Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Commitments and Priorities

I forced myself to catch up on sleep last night, sleeping in instead of exercising. Boy, I needed it after two nights of too little sleep. Two nights of sleep deprivation isn't much, but I'm too busy during the day to lose the productivity associated with being tired.

I've been more consistent with filling my pitcher and making sure I empty it by the end of the day.

I've been keeping track on my SWEET Life Plan, which means that by afternoon/dinner time, I refer to it to see where my daily diet is lacking so I can catch up.

My exercise has become sadly inconsistent so that I feel I have to make up for it on the weekends (instead of taking off the weekends). It's all about priorities, and sometimes, exercise is not as high a priority as other things. For instance, this morning, sleep was more important to me than exercise. On Tuesday, preparing for a meeting was more important than exercise. But I made up for a lack of early morning exercise today by taking a long walk with my girls. It's not the same intensity, but it was a beautiful day to check out the early spring flowers.

I feel like I haven't been getting tranquility recently. Or perhaps I've been getting at least 30 min/day, but not the 3-4 hours that I used to get when my girls napped well. It's a really long afternoon if they don't nap, and I feel they intrude upon my tranquility time if they don't nap.

How did I do, and how do I feel?
Yesterday, I had a _WE_T Life.
I'm constantly interrupted, so I can't concentrate on anything. I like the idea I heard yesterday about committing to a specific hour of the day to focus on one thing that needs focused attention. I always say I'm going to spend an hour a day on something, but that hour always gets pushed around. The idea of saying, "1:00-2:00 I will do _____," like it's an appointment, might help me.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Living the SWEET Life Saves the Day (or Month)!

I slept well last night. It's nice not to have to set an alarm on the weekends. However, a couple other nights this week, I didn't sleep well. Once because I woke up at 3:30 and couldn't get back to sleep, and another night because I woke up extra early to get some stuff done while the house was quiet.

I need to pay more attention to drinking enough. I don't think I did, yesterday. Well, I guess that depends on whether you count the 2 cups of coffee and the 3 alcoholic drinks I had yesterday. I don't usually count alcohol and caffeine because they are dehydrating.

I've been trying to pay closer attention to my eating, to make sure I get the variety of nutrients I need.

I'm a bit behind on exercise this week, only having exercised 3 times so far. I need two more times to make my goal of 5 times/week. Strangely, I feel like I've been getting out of shape, even though I've continued to exercise!? I've been doing some exercises from a fitness magazine, but I think some of them are too easy for me, so I'm not getting as much of a workout from them. Also, I've been using an AMT cardio machine at the gym, which I don't think gives me as much of a workout as running does. It also seems to hurt my lower back, so this week I switched to the treadmill instead. I feel like I'm hunched over, my belly is pooching out, and my lower back hurts. Also, my pants seem to be getting tighter in the waist. So what do I need to do?
  • For my hunched shoulders, I need to strengthen my upper/mid-back to pull my shoulders back in place.
  • For my belly I need to strengthen my abs to hold them IN place.
  • For my lower back, I need to strengthen and stretch it to relieve the pain. Stronger abs will also help my lower back feel better.
  • For the tight waistbands, I need to cut out unhealthy calories (i.e., Valentine's chocolates) and make sure my workouts are burning calories and building muscle. All of those will increase my ratio of calories out vs. in.
I think another problem I have that could be contributing to all of these problems is that I need a new computer chair. Poor sitting posture, especially if it's for extended periods of time, can definitely make all of these problems worse.

I had one of the few massages I've ever had in my life yesterday. It was wonderful! I told the guy my aches, and he spent most of his time working on those parts of my body. Unfortunately, I felt like I rushed around all morning before the massage, and my girls didn't nap after my massage, so I didn't get to spend some time relaxing myself before it (i.e., in the sauna or hot but), or afterwards. I had to jump full speed back into mommy mode. But it was definitely a special, tranquil treat.

How did I do, and how do I feel?
Yesterday, I had a S_EET Life.
Honestly, because I've been so busy with other things, I have been paying increasingly less attention to living the SWEET Life, and the result is that I feel like I'm getting out of shape, despite having the habit of exercising. I know that it's a simple matter of paying more attention to living the SWEET Life, which doesn't necessarily take more time. I just need an awareness of how I'm living the SWEET Life.

At the same time, I know that I would be in much worse shape, and probably sick, if my SWEET Life habits weren't already in place. Without the SWEET Life, in the past month I probably would have gained weight from poor eating and lack of exercise, which I haven't. I'd feel exhausted from dehydration and lack of sleep, which I'm not, and I'd feel stressed out from lack of tranquility, which I don't. So I thank living the SWEET Life for keeping me pretty healthy during the past month of an overly busy life.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Living Day to Day

Lately, I've only had time to focus on each day as it comes. "What do I HAVE TO do today?" is all I have had time to do each day. I've had very little time to think or prepare ahead of time. Everything else has been on the back burner. Because of that, a lot of little, daily, household tasks haven't been getting done, like laundry, dishes, watering plants, etc.

