Friday, November 23, 2012

Pre-Christmas Challenge

The other day, I celebrated my 100th day in a row of daily yoga! I had set a goal, was determined to reach it and did. No, I still haven't dropped the yoga: yesterday was day 102.

I feel the need for another goal, something other than the NaNoWriMo I'm also currently working on and whose writing habit I would like to keep up when it's done. Something physical. Christmas is in 31/32 days (we start on the 24th in my family) and that seems like a decent amount of time to make some sort of physical progress. But what do I want to do? That's what I'm here to babble about.

My yoga goal worked because, for whatever reason, there was this determination to do it. I knew yoga was something that would help me a lot with my ITBS (iliotibial band syndrome), even if it was for nothing more than 5 minutes some days. And it has helped tremendously. I'm now scared to stop doing yoga each day because of how much it has helped. But that determination was there and I'm not sure how to create that sort of determination, kwim?

I think we often set ourselves goals that sound good or are things we think we should do, but because we're not properly connected, properly determined, we don't do what we need to do to accomplish that goal. I had such strong determination to accomplish that goal that there were a few times we'd gotten home late, I'd gotten into bed and realized I hadn't done my yoga that day. Well, it was either start over or pull myself out of bed and get it done. I did the latter. That's the kind of determination I want on my next goal!

So, with that in mind, I'm thinking it's got to be about something I do rather than something I don't do. For example, "No more junk food." Well, I know myself. Maybe you're like me: You set that goal and you're busy or distracted and take something out of habit and before you realize what you're doing or remember your goal,  it's too late--that bite is in your mouth and down into your stomach.

One thought I had in the shower this morning was a weekly progression. Have it all written out, maybe with reminders in iCal or even my cell phone. It could be a food thing, which is something I do want to improve on because it's not been fantastic lately and I've been getting illness after illness. (Flu and pink eye at the same time a few weeks ago! :( ) It shows up in my one thumbnail. I tried to take a picture, but I can't get it to show up right. Whenever I get sick, it's like my thumbnail doesn't form quite right under the cuticle and as it grows out, there are these lines. They kind of look like Beau's lines, but aren't quite the same. It's like a form of splitting horizontally on the surface. Sometimes it's just a little thing a couple millimetres long; other times the line covers over half the width of the nail. When it gets to the point of being almost grown out, I always have to cut the nail short because it's just a mess. I had gone for sometime that I had only one little mark on that nail. I have signs of 4 periods of illness on that nail now. And for someone whose nails grow quickly, that's not good.

Excuse my Friday morning babbling. Back to what I was saying: I had the thought in the shower of having some sort of progression rather than 31 days of the same goal. So, week 1 would have a food and exercise goal (other than yoga); week 2 would bump it up a bit; and so on. I'm not sure it's wise to have a food and exercise goal, but at the same time, I'm thinking, "Hey, I managed to do 100 (102) days of yoga; surely I can manage two simple, yet progressive, goals?" And I know it all comes down to my determination. Am I determined to do this? Maybe once I figure out the goal I will be able to answer that question. ;)

Food goal ideas: raw mornings (at least, as much as I can handle), progressing to raw mornings and lunches, progressing to... Hm.

Exercise goals: My mind's all over the place with this one. I know there are some exercises that would very much benefit my ITBS. Part of my problem is my glutes are not up to snuff, which is kind of sad since I did figure skating years ago and pre-pregnancies, kind of liked my derrière. (lol. Did I just admit that?) With pregnancies, posture shifted, those muscles--gluteus maximus, gluteus minimus and gluteus medius--did not get properly used. I could see a simple first week goal of having an exercise sequence that I do before yoga.

Maybe that's as far as I should go for now? My first week? Get through the first week and keep that as the minimum I do? It might not seem like it would do much, such small goals like that for 30 days, but building the habit will help me much more than creating a more challenging goal that I can't stick to. I can have a minimum requirement--and then desired "add-ons", like 10 minutes on the treadmill or a strength training sequence I've found or 5 minutes of skipping rope... I just need to take the next step(s) right now. Especially with the craziness of Christmas preparation ahead!

What would my ideal be? Well... :D I would love to be 10 lbs down from where I am now by Christmas. I know at least 5 of those lbs are water that are the result of my food choices/sensitivities. So, really, I have at most 5 lbs of fat to lose. (And really, it could be I have 10 lbs of water retention to lose...) I would love for my glutes to be toned. There is no tone to them right now, let me be honest about this. I would love to just feel healthy and stronger.

Now to the important question: Am I determined to make this next step? Am I determined to start each day eating raw? Am I determined to do those glutes exercises each and every day for improvement with my ITBS and a more tone? *pause* Yes. Yes, I am. Let me get started right away! Let this be Day 1. Day 31 will be Dec. 23. I'm thinking I ought to share daily my progress--it would be a great way to make sure that I stick with this and keep thinking about it. I used my FB account for my yoga challenge; I don't feel much like sharing this challenge in FB. But I know that having the accountability in FB helped me stick with the yoga during the first month: I didn't want to have to admit to them that I'd missed a day and had to start over! This blog will be my accountability for this pre-Christmas challenge of mine. And if you would like to join me with your own challenge, please do--and share in the comments! :D

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