2019-09-18 Words.. The Lost and Found Edition

When I was at residency I had a flood of words to work with. It’s always an interesting experiment in immersion and the impulse of spontaneous thought lingers for a while after I return home. This time around I was given an extra push and had some strong emotion to propel me forward and keep the words coming.

Now, miles away from that and approaching the halfway point in the term (yes already), the impulse is gone, the topic seems to have exhausted itself and though I know I have a few more in me, they just won’t come. It’s been blurred with all the assignments with the other class I’m taking which is moving way too fast for my taste.

Yesterday I did some reading and some critical writing, but it was all starts and stops and so slow going. I also tried to free write but got nada. One line. Ok, I got one damn line. (Btw I don’t think one line is a poem.. perhaps a title.)

I tried to build on that one line and it just never materialized. I mean, you have to have a message or what’s the point? What’s my message? What’s so urgent? Problem is, there’s not a lot that feels urgent right now. Urgent in the sense that I get sometimes when something in me wants out. The post on Monday was a giant shrug and that seems to be the theme for my week.

I guess I’ll just press on, with Mario at the wheel, reading and critical thinking and attempting these assignments. What else is a girl to do?

In other related news, we did an exercise in class where we were put in groups and told to behave like we were editors of a new literary publication. We had to choose our genre/theme and the title of our mag and then review poems anonymously submitted by our classmates. We had to choose the one that was a good fit for our genre, the one we would accept. It was an interesting exercise that consumed a lot of class time.

One of the groups came up with the name “Pumpkin Spice Confessions” which was advertised as “basic bitch” poetry appealing to the masses. They chose my poem. Ha!! I mean, an acceptance is still an acceptance no matter what the pub is right?! And believe me, I know my poetry is pretty basic.

I’ll never be like any of these great writers I’m reading. Just now I wrote “I don’t have a traumatic childhood”, then erased it because, well, yes I do. I would say I’ve never been in an abusive relationship, but I have. I might confess that I’m just a layer of motz cheese on top of a pizza with nothing underneath, but yo! I got spicy pepperoni and artichoke hearts and red onions and some savory tomato sauce. Yeah. That.

Or maybe I’m just hungry because I’m starving myself to fit into a heavy white dress. It’s not white though.. it’s ivory because you really only get one shot at white and that was wasted, because I was already wasted at 19.

I was already rehearsing lines of white pages, a script handed to me before I could read. I toddling tot with my baton in a purple sequin leotard, with matching skirt.

My mom pierced my ears before I could talk. It was a botched job by a family friend that left me with puss filled ears my entire childhood. And you know that line in the script, “if at first you don’t succeed”, when I was finally healed we tried again.

On my wedding day I wore pearl white earrings that belonged to my paternal great-grandmother. Something old.

I followed all the instructions in the brigade handbook, a recipe book with clear descriptions of ingredients and exact measurements. Recommended Process and procedure for best results.

36-24-36

I checked again this morning, my numbers haven’t changed.

***

Ok.. that went somewhere weird. But, that’s just Luigi stretching and flexing.

I really need to do Jazzercise today.. I haven’t gotten to it at all yet this week. And for clarification, it’s not needed for the aforementioned numbers, but is needed to get my heart pumping, and because dance, and also… the current theory is that the free-weights and activity are helping with my tennis elbow situation.

More on that soon I hope. Until then..

Peace and Love,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-06-30 Super-Sized Sunday Status

It’s official.. Half the year is done. There’s no time like late on a Sunday where the digits outside are soaring to get some steps in my cool basement and reflect upon the status of things.

I used to take some time most Sundays and look at how my sleep, and exercise, and healthy eating were trending. Now it’s about once a month. I mean, I technically “look” everyday at my sleep for the previous day and am constantly mindful of my step count and if I’ve hit my goal for the day, but lately it’s all just blending together. I’ve got good routines and don’t worry too much if I’m off for a few days. And I might say “healthy eating” is one of my goals but I’m not even sure if I’ve ever found a good definition for that.

