craft verb \'kraft\ to create with care, skill and intention

Monday, July 18, 2011

Summer Challenge ~ Week 2

Last week, I posted about kicking off this challenge. I said I was sick of being tired and needed to take better care of myself. Would you believe that the very next day I got sick?! No worries, it was just a cold and I am definitely on the downhill side of it now. I guess I really was letting myself get too run down!

I hope that you are all well and that you are feeling rested and hydrated :-) The hardest part of last week's challenge for me was the sleep part. Once the kiddos are nestled all snug in their beds and the house is quiet, I don't ever want to go to bed! I want to stay up and knit in the quiet, or read in the quiet, or watch non-animated TV shows in the quiet. So I found that I just have to give myself a bedtime. Right now, it's about 11:00. Once school starts and I have to get up earlier, my bedtime will have to be earlier, too. And every night I have to tell myself the same thing I tell the kids when they complain about their bedtime: "This is not a punishment! Your body needs a certain amount of rest everyday and it's my job to make sure that you get it!" I have to admit that I don't really like it any more than the kids do.

As for drinking plenty of water, that's pretty easy for me. I like water. I feel better when I drink a lot of it. But if I'm not intentional about it, I can easily forget about drinking enough water during the day. Here are the things that help me out:
  • Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning. Before I even grab a cup of coffee, I gulp a glass of water.
  • If I want a diet soda when my energy starts to lag in the afternoon, I let myself have it. But I drink a glass of water first.
  • I fill a reusable water bottle (aluminum bottles at the dollar store ~ woo hoo!) with water when I leave the house. When I get thirsty in the car I sip from that instead of swinging through a drive-thru. 
And the final portion of the challenge was to do something nice for myself, so I gave myself a little manicure yesterday evening. Did you do a little somethin' somethin' for yourself? Oh, I so hope that you did. You deserve it!

Now on to this week's leg of the Take Care of YOU! Summer 2011 Challenge. Of course, we are going to continue to get enough rest and drink plenty of water, but we are also going to add a couple more healthy habits to our routine!

Over the years (almost 35 ~ yikes!) I have learned some things about myself. One of those things is that the very second I put myself on any kind of restrictive diet, I immediately begin experiencing overwhelming cravings for whatever it is that I am supposed to be restricting. If I go on a low-fat diet, I crave cheeseburgers. If I go on a low-carb diet (which I do love, btw), I crave fruit. Fruit! It's so ironic to me that I crave fruit. If I always craved fruit like that I probably wouldn't even need to diet in the first place! Ack!

Anyhoo, just in the last couple of years I have learned a related lesson about myself. When I put myself on an inclusive diet instead of an exclusive one, a remarkable thing happens: the snowball effect. Here's what I mean. Instead of telling myself I can't have X today, I tell myself to go ahead and indulge in X, just be sure to get in all of my servings of vegetables for the day. And do you know what happens most of the time? One of 3 things:
  1. I am so focused on what I am supposed to eat that I forget to think about eating X.
  2. I am so pleased with myself for making such healthful choices that I don't want to eat X.
  3. I am so full from eating all those veggies that I couldn't possibly indulge in X.
But it's like I'm tricking my brain because it feels like I am making empowered choices instead of being deprived...even though going on a restrictive diet is a choice it often doesn't feel that way. That's why it's like tricking my brain. I know it's convoluted, but it works for me. And when I start to feel empowered, I want to continue to feel that way, so I just keep making better and better choices for myself and the whole thing builds up like a snowball.

Here's another related lesson: If I try to add too many changes at one time I will end up scrapping the whole thing altogether. If I decide that this week I am going to get 8 hours of sleep every night, drink 8 glasses of water everyday, eat lots of vegetables everyday, eat a yogurt everyday, etc., it just gets a little overwhelming. By taking it a little bit at a time each change just becomes part of my daily routine.

This week's challenge is to eat all of my servings of vegetables/fruits (for me that is 1.5 cups of fruit and 2.5 cups of veggies) everyday and also to consume a serving of yogurt or a probiotic drink daily. ALSO, I pledge to do 2 nice things for myself this week. Are YOU up for the challenge? It's time to Take Care of YOU! Join in the fun, your bod will thank you!

Be good to yourself!


Shelley said...

I soooooo need to be better about taking care of myself. Great at taking care of everyone else (don't ask my husband that though, he'll bring up the fact that I forgot to do laundry and he didn't have any clean boxers), but horrible when it comes to me. And, the water thing totally makes sense and I know it so why don't I do it?! Argh!

Hope all is well with you Brooke!!

BTW, we were just in Tulsa this last weekend - took Izzy to the aquarium - I so miss that town :( Ok, not so much the aquarium since it was a packed nut house, but the town in general ;D

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