Being on a health kick has not deterred my urge for something a little salty, a lot flavorful, with a bit of tooth. But it can't be a lot of effort or I'll reach for the chip bag instead. Thankfully, this chick chow fills the bill! Want to make your own? You'll need:
I have been repeatedly informed that this random memory requires some explanation. Have you not all, at some point or another, told a child’s parents they should sniff their son’s probing digit? No? Well then….
Warning! This post is very Prairie Home Companion. You should probably get some tea and read this in a soothing voice. Maybe me reading this will be my first vlog entry. Nope. Never mind. I have the voice of the lovechild of a squirrel and a chipmunk who has just sucked all the helium out of a balloon. So you read it. To yourself. With the soothing voice and all the feels, as the youth of today say. Anyway….
So first of all, Wellness Wednesday is now a thing (thanks, Tara!) and will focus on health and wellness of course! This will come from my viewpoint and experiences in trying to get stronger and healthier. I'm hoping you will find something useful along the way (and that this will help keep me on track)!
So what am I doing fitness-wise? I already mentioned that I am going a little crazy on the exercise front. I've been working on increasing my step count. I also accepted a step challenge at work that is focused on individual improvement. We are broken down into teams and can choose how we want to motivate and direct our pace during this month long challenge. That hasn't stopped the challenge from branching out to other coworkers. I was invited to (and joined) more than one workweek hustle through the Fitbit app. We are also encouraged to set personal goals. One of my main ones is to add lifting back into my routine at least two days a week. While I would love for my arms to be more toned, I'm focused on just being stronger. I feel like I've lost some upper body strength and now seems like a great time to halt that downward slide.
As it turns out, I’ve actually been lifting every day through the Tone It Up (TIU) 31 day challenge. Following their plan, you do a 20 minute “booty call” first thing in the morning, which basically means exercising as soon as you get up. I’ve just been walking for 20 minutes, but I might start trying to challenge myself more on the weekends. Then you do whatever the daily moves are on their website and then whatever the other scheduled activity is (40 minutes of cardio, walk/run a 5k, you get the idea). I have to admit, because this is a free program aimed at anyone, I sort of overestimated my abilities and underestimated the strength required for this workout. It. Is. A. Challenge. I actually hit my first brick wall last night in being unable to do all the moves or finish all the reps on some of the moves). But as Jen reminded me, “if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.”
Two of my friends/coworkers and I agreed to also follow this lunge challenge. Until I read this post, I'd never realized just how much lunges work your body. This has got to be beneficial for all the walking I'm doing.
So what has all this done for me just since the beginning of October? Well, I am averaging 20,000 steps a day, 30 flights of stairs, and I’ve lost 1.6 pounds. These are all great, but what I love the most is how confident I feel knowing that I’m taking my health into my own hands and very actively trying to improve it! And for that there is no measuring stick!
So are you taking any extra steps for your health? If so, what are you doing?
I decided this month I would like to continue to work on my photography and the best way would be to issue a general challenge for 30 days of pictures. I know there are lots of these challenges around, but of course I wanted to develop my own. I'm not assigning a theme to any particular day (I've always been frustrated by that in other challenges). Just 30 ideas I want to capture somehow during the month. To add another layer of complexity for myself, I also want to be sure the pictures tell a little bit of the story of me and for me. Blame this quote from Ansel Adams:
You don't make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.
If you'd like to participate, just right click on the picture so you can print it! If you post to Instagram or Twitter, just use #scribblesnaps and note which idea you photographed so I can see it too!
Boy, this birthday month has been ripe with self-improvement and my photography efforts are no exception. I have always loved photography, but felt that I could really stand cultivation. There is a lot of advice available (which I guarantee I've read with gusto), but one of the most consistent and exciting suggestions is to take pictures every day and every chance you get. So every day, in addition to any photography for my blog, I've been taking a few other pictures just to see what I can do. I wanted to develop my style, a better eye, and get comfortable with what the camera is capable of. I also wanted to remind myself that there is beauty in every day (so easy to forget when I see others' exotic vacations and styled shoots in designer clothes).
Below, some of my favorites from this month. All of these have been post-processed to various degrees. I am aware that in the photographic community there is a great debate about the use of Photoshop and similar programs. What is too much? Should any be done at all? For me, I'm aiming to tell my story and sometimes telling that story means I have to process the picture a lot to get my message across just the way I want. Whether you agree with that stance or not, I hope you find a picture (or two) that resonates with you.