made the calendar to help me keep track. I also added the cumulative number of squats (okay I’m a nerd and love numbers). It’s really motivating to know how many squats you’ve done so far for the month. (At the end of this month I would have done 3075 squats!) The calendar is in excel and completely editable, simply change both “30”s on the first day to whatever number you’re starting off with, change the colours if you want, print and stick it up on your fridge! Let’s do this!

Click here to download the calendar: September Squat Challenge

Oh. and. I will be posting here more often.

# 5: Participate in the Pinehill Fun Walk

Number 1253!

 


I DID IT!

And it almost didn’t happen too thanks to good old analysis paralysis. I haven’t been walking as much as I should (my walking consists of to and from my vehicle) and my fear was that I’m not fit enough to finish the walk. So I had been contemplating even taking part given how unprepared I was for it. But I am so incredibly happy that I did. My feet are achey but the feeling of pride and confidence is incredible. I’m defnitely gonna make walking a habit.

What did I learn from this?

  • I’m more capable than I give myself credit
  • Sometimes you have to just dive in and figure the rest as you go
  • Listening to your body is so very important. Everyone may have an opinion of what’s best for you, but if you really listen to that inner voice the truth is clear
  • Blindly doing something that you’re afraid of gives you the courage to do other scary things
  • Sometimes when you share your goals and aspirations you’re met with a wave of negativity. And that’s okay don’t take it personally. Focus on positivity.

 

 

# 24: Practice Paleo Eating

So one of my goals to tackle this month is number 24: Practice Paleo Eating. I did a lot of reading over the weekend and I’m currently 3 days into eating Paleo.  I’m actually slurping up a pineapple-spinach-banana smoothie as I type, and it is ah-mah-zing!

So what is Paleo Eating?

Paleo eating represents the way our ancestors ate thousands of years ago. The premise is that our bodies have yet to evolve to the point where we can effectively process the large amounts of grains and processed foods that we consume today. Thus a move to a more hunter-gatherer type of eating would be more in line with our bodies needs. The result would be healthier, stronger bodies that naturally maintain a healthy weight.

Why have I chosen Paleo eating as the way to go?

I have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and though I have not actively been trying to combat the symptoms, I do understand that my body will greatly benefit and thrive on a diet that is not heavily dependant on carbs. PCOS paired with diabetes on both sides of my family tree means (I’m doubly susceptible to diabetes) and something (carbs) has gotta give! I’ve thought of going the Atkins route, and did try it a few times. But I love fruits (and live in the Caribbean), plus I prefer that Paleo focuses on healthy natural foods, while with Atkins things like artificial products and sweeteners are allowed. My focus is on health and being able to keep this up for the long run. So Paleo it is! (I’ll still visit the Atkins site and facebook page for nifty low carb recipe ideas!)

 What will I do to ensure success?!

Sooooo I’ve been here before many times. On the cusp of “I’m gonna change the way I eat (and live happily ever after)!” and ended up back at it again some time later. That sucks. But the good thing about it is that I’ve learned in the past what does not work for me, and thus I feel I’m a little better equipped now, and one failed attempt closer to success. So what am I going to do differently?

1. Plan – I need to plan my meals in advance, and have them prepared in advance, because when I get hungry…………………………………… HULK SMASH! I tend to go for the closest most edible thing, and 9 times outta 10 it tends to be carbs.

2. Experiment! Read! Learn! This is a very different way of eating for me, and I know at times things may get hectic and I’ll want to fall back on the familiar comfort foods (Mmmmmm bread!). I need to learn as much as I can and experiment with recipes so that this way of eating becomes more familiar and more natural.

3. Track my progress. For some reason I’ve never liked tracking what I eat. But I do recognise how important it is. You can’t know what’s working and what’s not, if you don’t know what you’re doing. I’m going to make it even more interesting by making a note of how I feel daily, and any other noteworthy…… notes.

 

Here are a few websites I browsed over the weekend:

 

Nerd Fitness (where I actually really heard about Paleo first!) gives you The Beginners Guide to Paleo Diet

 

Mark’s Daily Apple gives you The Definitive Guide to Insulin, Blood Sugar & Type 2 Diabetes (and you’ll understand it)

Mark’s Daily Apple provides a wealth of info on the Paleo diet so feel free to click away! I read up on Mark’s Definitive Guide to the Primal Eating Plan the New Pyramid  and The Definitive Guide to Grains

 

An interesting TED video on feeding your body what it needs

 

How to Keep Faeces Out of Your Bloodstream (or Lose 10 Pounds in 14 Days) from the Four Hour Work Week… (Talk about an eye catching title)

 

And for recipe ideas, I checked out Every Day Paleo and  Nom Nom Paleo (where I have been lurking and salivating for months)

Halfway Through

Whoa. Whoa. Whoaaaa! Half way through the year already? I really need to step this way up. My goals for this month:

