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Today is the big day, dear reader! For the next nine weeks, I will be participating in the Fast Burn Challenge with Dr. Ian K. Smith, Shelly, and thousands of other participants. We will be following Smith’s program outlined in his newest book, Fast Burn: The Power of Negative Balance. I will be intermittent fasting for not just one month, but for two months. I will be starting with the 12:12 method (TRF or time-restricted feeding) which means I will be fasting for 12 hours and then have a 12 hour feeding window. There are additional guidelines I will be following along with intemittent fasting.

I have purchased all of my food, planned meals for the week, scheduled my fitness goals, taken my body measurements, and weighed myself. Now, I simply have to make the effort, have a good attitude, and enjoy the journey. It is not just about losing weight. It is about getting healthy again, feeling better, and boosting my confidence.

I am eager to interact with the other participants, try some new recipes, and get back into shape. I am also hoping I will be able to get back to running again. I will update my progress weekly on Fridays with a series called Fast Burn Friday. It will be another way to hold myself accountable. Let the Fast Burn Challenge begin! Happiness!

“The more confident you are in the ability to succeed, the more motivated you will be to stick to your plan and ultimately reach your goals.” ~ Ian K. Smith, M. D.

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Photo by Olya Kobruseva on Pexels.com

I divided this year into quarters to complete my 21 for 2021 list. I have added a few new items (*) from the list to complete this quarter (April-June) along with continuing to work on some ongoing items for the duration of 2021. I will continue to manage my time, eat more vegetables, and scrapbook at least two times per month. I am hoping to complete the WordPress Blogging course, so that I can start the WordPress Podcasting course in the third quarter. I am excited about all the items I will be engaging in throughout the next three months.

  • #1 Manage time.
  • #2 Maintain a regular fitness regimen. *
  • #3 Create weekly meal plans. *
  • #4 Eat more vegetables.
  • #5 Try intermittent fasting for one month (Fast Burn). *
  • #10 Complete The Four Tendencies course (Gretchen Rubin). *
  • #14 Take a WordPress Blogging course.
  • #20 Scrapbook at least two times per month.

I did make one slight change to my list. Instead of trying intermittent fasting for one month using Dr. Ian K. Smith’s Clean & Lean book, I am using his recently published book, Fast Burn: The Power of Negative Energy Balance. I also joined his Fast Burn Challenge on Facebook which starts on Monday, 19 April. The challenge will be slightly longer than one month. It is actually nine weeks long. Shelly also bought the book and joined the challenge which will make this whole intermittant fasting adventure even more enjoyable.

Why now? Well…I had read Mind Over Weight last year and had planned to start eating clean again and exercising more regularly in June. Well, that did NOT happen. I read the book, completed the journal exercises, got my food journal ready, marked my calendar for 01 June, wrote a blog post about it, and NOT a damn thing happened. NO excuses! I have no excuses because I had plenty of time (all summer), resources, and the knowledge to accomplish the goal I set for myself in June. I had already successfully completed Smith’s The Clean 20 program in the fall of 2019 and was walking at least 20 minutes daily. I chose not to follow through, and that is all on me. As a result of my poor choices, I have gained more weight and feel tired all the time which is hindering me from making positive changes in other areas of my life. Therefore, I am ready to FOCUS on getting healthy during the next nine weeks.

Wish me luck, dear reader. Sometimes, it feels bewildering to start something brand new even when you are excited; however, it seems arduous to restart something that requires a great deal of effort like weight loss. It is definitely time for me to get off the struggle bus with my weight and get healthy. Happiness!

“If you believe in yourself first, then believe in the plan, and then put in the work, you will find that at the end of nine weeks, you are a different person physically and mentally than you were when you began the journey.” ~ Ian K. Smith, M.D.

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June has come and gone, and yesterday America celebrated Independence Day. Due to the impending bad weather and social distancing, I spent the day at home. I walked in the morning, read some, and finally wrapped up answering some questions from Mind Over Weight that I needed to answer before rebooting (again) my exercise/clean eating routine. Needless to say, I was not successful with getting back on track with eating properly or incorporating additional exercise into my daily routine. Clearly, I was not really ready to change my indolent ways. So, since I have now listed all the reasons I want to take this journey, selected some motivational strategies to keep me on track, and created an action plan with some realistic goals, I think (eye roll) I’m ready to take the first step starting tomorrow morning.

