Sunday, June 13, 2010

Back to Basics Challenge #1 - Hydrate, Mini List

Larkspur from Am I Really That Fat? challenged me to do a challenge. I've slipped away from most of the good habits I had developed and am wanting to reestablish them again into my life. I want to build fitness, and with any good building project, there needs to be a firm foundation. Every week I'll add new challenges. They will be very simple at first, but sometimes it's the simple things that are hard to maintain yet are so important.

I delved into Onederland last year briefly. I looked at what I was doing at that time to help me get there. You can read about it here, if you would like. I drank a lot of water, moved more, and brought better foods to my meals. I also did things for my mental and spiritual health.

Let's make small changes together and make them stick. I will be doing additional exercises not listed here, and you can, too, but I find I become so distracted that I forget the basics.

How long does it take to form good habits? I Googled it. It basically depends on the person and the habit. I found this article. Two - three months seems to be the average. I liked what the author said at the end of his post, "It’s essential to find things to enjoy about the steps along the way in order to keep up anything important long enough for it to matter."

Let's get started.

Physical Challenge -- Start you day off with a glass of water and remind yourself every hour or hour and a half with a timer (I use my watch) to drink some water (the amount is up to you). I personally have a hard time remembering to drink. Water helps with alertness (sometimes sleepiness is a sign of dehydration), hunger (our hunger may actually be thirst), moods (a disagreeable mood may be another sign of dehydration). We are made up of mostly water so our body needs it to function. Idea: If you are a big soda or coffee drinker, try replacing one serving of those with water. (I wonder if replacing one cigarette with one glass of water is helpful...I don't know, I'm just brain-storming).

Mental Challenge -- Mini nightly to-do list: each night think about things you need to get done the next day. Try for 1-3 doable things. Don't overwhelm yourself. For example, is there a phone call you need to return? Grocery shopping? Return something to a neighbor? Write them down. Do them the next day and that evening you get the satisfaction of checking them off. Then write down 3 more things for the following day. Keep the list, if you'd like, to see what you accomplish. I often forget what I need to do the next day especially when kids start crawling into bed with me, the dog barks, and the craziness begins. Of course we do more than 3 things each day, but is there something you keep forgetting to do? Write those down.

Come back here (anytime -- once per week or day) and report it in the comments section how you did (or not...You knowing how you did is what counts, but we could certainly cheer you on).

Maybe I could post the reports along with the next challenge.

So, what do you think? Are you up for it? Come join me.


  1. Love it! I'm in!

    Today's Sunday (am, barely). I'm going to go downstairs and drink some water right now. I'll check back in tonight :)

  2. Baby steps lead to results long term Gina! The key is to stay consistent & find your way, the way that works for you.. so try this out & see how it goes!

    I know Steve at Log My Loss lost his way after his father passed away. Once he started posting his goals & such on his blog again, he is keeping himself accountable. This does not work for all BUT logging even for yourself is proven to work for weight loss.

    PS: I loved that little Cathy ditty you mentioned in your reply on your last post! :-) I so understand not wanting to spend money for clothes when you are at a size that feels UGH! Use that as an incentive for your baby steps!

  3. Hey, I'm ahead of the curve! This morning, I wrote down three things that I had to do today, and I've already done two of them. One of which was to lift and carry the equivalent of 20 50-lb bags, so I figured I'm covered for weight lifting for the day. Or maybe week.

  4. I'm in too, Huff! That comment about replacing a cigarette with a glass of water is something I'll try. As I mentioned in email, I'm shooting for a sugar-free house (with exception of hummingbird/oriole sugar). Already got a start on that for myself with use of natural sweetener, stevia. Puff the Magic Dragonmyrearend

  5. I drank six glasses of water (well, working on the last one). It helps me stay off the diet soda so it's key, and I tend to forget = great challenge for me.

    I wrote down several things I have to do in a prominent place, but I do that fairly often as it is. (ADD!)

  6. Woot! to everybody! And welcome (and thanks, Jody, for cheering this on. I always appreciate your support. I remember when that happened to Steve. I think I'll swing back over there).

    Larkspur - Wow! Excellent! Can you just feel your cells cheering? (I know, I'm weird...don't leave). I understand being attention-challenged. I have to write things down or I forget.

