Eight weeks of Club 20!
A brief reminder that my goals were:
1) Meditate daily to improve sleep
2) Cook from scratch at least once a week
3) Move (walk, dance, bike, skate) at least three times a week
Another week with zero meditation – I’m only halfheartedly cross with myself as I’m still sleeping better and that was the intention behind starting. And I still have my year’s subscription if I find I’m not sleeping or I need to nudge myself back into it. Or if, indeed, I find myself with time to simply learn to meditate!
However, on the cooking front I barbecued for friends twice, and made chicken fajitas (do they count?!) one evening after work too. So I’m pleased with that – and can’t quite believe the iconic bbq that I’ve loved for so long is in my garden and mine after sixteen years!!
And exercise – I have been walking with Mum, walking and jogging with the dogs (and throwing myself on the ground on occasion, I must figure out how to be less clumsy and more elegant) and swimming with Shaz and Wendy.
All of which I think works out to a very good week!
Approaching the half way mark, I’m starting to think about the goals I might have for the next round of club 20. Giving up fizzy drinks may be on that list…
This post first appeared on the Change your life in 20 weeks blog on 9th June, 2013.
Just a quick one today, to introduce you to Change Your Life in 20 Weeks – a project started by the fabulous Mimi, and taken up by a group of nine of us.
You can read more about the project over at the Club 20 blog, but a quick overview is that, in each round of 20 weeks, you pick three goals to achieve in those weeks.
I’m trying to form good habits, so I chose meditating daily, cooking a recipe from scratch at least once a week, and physical movement at least three times a week (which for me is walking, cycling, dancing and skating. I’ll never be a gym bunny. But it gives me a chance to use Bluebell more!)
And I’d really like to run a workshop before the end of the first round, in September.
If you’d like to join us you’re more than welcome – blog your challenges and progress and send us a link, and when the next round starts, we’ll add you to the group blog 🙂
(Oh – we’re all over there under our burlesque names. I’m Lotta.)
Haha… 100 days of no spending… with the few weeks I’ve just had my resolve has been sorely tested. My bank balance is still looking a bit sad, but certainly better than it would have been if I’d been spending with complete abandon. Good.
Wedding week was a write off – I knew that when I started the challenge. Loads of expected and unexpected expenses, so just tried to be sensible. Charges still cropping up and my credit card bill is horrific. And I may have indulged in a magazine or three for the flight home. Oops.
Otherwise I’ve been very good – had one slip up for a grey maxi dress which I can wear to work, and have totally failed to keep my three-dinners-out-a-month rule – it seems more like three a week at the moment! But you only live once.
I’ve been exercising on skates and on the bike, both of which are free – and really looking forward to burlesque class tonight, I missed a week for wedding, skipped a week due to tiredness and there was a week with no class so it’s been AGES since I danced!
Camping weekend yielded much loveliness, most of it free/swapped – which is brilliant. By the end of this year Poppy will be sporting a badge-free exterior, a spoiler, red engine bits and maybe a twin exit exhaust. Excellent.
I have sold some makeup on ebay and will be adding more makeup, clothes and other things as I clear out, and the DF shop is slowly building sales too. Mainly in stationery, oddly!
I have also taken part in two craft swaps and the things I received were amazing – will definitely be doing more of these, it’s so lovely to receive presents and is challenging me creatively too 🙂 (my polka dot swap is yet to be sent to its recipient – that’s this weekend’s job!)
Not much on my wishlist – have been too busy to notice much besides the things I want for Poppy!
So overall for these first six weeks I’d give myself a 6 out of 10 for achievement and an 8 out of 10 for effort. Definite room for improvement – and I’m planning a nice gentle August!
Rediscovering my pointe shoes…
Makeup trial for the wedding (done by me) – this is look one, neutral eyes with sheer-ish red lips. Shocking phone photo and my glasses obscure my eyelids, I know. More of these to come before the actual wedding. Skin’s looking clearer though – Nars illuminator is magical stuff!
Challenging myself to sew something for the Popular Crafts Union Jack swap… here’s my finished needle book 🙂 Will be posted with a treat and a cross stitched card!
Munching the cake I bought for a friend’s BBQ that was abandoned due to rain. I suspect the diet will be back on when I’m back at work, I’m maintaining weight but there’s so much yummy food involved in this week… lol! These cakes, stocked in our local Wyevale (Colchester Stanway and Braintree) are my favourite fallbacks if I don’t have time to bake, they taste homemade!
