Just over a week ago I decided to join the gym and follow the vegan diet from the book, “The 28-Day Vegan Plan: Kickstart a plant-based lifestyle in just one month” by Kim-Julie Hansen. I was very excited because I hate making shopping lists and menu plans but this book had it all laid out for me. My youngest son and I have just managed the first week but I have to express how very disappointed I am in the book. Firstly, the ingredients in the shopping list don’t match the actual ingredients needed in the recipes, so I had too much of a lot of things. Secondly, some of the portions are over the top and excessively large. On one of the prep days it asked me to cook 200g of brown rice but it made sooooo much rice there was no way we would get through it. Thirdly, the meals are just not that great. Either tasteless or not tasting great. I can’t believe the kale salad recipe doesn’t request you rub anything into the kale to break it down first. Lastly, the prep is a nightmare. If the food tasted good, it may be worth it but a lot of the meals are just boring, dry or a bit rank. This is not a good book to endorse Veganism. I know there are plenty of delicious plant-based meals out there.
I have joined the gym for over a week and have been really embracing almost daily activity. The diet has also proved very awkward to follow now I’m busy with the gym. I’m spending way to much time faffing in the kitchen and making a big mess for quite nasty meals. Today was the first day I felt all my habits were getting on top of me. I never quite got all the housework done at the weekend, I still had 3 more chairs to build for my dining set and then there is all the pressure to prep lunches, meals and breakfasts.
It’s really important I feel back in control of my habits so tomorrow I am prioritising finishing the weekend chores, bringing the house back in order and completing all my habits, especially my evening beauty regimen which keeps being abandoned due to time restraints.
After that, I’ll enforce a new diet plan. I want to create my own personal 12-week plan, based on the things we like and the recipes I know are easy. I should also mention that after a week of gym and a vegan diet I gained 1lb. I just couldn’t believe it. It may be I have to count calories to lose this stubborn weight.
I want to print out a 12-week food diary and fill it with all the meals we know and love. Making meals regular just like my habits. I want to return to my recipe flashcards too. Write out my favourite recipes on them a long with the needed ingredients.
NEW HABIT: Always have paper and cartridges for the printer and budget for it
Using a printer can be quite a costly affair especially when one does not budget for the expensive ink cartridges. At around £80 a pop, it always comes as a nasty surprise when I have to replace a spent one. Also, I never have one ready when it runs out so there are occasions when important documents can’t be printed in time. This new habit is about always having spare cartridges at the ready. The trigger is, as soon as a new one goes in, it’s time to order the next one. That way, there will never be an occasion that we can’t print. I will also be budgeting the £80 so when the time comes to order, I have the greens ready. I did try to save money by buying boot leg cartridges but my printer does not like them and keeps telling me I’m out of ink. I’ve surrendered to only giving it what it wants. The company I buy from is CartridgeSave.com and they offer a recycling service so I can send my spent cartridges back to them for free. They are also cheaper than the high street and post almost next day.
Paper is also required for the printer and that’s something I run out of too and then the kids can’t print their homework. I’ve decided I should also always have a spare pack so when I open a new pack, it means it is time to buy another. I’ve also decided to start getting my printer paper from True Food because they offer an ethically made product.
“I will always have spare printer paper & ink cartridges at the ready. I will recycle the spent ones and ethically source the paper. I will budget £80 for cartridges”
TASK: Tidy understairs cupboard and gather together all eBay items to sell
It’s day 100 on the path to perfection. I’m so pleased and proud with myself for keeping up the effort for this long. The last time I went on this venture, I think I made it to 130-140 days. This time, I’m in it for the long haul and there will be no surrender.
At the weekend I spontaneously decided to tidy up the cupboard under the stairs and get all my eBay items together. I guess the motivation was the need to get money onto my PayPal to fund the Liz Earle products I’m slowly depending on.
It was a real mess to start with. Everything in there had just been thrown on top of one another.
I pulled everything out and organised everything for selling on eBay I in the corner of my kitchen, in the vain hope it will be a constant reminder to get on with creating the listings.
With the eBay items out of the way, I could really think hard about what I might like to put back in the cupboard. For a long time now, I’ve wished to have the vacuum cleaner in there instead of in the kitchen or around the house.
It looks so much better now and I did manage to get the vacuum cleaner in there. There’s now just that, the ironing board & iron, shopping bags and some shoes. Now I just have to get on with selling the rest of the stuff on eBay.
NEW HABIT: Try to go to the gym twice a day on weekdays for 3 months
The good news that my job role is to develop into something more professional from the 1st April means I am more inspired than I have been for a very long time. I want to dress more professionally for the role and feel good about myself. It has inspired me to join the gym because we have a new one recently opened right between my home and work. My sons go to it and my eldest son has been saying for a while that he could easily train me to lose weight and gain muscle if we went together. Impulsively, I went to the gym after work on Friday and signed up for 3 months. Thats two months before my role starts and one month after. I should think with commitment I can lose the 30+ surplus pounds I’m carrying around. 10 pounds a month is totally doable. I have joined an Anytime Fitness gym. It’s about £40 a month and you can only join for 3 months if you pay it all up front.
The gym is really nice with lots of stuff available. I’m chuffed that the showers are like individual bathrooms so I can lock the door and get on with my beauty regimen. Fingers crossed they are not too popular and busy. There are also a variety of classes I can attend, included in the price. I’m excited because there are lots I’m interested in, like variations of yoga. I can book the day before. There are even classes at 6am and I’m sure if I get addicted I would attend them, use the gym and then go to work.
