I’m a little behind right now on blog posts. And pretty much life in general. I’ve sat down a few times this week to write an update on kicking off the 52 Hike Challenge and then I remember I also need to write about my new focus on being #strongnotskinny. And then I remember I haven’t written a proper update on my #31days31workouts challenge. And then I curl up in the fetal position to cry and have trouble getting into the fetal position and I realize I didn’t write a proper recap of my yoga endeavor. And then I wish I hadn’t already watched the Gilmore Girls reboot on Netflix because I would rather be in Stars Hollow than at my desk.
I don’t have a time machine to go back and write those posts when I was supposed to write them and I don’t have a secret stash of extra hours hidden in my closest. If I did, you can bet I would use them to catch up on sleep or watch all five seasons of The Wire for a third time and not for writing these posts.
But who cares if this isn’t perfect? I’m not striving for perfection, I’m striving to finish, and last time I checked, I’m doing that damn thing. So I’m going to flip this post on its head and do something I didn’t plan. It’s a brand new year and I’m one third of the way through this 40-week project and I’m going to do the blog equivalent of a sitcom clip show and recap where I’ve been and what’s next. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves how far we’ve come so we can see the progress we’ve made and say to ourselves “Wow. You’re kind of amazing!”
Without further ado, cue the wavy screen effects and let’s jump back in time, shall we?
The First Trimester
The first trimester of my 40-week gestation of an adult me began with…
Week 1 – October 11 – 17 – Start a blog. Because writing gives me perspective.
I’d been saying I was going to start a blog for a looooooong time. I still remember the sick feeling I had in my stomach when I posted the link to my blog on Facebook and invited friends to like it.
All I could think was “What am I doing? No one will read this! This is stupid. I’m stupid.” Then I slapped myself and said “You’re amazing and this is a good idea. Now get your shit together and let’s do this.”
Week 2 – October 18 – 24 – Run a 10k.
This week gifted me one of my favorite pictures of myself ever.
Week 3 – October 25 – 31 – Learn to cook treasured family recipes. And share them with my family.
This week I learned a lot of stuff about my mom through making pie. I also learned that pie is really hard and I’m cool just having a cheese plate for dessert. But mostly, there were some really beautiful life lessons.
Week 4 – November 1 – 7 –
Put down the remote and read a book already!
This week turned into ‘Put down my phone. I’m way too attached. It’s a problem.‘ because it needed to. You can read my original post about my issues with being phone addicted here. If you’re wondering how I’m doing, I will tell you. I’m doing better. A little better. I am not on the phone as much as I used to be and I’m much more present for my husband and kiddo. But I did start browsing on it at night before bed. Oof. Just writing this down makes me want to recommit to the no bed phone use again. But progress!
Week 5 – November 8 – 14 –
This week ended up being the previous week’s displaced ‘Put down the remote and read a book already!‘ I read MOST OF Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. It’s a fantastic book and I still haven’t finished it. I completely blame the election, which I haven’t spoken of since this post. I really can’t even give it too much energy because I’m still shocked that we, and by we I mean Russia, elected a president that cares so little for actual information and facts and truth and so much for retaliatory tweets and bullying. I can’t even muster a joke about it.
Week 6 – November 15 – 21 –
Cook more from my vast collection of cookbooks.
This week turned out to be ‘
Lose another 20 pounds. Stop driving myself crazy and change my focus to being healthy and strong over being skinny.‘ I needed to refocus my energy on this with the holidays coming. As an aside, I have been cooking a ton from my cookbooks since I started this blog, I just haven’t taken the time to photograph anything.
Week 7 – November 22 – 28 – Camp in the winter.
This week brought a Thanksgiving camping trip and some early morning snuggle time in the tent. It also brought on an accidental 10 mile hike with a 3 year old, but man, the views were worth it!
Week 8 – November 29 – December 5 – Share our Christmas stocking tradition.
The most rewarding thing to check off my list so far. After this post, I had a really beautiful, overwhelming response to Charlie’s stocking. I mentioned having the beginnings of an idea to grow the tradition in this post and I will be sharing it with you in the near future!
Week 9 – December 6 – 12 – Try yoga. I’ve been told I have the flexibility of an 80 year old woman.
