Writing Triangle

It was like I started every book by throwing myself at the keyboard and praying for a novel to shoot out of my fingers before the deadline.

It’s NaNoWriMo, and while many are participating, I’m 7 days late to the party, but still in it, nonetheless. I’m not writing a novel, but a screenplay. I found this gem of an article at The Pretentious Title Blog where a writer chronicles her struggles and successes. It’s definitely worth a read, and she does a great job breaking down how she went from 2k words a day to 10k. Her triangle metric is well thought out and worth considering for your own work.

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#16 Give Up Alcohol – DONE!

So, I did it. I gave up alcohol for a week. It actually wasn’t that hard once I made a firm commitment to do so, rather than a pie crust promise to myself to do so. I have a friend who doesn’t drink, and a month or so I ago I asked about it, and she said it was easy to not do something once you’d legitimately, firmly decided on it. It’s the New Years Even goals that never seem to work out for us, or never seem to quite happen– that’s when we’re just setting ourselves up for unrealistic expectations and then end up berating ourselves for a little lack of willpower.

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To be perfectly honest, it was also easy after realizing I might have the family hereditary blood disease of spherocytosis, aka, I have spherical shaped blood cells rather than circles. In my mom and aunt, this meant they eventually had to have their spleen removed– an action that makes you constantly tired and basically unable to workout or run marathons. That’s a terrifying prospect to me, so I actually made an appointment to get my blood checked out and haven’t had a drink since.

Part of the snazzy side effects of the disease means that alcohol affects me differently, and I believe can make it harder on the liver to cleanse the toxins, which means it can lead to liver failure. I work at a hospital, of all the things you don’t want, liver failure or liver disease should be at the top of the list. It’s the worst. So not drinking seems like an easy option until I get some blood work done and know for sure.

It’s also been really easy because my husband has decided not to drink as well. Talk about a killer support system. I think that’s been the biggest difference between going 7 days no sweat and the other times I’m attempted and failed– I had the person who’s opinion matters most to me 100% backing me up rather than saying ‘Just have a sip of this cocktail.’

Overall on my 30 in 330 goals, I’m not doing stellar. I’ve only accomplished about 10 out of 30; but I’m also looking at it as I’ve accomplished one major goal every month– and that’s kind of amazing if you think about it!

Rejuvenate My Soul

I hiked up Mt Baldy!

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It was part of 3 peak challenge my amazing friends and I are doing. (I’m the one in the bear head wrap). So far we’ve done the ‘easy’ peak. Mt Baldy, or San Antonio, has an elevation of 10,064 and is 10.2 miles, round trip. My fitbit clocked me at around 15 miles, but who knows. I’m shorter so I take smaller steps. img_5954

It was absolutely breathtaking. It’s been almost a week since we hiked up, and I’m feeling major withdraws. I just want to get back out there and keep hiking. To be sure, while going up I was feeling the elevation and my lack of endurance.

img_5958Coming off a 2 month injury, my biggest worry was being the slow person in the group. I was, but I didn’t factor in that my friends are fantastic and it wasn’t even a big thing. It was totally fine. And getting to the top and hanging out was bliss.

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We made friends with these two other hiker dudes and they hung out all the way down. Which was great because I got to borrow a pole. Now, I’d always thought they were dorky, but I’m slow as molasses on the way down because I expect to fall and smash my head open. They loaned me a pole, one pole, and I was able to keep up with the group. It was a straight up miracle! So, needless to say, I bought a set of my own for future hikes. It’s bad enough being the semi-out-of-shape one in the group on the way up, I don’t really want to be what slows us up on the way back too!

We gave ourselves a weekend break, so no mountain scaling for me this weekend. But I can’t wait for San Gorgonio next!

AND that’s a check on #13 of the 30 in 30 challenge!

@TravelingPaleo

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So, as promised, (and better late than never) here are my thoughts on my Whole 30 experience. This was my second time doing it, and I stuck with it a lot more. I was still not, how would you say– perfect– by any stretch of the imagination, but it really worked for me. And check mark for the 30 in 330 goal!

I felt great. Eating good foods really does mean you feel good. Take a look at some of these beauties. I invested in a spiralizer and I satisfy all my pasta cravings with zoodles and suffer zero guilt. I actually meal planned while on the Whole 30, and that was both a lesson in itself and really helpful for not just eating crap.

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But the biggest help was starting an Instagram account to document my progress. Originally it had a whole 30 title but I’ve since changed it to @TravelingPaleo to continue to motivate me in my fitness and health goals.

I lost 5-7 lbs during the month, and so far I’ve mostly maintained that. On the left is the After photo and on the right is the Before photo. It’s amazing how much of a difference even 5 pounds can make in how you feel, how your clothes fit, and your overall motivation to keep working out and staying the course.

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I’m trying to adopt more of a paleo lifestyle and eat less carbs and try to fill up on veggies, but it’s harder without the full all-or-nothing mentality. It was very difficult when I visited my mom over the weekend (I did not come from a veggie friendly family).  But I’ve stuck with it.

Have you ever tried a diet fad? Tried to figure out what makes you feel like you’ve got ‘tiger’s blood’? What’s your best health tip?

