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Archive for July, 2022

Howdy, dear reader! It has been a hot minute since I have updated you on where I am on my healthy lifestyle journey. Back in June, I decided to do a round of The Clean 20 to start cleaning up my diet and walking again on a daily basis. I had joined Beachbody on Demand, had my colonoscopy, and felt good about starting over on a journey to take back my health. Fast forward 20 days, and I had not done one Beachbody on Demand workout, drank enough water, or walked daily. It is not to say that I was not successful in the intention that I had set for myself; I just took baby steps instead of strides. For me, starting anything is hard, but starting over is so much harder. If you have read my blog for some time, you know I have already been down this path several times.

Well, I am here to tell you, I FINALLY did a workout on Beachbody on Demand. Not only did I do a workout, I completed the whole 7-day Clean Week program. Yes, you read that correctly. Last Monday, I laced up my tennis shoes, showed up in my living room, turned on my television, pulled up Day 1 of the program, and worked out. Even though it is a beginner program, it was not easy. However, I did my best on Monday and every day afterwards. Progressing through the week, the workouts got a bit easier. My body said, “Hey, I remember how to do squats!”

Clean Week Program

  • Day 1: Core Function
  • Day 2: Cardio
  • Day 3: Strength
  • Day 4: Active Flex
  • Day 5: Core Function
  • Day 6: Cardio
  • Day 7: Strength

Clean Week was the perfect program to kick-start my fitness habit. Each circuit-style workout is only 30 minutes and includes a warm up and cool down. Minimal equipment is needed, and I can work out in the comfort of my own home. The only obstacle I encountered was with the floor exercises that required me to put any pressure on my wrists, so I modified or substituted those exercises. I am having trouble with my right wrist again and with both hands. I do have an appointment with my orthopedic this Friday to address the issue.

Out of curiosity, I weighed myself on Monday, 18 July and was 159.5 pounds. I had not gained or lost any weight since 22 June. I have been eating clean as much as possible with an occasional treat from time to time. I did weigh myself this morning since I was updating you, dear reader, and I am 159 pounds. HA! I am 1/2 of a pound lighter! Thanks, Kathryn Huggett, for convincing me to join Beachbody on Demand!

So, what’s next? On Monday of this week, I started a new 4-week fitness program on Beachbody on Demand called Start Losing with Jen Widerstrom. So far, I am loving it. It is a low-impact beginner program that focuses on cardio and strength training. The circuit-style workouts run anywhere between 33-42 minutes, including a warm-up and cool down. Also starting this week, I added a daily walk (at least 20 minutes) in the evenings after dinner. As for my nutrition goals, I will FINALLY be starting Clean & Lean by Dr. Ian K. Smith on Monday, 01 August. It is a 30-day program that blends the Clean 20 guidelines with intermittent fasting. My fitness and nutrition plan is in place, dear reader. Happiness!

“Starting over can be challenging, but also it can be a great opportunity to do things differently.” ~ Catherine Pulsifer 

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Greetings, dear reader! Gretchen Rubin has created a Calendar of Catalysts, “a menu of dates to use as reminders to stop, evaluate, and plan.” According to Gretchen Rubin, July 2nd is Halfway Day. What a great day to spend a few moments reviewing your goals for the year! In my case, I reflected on my 22 for 2022 list.

My one-word theme for the year is CHANGE, and there have certainly been a few changes in my life so far this year. In January, my family and I said good-bye to our beloved 13.5-year-old German Shepherd Sophie. Surprisingly (especially for me), we welcomed a new puppy Luna into our family on 14 February. But, the biggest change this year has been my decision to quit my job as an Instructional Coach which ended this past May. Without a doubt, more changes are on the horizon for the remainder of this year, and I am actually excited about exploring the unknown and seeing where life takes me.

“Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Kat’s 22 for 2022 List

1. Time-track in January.

2. Tweak morning routine.

3. Make consultation appointment with oral surgeon (implant).

4. Learn a 30-60 second monologue.

5. Buy a new vacuum cleaner.

6. Get wedding rings resized.

7. Clean out and organize master closet.

8. Plant new garden in front of the house.

9. Purge paper and organize file cabinet.

10. Go paperless (bills and statements).

11. Scrapbook monthly.

12. Complete Year of Gratitude scrapbook.

13. Have a Year of King (Stephen King).

14. Update theme (layout) for blog.

15. Research video editing software.

16. Complete a puzzle.

17. Write a will.

18. Revisit A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle.

19. Read The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.

20. Complete the WordPress Blogging course.

21. Take a WordPress Podcasting course.

22. Take Becky Higgins Classroom: Photo Tips + Work Flow.

As you can see, I have not made much progress on my 22 for 2022 list. What have you been doing, Kat? Well, it turns out a puppy takes up A LOT of time. Luna is wonderful, sweet, and a momma’s girl; however, she is also high energy, high maintenance, and time-consuming. *SIGH* She is also not the only fur baby in the house.

I am reading a ton (35/50 books so far)! Kelsi and I are killing it with our Year of King project, and our book club continues to meet monthly. I have also been participating and exploring other projects that have cropped up since I made my list back in December. These opportunities may or may not impact where I end up at the end of the year, but I feel they are worth pursuing. Currently, I am working on a few of the items that I consider ongoing; they are just not fully completed, yet. These items include: #5, #7, #9, #10, #12, #13.

Finally, I created a Summer Fun List with all kind of activities I have been enjoying this summer. Plus, I tacked on It’s a Charming Life’s Summer Bucket List for more enjoyable summer activities. Clearly, I cannot help myself this summer. HA! The good news is I still have the second half of the year to finish my list. I am hopeful I can complete my list because I am NOT giving up!

