Monday, February 21, 2022

My Personal Rule of Life - Body

Good Monday afternoon, my friends! I hope your week is off to a great start. In continuing the discussion of my personal Rule of Life (You can find the previous posts here), today I'm going to be sharing about what is honestly my least favorite discipline, BODY.

It's not that I hate my body, I don't. I'm actually pretty comfortable in my own skin. It has more to do with the fact that I really just kind of despise exercising. I've tried several times and have never been very successful sticking with anything. The only minor success I've had was a few years ago when I started walking. I found a lovely trail system not far from our apartment and I was going 3-4 times a week and walking a minimum of 12-16 miles a week. I know that's not much compared to what a lot of people put in, but that was really good for me! I stuck with that for about four months and I was so proud of myself, and then . . . it got cold, and I don't like cold. My plan was to do weights and maybe yoga during the winter months and start back up with walking in the Spring. That was three years ago, I think. Spring has come and gone a couple of times and is about to be here again, so, yeah. 

So, with that, I'm going to go ahead and share what I originally planned when I wrote my rule, tell you how that's going (it's not!), and then tell you what the new plan is.


What the original plan was and how it's going;

- Walking / Yoga - this has not happened (maybe a day here and there) consistently for two years.
- Vitamins and Supplements - I was doing good with taking my daily vitamins, but I've fallen out of this habit, too. I take herbs and supplements as I need them, ie. for UTIs, kidney stones, etc.
- Drink Water - This is ALWAYS on my list, but the truth is, I hate the taste of our water. In fact, I generally hate the taste of water, period. And yes, it has a taste, at least it does for me.
- Drink Lemon Water (Daily) - I do LOVE lemon water, which for me consists of lemon, honey, and cayenne. Do I drink it daily? No.
- Intermittent Fasting (7p.m. - 7 a.m. / 12 hours) - I've been doing intermittent fasting for about a year now. I've actually been doing it all of my life, I just didn't know it had a name or that I was doing it. This says 7-7, but most nights it's more like 10-10, which is still 12 hours, but 10 is a little late.
- Sleep 6 Hours - I do sleep six hours, probably even eight. The problem is my sleep schedule is out of whack. If I start watching a movie after 7-8 p.m. most nights, you can forget it. I'm going to tank. Most of the time I then wake up around 10 p.m., and I'm awake for another 2-3 hours, go back to sleep around midnight/1 a.m., and then I'm up at 5-6 a.m. the next morning. I would LOVE to go to bed consistently at midnight every night and wake up around 6 the next morning. I function best on six hours of sleep, and I hate falling asleep so early in the evening. There are too many other things I want to do.  Things have been a little better recently and I can only attribute that to the Winter Olympics. I absolutely love watching them and they hold my attention. They were on twice a day from around 2-5 p.m. and then again from 8:00 p.m. to midnight and I never fell asleep watching them. But, that ended last night, so now we'll see.

- Sunday Self Care - Weekly Mani/Pedi - not always on Sunday and only a Pedi, but I do it every week.
- Eating seasonally and locally. - still a goal I want to achieve but haven't really focused that hard on.
- Weekly extended fast (7:00 p.m. Thur - 6:00 p.m. Fri) - I did this for a very short period. Intermittent fasting is for my health, but this fast was designed to kind of usher in the Sabbath every weekend with a time of deeper reflection on God. Here it says the fast ends at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, which is because my Sabbath is typically from Friday evening to Sunday morning. Sunday is a mini-Sabbath, usually, as I do plan for the week on that day, etc. 

- Go on a monthly hike. - This sounds like fun, but no, it hasn't happened, yet.

- In this case that is actually seasonally, so every quarter/season review and write a Seasonal Wellness Recipe.

And so . . . what's the plan going forward. In all honesty, I'm almost afraid to even make a plan because, as I said, of all of the disciplines in my rule, this one is the hardest for me. Since it is the one I enjoy the least, it probably wouldn't hurt to really focus on it even if that meant cutting back in a few of the areas that come more easily for me, but we'll wait and see how things go.

I would like to start walking again once it gets a little warmer. I thought about incorporating that into Lent (it would definitely be a sacrifice for me, LOL!), and I saw a program that a church did during Lent called, "Walking to Jerusalem".  They basically calculated how many miles were between their church and Jerusalem and pledged to walk that by Easter Sunday. So I considered that. Jerusalem is 6,058 miles from where I live, and I did the math. 6058 miles divided by 40 days of Lent, means that I would have to walk 151 miles a day??? I was confused, so I went back to their website and discovered that they actually started this challenge on January 1, so they have more than 120+ days to complete it. But even then, that would still mean walking 67.3 miles a day? Maybe they combined their miles? I don't know. But at any rate, that's not going to work. So then I remembered Via Dolorosa, which is the processional route Jesus followed to the cross, but that's just under a half-mile, so obviously too short. In the end, I'd be better off just dedicating my walk to the Lord every day and asking for His blessing on stewarding the body he's given me. 