I have two main goals:

  • Lose 20 pounds (#5 on my 20 for 2020) by 06 December 2020. I weighed in this morning at 159 pounds. I haven’t lost anything since June 1st, but I also haven’t gained anything.
  • Run a 5K (#20 on my 20 for 2020) by the end of 2020. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has currently halted road races. Therefore, if I cannot actually register to run a race in 2020, I will have to create my own 5K. I ordered new running shoes which should arrive sometime this week. I will start my run/walk program next Monday.

I must think about my future self. Obviously, I am not getting any younger. If I do not commit to a healthier me TODAY, it is evidently not important enough to pursue, and my future self will be the one that suffers when it’s all said and done. If not now, when? Without sounding overly dramatic, the answer is never. I have made the decision that if I cannot change my ways in the health and wellness area of my life at this point in time, then I’m done. I’m tired of talking about it. I’m tired of thinking about it. Frankly, I’m tired of dealing with it.

Additionally, I will be spending the next 30 days breaking up with my phone. A couple of weeks ago, I listened to Episode #6 (“Dial D for Distracted”) of Season 2 of The Happiness Lab podcast. It was an eye-opening conversation between Dr. Laurie Santos and Catherine Price, a science journalist and author of How to Break Up With Your Phone. Yes, I bought the book! Sadly, I am addicted to my phone, and COVID-19 has added fuel to that fire. In order to protect my brain, I must reevaluate the relationship I have with my phone and set some boundaries with it.

The next few weeks of my life should be interesting, dear reader. I’ll be going through withdrawals from sugar, a breakup, and the pain of having a tooth extracted, so approach with caution if you see me in public. I hope my future self appreciates everything that I’m doing for her. Happiness!

“If I am not for myself, then who will be for me? But when I am for myself, then what am “I”? And if not now, when?” ~ Hillel the Elder

Books & Coffee Cup

 

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June 2020 CalendarToday is the first day of June, and it falls on a Monday. What do I like about that fact? For me and my personality, I like to start a new fitness/diet routine on a Monday. I like the fact that it is a brand new month, a blank slate, which makes it mentally great for me to keep track of my progress. And, my summer break officially begins today. This summer I want to settle into a routine that encompasses several goals that I have set for myself. I am ready to make changes in different areas of my life which I have been ready to make for some time. Some changes have already been put into motion, some need action steps to set changes into motion while other changes need more time to come to fruition. Basically, I want to reboot some old routines and establish some new ones.

First order of business is rebooting my diet routine. Dear readers, I fell off the wagon hard during the mandated stay-at-home period due to COVID-19. I am an emotional eater and addicted to sugar. Therefore, it is no huge surprise that I ate my feelings of uncertainty, anxiety, and restlessness throughout the last two months in lockdown, and many of my food choices contained sugar. I lost 13.5 pounds before the new year and have gained 10 pounds back. Today, I weighed in at 159 pounds. It is what it is, and I do NOT plan to cry about it, dwell on it, or shame myself.

What is the goal? My goal is to lose 20 pounds (#5 on my 20 for 2020) this year starting TODAY. What is the plan? Increase my water intake, complete The Clean 20 program, replace emotional eating, and rev up my fitness routine. Thankfully, I have been walking daily since March 23rd. I need to add some strength training, cardio workouts, more stretching, and eventually running to my exercise regimen.

Mind Over WeightI recently finished reading Mind Over Weight written by Dr. Ian K. Smith, who is the author of The Clean 20. It is a wonderful little book that gave me a much-needed pep talk. I will be referring to this book for motivation throughout my weight loss journey. It has some terrific questions to reflect upon, tips on curbing cravings, and suggestions on dealing with emotional eating. Journaling and tracking my progress is also part of the plan.

The excitement of a new beginning energizes me, dear reader. There are so many avenues that I want to traverse this summer, and I invite you to tag along. I can always use encouragement and support from you, my tribe, since my mind likes to play tricks on me, inviting doubt and fear to put up roadblocks. Any routines that you want to reboot this summer or new ones that you want to establish? If so, please share, and we can encourage each other. Happiness!

