Tinkering under the blog hood

Chatting with fab trainer J this morning, I verbalized a new epiphany about blogging here: it keeps me focused and on track with my objectives.

Small cakes in the epiphany universe, but through the past few weeks of hardly writing at all, I have become the incredible shrinking woman with regard to my better health quest. Not because I am faltering and not going to the gym or being mindful of my eating strategy, but because I have very gradually become more and more withdrawn and feeling boo-hoo blue about it. Not because I’m doing something so terribly wrong or reversed directions and am splattered all over the couch with favorite sugar addictions methodically moving from hands to mouth, but because I allowed myself to be distracted by other people’s problems and let that take away from my own more promising priorities.

Since today was our last training for the next week, I thought I would return my focus and energy on catching up around here AND returning to my daily check-in posts. Because frankly, I do a lot better when I write about it. No matter how busy I am in other aspects of my life, I can always find a few minutes to jot my thoughts and reflections.

Only as I said, I have been distracted by other people’s issues and trying to be a good and supportive community member. To my detriment. Either I fade away feeling like I am trying to extinguish wildfires by tossing single teaspoons of water at it or I am being smashed to smithereens by wrecking balls seeking care and attention and uninterested in doing that hard work.

Neither are good for my overall mental and emotional health. Me and social media: not a good fit. I have accepted it now and gone back to my 5-minute timer for Facebook a couple of times daily unless it’s something of interest, i.e., written by someone I know and whose thoughts and ideas interest me.

Only another item on my to-do popped up this month: returning to my pursuit of self-hosted blogging. I have been promising myself to get it done sometime before my next renewal, which is now less than 30 days away. While I know this is something I can and should learn to do myself, right now my time is more valuable than the cost of paying professionals to do the work for me. So, I expect to continue to be offline for the balance of this week while they pros move the blog.

And I wonder – what the Hell have I been waiting for to do this? On the one hand, I’m not superwoman; I have plenty of other revenue-producing activities that are a much better use of my time. Besides which – I’m unlikely to be moving the blog yet again after this, so I should leave it to experts … experts I can verbally eviscerate if they screw it up. But they won’t, and not just because they might be worried about what I would do if things do not proceed well.

Which means while there will be no new posts going up after this one, I will continue to be writing offline and publishing as quickly as possible, hopefully Saturday and Sunday.

Because I need this outlet. I’m far more successful and have a much better outlook toward my progress when I’m downloading the thoughts and emotions associated with it. Honestly, it feels (to me) like my distraction shows in my pursuits within the gym, in my focus and any determination I may exhibit to continue to push and to try harder. To say I am feeling rather negatively toward myself the last few weeks as I feel my dedication toward staying with it creep away is a lightweight understatement, but I know myself quite well and understand how much worse I can be when feelings of personal failure come into the mix. I’m human, and just like anyone else, I have a lot of days where the alarm goes off at 4 and I fleetingly ponder staying right where I am under the covers and blowing off practice. I haven’t, not really, but I’ve had low blood sugar incidents and not felt like my usual happy self. I’m not unhappy, depressed, or crying in my water bottle, but I feel off and can accurately pinpoint where it’s coming from.

So I expect the migration process will start this afternoon. Or my willingness to not change anything on the blog will start this afternoon. Hopefully the move will be completed quickly and any new “look” I have for the blog will happen in this timespan as well.

Fingers and toes crossed all goes as uneventfully as expected, and I look forward to seeing you on the other side.

 

 

August already – Let’s talk hopeful outcomes (not goals)

July was a very busy, train-wreck-with-work sort of month. I’ve got posts half written yet to be published. On top of which, somehow my blog went offline and was made private. Worse yet, my password no longer worked. Some troubleshooting and recovery and various other security checks, rechecks, and possibly upgrades (aka: an even bigger pain in the ass) in security and voila! Back in business.

A lot of thoughts, ideas, things to discuss flailing wildly in my noggin right now. And rather than rev up my factory production model barrage of excuses, suffice to say it has been a busy and distracting time. I would like to say I am over all that and changing my ways, but I am a terrible liar. Instead, I will simply say I may be mixing up the blog quite a bit in how I do things.

