Here we are, a couple of weeks after I started actively working on Changing Things.
So far, so good.
I mentioned signing up for NaNoWriMo, and as of today, I have 31 chapters outlined, as well as major characters and settings defined in this really nice, lightweight (free) tool – LitLift. It feels pretty good. I never tried outlining before, and wow – I am completely converted. Previously, I thought writing had to, y’know, flow, naturally and unhindered, from this sort of create fount inside. The story would organically take shape with little effort.
As I have discovered, time and again, that’s just a fantastic way to write myself into a corner and get frustrated when I can’t find my way out.
So now, I have my outline. It’s not set in stone, but it’s there if I need it. I did my very best to only outline, and not write. That part was hard, but I maintained my objective.
Then, we have The Exercising. The rules here are pretty loose, because I know if they’re rigid, and I screw it up, I’ll fall off the wagon and won’t get back on. The rules are:
- A minimum of 15 minutes daily of moderate physical activity, OR
- Intense cardio until I can’t do it anymore (for example, marching up and down the stairs until I feel like I’m going to fall down may not take the whole 15 minutes, but gets the job done.)
- I can skip one day per calendar week
- I don’t get to bank up skipped days – if I don’t use it, I lose it
- Eat sensibly – watch portion size, be mindful of when my stomach feels like I’ve had enough. Eat more plants and fewer carbs. Sweet treats are allowed in small portions – a snack-size Hershey bar takes care of intense chocolate cravings.
Those are guidelines I can live with. Fifteen minutes is barely any time at all – a bike ride around the block, a walk at lunch, or the dreaded Stairs. Usually, I do more than 15 minutes, and can feel good about having exceeded my goal. On the days when I feel it’s hard to get going, I know it’s going to be a brief period of unpleasantness.
“Moderate physical activity” could mean anything from spending an hour hauling crap out of the garden to the compost pile, to playing on the Wii Fit, to anything else that gets my heart rate up and muscles moving around.
The main obstacle I’m running into is my schedule and the daylight hours growing shorter. I can’t ride the bike after work most days, so I have to ride before. Sometimes I’ll plan to go for a walk at lunch, but find it’s raining and crappy outside by the time lunch rolls around. Those are the days when I hit the stairs (today will be one of those days, sadly.) Getting up earlier to ride is hard for me to do currently, especially since the mornings are rather chilly now. Soon, I’ll have to abandon the bike entirely and find something else to do. I’m looking into yoga classes, but with my schedule and finances, that’s probably not a viable option. There’s a nice studio down the road, though.
I really love the bike, but my ischial tuberosities do not. I’m trying a few saddle adjustments to see if it makes a difference.
The last time I got myself into shape, I dropped 50 pounds through running a few miles every other day, and via Weight Watchers. It worked, but wasn’t sustainable. The weight slowly crept back on, and was always something I planned to “nip in the bud…. later.” Of course, “later” ended up being 70 pounds and five years later. Le sigh. Here’s a photo of me soon after losing all that weigh:
And here I was, letting it creep back on a year later:
Finally, here’s me now:
Pretty appalling, isn’t it? I know.
But here I am.
I’m not weighing myself or measuring anything, because I don’t want to deal with The Tyranny of the Scale, but I can already feel changes in my body, and I approve. One of my pairs of jeans even fits looser now, so something’s definitely happening.
The main thing is, I’m making some changes, and I feel better about how it’s going. Yes, I am still trapped in a completely unrewarding career for now, but that may change in awhile. I’ll do what I can in the other areas of my life.
I’m reading for hours a day, instead of playing EVE for hours, another item making me feel more fulfilled.
There’s still not much energy for housecleaning or everyday chores, but I hope my energy will pick up the better I eat and the more I exercise.
And on that note, it is time to head my chubby self on home. To the stairs. >.<