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

Beach Walkers

Dieter’s Journal #2

Dear Diary,

I was going to write about my New Lifestyle, New Me project, but I think the Quarantine is taking the lead. I was convinced that it wasn’t affecting me, but now I’m starting to think I’ve been in denial. I took my walk just before the sun went down, because I wanted to spring clean first (still working on that). My energy level was so LOW that my walk became a stroll, and it didn’t lift my spirits whatsoever. I don’t venture too far off and it’s like the same old same old at every corner. Been there, done that.

It feels like I have depression or something (and I’m guessing that because I’ve never really been depressed). Absolutely NOTHING excited me today. Maybe I’m in need of some dopamine. Or oxytocin. Maybe they went on strike when I started badmouthing rewards.

I Googled “things to do during the quarantine” to see if there was anything that I hadn’t thought of already. One suggestion was to “text all of your exes in case you want to get something off your chest.” Ha! Thanks but no thanks. Although… ?

I think the problem is that everything is melding together. I hardly know what day it is anymore, and everything I want to start gets brushed aside because… well… it’s just not a good time to start anything right now. Mornings feel like night, and nights feel like day. There’s no structure. Not that I enjoy structure—I’m a fly by the seat of my pants kind of girl—but it would be nice to have some kind of routine.

Maybe that’s what I’ll work on; I’ll create a routine! (felt a rush of dopamine right there).

Anyway, I’m thankful that I got out there even though I wasn’t in the mood. Let’s hope for a better tomorrow. Thanks for listening.

Walk Stats: 1.45 Miles / 33 Minutes / 3,514 Steps


The image isn’t from today, I’m still trying to figure out how to walk with it. I took this photo on one of my beach trips (which I could really use right about now!). I love the fact that the two women are really into their conversation. It made me think that maybe I’d like a walking partner. It would be so cool to have someone to talk to on my walks. Note to Self: Look into that when the restrictions are over.

Quarantine Walks

Journaling through Quarantine

An idea on which direction to go with The Quarantine Project finally came to me. It didn’t happen while walking yesterday—as I had hoped—but the light bulb turned on this morning as I sat down to write this. 

I didn’t take my camera walking with me because I was worried that it would slow me down. After several days of rain, I was eager to get out there and POWER walk. The camera is fairly heavy, and I would have had to wear it around my neck. Note to Self: find a backpack to wear on my walks; to carry water, phone, glasses, identification, and camera.

What’s ironic is that while the rain kept me indoors, I was able to read all of the posts by JLynn on WhileWalkingToday; another blogger who is literally walking her way into shape. All I could think about while reading her posts (besides being amazed by her perseverance and her humorous approach to it all) was how much I missed being out there… walking.

Anyway, since I didn’t have my camera—of course—I noticed EVERYTHING. My first thought whenever something caught my eye was always… “Man, I sure wish I had my camera!” My disappointment subsided when I thought about the fact that sometimes photos don’t express what you REALLY see. Many times in fact. So I thought I might write about what I saw instead.

Gratitude kept coming to mind. I was so grateful to be outside! Being “without” really changes us. When I broke both of my ankles some years back, all I could think about was how heavenly it would feel to walk again. Yesterday was like that. I kept looking up at the big blue sky, wanting to lift my hands and shout Hallelujah

I walked through an alley that I never even knew existed. And I’ve been in this community for… welldecades. We have equestrian neighborhoods here, and the alley runs behind the houses in one of those areas. I guess you could say I had an up-close and personal view of the back; horse stalls and all. And manure. Honestly… I was never so happy to smell horse poop. 

Upon entering the major thoroughfare, I was greeted by several walkers, runners, and cyclists… almost all of them wearing masks of some sort. 

One man who jogged by me looked something like this…

painted spring

PHOTO NOT BY ME

I wasn’t wearing a mask so I felt a little awkward. I didn’t really plan to see humans (how odd is that?!) so it didn’t seem necessary. Much of it is still so surreal to me. It seemed like I had exited stage left and had erroneously landed smack dab in the middle of a Mad Max production. But, in spite of it all, everyone I encountered was full of energy and life, and they all seemed as grateful as I was… to be outside.

All in all, it was a beautiful day. I walked 2.77 miles (or 6,768 steps) in an hour. And I haven’t been wearing my step counter either. What I’m realizing is that with counting steps, reading up on food facts, and hopping on and off the scale… all of this can easily turn counter-productive. As they say—don’t think about what you are trying to quit! The key here is the same key that helped me stop drinking and smoking. Turn it over to God and think about something else; NEW things.

So, it seems as though everything is falling into place. I’m going to think less about food and fitness, and focus more on The Quarantine Project; a collection of stories and images from “walks around the neighborhood” during the social distancing restriction. When you think about it—some day—any experiences that we document right now will literally be a part of history. What an awesome opportunity!

That’s about all for now. If you’ve made it this far down… thank you so much for reading (hanging in there).

And thank you Rebekah and JLynn—for all of the inspiration.

Fit Fun Facts

It’s Official.

I’m obsessed with my New Lifestyle, New Me project.

I’ve been taking walks every single day now and I’ve had no problem hitting my mark of 6,500 steps per day. In spite of the fact that it’s a little eerie out there (due to the lack of traffic and the masked men on the streets), I actually find a lot of enjoyment in walking.

I notice everything when I’m out… beautiful flowers, cool trees, and lots of sidewalk chalk. “Enjoy the Simple Things” was one of the sketched out messages I read, and then I was prompted along a pathway to skip, hopscotch, spin, and walk like a penguin. Did I do it? I’ll never tell!

Anyway, since I’m trying not to think about FOOD so much, and it’s supposed to to rain any minute now, I thought I’d check around and see what I can do at home to keep my body moving—and not spend a boatload of money.

I found this video and thought it was definitely worth a share.

I’m not so great at DIY projects, but that’s what sons are for, no? I’m going to make some calls and see if I can get one of them started on this.

That’s about all for now. Be safe and stay healthy!

Thank you for reading,
—Janet

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

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!!

Backstage Pass

Everybody’s a dreamer and everybody’s a star, And everybody’s in movies, it doesn’t matter who you are. The Kinks, Celluloid Heroes

I’m sharing the end of yesterday’s day trip first, since it’s something I’m pretty darn proud of. I actually made it to the TOP of the mountain, so not only did I view the Hollywood sign (in person) for the very first time, but I hiked up to see if from the backside.

This is quite an accomplishment for me because… well… I am NOT a hiker! Ha! And I was the very last one in the group to make it up, but I kept going even though my legs kept saying “NO!”

Today I am definitely feeling the pain, but it was well worth it. My dear friend who lives near Portland is responsible for getting me off of my duff, and out into the places where those fit people” go.

And it was exhilarating! I do believe I will be doing more things like this. I’ve been a bit of a hermit since I broke both of my ankles two years ago (not to mention the excessive drinking I was doing, as well), so it’s about time that I use my legs more and get healthy again. It felt SO great to get out!

Anyway… just wanted to share this image from behind the sign. The gentleman sitting up top was our guide (a man from Australia, no less), and you can see Lake Hollywood in the image, as well.

Needless to say I’ve now checked off hiked to the Hollywood sign on my list of 55 things to do, that I’ve never done before.

Blessings!!

The greatest oak
was once a little nut
that held its ground.