So this year I’m focusing on one thing, and that’s a healthier me.
I don’t have all the answers to what that entails quite yet, but I need to start feeling better myself, so I have more energy to accomplish other goals I have in 2016, that I need the energy to complete.
Before getting into this year theme in detail let me reflect on my 2014 theme that was “FOCUS”, since I never did one for 2015. 2014 was to be about focusing on different things for a month or two. This theme ended up being way too vague, which meant 2014 didn’t go according to plan since I never got past improving my writing.
I started out reading a few books on improving my writing that were:
- “On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction” by William Zinsser
- “Merriam-Webster’s Guide to Punctuation and Style” Second Edition
- “The Only Grammar Book You’ll Ever Need: A One-Stop Source for Every Writing Assignment” by Susan Thurman
The one that I found most useful was “The Only Grammar Book You’ll Ever Need: A One-Stop Source for Every Writing Assignment” by Susan Thurman.
To help improve my writing, I started paying more attention to my reading. To do this, I slowed down and re-read the words I wrote more to make sure things made sense. I started seeing some patterns in what I wrote and came up with ways to improve my writing.
I even started using two web-based applications to help with some of my grammar issues. Some of my issues were either adding too many commas or not having enough.
The main application I use is Grammar.ly, which Ella Waters (@nethermind) suggested I use. I signed up for the 14-day trial and after a few days, I happily signed up for the yearly plan. Currently, it’s $29.95/month or $139.95/year and well worth the money.
I use Grammarly a lot to check e-mails for work to make sure what I’m saying makes sense. There’s one file called, “Grammar Check,” which I drop in short bits of writing that I’m not worried about saving so I can check a sentence or a paragraph or two.
The other application I use is the Hemmingway application. Using this application shows you how many complex sentences you have written are by giving you and idea what grade school level the text was written.
So not getting everything done in 2014 was good and bad. It was good in that it got me to spend my time improving my writing. The sad part was I never did much with any of the other areas from 2014.
This year I need to work on getting healthy and here are a few ideas I have on how to get there:
- Eat more nutritious/quality food and less non-healthy food, along with making better food choices starting with veggies and fruit.
- More walking during work hours, after work, and on the weekends, which end up being my least amount of steps during a week.
- Do more stretching using the back porch steps posts.
- Start riding my bike for some different exercise.
- Get at least one massage per month to make me feel less sore and stiff.
Ways to Tell I’M Healthier
Some of the easiest ways to tell I’m getting healthier are the following:
- Work towards making it easy put on socks, shoes, etc. without feeling out of breath/shape when doing so.
- My Achilles don’t get stiff and sore after sitting at my desk for a few hours.
- It’s not painful for my Achilles and tendons in my knees when walking down stairs.
- Be able not to need a seat-belt extension when flying.
- My clothes fit better, along with moving down a few sizes in pants and shirts.
Here are a few helpful articles I read to start me thinking that this is a long-term way of living:
- “I just lost 100 pounds. Here’s why almost nobody else will!” by Noel Dickover
- “How I Gained and Lost 60 Pounds as an Entrepreneur — and So Can You!” by Leslie Bradshaw
These two articles on losing weight took a long-term approach instead of a quick fix, which won’t last and is not good for your body.
Another two interesting articles are “50 Ways Happier, Healthier, And More Successful People Live On Their Own Terms” by Benjamin Hardy and “Simple Rules for Healthy Eating” by Aaron E. Carroll of the New York Times.
Below is a short list from Aaron E. Carroll’s article:
- 1. Get as much of your nutrition as possible from a variety of completely unprocessed foods.
- Eat lightly processed foods less often. You’re not going to make everything yourself.
- Eat heavily processed foods even less often.
- Eat as much home-cooked food as possible, which should be prepared according to Rule 1.
- Use salt and fats, including butter and oil, as needed in food preparation.
- When you do eat out, try to eat at restaurants that follow the same rules.
- Drink mostly water, but some alcohol, coffee and other beverages are fine.
- Treat all beverages with calories in them as you would alcohol.
As of yesterday morning (Monday, January 18, 2016), was 247.2 lbs. I started eating better and paying attention to what foods worked and made me feel better on August 10, 2015, where I was 262.2 lbs. So over those five or so months, I’m down 15 lbs so far, with a big folding pattern from about end of October until now.
In the end, I would like to lose 100 to 125 lbs., over the next two years, but more importantly, I want to feel better. Doing this is a long term goal and not one to quickly lose a bunch of weight, but to change the way I eat, exercise, and live.
I’m going to leave you with this Michael Pollan quote:
“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.“