Is it moderation? Is it a perfect balance of protein, fat, and carbs? Is it veggies and micronutrients? Is it limiting things like sugar and gluten and caffeine? It certainly shouldn’t have anything to do with weight or BMI Or dress size. I person who is a size 4 can have terrible eating habits and with the healthy metabolism maintain that size.

I digress. Let’s see what The almighty Fitbit has to say about my stats for the last week, month, and half year…

Sleep.. 7 hours and 14 minutes average for the past week. 7 hours and 18 minutes for the month of June and 7, 14 for the year so far. I think that’s pretty much right on target. I’m not sure getting more sleep at night will ever help my all too common afternoon brain fog and evening exhaustion. I hate to say I think it might just be related to my age. Even when I get 8 hours of sleep it does not seem to have a positive impact on my issues. I’d like to see if napping might help but I cant seem to hit enough consistency of routine to really say for sure. 🤔🤷‍♀️ I’m still going to maintain that good quality sleep is key in overall heath, which is just me flexing my “captain obvious” superpower but I always say, what may seem obvious to some isn’t necessarily obvious to all.

Steps/Exercise.. Last week I got about 10K steps each day which is another stat that has not had much variation in the last month and half year. Both come in at just above 10K, 10.1 and 10.6 respectively. My goal there is 12K so I’m still not there yet. But it’s days like yesterday that are the biggest challenge. I hit my goal almost everyday this week and then yesterday I was just a lump (plus we were in the car a good part of the day), so I only got like 3K. That kills my weekly average. In order to have days like that I would need to boost my daily goal to like 15 or 18. That would be tough.

With sleep, both quality and quantity are important measures. With exercise it’s tougher to measure the other key factors, such as diversity and strength or balance work. I’ve recently started doing Jazzercise again regularly and I can already tell a difference. It’s tough to put into words but my body just feels better. I’m only doing 5 pound free weights as I’m still unsure what affect doing arm weights will have on my tennis elbow. When I stopped doing Jazzercise last year I was using 8 pound weights. Eventually my goal will be bank to that.

I guess one measure I could be paying more attention to is resting heart rate. According to several web sites I visited, adults normally range from 60-100 and lower scores indicate better, more efficient cardiovascular function. Mine was 66 this past week and 63 the past week and this year so far. I’m going to say that’s a good thing.

I guess not much has changed in my relationship or school status either. Still happily engaged and on a break from School. Although one of those is going to take a dramatic turn in July. There will be at least one post coming soon dedicated to my 3rd term in the MFA program at UNO.

The biggest change in the last month has been my switch from full-time wage earner to “stay-at-home-Mom”/“household engineer”. That transition was mostly positive. Life is never free of doubts, but all things considered, it’s been great. The jury is still out on the question of whether I will go back to work. If I do, it will be when I am done with school and hopefully it will be something more in the sphere of writing and less on IT.

All in all my stats are petty stable and that doesn’t leave much to write about. Still, ive still managed a healthy sized post for this last day of June.

July is looking like one crazy rollercoaster. I’ve got about 1 more full week until that ride starts. It’s also a holiday week so we’ve got a few fun things planned. I should have plenty of time to get everything I want done, including sleep and exercise!!

Well that’s it for today.. this month.. and the first half of 2019. If you only get two bites, make sure they are good ones!

Cheers, 🍻

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-05-31 May the Thirty First

It’s the last day of the Month and at the present moment I’m looking at myself in the mirror and asking “What have YOU done?”. This constant soul searching is quite draining. But literally.. I’m on the treadmill in my basement that faces a mirror and I’m staring at myself. Seems pretty vain but it’s right there. It’s hard not to.

My observations?..

My hair looks good today. I washed it yesterday and it always looks best the day after that. My natural waves are clinging to each other in ringlets, loose and fluffy-ish on top with tighter spirals underneath. I straightened my hair for years and years trying to fit an ideal that was established by goodness knows who. Fashion people somewhere? Rich people? Skinny people with equally skinny hair. It’s just not natural to spend so much time trying to shape yourself into someone else’s picture of perfection.

