September: Back to the Basics

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(The basics are beautiful)

 

I love back to school season.  It’s a time to get organized and start fresh, even if you aren’t a student.  I like to take this time to take on a new challenge, buy myself some “it’s a new year” presents (like a few outfits, a really discounted subscription to Bulu Box (seriously, check it out.  It’s like Birchbox, which I’m also in LOVE with, but for health and fitness) and my very first Bauble Bar purchase, again, on discount), and, in theory, buckle down to make it the best year yet,  My self-dicipline is severly lacking in many areas, so that is going to be a big focus of mine during September.

Going hand in hand with my self-dicipline improvement comes a challenge that I’m participating in all month to get one area of my life back on the right track, and that would be my Weight Watchers lifestyle.  As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been lazy lately, and that’s taking a toll.  Thankfully, one of the women I follow on Instagram, Brooke, is a fellow blogger and Weight Watcher.  She has lost over 170lbs on the program and is super motivational.  **You can visit her blog here.  **  Brooke wrote a post about a September challenge with the goal of getting us Weight Watchers “Back to Basics.”  I think it’s brilliant and couldn’t wait to join the group.  Now there’s a Facebook group of over 200 people ready to go with this challenge.  I love how social media has the ability to bring people from all over together so they can share common interests, goals, and support one another.

The basic idea is this; When you first sign up for Weight Watchers, usually you jump right in and get sucked into this new world of tracking, PointsPlus, and changing your lifestyle.  The goal of this challenge is to get that fire that we started WW with burning again.  Every week of the month there is going to be a new focus, so I will be blogging about those, but lets talk about what the curriculum of Back to Basics means to me.:

Tracking- In my opinion, this is the most important part of being successful on the WW program (Sorry to those of you on the simply filling plan).  When tracking is done correctly, meaning you stay within your PointsPlus budget (weeklies and activity points included), the plan is successful.  There’s no way around that.  Sure, there is the occasional week where you do everything perfectly and there’s still a gain, but that’s just your body testing you (or PMS or random bloating..all of those little details we have n control over), but rest assured if you behave just as well the next week you will not be disappointed.  Tracking involves quite a bit of work sometimes, but it becomes second nature after awhile.  I have to get back to measuring out proper portions and writing down every single thing that goes in my mouth.  If I can get my self-dicipline back in tracking and staying in budget, then 90% of my battle is won.

ActiveLink Challenge- When you’re on maintenance (I plan on writing a post on maintenance in the future) you’re supposed to earn 6 PointsPlus a day (to counteract the 6 PointsPlus you get to add to your target, no doubt..again, more on that later).  My current ActiveLink goal is 100%=5 PointsPlus earned.  Most days I’m good about getting close to my target, as 5 PP is quite ambitious for a daily goal, but I want to get to 100%.  My approach to getting 100% is not going to be daily (although that will probably happen by default), but weekly.  Active Link tracks your whole week and tells you what your % of achieving 100% is.  FOr example, I worked at Kohls two days this week, so I brought home 120% one day and 110% another, so when I had an 86% day after that, my week achievement was still around 108%.  So, Active Link Challenge: 100% of my weekly goal achieved, which should buy me 35PP as a cushion, minimum.

Good Health Guidelines- In our little WW tracker there are these boxes that you check to make sure you’re getting your good health guidelines: Water, fruits and veggies, vitamins, activity, healthy oils, and dairy.  There used to be one for lean meat as well, which I still try and count.  Usually when you’re making good choices these things just check themselves off, but I want to start focusing on them to the best of my ability.  Lets get the GHGs done first, and then see what kind of points I have left to mess with for the day.

Self-Dicipline: As I’ve mentioned, this has been a bit out of control lately.  I’ve been a lazy, unmotivated, queen of procrastination and it’s taking it’s toll.  When it comes to food, I’ve gotten good at being able to to justify “oh, its only one more piece of chocolate or one more cookie” and have seemed to have lost my power against the kitchen.  I used to be able to say “no” and walk away!  Well, it’s time for me to come back hard and be dictator over the food once again!  It’s not only the food I’m after here, as I could use the discipline in many other areas of life, and I will be working on those too, but for the sake of the back to WW basics, we’ll stick with me reclaiming my throne as queen of the kitchen.  Any suggestions here would be amazing.  Please feel free to comment below.