I want to make the gym part of my daily routine once or twice a day so I have had to review all my habits and their timings for the entire day. Here is my revised plan for my daily weekday habits.
0645 hrs- Get up & put on gym wear
0650 hrs- Make bed
0655 hrs- Dental routine
0700 hrs- Finish packing for work
0705 hrs- Do any washing up
0715 hrs- Go to gym
0730 hrs- Gym session
0830 hrs- Shower & beauty regimen
0900 hrs- Breakfast at work
1600 hrs- Return home
1615 hrs- Change into gym wear
1620 hrs- Put laundry on
1625 hrs- Prep dinner and tomorrow’s breakfast & lunch, and have snack
1800-2100 hrs- Gym classes
Head to bed routine
Pack for tomorrow
Netflix for one hour
Go to sleep
“I will aim to visit the gym at least once in the morning and once in the evening on weekdays for 3 months and then review”
NEW HABIT: Send greetings cards to my nearest and dearest and allocate saved money towards gifts
When I was a teenager, I loved buying cards and gifts for my friends and family. I loved to go to Paperchase and buy beautiful wrapping paper and ribbon etc… to make the present look lovely. As I got older, and busier, and had moments of being short on funds, I stopped enjoying it or would run out of time. Now that I am on the path to perfection and creating many habits that I am completing regularly, I now find the time to consider making sure I get cards to my family on their birthdays.
I started by setting up a goal on Money Box to save up money to buy cards and allocate funds for the birthdays of my immediate family. My sister has 4 kids and they and she have 5 birthdays within 2 months of each other and every year it catches me out unprepared. This year I want it to be different. I thought that I would try MoonPig or Funky Pigeon because these websites send the card out in time for the birthdays you submit. I’ve set up the cards for my sister’s family and my mum & dad. It’s great for a procrastinator like me because now it’s done I can forget about it. My only disappointment is how crap the cards are and how little choice there is. Next year I think I will just order them online, or buy them, and send them myself so I can pick out nice ones and maybe even ethical ones.
“On the 1st of February I will buy all the birthday cards I need for the year and send them to my nearest and dearest. I will budget for the cards and gifts”
Yesterday I explained how my job description and title is about to change on 1st April. Prior to that I had considered reviewing and changing my evening habits to help complete them. Now with this news, I want to reconsider all the daily habits because I want to be fit and thinner for my new job role and be even more efficient and professional. I’ve given it all a lot of thought and come up with my new habit plan which I will embark on from Monday.
Here is a brief description of my new habits in order:
I will wake up, make my bed and brush my teeth and then go to the gym for 7:30-8:30am. At 8:30am I will shower and get ready at the gym, follow my beauty regimen and go straight to work. These times can be adjusted if I want to walk to work and when work starts earlier from 1st April.
Recently, I said I need to improve my evening routine. I have now come up with a way to help me commit to my evening habits. After work, instead of getting into my lounge wear straight away, I’m going to put on the laundry and then go out for a walk or a run. After my exercise, I will put on my lounge wear and make dinner. After dinner instead of returning to the TV, staying up late and skipping my beauty regimen, I will do my blog post and perform my regimen straight away, as if I’m going to bed. Then I will lock up etc… and watch one episode of a programme. Just one- not dozens, one after the other, late into the evening. That should take me up to about 10pm and then I can go straight to bed because everything is done. I should be tired after all that exercise.
From Saturday, I am doing 2 weeks on a plant-based diet. I have a great book to follow which has all shopping lists and menu plans. I will prep breakfasts and lunches the night before and bring with me to work. I will weigh myself before and after and report on the results. By 1st April I would like to be slim enough to buy a nice new uniform for my new role.
Tomorrow, I will be visiting the gym to join up for 3 months. My son says he will come with me in the morning to train me. In a few weeks, we are going to Amsterdam for 4 nights. I will give myself a break then and then afterwards spend 3 weeks on the plant-based diet again.
This is a monumental development on my path to perfection. I have lots of habits to introduce, and complete, to succeed. It’s a sudden push but I’m feeling hopeful.
Overall, I’m doing very well on my path to perfection. I’ve been going for more than 90 days now, which is impressive. My last attempt was not much over 100 days, so soon it will be a record. Besides, this time I’m in it for the long haul. Even when I have a wobble, I’m gonna keep going. The things I am finding hard is finding time for exercise and following my evening beauty regimen and going to bed early enough. When it’s time to start my beauty regimen I’m dreading it a bit and not really up for it, sometimes fast forwarding it and rushing. I think that if I spent some time focusing on my routine after work, I might be able to perfect these things and make them easier to commit to. Problem is, right now I come home and put washing on and then immediately change into my pyjamas. It’s a lovely feeling but I often find myself sat in front of the tv by 4:30pm. That leads to delays in making dinner. A late dinner means I extend my TV time again after it, which delays the whole evening beauty regimen and makes it harder to complete it when I’m late going to bed. I’m of the opinion that if the entire evening was more planned out, maybe I would find it easier to complete my habits and stick to the timing. I think that I should keep active until after dinner, to prevent the lure of the sofa and TV before it. I also need to promptly go and start my evening beauty regimen so maybe I will create the habit of watching just one episode of something than just binge-watching stuff which can be addictive and makes it harder for me to pull myself away.
Over the coming days I’m going to pay attention to my after work routine and see if I can improve it. I think there is a chance I find out this week that my hours have increased which is going to affect my evenings too. The first thing I’m going to consider is staying active until after dinner. I will mull it over this week. Eventually, it should be exercise but I may have to choose something else for now because I’m not sure I’m ready for commitment to exercise.