Recalibrating

Would you believe that tomorrow marks the beginning of WEEK TWELVE of my New Lifestyle, New Me project? Wow! It feels as though I’ve lost part of my life somehow—like my wall calendar has this huge red “X” scratched across the month of April or something. And half of May too!

Not to worry. As of today, there are still 532 days for me to hit my first “weight loss” goal. So… I’m in the process of recalibrating. All of this “stay at home” time has given me an opportunity to think, and to get to know myself a little better. I’ve noticed that I still have this default mode that makes me want to emulate other people. I’m not talking about the desire to be fit, there is nothing wrong with that—what I’m talking about are the numerous methods one can use in order to “get” fit.

When you think of fitness, what comes to your mind? Running? Aerobics? Joining a gym? Actually, I do have a gym membership that’s on hold due to COVID, but that’s another story. What I’m trying to say is that most of these ideas are default answers. They’re the things that automatically come to mind when thinking about fitness (or just being “active”), but they’re not necessarily things that I enjoy doing. When I set this change in motion, I wanted my new lifestyle to be different, to be fun, and—last but not least—to be adventurous.

I’ve been reading a book about prayer (thank you Collette) and something the author said really stuck with me. A lot of people put off praying because they think that they need to have everything in order before they pray. But the truth of the matter is… it is “through” our prayers that we begin transformation, and start getting things in order. It’s like putting the cart before the horse. It’s not a huge surprise either. I know people who to do house “clean-ups” before the housekeeper comes to clean! That’s actually the perfect analogy.

I mentioned a while back that once I weighed a little less, and was more limber, I wanted to sign up for some dance lessons. After reading that little tidbit on prayer, I realized what I had actually said in my statement… I wanted to get in shape, before getting in shape! What a bunch of phooey.

We’re in the beginning phase of “re-entry” here, so things won’t be happening right away, but I’m feeling good. Mid-June looks like a good time to start my own new phase—a new adventure—giving me 30 days to do my research. The goal is to start with a simple stretch class. I LOVE to stretch!

Anyway, the point I’m trying to make here is that it’s time to “DO” the things I love—NOT to plan and prepare, and “get myself in order” so that one day I can do what I love. Life is too short for that.

It’s time to dance!


Thank you for reading… I hope you’re all doing what you love!!
—Janet

The featured image is something that I chose because it makes me feel calm. A beautiful rose, whose petals are slowly unfolding to form a wonderful pattern… like a beautiful dance.

Word of the Day Challenge: Dancing

Our Beautiful Mind

It’s been a long time since I shared an update on my New Lifestyle, New Me project. I’ve been quiet about my progress. Why? Well… let’s just say that I’m beginning to understand why Adam and Eve hid from God after they tasted the forbidden fruit. They failed to stick to the plan. They broke the ONLY rule. That’s embarrassing! Humiliating even.

I get it. I’ve broken MOST of my own rules already, and confession is a very hard thing. 

But today is a new day, a new beginning, with fresh thoughts. 

Beautiful thoughts.

When I reorganized my room recently, I moved my bed around. The left side of it—the side that I have been getting into for years—now runs alongside a long, narrow table that I love. There is not much room between the two, meant to give me “just enough” space to get in and do some tucking in the morning, nothing else. 

That being said, the right side—the side that used to be up against the wall—is now my new area of “approach.” There’s a small rug at the base of this “right” side, beckoning me to come in for a landing and rest my feet. There’s plenty of clearance to walk around, sit for a spell, and to launch myself into bed at night.

Here’s the thing. Every time I enter, the FIRST thing I do—without even thinking—is head to the left side and SQUEEZE myself into that tiny space between the table and my bed. I can’t help it! I’m a terrible creature of habit. I’m bound and determined to reach “the left side” of my bed, even if it means nearly knocking over a lamp and spilling paperwork to the floor every time that I do it. This pattern of behavior made me curious, and so I pondered it for a bit. Two words came to mind. 

Procedural Memory.

If I want to change that weird habit (which might seem lame, but it’s a perfect example), I can’t give up. I’ve got to force myself to veer to the right, and I’ve got to do it again and again, over and over.  