So there are my basics for this September challenge.  Now, you don’t have to be a member of Weight Watchers to get something out of this challenge as well.  Are there certain areas in your life (or in your kitchen) that could really use the “first day of school” mentality?  Thought so..   Whatever your personal challenge, join us.  This challenge is about getting healthy again, getting back on track (or getting on track to begin with).  You can look into sites like SparkPeople for a free health tracking website.  There are quite a few out there.  If you are on Twitter or Instagram we will be using the hashtag #wwbtb to track activity in this challenge.  Don’t forget to join the Facebook group which has a ton of supportive Weight Watchers friends who discovered one another via Instagram and blogs.  It’s a pretty cool thing, so if you want to join me this September, get back to basics.

 

Follow me on Instagram: @beautifullybroadway and on Twitter @beautifullybway

 

Let’s let back to school season get us back to basics and back to success.

August Round up: The good and the not so good.

Yet another month has come to a close.  How crazy is that?!  It’s officially back to school time, which is actually one of my favorite times of the year.  More on that in a future post.

Let’s talk about August.

 

The Good

Visiting Home

As you may have seen in my more recent posts, I started August off with a visit to Illinois to get some major wedding planning accomplished. It was a crazy busy weekend full of appointments and decisions, but just being home, seeing the puppies, being able to sing in Praise Team and seeing family (including Erik’s) was wonderful.  You can read all about my trip by clicking Part 1 or Part 2.

Weight Watchers At Work Leader

I’m officially able to be an “at work” Weight Watchers leader now, which basically means I have all of the materials to run WW meetings out of my house…  Over the past week I have gotten SO MUCH stuff sent to me that I have no where to put it.  I have a WW scale of my very own (like the ones in the centers), a bin or two of product and a ton of paperwork.  I’m putting this down as a good thing because if all goes well I may end up with some meetings to actually lead in the near future.  It’s a bit chaotic and I’m stressing about having no place to put this stuff, but at least it is a positive work opportunity.  Today was my last week of finishing out an at work series in North Raleigh.  Big commute, but at least I got to do some work for the company the last few weeks.  Mid September I also gain a meeting at a store near my apartment, which will be nice.

Voice Lessons

This week was my first week of fall term voice lessons at the Chapel Hill School of Musical Arts (CHSMA for short).  I already have 12 students and was asked to open up an extra evening in my schedule, which my boss is pretty sure they can fill up soon.  If WW picks up and I get another lesson or two, I’ll be able to drop Kohls, and hopefully that means no more retail for me EVER.  I am so thankful for the blessing of being able to teach music.  If I can’t get out there and perform for a living, at least I can make money inspiring others to do so. My owners are great, my studio is 5 minutes from my apartment, and my students have been wonderful so far.  What an awesome job to stumble upon when I started looking at the possibility of moving.  God does look out for me 🙂

The Not so Good

Laziness, Stress, and Negativity

Confession time: I’ve been super lazy about tracking, working out, and sort of in general.  Oh sure, I get to the gym almost every day, but the fire I used to have behind my workouts seems to have vanished, which makes them not as good as they used to be.  My coping mechanism for stress tends to be eating (since my love for the workout has seemed to disappear, which used to be my stress relief), which results in me being a bit more forgiving with what goes into my mouth vs. what’s on my tracker.. the result is a slight rise on the scale.  The amount is pretty laughable given how stressed I am by it, only a few lbs, but it’s more than it should be.  Enter the stress and negativity that makes working out a chore and all of the things that turn this into a vicious cycle that seems to have no end and has me feeling miserable.  I’m also stressing about playing housewife when I am in fact not one (not for a few more months anyway) and balancing 3 jobs, the fitness, the housekeeping, the fiancé the spends all of his time at home studying in his room, and this blog, which I love, but don’t have the time to give it what it deserves…oh yeah, and planning a wedding..  The result is this sloppy, stressed out mess of a person currently blogging in between voice lessons.  I already have several ideas on how to use the Back to School mentality to try and keep me from crumbling, starting with a WW Back to Basics challenge that I joined and will tell you about in another post.

That pretty much sums up the bad..  I don’t have any product favorites or anything this month.  Wow, August was a bit lame in the area of trying new things.  Hopefully September will bring more excitement, passion for life, and new things for me to try (and write about).

Happy Back to School season, friends.  How do you celebrate (or not celebrate..)this time of year?