Sorting bookshelves and installing a ballet barre *cough perfect height clothes rail cough* in my living room – if I’m going to be ready for this burlesque cabaret in October, I need to strengthen my long-neglected dance muscles and improve my flexibility. Removing my glove with my foot is, as expected, somewhat trickier than it looks on stage! My intention is to try to do 10-15 mins of stretches and barre work each day even if I manage no other exercise. Combined with burlesque each week and hopefully cycling when my bike eventually arrives, plus skating which I do whenever I can but usually once a week, I should be trimmer, fitter and more flexible in no time. Yeah. I live in hope. But I’ll at least enjoy myself in the process!
Also managed to paint my toenails (my feet are not fit for photographing so here are the colours I used) and ogling the Pashley Poppy on the front of this month’s Homes and Antiques. Cannot WAIT for mine (it’s the blue, rather than the pink, version) to arrive – hopefully in a little over a month. Squee!
Footnote: I’m aware that wearing pointe shoes while not a trained dancer can damage your feet; I’m also aware mine should have ribbons attached for support. They’re mostly decorative and I intend to wear them for a photoshoot. I doubt I will ever again dance that level of ballet!
Now, I’m not usually one for diets, as I love my figure. However, I have a bridesmaid’s dress to get into in July, and several things between now and then that require more stamina and fitness than I currently have. I’ve been wanting to improve my fitness for a while, so hoping that by doing that I’ll automatically shift a few pounds (ok, quite a lot of pounds) and look amazing in the dress almost by accident.
But seriously, it’s been a while since I’ve actively tried to be healthy about eating – I use the excuse (and it is an excuse) of working in London and being busy and blah blah blah… yes, I’m out of the house for 14 hours a day and yes, I often can’t be bothered to cook when I get in because I’m exhausted. I also have issues with portion size – if it’s normal time, I eat normal portions. If I get home from work late, by the time I’ve cooked I’m so hungry I just inhale the food without even really tasting it, and I eat far too much because I’m so hungry I don’t wait to find out if I’m full or not.
I also snack too much at work – which would be fine if it was on healthy stuff, but actually the amount of chocolate my floor gets through is frightening!
So. It’s freezing cold but once I’m out there I’m usually fine, so I’ve set myself the following targets:
- Walk, run (not yet… I’m building up to this) or rollerskate for at least 30 mins at a brisk pace, 2-3 times a week
- Use the bloody iJoyRide – it sits in my living room and it requires just fifteen minutes for one setting. It tones your legs and stomach, and your arms too if you’re not reading a book in the process. There is NO EXCUSE for me not to be using this, especially not given how long I wanted one for.
- Cut down on the chocolate and the Pepsi Max. If I could make myself come off the caffeinated fizzy drinks altogether I would – I think I’d notice an instant reduction in waistline from the lack of bloating! I’m not suggesting cutting chocolate out as I know from bitter experience that just makes me crave it.
- Stretch. I used to be a dancer, ergo I used to be really flexible. I’m not entirely sure when that stopped being the case, but I’m determined to get it back.
- Use the slow cooker. I bought one for a reason – with planning, there’s no reason why dinner can’t be ready ten minutes (twenty at the most) after walking through the door – this is much healthier than trying to cook at 9pm and getting stressed because I’m overtired, or grabbing fast food on the way home because I’m anticipating cooking and can’t be bothered.
- Cook properly whenever possible. As I (re)discovered over New Year, I actually really like cooking – I just need time and space to do it properly. So when I have a weekend off (i.e. not dashing madly around the countryside visiting people or doing stuff) – I’m going to cook!
I think all of these are achievable, although if any of you lovely lot who follow me on Twitter are reading this, I’d massively appreciate the odd guilt-trip or poke to make sure I am in fact doing it. I can be very faddy, and will do something for a couple of days then crack and open the Maltesers. (Mmmmm. Maltesers. You see the problem I have?!)
I won’t check in on a particular day of the week, but I will try and post regular updates, for myself as much as anything else. My targets and incentives are my USA trip (9 February – I need to stop procrastinating!); my 26th birthday (21 February – ditto); a canal boat trip in May (I need to leap on and off of boats. That’s not even slightly going to happen at the moment) and Julia’s wedding in July. She and her bridesmaids are pretty much all a size 8, and I’m never going to match that (nor would I want to, I’d look really weird) but I’d like to have pin up curves rather than squidgy bits by then if at all possible!
So we’ll see how I do!