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A Food Challenge

Mr. Lyndsy left yesterday. After 40 fun days in the US he’s back in the sandbox. And I’m here. Without him.

However, he made our separation interesting. He told me that while we’re apart, I should work on eating better. I’ve got the working out thing down, but the next part is to change my food habits. This means eating fresher foods, avoiding processed foods, things high in sugar, and not too many carbs (especially the simple ones).

I know he’s right about this. That doesn’t mean I want to do it. Because you know, M&Ms, cupcakes, soda.

However, to not focus on us being apart and how much I absolutely LOATHE it, I decided it would be fun to see his reaction after I’d been at the gym for a month without him seeing me every day. It’s hard to see changes when you’re around someone every day, but a month? That can be quite a long time when you’re putting in the work like every day.

Eating better just ups the chances that the changes will be that much more dramatic. Which makes it exciting. Of course, I am NOT a patient person so when I hop on the scale tomorrow I’m going to pissed that I haven’t lost 10 pounds after just one day of healthy eating.

Yes, I know that’s irrational. But you should know that about me. I still believe unicorns.

Anyway, here’s to healthy eating for like 32 days. I’m looking at it sort of one day at a time. Because right now I’m hungry and all I can think about is candy.

FEED ME THE CANDIES.

I mean, I’m thinking about pineapple. Yeah, pineapple.

*I picked this picture because it made no sense. A pineapple just sunbathing on someone’s lawn??*

 

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It’s not really now or never

I feel a lot like it’s NOW or NEVER. Having read a bunch about ADHD in the past few days, this seems like it could be related to that. According to the books, people with ADHD have issues with time – basically only living in the present, with trouble making future plans.

I feel like a failure or like I’ve messed up my life so often because things aren’t happening for me RIGHT NOW. The reality is that I’m only 35 (soon to be 36), and that I still have plenty of time. There are people who didn’t start their amazing careers until 50 or later (I think Morgan Freeman didn’t get his first big movie role until then).

If I were to sit down, come up with some goals, and make a plan to achieve them, listing short-term goals out over a period of months up to a year, I might actually be able to accomplish something. The catch for me here is that I’ve always believed that if you can’t just DO something, without having to plot it out, you weren’t meant to do it.

In the real world that makes ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE. I can’t think of any greats who didn’t have to WORK at it. PRACTICE it. EDIT it.

I need to work on retraining my brain with these thoughts. Starting to study and understand ADHD is a path to that. I’ve been researching ADHD hacks too to make my life easier. Between understanding it and implementing the coping skills I am really hoping to start do amazing things with my life. I feel that the potential’s in there. It’s a question of how to get it out in a way that I’ll actually stay with it and finish it (or keep it going forever, if that’s the thing).

Now at least I feel like I’m moving in the right direction. I just need to continually remind myself that great things take time.

How to make it work

I realize that a lot of adults don’t have any idea what they want to do with their lives. We can never know when our THING is going to spring up and grab us. I shared a post on Facebook the other day that shows just how many successful people didn’t find that success until later in their lives.

While I think that’s awesome and I’m happy to know I still have time, it doesn’t alleviate the anxiety I feel about not having a THING. I want whatever I do that makes me money to be fulfilling and meaningful.

When I was a freshman or sophomore in college I considered the convent. Yes, you read that correctly, I wanted to be a nun. I’m not particularly religious (or even Christian for that matter), but the idea of living in service to other people to help make their lives better was HUGELY appealing to me.

And you know what? It still is.

All I want to do with my life is help people find their amazing.

Then reality smacks me in the face (again).

How the fuck is that a job? What does that look like in terms of making money? How do I make that a thing?

I still don’t really have any answers. I’ve considered so many different things. They include: Life coaching, personal training, direct sales of various products, ministry, and probably some other things I can’t remember right now.

But this is really what I want for my life. In many ways, my life has never been and won’t really be about me. I was meant for a life of service. I know that. I accept that. More than anything, I LOVE that.