“A daily routine built on good habits and disciplines separates the most successful among us from everyone else. The routine is exceptionally powerful.” ~ Darren Hardy

 

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Spelling Bee 2In three short weeks, the show that I am doing, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, will be opening. It is hilarious and will be so much fun for audience members. Tickets went on sale yesterday. My experience, thus far, has been wonderful. I’m grateful to both Rachael Knaps (director) and Brent Goodrich (music director) for giving me this opportunity. Being in a musical production is a huge commitment and a great deal of work.  I am being stretched creatively in so many ways, and I am loving the challenge. While I am extremely excited, I am also incredibly nervous. I don’t want to just perform well, I want to SHINE!

Currently, I am struggling with my monologue. I know the words, and I know the message that I am delivering to the audience. However, I am not taking ownership as my character Mitch. I can spout out my lines at home, in the car, on a walk, but then I take the stage as Mitch during rehearsal, and my mind goes blank. I’m tongue-tied Kat, instead. The other night at rehearsal when I called for line, Tina gave it to me, and I swore she was speaking Chinese. I could NOT think! At that point, I wanted to sing “Woe is Me,” curl up in a fetal position, and suck my thumb. Thank the stars that I’m just a little dramatic and not a quitter. I have to work hard on getting out of my head and getting more into my character. Thankfully, everyone has been super supportive and patient with me. If they are willing to believe in me, I have to believe in myself. I may not be as talented as my fellow actors, but I am talented. With more effort and determination, I believe I can shine.

In Other News:

Onion MumI have completed the reemergence period of The Clean 20 program. I am down another 1/2 pound which puts me at a total loss of 8 pounds since September 2nd. Even though that may not seem like such a stellar accomplishment, I’m actually happy with it. The reemergence period is where foods that were eliminated during the clean eating phase of the program are reintroduced or banned entirely. I did not create the two lists suggested by Dr. Ian Smith. I did not want to ban anything. Restrictions backfire on me. I would rather give myself permission to eat what I want and choose not to eat it than tell myself I can never eat something ever again. I’m also of the mindset that if a poor food choice is something that will only be consumed once in a very long while, enjoy it. Sometimes, feeling like crap after eating it will be enough to not reach for it again in the future. For example, I adore Bonneval’s Cracklin, but that deliciously seasoned snack with fried out pork fat skin attached is not adored by my stomach. So, as much as I would like to indulge in the future, after belching for hours afterwards and having to pop a Zantac to stop the belching, I am no longer in adoration. I confess to you, dear reader, that although I ate clean most of the time, I did eat what I wanted during this period. I ate beef and fried foods a couple of times. And, I ate sugar! I wanted carrot cake, so I ate a third of a slice that I brought home from Outback Steakhouse. It was yummy, but rich, and enough that I enjoyed it without regret. I was stressing and a little hormonal this past week, so I ate part of a chocolate rabbit (top half) on Tuesday afternoon and the other part (bottom half) on Wednesday afternoon.  I basically drowned my feelings in chocolate. I must have felt guilty because that night I ended up having a sugar-related nightmare where I was in a room filled with bowls of candy, and I was stopping at every bowl, grabbing a piece of candy, and eating it. The HORROR! I have accepted my moments of weakness and have moved on. Fortunately, I am back on track.

Autumn weather has finally arrived in Louisiana, and it feels fantastic. It is perfect weather for a walk or run. My big plans for today consist of going to the movies to see Joker and then swing by the bookstore before coming back home to work on my monologue and read “The Call of Cthulhu” by H.P. Lovecraft. Enjoy what is left of the weekend, dear reader.  Happiness!

“Temporary failure will not prevent you from achieving lasting success.”              ~ Matshona Dhliwayo

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For the past four Saturdays, I have been attending an Acting for Film & Television Workshop in New Orleans. Yesterday, I had my last class which turned out to be exciting, emotional, and eye-opening. My acting coach Lance Nichols invited a director (Oley Sassone), a director of photography (Claire), and a script supervisor (Sandy Parker) to teach the class. As an actor, you need to not only prepare yourself for your performance, but you must also know the technical aspects of performing in the space of the scene. I walked away from this workshop showing more growth as an actor, gaining more wisdom and insight into the craft of acting, and obtaining a better understanding of the technical aspects of working as an actor in film and television. In addition, I met wonderful new friends in the acting community which is so beneficial on this journey to becoming a thespian. Since my workshop has ended, I will be focusing solely on my role as Mitch Mahoney in the upcoming theater production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.

