I just finished a whole month of daily activities, three of which I wasn’t doing before. I feel slightly stronger in some ways, but in others, I’m exhausted. Still sick from something, probably cedar allergies combined with anemia. But I’m eating better. I spent a lot of time at this laptop. So let me break it down. No, I’m not going to rap, don’t worry.
This took the most time, even on days I tried to keep it to 500 words. Coming up with ideas, entering links, finding and adding photos, editing, and re-editing takes more time than I want. But I really enjoyed the process and appreciated the feedback and followers I got (all 32 of you now, whoopee!). In fact, I passed the whole year’s worth of blogs in 2016 in terms of viewers and visitors. If I write less blogs I can write more in the book, but again, I’m not sure about the book either because who would read that? I should be off finding a job. But maybe all this writing might lead to something, I think. So we’ll see how it goes.
But it was worth it, to get to the last day and to finally write my first interview, at least the first half of it. I’m very proud of that piece and although it wasn’t my story, I hope I did it and the subject justice. His story was very moving to me and I sat on the notes for three weeks, letting it percolate. But when the end of the month deadline loomed, I decided it was time, regardless of how perfect or imperfect it might be. As I wrote a week or more ago, perfect is the enemy of good.
I’ve resolved to not even try to keep up with this pace of writing, at least with the blog. Three times a week is good, and that would allow me four days a week to re-start my book. On one hand, it will be a relief. But on the other, I will miss it a bit. But while I have garnered a few more followers, likes and views, whether it’s blog, book or something else, I still struggle with the questions:
- Who am I writing for?
- Is anyone really reading it?
- If few people are, why kill myself even bothering until I have more readers?
- But how do I get more readers without continuing to produce what I, and some others, believe is “good” content?
The answers escape me now but probably involve a lot of marketing, social media, building a real web page, and a lot more. And what I want to do is just write. Since I’m not famous, despite the 15 seconds of attention the Austin American-Statesman profile gave me (and for which I’m most grateful), I think the answer probably lies in the process. Matthew McConaghey has his “just keep livin’”, I have “just keep writin’.”
I chronicled a fair bit of the foods I ate. From starting the month and year with three-day juice fast, then four days of just fruits, vegetables and a few other vegan items, to getting anemia and having to eat beef liver, molasses and spinach, it was a wild month. My weight was about 10 pounds higher than normal after being laid off — I became more sedentary — and the then holidays. So it came down dramatically the first week – too much, actually. It came back when I returned to somewhat of a regular diet. Then with cedar fever knocking me off my feet for over a week, I’ve noticed a decline in appetite, leading to further pounds coming off, but not sure how many because my scale is not very accurate. However, I have radically improved my diet in the following ways:
- Only ate processed grains about 6 times: white rice, rice noodles, corn chips (twice) and corn tortillas (twice). This is a major victory for me to not eat bread, pasta, cookies, crackers, cakes or any of the other crap that packs on empty calories. I’ve mostly conquered that craving by just ignoring those foods and finding alternatives, like apple slices for peanut butter (though rice cakes have come back as a whole if puffed grain), carrot sticks for hummus and so on. I did have a few protein bars but they were either no added sugar or minimally changed, like Rx bars which have eggs, fruit and nuts. So I’m really happy about this one.
- Conquered a lot of my sugar addiction by eliminating the processed carbs as above.
- Cooked most of my own food, which saved money, allowed me to get better quality produce (mostly organic – which science has proven is better for you) and overall just had better food.
- Had cider vinegar and psyllium fiber most days, also natural probiotic sauerkraut
- Added iron-rich foods like molasses, spinach and liver.
- Mostly just added more vegetables, which was the main goal anyway.
- If I lose weight, great, but I’m focused more on health, energy, nutrition and digestion.
I took a walk of at least 30 minutes every day in January. Overall it was about 45 miles, and the time it took was 2/3 of a day, around 16 hours. I noticed improved to the ankle I sprained last spring, but I also had several flare-ups of plantar fasciitis. There were several days due to cold or illness I shouldn’t have walked at all. Several of those days I just drug myself out and back with little aerobic benefit. But increasing my bone density, Vitamin D, being in nature, seeing things more slowly, including neighbors, and just a general clearing of the head were all good benefits. I hope to continue though maybe mix it up with music (my headphones don’t go in my ears, so I can hear what’s around me), maybe two 15’ walks, going earlier, and faster.
I’ve been doing yoga daily for 30 minutes or more since 12/6/13. So this month I used YouTube videos by Yoga With Adriene. This challenged me to do differing postures than the same few I had grown accustomed to. It definitely improved my strength and flexibility and made doing the yoga more fun. She is a good, goofy and actually kinda cute teacher who peppers her classes with encouraging comments, funny asides and her dog pretty laid back blue healer dog Benji sometimes makes an appearance.
With a challenging but forgiving teaching style that allows for all varieties of levels amongst followers (all 3 million of them!), I’d recommend her to anyone who’s not advanced. I can’t say I’ll continue because having to follow a teacher’s poses instead of doing the ones my body needs or is ready for is better. But it’s good to have her as a resource if things become stale on the old yoga mat. And while I hate to stray or cheat on you, Adriene, I may try other teachers. I may try to get to a class once a week and maybe even one of hers. I don’t know if she rides a bike, but if so, maybe she’ll let me interview her. I doubt it, but you never know!
Well, that’s enough navel-gazing, and more than enough words. Thoughts?
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