I figured now would be a good time to have a bit of a think about goals for August.
July was a REALLY big month! It felt REALLY long, but was also UBER productive. I did not let up on myself AT ALL, I did EVERY workout, EVERY hour of practice and met all my cleaning and spending targets, and catching up with all my friends. It was exhausting, it felt epic, and it was successful. I’m not sure (because my scales are clearly dodgy!) exactly how much weight I lost but it’s plenty, whichever way you look at it – more than a stone at least – and I’ve dropped another dress size. I’ve made clear progress with my song practice and just have a small handful of thorny unplayable bits left to master, out of a list of 25 songs. I did really well with cleaning starches (and in particular, gluten) out of my diet, my body is changing noticeably, I notice it most in my arms and legs which is weird, usually it’s the belly and face that go first so this is interesting! I revamped my image, replenished my craft stock, and learned to cook some new recipes. I replied to all my letters and bought/sent presents where they were needed. The only thing that’s been on the back-burner really has been languages, and I’ve been squeezing those in where I can.
There are five months left of the year, and one thing is for sure: another five months of this and I will have a different body – and be on my way to a new career. There is some real magic at work here, provided I don’t start second-guessing myself or get derailed by other life events. Mostly, I would just like August to be like July all over again! But in the belief that the best way to maintain something is to try and build on it, I am going to attempt to have an Awesome August! And try to get my super-hero persona on a more concrete footing. It’s the last month really of summer (we have had some GREAT weather, long may it continue!) and already I can feel the whisper of autumn in the cool early-morning air. There are less than 8 weeks to my autumn vacation and there will only be three left come the end of August. I *love* autumn but I’ve got to squeeze the very most out of this last bit of summer especially before the days shorten and the mornings start to get darker. Now is the time to be inspired and take energy from the long hours of daylight. So these are the areas I’d like to make incremental improvements on and the things I could stand to achieve by the end of the month:
- Exercise. Actually I have no real incremental improvement here, but it was HARD to not drop a workout at all and I want to make sure I can do the same in August. That’s my limit. I’ve been getting cardio 6 days a week (that’s only 4 days off for the whole month) and it’s two complete months now that I’ve been doing daily press-ups. I’ve added in daily chair-dips too and I guess I could add some squats on days before swimming but that really is pretty much IT. I want to make the most of the park and try to get there sometimes before work as well as on the weekend.
Where I’d like to be by the end of the month: comfortable with this routine without feeling physically tired and achy all the time. Feeling strong and like I can do this for life. Yet more toned in my arms, legs, and back.
- Eating. I cannot complain about my weight-loss AT ALL for July. It was way beyond anything I expected to happen – and like with exercise, the focus is on keeping it up (even when those mini crustless quiches don’t always seem so appealing!) Having a no-flour rule has helped me avoid all sorts of random crap at work since flour is not only in BREAD but also in CAKE and BISCUITS and those dodgy crackers and second-hand sandwiches people leave as gifts (not that appetizing after all!) so that’s been saving me from a multitude of sins, as has the no-starchy-carb thing in general. There are a few areas where I could clean up my act though so these are to bear in mind:
1. Processed meat. I eat quite a lot of cold deli-style packaged meat and while it’s technically protein and not carbs, I’m not sure it’s completely healthy to have so much. I’m also getting a fair bit of (mostly processed) cheese – although I never used to eat this at all so I’m not sure how much is a lot here – and (presumably) sweetened yoghurt. While this isn’t hurting me in terms of weight-loss I would like to reduce my dependence on these things and bring in more natural proteins to replace part of this group.
2. Treats. Most days at work I will have a treat of something chocolatey or sweet, and maybe one day over the weekend and then often if I’m out with friends too. Again, I have my portions under control now so while it’s not affecting my weight-loss, I would like to reduce my dependence on these things gradually if I can. I could do this by reducing the portions further, or (initially) aiming to have one day at work each week where I can get by with extra fruit instead. It would be a good idea to count actual treat instances as well as I may sometimes be having multiple treats on the same day :S
3. I would like to be a little bit more organised and a little bit more creative with meals and snacks. If I’m going to sustain this way of eating beyond the initial 3-month period then I need to really delve deep into the possibilities of foods that’ll fit the bill and not leave any stone unturned!
Where I’d like to be by the end of the month: my lowest adult weight ever on any kind of line and starting an adventure as a new, smaller me. Be able to fit into all my clothes, the trousers, the jeans, the coat – everything. Have some idea of the sustainability of this lifestyle and where it could bring me by the end of the year. I would really love to be a roughly “normal” size by Christmas – will need to see myself well on the way by the end of August.
- Music. The big thing here is to bear in mind that the album needs recording at some point! I can’t stay in this happy rehearsal bubble forever!!
1. Stick with 15h/week target and try to surpass it to get in my target rehearsal and project time each week.
2. Get all the songs down and feel comfortable that I’m ready to record the first few, if not actually book the studio time and get it done!
3. Write the final songs if I feel I need them. I want to feel like the whole album is a great fit.
4. Work on warmups and technical vocal work as close to daily as I can.
- Other stuff:
1. Friends & social stuff – it already seems like a tall order what with everything that’s already planned with work and family, but try to think about this calmly and work out the best times to see everyone. I’ll feel better for it.
2. Relaxation – continue to try and take Sundays off for rest and keep them as clear as possible – this has helped no end with having the stamina to get music time done, not cracking up, giving my body a rest in between exercise, and having quality time with HH. I used to have these massive crashes at the weekend where I’d just spend whole days in bed or at least half-days and be feeding myself into naps and then waking and eating again – it was the best way my body knew to give me a complete mental break from all the other stuff going on. Even though I’m not doing that any more, I still need to take responsibility for GIVING MYSELF that break. And just doing nothing sometimes! Or doing whatever the whim suggests at the time.
3. Craft stuff – I’ve got a whole load of new scrapbook stuff (IT’S SO BEAUTIFUL!) and Christmas card-making things so I would like to get back into doing a page a week and a card a week. I have a big backlog of scrapworthy things to write up!
4. Languages – little by little! As much as possible!
5. Try to do at least a couple of different/interesting things this month.
Cleaning, budgeting, blogging and present-buying are basically all ticking over nicely so I’m not listing them here just to avoid further pressure! The first priority is health, the second is music – I can only achieve one big thing at once.