August will be an experimental blogging period for me.

Anyone who has read anything on this blog ever knows I’m a bit obsessive about my exercise pursuits. I love my training days, love, Love, LOVE posting my recaps, but I also think they run a little long (a LITTLE? says everyone in unison) and I might be better served doing them differently. Or not. I actually have no clear idea where I am headed next with the blog, except on a couple few points: (1) I want to be more consistent about my posting, (2) I frequently really want to talk in painfully minute detail about my exercise adventures, and (3) diet, nutrition, eating in general is like the nuclear mushroom cloud poisoning my system and must be purged here for my own good health.

So August is kind of my new test kitchen here on the blog. I’m going to be trying a few different things – like daily recaps, for one. I don’t keep a log book; I am not one of those folks walking through the gym with notebook and pen nearby carefully noting exercises they did, weights they used, reps they completed. Nope. Me, I’m more a think about it, try (or not), succeed/falter/swear, wish to rearrange the gym equipment for my convenience, navel gaze, think about it more, and then wish for a memory that lasted until next training so I could ask the questions that occur as they occur. I could (and have) sent a text in the moment, but it tends to disrupt my rather chaotic flow of getting shit done. No wonder I have to allot 90+ minutes in the gym to get a List completed.

Okay, my gym time is not like that every single day, but it happens frequently enough that I have little and big breakthroughs or spectacular metaphorical face plants that make for good blog fodder. Only I don’t necessarily talk about it because I already use all my words (and borrow liberally from everyone else around me) about the better health quest. It does seem a bit lot self-centric.

Then I suddenly have that familiar epiphany: it IS a lot self-centric around here. This is my blog; since I don’t write gossip columns or fake news, of course it’s going to be all about me. While that should not necessarily make me feel better, it does. I have never been an audience blogger, and while I hope there are folks out there who might find value here, it’s okay if it doesn’t happen. Hey, I have been plagiarized; it was almost flattering.

Anyway, my hope is that I can do this every day, even if it is just a short, light-and-fluffy blurb about nothing significant. I don’t know if I will succeed, or if I will indeed bore myself to death and possibly put us all out of our collective misery by not writing about it. I have 31 days to see how it goes, how it feels. It’s kind of like trying on clothes when I am in the mood to be in the mall actually shopping for clothes.

Part of what inspires this is my fat loss group on Facebook. Sometimes we’re all really active talking about our little victories and ongoing struggles. Unfortunately for me, I’m not really gaining much traction there with that group, because I’m simply not that focused on the food I am eating or I am far too picky of an eater. No one seems to chat about exercise or fitness much – so sad to me – and I can only take so much conversation about The Scale. I’m probably more interested in non-scale victories, but with a fat loss support group, it’s primarily about weight loss.

I am not disparaging them, not at all. I actually really enjoy our interactions and reading about their individual progress. But as seems to be true, I need more. Or I really want more. I need whole paragraphs and blog posts about my tiny victories and slaying my demons in the gym (looking at you, nemesis stable). This group – not set up for that. Or the people involved are not interested in that. Maybe a daily missive will not be as verbose and brain-dump-worthy as my recaps tend to become, but I do find it relaxing to talk and hash out my struggles and happy dance my victories.

So there’s 31 days in August. Maybe 31 posts? Training recaps on training days, conversations about diet and exercise the rest of the time. Perhaps from this process an actual system and process for my posting will emerge. A girl can hope, anyway.

After all, it’s not just a blog, it’s an adventure!

Happy Tuesday one and all.

 

#august2017, #better-health, #blogging, #diet, #energy, #exercise, #focus, #food, #happy, #health, #healthy-eating, #inspiration, #lifestyle, #motivation, #productivitiy, #progress

Training session recaps

I am going to be experimenting with Monday and Thursday training session recap format.

