Wellness Wednesday #9 – Stages of Change

Some things never change and some things around us always seem to be changing. For example: I have always been a feminist. I played basketball in a co-ed summer league as a pre-teen and constantly competed against the boys to show them that girls were just as good. As a teenager I sported my Rosie the Riveter t-shirt with pride and discounted any guy who referred to me as a “chick” (I’m not a little yellow fluffy bird). Yet, I grow older and the world around me seems to change and I with it.

Two weeks ago I wrote about the three phases of creating Health Habits. This week I’m delving more into Behavior Change to talk about the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change (TTM). Why is this important to Wellness? Learning the stages of change may help you understand a few more things about why you are or are not making changes that you set out to make. Continue reading “Wellness Wednesday #9 – Stages of Change”

Wellness Wednesday #8 – Health as a Habit

Blogging has been something lately that has been put on the back burner. I’m currently reading a book by Rachel Hollis (see a future Fave Reads Friday post) that reminded me that if this is something that makes me happy, it should be a priority in my life. So, just like I’m working on making my training more of a priority, so too will the blog be again. Continue reading “Wellness Wednesday #8 – Health as a Habit”

The Daily 10

So, remember way back when I did the Sun Salutation Challenge? I wondered what would happen to my yoga after it ended….and I found out.

Well, I stopped doing my yoga and it has cost me dearly! Last summer I killed it at running for A LOT of the summer. This summer, not so much….what’s the difference? Well, firstly is that last summer I was coming off of a great semester of teaching yoga, I was teaching yoga twice a week in the early mornings, and I was teaching Summer I and Summer II yoga. I was mad about yoga at the time and I knew that the fall semester would change my activities. Continue reading “The Daily 10”

July STREAK

So, Lesson #2 is something that I should have picked up from Gretchen Rubin awhile back…..

anything worth doing is worth doing every day

(or something like that). Anyway, for the month of July I am STREAKING with my runs. Today is Day 11 (which is actually 12 days in a row just because of how my June training ended) of running every day for the month of July. I am building mileage for my fall run and it’s also an excuse to make my kiddos ride their bikes more.

See, I have entered the glorious phase of life in which (most of the time) I no longer have to push a jogging stroller on my runs. My little guy is now 5 and pedals away like a champ for a max of 3 miles. Now, that’s not to say that he doesn’t crash from time to time, or need a little push from behind up a hill, but for the most part I can get all of my low mileage stuff in with the two of them on bikes.

The thing about streaking is that it’s helpful to set a short-term goal for doing something every day and see how long you can maintain it. The bad thing about streaking is that once the short-term time frame is up, it’s always harder to maintain. So, for running I planned out every run from June 9th until Race Day in September. That way I know where I’m going and the streak is not just about the one month of running every day. That’s just a mileage building portion of the overall training plan.

I’m having trouble streaking in other areas of my life. They’re a little less long-term goal focused. For instance…..I’m trying to start doing a Daily 10. Want to know what that is? Come back tomorrow for Lesson #3.

What do you streak at?

What breaks your streaks?

Follow my streak at MapMyRun.com

If; Then

Apparently I didn’t push “Publish” on this post yesterday, so here it is today. What I just sat down to write today will get schedule as a post for tomorrow. Back to regular “almost daily” posting on Monday.

In the latest section of Rubin’s Better Than Before book she talks about a strategy for improving good habits called “If; Then”. We use this same language in yoga, but in a much different way. In yoga we say that IF you feel a certain way in a pose; THEN adjust this way. Rubin’s suggestion is more along the lines of a planned strategy to avoid “failing” at your good habits. So, IF I can’t go outside to run today; THEN I will do a HITT workout instead.

Rubin also talks in this section about planned exceptions to the rule that don’t really break the rule. So, on Tuesday I did my first “weight training” day in a long time. And therefore, I chose (in advance) not to do sun salutations that day. Partly because I wasn’t sure how weight training was going to go and partly because I’m trying to stop putting things on my schedule when I fill each line. There’s no need for two things per line! (or so I’m currently telling myself….it’s not going so well) And partly because I’m not trying to streak with sun salutations, but rather slowly build the habit of doing them until I can complete my goal of 108 consecutive sun salutations. This didn’t make me feel guilty about skipping a day of sun salutations and then, yesterday I did them again right after my run.

