Friday, March 27, 2015

Pursuing My Passions - Wellness

This is part 4 in a four part blog series about my passions and how I'm pursuing them this year.  I'm doing this as much to get it all organized and straight in my own mind as to share with you what I've been up to lately and why I've been so absent from blogging. So here goes...

True confessions: 

I am not passionate about exercising. In fact, I mostly hate it.

I am not passionate about eating healthy foods. In fact, I'm rather fond of pizza, chocolate, coca cola, and a variety of other not-so-healthy choices.

I am not passionate about visiting doctors. Self-explanatory, right?

In fact, given the option, I'd rather be crafting, watching television, or reading a book while munching on something sweet, preferably chocolate. So I'm not sure this final installment of "Pursuing My Passions" is really about a passion, as much as it is about life choices and making room for the things that promote wellness. 

Because I am passionate about being as healthy as my body will allow.

I am passionate about being physically and mentally capable of doing the things I enjoy.

I am passionate about honoring my One Little Word - Thrive.

In order to be healthy and physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually capable, I have to make choices and do things that promote a healthy body and mind.  With that in mind, my very specific plans for pursuing wellness this year include:

1. Read 12 new books - at least one per month. You know, to promote a healthy mind.  And if I particularly enjoy a book, maybe I'll even manage to post a review!

Jan: "Written In My Own Heart's Blood" - Book 8 of the Outlander series. Oh yes, I was totally hooked on this series. I started last September and read all 8 books on my Kindle.

Feb: "Where She Went" - the sequel to "If I Stay" which I saw as a movie. I just had to know what happened next! 

2. Try 12 new recipes - at least one per month. And I'm specifically looking for Paleo-friendly, wheat-free recipes that can be incorporated into our family meal planning. Because I do feel better when I'm grain-free. But it is HARD to cook grain-free and still come up with things my family will eat.  If I come up with any winners, I'll try to share.

Jan: Banana Oatmeal cookies - technically oatmeal isn't Paleo (it is a grain) but is one of the lesser evils of the grain family. These are great for a "snack" food for me, but the family doesn't like the gummy texture.

Feb: Chicken & Rice Casserole - again, rice is a grain. But it isn't wheat. And I made this recipe a half dozen times, tweaking it just a bit each time. I have now perfected it. How do I know it is perfect?  Becca ASKED for it while home for Spring break!

3. DeClutter my house - at least one area per month. Because clutter causes me stress. And stress is not conducive to wellness!

Jan: The Office. I moved everything OUT. Then moved back in only what I wanted to keep. I totally rearranged the furniture. And I purged SIXTY ONE pounds of paper! I may not personally have lost weight doing this, but I definitely felt lighter.

The two shopping bags full were taken to work to be shredded - lots of receipts, medical info, cancelled checks... dating back into the 80's!  The recycle bin was filled TWICE and taken to the recycling center. 
Feb: Utensil Drawer in kitchen. Not the silverware drawer that houses forks, knives, spoons. The big drawer under the cooktop that houses things like measuring spoons, can openers, spatulas, etc. I added a drawer organizer, so things don't slide around.  And I got rid of the utensils we don't use. It may be a small area, but it was a big victory!

4. Complete Unfinished Projects - work on at least one a month. What does this have to do with wellness you ask? Well, here's the deal. Those unfinished projects are constantly at the back of my mind. Always whispering to me about how I'm scattered and don't keep my commitments, even to myself. Those unfinished projects make me feel LESS than. And I know if I can finish some of them, there will be BREATHING ROOM in my thoughts for new and exciting projects. So yes, another kind of mental/emotional wellness. And yes, I'm doing it! While I haven't technically "FINISHED" anything yet, I have worked heavily on the girls School of Life albums in both January (remember 40 pages completed while Camping at the Crop) and during February's LOAD challenge (at least 12 of those layouts will be incorporated into the girls' albums - some in more than one!).

I'm tracking those four items along with my One Little Word assignments in a Heidi Swapp calendar/planner (the 2014 version which I picked up last year after seeing it featured in the Big Picture Classes "FUN" class).

 Each month starts with this planner page with pre-printed dates, to do lists, and more. I'm using the dates to note appointments and meetings and mostly covering up the rest with ephemera from the month.
 Then there is a divided page protector, which I'm using for photos, One Little Word assignments, and monthly recaps where appropriate.

 The last page of any given month is this calendar. I'm using it for my Gratitude Practice - to record the best thing that happened that day, or what I am grateful for that day.  I'm using the blank circles to record my book, recipe, declutter, and finish items for the month.

 Not much in the way of ephemera for February...
 I posted that Minion photo on my facebook feed when I was feeling particularly OVER the snow.

 I took a photo of my OLW Vision Board to include in this page. I wasn't feeling the monthly recap at this point.

