Wednesday, September 30, 2020

7 steps for self-improvement we can do now

So it's Day 200 of our GCQ/ECQ/MECQ/I don't know what it is anymore. Aaaaaaand I'm now at 130 lbs. Yep, I gained weight. I was actually losing weight at the start of quarantine. I was 130 lbs in January but I was 125 lbs by April. I was eating homecooked meals (well, we didn't really have a choice when quarantine started), exercising, biking, finally sleeping 8 hours. I felt great!

Then I became depressed. Remember when I told you how I've been? Ya. That happened. I was wallowing for around 6 weeks. Stopped exercising. Stuffed my mouth. Couldn't sleep. Even when I started feeling better, I just couldn't start exercising again and I couldn't stop eating. Considering all that, it's a miracle I only gained 5 lbs! (Big blessing - it's hard for me to gain weight.)

Then one day, I was scrolling through my Instagram and Welch's, my blog sponsor, had a post that reminded me I had fallen off the wagon. 



I may not be overly overweight but I realized that it's the last quarter of the year and I don't want to end the year the same weight - or heavier! - than when I started it. That would just be another reason 2020 sucks but this time it would be all MY FAULT! But I can always start fresh, as Welch's so wonderfully reminded me. 

So can you guys be my accountability partner? I'm going to start improving my health, my body, and my habits again. And here are the steps for self-improvement I need to take:

1. Wake up before my kids.

Because I sleep so late working on articles, preparing for homeschool lessons, and spending my much-needed alone time, I wake up later than my kids. They're fine - the boys eat their breakfast and start doing their chores. This is good, right? But as soon as I get up, they bombard me with "Mama, look at this! Mama, I did that! Mama, can I do this?" And to the groggy me, it's jarring and isn't really not the most calming way to start my day. I feel like I lose control of the day.

2. Meditate.

I started doing this in August, scheduling my Bible study every morning. I've been a Born Again Christian for 30+ years but meditating on God's Word is hard for me. And it still is! But around the second week, I started feeling excited about what I'm reading. I think it's because I'm older and I have a better perspective on life, faith, and God now.

3. Just drink water and healthy drinks.

At around June, I started drinking a lot of Coke, coffee, and milk tea. So bad! Even though I still drink water and Welch's 100% Grape Juice, their goodness was outbalanced by all the sugary and caffeinated drinks I was consuming. But since 2 weeks ago, I am now just drinking water, black tea, ginger and turmeric tea, and Welch's. I don't feel so bloated anymore!

Ever since my family started drinking Welch's around 3 years ago, we've slowly and then completely stopped drinking sugary powdered juices. Real fruit juice is naturally sweet anyway so adding sugar completely distorts how it tastes. Plus, you can't beat the Vitamin C and antioxidants, which not only help strengthen my immune system, it also keeps my skin clear and improves brain function. Definitely a must for a middle-aged woman like me!  


4. Go on the Smaller Portions diet!

I actually eat healthy. Almost all our meals are homecooked. There's almost always a salad or a vegetable dish on the table. My problem is I cook soooo well, I eat so much of my cooking! Oh dear! I love my cooking. My husband just said at dinner tonight, "You make the best tinola." And I do. But I end up eating maybe up to three platefuls of my cooking. It's terrible haha So I'll still prepare my yummy healthy meals but I really need to eat just one serving only! 

And of course, wash everything down with just water or Welch's grape juice because, as Livestrong.com says, "Those who drink 100 percent fruit juice, including grape juice, possess a lower mean body mass index, smaller waistline and lower insulin resistance."

5. Start exercising.

I tried a few times this September. I have exercise apps but what I like best are the walking videos of Leslie Sansone. I should do it more often! Pray for me haha. By the way, when I exercise, I drink just water or Welch's 100% Grape Juice. I don't need energy drinks because Welch's has tons of natural-sugar energy in it already. Plus, grape juice made from Concord grapes has a beneficial effect on the heart and blood pressure.

6. Spend less time on social media.

Facebook especially is a time-sucking monster. I sometimes get shocked that I start scrolling at 11pm and then it's suddenly 3am! My sleep suffers. My work suffers. My mental health suffers. Must really manage my time on Facebook. My plan is to set a timer - 30 minutes! - and follow it strictly. I can get so much done, I bet. All those saved hours I can use to sleep, exercise, read a book, paint, work!

7. Sleep!

Yes, sleep! It's the most neglected area of my life. Scary because studies show that consistently lacking sleep leads to lower immunity, higher risk for diseases, and early death. I haven't really been getting 7-9 hours of sleep for more than 10 years (thanks, motherhood). Such a bad habit.

I specifically chose these steps for their immediacy. I can do them without having to do anything big, like sign up for a skills class, or join a support group (I already have Lean In PH!), or buy a gym membership. Many times, we can't take that first step to improve ourselves because it takes a lot of work and the thought tires us out even before we start.

My list is simple and super doable. So I have no excuse. I'm really going to start these steps for self-improvement. I'll update you on my Instagram and blog my progress on my birthday next month. Wish me luck!

Source: "What are the benefits of Welch's Grape Juice?", Livestrong.com

*This post is brought to you by Welch's 100% Grape Juice. Welch's 100% Grape Juice, Juice Cocktails, and Sparkling Juices are available in all leading supermarkets, drugstores, and convenience stores. You can have your favorite health drink delivered right to your doorstep! Visit the Ace Food Service website, or place your order in the following online groceries: Metro Mart, Lazmart, and Waltermart.


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