There are a few die-hard readers in my life who have been whining constructively suggesting I find some way to get the post up earlier in the day. Apparently they want something before 9 p.m. PST or – heaven forbid! – the day after. Lately here, because unfortunately my posts do not magically write themselves, I have been even later than my self-imposed 9 p.m. deadline because of an unusually heavy workload.

Hmmm. My blog I should get to do what I want to, right? But these are near-and-dear to me folks, outside my time zone, and I remain hugely flattered that they read at all. I also admit to love, Love, LOVING the offline feedback and conversations. Sometime I should devote an entire post to the emails and texts I receive from real-life friends.

Going forward, I’ll experiment with breaking the recaps up into 2 posts. Since I usually write the Kitchen Sink Thoughts section first, I will likely put those into their own post earlier in the day and follow-up with the Key Takeaways, What We Did, How It Felt sections in a separate post in the evenings. I can always add a conclusions blurb if my kitchen sink is filling up again when the second post goes live.

I am also thinking of writing more about food, diet, healthy eating. I cannot think of a single new think I might have to share on the topics, but it might be good for me to expel some of my bewilderment and resentment about my flailing efforts with cleaning up my diet and eating habits. Unfortunately, food is significantly less interesting to me than the exercise portion of my life. I have been successfully eating my whole life, but not necessarily balanced or healthy food. My explanation (note: not defense): I am a picky eater and have very minimal interest in food preparation. Breaking those habits – I feel like Sisyphus and his damn boulder. And I know I am not alone in this struggle.

And speaking of food, here’s yesterday’s late lunch/early dinner:

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2/11/2017 – Buckhorn BBQ, Vacaville, CA

Because sometimes one just needs mashed potatoes.

#blogging, #diet, #exercise, #fitness, #happy, #health, #healthy-eating, #personal-training

As 2016 concludes

As 2016 concluded, I found myself completely locked out of my blog! Technical difficulties – VERY frustrating! So I am reinventing the wheel and trying again here. 

New year, new blog – for me anyway. While this is the first entry in this blog, I have actually been writing pretty consistently under another title for just over 3 years. My original blog continues, but it will continue as it began – a personal space for me to discuss anything and everything about my life, including my husband, children, friends, job, thoughts, ideas, observations, etc. Pretty much the kitchen sink of my life and times.

Perhaps you are wondering why this blog, then, if I am already established and writing a blog. An excellent question, one I have struggled to put into words for the last few months as I plotted and planned and obsessed about the details of content here.

Over the course of the last 18 months, my better health quest has taken on life of its own, particularly as it relates to exercise. It seems I want to talk about, blog about my exercise and health pursuits all the time, and my little blog began to grow and “feel” differently than when it began. To be honest it got to the point where I felt guilty with how many words were devoted to exercise, because on the one hand I have followers/readers coming to the blog to read about health and fitness topics, and on the other hand I have this whole slice of readers and blogs I follow that have far more interest and slant toward life in general and its challenges. And to be really transparent, I’m not certain how many of those interested in reading about my adventures in the gym, my thoughts and reflections on exercise and health want to read that content side-by-side with my work-related headaches or conversations with gal-pals about dating, caring for aging parents, grandmotherhood, or my job challenges and successes. I’m pretty certain they skip anything and everything related to my happy marriage to the fabulous M, and my feelings are truly not hurt.

It has been clear to me for awhile that I yearned for an exclusive space to yak about exercise, eating, health – anything and everything that crosses my path and piques my interest in this wide “better health” realm. I love documenting this adventure, love looking back at prior entries and seeing my steps forward and the growth of my confidence.

And this blog is born.

In 2016, I logged 99 training recaps for the 99 training sessions with my stellar trainer, J. The 5 sessions skipped were due to vacations. A few times we moved days or our regularly scheduled session times to accommodate unusual scheduling considerations. I am extraordinarily proud of that. I did not quit. I did not bail. I committed to this course of action and worked hard to stay on track.

My hope, my plan is to stay focused and working on my daily exercise and not allow myself to be distracted or discouraged. I learn or relearn something every session, and in my world, knowledge is power. My understanding, curiosity, and interest in the workings of my own body and systems seems unquenchable. With this process, I am completely engaged.