In Other News:

KombuchaEver hear of Kombucha, dear reader? Molly Kimball, a New Orleans registered dietician, talked about Kombucha on her September 12th episode (“Behind the Brand: Big Easy Bucha”) of her podcast, Fueled: Wellness + Nutrition with Molly Kimball. She interviewed Austin Sherman, co-founder and CEO of Big Easy Bucha, to learn more about this locally produced tea and why we should be consuming it. There are several benefits of drinking this concoction rich in probiotics. According to an article by Kristen Lila on the website Odyssey, Kombucha cleanses and detoxifies, supports joint health, helps digestive heath/gut health, supports immune health, promotes energy, and helps aide cancer prevention/recovery.

I found Big Easy Bucha at Wal-Mart a couple of weeks ago, and I bought a bottle of Jazz Juice which is infused with Pineapple and Elderflower. I’m not going to sugarcoat it. The first sip tasted like vinegar. My hubby tasted it and agreed. I almost cut my losses and poured the rest of it down the drain. Instead, I decided to drink small amounts of it over the next couple of days, and surprisingly I now like it. Yesterday, I bought another bottle of Jazz Juice along with a bottle of Bayou Berry which is infused with Strawberry and Honeysuckle. I like the Bayou Berry more. My hubby says it tastes like vinegar, too. HA! More Kombucha for me. I asked Molly if Kombucha should be consumed daily and how much is enough to see benefits. It is good for daily consumption and 8-16 ounces per day is plenty. Molly personally drinks a 16 ounce bottle most days. I’m planning to incorporate at least 8 ounces daily. Since there is a variety of flavors, I’m on a mission to find other ones. The Wal-Mart in Ponchatoula only carries Jazz Juice and Bayou Berry.

October is finally here, dear reader, but somehow it forgot to bring cooler weather with it. I’m hoping, as I’m sure the rest of Louisiana is hoping, that this week will bring plenty of much-needed rain, as well as cooler fall temps. In the meantime, enjoy the rest of the weekend. And, if you come across some other flavors of Big Easy Bucha in your grocery store, please let me know. Happiness!

“You will enrich your life immeasurably if you approach it with a sense of wonder and discovery, and always challenge yourself to try new things.” ~ Nate Berkus

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I have officially completed the clean eating portion of The Clean 20 program. I lost a total of seven pounds in the 20 days. Was I perfect? No, of course not. Nonetheless, I am extremely proud of the accomplishments that I have made during the last 20 days. My biggest accomplishment which has given me the biggest payoff is quitting added sugar. Except for the small slice of chocolate cake that I had at my mother-in-law’s house a couple of weeks ago, I have not eaten anything sweet. No candy, no cupcakes, no Happy Tracks ice cream, no cookie cake. These were all offered to me during the program, and I turned them all down. No sweets coupled with eliminating soda or eating products with a high sugar content (ketchup, BBQ sauce, juice, etc.) has made a huge difference. I can think more clearly, my joints feel better, and I don’t feel as tired throughout the day. The other accomplishment worth mentioning is my increase in eating more natural foods, especially vegetables. I’ve never had a problem eating fresh fruit on a daily basis, but eating fresh vegetables daily is another story. Now, I eat them every day.

Salmon

Baked Salmon with sautéed spinach and mushrooms

One of my favorite meals is baked salmon with sautéed spinach and mushrooms. It is very easy to make. I spray a baking dish with olive oil cooking spray. Then I place a piece of salmon in the dish, top it with a pat of butter, and sprinkle it with Tony Chachere’s seasoning. I bake it at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes. While the fish is baking, I put some light olive oil in a pan with some minced garlic. I add fresh spinach and fresh mushrooms. I add some salt while it is cooking. That’s it! The meal is quick, easy, and tastes yummy.