Planned exceptions are not the same as spur of the moment exceptions. For example….yesterday I didn’t read in Rubin’s book nor post. This made me feel guilty and behind today. Today I have other things to do, like writing a different post on the material I was supposed to read on Wednesday. I really wish those two items were checked off in my calendar or that I had not put them on there anyway. But…..I started to rationalize this to myself using what Rubin calls a Loophole Excuse.

My word of the day for Wednesday was ENJOY! I spent the day trying to enjoy each thing I did…..including grocery shopping with a 4 year old! I tried to enjoy my run and our playdate at the park, bill paying, and eating. Then it was time to have an afternoon playdate and I enjoyed that too……so much so that I left myself without time to read and write. I was embracing my word of the day….that’s what I told myself…..but really I was making a spur of the moment loophole excuse to ditch something else that also gives me joy. Doing this also made me feel guilty the next day and not as “THANKFUL” (the WOD for Thursday) as I should have been.

Today I am thankful that I have another chance to check off my list. It’s not a fail nor a fall….just a stumble. IF I cannot complete my checklist one day; THEN I will try to pick up the slack the next day. IF I cannot “catch up” on my checklist; THEN I will make peace with what was left undone and move forward from there.One thing that was very painful to read was about Obligers and their ability to come up with loopholes….especially when the habit has no accountability to others. Yep, I’m an Obliger through and through! But, that doesn’t give me permission to use it as an excuse. Rubin comes up with 10 different loopholes that people create and a great deal of them are the excuses for why I haven’t yet applied for the full-time job posting that’s up right now……

How do you feel about unfinished work?

What excuses do you make?

How do those excuses make you feel?

Do you have “IF; THEN” strategies?

Thank you to Amanda for a place to share ideas!

I Need More Gretchen! – The Call to Self-Care

So, a few of weeks ago I read/listened to a pair of posts/podcasts by Gretchen Rubin:

A Little Happier: More Advice about How to Be Successful–Check Every Box.

A Little Happier: Don’t Check Every Box.

I know that just looking at the title of each of those seems like a major contradiction, but Gretchen Rubin has these “Secrets of Adulthood” that she lives by and one of those is

The opposite of a profound truth is also true.

Her two podcasts are about being successful and applying for a job, but I took the idea to heart in regards to self-care. It draws back to the topic I was writing about last week in my course review of the Inclusivity Training I did where Chelsea reminded us over and over again to

Drink as you pour.

If I am to take care of myself I need to check all of the boxes and make myself into the person I want to be; this will help me to be happy and is the only thing I truly have control over. I need to meet my own expectations. I need to push myself to be the best that I can. I need to think positively about myself and my own capabilities.

But, I also don’t need to check all of the boxes for anyone else, or even, sometimes myself. Sometimes it’s okay to spend the entire day in my pajamas lounging on the couch and watching tv with my kids. Sometimes it’s okay to eat pancakes from the fridge in the middle of the day. Sometimes it’s okay to say no to a workout.

The key is balance. I’m in the middle of a big project in my life and some of that means checking the boxes off to meet a goal I have. This would include

  • Getting in my 4 runs each week
  • Trying to be active each day
  • Avoiding eating as many animal products as possible
  • Choosing to eat less processed food
  • Making time to breathe and to meditate
  • Reading more
  • Writing more
  • Spending more time playing with my children
  • Taking care of myself when I need it

This is all part of My Best Body Happiness Project that was inspired by reading Rubin’s first book. I think that something inside of me has been trying to get back to this idea of balance lately. I will be writing on Thursday about where I am in my project and Friday will be a book review from the last book I read.

Currently though, Gretchen Rubin is helping me again as the next book on my reading list was Better than Before, her book about habits that introduces the Four Tendencies (I’m an Obliger). There will be a lot more self-care going on, a lot more meditation/reflection, and I’m sure that I’ll learn a lot more about myself and my habits as I go through this new book.

Have you read Better than Before?

What do you do for self-care?

What boxes do you not check?

Mid-Year Performance Report 2017

Back in April I gave you all the rundown on my Q1 Performance Report. It was a slow start to the year and right around the time I started training with my friend for the 8K we’ll be running in September. Map My Run (not a sponsored post) sent me my Mid-Year Performance Report recently. Here’s a pictorial review of my first 6 months of 2017 from a tracked perspective and not including all of the other things I’ve done.

