Hello August! I only just decided to write a monthly update, mostly because I realized that there may be some months in which I don’t complete any of my “moments” or have a lot less reading accomplished, etc., and so on those months, I still want to keep track of my project and plan out a strategy. Also, I really like the idea of taking some time to reflect on what I’ve learned and set some goals for the coming months. A monthly diary will also be an excellent record to look back on when this thing is over!
So far, this project is off to a great start, in my opinion. The current tally is 7/100 pounds, 7/100 moments, and 12/100 books. Given that the start of this month marks the actual 18-month countdown, I think that’s an awesome little head start.
I would say my weight loss has gotten off to the weakest start. I’ve technically lost 7 pounds, but then I got derailed and I am sure that some of it came right back on. However, I’m not going to be subtracting from my total pounds lost when that happens, it just means I have to work extra hard to re-lose that weight and then some. In the areas of progress, though, my husband and I are back on keto, and I joined a gym with my sisters! My youngest sister is a nurse and, as an Alberta Health employee, she gets access to cheaper gym memberships. This she can extend to five family members, so all three of us have joined and we’ve already been a few times. I have learned over and over again not to set rigid goals in the area of exercise – it only leads to disappointment and failure. So, instead, I’m saying that I’m going as often as I can and I’m doing whatever kind of workout feels right that day. There will come a time when I need to be more structured and have more of a plan, but right now? When I have this much to lose and I am this out of shape? Every time I step foot in that gym is a victory. That’s what we’re focusing on. We have a vacation coming up next week during which I will be challenging myself to keep working out (I have an app on my phone) – just something every day, as well as stick to my diet. I’ve learned over all my years of weight lost and gained that trying to make exceptions for holidays and vacations just doesn’t work for me. I have to stick to something 100% or I’ll derail and lose progress. So, that’s what we’re going to do!
I’ve already read more books since starting this challenge a month ago that I read probably all of last year, I’m embarrassed to say (not including school, obviously). I’m loving the variety of books I’ve chosen. I’ve already had a couple books that I had to REALLY force myself to get through, but that’s okay! I’ve also made a fair amount of changes to my list – replacing a few books with other books. The new books either came highly recommended or the original books just didn’t feel like winners after all. I’m happy with where the list is at now, but I am sure it will keep morphing and changing. I’ve started a shelf for all the books I’ve finished as a visual encouragement for myself to see the progress I’ve made. This month I’m shooting to read four books, plus continuing to plug away at the giant biography I started last month, plus an audiobook. Vacation next week should give me some great down time to get a few of those put away! I start school next week, as well, so I really need to make sure I maximize what free time I have left!
This might be my favourite part of this project so far. I am watching this list of moments have the exact effect I had hoped it would, which is that I am forcing myself to DO STUFF and PLAN THINGS and go out and live my life! I’ve got a few big items I’m going to be able to check off in the coming months that I am so excited about – some of them never would have happened had I not started this project, I believe. Even the smaller moments are still turning out to be really beautiful experiences. I’d say my biggest success this past month was booking a trip to Dallas to attend the IJM Liberate conference. This will fulfill two moments: “Take a trip alone,” and “Get involved with IJM.” I realized when I actually paid the money for a ticket and a hotel that I am terrified of taking this trip! It’s been so long since I went somewhere completely by myself, yet I am more than capable – I did this all the time when I was young and carefree! Yet again, this project is doing its job. I am going to do something at the end of September that I never would have done a few months ago. I didn’t just say, “Wouldn’t it be nice if…?” Nope. I made the plan, made the arrangements, and I’m going!
I am not at all surprised that this first month has come with some difficulty. I am a fantastic starter, but my weakness is consistency and staying the course. Again, this is another reason that I started this project in the first place! Good intentions are worth nothing if you don’t make a plan and execute it. When I started to feel like I’d rather watch TV than read, that was not surprising to me. When I started to wish I could eat french fries instead of salad, that was not a shocker. When I was driving to the recreational centre to take my daughter swimming, and I was trying to think of literally any excuse NOT to have to put my swim suit on, that was completely status quo. Even the fact that I’ve “fallen off the wagon” in various ways in each of these categories is completely expected. I think my big challenge now will be to keep getting back on the wagon time and again when I fail. THAT is something I do not often do and THAT will be the true measure of success. Will I keep on trying?
We are headed into the cooler seasons – my absolute favourite time of year. I love to get outside all bundled up, I love to sit by the fire and read, and I love to spend time with loved ones. For some reason, the winter is a much easier time for me to be productive and “live my best life,” to borrow the colloquialism. While I am looking forward to those months, I am still trying to stay consistent now. I hope in the future to write more in these updates about how my life is changing and how my heart is changing. It’s a little early for that just yet, but let’s say for now, I’m optimistic!