Procedural memory is a part of long-term memory that’s responsible for motor skills. It’s where information on how to perform certain procedures is stored. It’s like learning to ride a bike when you’re young. You try and you try, and you probably wobble at first (after falling several times). But you keep doing it, over and over, and then—once you’ve got it down perfectly—something miraculous happens. The task no longer involves conscious thought. You can ride a bike, and you can do it without even thinking! That’s incredible.

When I shared about the curse of the all or nothing recently, I think most of what I said was “self-talk.” I do that a lot; sharing ideas with you all as I try to teach the ideas to myself. The whole point behind my thoughts were that I should not just GIVE UP (do nothing or quit). Life is not about all of nothing. It’s about putting forth effort to do the things that you’d like to do, or to make the changes you want to make.

So, as far as my New Lifestyle, New Me goes—if I haven’t succeeded the first time around, or the second, or even the third (and so on)—it does not mean that it’s time to give up. It means that it’s time to GET UP and to try again. And again.

Because when we do something over and over, like learning to ride a bike, eventually that miracle happens. One day we wake up and we can do it without thinking. That new healthy habit has taken root, residing on its own in that place we call our procedural memory… deep inside of our beautiful mind.

God really IS great.


Thank you for reading! I hope you found something interesting or enjoyable here.


Three Things Challenge #224: Bed, Young, Curious

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Where am I going?


Is anyone else asking this question lately?

The featured image here is pretty significant, as it struck me in several ways. First, I took the photograph several years ago and—until yesterday—never even knew that the Santa Monica Pier is literally the end of the famous (or maybe not so famous) Route 66.

The historic route started in Illinois (Chicago), ran 2,400 miles westward (across 8 states), and ended in California, at the Pacific Ocean, right where I shot the image. Over time, the original route has been changed and rerouted, so the old Route 66 is no longer “official.” If you plan it right, you can still make the journey across a good portion of it—and there are many cool markers to be found. This is one of them… a sign delineating the End of the Trail

Which is ironic, because that’s actually another thing that struck me about the image… the end of the trail. Lately, there are a few things that I’ve thought about giving up, and blogging is one of them. “This image would be ideal for my farewell post,” I said to myself. The end of the road, so to speak. I know that sounds overdramatic, but I really did entertain the idea. 

Sometimes these waves come over me—however fleeting they may be—and I consider throwing in the towel. It feels as though I’m writing “much ado about nothing” and tossing empty words into an even emptier universe; the dark tunnel we call the internet. My words echo as they leave me… FADING… fading…… and then they disappear, never to return. 

For one thing, the things that I write about have morphed dramatically over time. The reason for coming aboard in the first place was to share my story of finding God and recovering from alcoholism. That story has been told. It’s preserved in time, WAY back in my archives, and there are many other bloggers out there—just like me—telling the same story. We’ve done it! We’re doing it… every day.

As for the present, I’m not an evangelist, or an apologist, and I have no education in theology, so I try to be VERY careful with my words about my faith. Someone was too quick to hint around about my errors, and I was deeply saddened by that. So… I’ve stuck to the philosophy that “living my life as I now live it” is continuous (and rather convincing) evidence of my walk of faith. And I am still sober and forever grateful for this new life.

And then I considered my New Lifestyle, New Me project. I LOVE the idea, and I’m very enthusiastic about it, but already it’s a struggle. Off to a rough start you might say. Who would have thought that the quarantine would alter our lives so drastically just as I set sail on my new adventure! Not to mention the fact that it’s embarrassing to share my thoughts along this journey, because my thoughts —like everything else in life—are ever changing. I can only imagine that trying to keep up with the wanderings of my mind is an exhausting task. 

So… Where AM I going? What am I to make of all of this? Today, writing about all of this feels good—because I’m actually getting somewhere.

No. 1 Look Outward

The first thing I see from my observations is that my lack of knowledge about the significance of that Route 66 marker is an analogy, of sorts, for my introversion. My tendency to look inward for insights and inspiration is a hindrance at times. I’m always missing out on things—things that are going on all around me—because I’m hyper focused on that odd little world that lives inside of me. Talk about a dark tunnel through an empty universe. Ha-Ha! 