2. Complete Insanity challenge – Once and for all I NEED to cross this off and move on to another exercise challenge!
5. Participate in the Pinehill Dairy Fun Walk – I’ve told my Dad my goal and we’ve agreed to doing walks on the weekend to gear up for the big walk
6. Write an article for Caribbean Beach News Magazine – The magazine is on break till December, so in the mean time I’m gonna jot down those topic ideas and get to writing
7. Read at least 6 books – I’ve completed 3 books so far, and have a ton on my computer and in physical copy to read. Gonna make a list and focus on one book at a time
8. Get at least 3 clients for Social Media Business – I have spoken to Sean already about Speaking Roses, so I am going to get cracking on that. He needs a marketing plan as well. I also saw a job posting last night, I will apply for that as well, would give me some great experience (and extra cash)
11. Make manicures and pedicures a habit – I’m gonna try to add more colour to my nails
12. Wear makeup regularly – I have most of the supplies, just need to make the little extra time daily
13. Drink 4 litres of water daily – Commit to it!!
14. Keep a daily gratitude book – I need to order those notebooks!
15. Try one new recipe each week for Slice o’ Paradise blog – Start off with something… ANYTHING! It’s almost been a year since I bought the domain name
17. Join St. Lucia Animal Protection Society (SLAPS) – Give them a call
24. Practice Paleo eating – Read up on what Paleo eating is and do a blog post on it
28. Floss everyday for a month – Get started again
30. Accomplish things in idea book
40. Start a photo blog with photo challenges each month – This month’s challenge is supposed to be ruins… Sort out flickr account
41. One blog post per week – TLA: Confidence; Paleo Eating; Goals for June || NB: hairspiration; length – youtube vides on hair growth || ASOP
42. Perform 5 minute plank – Start off time????
45. Lose 35% body weight

Almost Half Way Through!

I have drafted or had the thought to draft a number of posts for this blog. We’re in the fifth month of the year and a lot has happened, and yet still a lot has not. I really need to step things up!
Last month I crossed off number 25 off my list. I VISITED BARBADOS FOR THE FIRST TIME! It was just what I needed! I’ve been feeling stressed and anxious jobwise. I felt refreshed renewed and revitalised after. I think that feeling was due to the following:

* Being outdoors more often
* Exploring new places
* Taking lots of pictures
* Meeting and interacting with people
* Sexercise
* Watching movies at the cinema
* Having a few lazy days in bed

I think going forward I need to incorporate these into my life more often so that I don’t become stressed and anxious all over again. I can feel it creeping in and I need to nip it in the bud.

Okay so: Bucket List Recap!

I’ve accomplished 3 things off my list: 

20. Start an IRA

21. Start a Saving for a Home

25. Travel to a country I’ve never been to before — Barbados!

I’ve made a dent in the following goals:

7. Read at least 6 books – Completed two

22. Have the equivalent of 6 months rent in savings – Have 8% saved

39. In March start The 19 Photo Project – Started, just need to complete

This month I am going to work on the following goals:

2. Complete Insanity challenge

5. Participate in the Pinehill Dairy Fun Walk

6. Write an article for Caribbean Beach News Magazine

7. Read at least 6 books

8. Get at least 3 clients for Social Media Business

10. Publish Dining Guide Magazine on a regular schedule

12. Wear makeup regularly

13. Drink 4 litres water daily

14. Keep a daily gratitude book

17. Join SLAPS

34. Create homemade hair pomade

39. In March start The 19 Photo Project

40. Start a photo blog with photo challenges each month

41. One blog post per week

42. Perform 5 minute plank

45. Lose 35% body weight

So my thinking is to set some target activities each week that would lead me to achieving my goals. Here goes!

Why Hello March!

Nothing changes if nothing changes.

Nothing changes if nothing changes. — One of my favourite quotes. A close friend of mine (incidentally the same friend who called me a little acorn) told me this years ago, and it has stuck with me ever since.

I’ve been repeating those words to myself more often lately. I just feel like it’s the start of the third month (also the month of my birthday) and I feel like I have not accomplished much, other than a fierce desire to change.

I’ve also been making a concerted effort to be more patient with myself. More mindful of negative thoughts. If it’s one thing I’ve learnt is that negative reinforcement does not work with me. So I’ve been treading lightly.

The bucket list (BL) was a pretty good idea. It’s helped to align my goals into doable but challenging activities. This month I’m going to focus on the following BL items:

2. Complete Insanity challenge – already started! And though my thighs feel like two uncooperative pieces of lead, and it hurts to sit/stand up, I had the most sound sleep last night, and it hit me that I haven’t slept this well at all for the year!

6. Write an article for Caribbean Beach News Magazine

7. Read at least 6 books – Finish read All the Rules & Switch

10. Publish Dining Guide Magazine on a regular schedule – Well… at least work on business plan, and get started

28. Floss every day for at least a month

30. Accomplish things in idea book – Must first get idea book

37. Finish read and put “All the Rules” into practice

39. In March start the 19 Photo Project – Can’t believe it’s already 12 days till my birthday

40. Start a photo blog with photo challenges each month.

Pretty ambitious, yes? Possibly. Maybe.

In many cases I may not fully complete these within the month. Most of my BL items are a work in progress type thing. Not sure as yet if that’s a good thing or not. But we’ll see!

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step — Lao Tzu