As I’ve been writing this something did occur to me. My life has been more than a little chaotic with all my health issues. Between the physical and mental health, things have not been so great. I sincerely doubt I would have been much good to anyone during that time, since I wasn’t really any good for myself.

Perhaps this is a period for me to find my footing. A time for me to plant myself and get grounded so that I can help others do the same. Cue The Byrds

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven

If you have any ideas about how I can manifest my purpose in my life, I would really love to hear them. Sometimes I get mired in my own shit and can’t see things as clearly as I would like.

As always, thanks for reading <3

A New Way of Life

I knew that I would enjoy working out to prep for the Disney Princess Half Marathon in February. I have always enjoyed working out since I get a sense of accomplishment pretty much every time I do it.

I had NO idea that this was going to become a THING for me. I’ve hit the point where when I’m frustrated or pissed off, I want go to the gym and hit the weights or even *gasp* run/walk. That’s completely new. Working out was a means to an end – be ready to do 13.1 miles and not get picked up by the bus of shame.

Now though it’s just part of my almost daily life. I don’t know if it’s because I’m working out 6 days/week, or if it’s because I’ve been going with Mr. Lyndsy, but it’s something that I can see continuing forever. There may be some bumps in the road depending on how things go medically in the near future, but I’ll cross that bridge should I come to it.

The catch to this is that I haven’t really been eating better. We went on a road trip and I definitely over consumed sugar and crap. I justified it as needing a boost in energy, but that doesn’t really fly. Now that we’ve landed back at the house, it’s time to get this part right too. I don’t feel like I see a tremendous difference in my body and I’m sure that’s due to the fact that I haven’t been eating well.

I’m an impatient person and I know that Rome wasn’t built in a day. I didn’t put the weight on overnight (though it feels like it) and I won’t lose it overnight either. However, that doesn’t change the fact that I just want it all to fall off.

It takes 21 days to form new habits (I think I read that somewhere) so I need to find a way to make eating better a habit. I’m just so lazy…

Back at it!

I’m finally back in the gym to prep for the Disney Princess Half-Marathon that happens in February.

I’m not surprised how much I’ve enjoyed being back in the gym, even if I hate doing it at, what is for me, the ass crack of dawn. Mr. Lyndsy prefers to get the workout done in the morning, whereas I would prefer the evening.

However, now that he has me doing some pre-drink with him and a protein shake after, I can see where it makes sense to do it first.

I think that whatever he has me doing has benefits, since I was able to push myself more today than I normally would have, especially given the fatigue I feel on a constant basis.

I’ve gone two days in a row, now I just need to keep it up. Mr. Lyndsy can’t go to the gym without me, and I know how important it is to him that he go, so I will probably be able to sustain it at least as long as he’s here with me. (He goes home about a month before I do.)

However, once I get into the habit of going, it’s usually pretty easy for me to keep it. I’m also seriously committed to being able to finish this marathon and not getting picked up by the Bus of Shame.

I managed to get into a jog. This is impressive not only because I don’t jog, but also because I didn’t trip over my right foot. Walking is occasionally a problem, but as long as I concentrate on getting my foot down and up, I may be okay.

I will definitely need to get some new shoes. That’s awesome because I love shopping, even for shoes. I haven’t decided which Disney Princess I want to be for the marathon, so eventually I’ll be picking shoes that will match my tutu.

I think Princess Leia seems like the obvious choice, but I don’t know. Which Disney Princess would you be if you were doing the marathon?

Do I Really Need This?

Every now and then I go through phases where I see how much money I’ve spent or I look at the stuff around me and think, “Good God, I am a colossal fuck-up.”

I spent a few months in the homeland and spent a ton of money. So much is so readily available there that isn’t where I spend most of my year. Craft stores tend to be my downfall. I love walking through them and seeing all the possibilities. I even used some of it this summer! I made THINGS!

