Back to Basics in September

The Back to Basics challenge is being hosted by Brooke of Not on a Diet. You can read all about it HERE. The challenge is mostly geared towards Weight Watchers participants (which I am not) but I thought taking part would provide some support as I focus on adjusting some things in my life in September.

On January 1st, I (like thousands of other people) made a list of resolutions. Some of those resolutions I've been successful at, such as losing weight. I'm only about 20 pounds from goal....wheee! But the other resolutions? Not so much.

My purpose in setting those resolutions was to pursue wellness in all areas of my life - physical, mental, emotional, etc. I don't want to just get skinny; I want to be happy and balanced.

In September, I want to get back to diligently doing what has worked well for my weight loss: meal planning, calorie counting, and food logging. I've become neglectful of this and I need to get back to it before my scale punishes me for being a slacker. And I also want to focus on some other things that I believe are necessary for my overall well-being.

So, my goals for the month are.....



Plan my meals weekly, calculate them on sparkpeople.com, and post a daily food log on the blog.



My "exercise routine" so far this year has mostly been running. And, honestly, I haven't even done as much of that as I should have. I would like to be my usual overachieving self and say that I'm going to exercise every day during September, or that I'm finally going to conquer the 30 Day Shred, or something equally ridiculous. Instead, I'm going to keep it simple: 2 days each week of some sort of toning/strength training. That's it. Just two days. I can do that, can't I?



I've been trying to do this since January 1st. (Yeah, I've been running while I'm still a smoker. Stupid, much?) I've tried tapering off and have gotten to a point a few different times where I'd only be smoking about 5 a day. I never quit entirely, though, and I always seemed to find myself back to smoking a pack a day. The company I work for is instituting a no smoking policy on September 1st - no smoking anywhere on the property, not even in your own car. So that's 9 hours a day, 3 days a week, when I absolutely will have to be smoke-free. So this seems like a good time to go cold turkey and just freakin' STOP ALREADY. 



Clutter. Everywhere in my house there is CLUTTER. This year has been chaotic and my house really reflects it. I desperately need to do a mad purge-and-clean. I'm not a lazy slob. I'm really not. I just have difficulty reigning in the messes once they start to become unmanageable. I need to implement a cleaning routine, maybe something like this



I have several thousand recipes pinned on pinterest. Some I've tried, most I haven't. I want to somehow permanently save the ones I've really liked - possibly printing them out and placing them in a binder. I also want to create an indexed list of the ones that I need to try. Also, I need to decide which of my cookbooks I really need to keep, because who even uses cookbooks anymore? I don't think I've opened any of mine in about five years. 



I've been woefully neglectful of pursuing creative endeavors this year. Some specifics things I want to do in September:

1. Writing. Last November, I participated in NaNoWriMo. The purpose of that event is to write 50,000 words of a novel. Instead I wrote several short stories. I intended to edit/rewrite them and possibly submit some for publication. I haven't even looked at them since December 1st. My goal for September is to work on edits of just one of those stories and research possible publication markets for it.

2. Art. The local art association is offering a class that combines art with body movement. The purpose is to "recognize bodies as art and our art as something that we embody." You can visit the instructor's website HERE. This sounds so fabulous! There are several obstacles that I'd have to work around in order to participate but I'm certainly going to try. If I'm unable to take the class, I'll get out my art supplies and make something. I used to do a lot of art journaling, so I think my goal for September (if I don't take the class) will be to make two journal pages.

3. Knitting. My mother gave me knitting lessons at the beginning of the year. I loved it, and I really want to start doing it again. Goal for the month: one day of knitting with mom. Not ALL day, but - you know - several hours.


1. Food log daily.
2. Exercise (toning/strength training) two days per week.
3. Quit smoking.
4. Purge-and-clean and implement a cleaning routine.
5. Organize recipes.
6. Be creative. 
a. Edit one short story and research markets for it.
b. Take art class or make two art journal pages.
c. One day of knitting with my mother.


Mary Kay lipstick in "Red." I tried this at a Mary Kay party and it is my perfect colour.

I've had two cameras die in the last two years. I keep telling myself I'm going to save up to buy a really nice one but that never seems to happen. Not having a camera is making me batty so I just need to buy something reasonably priced that will be good enough for now.

Mum Fest! 20,000 mums. Arts & crafts. Library book sale. I've always wanted to go to this but every year I make excuses not to. 

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