There you have it, dear reader! What have you accomplished or not accomplished this year? Any surprises or regrets with how you have spent the first half of 2022? At this point, I can honestly say I have experienced more surprises than regrets. The key is to keep progressing daily towards those goals no matter how big or small the steps. Every step forward gets me closer to reaching my goals. Happiness!

“One part at a time, one day at a time, we can accomplish any goal we set for ourselves.” ~ Karen Casey

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We are at the halfway mark in the year, and I am on fire with my reading goals. Despite having a great deal of activity in my life last month, I was able to complete five books in the month of June as well as a short story from the Everything’s Eventual collection by Stephen King. As of today, I am ten books ahead of schedule. Amazing!

Nonfiction Selection

I chose The Office BFFs: Tales of The Office from Two Best Friends Who Were There by Jenna Fischer & Angela Kinsey for my June nonfiction selection. I was super excited about this book ever since the Office Ladies announced they were writing it. I am a fan of both The Office and the Office Ladies podcast. Thanks to Simon, mon frere, for gifting me this beautiful book with lots of fun facts, personal photos, and special stories from Jenna and Angela’s time on The Office. These two ladies became best friends as a result of working on that television show, and their friendship is still going strong today. This is a delightful read and deserves all 5 stars.

#Read21in21 Challenge

I only read two middle school books in the month of June, but I enjoyed both of them immensely. One book was actually a reread and the other was recommended by the booktuber Mitzi of Mitzi Reads and Writes. Mitzi is participating in an #annealong with some other booktubers, and they are reading the entire series of books about Anne Shirley of Green Gables.

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery took me by surprise. It is considered a classic historical fiction novel. I absolutely fell in love with this story, and I simply adore the main character, Anne Shirley. So much so, that I have already ordered the second book in the series. Basically, Anne Shirley is an orphan who is mistakenly sent to live with unmarried siblings, Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, on their farm called Green Gables located in Avonlea. Anne is a spirited young lady, who has a wild imagination and a compassionate heart. This charming coming-of-age story follows Anne as she navigates life in her new home while capturing the hearts of all who cross paths with her, including readers of this timeless classic. This is stellar story worthy of 5 stars.

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg is a realistic fiction book filled with adventure and a mystery. I chose to reread it on a whim for June because Andrew and I visited The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City in June, and that is where this marvelous novel takes place. Two children, Claudia and Jamie, run away to New York City and take up residence in The Met. While enjoying their newfound freedom, they stumble upon a mystery surrounding a sculpture that has ties to a famous artist. After reading it, I decided to have my own adventure in the museum. This Newbery Medal book is another 5-star read and remains one of my favorite middle school books.

Chills, Thrills, & Kills Book Club

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie is a magnificent mystery novel that kept me guessing literally to the very end. Ten unsuspecting strangers from all walks of life have been invited by an unknown wealthy millionare to spend the weekend at his newly purchased home situated on the isolated Soldier Island. Shortly after arriving, the guests discover that they have one thing in common…murder. Then, one of the ten dies suddenly, and the remaining nine soon realize a murderer is among them, waiting to pick each one of them off one by one. Ooooh, so good and a brilliant 5 stars!

Year of King

For June, Kelsi and I chose a novella from Skeleton Crew and a short story from Everything’s Eventual: 14 Dark Tales to read for our Year of King project.

The Mist is a psychological horror novella with science fiction undertones and Lovecraftian vibes. The small town of Bridgton gets swept up in a thick fog following a violent thunderstorm. While David Drayton and the rest of the townspeople are trying to regroup and recover from storm damage, loss of electricity, and lack of communication, they soon discover the thunderstorm brought along more than just the fog. It was an entertaining 4-star read for me.

“1408” is a supernatural horror short story that takes place in a New York City hotel. The skeptical and bestselling author of haunted places, Mike Enslin, gets more than he bargains for when he attempts to spend the night inside the haunted room 1408 at the Dolphin Hotel. The moment I read about the crooked door of 1408 is the moment I would have returned the room key to the front desk. Haunted places and objects give me the willies, and this short story is no exception. It earned 5 stars for sheer creepiness.

As Kelsi and I do with all the stories we read by Stephen King, we watched the screen adaptations for both The Mist and “1408.” The Mist followed the novella pretty closely but with a much bleaker ending. I thought the director, Frank Darabont, did a fine job bringing the story visually to life. “1408” was fleshed out a bit more in its film adaptation, effectively using the short story as the foundation for the film. I loved how the evil hotel room comes to life with a personality all of its own. Both films were decent adaptations, enjoyable to watch, and earned 4-star ratings from me. Kesli and I had an interesting conversation about The Mist and “1408” on June 26th, discussing both stories and their movie adaptations. Dear reader, you can check out the recording on Kelsi’s YouTube channel (see below).

July has already started which means another month with an awesome list of books to read. I am currently reading One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia for #Read21in21. My book club selection for July is Wylding Hall by Elizabeth Hand. It is the novel Kelsi and I will be reading for Year of King. It is a chunker! We will be chatting live about the novel and the two movies on Sunday, 07 August at 2:00 PM CT. Finally, for my nonfiction choice, I will be reading The High 5 Habit: Take Control of Your Life with One Simple Habit by Mel Robbins. I will be reading this book along with members of my friend Kathryn’s Facebook group Kat’s Live Healthy Team. I am looking forward to everything I have planned to read in July. To see my current book reviews or books I have read in the past, follow me on Goodreads at Katherine Loyacano. Happiness!

“If you are going to get anywhere in life you have to read a lot of books.” ~ Roald Dahl

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