When it comes time to pay my taxes though, I see how much I spent instead of saving to pay my taxes. I panic a little when this happens. I *know* I should save the tax money. I generally don’t think about how much it’s really going to be. (This is one of the pitfalls of being self-employed.)

I chastise myself after the fact about how wasteful I am. I’m not sure why I do it since it’s not like I didn’t know what I was doing at the time and it certainly doesn’t change the situation. I just end up feeling bad about myself. It’s like bingeing on junk food – feels good at the time, pay for it later.

I’m about to venture into a new business that requires the largest up-front investment I’ve ever made. It’s exciting – really exciting. However, I am basically going to have to become a completely different person when it comes to money. I want to pay myself back for the initial investment as well as continue investing in the business. This will leave me almost no room for the junk food-style bingeing I like to do.

I don’t want to be a junk food binger anymore, whether it’s food or money. I learned recently that I don’t usually feel so good when I do either, so why continue to do it? You know you’ve hit a new point in your life when you not only feel the after-effects, but you feel it WHILE you’re doing it.

My goal now is to look at everything I buy and think – Do I really need this? Need is obviously a relative term. Compared to people all over the world, my answer for most things would be a resounding “no.” No, you don’t *need* a smartphone to survive. That’s not a realistic way for me to look at things.

I had a discussion with a friend the other day about some clothes we were looking at buying. She clarified some as “must-have” versus “cute, but would be okay not having.” Pretty much all purchases fall into those two categories, but I add a third one “why am I looking at this?” I can’t tell you how many things I’ve gone home with and I later look back and think, “Was I under the influence when I bought that?” Sadly, that’s almost never the case. Just monumental lapses in judgment.

We all have things that lift our spirits. We can’t always explain why they do, but that doesn’t matter. If it’s something that will bring joy to my life *and* I will use it, I’m okay with that purchase. I saw a Star Wars Furbacca at Target the other day. It took a surprising amount of willpower to resist buying it. As a teenager I owned a Furby because I *had* to have one. The poor thing mostly sat on a shelf, staring at me from its horribly large eyes. I never talked to it or got it to speak anything other than Furbish.

Despite knowing that I might never actually play with it, I desperately wanted this Chewbacca to come home with me. Had it been cheaper (I thought it was $70, apparently it’s *only* $50), I may have bought it anyway. I’m a big fan of the loyal Chewbacca. But do I really need him as a Furby? No. Am I still tempted? Yes.

Mr. Lyndsy and I have a terrible habit of wasting food. We buy fruits, veggies, and meat, and then get too lazy to cook them. They turn into science experiments in the fridge and we go out to eat. Eventually one of us gets disgusted by what’s happening in our science lab of a refrigerator and we clean it out. We vow to never let it get that bad again. Until the next time, anyway.

Once I modified my diet, it happened a bit less. Going out to eat became an unpleasant experience as my stomach reacted violently to what I ate. Since I was spending more time in the fridge to find foods that wouldn’t upset me, less stayed in there longer.

We both know that eating the fruits and veggies we have at home is better than going out to eat. I like knowing exactly what I’m eating. I don’t have the luxury of eating whatever I fancy. I am beyond tired of feeling sick all the time. I finally hit THAT point. The one where I’m actually willing to do the right things.

Before I buy anything, I will be asking myself, “Do I really need that? How does this fit into my larger plan?” If the answer is that I don’t need it or it derails my larger plan – whether it’s being healthy emotionally, physically, or financially, I won’t buy it.

Sounds simple, but I know what a struggle this will be for me. I decided that my goal for this year was to be healthy. I meant it physically, but now I can see that I was really missing the mark. To achieve health in any of the big areas, I need to work at it in all three.

Yikes. Wish me luck, and also tell me – what are your best strategies for health, whether it’s emotionally, physical, or financial?

Zen Habits September Challenge: Unprocrastination

I clicked through a link on Facebook and found a site called Zen Habits. The challenge for September is to stop procrastinating. The goal is to spend 5 minutes every day, doing just one thing. No switching tasks. No stopping to check social media. Just focus on the one thing.