During this last week, I did drink more water. Except for yesterday and today, I drank between 9 and 11 glasses per day. Drinking cold water seems to help me drink more of it. I also exercised more this week. I walked three days after work. Each day, I walked for an hour. According to the program, my total number of steps to reach was 86,000. I walked 59,855. I was also suppose to climb 27 flights of steps. I climbed a total of 29 flights of steps. My classroom is on the second floor, so meeting this goal is relatively easy. I had several other exercises to complete (jumping jacks, squats, planks, jog punches, ice skaters, high knees) throughout the week. I did NOT complete any of these exercises. There is only so much time in a day. And, with after-school meetings and play practice for two hours in the evening, as well as taking care of personal tasks at home, fitting everything in each day can be a challenge. It’s not perfect, but a good start in the right direction. In my opinion, anything is better than nothing.

So, what’s next? The next part of The Clean 20 program is the reemergence period which is also 20 days. This period of time is where you can reintroduce some of the foods that were eliminated during the 20 days of clean eating. However, it is definitely not adding back the sugar, soda, potato ships, fried foods, etc. that can be harmful to your body when consumed on a regular basis. Dr. Ian K. Smith recommends creating a list of banned foods and a list of reintroduced foods. He also recommends reintroducing foods slowly. My goal is to continue eating pretty much like I have been eating for the last three weeks. One item that I have missed while eating clean is Blue Plate mayonnaise, so I will probably sneak in a little here and there.

Shrimp and Grits

Shrimp and Grits Cake

I must admit that yesterday I ate perfectly clean for breakfast and lunch, but for dinner, I did treat myself. My hubby and I stayed in New Orleans last night to attend a play. We ate dinner at Café at the Square in the Blake Hotel. I ordered the Shrimp and Grits Cake with a salad. It was happy hour, so I ordered a glass of red wine. My hubby and I also split an appetizer which was Mozzarella Croquettes. The meal was fantastic! Since I could not eat all of my entrée, and we did not finish the appetizer, we took it back to our room. We happily split the leftovers for breakfast this morning.

I’m feeling positive about my health and fitness goals, dear reader. Eating clean these last couple of weeks has gotten me closer to my goal of losing 19 pounds by the end of the year. It is doable. It is important to my health. And, it is necessary for me to live my best life. Happiness!

“To keep the body in good health is a duty; otherwise, we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” ~ Buddha

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Kale Chips

Kale Chips

I completed Week 2 of The Clean 20. Overall, I am feeling successful even though I am still a work in progress, for sure. The good news is I have lost an additional three pounds this week which brings me to a total of six pounds lost since I started eating clean. I have stuck to my plan of eating clean 98% of the time. Last night for dinner, I ate a thinly cut piece of steak with no condiments and a baked sweet potato. There is no beef on Smith’s plan, yet there are health benefits from incorporating it in your diet. For example, he mentions that beef is among the best sources of foods that contain zinc which is important for our brains. So, I am not going to beat myself up too much for having my beef. The victory is that I did not eat it with BBQ sauce which is laden with sugar. Also, during the week, I did eat a frozen organic meal for dinner. It was one of Amy’s Bowls (Mexican Casserole made with organic corn and beans topped with enchilada sauce and cheese). I liked it! It was quite tasty and convenient. The meal is gluten free, contains no GMOs, includes 12 grams of protein and only 4 grams of sugar. It does have 780mg of sodium, so if sodium intake is an issue, this may not be a good food option. Nevertheless, it is a processed food that is not listed on The Clean 20.

Let’s talk about processed foods for a minute because not all processed foods are equal. When a food is processed, it is undergoing a deliberate change to the food before it is eaten. Freezing, drying, cooking, and canning are ways that foods can be processed. Some processed foods go through minimal processing (bagged spinach) while others go through heavier processing (granola bars). Therefore, it is imperative to read labels on any foods that are processed to discern if these foods can be a part of a clean eating diet.

Processed FoodsSome processed foods that I have incorporated in my clean eating repertoire include: Wholly Chunky Avocado minis (only one ingredient, Hass Avocados), Sabra Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, Fage Total 2% Greek Yogurt (terrific substitute for sour cream), Sargento Balanced Breaks snack pack (not thrilled with the 8g of sugar that comes from the golden raisin medley), Gorgonzola cheese crumbles, Primal Kitchen Ketchup (organic and unsweetened; no added sugar); Amy’s Organic Soup: Black Bean Vegetable (does contain 5g sugar; organic and gluten free; I get two servings (3/4 cup each) out of a can and pair it with a sandwich), Amy’s Bowls (Mexican Casserole), Nature’s Own 100% Whole Wheat Bread. I also made kale chips this week. It was interesting. I burned my first batch even though I followed the directions carefully. I received confirmation from co-workers that my second batch was successful. So, I can add kale chips to my clean eating list and add a little more crunch to my life.

