Posted in about me, ebb & flow, exercise, follow-up, food, know better do better, mental health, mindset, motivation, physical health, thoughtfulness

Update: accountability to self

In January, I wrote about a chart I’d made to track behaviors of health and self-care.

I had thought—or, more accurately, hoped—that seeing holes in the list would spur me to do some of the things that simply haven’t been getting done, even if the increase was to once a week, or once every other week.

It did not.

The things that were already getting done are still getting done. The things that weren’t getting done still aren’t getting done.

So now, after two-and-a-half months of using it, I need to decide: should I somehow incentivize it? (Not with things that are counterproductive!) Or let it go? Because right now, it’s not really doing anything. I mean, I’m marking things off as they get done, but I’m affirming things I already knew. No new data, no behavior change.

I haven’t decided yet. Either way, as-is, it’s not working.

Did anyone else make one? (I got a lot of messages from people who were going to.) How’s it going?

 

Click and scroll to leave a comment! (This will still be there after you click. Don’t click again! Just scroll past.)

Posted in follow-up

Info and experimentation

I was exploring WordPress, trying to find a way to change the way comments work.

I’ve gotten several messages from people saying they’d like to comment but there’s no way to do it.

There is. But not from the main feed. Let me explain.

If you go to my website—heat-weirdlastname.com—the default page is the blog. The 10 most recent posts show up, with a variety of ways to get to older posts.

On that page, there’s nowhere to click to leave a comment. I have gone through every setting, and I don’t believe I can change this. (I don’t know if that is specific to this theme or if it’s a WordPress thing.)

If you click on the title of any post, it will take you to a page with that post only. At the bottom of that, you can leave a comment.

I will start putting a link at the bottom of each post to make that find-able.

I’m throwing up a few small posts today in different formats. (In my exploration, I discovered some features.)

Click and scroll to leave a comment! (This will still be there after you click. Don’t click again! Just scroll past.)

Posted in audience participation, follow-up, food, physical health

Follow-up to the dinner post

Last week, I answered a reader question about dinner. Planning. Dealing with busy evenings. Dealing with low energy.

When I posted it to social media, I asked what others do for quick, easy meals. Here’s what people shared:

  • breakfast for dinner
  • We just had make your own taco night. Fry’s has great vegetarian already-seasoned meat crumbles you literally just put in a skillet and heat up for about 5-8 minutes. I cut up the black olives while it is heating and put out all the toppings and tacos/tortillas. The girls love this and it is so easy and quick! We also heat up black beans for those who may want them as well.
  • pizza on flour tortillas baked in the oven

Great ideas!

Posted in follow-up, food, tips

Answering follow-up—3

Question from a reader:

What are some of your go to meals when you don’t feel like or have time to make dinner? I assume you plan out your menu for the week in advance?

First, yes, we plan meals for the week, make a shopping list off of that plan, and shop from the list.

There are a few meals that the recipe makes way more than we’ll eat in a few days, so we’ll freeze half for later.

Others, we can double for the same purpose.

We have a few ready-made things from Trader Joe’s in the freezer for nights when it’s just not gonna happen for whatever reason, including “we tried a new recipe and it’s really not good at all.”

(New recipes are judged on the following four-point scale: Tasty! Make it again!; Don’t need to make it again, but will eat the meal and the leftovers; Don’t need to make it again, and will eat the meal but not the leftovers; What’s Plan B, ’cause we’re not eating the meal or the leftovers.)

When we plan meals, we also look at the calendar so we don’t plan something that needs to cook for an hour on a night when we have things going on until 7 and won’t get started until 7:15 or later.

Crock pot meals are good for those nights.

Meals with a lot of leftovers are better earlier in the week because: leftovers.

I’ve seen a lot of “prep 8 zillion meals in two hours!” types of pins on Pinterest, where a large grocery run, an afternoon of prep, and a box of Ziplock bags makes a couple of weeks’ worth of crock pot meals in the freezer. Most of them are meat-based which doesn’t work for me, so I haven’t tried them, but those might be worth looking at.

I started a spreadsheet of recipes we like a lot, divided by ingredients (produce, beans/nuts/grains, dairy, spices, etc.), so I can easily see what we need (instead of looking up each recipe). As time goes on, I’m adding other things to it. Streamlines the process a little. Also helps to find recipes that use up ingredients I have.

Readers, what are your go-to prep-at-home suggestions for nights that are busy, or the end of a day that’s exhausting?

Posted in audience participation, follow-up, food, know better do better, tips

Answering follow-up—2

Question from a reader:

When I am angry or stressed, I usually give in to fast food, or chocolate. It is like a self-loathing thing. I don’t know how to explain it. I know you said to make a plan for each emotion, but what does that look like? When I feel happy, I will take the time to make a big salad. When I feel sad, I will write in my journal, rather than jump in my car and go through a drive-thru lane?

First, you don’t need to explain emotional eating. I get it. I’m not sure I can explain it, either, but I get it.

The goal, really, is to disconnect feeling from eating.

So when I’m happy, I’ll share it with friends, or do a happy dance, or write in my journal, or just go about my day feeling good.

Sad, for me, is much harder, because sad doesn’t feel good and we don’t like not feeling good, and we’re using food to try to fix it. (There are chemical reactions involved that make junk food a legitimate brain-chemical short-term fix, much the same as illicit drugs, which just complicates matters further.)

So writing in a journal is a good plan.

My go-to, if I can, is to move. Walk. Run. Lift. Climb. Whatever. Get out of the house or the office, get muscles engaged, get heart rate up, and burn it off. This also has physiological brain chemical effects that help you help yourself.

Some of my best climbing days have been when I’m angry. There have been days when I’ve run up and down bleachers in tears and just kept running until I burned it all off.

If I can’t do that, then writing works pretty well for me.

But I also know some people who do crafty things when they’re needing to work through emotions: play instruments, knit/sew/crochet, make pottery, draw.

Coloring is good sometimes. (I find a kid coloring book and crayons to be more effective in these cases than adults books and pencils. The adult books are so intricate that they require, for me, a little too much thinking for when I’m down. Good for relaxing, oddly, but not for emotional regulation.)

Meditation is good, from what I understand. I’m at the very beginning stages of learning how to do this, so I can’t speak from personal experience.

Maybe listening to music? Or reading? I don’t like to read in those times, because I can’t focus, but maybe you can. Watch TV? Or a TED talk? Or cat videos?

Laughing is good in those times, but it’s hard to come by.

Hopefully something in there resonates for you to try! Good luck!