Not bad that I’ve averaged 1 workout every 2.5 days so far this year. Not every other day, but close!
I’m not a big fan of counting calories, so this one doesn’t matter to me. Plus, I’m not really eating pizza anymore because of the cheese (which used to be my favorite part), so I could care less about this stat. Additionally, MapMyRun doesn’t know much about me so I don’t feel these are accurate results.
Well, I’ve been to LA once and don’t plan to go back, but never visited San Diego….maybe some day, although I don’t plan to run there at this time. 🙂 What I am super proud of here is that I did over twice as many miles in the second three months of the year than I did in the first three. Yippee!
Kind of disappointing that I only exercised for 24 hours over the last 6 months. Although, maybe that means I’m super fast?
Super proud of my fastest run mile! I’ll be 37 years old and I’m running some of the fastest that I’ve ever done! Hoping to beat my youngest brother’s 8K time this September….can I be under 47 minutes? He’s almost 9 years younger than me.
And this last one is a little disappointing as well. I hoped to be much longer in my runs. I actually thought I had done a 6 miler in April or May, but apparently it didn’t calculate that way? Oh well, longer training ahead!

We are less than 7 weeks to race day and the training program is starting to get varied as we move out of that base endurance phase. I’m curious as to what Q3 will look like after my birthday comes and goes!

Where are you in your 2017 fitness goals?

Meditation Monday #39 – Training

Welcome to Monday afternoon! For many of you tomorrow is the big American holiday in which we celebrate our forefathers’ declaration of independence from a tyrant ruler. For others of us it is an excuse to get drunk and eat grilled food while ignoring the fact that you didn’t put on any sunscreen and are wearing a flag. Still, for others of us it is an opportunity for reflection on what it means to be an American. I plan to do some of that last one especially with all that has been in the news of late.

Since last week I have been working slowly through two trainings that are helping me with my meditation goals. The first is an Inclusivity Training offered by AIM Healthy U and Dr. Chelsea Jackson Roberts. It is a yoga training to help me better discover the ways in which I have privilege, power, and bias in my teaching; and how to turn that into more inclusive yoga teaching. I’m a little more than halfway through the course and hope to do a full evaluation when I am finished, but one greatest things I’ve written down from this course is:

No matter how your body gets there; you’re still doing the yoga

I am also doing a Wellness Training in preparation for teaching this fall. I plan to write a lot more about that in the coming weeks. For this week I have set three action goals:

  • Do something active every day (I have successfully been active for 13 days straight including a run this morning)
  • Meditate 3x/week (I’ve been doing a lot of meditating and self reflection with these two courses)
  • Play a game or go for a bike ride with my kids at least once per week (we did a bike ride last week and I need to spend more time in play in my life)

All of this has fed into the work I did last week in the Meditations from the Mat book with Tapas and discipline. To create discipline is to create health the reading told me, but it also makes you feel like you’re going backwards. You mourn the things you lose during change, even if you want to lose them. Each of these three goals, by completing these two trainings, by just doing the yoga….I am creating a structure of health in my life. This, along with my slow food changes, are leading me to the point where I feel like I in the moment of allowing true self to emerge and burn brightly. I am leaving behind so much more than I could write about in one post.

Next week I hope to get back to writing about the How to Meditate series, but before then I ask you….

What are you changing in your life?

How are you creating discipline: health?

What will you never have again if not this life you once knew?

Meditation Monday #31 – Finding Inspiration for Discipline Everywhere

Yesterday was National Plant a Flower Day….and although I couldn’t plant anything new because of the weather…this tulip persisted!

Happy Monday All! Today is a good one! I made some decisions last week regarding MY BEST BODY Happiness Project and all of the pieces are falling in line. I hope that you find the time to go back and read more about this project and enjoy the process this week and beyond.

Today I decided to get back on the Gate’s book and opened to Day 75 where he was covering Tapas. Continue reading “Meditation Monday #31 – Finding Inspiration for Discipline Everywhere”

6 Days a Week

Welcome back! It’s the Monday after Planksgiving weekend and I’m starting to look to the next holiday season and the end of the year. I’m thinking about what I want life to look like each day; how I’m going to manage my calendar. In doing so, I’m joining the streak with the amazing women over at Fit is a Feminist Issue.

We’re streaking! Join us?

I’m adapting a little, but I’m committing to myself for the next few weeks until Christmas. I’m doing 6 days a week of exercise by either teaching yoga or running. I started today by not doing my 5 mile run because I didn’t have time, but rather adapting it to be a shorter 2.11 run. streakYou can see that it’d been a week since my last run and that I’m not getting up early for the next few weeks on M/W. This is all to make the streak more achievable for me; meeting my wants, my needs and my likes. My goal is just to get 6 days in each week from now until Christmas.

Want to join us?

Tell me about your streak goal below!