I’m going to work on changing that. Rather than allowing this pandemic to bury me even deeper inside of myself… I’m going to reach out more. Less thinking and talking—more watching, looking, listening, and doing. 

No. 2 The Curse of the All or Nothing

The other thing—the really exciting thing—is the other analogy that I notice, that relates to my blogging experience, and my New Lifestyle, New Me project. If things aren’t working for me, my first inclination is always “walk away!” The changing and re-routing of the old Route 66 speaks volumes to me here. The journey is still possible, it just looks different. The road is not CLOSED, it’s just been altered.  

Having an “all or nothing” attitude toward everything has done nothing but get me into trouble—for the better part of my life. I want to DO IT BIG, or DO NOTHING. It’s so hard for me to find the middle of the road, that space in between—where perfect balance exists. But that’s exactly what is needed right now. Rather than shutting it all down, all I really need to do is some altering and re-routing, just like they did with old Route 66.

This is not the end of the trail. It’s the beginning!


Thank you for reading if you made it all the way down. I’m thrilled that these were not just empty words today—they were from my heart.

God Bless!
—Janet

Pier Ride

Buckle Up!

This image depicts a good chunk of my life: One Wild Ride. Full of ups and downs, spins and twists, hairpin turns— and (far too many) “hold onto your hat!” moments. Of course, the ride in the photograph is actually pretty tame—hence the bold colors and wild effects that I’ve added.

I thought it was a fun thing to do today. This is from my Santa Monica Pier archives, from several years back. I’m beginning to think that my recent obsession with bright colors has something to do with feeling pent up. I don’t react well to being caged. Ha-ha! True story.

New Lifestyle Update

I’m still on hiatus from my walking, but I’m buckling down and putting a (semi) routine together: Walks on Saturday, Tuesday and Thursday.

I think that’s about all I can handle right now but it’s my minimum. If I do more than that, then how awesome is that!? And I do notice that walking day after day doesn’t necessarily work for me. I feel weak the day after a long walk, so I like the idea of resting days in between.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ve actually done a lifestyle change before (altering my diet and adding exercise) and I lost 50 pounds doing it. I’d say that, all in all, it took about a year. I was in my 30’s (from what I remember) and the method was simple: eating healthier, unprocessed foods, and walking 3 miles, 3 times per week. And honestly, I’m pretty sure it was the walking routine that did the trick.

Anyway, I like the idea of a routine like this because I won’t guilt myself out on the days I rest and I’ll really “look forward” to the days that I do walk. Like tomorrow, for example! I’m really jazzed knowing that tomorrow is THE DAY. I’ll get up early, pack up my bag (which just arrived) and be out the door. I like that plan!

That’s about all for now. Thanks for reading!


The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine.
—Mike Murdock

typewriter

A Dieter’s Journal

Dear Diary,

It’s the 6th of April, the month that I vowed NOT to step on the scale.

Why is it so damn hard?

When I brought up eternity the other day, there was another definition that I skipped right over and it’s pretty applicable right now: a long period of time that seems endless. Yep. This month—or this week even—seems endless.

Bouncing back and forth in front of the scale got me thinking about this lifestyle change. One word came to mind: REWARDS. I realized that the reason I wanted to get on that scale was to see if I had a reward. Why is everything a reward to me?

Food is a reward. When I work… money is my reward. Drinking and smoking were rewards too (or so I thought)! And now… after depriving myself of brown sugar & cinnamon pop tarts, pizza, three scoop hot fudge sundaes with whipped cream and nuts, and good old bleached white flour products, all I can think about is…

Where is my damn reward?!

…to be continued…


Word of the Day Challenge: Bounce

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels

Thoughts, Thoughts . . .

And more thoughts!

This morning I woke up tired of thinking. That doesn’t happen very often. In the short time I’ve been awake, I felt droopy, slightly discouraged, and have been questioning some of my own ideas. And then I stumbled on this image and thought that maybe I just need to change the way I’m thinking.

I need to think about things differently.