I’m sure you are wondering, dear reader, how well did Kat do this week with meeting her water intake and exercise goals. Both were still challenging. On average, I am drinking about 6 glasses of water per day. As for exercise, I did none beyond my walking and climbing stairs at work. I am NOT meeting the exercise goals outlined in The Clean 20. Planning and prioritizing are the key with both of these challenges. Smith writes on Day 9 of The Clean 20, “As you embark on a journey to better health, you need to understand that making perfect decisions in what you eat and how you move is not a requirement and, in fact, could be a self-defeating goal. Try your best to remain true to your purpose, but remember that there’s more to life than what’s on your plate or in your cup” (122). Sometimes, we need to make decisions that can be hard because of our circumstances. Surprisingly, I passed on pepperoni pizza at the staff meeting on Tuesday afternoon. I LOVE pepperoni pizza! I planned accordingly and ate my carrots with hummus instead. And, it was fine. Does this mean that I will never eat pepperoni pizza again? Of course not! It means that I made a commitment to eat clean for 20 days to improve my health.

That’s a wrap, dear reader. Since starting my clean eating journey, I am feeling better both physically and mentally. And, I need to feel my best because I start play practice tomorrow afternoon which means my life is about to get crazy…in an exciting way. Happiness!

“The higher your energy level, the more efficient your body. The more efficient your body, the better you feel and the more you will use your talent to produce outstanding results.” ~ Anthony Robbins

 

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Clean 20This week I decreased added sugar, reduced process food, reduced consuming unnecessary additives, and incorporated most of the foods recommended in The Clean 20 by Dr. Ian K. Smith. I lost 3 pounds. One of the main observations that I have made so far is that I do not feel as bloated as I have been after eating meals. Surprisingly, I do not miss the added sugar; however, I do miss the convenience of processed food. Thankfully, I like the foods on the clean eating list because I eat many of them already.

While I am following The Clean 20 rules and taking suggestions from the program’s menus about what to eat, I am not eating the meals in the exact order that Smith has outlined in the book. It is just not realistic for me. I do not like to cook, so preparing Baked Apple Oatmeal Cups for breakfast and Herb-encrusted grilled skinless chicken breast with salad greens for lunch is not going to work for me. However, I will eat my cup of oatmeal with blueberries mixed with a 1/4 cup of reduced fat milk for breakfast and a turkey sandwich on 100% whole wheat bread with 5 ounces of turkey, a slice of pepper jack cheese, a tomato, and mustard with a 3/4 cup of black bean vegetable soup.

Let’s discuss coffee for a moment. I LOVE coffee! What I do not love is drinking black coffee. Therefore, when I prepare my 10 ounce cup of coffee in the morning, it includes the coffee (K cup), one packet of Truvia, a 1/4 teaspoon of sugar (cuts the aftertaste of the Truvia), and 1 tablespoon of half & half. My coffee contains about two grams of sugar. According to Jackie Warner, who wrote This is Why You’re Fat, “Choose foods with five grams of sugar per serving or less. The body doesn’t register anything five grams and under, so that is optimal” (35). Many afternoons, I enjoy a second 10 ounce cup of coffee. Even with my miniscule amount of sugar that I add, I am within my sugar limits.

The clean eating challenges that I faced this week included not drinking enough water, not being able to eat perfectly on a schedule, and eating dinner at my mother-in-law’s house. When I am home, I come close to consuming the recommended amount of water (between 8 and 10 cups per day) suggested on the program. When I am at work, not so much. I have always struggled with consistently drinking enough water during the work day. I’m not sure how to solve this issue; however, I’m not giving up. As for my eating schedule, I had a couple of long meetings this week that interfered with me eating my morning snack or lunch on time, and I attended an afternoon swim meet with no afternoon snack and eating a late dinner. Being overly hungry can lead to overeating or reaching for the wrong food choices. I prevailed, but there was a time or two this week that I wanted to consume something extra and not so clean or take a trip through a fast food drive-thru. Also, eating out or having someone cook for you can be a challenge on any clean eating program. On Friday evenings, my mother-in-law is kind enough to cook dinner for my family. And, she cooks well. Unfortunately for me, dinner this week was fried catfish, mashed potatoes, carrots, and chocolate cake. I ate it all in moderation.