August: The Month of Self-Improvement

One of our engagement photos

 

Welcome to August.  It’s the last month of summer and back to school season is in full swing.  While I personally am not going back to school, as we speak Erik is at his second day of MBA orientation, so the season is in full swing in this apartment.  Despite the fact I’m not in school, I still manage to find something inspiring about back to school season.  It’s a time of new beginnings, starting over, new goals, and fresh school supplies.  What’s not to love about this time of year?  (well..if you’re a student you might have an answer..)

This month is going to be about so much more than a fitness challenge.  I am inspired and driven by goal setting, so I tend to set many little goals to ensure I accomplish the things I want (and need) to get done.  The idea behind all of these little goals is turning them into habits.  It takes 21 days to create a habit, so I just usually go with a month. I encourage each of you to set a goal (or 10, or 20 like me) no matter how small, and take that next step to becoming the better you that you want to be!

Fitness Challenge: First and foremost, here is this month’s fitness challenge.  We (meaning YOU should join me) are not going to be counting down to a specific distance; instead, we are counting down the clock.  I am setting the goal of getting your fitness on for 3.5 hours every week this month (yeah, that boils down to half an hour daily.  There is in fact a method to my madness).  I know with crazy schedules it is a lot, but it’s totally doable.  Just imagine how amazing you’ll feel.  This is not a walking challenge so get your sweat on however you like best: yoga, pilates, running, weights, etc.  Anything goes, just as long as you go!

Blogging Challenge: My hope is to see if I can get 3 posts a week up on here for the month of August.  I didn’t realize when I started (or maybe I did and just didn’t want to admit it) how much work doing a blog is when you want to do it right.  It’s time consuming and detail oriented.  I am enjoying starting this blogging adventure, but I still have a lot to learn.  Setting a goal to get posts up regularly will hopefully make it a habit that extends well past August.

 

Skincare Routine Challenge: Confession time:  I am a beauty addict, enthusiast, and blogger and I am HORRIBLE about maintaining a decent skincare routine.  Sounds ridiculous, right? Well it is.  I am lazy and that’s all there is to it.  By the time night time rolls around and my mind is set on settling in between the sheets the last thing I want to do is take the time to wash off my makeup.  That’s not including all the lotions, creams and potions that I could (and should) be applying.  My goal for the month is to apply myself to applying my skincare.  I paid the money for all the fun stuff and it’s my own lazy fault for it not working because of irregular use.  If you want the results, you’ve got to do the work, and that goes for everything including pretty skin.

 

Reading Challenge: Much like my arsenal of beauty products, I have a bunch of books that have piled up and not been so much as cracked open yet.  I love reading…when I actually take the time to sit down and do it (which is never..).  A little goal of reading 30 minutes a day should help me get through some of the books gathering dust on my shelf and conquer my “want to read” list on Good Reads.  It doesn’t even have to be a consecutive 30 minutes, just 30 minutes out of the 24 hours in a day.  Not so hard, right?

Note: my magazines do not count.

15 minute clean up Challenge: Take 15 minutes a day to organize something.  I promise you if that simply means do the day’s worth of dishes and pick up the clutter you created today you will go to bed feeling a little bit lighter.  15 minutes isn’t a long time and if I apply myself (I’m lazy, remember?) then it is amazing to me what I can accomplish in such  short amount of time.  15 minutes before bed (probably before the skincare routine too) to just declutter a little bit is a habit definitely worth forming.

Get back on track: With TRACKING that is.  I have been pitiful at tracking my Weight Watchers PointsPlus values lately…and by lately I mean the last few months.  This is totally uncalled for behavior coming from a Weight Watchers employee.  August is open up that tracker app and actually use the thing.  I’m not even paying for it, so there really is no excuse!  It’s hard for me to practice what I preach when I haven’t been at the (metaphorical) pulpit since May.  I’m hoping to have a meeting or two soon, but in the meantime I need to get back on track with this business. I keep a mental check in every day, so the scale doesn’t move a whole lot, but I’ve been a lot more relaxed about food than I should be.   I was told yesterday by a friend that I look like I’m losing weight in my arms, which was a nice affirmation that I must still be doing something right, but that aside, I still feel guilty.  I don’t have time to stress about feeling guilty.

 

 

I think that’s enough for me to focus on for one month, at least for now.  Wedding plans are in full swing (expect a post on the adventure we had in Illinois this past weekend) and now that Erik’s schooling is in full swing as well, I need to find projects to keep me busy.  These goals should help.

 

What healthy habits are you going to get into this month?