Fortunately, since I have SWEET Life habits in place, I've been living the SWEET Life pretty well, as busy as I've been.

Last night I chose to cut my sleep a bit short in order to grade some papers for my class tonight.

I've been trying hard to drink my water, and I think I've been doing pretty well.

I've been trying to eat well, even though I haven't had much time to pay attention to what I've been eating.

Today I chose to give myself the option of exercise, if I had time, preferring to give myself more time to grade papers for class tonight. I did get my papers graded, but I didn't have time to exercise, so I will exercise on Saturday instead.

Because the girls did tag-team napping, I didn't get my usual afternoon tranquility time. However, when I got home tonight, the house was empty, so I had a little time to myself. Realizing that was going to be my only Tranquility of the day, I made sure to take advantage of it.

How did I do, and how do I feel?
Today, I had a SWE_T Life.
I hate when I have to ignore the big picture to focus on the shortest term deadlines, but it seems like life has been that way for the past month. What can I do? I envy those who are planning ahead or doing things that seem more pleasurable than essential. Now and then, I remind myself that this is only a phase. I will have a lot more free time when my girls are in school, and the reason I'm home now is to have my influence on them while I can, before they go to school. All I can do is set reminders for myself to make sure to do things ahead of time (such as set a reminder to pay a bill a week before it's due). I also need to enlist more help with the little, daily, household tasks, such as laundry, dishes, watering plants, etc.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Challenge the Body!

I slept really well last night. I woke up this morning with Zoe in my bed instead of Nick, but I don't really remember when that switcheroo happened. I'm 4 for 4 this week.

I haven't been paying too much attention to my water intake, but I think I have enough of a habit of drinking 2 qt. of water per day that I've continued to drink ample. I'm 4 for 4 this week.

The fridge is looking bare, but I've been trying to still eat healthy. The benefit of having mostly healthy foods in the house is that no matter what you have to scrounge up to eat, it'll still be healthy. What I really need to do is plan some meals, make a grocery list, buy some food, and cook! This week, I'm 2 for 4, but today is still wait and see.

On Tuesday, I tried some new exercises I found in a magazine. Boy, was I sore yesterday! It's good to change exercises every month to challenge the body and defeat boredom. The problem was that a lot of the exercises said they were for the "arms" when they really just used the shoulders, not biceps or triceps. There were a lot of exercises for the legs, which became the most sore, and shoulders, but not much for the chest, biceps, or triceps, so I had to supplement. I also started doing new ab exercises and will take an abs class tomorrow. I suppose I should change my cardio workout too. This week, I'm 3for 4, skipping today because I have a lot of other stuff to do.

I've had tranquility time this week, which I've used to do whatever came to mind. The problem is that I had some important things to do during that time, which didn't get done.
I'm thinking about getting a massage, which I've only had a few of in my life. I can get one pretty cheap at the health club where I work. I'm 4 for 4 this week.

How did I do, and how do I feel?
Yesterday, I had a SWEET Life.
I feel a little stressed and tired. I teach an ESL class tonight and I have a lot to do to prepare for it, which is why I feel stressed. I don't like being so dependent on the girls napping in order to get important things done. I'm tired for a variety of possible reasons: it's towards the end of the week, my family has been sick so I might be catching something, it could be stress-related, etc. I'm torn between taking a nap to feel refreshed or having some caffeine and staying awake to have more time to prepare for my class.

Friday, February 1, 2008

The Culminaton of Living the SWEET Life

Boy, the month flew by quickly! I tallied up how much I lived the SWEET Life in January 2008, and the results are:
  • Sleep: 22
  • Water: 27
  • Eating: 21
  • Exercise: 20
  • Tranquility: 29
My goal was not every day; it was 70%, which is 21-22 days out of the month, so I achieved my goal! Of course, the real question is how do I look and feel? Well, I've been living the SWEET Life for a long time, so I'm not expecting to see any changes. I still feel healthy, fit, well-rested, relaxed, etc.

However, I have been thinking lately about how I used to feel, before I was living the SWEET Life. I remember when I had body issues and thought, "if I were only 10 lb. lighter . . ." I remember having "fat" clothes and "skinny" clothes. I remember believing I had to live on exercise and salads in order to stay skinny. I remember when I was always hunched over from fatigue. I remember when my shoulders were always scrunched up to my ears due to stress. Yes, hunched and scrunched! I also remember, at the time, wondering what I would spend my time worrying about if I didn't spend so much time worrying about my body.

Now, of course, I'm so thankful that I don't have to waste my time worrying about my body or my health. I put on whatever clothes I grab from my closet because all of them fit. Whenever I weigh myself, the scale says the same number I always want it to say. I eat whatever I want; however, I've come to realize that "whatever I want" tends to be balanced and nutritious. Although there are still days when my sleep is interrupted, I generally get enough sleep and feel rested. Lastly, my shoulders are down and back in place because I am relaxed and tranquil.

Ah, here's to living the SWEET Life! May it allow us all to find other things to worry about!