The only other factor that is playing into this right now is that my daughter's car quit running recently and it's too old to repair what is wrong with it. So that leaves us with just my car, which means that most days I'm home without transportation. Being an introvert, that's not a problem, but it does mean I can't get to the trail I like to go to. There is a road just a short distance away that is popular with walkers/runners that I could use, but, we have two neighbors who have pit bulls in our complex, and neither of them appears to have very good control of them, and I am terrified of pit bulls! I know these sound like excuses, but they are actually factors. So, that has led me to . . .

Yoga - And if you'll notice in the picture above, I even bought myself a new pretty green yoga mat and blocks for inspiration. Right now my plan is to start February 28, using the 30 Day Yoga Journey. I also found this course from The Trinity Movement, Ashes to Ashes: A Lenten Journey that really intrigues me. It's $9 a month, which is a good price, but since there are no dates on the website, I can't tell if this was offered last year or if it is this year, as well? I sent them an email, but so far haven't heard from them. At any rate, I'll be using one of these programs, perhaps the Lenten program to get started and then switch to the 30 Day Journey when I'm finished. I'm also planning to do some light weights every other day as well.

Vitamins and Supplements - My plan is to get back to taking vitamins regularly. When I was doing well before it was because I had one of those little daily pillboxes and I would sit down every Sunday afternoon and refill it for the week. I don't how/why I fell out of this habit/routine. Why do we fall out of any habit/routine? But my goal is to begin again on February 28 when I start back up with yoga.

Lemon Water - I'm giving up sugar for Lent this year, and possibly Facebook, again. Sugar will be hard, Facebook, will not. As I was going over the list I realized that while I don't like water, I do love lemon water, so why not just make lemon water every time? That's the plan, for now anyway. I'm also looking at sugar-free lemonade and then having sugar-free Coke on the weekends. Soda is my main sugar culprit. I've been basically addicted to it all of my life. It was Dr. Pepper for years and then a couple of years ago my tastes changed, I guess, and DP was just too sweet so I switched to Coke. But none of them are good for you and I need to get control over this. I don't have any health problems from it currently, but at my age, that's probably testing God's grace. :)

Intermittent Fasting - I am going to continue fasting for my health as I have been, but I'm going to try to get that on an 8-8 rotation to begin with and hopefully, eventually stretch that to 6-10 from twelve hours to sixteen hours. Giving up sugar should make that a little more doable since what usually breaks the fast is drinking a coke later in the evening. Also, when I fast it is Sunday-Thursday, and give myself some grace on Friday/Saturday during Sabbath. I don't believe in extremes in any area of life and do better with balance and moderation. Lent restrictions are also not observed on Sunday, so I may allow myself a few treats here and there for my hard work. The one time I was successful with exercise and losing weight I followed that plan exactly, and it worked beautifully. Knowing that there are days when I can be more relaxed and enjoy some of my favorite things makes the other days more manageable.

Sunday Self Care - Mani/Pedi. This is something I've been doing consistently so it's really just a continuation.  Typically I focus more on my feet because I don't like fingernail polish on my hands. Actually, I do, I just don't like the constant upkeep. It's much more work than keeping my toes polished, and too much maintenance. But, I might start wearing a clear coat and I need to take better care of my cuticles.

Weekly Extended Fast - I think I'm going to give this a try again, and Lent seems like a good time. However, in light of changing the time frame on my intermittent fast, it will now be from 8:00 p.m. Thursday night until 3:00 p.m. Friday afternoon. This is because I also plan to start observing the Eucharist and Stations of the Cross again during Lent and hopefully moving forward, so I'll break the fast every week with the observance of The Eucharist (Lord's Supper), which somehow seems fitting.

Seasonal Wellness Plan - With the return of Spring next month I want to get back into writing a seasonal wellness plan again. This is something I learned from my friend Heather, and I look forward to it every time the season changes.

You probably noticed that I skipped the monthly hike. It's something that I'd like to start doing again, but until my husband gets home (late spring/early summer), I'm going to hold off on it for now. I'm also going to add eating seasonally back into the mix once the weather warms up a bit and I don't freeze going to the local farmer's market, so that's why that's not on the list.

So that's it, folks, that's the plan and hopefully, **fingers crossed** I will fall into a rhythm that works for me and be consistent. The next discipline is RELATIONSHIPS, which, being an introvert, could use a little work, as well. I'll be covering it later this week, along with REST, one of my favorites, and finally, WORK AND MONEY. My plan is to try to wrap this series up this week (before Lent), and then move into this solemn, beautiful season and work on improving on it. I hope you'll join me! 

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