As I’m writing this, snow is pouring down outside.
Let’s take a moment to reflect on the fact that it is MID APRIL. April people! April is a spring month. Apparently not though, not it Colorado. Apparently April falls into winter here. And it’s not even early April, it’s mid April! Hence the need for a check in post.
April is all about reinforcing what I’ve done in the past three months. The first two weeks of April were also about just making it through a very busy and stressful couple of weeks with my sanity and some semblance of health. Those two weeks are over – phew! So let’s see how I’m doing on everything else…
1. Eat a crap-ton of green vegetables – at least 5 servings a day - Well, definitely not hitting 5 servings a day of green veggies, but around 3 plus other types of veggies to make a total of five. The stress/lack of time in the first half of the month was my poor excuse for not having time to prep veggies, but last weekend I restarted and made up a bunch to eat throughout the week, so I’m back on track.
2. Consistently take basic supplements – This is going pretty well! FYI, my basic supplements are: cod liver oil (grimace), fish oil, magnesium, multivitamin, and a probiotic. I take these in the evening.
3. Green tea instead of coffee – I was successful in resisting the temptation to switch over to coffee during the stressful weeks. Yeah! For some reason, when I’m overwhelmed or stressed, I think coffee will be more effective. It’s not. It makes me feel worse and ruins my sleep. Luckily, I didn’t fall into that trap for the past couple of weeks. I did have coffee like… twice. I’m not worried about it.
4. Assign timelines to my performance-based goals and stakes (more to come) – OMG. We registered for the Tough Mudder. Did you know that once you register for that thing, there is like virtually no way to get out of it? No refunds, no nothin’. And now I know why. Because the second I hit “submit payment” I thought “What have I done!?! NO! I take it back! I take it all back!” Welp, I’ve shelled out $150 bones now for a damn mud race, so I sure as hell am doing it. On June 16. Yikes. So that’s the timeline for that goal! I’ve also set the deadline for getting a strict pull up at June 16 also. 8.5 weeks from today. I figure having that kind of upper body strength will help immensely on the Tough Mudder. I’m doing pull ups daily on a very stylish over-the-door pull up bar that now resides in my bathroom door frame. Martha Stewart would have a conniption if she saw it.
5. Crossfit 3x/week, with an optional bonus day of lifting or Crossfit – Ugh. April started off not so great with this one. I thought I was “too stressed and busy” for the gym. Looking back, that was wrong. But, in the spirit of not berating myself and moving on, I jumped right back into my routine as soon as the time-sucking event was over and am 2/3 workouts for the week. Getting there.
6. Perfect my Olympic lifting technique – Snatching is excruciatingly difficult if you’re doing it right, I’ve found out. I’m sure some people will read that and say “You’re making it too hard, go for it, blah blah blah.” I disagree. There are so many elements to this technical move, and it’s exhausting. But! I’m actually getting better and feeling more confident in the movements. I’m working with a fabulous coach who is endlessly patient and lets me control the music selection during sessions. I need me some gangster rap in order to heave barbells overhead. This remains a work in progress, but there has been progress.
7. Go to bed by 10pm on weeknights, 12am on weekends – 90% compliance (27 out of 30 days) – HA! 90% compliance my hat. At least for the first two weeks. For the past three nights, I’ve been doing well. I’m heading to Vegas this weekend, so we’ll see what happens. I’m not going to stress if I’m out with my besties til 1am. But let’s face it – we’re not as a young as we once were, and it’s kind of a stretch to be up past midnight. So maybe I’ll be able to comply after all!
8. Complete bedtime routine every night, especially on weekends – 90% compliance (27 out of 30 days) – When I took a couple weeks off of the gym, I basically figured I didn’t need to be doing mobility work before bed. WRONG. Aside from that, I have been pretty consistent is taking some time to wind down before bed. I realized that having a very strict structure for the bedtime routine was actually counter-productive, so instead, I’m working on just taking time to wind down. While I have a few common elements each night, I let it vary based on how I’m feeling. This almost always includes Vanilla Sleepytime tea and lighting my lavender candle. Everything else is pretty variable. I’m back to doing foam rolling and mobility. Sometimes I’ll just lay in bed in the candlelight and slowly slip my tea and think. Sometimes my bedtime routine involved chatting with my boyfriend who is always at work at that time. That’s pretty good for relaxing me. The main point is that I take 15-20 minutes to calm down and prepare for bed.
9. Power down in the hour before sleep – Well, I’m not fully powered down, but I’d say I’m making continued progress towards being less powered up right before bed. No computer, I avoid the TV as much as possible (someone else is usually watching it at night, so I just avoid that part of the house if I can.) My phone still gets the best of me sometimes, but I’m so much more cognizant of being on it before bed. I am no longer getting sucked into Facebook before bed anymore! Win! I attribute this to my bedtime routine – now I have something to be doing before bed, so I don’t even think to Facebook stalk!
10. Take 10 minutes a day to breathe deeply – Definitely employed this technique during the stressful weeks. I am also really enjoying doing some deep breathing before bed. I do a great shoulder opener on my foam roller and breathe. I have this foam roller (the long, full cylinder) and I lay on it vertically so it goes lengthwise going from the top of my head to my tailbone. I extend my arms at a 90 degree angle straight out from my body and relax my arms so my hands are resting on the floor. I’ll stay here anywhere from 5-15 minutes, depending on when I start winding down. It feels great and is a good time to breathe and prepare for sleep. Usually listening to light classical. Because I’m a baller like that.
So that’s it for April thus far. Snow and progress.
photo credit (and t-shirt I totally want): http://skreened.com/sorry/sorry-i-m-a-baller