beka stays painfully honest : a new endeavor (and a new blog!)

Perhaps I’ve missed my calling. I may need to look into becoming a professional blog creator, because apparently that’s what I do.

But not to worry, there’s no need to change bookmarks or addresses in Google Reader. This blog, as per the title, isn’t going anywhere. I LOVE this blog; I could never abandon it! But I think I may have taken the “staying” part a little too literally as of late. Like as an invitation to “stay” in my sweatpants, “stay” huddled in front of my TV, “stay” away from anything that is not composed of sugar and/or chocolate.

You might say I’m in a health and fitness rut.

You might also say that it doubles as a general life rut.

And disclaimer: this did not start with not being able to run for over a month, although that didn’t help. It did not start with continued career confusion (which I’ll be sharing at a later date…because those posts are so few and far between for me…). It didn’t even start over the summer when I was working 80 hours a week and couldn’t remember my first/last/middle name.

Nope, I’ve been digging this hole for awhile, thanks to a keen sense of denial and an affinity for avoidance. I’m hardly in the depths of despair. (People, please. The Packers went 15-1 this season.) But I’m not living joyfully, up to my full potential, either.

My answer to these problems has been really exemplary: eat more, work out less; sigh more, act less; stay in sweatpants more, shower less.

I’m sure my badge of honor is in the mail as we speak.

Oh goodness, it’s time for a change. A big one.

So I’m doing a 24 Day Challenge and starting a new blog.

Clearly.

It probably sounds like the least plausible solution…but trust me, it all makes sense in the end. Just hop over to the new companion blog, beka thrives, for more details. For at least the foreseeable future, beka thrives will be the blog home of the 24 day challenge and my new endeavor to get into the best shape of my life. To make a mental change by way of a physical change.

And to stop looking for the answers to life’s questions in my pantry.

And to be painfully honest in the process.

And to do it all without coffee or chocolate or sugar for 24 DAYS…

Oh, Lord. Be near.

beka stays committed : for 21 days

Now that it’s officially November 1st I have several things on my mind. First is probably this:

followed VERY closely by this:

followed with reluctant thoughts about this:

(How is 2011 almost over already?!)

I realize that I’m not in the minority here, but I absolutely LOVE this time of year. It makes me more excited than I can say. And along with all of the goodness comes lots of food, extra things to do and places to go and people to see, and some reevaluating/goal making for the year to come. Since I’m nothing if not a professional eater/doer, goer, seeer/goal maker, all of those things make for a pleasantly replete two months up ahead.

However, let’s rewind two months. Or six.

Since May, my life has already been pleasantly replete. At times, unpleasantly replete. I think there’s a chance you may have gotten that vibe since I’ve been verbally waving the white flag for some time now, so we won’t rehash the particulars of the repleteness. Suffice it to say that any semblance of normalcy flew out of door when summer came to call.

Along with occupational normalcy went most of the normalcy attached to well-being: sleeping, eating, and exercising. You know things are bad when you’ve gone from running a half marathon to calling a 10 minute run around the block a workout. And when you have pie for lunch and ice cream for dinner. And when you set your alarm and it shows you how many hours of sleep you’ll get and you rush to jump in bed so the number is greater than five.

Even though I’ve been able to keep a more sane schedule lately and have posted daily updates on staying committed to wellness like it’s my job, I could still use some buckling down. And now, pre-holidays, before another round of less time/more stuffing comes around, seems like a great time to do it.

What is “it?”

Well, I have goals. They’re threefold. (Friends fans – that’s for you!)

1 – Sleep. Between 6-8 hours a night.

2 – Eat. Not comfort food. Not snacks. Healthy, substantial meals.

3 – Sweat. But only doing 3 things and giving them 100% effort: CrossFit, Long Runs, Yoga.

I’m unbelievably tempted to add onto that list. But for right now, this 21 Day Challenge is only focusing on physical health.

Why 21 days? Those reasons are also threefold.

1 – Research suggests that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. I don’t necessarily need to form new habits, I just need to pick the old ones back up again. So hopefully 21 days will be long enough to make that happen.

2 – I have 21 more days left in my CrossFit intro plan.

