Tag Archives: bad habits

Habits

It’s too difficult to change habits, that’s the thing I’m running into the most with this. Recently I found a printable .pdf that was meant to be a habit “checklist” to help you keep track of what habits you were succeeding at and which you weren’t. The trick was 1-you’d have to print the checklist every single week, what a waste of paper and 2-they were charging for it.

So I took the basic idea from a few printable checklists that I saw and made it into a very simple Google Drive document, which you can look at here. You should be able to save your own copy that you can edit and keep track of yourself as well.

Also, I’ve been trying to use Evernote to keep a food, sleep, and exercise diary since I can access my Evernote notebooks through multiple devices. I’ve not really gotten that down, but I think I’ll add “update Evernote” to my habits list. But what I’ve been doing is pretty simple. I just have a notebook that is my food/exercise journal. Then each day gets it’s own note. The first line is when I slept the night before, then a list of the foods I ate and when I ate them (I’m not keeping track of quantities right now, I don’t want to be too obsessive) and then a line at the end for what exercise I did that day. Partially I’m doing this to keep track, but I’m also working on figuring out what food and exercise changes might do to my sleep schedule, and how I’m generally feeling. I’ve seen some spreadsheets that work in a similar fashion, but they usually have a bunch of lines I don’t feel like filling out.

My husband is on vacation this week, so we’re going to be taking more walks, and see how it goes. So next week hopefully I’ll have something more than “this is how I’m trying to even just remember to do what I’m supposed to do.”

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Stalled out again

Normally I loathe New Year’s Resolutions. Why should this one day be some sort of magic realization to change everything about your life?

But I think this year for me, it’s become something more. For one thing, the changes I want to make now aren’t really happening because the holidays are so stressful and full of stuff. But also because 2012 became such a difficult year on so many levels, and I just had such a hard time dealing with it that now it’s become this like magic moment where when 2013 hits maybe the luck and terribleness of this year will finally be over.

Right now, I’ve decided in general to stop punishing myself and being so hard on myself for not accomplishing big changes all at once. So the idea is more to do small things and get one thing tackled before trying to move on. Right now that goal is just to get into a habit of getting up at 8 a.m. every day, 10 a.m. on weekends. So far I’ve not really accomplished it very well, but it’s very slowly getting more and more reasonable. And that’s an accomplishment and something I think I should be proud of.

Hopefully after Christmas I can get a jacket that’s better for outdoor walks in bad weather, I have one picked out at L.L. Bean that I really want, but it’s over $100 so I can’t afford it right now. But I think it would be good for year round because it’s got a pull out lining, waterproofing, etc. I want to buy good quality stuff as I stock up for this hike, not cheap things that will wear out and have to be replaced with the good stuff later. The problem is money is still annoying overall.

Anyway, so now New Year’s is looking like “my time.” So I’ll try to get some walks in between now and then, but mostly I’ll focus on getting up on time every day at the moment.

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Making good new habits

It’s so impossible to make a habit. Though I need to stop trying to make more than one at a time.

I’ve mostly been doing well with eating when I get up. Though I haven’t fixed my sleep schedule yet, so calling it “breakfast” doesn’t really work. But I get up and drink a shake and that’s alright. Except when I don’t remember to buy milk, or in the case of last Friday I was leaving town so there was no point in buying milk.

But the thing is, if I get thrown off by even the slightest bit, not only do I end up ruining that day but several days after. Friday I had no milk, so I got up and the plan was to eat something else. But I didn’t find anything I wanted and so I just didn’t.

And that knocked me off kilter again and I still haven’t gotten back from it. Hopefully tomorrow.

Sleep is the same way. I’ll be doing well, going to bed by midnight, getting up by 10 (those are the vague times I set for myself, because I rarely sleep that entire time) and then one night I’ll need to stay up for work or I’ll sleep in one day because I don’t feel well and boom, right back to square one.

It’s frustrating. I’m starting to feel like I have no will power to actually make a change in my life. I’m not sure how to get that either. I know all the logical health reasons I have to change all of these things. I know how much better I feel when I am taking care of myself.