I can say that my life is tremendously better now that I’ve gone ohh-la-la-natural. For one, I have more time now that I’m not spending an hour with a hair dryer and fat-barrel curling iron every time I wash my hair. And the other is that it’s liberating to not give a fuck what people think. The bonus plan is that I actually think it looks better this way. Yeah, I’m totally digging that “I woke up like this and so what” look.

I really wish I could say the same about my stomach and butt. But improving one’s self takes time and patience and the best changes don’t happen overnight. I still wake up everyday thinking about my weight and food and what I might strategically eat today and when. I’m constantly mentally calculating what I ate and drank yesterday and what that did to my number. You know the one… on the scale.

The first thing I do when I get out of bed in the morning is pee and strip naked and step on the scale. The second thing I do is go to my closet to put on workout clothes and pick up my phone (which I keep in the closet overnight and not by my bed) and log my weight in my Fitbit app. These are such routine behaviors for me at this point that I feel like something is wrong if things don’t start that way.

When I say “improving one’s self takes time”, I’m not talking about working off excess pounds so that the stomach is flatter and tighter. I’m talking about feeling ok with my shape the way it is now. Accepting my body and not being so highly critical of myself. It’s about not letting the dominant thought in my head be about how I look. I did it with my hair so I can certainly do the same for the rest of me. Right?!

I can’t actually see my stomach or butt from the treadmill. That’s probably a good thing. I can see my eyes and I have slightly smudged mascara because I didn’t wash my face before going to sleep last night. I basically walked into the bedroom, pulled the sheets back, crawled in and went to sleep. I slept straight through to 6am when Jim’s alarm clock went off.

I got up this morning and cooked him breakfast and sat on the couch and chatted while he ate. I clutched the cup of hot tea from two days ago I reheated in the microwave while the salmon was waiting to be turned over in the skillet on the stove. I can’t even waste a cup of tea.

When he’s done eating he gets up and kisses me goodbye and heads out the door for work. And there I sit, in my workout clothes holding the cup of tea that I’m not drinking again and I think, “this is my life now”. I’m not sure how long I sat there before I got up.

Yesterday I insisted that I was going to go to Jazzercise despite the fact that i didn’t feel good. It was a mistake. I did it and then spent the rest of the day feeling worse. I napped instead of going out to lunch with a friend and I wouldn’t let go of the internal argument of whether it would be better to rest and relax and recover or push hard through whatever it was that had a hold of me. Some strange, sneaky unwell feeling that didn’t have a definition.

When my daughter says she doesn’t feel good I ask “does your head hurt? Is it a stomach ache or cramps or do you feel nauseated? Do you have aches and pains you can point to or body parts you can name? Can you describe it as sharp or dull or throbbing?”.

What if the “ache” is a heavy heart or worried mind? What if you have anxiety of known or unknown origins? What if the sky is too big and it all just feels like too much or worse, that it doesn’t matter at all how you feel?

What if that girl you used to know finally died of the cancer that crept through time and sank it’s teeth in her bones, leaving behind two babies who will only ever remember their mom as a person fighting for her life for them. They won’t know the 20-something strawberry blonde, full of life, who hung out at Billy Frogs with you on Fridays after work, laughing at stupid things and drinking terrible cocktails and splitting nachos.

Or .. What if that other girl you barely know was raped and wrote a poem about it and posted it on Twitter? What if you wanted to hold her up and give her strength but you didn’t know what to say?

And what if that other girl you know really well because you have given birth to her is getting ready to fly away and the world she’s flying into is wrought with terrible things and terrible people and you can’t protect her from any of it?

You can’t stop time and you can’t keep bad things from happening and you sure as hell cant unmelt the polar ice caps or save all the creatures of this world from meeting their doom because human beings are incredibly selfish and sometimes only think about things like how their hair looks when they wake up in the morning.

You just can’t. But you might feel better if you write about it. So you do that, hoping that it will. “Hope is not a strategy”, but it will have to do today. Today on this thirty-first day of May.