    Hey, Aunt Terri (aka Puff) --Everybody, I'm Huff and she's Puff; they are our pet names for each other. I'm so glad to have you here. I should give Stevia another chance. (Sounds like an idea for a blog post).

    The Merry -- Equivalent of 20 50# bags?! All at once? Separately? (Either is impressive). Wow! I used to work at a pet shop then later at animal hospitals, and I remember carrying heavy bags of dog food. I'm sending gold stars your way for that and your list.

  7. I'm in :)

    I really need challenges to help keep me focused these days ..

  8. I really really really need to get better with the hydrating.


    did I mention I need to hydrate more?

    Im in.


  9. HersheyMama aka/JazzySingerJune 14, 2010 at 7:58 AM

    Getting a late start, but going to start today and will report back. Impressed with the idea. Hugs

  10. Rambo says, drop and give me 20!


  11. Simo -- Great! I hope this helps you during the stress. Didn't we "meet" during the Primal Stride challenge the beginning of the year?

    Miz -- Welcome! And may your thirst be quenched.

    HersheyMama -- I'm glad you're starting!

    Dr. J/Rambo -- Done!!

  12. Some good advice here. Often the things that lead to success are the most basic, it's getting ourselves to form good habits around these things that is the challenge.

  13. 5 glasses today... water bottle next to me.

    I wrote more things down. Alas, what I wrote down yesterday did not include crucial things I should have done, rather than picking cherries and playing tennis with the kids. Ah me!

  14. I've been drinking water today and yesterday. I'm not sure how many glasses. I just set my watch for 1.5 hrs (it automatically resets), and when it beeps, I reach for a glass. (And, I made my list).

    Karen -- Thank you for stopping by (how's your hydration? :) And thanks for your comment. Sometimes I feel so out of whack when I forget to drink and don't realize I'm thirsty.

    Larkspur -- Picking cherries and playing tennis with the kids sounds fabulous and are great memories-with-mom material. Great job on the agua. (Clink-cheers!)

  15. HersheyMama aka/JazzySingerJune 15, 2010 at 7:26 AM

    When I consciously drank water on a schedule yesterday, I saw how little water I had actually been getting before. I had less of an urge to snack, so I didn't, and the acid reflux problems were less, too. I made 3/4 of yesterday's goals -- pretty good for me. (hearts and smiles)

  16. HersheyMama - That's excellent! Woot! I'm glad you see/feel the difference.

    My report: water (check), list (check)

  17. Yup, that's how we "met" :D

    So, hydrating generally isn't a big problem for me. Recently, I've been keeping a large (1.5 liter) water bottle handy at all times to keep track of my water intake and I end up refilling it 2 or 3 times a day!

    But, I've heard that it's good to drink a glass or two of water as soon as you wake up .. first thing, before breakfast, before coffee, before anything .. but I can never do it ! It makes me feel nauseous drinking water on an empty stomach. So, I'll make that my goal, to drink a glass of water first thing every morning.

    And, as for the to-do list .. right now (and for the next two weeks), I only have one thing on my to-do .. GRADUATE ! There's no time or energy to think of anything else, so making a list will just be really depressing cuz it'll keep getting longer and longer :D So I'll postpone the list part for now ..

  18. My report: water and check lists going well

    Hey, Simo! Sounds like you do have at least 3 things for your list every night: drink water, graduate, pee (very important). I recall feeling a little weird drinking water on an empty stomach, too. Maybe it doesn't have to be a full glass. I've had a couple of soda/Saltine crackers to help that feeling. It's great you have the hydrating thing down.

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  20. Hi Huff, I'm not doing super well on my sugar-free challenge, maybe because I'm trying to quit smoking at the same time. (Excuses, excuses...) I'm gradually switching to electronic cigarettes, starting with strong and going to non-nicotine. I do hydrate all day (even nights when I wake up with a dry mouth) and I eat at least one carrot and apple every day. I'm happy and I'm not sick; haven't seen a doctor in years and I don't take meds. But I wear size 3X and so I relate to that story you wrote about carrying bags of dog food around 24/7. I need an exercise routine and I need to stick to it. (Ok, Puff, just get off your butt and do it!) :D

  21. Every reaction in the body starts with water however to much water can reduce thyroid function. It's a balancing act and everyone has different needs.