And yet the second it becomes difficult, I drop off again. Not to mention that it always requires conscious thought. I’d like the whole “drinking a bottle of water a day” thing to be something I do without thinking much. I just get a bottle from the fridge and drink it as I work and done. But I have to really make myself. I have to actively make myself go to bed and get up, because I don’t get tired and I don’t wake up wanting to get out of bed.

I’ve got no idea how to fix any of that.

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Small progress

So, one thing about eating breakfast (or drinking it) every day, I’m now hungry a lot more of the time. Which is what often happens when I try to eat breakfast.

I’ve had a few days where I get to a meal time and I don’t feel like eating, but having the shakes in the house means that I can just make a shake instead and at least get some nutrition. And I’ve bought some more juice and smoothie stuff to drink and get more out of that instead of drinking soda all the time.

My plan to track my food and drinks isn’t working though. I’m not entirely sure how to manage that, something computerized might work, like a webpage where I can just check stuff off or whatever but I’m not sure the best system for that. Most trackers include WAY more information than I care about. I don’t want to make it a more complicated deal than it is, I want to track what time I eat my meals and snacks, if I took my vitamins, and how much fiber I got that day. The notebook I have is perfect for it, I guess I just need to concentrate on it more and make a bigger effort.

I do have a doctor’s appointment finally to do a physical, so I can at least get a good base line of how my health is right now as I start all these changes. And I can talk to her about them, if I get a chance or remember to. I’m not very good with doctors, they make me nervous and I forget to tell them anything. Or they don’t listen and I get withdrawn and don’t want to talk anymore because it doesn’t seem to be helping. But this doctor seems nice so I’ll give it a try.

I also have been going to bed almost on time and getting up almost on time for a few days now. If it lasts a week then I think I’m going to start back on my plans for walking, maybe going for a walk first thing in the morning right after my breakfast.

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Progress

So last week I wrote that my goals were to eat something breakfast like every day and to keep track of my food/nutrition better.

I’ve managed the breakfast, and I’m actually finding that I’m kind of looking forward to it when I wake up now, so I’m already starting to develop an appetite when I wake up. This is very good news. I still am not at the “forget the shake, give me FOOD” part but craving the shakes is something.

I’ve also started drinking juice that has veggies in it instead of just fruit juice, which is good.

As for logging things, I’m not doing so well at that. I was for about three days and then July 4th happened and I forgot and it just has kind of not worked out like I hoped. I’ll keep trying though!

I’m spending too much on groceries already though with this trying for more variety and better foods thing. Which is the way of it I guess.

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Newest plans

So, I wrote last week that I’m not going to try to figure out this hike thing until I figure out my health.

Basic first steps this week:
-drinking some kind of nutrition shake for breakfast every day. Basically, I never eat breakfast because I wake up most mornings feeling groggy and sick and hating food. But that means I’m getting less nutrients than I need and it’s not good for my body, so, shakes. Been doing this for about five days now, seems to be doing alright. Yesterday and today I got hungry for lunch and dinner on a more normal schedule, so that’s something.

-Tracking my food/vitamins/drinks in a daily log. I based it off of a daily checklist that Cyn sent me a link to, but I’m putting it in a small notebook that is easy to carry with me. It’ll help me keep track of taking my supplements, I write down what times I eat my meals, and I’m tracking my fiber intake (the number one issue with my diet vs. my diagnosed health problems). Plus the amount of drinks in general.

I’m still too low on drinks and hours of sleep, and I need to find 5 more grams of fiber each day in general so far, but having these numbers should help.

Now to just be able to fix my sleep issues…

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Stuff and junk

I basically have nothing to add this week. I’ve generally decided that my first step is not actually to walk every day (though that is PART of my first step). My first step should be to take care of these health issues that are making everything more difficult for me.