Peace and Love,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-05-29 The Ultimate Human Condition

Today is the last day of school for my kids and so it’s likely to be the last day for me to spend QT with my most beloved elliptical machine (at my gym across the street from the school). I’ll likely spend the summer getting to know the equipment in the exercise room in my basement better or, better yet, start those Jazzercise classes I’ve been wanting for months now. I’ll also be working out in the garden flexing my digging and watering and weed-pulling muscles.

I have a sneaking suspicion that the steroid shot in my arm will not last as long as the first one. That gave me relief from the annoying aches and pains in my arm for about 2 months. Of course my hope going in (the first time) was that I would have the shot and my tendons would recover in the span of time the med was working. That was in January and by about the end of March it started creeping back. I held out to mid May before going back for seconds.

Funny thing about tendonitis at the elbow… they don’t have a good way to fix it and also not a lot of proven methods of physical therapy that help. I asked this specific question at my appointment “what should I do while I have the relief from the steroids, exercise to strengthen or complete rest? What will help it get better faster?”. The answer..

“We don’t know”. Really? There are no studies or experience with cases that have led to the answer. Some people respond to total rest and some to therapy. Some get one shot and the pain never comes back and some have to come back every 3 months. Eventually, in 95% of cases, the pain just goes away. The tendons, he explained, are more “frayed” than Inflamed. They eventually just recover from the trauma that caused the issue. Ok.

The first go-round I limited my arm activity to just daily living tasks. No lifting weights or Jazzercise arm routines Or tennis. That being said, there’s still a fair amount of heavy lifting in my day to day life. Plus it’s not even the “lifting” things that’s taxing. It’s actually any strain on the wrist or pressure exerted in the hand and fingers. I was trying to hold off getting a second shot. I was holding onto hope it would just start getting better one day. That I would wake up and it would slowly feel better than the day before. It didn’t.

I have an iPhone SE, which is equivalent to the iPhone 6, and that version still has the “power/sleep” button on the top. The day I was holding my phone and noticed that there was pain in my arm as I moved my finger up to push the button and turn the display off was the same day I called to make a second ortho appointment. The fact that such a simple action could spark the pain was just disheartening.

I wanted to write the day I had my appointment but didn’t have time. I just was on the verge of tears all morning. I was just so sad about the pain coming back or perhaps the fact that it’s inevitable that my aging body will fail me. It’s just the start of things to come. I exercise and take care of myself and eventually things will deteriorate anyway. It’s part of the human condition. The aging physical body is just that.. always aging.

What’s next? Eyesight, hearing, cognitive function? Ok, that’s overly dramatic but there may a physical element to my lack of focus and tiredness in the evenings. It may be less to do with not getting enough good sleep and more to do with having 45 year old parts. I don’t know but it definitely weighs on my mind.

Around November last year I developed an involuntary twitch in my eyelid. It would start mid-morning and last almost all day, off and on. It was Mildly annoying and fairly easy to ignore save for the fact that I had creeping thoughts in my brain about this being the newest age-induced problem. For real I thought “oh hell… is this another thing I’m going to have for the rest of my life?” (like the late night leg twitch when I’m sleepy and that started when I was about 38). Good grief!!

The last few months the worry grew and the eyelid twitching more bothersome to the point where I googled it. The articles I read said it was caused by 1. Too much caffeine or 2. Lack of sleep or 3. Too much stress. Old, worn out eyelids were not among the causes. Good. I tried reducing caffeine (fairly successfully) and have managed to bump my sleep by 15 minutes a night on average. I also quit the most stressful part of my life (the dreaded work project).

All that has improved the situation tremendously. I noted in the last week or so that those twitchy episodes have been greatly reduced. So that’s a “tic” in the win column. I’ll take it.

Right now I have very little pain in my right arm. It’s about 2.5 weeks post injection and if I’m going to try and do something different with this go-round, the time is now. I have written orders for PT if I want to use them. I can’t just do the same thing as before and expect a different result. I’m no longer hoprleful that it will just get better, magically. I’m actually thinking it will not get better unless I rest it completely (which is terribly impossible) or jump on the PT wagon. What to do, what to do?

