This month’s challenges have yielded interesting results. The most surprising? I actually want to go the gym now. I don’t know how it happened. Maybe my body finally got sick of sitting around all day. Maybe I just had to get used to the routine. Maybe I’m hooked on the endorphins. Maybe it’s all three. At any rate, I’m digging the way I feel after a tough workout.
Changing up my meals has been harder. Switching my breakfast (pb on toast with some coffee) and lunch (whatever is in the fridge, usually dinner leftovers) routine has taken some creative shopping and some prep work. Some days are still hit or miss, but I’m working on it. Fortunately, I already like eating vegetables, so that part isn’t hard.
Million-dollar question: has all of this made me more grateful? I think I have to say “yes, but …” Yes, but it’s not enough on its own. Yes, but I haven’t transformed into a perky workout goddess. Yes, but I still feel really crappy and ungrateful sometimes.
Taking good care of myself doesn’t automatically make me more grateful, or more zen, or whatever. But it does make me more predisposed to feel calm, centered, and grateful. These days I feel better about my body. I feel grateful for my health. I feel calmer and more grounded during stressful events and minor crisis (and I’ve had a lot of those this month, I’m afraid).
So, while I intend to stick to my new routines, it’s August now. Time to move onto something different. That post will come next week because (lucky me) I’m going on vacation again for a few days. I’ll hopefully have my toes in the sand, looking out over the ocean with cold drink in hand by tomorrow afternoon.
Goal #1: Workout 3-4 times a week.
Only hit two this week, but I am SORE so maybe easing back into it after vacation was the right idea.
Goal #2: Pack and eat healthy snacks.
Not bad. Almonds are my new best friend!
Goal #3: Eat all the veggies.
Again, no CSA box this week thanks to our vacation time, but we did plan some veggie-centric dinners. I’ve been keeping up with my spinach smoothie habit (I added tofu to them too, and love the creaminess).
It’s actually been hit or miss this week. But I am giving myself some credit because playing catch up after being out of town is hard. Once upon a time, I would have taken it as an excuse to get take out and skip the gym. So I feel heartened that these routines are become exactly that — routine.
Next week I’ll be wrapping up by reflecting on whether or not this set of challenges has actually made me more grateful – or at least more inclined to feel grateful and content. In the meantime, enjoy the weekend. I’m volunteering with Habitat for Humanity tomorrow, so wish me luck. (Looks like I’ll just be doing paint prep and other things not too far outside my skill level — like, you know, roofing, or something.)
Project part-time veganism is starting to gel — yesterday I put only vegan ingredients in my Chipotle burrito bowl (I gazed a little wistfully at the cheese, it’s true, but it was still a tasty lunch). Now, I’m eating a tofu spinach scramble as I write this. Tofu! I feel proud of myself. I also feel like a limp noodle because lifting weights after a week off is hard. But I think these things have helped me settle in again after the severe disappointment of coming back from vacation.
Only six days left in the wellness challenge. But I’ve already accomplished the real goal: set up healthy routines. I intend to keep on exercising and eating better, even after this month is over. I feel good. I’m grateful for that, and I’m excited for the next thing.
What is next? I’m still brainstorming, but I’ve been having lots of conversations lately about community and friendship. I’m beginning to realize that having a community of folks to rely on, bounce ideas of off, commiserate and celebrate with is just vital. On so many levels. And it requires attention and care to build that. But how do I tackle that? How do you maintain your friendships? How should I set goals?
Today I’m thankful for: the new water bottle that I finally broke down and bought. So worth it to have one that doesn’t leak.