Walking My Way to a Better Me

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Or at least that’s the plan!

Words on Wednesday

Welcome to another edition of Words on Wednesday – a series designed to be more about me and my thoughts, opinions, and words, and less about my craft life. It’s been quite a while since I did one of these posts. Almost 5 months!! I miss them but to be honest, the thoughts and feelings I’ve been having lately are not ones I’m comfortable sharing publicly. Maybe one day but not yet.

But today I wanted to share a small victory with you.

Remember my post about The 100 Day Project? If not, you can read about it here but the gist is, you pick a creative project and do it every day for 100 days. I picked making a card and I’ve been fairly consistent. I share them all on my Instagram feed so take a scroll and you’ll see what I mean. There are at least 63 days worth of cards but I think that technically today is Day 71 so .. yeah, I missed a few. In my defense, one of those days I made 6 cards!

Anyway, it prompted something else and that’s the topic of today’s post.

It all started one morning in April. I was making my bed, as I had every day since the beginning of December when work started in our Master bathroom and all manner of tradespeople started traipsing through my bedroom. (Full confession: I’m not typically a bed maker!) Work was close to coming to an end and I thought to myself “won’t it be nice not to be forced to do this every day?” But you know what? I had a visceral reaction to that thought and I realized that I had grown to like my bedroom with a made bed and the blinds open.

Wait, what?!

It had become a habit and one that I am quite happy to continue doing. The only difference now is that I no longer tuck my husband’s pajamas under his pillow. I figure if he hasn’t figured it out by now that I was tucking them under his pillow every day (for five months) when I made the bed, and to actually be a teeny bit proactive and helpful by doing it himself, then he’s never going to and screw him! I can live with his pajamas on the end of the bed. Or the floor if they happen to fall there when I fluff the covers!

Just saying!

But it got me thinking about habits. And how they are created. And how I’d basically been forced into creating one and in the end, became happier for it. I was enjoying making a card every day too. It filled me with a nice sense of accomplishment. But could I do this with something else? Something not creative? Something not forced on me by strange men seeing my unmade bed?

And the 100 Daily Walk challenge was born.

I am overweight. This is not up for debate. It’s a fact. My husband has been trying to encourage me to get active again and I have resisted all of his efforts so far. But even I knew I couldn’t continue to do nothing. It affects my mood. My confidence. My relations with my husband. There’s really not an area of my life that isn’t affected by my weight and health struggles. So I wondered if I could use this “A-ha!” moment about liking to make my bed and combine it with the fun of The 100 Day Project. I long to be able to run again but my arthritic knees don’t allow that. To even have a hope of jogging ever again, I need to lose a significant amount of weight. Which will take time. To move my way towards this, I decided to go for a walk every day for 100 days. And keep track of it too.

I took it to my whole family and we all chose something to try and do every day for 100 days. I told them the story of making my bed and suggested they choose something small, something that could be done relatively quickly or easily each day, and something that they felt was in an area that they wanted to improve. My youngest chose to make her bed every day – something she mostly remembers to do (but only if I remind her about 5 times before she leaves for school!) My middle daughter chose a slightly esoteric one – maintaining the garden every day. I tried to tell her that there wasn’t necessarily going to be the need to work in the garden every day – especially considering our garden consists of a lawn, a small patch of “flowers” (I really use that term loosely) in the front and a much neglected vegetable patch in the back. But she was determined. And yes, as suspected, her interest in this has waned considerably! The eldest chose something that I could tell was her way of playing along with my crazy scheme without actually having to make any significant changes – drinking 5 glasses of water every day. Hmm…

My husband picked “no cookies, donuts, potato chips or candy” for his 100 day challenge. In true competitive fashion, he’s taking great pride in his perfect record.  But I do have to note that he purposefully left himself huge loop holes. For instance, he can have pie, cake, tortilla chips (because they’re made of corn not potato – seriously), ice cream and muffins. So, he’s not super hard up!

I do not have a perfect record but I did have to share this with you.

my 100 day walking challenge

I created these calendar/charts for us to track our progress. Each page has 25 squares on it so there are 4 pages. This is the second page and I was filled with satisfaction to mark off Day 50. There were a couple of days on the first page where I missed my walk (both days I was out all day at a track meet and met my step goals for the day but did not go for a walk specifically). But this page I was consistent.

It feels so good!!

Want to know my secret?

I listen to podcasts. One podcast in particular – Happier with Gretchen Rubin! So now I am getting healthier while learning more strategies to get happier too!

Win win!

I love Gretchin’s books and her latest one, The Four Tendencies, has been on my shelf for awhile now. I subscribed to her podcast ages ago and never took the time to listen so I’ve gone back to the beginning and am working my way forward. It’s great!

Now, after 50 days, I look forward to my “me time”. I can admire the flowers in other people’s gardens, enjoy the spring sunshine, and fill my head with good ideas and thoughts. No significant weight loss yet but I feel stronger. I’m able to take longer walks and generally have more energy for the rest of my daily life. Baby steps as they say, baby steps. I am looking forward to the next 50 days and to another 100 days after that, because this is a habit I don’t intend to break.

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2 thoughts on “Walking My Way to a Better Me

  1. This is awesome, Alison. Good for you for planning out your goal and tracking it. So many people think they can just say to themselves, “Starting now, I’m going to lose weight and get in shape.” And it will happen? Without a plan? I used to see so many people sign up for 2 year gym memberships on January 2nd, and by the following week, they weren’t coming anymore. I too am in a rut. I have become so lazy since moving here, definitely more lazy in the last 6 months since getting full time hours. My list of excuses is a mile long. Maybe I should start with walking every day, too. You’ve inspired me once again! I’ll keep you posted!

    • Thank you Roxy. Your words of encouragement mean so much to me. Not just these that you left today, but all of them over the years. I truly wished we lived closer so we could hang out!!

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