As for exercise, I failed miserably this week. I only walked on Monday (off). I do walk a bunch around the school’s campus and climb a fair amount of stairs while working, but I am not hitting the recommended amount of steps or completing the exercises in the program. All excuses, but here it goes: too hot, tired (probably from not drinking enough water), no working earbuds for phone, lack of motivation.

I am a work in progress, dear reader. Even though I did not follow the program this week to the letter, I did make more positive than negative choices to improve my health. And, I’m not giving up because my desire to be healthier outweighs my desire for eating bowls of Blue Bell’s “Happy Tracks” ice cream. Happiness!

“What’s important is that you make the leap. Jump high and hard with intention and heart.” ~ Cheryl Strayed

 

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PutnamcountyspellingbeealbumcoverI DID IT! Two weeks ago, I auditioned for my first musical at The New Octavians, a local community theatre in Hammond. The show that I auditioned for is called The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and it will be directed by Rachael Knaps. It is a musical comedy centered on a fictional spelling bee held at a middle school where six oddball teens will compete, and three unconventional adults will run the show. Well (drum roll), my name made its way on the cast list. I was offered a role, and I accepted it! I will be playing Mitch Mahoney, who happens to be an ex-con assigned to the spelling bee to fulfill a community service requirement. HA! I’m SUPER excited about getting cast and cannot thank my voice coach Laura enough for all of her help preparing me for the audition. We worked intensively together for two weeks preparing me to belt out “The Kite” and the hard work paid off. Go, me! The performances will be in November.

In addition to coming clean about what I have been doing with my singing and acting, I’ve also been reading about eating clean. #8 Read one book a month for self-improvement. This month I read The Clean 20 by Ian K. Smith, M.D. I learned about Dr. Ian K. Smith and his approach to eating clean and intermittent fasting on Molly Kimball’s podcast Fueled: Wellness + Nutrition. I liked what he had to say, so I decided to check out his new book Clean & Lean and discovered the book he wrote previously, The Clean 20, that focuses on 20 clean foods that are incorporated in a complete 20-day clean-eating program. The program includes menus, recipes, exercise suggestions, motivation, and the benefits of eating these clean foods. Therefore, I am starting the program on Monday (Labor Day). It will require food prep and planning, as well as following “The Clean 20 Rules” of which there are fourteen. Some will be easy to follow (dairy is good, no alcohol, canned and frozen are permitted), and others will be much harder (no added sugar, no soda, no frying, careful with condiments). Along with reading the book, I joined Smith’s Facebook group Cleaner Get Leaner. The group was created as a companion to his Clean & Lean book; however, since I will eventually be reading that book in the near future, I decided the extra motivation and encouragement could be beneficial. I’ll keep you posted on my progress with the clean eating program.

In Other News:

I dropped my gym membership. I thought going to the gym at least once per week this year (#5) on my 19 for 2019 list would be easy, but it has not. I went ONE time in July and walked on the treadmill. Since Andrew can exercise at the Rec Sports & Wellness Student Activity Center at SLU and I’m not going to the gym regularly, I decided to save some money and cancel our membership.

It’s Labor Day weekend, dear reader, and for many of you that means an extra day off from your job. I hope you will be able to enjoy the additional downtime. Happiness!

“Sometimes it’s easy to forget about the essence of life — joy. We get so bogged down in the process of “doing” that we forget about the state of “being” and how important it is to enjoy where we are and not always look to where we want to be.” ~ Ian K. Smith, M.D.

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Empowering Oneself

Creating Websites From Scratch

HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript

Get On With It

Writing and drawings about work, family and the stuff in-between

theleadlesspencil

Musings on the 3Rs: Reading, Running and t-Ravelling. Or anything else that makes me ponder.

Daniel J Bockman

Businessman, Author and Speaker

Li. A. Wake

Author and Screenwriter

dastardly.reads

procrastination.queen

This West London Life

Attempting to live a better story ... and scrapbooking it.

Ask Dr S.

Lifestyle, Performance, Physical Medicine

ilovemyhomebusiness.wordpress.com/

Helping families one family at a time.