First of all, besides my WordPress class (which ends Saturday), I’m taking a philosophy class; Intro to Comparative Religion. All I can say is: “That class is exhausting!”

Anyway, the good news here is that last week I was able to hit my mark of 5,500 steps per day. It was actually a breeze once the rain stopped. If the weather stays nice I’ll be able to hit that many steps in just one afternoon walk, so I’m ready to increase my goal.

The challenge here is that the more steps I take, the more I allow myself to cheat on the food end. Like… it’s alright to eat that brownie, you just took 2000 steps! It reminded me of all of my ploys to drink in moderation, like… only wine, or only after 5 p.m., and so on.

I also uninstalled the app that was reminding me to walk around, and to drink water. It was constantly beeping and driving me nuts. Between water sips and restroom trips, there was hardly time for anything else! It got to the point where I’d simply hit snooze, and what’s the point of that?

What I’m realizing is that monitoring a “lifestyle change” is risky. If these changes are meant for the long haul, why do I keep checking in on them… and what do I keep looking for? Instant gratification… that’s what I’m secretly seeking. Every time I get on that scale I hope to see some kind of magic happen. That kind of thinking has to stop. Rome was not built in a day!

So… being the first day of the new month and all, I’ve decided that my goal for April is to Stay off the Scale. I’m kicking up my “steps goal” to 6,500 per day, for the entire month, and I’m putting it on cruise control. No more thinking about it (or checking in on it) until the month comes to a close. I’m going to put more focus on my daily gratitude list instead.

Overall, my diet has improved and I actually lost 5 pounds in the month of March. I’m certainly grateful for that!

That’s about all for now. Thanks for hanging in there with me… and have a beautiful day!

Mediocrity is easy, the good things take time, the great need commitment. —Bob Seger

When Life . . .

Gives you Lemons.


Life has definitely thrown a curve ball. A part of me wonders if it’s the perfect opportunity to postpone my New Lifestyle, New Me adventure, but the other part of me—the pushy and persistent side—will just not let that happen. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in this crazy, twisted, and often convoluted life… it is how to ADAPT.

Some things are going to have to wait. That just can’t be helped. It’s almost impossible to find Ezekiel Bread (or any healthy whole wheat bread for that matter), and Frozen Fruit, Plain Non-fat Greek Yogurt and healthy milk alternatives (for my delicious smoothies) have disappeared from the shelves as well. Adjustments are being made. I’ll reassess the food situation in a few weeks—or when healthier foods are back in supply—whichever comes first.

It’s hard to believe I’m starting WEEK FOUR. My how time flies!

Since my “Stepping Goal’ was modified to 5,500 per day, I’ve managed to hit my mark everyday for the last four days. Yay! It’s so awesome to make small goals because your chances of accomplishing them are so great and—in turn—you constantly have little victories to celebrate. I’m 1000 over my previous average; that’s an additional half-mile per day. Not too shabby.

I’ve been reading tidbits here and there about the dangers of sitting for extended periods, so I’ve decided to address that issue this week. After doing a little (Google) research, I found and installed an app called Water Drink Reminder. Default reminders are once every hour, but I’ve revised mine to ring every 30 minutes (for now).

Since the app literally reminds me to drink water (duh), I’m actually killing two birds with one stone. I get a notification, stand up and do my steps for five minutes (or so) AND I’m reminded to drink water and log the amount into my app.

At the end of the day, I’ve put in my steps all day long (as opposed to waiting until just before bed and pacing frantically around the house to hit my goal!) AND I’m tracking how much water I’m drinking—another healthy addition!

As for lemons, we have a tree out back that is full of them and I’ve never been more grateful for that tree. I think you’ll be seeing another post about lemons soon… maybe a fun recipe.

Anyway, thank you for reading!! I hope you found some useful information or enjoyment here. Until next time…

Be safe and Stay healthy!

—Janet

Plum Blossom

In its Infancy

Stars and blossoming fruit trees: Utter permanence and extreme fragility give an equal sense of eternity. —Simone Weil


What a beautiful quote. I thought it paired well with the plum tree blossoms. I saw them all over our baby tree this afternoon, when the sun was shining bright, and I just knew that I had to get out there and do some shooting.