That’s enough rambling on about the Tennis Elbow and the reality of the ultimate human condition today. I’ve got 1.5 hours before the kids are done and it’s not worth driving home just to drive back again so I’ll be hanging out at the gym. I may try reading on the treadmill. I can write blog posts on the elliptical machine so one would think reading would be a snap. 😉

Cheers,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-03-24 Sunday Stat Monthly Recap

Oh hey! Here’s a blast from the past.. Sunday Stats!! Somewhere along the way I decided weekly stats were overkill (probably right about the time I was confident I had finally found the secret to success). But I still keep tabs on myself on a regular basis and think it’s Important to check it so I don’t wreck it by being pulled into a false sense of security with my new found fabulousness.

What I know now that I did not know then was that you can do all the right things and still fall short. I mean, if you are a bicycle built for two, flying solo is always an uphill climb. Holy mixed metaphors Batman, that’s terrible. The point is, teamwork makes the dream work and I can count steps and calories and hours of sleep all I want but without some qt with my people, I’m never gonna make it to the peak.

Still, the daily grind requires balance and if I just let go of some of the other targets, it’s a slippery slope. If I don’t get the sleep, the QT with people loses its “Q”. If I don’t get my exercise, I start feeling like a grumpy lump. In short, it’s ALL part of a big equation. Ok… that’s enough fuss about that and here’s the update for this week/month:

Sleep.. 6 hours 44 minutes average this week/ 6 h 54 m this month. Not hitting my goal of >7 hours. Let me tell you, I feel it. So many days I’m just beat by 9pm and that’s just sad. I’ve taken a hit because of my new commute and not figured out how to solve that. I still think naps might be the answer but right now I don’t have the bandwidth for that. Ask me again in 2 months. 😉 interestingly my 3 month and average for 2019 thus far IS greater than 7 hours which is how I’m confident that my new routine is to blame.

Steps.. Just shy of 12k per day for the past week and hovering at about 10k for the month, 3 months, and the year so far. That means I did slightly better this week, but am still below the target goal I’ve set for myself. Hell.. I used to get 15-20k per day and that felt great! Again, it’s gonna change soon cuz I’m about to have more time.

Healthy eating.. I’ve done pretty good this week and cut out coffee (which always comes with lots of sugar for me). I had a happy hour drink Friday to celebrate the house closing with my realtor but besides that I had no other alcohol. I opted for healthy snacks between meals and had reasonable portions otherwise. I tried to do that 16 hour fasting thing and was able to stick with that for the most part too. The exceptions to most of this has been this weekend. A girl’s got to have some weekend bending of the rules you know! 💃💃💃

Work.. 23 hours logged this week. That’s pretty much been my average for the entire month.

Reading .. nada.

Writing.. Aside from this blog, not much aside from submitting one set of poems to a contest and trying really hard to force a few poems into the shape of the subject matter for that “doubt”.

Entertainment.. We finished the first season of “The Handmaids Tale”. It’s pretty good. There’s a reason why I don’t do official reviews of shows and books. By the time I get to something it’s typically already been verified and often old news. I also almost always like everything so me saying “it’s good” isn’t saying much. Still, dystopian fiction is my jam and this one does not disappoint so if that’s your thing I highly recommend it. 😜

No real progress on any of my other personal creative endeavors outside of wheels turning in my head. I have high hopes for the rest of this year and aspire to do more, just not solid on what that means yet.

I think that’s it for this week/month. Next month will be super exciting cuz it will be my first trip overseas in 9 years. We have everything booked for Barcelona and Valencia and it’s coming up quick. Stay tuned for more on that. Life is good… just gotta enjoy it while you can.

Happy Sunday,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-02-10 Sunday Status Catch-Up, Bonus Edition

As predicted things are, at long last, starting to slow down and it’s just about time I got back to some good ole accounting of stats. I know going into this that I’m not back to hitting my goals yet and have sacrificed both sleep and exercise this week as I’m establishing my new routine and daily commute. Time to validate that.

