A friend brought it to my attention that I didn’t give my experience about month one of the nine month plan. They wanted to know if I stuck to the goals for that month, if I am making the goals apart of my lifestyle or if I found them challenging and unrealistic.
This post is all about my experience with the three goals of March.
Practice the 8 hour diet: I was really excited about this one; I figured it would get me to stop munching late at night and to have a set eating schedule. Instead what I found was that it limited the meal times I could share with the hubs and that during the 8 hour window I could eat, I was stuffing my face with snack foods instead of actual meals. I did really well the first couple of weeks of trying it and if someone asked how it was going, I would say things like, “awesome! I feel so great.” By week three I realized I had missed a lot of breakfasts and dinners with my hubs for two weeks and this got me down. Our schedules are so crazy with being in class, teaching classes, lab experiments, working on our thesis and meetings with students and faculty that we barely see each other. In many ways our schedules are opposite; he works mainly in the early mornings/afternoons and I work in the late afternoons/early evenings. It is important for us to eat meals together because that’s valuable time we can spend with one another.
The problem with the 8 hour diet is that it’s hard to do when you want to eat as a family with opposing schedules. I also found myself snacking a lot versus actually making real meals which had a direct impact on how many recipes I posted in March (not a lot). It’s also not compatible for last minute social gatherings where there will be food and snacks. There were a few instances when I was invited over to a friends house and amazing food was served but I couldn’t eat it because my window for eating had passed. I didn’t modify the diet earlier in the day so that the event was included in the 8 hour window because it was a last minute invite and I had no way of knowing about it.
Verdict: Not going to be a habit. At least not now. To keep my late night eating under control I will just need to practice self control; I don’t need an 8 hour eating window to know that.
Practice yoga daily: I recently fell in love with yoga and wanted to make sure I practiced everyday because the way I feel during and after a yoga session is amazing. This was definitely the easiest goal to maintain this month because it brought me such joy and I could see and feel the benefits of practicing. I am getting stronger, my poses are getting better and I am feeling more confident. The most challenging part about this goal was getting on the mat everyday but once I did, I found peace. I am finally learning (still a work in progress) to focus on myself and my practice versus what the person next to me is doing and how beautiful she looks in her poses. This is my journey, my practice and I need to enjoy it.
Verdict: Yes, Yes and Yes! It’s now a habit and a passion.
Write in a journal everyday: As a kid I wrote in a journal everyday and I recently re-discovered my old journals. It was comforting to read my old thoughts and feelings and to see the world through my younger self. I wanted to restart this habit because I feel that writing about your day, your feelings, your fears and your hopes are good for the heart. We go through so much everyday and we deserve a place to vent, to tell our deepest secrets, to not be so structured and to escape. This goal was challenging because of the everyday part. I noticed that when I first started to write in my journal, I wrote like I would a paper and tried to keep it structured. I was focusing too much on the end product and not on the process. I wanted it to make sense and be chronological and this lead to me feeling overwhelmed by it all. I felt like I was doing double work; working on my school work and then bringing extra work home by trying to make these elaborate, analytical, and edited writings of my feelings. I realized I was missing the point. Feelings aren’t always structured and I shouldn’t feel the need to edit my feelings! I feel that this goal was perfect for me to tie in with the yoga practice goal. I learned that it’s okay to be messy and imperfect. Once I let go of editing everything I wrote and stopped making journal writing another job, I enjoyed it a lot more.
Verdict: It’s still a work in progress but I hope to make it a habit. I really enjoy it and it feels nice to get my thoughts down.