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Blaugust 18: Do or Do Not. There Is No Try


Yoda was a wise old Jedi.

 

I’ve been thinking about my (lack of) workout routine today. Very few people reading this (just one or two, probably) will know that there was a time I used to work out nearly every day. I didn’t do super intensive workouts, just enough to get my heart rate up and work up a bit of a sweat. Generally, this consisted of yoga and bodyweight/dumbbell exercises, no gym required, just the decision to do it.

(Related: I once trekked home from City Sport carrying twenty pounds of weights that almost ripped through a reusable grocery bag. My shoulders were just a little sore when I got home…)

I honestly can’t say why I stopped, but at some point I just started NOT working out more often than I did. From time to time I would try to get back into the habit in small steps. “Just start by doing ten push-ups every day this week. That’s not too hard.”

Or, it shouldn’t have been. But I’d do it for the first two days. Then the third day I just didn’t feel like it. The next day, I completely forgot about it. Two days later I did the push-ups again, but gave up shortly. This sort of story (with different activities–a little bit of planking, a few sets of squats) happened a few times. Each time it just didn’t work.

I tried using this “start with a little bit” method of getting into the habit of working out because I read the advice in several articles. I can only say that for me, this does not work. It’s too small of a commitment. The time and exertion that actually goes into it is negligible. It feel pointless to do it, and utterly unimportant if you miss a day. I’ll just do them tomorrow! Except no, I won’t, because tomorrow five to ten minutes of working out will still seem too dumb to bother with.

The workout will not actually affect how I feel unless it’s at least thirty minutes (twenty can work, but only if I really do it every single day). Gotta get the heart rate up. Get the endorphins going. I need to work in a “real” workout or I just won’t feel any point to it.

I type all this out in the hope that verbalizing this issue I’ve been having (and the solution I’ve come up with) will push me a little more toward actually doing something, rather than just thinking about it.

What do you think?

 

Are you ready… for Blaugust?


Am I ready for Blaugust?

What the hell is Blaugust?

 

Blaugust is a word I made up, that someone else probably made up before I did (I’m not doing research on this today), that indicates an intention to blog every day in the month of August! The idea is pulled mainly from youtube vlog challenges I’ve seen (Vlogtober and Vlogmas). And the idea is to get myself back into old writing habits that just dropped away.

If you follow me you may have already realized that I haven’t blogged much in a long time. I don’t want this post to get too long, so I’m not going to to into the reasons at the moment. Maybe that will be the topic of one of next month’s posts… Read the rest of this entry

Iced Coffee in the (Half-)Dead of Winter


On the bus, as I’m waiting for blood to circulate back to my numbed ears, I look out the window and I see people carrying iced coffees. Large ones. Perhaps I should rethink my theory that I’m insane. But, you know, maybe these people are made of volcanoes.

Ok, maybe I’m still insane…

But at least I’m not crazy enough to drink iced coffee when it’s this cold out.

This morning was day 1 of my new project: being able to wake up like a normal person. Yesterday, after sleeping way too late yet again, I searched for articles about how to wake up more easily. Some of the tips were stupid, but some were helpful, and the most helpful-sounding ones were repeated over and over again.

  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
  • Take some time to “wind down” before bed (I’m giving it at least half an hour). That means turn off electronics, don’t eat anything heavy, maybe meditate.
  • Turn lights on/open blinds right when you wake up. I’ve always noticed this definitely does help, but now that the internet has confirmed my observation, it’s officially true.

The articles actually suggest setting your alarm every single day, including weekends… I’m not going to do that this weekend (at least, not both days), and not on Christmas, but I will probably start to do it soon. My winter-induced urge to hibernate does not match up with my daily life. Supposedly, if you stick to the routine, after a little while you’ll fall asleep and wake up naturally at those times.

I’m also going to try, for a little while, to reduce my caffeine intake after 2 or 3 pm. I’ve been known to drink coffee right up until sometimes 9pm, although usually I stop closer to 6 or 7. However, I think that until I get used to falling asleep earlier, having unnecessary caffeine in my system probably won’t be helpful.

I’m not a decaf person. I’ve rarely ever had it in my life. Does it taste different? Is it worth even getting it? Because I feel like it would change the flavor. Maybe it’s just the idea of it–if I didn’t know it was decaf, it would taste exactly the same. I want to do this experiment. Someone, please give me decaf coffee, tell me it’s regular, and we’ll see if I can tell the difference.

Probably not. But I do like to think I would.

That also means less black tea in the evenings. I have no idea what I’m going to drink now. Probably water and green or herbal teas.

However, as I might have mentioned, my policy is not to deprive myself of foods (apparently, this is the European way?) or drinks, so if I really want chai or coffee after work, I’ll get it. I just might hold off for this week, to try to get myself used to actually falling asleep.

If you’re like me, and you’re not a morning person at all in terms of energy, you might like to hear how this project goes. I’ll update occasionally as my sleep patterns change or don’t change, so pop back in next Monday or so.

In the meantime, avoid iced coffee if you live in New England (or Canada, or somewhere else where it’s almost winter). For me.

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