Sleep.. off by “that” much. 6 hours and 50 minutes average a night and now as far as I can see, the only way around this will be to go to bed earlier (not happening) or take naps. “I’ll choose door number two Bob”. Of course this will be better on weeks my kids are with their dad -or- when my daughter starts driving. That second one will be more of a possibility when the weather gets better and when my comfort level for her driving goes up. In short, sleep is the main sacrifice I’m making right now for the luxury of living with my fiancé. Still worth it by far!!

Steps would be a secondary sacrifice and certainly way easier to fix. I’m at about 10K average per day for the week and that’s low for me historically speaking. I should be able to get back to goal much easier on this one because I now have the treadmill I’ve always wanted. In truth, the low count on things this week is more to do with my work than anything. I mean, I have a new set list of things to get done each day around the new house and all that takes barely no time at all. Anytime I have an extra half hour or even 20 minutes, I should be able to pop downstairs and walk. No excuses!!

I did pretty good with healthy eating this week and went into Friday feeling great about that. Then the road-trip happened and then Friday Night happened and it all kinda went to shit. It started with cheeseburgers and fries and went onto pizza and ended with red wine. Nothing like feeling like I undid all the progress is made earlier in the week. Whatever. 🤷‍♀️

I kicked ass at work and was able to get a ton done in about 20 hours. I hit my quota for one project and sacrificed the other to do that. I’m still not back to 30 hours per week and wondering how long this can go on without someone saying something to me about it.

School is still on hold and I’m not yet making anything out of this semester to play catch-up on that but that’s going to happen soon. Today is typically a good day to start but I’m holding off on this one until tomorrow at the moment.

Of course my relationship status is solid. The last couple weeks have been a great test of our ability to work together as a team through a number of challenges. Seeing someone under pressure in abnormal circumstances is telling too. It’s been great for the most part and the biggest strain in the past couple weeks has been dealing with our respective exes and their typical bullshit shenanigans. At our age, it just seems almost everyone who had kids with their previous significant others is going to have that crappy baggage. We both do.

What else? Ahhhh, here’s a new category which might be worth a second look and the jury is still out on if it’s worthy of including in the normal rotation. It’s my “screen time stats”. Tho is a feature of the iPhone Jim introduced me to about three weeks ago and I serendipitously got a notification about it just now. Here are my stats for this week..

Average screen time per day – 2 hours and 15 minutes. Down 24% from last week.

Productivity (Evernote, wordpress, slack, mail, etc) came in the highest with 5h 8m total for the week.

Social networking (messages, twitter, Snapchat, FB, messenger, etc) camecin second with 3h 35m total for the week. That’s incredible. I never would have guessed.

Entertainment (YouTube, Alexa, music) came in last with 1h 13m total for the week.

This is incredibly interesting and worth a little more investigation. It looks like you can set limits and I’m guessing that would trigger notifications if you go over. 🤔 There are other categories like games, education, health and fitness, etc which I spent mere minutes on.

It also records how many times you picked your phone up and how many notifications you received. Last week I picked my phone up 49 times per day on average and got about 58 notifications per day. Again, super interesting. Perhaps if I’ve got a little spare time this week I’ll check into it a little deeper. Of course this will mean my screen time for this next week will go up. How ironic! 😜

Anyway.. that’s enough for this week. I’m done checking it.. time to go wreck it!! 😉

Peace Out,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-01-14 What Maintenance Mode Looks Like

A few days ago I wrapped up 2018 with a nice little post about my year. It was a great story… good characters, plot, and a nice amount of reflective detail to carry me into the next chapter of my life. It is not new information that writing is essential in my life. I write to process things I am experiencing. I write when things are rotten and it helps me through. I write to record and analyze my state of being. I write for enjoyment. My life is better on many levels because of it. That, of course, is not going to change. Just because things are good now, doesn’t mean the story is over. Nope.

What it does mean is that I can focus less on deep analysis into issues related to being a broken human being. Instead, I can focus more on living with intent and having a constant goal of maintaining a life that’s enriched by positive experiences. It’s continuing doing all the things I’ve already determined work for me while also exploring new avenues. It’s “Maintenance Mode” with a healthy dose of trying new things.