I’m going to try this. I need to go through my things, unclutter, decide what I really need and what I don’t.

I will even be able to use this unprocrastination to focus on writing and other creative projects as well. I don’t know when the last time was that I did just one thing for five minutes. I think it’s going to confuse my brain quite a bit.

It seems like multitasking has become a way of life. I’m torn on whether it’s a good thing or not. I feel more productive, but am I really? I have read articles that argue whether it’s really possible to multitask. And, if we are multitasking, is the quality of what we’re doing suffering?

I’m looking forward to doing this. Are you going to give it a try?

Wow, I have not been here for a while. I haven’t figured out what that says about what’s going on in my life right now. Either I’m busy and haven’t had time (seems not quite right) or I’m avoiding something (also doesn’t seem quite right).

I have been super busy lately. Being in a place where you’re surrounded by people you know and can access things like fun shopping and the gym easily means less time staring at walls. I’ve been hitting the gym 4-5 times per week which has been so good for my body. I feel strength I haven’t had in a long time. I’ve developed muscles in places I didn’t know you could have them. Shoulders have muscles? What?

Probably the best part about it has been the discipline I’ve exercised. I’ve talked before about how I struggled with discipline. I just cannot get myself to develop good habits. I do fine for a while and then the wheels fall off. My gym activities have been helped by the fact that I have a gym buddy. She’s using my guest pass to go to the gym, so I feel like I should show up so she can go. She comes because she knows I’ll be there so she can go. It’s working out well enough now that I think I’ll be able to continue it on my own.

 I need to work on developing better habits in the rest of my life. It’s almost 2:15am as I write this and I’m still awake because I totally failed at taking most of my meds on time today. Got the pill I take when I get up and… that’s it. When I don’t take my meds on time, things are not good. I feel joint pain. I don’t sleep. I have to get better.

I also know that there are other areas of my life (read: flossing, sorry J), that I’m terrible about too. It’s largely things that would make me healthier. The bad stuff is so much easier to do because we can accomplish it by doing nothing.

When I started thinking about what I could do to make myself be a better about healthy habits, I was thinking from the point of a reward system. How could I reward myself for doing the shit I’m supposed to be doing anyway. But now that I’m writing this, I’m irritated at myself.

For the things that are good for me, I should do them because I know that doing them will make me healthier. Health should be its own reward at this point in my life. The other part of the problem is how I would reward myself. Cake and other goodies that I would normally consider aren’t things I should be eating now anyway. Also,  I generally buy what I want when I want it (perhaps this is something I should be working on as well…) so there’s no saving up good behavior credits for a special something.

So, I have to suck it up and face the fact that sometimes in life, I just need to do something because it’s the best thing for me to do. I can’t expect to get a reward every time I do something I *should* be doing for myself. Chris Rock has a skit about it – I won’t mention where it comes from here, but if you’ve heard it, you’ll know what I’m talking about. He’s talking about people want recognition for things they should just be doing like, “I ain’t never been to jail!” Response, ” What you want? A cookie? You ain’t supposed to go to jail…”

I am a very visual person so I am going to track and monitor how well I stay on track with the things I should be doing. The plan is to have a calendar that I hang up where I can easily see it as a reminder. For this month, I’m focusing on three things and will give myself one star/sticker per day for each of the following:

  1. Take all of my meds ON TIME
  2. Brush my teeth twice/day, floss, mouthwash
  3. Meditate for at least 5 minutes

I already screwed up today, but since I just came up with this plan, I’m going to give myself a “N/A” for September 1.

What kinds of things do you feel like you could be better about? What do you think keeps you from doing what you feel you should?

Doing More

I feel like I’ve been able to do more lately, which is outstanding. Well, let’s be fair. When I say that I’ve been doing more, I should clarify what I’ve been doing.