If you are looking for goals, milestones, weight lost, muscle mass gained, or even something like amount of weight listed for specific numbers of reps and sets, you will not find that here. Diet advice, calorie counting, macros tracking – I don’t do that.

Truth is my only “goal” is to stay engaged in the process of making better food choices, exercising and moving weights to and fro. Since these are the general issues I tend to document, you’ll probably find a lot of thoughts, feelings, likely swearing on the topic. Certain things are on my favorites List, others are on the nemesis List, and there is typically one arch nemesis that vexes me endlessly.

I know – sounds like I have no life, right? But I do. Jobs (yes, plural), husband, grown kids, stacks of books to read and ponder, research to do on various home improvement projects, and other hobbies I might like to try sometime. I am a world class dawdler, though, and if time wasting was a competitive sport I would be a serious contender. So time management is a thing for me, and it is of late almost as much an obsession as the steps necessary to overhaul my middle age self and take better control of my health and wellness. Sustaining my good health is requiring a lot of my time, energy, brainwaves. May as well not reinvent the week 3 or 4 times per week and write it down so I can go back and celebrate my successes, brainstorm on overcoming my shortcomings. Plus blogging tends to help me remember all I want to discuss with trainer J and opens the forum to other friends who exercise as well for their thoughts and ideas.

Welcome to a new volume in my life’s library. The adventure continues.

Technical difficulties

I had such high hopes for today’s entry, but for some reason unexpected and quirky things keep happening. It is just frustrating when I feel like there is a lot to talk about, constraints on my time because of work and work-related deadlines, and then the technology decides to mess with me. Not. Fun.

Tomorrow I begin my detox from a couple, few weeks of unrestrained crap eating. While my discipline and fortitude against holiday sweets, rich food, and overeating held firm for through mid-December, when it finally cracked I completely fell off the wagon. Even my regular exercise and practice has been impacted, in that I feel like some lazy slug who cannot seem to put find the fortitude to overcome some discomfort and make myself stick with it. All that fat and sugar flowing through my bloodstream has made me feel lazy.

Surprisingly, I don’t feel terrible and am not shredding myself with the equivalent of a psyche food processor. My outlook and attitude are much healthier in this regard. Holidays happen, but the sins of December must be curbed and ultimately restrained now that January and the new year has arrived. I went through our pantry and refrigerators today disposing of any remaining contraband and created a grocery list for tomorrow’s restocking. My usual stash of fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables seems woefully diminished right now, a victim of our eating out and socializing way too much.

Sometime this month quarterly blood tests loom, and I am almost afraid to get them done. But I will, and no matter what it will be fine. I have battled my way back from years of crappy food choices, so surely half a month is not going to send me back to insulin dependency.

Tomorrow is also my first training session of the year, and since J will now be back in the gym and writing new Lists, I am going to have to get back on my game and focused on practice once more. In retrospect I have not done a terrible job with practice, except this last week after Christmas, when I just felt/feel sluggish and uninterested in my daily pursuits. The light work schedule days has made it very easy to get off my routine schedule and not get to the gym on time, which is in its own way disorienting and adds to my overall distraction.

While I know this sounds a bit whiney and obsessive, I am sorting it out and making my game plan for going forward. The office is closed tomorrow, and Tuesday is my usual work from home day, so I have a short week. However, I will be getting back to my usual 4 a.m. alarm on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and 5 a.m. on Tuesday and Thursday. No more excuses for staying up and getting up later and later each day.

And in all honesty – I am looking forward to it. I am a genuine creature of habit, and left to my own devices I would be lazy slug and eat crap food and not exercise. That’s not me anymore, and I think once the sugar and junk food cravings are out of my system – along about February, probably – it will be far easier to get up and moving without complaint or resentment. But I remind myself that I have been way further, way deeper down this road before and climbed out of it. This time it will not be much worse than a large step up and out of the ditch.

Until that happens, though, there is a certain amount of self-inflicted suffering. Hopefully this year I will have learned enough of a lesson to have considerably more restraint next December.

Happy new year everyone!