Thank goodness, too.

Social distancing is pretty much a part of my life these days thanks (or no thanks) to online classes—but the RAIN we were having did a number on the members of my household. We’ve been a little loopy.

Anyway, I liked the idea of blossoms signifying infancy, because infancy is synonymous with beginnings. Yesterday and today I realized I needed to start fresh on some of my goals. I need to go back to the beginning.

I’m afraid I failed to take my OWN advice when jumping into the New Lifestyle program… it was supposed to be about baby steps. Tiny, barely noticeable changes that would become habits—habits that would slowly build on the next; like a snowball effect.

It worked like a dream in week one, then the next thing you know I’m professing my confidence in “the step counter,” and setting the bar high… at 10,000 steps per day. Well… as it turns out, that was a bit of a stretch. Going from borderline couch potato to fitness guru does not a small step make!

Enough crying and blubbering. I’ve looked it all over and have restructured the plan. My goal for the next two weeks is 5,500 steps per day. That’s 1000 over my daily average and it’s small enough to actually DO.

So… my new beginning starts tomorrow; New Lifestyle, New Me in its infancy. I like that.


Thank you for reading! I hope you found something useful or entertaining here, and I hope you enjoyed the image. Those plum blossoms are macro for sure—they’re barely the size of a dime. It was difficult to get them all into focus, hence the dramatic effects.

Step, Step…

Step to my Lou

Today is the first day of my week two addition: The 10,000 Steps a Day Challenge.

Maybe it’s just that I’m an optimist, but after receiving my step tracker I can see how this device will become a motivational tool for me. It’s like a little cheerleader, clinging to my body, telling me to just get up and move.

At the moment I have 3131 steps in, and it’s only 5:15 p.m. I don’t think the number of steps is what’s important right now. What matters is that I’m becoming more mindful of my movement, or lack thereof. I don’t know about anyone else, but when I sit down to my laptop I have a tendency to find reasons to remain there; like I’m entranced. I refuse to stop what I’m doing and step away until it’s absolutely necessary—like the house is on fire or something.

Anyway, this is not really a “challenge,” it’s a STEP. A step in the right direction. The shirt I put on this morning fit better than it did last time I wore it. Usually it clings and wants to ride up above my pants… like shirts do when they get too tight. I hate that! It actually hung the way a shirt should hang—freely and gracefully.

I would definitely recommend a step counting gadget to anyone who wants to exert themselves more but likes to have a “companion” nearby who will encourage them. They’re not too expensive if you shop around.

Anyway, I’m still working on ideas for more Food Fun Facts. I’m treading carefully since food is so tricky, and so personal (as many of you have already mentioned). It’s something I really need to think about. Besides, this journey is about having fun, mixing things up, trying new things, and being adventurous—not about calorie counting, nitpicking, and scrutinizing my every move (or bite). Who wants to live like that?!?

For now… it’s time to get up and move.

Peace & Love!!

Phase II

Week one has come to an end and I’m happy to report that I’m down 4 pounds. What’s even better? It’s the beginning of week TWO!

Now it’s time to shake things up. I’ve been reading the book I mentioned before, One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way, and it has inspired me to take some steps. Some very SMALL steps. And I’ll be counting every one of them.

I ordered a fitness tracker and will have that in hand by Tuesday evening. So… starting Wednesday, I’m going to shoot for 10,000 steps a day and see how that works. What I hope is that wearing the tracker around my wrist will be a constant reminder to me—to get up and move!


My image began as a photo of the moon. I shot it a few days ago when the sun was still shining. I always light up when I can see the moon in the afternoon sky. Does it make for a fantastic photograph? Not always. Not this time anyway. That being said… I decided to give her a little makeover of her own… something to bring out her natural glow.

That’s about all for now. Thank you for reading!

This upcoming week I’ll be sharing some of the cool things that I’ve learned on this journey so far. I hope you’ll stay tuned!

Empowered

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.

Alan Watts

I thought I’d create this composite piece to express how I’m feeling this evening: Empowered.