So, in order of importance, I have to figure out how to deal with:
1. My issues with sleep, and getting on a sleep schedule that works for me.
2. My problems with not being hydrated enough ever.
3. Eating a more well balanced diet in general and learning to love some trail foods even off the trail.
4. The migraines and light sensitivity.

Most of these I can’t get real medical intervention for until December, because my insurance would consider them pre-existing conditions (yeah, we don’t need health care reform). But I can take a few steps myself.

My the hardest part is figuring out this sleep problem. It’s three decades worth of problems and I’ve tried to solve it in multiple ways but just never quite manage. I know every single tip in the book on sleep hygiene and everything people have to say about how to get better sleep. I know them all, trust me.

So now I just have to figure out what little piece of the puzzle I’m missing…and it’s probably just will power.

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Stairs: bane of my existence

Obviously, this blog has become a chronicle of all the things I’m worried about when it comes to this hike. I should be making a list on a page so that I can cross things off when I figure out how to deal.

But anyway, one of my main problems in every day life is stairs. Even when I’ve been exercising regularly and taking care of myself, stairs still kill me. I have no idea why. I could walk a mile with no ill effects and a short flight of stairs will just take the wind out of me.

So I worry sometimes about the hiking. Will it be like the stairs? Or will it be like the walking? The only way to know is to just start hiking in rougher terrain, but I don’t want to overexert myself too quickly either. I do know that stairs are the worst thing in the world for my bad knee (it pops on every step up, which makes it ache for hours if I go up too many). Steep hills can set it off the same way, so I feel like I should fix my knee before I keep going too far on this plan.

Part of my thought is to just build up the muscle around my knee by walking more. Which I haven’t exactly been doing. I did walk quite a bit over the weekend for various reasons. But anyway, the idea is to take it easy in general and build up the knee to work a bit better. I don’t actually know if that’s sound reasoning medically, but it seems to make sense.

Not to get a dang raincoat and start walking even on rainy days like today.

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Not much to update

There’s one problem with this plan to update this blog twice a week, in that when I fall behind on my goals and don’t achieve anything, I have nothing to say.

The idea is that this keeps my plan visible and forces me to be accountable for when I don’t achieve my goals. Like me not walking every day like I’m supposed to.

It’s not quite working yet.

I need motivation. And I need to get on a normal sleep schedule. And generally I think I need a complete overhaul of my life to make this work.

Which is the hardest part.

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Water

I’ve read a lot about water, and how much we’re really supposed to drink. You’d be surprised how much conflicting information is out there.

One thing for me is that I’m probably spending most days dehydrated. On the rare occasion that I’ve talked to doctors about my fluid intake they’ve been pretty shocked by how abysmally small it is. I’ve been told multiple times that I’m keeping myself horribly low on fluids.

But it’s probably the hardest habit I’ve ever tried to break. I think it will likely be one of my greatest stumbling blocks when it comes to my thru-hike. I may drink an entire 16 oz glass of some kind of liquid in a day. But that’s about it.

That’s far less than the two liters of liquid you’re supposed to consume. See, most people are starting to agree that it’s not 8 glasses of water a day, but between food, juice, and water you need about 2 liters of liquid a day. Food doesn’t really account for much, but juice counts the same way that water does. Though you shouldn’t JUST have juice, I think the best idea I read was that half of it should be water.

But my problem is two fold. First, I’m just not thirsty. A doctor told me that’s because I’ve trained my body to not be thirsty because it’s dehydrated. It’s gotten used to the status quo and I have to teach it otherwise. Easier said than done, because the other problem is that most of the time if I drink a large amount of water I get sick. My stomach feels distended and gross and I get nauseous.

I have no idea how to solve this problem properly. I’ve tried at multiple points in my life to start slowly and increase my water intake. The idea usually is to keep several 16-20 oz refillable bottles of water in the fridge and every day I have to drink one of those. It’s nowhere near what I’m supposed to get, but I try to start small. So far it’s never stuck. I just can’t get the habit to stay. I don’t have the will power.

But for my thru-hike, I have to. I feel like dehydration on the trail will be one of my most dangerous enemies after the bears.

Tips?

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