So what does healthy living look like, and how will I keep track of what I’m doing?
To start with, in a similar vein to John Green I’m not going to place the main focus on my weight. Yes, I would like to lose some, but it’s not overly important – I’m currently considered a healthy weight, albeit close to the top of the range. It’s also just one factor amidst myriad others, and you can definitely be unhealthy and lose weight!
Instead, I’d like to see if I can gain strength and increase my flexibility. I plan on taking my measurements as I’d like to lower my body fat percentage and I think that’s probably the best way to start noticing if my body is changing shape/composition. But I’d also like to see if my skin improves, how my energy levels are affected, and even if my moods change. This will be a holistic healthy 100 days.
I plan to track this in a number of ways. Primarily I will write about my experience here, sharing both metrics and how I’m feeling and what I’m doing. I plan to keep track of metrics in a spreadsheet on google where I will track my weight and measurements and whether I’ve done the things I’m supposed to that day. I also want to share photos of how I’m eating on my Instagram to help me with accountability and I will probably moan a lot on my Tumblr in the meantime. For measuring flexibility, as well as noting down what I notice, I may also film myself periodically doing the same yoga routine so I can literally see how I improve.
From today, Tuesday 20th September 2016 (clearly not the date the above photo was taken), there are 103 days until January 1st.
I’ve been thinking recently about how much I feel I’ve let myself go and got into bad, unhealthy habits. Yes, I’ve been walking more recently, but I don’t really have a good consistent exercise habit, and my food habits have become appalling. I’ve not gained weight noticeably on the scales – except I’m nearly half a stone heavier than I was this time last year and I’ve not lost anything in months at all and actually the scales say my average weight is slowly creeping up – not by much, but it’s moving up – but I’ve noticeably gained some weight on my face and my arms feel softer and bigger etc.
Just as I was thinking about this I saw that John Green is going to start a 100 days thing (https://www.youtube.com/100days) in which he and a friend see what it’s really like to live healthily for 100 days. The longest I’ve ever gone is a month, and I felt pretty good after that – at the moment I can hardly stick to half a day. I keep saying I’ll do this or that and then instantly not doing it.
I’ve fallen into that trap again of not writing anything because I’m concerned that I need to be perfect, having a consistent theme and something of great importance to say before opening my mouth. And I don’t think my writing is good enough, or that the things I want to talk about are worthwhile enough, and I was without a camera for a good majority of the last year so my photography progress has stalled. It’s a common occurrence, one I’ve actually had before during the life cycle of this blog. But as I said back then, and I think bears repeating now,
You don’t know who your audience are – you don’t know their inner thoughts or feelings, you don’t know what makes them tick, you don’t know what they’ll jump on out of interest or shun in distaste. Don’t have the arrogance to presume that you are uninteresting to them, because you can not speak for them.
I had a lovely day out yesterday with a friend who said she enjoyed hearing about my life and my journey to where I am now as she found it inspiring. I was, and still am, extremely flattered by this and she made me feel interesting for once, so I’m just going to get straight back into it.
Recently a theme that’s been cropping up a lot is the passing of time and the lack of consistency in various aspects of my life. For example, yesterday I started a knitting project that I originally thought of doing about two years ago. My parents bought me the yarn the Christmas before last, and I kept planning on doing it ‘soon’. I picked it up this week on a whim – having fortunately received some Amazon vouchers from work, I decided to buy the required knitting needles on next day delivery. Thank you prime trial membership that I forgot to cancel several years ago, you’ve more than paid for yourself by now. And then made a start because… well, just because!
Recently I’ve been referring to myself as an obnoxious human being quite a lot. The reasons for this assertion are as follows: I’ve started liking One Direction, I kind of want to try a 3-day juice cleanse despite not believing any of the claims of the “science” behind them, and the other week I actually said the phrase “I’m not a hipster, I liked kale before it was cool”. I was partly joking around, but also telling the truth – my parents introduced my sister and I to kale years ago as just another variation of cabbage/greens that cropped up in Sunday roast dinners. And just earlier today I had the following exchange:
Me: I had an obnoxious lunch today. The main was a salad of tuna, red kidney beans, chickpeas, sweetcorn, red onion and parsley…
Friend: That sound nice. What’s obnoxious about that?
Me: Drink was ‘charcoal nut milk’ – water, almonds, black sesame paste, dates, vanilla, activated charcoal, himalayan pink salt. Snack was ‘crispy baobab & onion kale chips’.
Friend: Never mind.
I then went on to defend the choice of kale chips by explaining that I thought they were bacon & onion flavoured rather than baobab, and stating that the nutmilk was basically just a date and vanilla milkshake. Which it was, and a very tasty one at that. I enjoyed all my lunch immensely, but it brings me nicely to what I wanted to focus on in this post.
Or rather, a few months ago the camera on my phone stopped working. I think it was dropped one too many times, but whilst it still shows an image the focus mechanism vibrates every time you switch it on and as a result you only get blurry images.
I didn’t realise quite how much that would affect what I’m doing here. I was enjoying taking pictures to illustrate my posts and demonstrate whatever aspects of my life I was talking about, and I was also really enjoying learning more about photography and editing and improving the quality of my photos as time went on – as you can clearly see if you go back through my pictures here or on my instagram. Photography was fairly new to me – still is – and it’s frustrating that I haven’t been able to keep it going, keep learning and improving.
It means that I’ve used stock photos to brighten up the last couple of posts, and that makes my blog feel less authentic to me – the words are all mine, I’m talking about my life, so I don’t want generic pictures to go with that. I want you to see what I’m seeing.
Thinking of getting a new phone soon. Fixing the camera would probably cost about £70 anyway, and there are other problems with mine that I would like to resolve. Until then, I should continue working on this anyway, because there’s no need for photos if I can’t produce and improve the written content that is going up here. I’ve mentioned several times before about a want of perfectionism and how that can cause me not to post anything, even though I know that to improve takes time and practice and producing a lot of content.
I feel like I’m starting to appreciate that though. It might take time, but we’ll get there.
And hopefully have a nice shiny new camera to go with it.