In addition to all the "Thrive" related things being recorded here, I am actually doing all the One Little Word assignments. Here is the March writing assignment:

 So there you have it. Pursuing Wellness. Not a lot of discussion about losing weight (so far I'm doing miserably on that account) or about exercise. I actually had to back off of some body weight exercises I was trying as they were causing other pains. But Spring is coming. And with it my opportunity to try again and to keep improving. 

How do YOU pursue wellness?


Sian said...

Wow! What a post.

I'm like you: I'd rather make stuff than exercise. But I'm sticking with the Pilates and really feeling the benefits. In fact I'm thinking of going to an extra class.

Missus Wookie said...

Great post! I'm with you on the exercise but it needs to be done and I'm trying to match it with getting some more light into my life.

I like the planner and the amount of paper made me smile.

Wrightboysmum said...

It's funny it's the exercise I'm struggling with as well. Love the planner pages.

Karen said...

I can relate to far too much of this! I just finished reading "Better Than Before." It's already helped me identify some ways to be more conscientious about maintaining and forming some good habits around wellness. Definitely worth reading.

MonicaB said...

You've been busy. Thanks for sharing what you are doing. Many of your task are on my to do list too, so thanks for the inspiration.

scrappyjacky said...

Wow, Cheri....I'm so impressed by what you've done....not to mention inspired.Sadly....all my favourite things in life are fairly unhealthy...apart from gardening...I really do need to try harder!!

Carola Bartz said...

Cheri, I feel and share your pain about exercise, healthy food but being healthy and well at the same time. BTW, chocolate is a healthy food - if you stick to dark chocolate and eat it in moderation.
Like you, I want to lose weight and live healthy. I do think that some things will be a lot easier if I love weight - like running up stairs, bending down, less pain and pressure on my knees etc. It is a difficult journey, especially now in menopause. I feel like hitting a wall almost every day.
I do regular exercise, but I'm not loving it. I go to Jazzercise at least three times a week (better five). It's okay, but I can perfectly well live without it. I love walking, especially when I take my camera with me. Which is not real walking because I stop all the time to take photos. Eating - oh boy. I should eat more fruit and veggies, but fail miserably. I include veggies in all of our dinners, but during the day nothing much happens in this regard. I love bread - not the white stuff, but rich, hearty bread with lots of fiber. I usually bake my own bread since I don't find the "real" one in the local bakeries.
We should commiserate together...

Miriam said...

What a great post Cheri. Lots to admire and think about. I like the planner a lot. I am very happy to de-clutter and I do, regularly but I did laugh at all that paper! Now PHD'S, one a month sounds do-able ;) (PHD/Projects Half Done)

Fiona@Staring at the Sea said...

I'm not passionate about exercising either. Hard to believe I used to get up early and go for a run before lectures when I was in college! Can't imagine doing that now. I'm hoping to change my mindset though and am beginning a 30 day yoga program tomorrow. Decluttering is ongoing here and I just bought a book to help me with that. Good luck to you on all fronts.
PS I just discovered Outlander (the TV show) and have started watching it this week. Loving it so far. Will have to get the books I think.

alexa said...

Your post is very inspiring - wow, to that paper decluttering! One thing I've learnt from previous years is that it is not possible (for me anyway) to make progress on lots of fronts all at once, so I am now selective and focus on just one or two. My own wellness journey touches yours where food is concerned. After a horrible five days after eating gluten-free bread, and a messed-up gut for weeks afterwards, I am eating no complex carbohydrate at all - only vegetables (not starchy ones) , fruits, nuts, fish, eggs and reintroducing a new food (e.g. soya yoghourt) every other day. If you're looking for recipies, the site called and her Specific Carbohydrate Diet Cookbook are worth a look :). Wishing you continued success!

Maria Ontiveros said...

Mental health - just as important as physical health, and I think that's what this post is about.
I get more passionate about the healthy eating and exercise once I get started on it. It becomes somewhat addicting (okay, not as addicting as wine and cheese and bread,but at least something my body craves).
Nice post,

Melissa said...

Great post Cheri! I'm not overly passionate about the healthy eating . . . I just like so many things that are not great for me. LOL I have developed more of a taste for exercise as I'm trying new things & can see results when I'm consistent. However, I've not met any of my eating & exercise goals this year . . . the gray winter just got to me, I guess. I've restarted my exercise at the end of March & am feeling better already.

You have some great goals here related to wellness. I'm also reading for INSPIRATION in healthy living and making (a little!) progress on decluttering and finishing up some scrapbook projects. Hopefully we'll start walking this week when Robbie gets home in the evenings. I had a lawn service come do an initial clean-up of the yard & some new landscaping, but I'm planning to do the yard work this season for some time outside also.

(Thanks for not letting me miss this post!!) See you soon!