Silhouette of a person meditating

Week 1 Check-in: A Bit of Progress?

This is my first check-in on this blog. I figured I would just describe how my week went in regards to exercising, eating to support my goals, budgeting and being mindful of my money, unplugging from screens, and meditating.

Exercising

Photo hand weights
Hand weights

The good news? I exercised 4 days this week. Two of the times I was supposed to exercise I didn’t. One of those times, I was just too worn out from the week to do much. The other time I didn’t do the exercise first thing in the morning and the day got away from me. I learned I need to do my exercise first thing in the morning if I want to make sure I get it done.

About the exercise I did do– walking on the treadmill is kind of boring. I try to get screen time in on the treadmill, but it is still dull. Walking outside is much better.

I have been working with a coach from Nerd Fitness. For strength training, she gives me sets of exercises to do with nerdy names like “Pushing Back Ozymandias” or “ROW-schach”. So far I have not been able to keep straight what exercises are in these sets. I try to do all the exercises in the sets. Sometimes the exercise bands I have don’t work for the exercises and so I swap something I know how to do for what is in the sets. I feel it is going ok.

Eating to Support My Goals

Preparing healthy vegetables to meet the goal of eating 2 cups of vegetables per day
Preparing healthy vegetables to meet the goal of eating 2 cups of vegetables per day

This week I ate under 1500 calories every day. This is good. I had a handful of days that I ate too few calories and was outside of my target range. This is not so good. Eating too few calories will mean I will lose weight, but it also means I may not have anywhere to go to lower my calories more.

I also did not eat all of my vegetables. I have been trying to eat 2 cups of vegetables every night for dinner. That’s a lot of vegetables! Well cooked vegetables are yummy. Sometimes I just get tired of eating and I don’t eat the vegetables.

Being Mindful With Money

Money habits sign
Money habits sign on the wooden piggy bank.

I am following a budget. I had two unexpected hits to my budget this week. I was able to roll with things, but the net effect will be that my overall budget has to be adjusted. I am still working that out.

Budgeting is a funny thing because it forces you to think about what is important.

For instance, making music is important to me. I had to decide if guitar lessons were important enough to become where I spend the majority of my disposable income.

What I purchased outside of necessities: rented 2 Spiderman movies (indulgence, but I tried to checking them out of the library first), art supplies such as pens and a ruler and 2 easels.

My household stayed within our budget for food this last 2 weeks! I made some progress paying down the credit card. I feel overall like I am making some headway, but I shouldn’t have rented the Spiderman movies. I did that kind of on impulse after the DVDs from the library didn’t work.

Unplugging From Screens

A photo of a remote with a smart television
A photo of a remote with a smart television

I tried. In this category I did not do very well. Some days after work I am so exhausted I cannot even get myself to read. I have dinner and then I just want to sit and not do anything. Watching TV fills the gap. It doesn’t offer me much. I mean how many vampire teen soap operas can one watch? I am trying to figure out the fatigue and the work life balance of this.

Meditation

Silhouette of a person meditating
Silhouette of a person meditating

I enjoy meditating. To build new habits I chain them to other habits. Meditating I chained to working out and every day I worked out, I meditated. I want to find another way to build mediation into my day because I enjoy it! Trust me I never thought I would say that.

Currently, I am meditating in 7 minute blocks. I want to increase the length of time I am meditating to 20 minutes over the next month or so. I am finding on days I meditate I have more cushion to cope with life’s stuff. Also, I am noticing my own thoughts much more and able to consciously reframe some of my thinking. This is a good thing.

Overall?

Overall, I would say I made some progress. Trying to journal and be mindful of these various habits has put me in touch with how isolated I feel right now. Some of the isolation is due to the COVID pandemic and some to my habits. I say this because I have not been what one would call a social butterfly for a long time, but the effects of the isolation are hitting me.

In addition, I have been struggling with work and life balance. It’s easy to over work. Even though I have been cutting back for several months, I still need to be mindful and take breaks. I often feel so burned out by the middle of the week and I think this is contributing to more use of screens. Stuff to figure out. More next week.

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