This morning’s workout was Fitness Blender’s Get Strong! Upper Body Workout for Strength with Descending Reps. The only drawback for me is that because the weight is supposed to be increasing as the reps are descending, I have a tendency to start out with a weight that’s TOO low. I really need some new weights. The highest I use is 12, and I do that by holding a 10 lb. and a 2 lb. in the same hand. Between weights and new running shoes, I may have some shopping to do this weekend.
So I’m a big believer in streaks. I love streaks! Not the running across a baseball field naked kind (which is fine if that’s YOUR thing, it’s just not mine), but as in doing something every day. CONSISTENCY. One of my favorite words. I love and believe in consistency. I haven’t always been, um, consistent about consistency, but lately, things have been good.
Now I will reveal my true inner nerd and list the things I do every day:
This is really why I wanted to write a post like this: yesterday marked my 365-day streak on Duolingo! I love this site. I used it here and there in 2013 to brush up on the French I learned in high school and college. At the time, I didn’t even realize there was a desktop version – I thought it was just a phone app. In 2016 I picked it up again and realized that not only was it more than just an app, but it kept track of your streak: for each day in a row you did a lesson, a little number at the top of the page increased. Ooh, a streak challenge? I was HOOKED.
So a year ago I decided to do it every day. No excuses. Each lesson only takes a couple of minutes or so. I started with French but soon made Welsh my main focus (I’m a quarter Welsh, but also, it’s just a very cool and different language). I recently started Norwegian, just because. Duolingo is also free! (No, they aren’t paying me to write all this, but I WOULD take a t-shirt if you can spare one, guys. Women’s, medium.)
Around the same time last year, I began writing 750 words every day on the aptly named site 750words. It’s a private journal that only you can see – which I suppose you could just do with any writing software, but this site counts your words, keeps track of your streak, and categorizes your vocabulary and mood into fun little pie charts. I write between 750 and 850 words every day, which takes me about 11-12 minutes. I usually write at night and it’s all stream of consciousness, so I’m not overthinking anything. It’s a great way to get the brain cobwebs out before bed, and cheaper than therapy.
My goal is to work out every day. I had some joint issues last May and early June that put a dent in my routine (my job and schedule was super stressful at the time), but since late June until today, I’ve only skipped one day of working out and it was due to an insane schedule that day that required me to be on my feet a lot, so actually I probably didn’t TECHNICALLY not work out that day.
It might sound extreme but this really works for me. In the past, I’ve done everything from work out 3 days a week to 4 to 5 to 6 – but nothing makes me feel as solid and strong and healthy as making it a DAILY habit. First of all, I don’t overdo it – I’m hardly ever doing weights and running on the same day. And if I feel really tired or I’m low on time, I do a short indoor workout, sometimes only 20 minutes. But I do something.
It also removes ANY chance for excuses. There is no “eh, today will just be my off day!” and then that repeats like, 3 days in a week. There is none of that. There is no debating whether I’m getting out of bed. I’m just getting out of bed. There’s no argument with myself, no bargaining, no way out. I’m stuck. But in a good way!
Everyone’s favorite: calorie tracking! MFP has changed my life. It’s not a diet. It’s just a way to keep track of what you put in your mouth. That’s it. You have complete control over how much you want to lose, or gain, or eat. You just have to be consistent in order for it to work.
I started using it in July 2014, and used it every single day for every single meal for 5 months and lost 25 pounds. I continued using it every day for 4 months and maintained my weight. Then I stopped for two years and gained back 15 pounds – oops. Last April I started it up again and have lost about 13 since then. I’m on day 176 now, I think. EVERY. SINGLE. MEAL. This is the ONLY way it works! You can’t take a week off. I mean, you COULD, but why? I feel like taking time off here and there would just stress me out. Even on my Sunday “eat everything” days, I use it.
I used to weigh myself once a week until I got a Bluetooth scale last July, and then I started doing it daily. It measures body fat and BMI and bone density as well as weight, and I thought it might be cool to see the day-to-day fluctuations. It’s been really interesting to track. My weight has tended to fluctuate within about 2 pounds for a month, then it goes down a little, then fluctuates again within 2 pounds for another month, then goes down, etc. Weirdly, my weight has gone down during my periods. I don’t know why. I think I actually eat more those weeks. Am I losing THAT much blood?? I didn’t think I was???
I try to do this every day but don’t always succeed. Last year I started keeping track of all the books I read on goodreads and gave myself a challenge of reading 50 books in 2017. I don’t know if I’ll make it. But there’s still time! That is, if this blog doesn’t take up all of it. Speaking of which…
It’s only a week and a half old, and I think I already skipped a day, but I’d like to try and write a little something here every day! My commute lately makes it easy: I just take my laptop on the LIRR and write my post on the train to copy and paste into my blog when I get to work. Technology!
Wow, this was an exhausting post. I guess I do a lot of things every day. I need a nap now. Too bad I have to go to work.