As you know, this month’s 30-Day Project is to design a new cross stitch pattern every. That has been incredibly fun and it’s given me some vitality that I knew I’d lost. I feel driven to create and that hasn’t happened in a long time. I’m thinking about selling the patterns on Etsy once I get them reviewed and stitched up. Not sure how much success I’ll have, but I’ve gotten very good feedback on a lot of what I’ve done so far. People have even requested I send them the patterns to stitch!

I have also been reading more this year. When I do the Reading Challenges, I start slow and then, toward the middle of the year, realize that I haven’t been reading all that much. I frantically dedicate days to reading and get ahead. Then it trickles down as the year comes to a close. Since I joined NetGalley, I feel an obligation to read the books I’m gifted sooner rather than later, especially if the book hasn’t been released yet. Because I keep finding books that look great there and actually getting them, this means I’m committing myself to reading more than I had before.

I was doing my semi-regular cleaning out of email and sorting through things I have to pay for, and I discovered that I own a lot of domain names. Each domain name represents a project I started and haven’t finished. Part of the point of the 30-day Projects is to finish what I start. While that seems to be working (most of the time) on a concentrated scale, larger projects have been completely neglected.

I’m tired of doing that. I didn’t get rid of most of the domain names. I liked those ideas. I wanted something to happen to them. Lost of things got in the way – marriage (good thing!), health issues (bad things!), emotional issues (more bad things!), and trying to live in a new country (neutral thing).

I’ve been here long enough that I need to get my shit sorted out. The health issues aren’t really changing and I’m pretty much doing everything I can for them right now. The emotional issues are better when I’m being creative, so if I focus some more energy (through my 30-Day Projects) on creative things, some of the stuff I’ve been meaning to do that hasn’t been touched in ages may actually get a loving caress from me.

The first thing I need to do is sort it all out so I can get a grip on what’s actually out there. What I feel like I’m doing is standing still with things floating all around me. I need to grab them and stuff them in a box so they can’t get anywhere. Then, I’ll catalog the things so I can decide what I want to do. Then I’ll prioritize. Yes, this sounds like an excellent plan.

However, I could use some guidance on organization of intangibles. How do you keep your projects organized? How do you not let it overwhelm you?

New Year, No Goals

Well, it’s that time of year again. As the calendar flips form 2015 to 2016, most of us have a good think about the past year and how we’d like to do 2016 different. We resolve to be better about x, y, or z or we set goals like losing a certain number of pounds or whatever.

What I have come to learn this year is that goal-setting and resolving to do things only matters as long as your situation doesn’t change. My health went into the shitter last year. I don’t have the energy to do a lot of things I’d like to do. Getting on the elliptical 3 times per week would be a great goal, but sometimes my body just won’t do it.

Perhaps if I weren’t so hard on myself it may be okay to set goals. But if I say I’m going to do something 3 times per week and then I don’t do it, REGARDLESS OF THE REASON, I feel like I failed at it. That just makes me feel worse. I don’t see any point in driving myself crazy over something I don’t consider “mission critical.”

My only focus right now is trying to feel as good as possible as much of the time. Right now I just don’t know what that will entail exactly. I will probably figure it out as I go. I’m planning on going to Ireland this summer and that will be a lot of walking and carrying things. I need to feel pretty good going into that trip, so I suspect I will spend some time working out so that my back and leg don’t collapse on me while I’m there.

I’m debating whether to set another reading goal for myself. At times I felt pressured to read more, but reading makes me happy and forces me to relax. I love the reading challenge on Goodreads and seeing the progress bar move is hugely satisfying. My goal was 100 books for 2015 and I don’t know whether I feel like that was too ambitious or not. I did get t done AND ahead of schedule. I have a while to decide.

I will continue with my 30-Day Projects. They’re fun and I’m amused by them. I had ideas at first, but now I’m just sort of winging it. That seems to be working out okay though.

The big thing is that I won’t be setting any workout goals or weight loss goals. That’s more pressure than I can handle given the state of my body and my emotional state. I want 2016 to be pressure-free and happy. I have the luxury of being able to do that so I may as well take advantage.

To 2016 and feeling good!