Like everything, I’m still thinking about exactly what that looks like and what I can do to set some goals and measure my progress along the way. In the last few years, the focus has been on my health and in a way, the “physical” aspects of this are fairly easy to quantify. As I slip into Maintenance Mode, that holds true.

For that reason, I’m going to start with the physical, measurable things. Sleep, BMI, Strength, and Heart Health. Notice I don’t say exercise. Exercise is an activity and though I can measure my steps each day, that’s just one factor of a larger picture. I can easily say my goal for 2019 is to average 12K steps a day, but just doing that doesn’t help define the objective. The objective now is maintaining a healthy BMI and both diet and exercise play into that.

Right now my BMI according to the calculator at livestrong.com is 20.94 which is well within the “normal” range. As long as I’m somewhere in that range (18.5 – 24.99), then things are good. I can set a goal for myself to get closer to 20 because I’d feel better being at the low end of normal and farther away from the cusp of the top of that range, and the main factor that plays into that is diet. I say this mostly because I’m already spending about as much time as I can per day on “exercise” and historically, my eating habits have had a greater impact on weight gain and loss than exercise.

If 20 even is the goal, then getting there means losing about 5 pounds. But in reality, I’m calling Maintenance Mode for a reason. If I lose that weight, then hooray, but if I don’t, that’s OK too. It’s just a measurement and objective to keep an eye on so that things don’t start going in the wrong direction.

Sleep is another easy one, which I have already come to a conclusion on. Though the amount of sleep necessary for body and mind recovery over the course of a day/night for an adult is about 7-9 hours, I always feel better when I am on the upper range of that scale. My average last year was 7 hours even and like BMI, I am OK with that too, but would like to see a slight improvement, say 7 hours and 15 or 30 minutes. The challenge here is time, and balancing sleep against a busy schedule. I have to be up by 7 (soon to be 6:15-6:30) so that means trying to get to be even earlier. I also struggle with being tired during the day and so that’s maybe an indicator that I need to get even more sleep. So while the conclusion and measuring this one is easy, follow through is not.

Of course sleep quality matters too and now that I have a FitBit that records my heart rate, I have statistics for the amount of deep, light, and REM sleep I am getting each night. It might be good to look beyond number of hours and start tracking deep sleep. Perhaps my goal should have more to do with the number of minutes in deep sleep. Actually, the stat in the app for one night is minutes, but the aggregate over time is an average. I’m currently at a 30 day average of 15% which is within the “benchmark” of 12-18%. Perhaps the goal is to get slightly higher than 15%? Worth considering.

Strength and endurance are heart health in general are also sort of all wrapped up together. I’ve done a little research in the last couple of days into what my FitBit records and calculates and they actually have a measurement called “Cardio Fitness” which is supposed to be akin to the VO2max, but not totally legit because to get a true VO2max you have to be on cardio eq with a breathing tube and push yourself to the point of exhaustion. I did that test in the athletic department on the UNO campus about a year and a half ago.

I have that paperwork somewhere, and it would be good to see how the FitBit calculation compares to that. In short though, FitBit is telling me my score is 42-46 which is “Excellent for women my age” (it says so right in the app). I guess since that is the case, I’ll just keep doing what I am doing, but would like to increase my free weights to 8lbs (where I left off last year when I quit Jazzercise). Like the other two categories, as long as I am doing about the same, I am doing pretty great.

I guess that is the point though right. I mean none of this is rocket science and it is exactly what I say it is. As I said in the beginning of this post, I sometimes just need to write it out so that there is more definition to it, so that it is solidified in my brain, and so there is some accountability for whatever it is – because it is written in a public forum which I can go back and reference. So that’s the physical side of the equation and I have started to think about the other factors, mental health and life satisfaction and enrichment but have not nailed down any concrete objectives yet. It’s certainly all connected though and a healthy body is essential for a healthy mind. More to come on that, I am sure.

For now I am out of time and need to get to work.
Ciao for now,
~Miss SugarCookie