Time Flies!

I'm still alive!

Let's see, where did I last leave you all?  January was my first month of my challenges, and I was challenging myself to bring breakfast to work.  It was a successful month, and I was happy to report on my last blog post that I was successful for the month of January.  That particular challenge has now turned into an actual habit, which was my main goal, and I'm proud to say that since January 1st, 2018 I have made and brought my breakfast to work every single day.

I didn't post an updated for my February challenge for various reason (see below for more details), but it was to make and bring a lunch every day to work (notice a theme here?).  I was also successful in this challenge, and brought my lunch every day.  I have also managed to turn this challenge into a habit, and since February 1st, 2018 I've made and brought a lunch to work every single day.

For March, I ended up switching my challenge.  Originally I was going to have March be a vegetarian month, but since I was having a lot of trouble with overindulging in sweets, I changed it up and made it a "no sweets month".  I mostly succeeded with this challenge.

 Tongue from  theawkwardyeti.com

Tongue from theawkwardyeti.com

There were 3 occasions where I broke my no sweets challenge.  The first was because a good friend was in town, and it was going to be the last time I would see her for a while since she was moving away.  I ended up going to high tea.  It was delicious, and I felt a reasonable excuse to skip my no sweets challenge for that event.  The second time I broke my no sweets was on Pi Day.  I just had to have pie on Pi day (March 14 aka 3.14).  I sorely regretted this decision later as I crashed from an overabundance of sugar while I was curling that evening.  It was pretty terrible, I was shaky and having the sweats and no matter how delicious the pie was, it wasn't worth feeling that terrible.  The last and final time I broke my no sweets rule for March was near the end of the month.  I had purchased some Girl Guide cookies when I was done in Seattle to watch the musical Hamilton (Yes, Hamilton is just as amazing as everyone says it is and I was super lucky to get the chance to see it in person).  For Canada, we don't have as many options in Girl Guide cookies as the USA, I couldn't resist trying some of the Samoas I've heard so much about.  I ended up eating 4 of them over a few days.

All in all, March, while not 100% successful, did help me overcome the urge to eats a bunch of sweets for no particular reason.  Stopping and thinking about the sweets, did I really want that sweet?, has made me think about them differently, with my brain as opposed to my tongue.  Occasional the tongue takes over, but I'm finding that most of the time my brain will prevail.

The Hardest Thing

With three months under my belt in my monthly challenges experiment, I have to say that the hardest thing I have noticed so far is that I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about and planing my food.  Between food planing and my new exercise regime I'm exhausted.  

Exercise?  Yup!  A while back (read a few years ago), I hurt my knee.  Slowly over a few years, I gained a bunch of weight, which made the pain I was dealing with even worse.  Multiple x-rays, doctors and incorrect physio I finally made it into a sports medicine specialist who was able to help.  Part genetic and part previous injury, the specialist gave me a bunch of exercises to do and my knee is slowly starting to feel better.

Until I started having some relief in pain, I didn't actually realize how bad my knee had gotten.  I was experiencing two levels of pain, this sharp intense stabbing pain that would come on suddenly and the go away, and this low level always there pain.  Until the absence of pain, I didn't even notice that I had a low level of pain constantly in my knee.  That pain was being drowned out by the sharp sudden stabby pain.  

I have a long way to go, both with strengthening my knee and losing some weight, but after almost three years of it slowly getting worse, I'm finally on the right track...now I just have to stop getting colds and hurting myself in other ways (pulled a muscle in my leg :( ) and I'll eventually be right as rain!

Any ways, that is why my blog posting and my book reviewing has petered down to practically nothing, I have only so much mental energy in me, and at the moment, I'm spending most of it trying to get healthier.  I'll do my best to write a bit more often, but I make no promises.  

Note: I didn't bother to proof-read this post, so I appoligize for any grammatical errors.  Honestly if I spent the time to proof-read this post, posting it wouldn't happen (then mental energy I was talking about is to blame)

 

Two Weeks In

I am now half way through the month of January which is the very first month of my A New Year New Challenge Experiment that I created. It’s been a very interesting few weeks and I have discovered some new challenges that I am working on overcoming to be successful.

 Bran Muffins & Toasted Coconut Scones

Bran Muffins & Toasted Coconut Scones

As you may recall, the first challenge to myself is to make and bring my own breakfast to work instead of buying food on my way to the office. To date, I have been successful in this endeavour.  I’ve made muffins and scones and have even packed up cereal once or twice to take to the office.  Since the first two weeks have gone so well I expanded on this challenge to also make sure that I eat breakfast on the weekends, within a reasonable amount of time after I wake up in the morning.

What I wasn’t expecting when I started my making breakfast challenge is to start bringing my lunch to work as well.  Bringing my lunch to work was going to be my challenge for February, but I started early. It seemed that if I was already concerning myself with making a breakfast to take to work, it wouldn't be that much extra work to pack a lunch as well.  I contemplated changing my monthly challenge for February.  I wondered if I would actually be challenging myself in February if I was already bringing my lunch to work.  In the end I decided to keep the challenge the same.  The whole point of these challenges is to try and create some new healthy and money saving habits and the longer I do them, the more successful I will be at continuing to do them.

 My new collection of cookbooks.

My new collection of cookbooks.

I mentioned that I had discovered some new challenges so far in January and they all revolve around a previously unwritten goals of losing weight and saving money.  If you follow my Instagram, you will have noticed that lately I’ve been posting a lot of pictures of my dinners. In a future Random Musings blog post  I plan on writing, I will give you my history of my struggles with weight, but for now I will just say that I want to lose some weight.  I didn't want to go on some fad diet, been there done that, but I did want to adjust my portion sizes.  Posting my dinners on Instagram is a way to help me keep up with my smaller portions as well as remembering what I ate and who knows, maybe someone else will benefit too from my pictures.

One of the challenges I’ve experienced so far with portion control is that when I’m in charge of cooking and serving my own food (Michael cooks too, BTW, I'm not doing it all alone), I’m pretty good with the portion sizes.  If I go out to eat though, all semblance of self control seems to go out the window.  I’m getting real tired of asking myself, while I’m rolling home, “why did I eat so much?”.  

At home I started serving my meals on smaller plates.  Looking at that small plate that is filled with food is easier for me to eat less than the exact same amount of food on a large plate.  I don't know why that is,  if I eat that same amount of food off a bigger plate I still feel hungry.  There is something about not seeing the bottom of the plate because it's covered by food that makes my brain think it has had enough to eat.  

 Double Chocolate Stout Brownies

Double Chocolate Stout Brownies

I’m not starving myself or depriving myself of any goodies (as you will soon see when I post the recipe for the delicious Double Chocolate Stout Brownies I made), but I am have smaller amounts of everything.  Which is putting me closer to actually eating the recommended serving sizes of various foods. Now I just have to train myself not to eat everything that’s on my plate when I go out to eat.  

So as you can read, the first two weeks of January have been quite successful in relation to taking my breakfast to work, and I’m also setting myself up for success in my future challenges.  

Have you given yourself any challenges this year?  Every post on my social media, when it’s related to my A New Year New Challenge Experiment, I’ve been using the hashtag #anynce.  I encourage you to use that hashtag also if you’d like to join in on my challenge or even make your own up.  Did you know that you can follow a hashtag on Instagram now?  It’s pretty cool.

 Loki supurrvising the baking process.

Loki supurrvising the baking process.