Nothing earthshaking has happened. The scale hasn’t tipped and my willpower crumbled again at the sight of the cookies. The good news is that—with a little help from the family—that little brown box is empty now. Yay! Overall I’m eating much better than I was a week ago, so I’m making positive changes. That’s not why I feel empowered, though.

The fact that I see this as an endless undertaking is what is giving me strength. There is no finish line; no gold medal to be won if I move at warp speed. I have months (even years) to work on this lifestyle change… and that is what empowers me. I have time.

I’ve taken the plunge, and although the changes are slow and small, I am in there… moving and dancing with them.

Peace & love everyone. Thank you for allowing me to share my journey with you!

Stealing the Spotlight

The shy and the extroverted have this in common—that they both fancy they are the center of attention.

Robert Breault

I think that quote is excellent. In Developmental Psychology we learned about the imaginary audience in adolescence, which is the belief that others are acutely aware of and attentive to one’s appearance and behavior. This belief—that everyone is watching and/or judging them—makes them more self-conscious.

It’s funny taking psychology classes when you’re older. Every time I learned something new I would look back at my life and think “Oh yeah! I had that!” Or… even scarier… “I think I still do!” It’s like some kind of psyche-hypochondria.

Anyway, it was interesting to think about the shy one and the extrovert believing that they’re the center of attention… yet their reactions to being in the spotlight are so different. Maybe I relate to it because there was a lot of talk about the personality traits of an alcoholic in meetings. Most shared the feeling of teetering back and forth between the shy one and the extrovert. “Hey look at me, look at me!” and then “Hey! Stop looking at me!” And then there’s me, just like when I’m at school, thinking… “Hey, I think I have that too!”

I know that’s really random, especially since I was looking for a quote to accompany my plant… who is budding in the spotlight. I guess you never really know where things will take you.

Anyway, this writing was kind of therapeutic. Not once did food cross my mind! 😉 And I’ve been thinking about my vices; drinking… smoking… now eating. I’m sensing a pattern here and it makes me wonder. If (when) this lifestyle makeover pans out, is there another unhealthy vice out there… just waiting in the wings for me?

Those were just a few thoughts I had today. And they do lead me to one last thing. I’m realizing that although my eating is a problem, it’s not the biggest one. I really do sit too much and no diet in the world will change that. So… while I’m getting my thoughts together about food this week, next week I’m shifting the conversation to movement. Not a rigorous workout plan… just a couple little things that I’m keeping up my sleeve until later.

Thank you for reading!

Cartoon

Road Rage

I’m at the end of Day 3 and I’ve had an enlightening afternoon. I thought I’d write down a few tidbits before bed.


I’ve been hyper focused on food—and the fact that I want to eat healthy—but all that focus really does is make me want to eat. Next week part of my plan will be to find new activities, things to keep my mind occupied and get me outside away from the computer.

I thought I’d try out a healthy recipe (more food), so I ventured out to Sprouts. What I learned there is that eating healthy costs (at least) twice as much as it does to eat junk. And by the time I got done I was too hungry to cook—I needed food fast. I think it’s a blood sugar thing.

It’s still all mental work right now. I ate really good most of the day, and then I cheated a little. Note to self: Hide the peanut butter cookies! (She’ll never listen). Anyway, tomorrow is a new day.

I thought I’d create a little visual humor tonight. Off in the distance I see the me I want to be… jogging to Chariots of Fire in slow motion. But my dream is rudely interrupted as I (accidentally) knock down the clerk at Sprouts… while I’m dashing to the peanut butter cookie aisle. Ha! 😉

That’s all for now. Peace & Love…
Tomorrow is a brand new day, a fresh start!

Body Image

Body Image

It’s Day TWO and my motivation level is starting to skyrocket. I’m learning exciting things about my body type. Apparently I’m an apple? It’s really interesting to discover that “where” we store excess fat tells us something about what’s going on inside of that amazing body we live in.

Speaking of our amazing bodies, I wanted to backtrack and talk about something that I wrote in faded blues

“I’m not dissing myself here. All I’m saying is that my ideas about me, and the me that I see in front of me… well, they aren’t a perfect match. So, this begs the question… which one is right?