#9 – Whole 30

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Wowsa, so I’m on day 10 of my Whole 30 and so far things are going well! This is my second round of Whole 30, and while I was pretty lax the first time around, this time I’m actually doing it; not adding soy sauce or half ass-ing it.

This makes for #9 on my 30 in 330 list previous post and I’m feeling really good. It’s taking care of #16 as well, with the no drinking bit. I’m reading a great book on habits that has me thinking about what I do and how to sustain the weight loss and great feelings I’ve got going on this month.

Reasons I decided to Whole 30:

~to lose weight (who doesn’t have this goal though?)

~to beat my carb cravings (no gluten, no dairy, no sugar, no processed foods)

~to get better at meal prep (currently I walk in my kitchen and have zero plan)

~to help Ryan make more meals (…which means my husband does most of the cooking)

~to experiment with more foods (…which makes me sad because I love to cook)

~as support for my friend (she’s embarking on this journey as well!)

~to challenge myself (that which does not grow withers and dies)

~to prove I can (I love a good challenge, and giving up carbs is just that for me!)

~to help with not drinking (I failed last time I tried to cold turkey, but this is great)

~to change my habits (our diet doesn’t keep me at the weight I want)

~to pay more attention to what my body actually needs (#learning)

~to take better care of myself (I feel better when I’m on less carbs)

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One of the biggest things that has kept me on track is the the Instagram account I started specifically for my Whole 30. Follow along at Whole30MG (see how I played with OMG there?) to get some recipe ideas, what a normal human eats on a regular basis, and how much I’m really working on working out.

The working out is a big to me as I’m trying to meet my 1000 mile challenge I started in January. Currently I’ve run/hiked 125.23 miles this year. While I would normally rejoice, I’m behind the mileage count I should be at to meet my goal. I need to be running 23.02 miles per week to catch up and make my 1000 miles. To that end, I’ve signed up for a half marathon in June to help motivate, and so far it’s working.

Coming up with the Whole 30: a post on habits (once I finish the book), a post with my before and after photos, and a post with some of the meal highlights I’ve made.

Sunday Sunshine

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Feeling like your Sundays are the dreaded day before the week begins? Maybe it’s time for a perspective shift! Try thinking of Sundays differently:

-As the chance to plan your week out

-As a day to reflect on the past week

-As a day to take a bit of time for yourself

-As a chance to look at your goals and accomplishment

There are numerous articles on the power of reflection and looking back at what you’ve done, as well as the benefits of planning ahead and taking a few minutes each night to look at the next days goals.

Check out these helpful articles:

11 Ways to Beat the Monday Blues by Forbes.com

4 Ways to Use Sunday to Make Your Upcoming Week Easier by The Financial Diet (a blog which you should totally be following!)

So this Sunday, I’m working on a project I’ve long had on the to-do list– repainting some equipment cases, an act that will help make our business feel more legit as well as improve our pride of ownership.

This Sunday, I’m meal planning for the week. I’m doing the Whole 30 (post coming soon!) challenge and meal planning is a necessity unless I want to turn into a ravenous monster who ends up bailing on my month’s commitment.

This Sunday, I took time out of my day to sit with a cup of coffee and watch my cat. It was great.

This Sunday, I’m going to curl up with a good book at the end of the day to relax.

#16 – Update

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Well, that was basically a bust. I made it two days before I cut my foot, thought I was going to die, and decided to numb my pain with some whiskey. And then I had a dinner engagement, and a party, and I almost sliced my finger off (thank you #24) and blah blah…  I may have to re-think this particular goal. I don’t have any stretches of 7 days where I’m not going to some networking event or another and my industry isn’t really conducive to going dry.

Whining over, now on to deeper analysis:

I will say, myself the absolute drop off come day 3, that I did well during the two days I was on a fast. I had an event where there was a free bar (free, by the way, with top shelf liquor) and I opted for coke with lime. It wasn’t weird to not order a drink, that part was fine. I didn’t miss the alcohol or drinking as much as I thought I would, probably because the free tacos were delicious and I wasn’t expected to network and make nice with people. The other day I was at home, and you know, easy until I injured myself.

As a recovering shy person, sometimes I still need that liquid courage when out at a party or at a networking event where I don’t know that many people, or the people I know are not my bff’s. As I type this, it makes me feel like crap that it sounds like I need the alcohol to “loosen up” or “take the edge off” but that’s legitimately what it does, and part of its appeal. I don’t need it, but it helps. And it tastes good. The two days where my options were water, tea, or more water, I got pretty bored with drinking beverages. I love the way different beers and wine tastes, how a well-mixed cocktail delights the tongue, and how with a few ingredients you can make such a wide variety of things.

I think I’ll keep the resolution for now, but I’m going to combine it with the Whole 30 challenge– if I’m overhauling my entire diet I feel like it will be easier to overhaul everything together. Maybe.

Original post: https://wordpress.com/post/amandakgriswold.wordpress.com/421

30 in 330 challenge post: https://wordpress.com/post/amandakgriswold.wordpress.com/399