I started the 31 days 31 workouts challenge this month and I thought this would be a good time to try yoga. I made a commitment to go to one class each week for the entire month. The outcome? I feel slightly better about yoga than I did when I started the challenge. Actually, what’s a little more than slightly? A smidge? A hair? It’s still more than that, but it’s not a lot better. Yoga is really uncomfortable. You’re basically supposed to hold really awkward positions that start to hurt and you’re supposed to focus on your breathing instead of the fact that your foot is totally cramping and you might fall over and fart at the same time. Despite all this, I ALWAYS left class feeling peaceful and restored. There was just that middle part when I was stabby and hateful. Basically, I might do it again, but I just don’t know if I’m a yoga person.
In this post about yoga, I mentioned that tea is not my cup of tea. (Tee hee…tea hee!!) Some of you let me know that you VERY STRONGLY DISAGREE. Well, for all you teabaggers out there (tea hee), you will be happy to know that I may have converted. My sister-in-law, who either doesn’t read my blog or does and hates me, sent me this really pretty ceramic tea cup with an infuser. She also sent some loose White Chocolate Peppermint Rooibos Tea from Teavana that smelled like angel kisses and baby snuggles. I decided to give it a try and it’s replaced my morning cold brew four out of the last seven days. I’m actually going to buy more tea today and try out different flavors. What is happening to me? Is it because I did yoga? Why am I enjoying tea? Am I going to start drinking scotch next?!
Week 10 – December 13 – 19 –
Put down my phone. I’m way too attached. It’s a problem.
Since I already worked on the phone issue with moderate success and I’ve shuffled around a bunch of weeks, I took a FREEBIE here. I decided to make this week about creating Christmas memories with my family. In theory, it was a lovely idea. The one thing I didn’t factor in was that my family includes a three year old that recently yelled at me for cooking bacon too loud. In the end, our Christmas memories included a lot of watching videos of people building Legos but even more great times with family, friends and ugly sweaters.
Week 11 – December 20 – 26 – Don’t complain about anything for an entire week.
I was too busy to complain and too busy to remember not to complain. I have no idea what happened.
Week 12 – December 27 – January 2 – Start the 52 Hike Challenge.
This week I totally rocked. I finished 31 straight days of working out for my #31days31workouts challenge on the last day of 2016 with my first hike of the 52 Hike Challenge. I followed that up the next day by kicking off 2017 with my second hike of 52. If you couldn’t tell, I like a challenge because it gives me a goal to work toward and makes me accountable. I never in a million years thought I’d be one of those annoying people who posts about their workouts on social media, but it works for me and so I do it.
I first did the 31 day challenge last year, December 2015, at a point when I really needed it. About 4 months earlier I had started to get physically active again after a period of health issues and difficult pregnancies that left me unable to exercise. I had weight to lose and I had a lot of work to do to get my fitness back. Around December, my commitment was starting to waver and my weight loss had plateaued and I was in danger of losing the ground that I had gained.
My dear friend invited me to the do the challenge with her and it terrified me. I knew in my gut that I needed to do it. I knew it would keep me on track. I agreed but I didn’t think I’d be able to finish it. The first week felt like I had been working out every day for a year and that it would never end. I got a really bad cold and still muscled my way through. It was all so public that I didn’t want to give up. I couldn’t fail. And I didn’t!
It changed me in a way that I can’t totally explain. It made me realize that I was capable of things I didn’t even know that I was capable of yet. It made me realize that I could not make excuses anymore. I may not always finish everything I start but I own when I choose to give up. That challenge helped give birth to 40 Reasons because it made me know that I could do anything I wanted to do as long as I made the choice to do it.
That challenge led to another one in the summer and then another one to close out 2016. It has grown to include more of my friends and acquaintances and a lot of people I wouldn’t know until they jumped in on the challenge. I have been so inspired watching everyone that participated.
There’s the friend from college that doesn’t work out on Sundays for religious reasons so she made up the missed workouts by doubling up on several days.
There’s the friend that despite holidays, very cold weather, and a trip to Mexico, showed up every day to do a challenging workout and even got her family involved.
There’s the friend who emailed me quietly to tell me that she wasn’t posting on social media but 10 of her friends were doing the challenge together and holding each other accountable.
And there are the people that started the challenge and didn’t finish or didn’t workout every day but still tried it and that is a badass thing to attempt in December. Literally the busiest month of the year. You guys all rock and I can’t wait to see what challenges you take on next.
Week 13 – January 3 – 9 –
Lose another 20 pounds. Stop driving myself crazy and change my focus to being healthy and strong over being skinny.
I’ve kicked this off with a whole lot of food prep and an ongoing commitment to fitness. Stay tuned for the next post to learn what I’m doing, how I’m doing it, and how much I already want to give up but won’t.