As soon as I published that post my head started spinning. It became clear to me that I was comparing what I feel like inside to what I see in the mirror (judging the book by its cover) and I was doing so based upon what I’ve been taught for decades. Maybe my reflection doesn’t measure up because my ideas on what beauty “looks like” have been shredded, warped, and twisted… by the media, by advertising, and by society.

That being said, this lifestyle change is about health, it is NOT about body shaming. I know that I don’t eat right, I know that I’m not active enough, I know that I feel sluggish most of the time, and I know that there is something going on inside of my body… something that’s telling me to PAY ATTENTION.

So… that’s what I’m doing. I’m paying attention.

Moving on now, the subtle changes that I’m aiming for in week one are my snacks. This house is full of high-calorie, no-nutritional-value snacks. And since I don’t eat regular meals most of the time, snacks are a major player around here.

WEEK ONE PLAN: I’m exchanging empty calories— cakes, cookies, potato chips, and soda (to name a few) —for fresh fruits (strawberries!), vegetables, avocados, nuts, sunflower seeds, and dark chocolate (cacoa) as needed. I’m going to take a gamble, and create some healthy smoothies that contain powdered cacoa (in lieu of those hot fudge sundaes I love so much). I’ll be sure to share the recipes whenever I hit the jackpot.

That is it! That is week one in a nutshell… no pun intended. 😉

Thank you for reading; I hope you found something of value here!

It’s time to go shopping…
—Janet


About the Featured Image: I decided to do a little art for Day Two, a mysterious black and white self-portrait. It’s as close as I’m going to get with a before picture, and I’m actually happy with the story it tells. My son took the photo for me and we both noticed that I seem lopsided. It’s possible that’s from sitting weird on the couch when I use my laptop.

New Lifestyle, New Me

THE LAUNCH

It’s Day One of my Lifestyle Makeover. The starting line was originally set for a week from today—my sober anniversary—but the first of the month makes more sense. It also gives me one week to tip-toe into the whole idea. Just to get this out of the way, and since I’m going to be totally honest and transparent here… I don’t have the Get-Up-and Go-For-It mentality that I wish I had right now. I’m not feeling inspired, OR motivated.

That’s the thing though. If I wait until it feels right, this lifestyle change might never take-off.

I’ve chosen an old image for this. I love the idea of running feet to represent this new journey that I’m on. They symbolize change, growth, and forward momentum. I’m tracking my progress for myself, but also for anyone who’s been considering taking some steps to change their health, eating habits, or lifestyle.

I thought I’d use this first seven days to survey (and talk about) my thoughts, to sketch out a little road map, and to share some of the ideas I have about this transformation. I have no doubt that my daily chronicles will contain humorous anecdotes. I was in the middle of writing the introduction when my mother walked in… marble pound cake in hand… and I caved. No one said it would be easy! 😉

I’m not entering into some dull, rigid, or torturous program here… No siree! This renovation is going to be fun and adventurous. I’m going to try foods that I’ve never tried, do things that I’ve never done, and experience life in ways that I’ve never before considered—from a totally new perspective. That’s the plan anyway.

The goal here is subtle change. I was excited to stumble on an article about a book by Robert Maurer, Ph.D., “One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way.” I won’t have my hands on it until tomorrow, but the title speaks volumes and seems pretty self-explanatory. Little micro-alterations, that take place gradually, work (and stick) far better than those nearly impossible and enormous changes we try to make.

This last part is where things get uncomfortable. I WILL keep tabs on my body’s metamorphosis. The starting point, obviously, is the hardest to reveal. So… to make things easier (and less conspicuous) I’m going to keep those stats tucked away on my home page. I won’t be shouting them from the rooftops, or sharing them on my posts. If anyone is truly interested in those thoughts and numbers, they can be found there. I think that’s fair.

That’s all I have to share for Day One. It’s all mental work right now. I’m excited though! Thinking and writing has moved my motivation level up one notch from where it was this morning. That’s better than no notch at all! I’m curious to see how this plays out. Maybe nothing will change, maybe everything will change, but the bottom line remains constant…

I’ll never know unless I try.

—Janet
Wish me luck!