3 – 21 days from now will be…wait for it…November 21st, leaving a few days of buffer time before November 24th, Thanksgiving. During which time I’ll reevaluate and develop a new holiday-themed plan. You might as well mark your calendars for that post becauase you know I won’t be able to help myself from sharing it with all of you.

So this whole challenge is all well and good, and I’ll be keeping track of my progress in each day’s dailies post, but I don’t want to do it alone!!! What do YOU want to accomplish in the next 21 days? Do you want to be healthy for the holidays too or do you have a different goal in mind? Maybe it’s reading every night in an effort to finish off a few books, maybe it’s connecting with one friend or family member every day, maybe it’s something else all together – but whatever it is, shout it out! Make it happen in the next 21 days!

What is your 21 Day Challenge?

beka stays committed : mornings

I love mornings. Waking up to a sunrise, deciding what to eat for my favorite meal of the day, spending some time with the Lord, enjoying the quiet calm before the day starts in earnest. Mornings are without a doubt my favorite part of the day.

Coincidentally, my least favorite part of the day also occurs in the morning. It’s when the alarm clock goes off, long and loud, all too early. I love the result of the wake up call – all of the aforementioned goodness – but hate the actual waking up. Especially when the waking up is followed by working out. There’s just something about vigorous physical activity before the sun rises. It disagrees with me.

However, not being able to blog or read or spend time with friends in the evenings because I still haven’t gotten a workout in and have to spend time after work at the gym also disagrees with me. And while in the moment I may not like getting up early in the morning to exercise, I sure like it a whole lot for the rest of the day when I feel healthy and accomplished and free to do whatever I wish with the rest of the day.

So recently I’ve been attempting to rise at the unholy hour of 5:00am to get up and get moving for either a 5:45am class (if you’re wondering, Body Pump and yoga are the only classes crazy enough to be offered pre-sunrise). But the sound of the alarm is often followed by the sound of excuses. This happens basically every single morning, and is basically the only thing that says consistent in my workout schedule. I try to talk myself into thinking that it’s better to sleep in instead, that I can do it at my favorite time of day: later, that no one in their right mind gets up at 5am voluntarily.

Those excuses were shot down this week while I was reading Quitter by Jon Acuff. Here’s what he had to say in a chapter about hustling for your dreams:

“If you wait until night to work on your dream, you will often spend the whole day gathering up material for excuses on why you shouldn’t do what it is you feel called to do…Your day rolls toward night like an excuse snowball barreling down a hill, packing on more excuses with every rotation.

Do you know when you have a lot fewer excuses to claw your way through? In the morning. Nobody wakes up and wants to balance their checkbook. Few can return phone calls at 5am. There’s nothing good on TV, and watching shows you’ve TiVo’d before the crack of dawn feels a little weird. The only excuse you have to deal with is being tired, but that’s one you can work through over time. Or forget working through it over time. Go to bed earlier.”

OH…the truth!

The truth is that right now my dreams consist of doing all of the things that I wasn’t able to do over the summer due to scheduling conflicts. Things like running and blogging and reading and cooking more than once in a blue moon. And the truth is that I despise getting up at 5am; like, I concretely hate it. I audibly groan when I think about it, with increasingly frequency as the time draws closer. But I really love the result when I follow through.

Last Wednesday was the epitome of the reason why waking up early in an effort to live the life I want to live is so worth it. After a great yoga class I headed to the section of canal that’s on the way to work. This is what was waiting for me:

It was literally a perfect morning on the canal – fog hanging over the water, sun streaming through the trees, just a little on the chilly side. The perfect setting for this:

http://bekagphotography.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/2011-09-14_07-30-17_539.jpg?w=463&h=346

Breakfast on a blanket. Bible and a book. Big ole iced coffee. Love it.

And all because I got up a little earlier than I “wanted” to. But what I really wanted? To do yoga and be outside and eat a good breakfast and have some quiet time before work. That’s what kicked in after just a few disgruntled moments and lasted all day long.

A much better deal.

Hopefully, with this in mind, my commitment to mornings will be an actual commitment and not just a “when I feel like it which is about once a week if I’m lucky” commitment.

I’ll keep you posted!