Sunday, November 24, 2013

30 by 30

My numbers as of 11/20/13
Do a Google search of things to do before you turn 30.  You will likely find several lists of things that you should accomplish in your life before you turn 30.  Vanessa and I have had conversations with friends recently about that specific number.  You may have guessed by now that I am turning 30 in just over 3 months (101 days, to be exact - thanks again, Google).

I've given some thought to what I'd like to accomplish in that time, but either I'm not the ambitious type or I'm just content not pushing the envelope.  Still, there is one thing that I'd like to do: lose 30lbs by the time I'm 30.  I made this goal about a week ago or so, but some of the numbers I got to the right got me thinking about it again.

While my numbers are OK - I'm high in the BMI & Body Fat %, and my blood pressure is a little high, but my cholesterol and glucose numbers are pretty good - they can be better.  I'm roughly 3 inches away from the "ideal" waist circumference for males.  Other than Body Fat % and BMI, I'm pretty close in the other numbers.

So far in my goal, I've lost 2.3 pounds.  When I calculated my goal last week, I estimated that I needed to lose roughly 2 pounds per week to meet this goal (30 pounds / 16 weeks).  So far, I'm behind that goal.  I've decided to look at a more attainable number - how many pounds do I need to lose per day?

With 101 days to go, I need to lose 27.7 pounds; that works out to 0.3 pounds per day (rounded up).  While that is 2.1 pounds over a week, in my mind it sounds a lot more do-able to drop 0.3 pounds every day.  I've learned that the best way to track weight loss is apparently to weigh yourself three times a day, and take the average number of those three.  I'm only able to weigh myself twice a day, so I'm taking the average from the morning when I wake up and just before I go to bed.

It's not a perfect system, but it's what I have.  In previous posts I've talked about what I'm doing to attain various writing goals.  Guess what?  I haven't spent 15 minutes every morning writing.  However, I am actively working toward this fitness goal.  It's something much more important to me than writing goals.  It also helps that I have a partner that is working toward similar goals, and we are motivating each other.  I can't say the same about my writing, at the moment.

Back to weight loss: so what are we doing?  We signed up for a gym membership; we're doing a 30-day plank challenge (this is pretty tough, but it's going to be worth it); we're eating right (or as well as we can without a nutritionist guiding us properly).  And what I'm doing now is keeping honest with my progress by sharing it here.

I'll check back in a month with some results - but until then, I'll get back to my "regular" writing.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Creative Spirit

Lately I've been thinking a lot about writing. It's all been sparked by a comment last week on a blog post I wrote last year about a "Short Story Writing Month". Strangely (or maybe not so strangely) the writing I've thought about hasn't been fiction - it's non fiction writing.

I've made the decision a long time ago that I'm not a fiction writer, and I'm okay with that. I've also come to terms with not being "popular" or we'll known; it's not a goal for me, and it's also a direct consequence of a lousy work ethic when it comes to writing.  Unfortunately, that same lousy work ethic means that I’m terrible at keeping up with something as simple as a blog.

I admire everyone out there who writes for a living (and for a hobby, too).  The people that write every day are doing something that I keep saying, “oh, I can do that, no problem!”.  I look at them and see a complete lack of fear - the fear of running out of things to write about, running out of opinions, coming off as boring.

But I also know that these people also experience that same fear.  They just bowl over that fear and they just. do. it.  No excuses, the job gets done.  Believe me, I’ve gone through all of the excuses: no time, no motivation, no ideas.  What has that got me?  A whole lot of nothing.

No time?  What kind of excuse is that?  I have plenty of time every day.  I wake up at 5:30AM, shower, and I’m usually done breakfast before 7, sometimes earlier.  Of course I have the time to spend as little as 15 minutes stringing words together.  What’s the hold-up here?  It’s that lousy work ethic again.

I even thought that I would spend 15 minutes a day listening to music for my podcast, and I haven’t done that.  I tend to put those together the day I intend to record, and the result is sometimes a not-so-well thought-out podcast.

You know, if you’re reading through this post so far you may come up with two deductions: 1) My thoughts are often scattered and not put together too well; and 2) I am a very lazy person with a terrible work ethic.

I’d say that part of both of those statements are true.  My thoughts are often scattered, though I tend to organize them better in some cases more than others.  I can have a terrible work ethic - when it comes to self-assigned duties.  I work very hard at my job, so sometimes I feel like being lazy when it comes to personal things.  I think that’s normal for most people, though.

Anyway, at this point I just wanted to write for the sake of writing.  I feel like I need to do some daily writing, so this is a good starting point - consider this day one.  I think I would like to spend 15 minutes a day working on a weekly blog post, so we’ll see how I manage with that.  I have a few ideas on the back burner so I could bring those to the forefront.

Here’s a challenge: how many idioms or mixed metaphors could I use in one blog post?