How I Do It Part 1: Sleep, Eat, Exercise, Helpful Apps

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How I Do It :

In the last 68 days I have had so much success that I thought it is time to share what I do and how I do it. Some things I learned from books, some from experimenting and some of these things come from friends who have shared what they do to make their days better.

This is my Monday to Friday routine. I still practice some routines on the weekends, but am not so strict about it.

Sleep:

Did you know that our bodies have a sleep cycle (all about sleep cycles) . On average it is about 1 hour and 30 minutes. If you wake up in the middle of one, you will be more groggy and tired the rest of the day. So, it is better to get 6 hours of sleep than 6.5 hours. My normal sleep time is 7 hours and 30 minutes, or 5 sleep cycles, perfect for me. The sleepy time app and website can help you to calculate your best times. Then, just figure out what works for you.

Waking up:

I like to think of the things I am thankful for. I am thankful to have this day, for my children, for a body that is getting healthier and still works. I think of how lucky I am to have a home, safety, and the means to live a pretty decent life. I also think of how lucky I am to have a job I love, good friends and family.

Thinking, like this, when I awake, really sets the tone for a good day.

I also run three days a week and try to lift weights on the other days. I am using the Couchto5K app. It really works.

So, before I even get in the shower to get ready for work, I have thought of what I am thankful for and gave my body a boost of energy and exercise. If you can do all of this at the beginning of your day, you will find the it hard not to have an awesome day.

What I eat. It’s pretty simple really.

1. Breakfast- Smoothies in the blender. Most days I have 2 bananas, an avocado, a small amount of plain yogurt, a small amount of spinach, rice milk and frozen berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries,etc) This si for me and my kids. You obviously can make less.  The main point is that we stay away from sugars that aren’t from fruit. Did you know regular apple juice has more sugar than Coke? We also take Fish Oil and Vitamin D capsules in the morning, it’s Norway after all.

2. Lunch- Salad with whatever I have in the fridge. Tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, pine nuts, corn… whatever is raw food. I make my own dressing of a half part plain yogurt and half taco sauce. I know, I am weird. I like the taste and it is better for me than any dressing I can buy.

Some lunches I take 2 or three bananas, apples or both instead. When I eat this way I find I am not tired after lunch, ever.

3. Dinner- Whatever I want, but healthy.  The girls and I try to eat vegetarian 2-3 days a week for dinner. We also eat fish once a week. On Fridays we make homemade pizzas. The trick is to not eat too late.

Late snack- I stay away from them. Most of the time, when you are hungry before bed, it is because you are thirsty. I try to stay with only water past 7. It took some will power at first, but now is easy and routine. If I break down and really really need something, I go with fruit only. It satisfies my sugar cravings.

All of this took about 2 weeks to get used to. I have 100 times more energy, sleep better, get sick less often, and have lost a decent amount of weight.

(Next week)Part II: Habits, what I do before bed, and books that really helped me.  

 

 

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Days 46,47 and 48

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Today I’m going visual.  Here is a simple  representation of my plan.  Results and evaluations are below the chart. Screenshot 2015-04-26 15.47.50 The first 100 Days are broken down into three parts. That is what I felt worked for me. I could have, for example, gone week-to-week, or day-to-day.

Results and Evaluations: 

Health: I am down over 30 pounds and feeling more energy than I have in years. Running and eating right are things I will continue to do. I do plan on finishing 5 kilometers, without stopping, by the 100th day. I am comfortable with my eating habits and will continue with them. I feel good! Strength training and stretching will need more attention in the coming weeks.

Mind: My mind is much more in the present. Mindfulness has helped me move through my life in a very peaceful way. I am less stressed and notice the things around me more. There is more work to be done, but I am on the right path. When I wake up I feel grateful and excited about the day…most of the time. I could use more meditation and reminders to be in the present.

Money: This is a tough one. I have a budget and am sticking to it. The hardest part, since moving in November, was having to buy so many things that I gave away when I moved in with my ex. I’ve had to buy new utensils, appliances, furniture… you name it… almost everything.  It’s costly and makes budgeting tough, especially in this very expensive country in a one income household. Things are getting better though.  I like living simply and don’t feel the need to fill my house with lots of “stuff”. Minimalism makes me happy. Overall, the months ahead will be much better, as I have gotten most of what I need now.

Unfinished business: This includes ridding myself of relationships that hurt me, and things that I needed to personally deal with in order for my life to run more smoothly. I have completed around 80% of it. The other 20% is already planned for this and next week.

Step it up: The last 33 days will be to stick with the habits I have developed, and then go further. It may be to run more. It may mean biking more, or tougher strength training. Budget wise, maybe I will find areas that I can trim and save more. The last 33 days will be about putting it all together and making these changes a part of my life in a way that they become instinctive. I want them burned into my being. These habits will be who I am.

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The Next 100 Days of Awesome: It’s tough to say what it will be. The first 50 days of it will be spent on vacation with family and friends. As always, it will be so much fun. Sure, I’ll run and exercise there, take time to read and be mindful of my time. I also really want to take in as much as I can of the moments I have with all of these friends and family. I want to be there 100%.

The Third 100 Days of Awesome. – It’s exciting to think of the possibilities! Travel more? Closer friendships? New friends? Volunteering to help others? Writing a book? The possibilities are endless.

I can’t remember a time when I was so excited about my life, now and in the future. 

Today has been awesome. I lived today. 

 

 

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How I Do It: Running

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Today starts a series of posts called, “How I Do It”.  Today’s topic is running/jogging.

1. I have a good pair of running shoes. I didn’t  have to spend a lot. I just picked what felt best for me.

2. An arm band that holds my phone. I tried the cheap way by cutting an old sock and using the stretchy part to keep the phone attached to my arm. That sucks.

3. Headphones.

4. A good running mix of music.

5. I use the app Couch-to-5K. This is the key!  (Android)It is great for anyone starting from the couch, or anyone who has had a period of time away from running. It gradually ups your running throughout a period of 9 weeks. It has voice prompts that tell you when to walk, run, keep going, you are half-way and cool down. It also tracks distance, speed, and your route. It also plays the music you choose. Very handy. I love it because it starts slowly and works up to the goal of 5 kilometers. Less pain, less chance of injury. The total plan is 9 weeks to 5 kilometers.

6. I run in the morning. Why? Several reasons. One, it wakes me up. I feel amazing when I get to work knowing I already ran. My mood is better. Two, it’s a little painful getting up in the morning and I seem to like a little pain. It motivates me. Three, it is always quiet on the road. Four, less cars means less exhaust in my face. Five, I never have the time or energy after work to run. There are always other things that become more important. Six, I read somewhere that you burn more fat by running in the morning before you eat. Not sure if it is true, but it isn’t that important to me. Overall, it’s my time. It’s just me and the world running down a quiet road. 

7. Why running and not a gym? I hate gyms. ‘Nough said. I like running. You can choose what is best for you.

8. Clothes. I wear whatever I have. I don’t give a rat’s ass how I look. Sweats, shorts, ripped t-shirts, mismatched gloves…It doesn’t matter, as long as the shoes are good. What matters most is that I am out there running.

9. Wake up and go running! If I miss it, I forgive myself and try again the next day.

Post any questions you may have below!

Disclaimer: Keep in mind this is what I do.  I am no expert, just a guy who reads up a lot. If anything is unsafe or inaccurate, I will gladly change it. Just make a comment below.

 

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