A Healthy Challenge: Action

My Healthy Challenge is about so much more than just weight loss, it’s about overall health and well-being in my life from the physical to the emotional. The concept of starting this challenge came from a very emotional place and I’ve tried to dig into the intense emotions surrounding weight loss and healthy living with each step I’ve taken on this challenge, recognizing that if I don’t deal with my hold-ups they’re going to indeed hold me up.

The problem is, I’ve been too emotional and not logical enough. I’ve analyzed without action; started a journey without having a roadmap.

So, over the past two weeks, I’ve created an action plan for living a healthier life. I’ve set three main goals and five concrete actions I need to do to help me attain those goals. While the goals are overall life goals that are meant to stay, the actions were created for who I am and where I am now, with the intent to reassess them every few months.

I’ve already started implementing most of these, but, starting today, I will use a checklist to make sure I’m doing each of these goals daily and include them in my bi-monthly progress reports on this site.

Goal 1: Increase energy and fitness levels

  • Exercise at least 20 minutes daily
  • Do weight training three days a week
  • Eat smaller, healthier meals (250 calories, 6 times a day, adjusted for how much exercise I do) centered around non-packaged, whole foods
  • Eat out only twice a week (as I tend to eat healthy at home and horrifically when I go out)
  • Ride my bike or walk to a location I would usually drive to at least once a week

Goal 2: Simplify my life and where I live

  • Spend 15 minutes cleaning/tidying every morning
  • Spend a dedicated hour cleaning every three days
  • Allow myself only one unessential purchase each week (essential purchases include food, gas, etc. unessential purchases include clothing, accessories, kitchen appliances, music, etc.)
  • For every item I buy, I must giveaway, sell, etc. a similar item I already have
  • Have people over to my house once a week (keeps me keeping it clean plus keeps us from going out)

Goal 3: Find focus and clarity, reduce pain and procrastination

  • Meditate every day, starting with 10 minutes and working up to 20 minutes in one sitting
  • Do 10 minutes of yoga and stretching every morning when I wake up and every evening before I go to bed
  • Read, do a puzzle or play a non-electronic game three times a week for at least 30 minutes
  • Set five specific times a day to check my email, stay logged off all other times
  • Create a weekly work schedule and work on projects only on the days assigned to them (helps avoid procrastination and distractions by other projects)

It’s important to notice that I haven’t set an amount of weight to lose or a number of pounds to be able to lift. I haven’t even set an amount of push-ups to do or a distance to run. All those things will come in their own time and there’s no point rushing them before my body is ready by setting their numbers into solid goals. Maybe on December 15, when I reassess everything, I’ll change my mind, but for now, I think I’m better off focusing on the journey, not the destination.

Bi-monthly progress report for September 5, 2011 (photo taken 9/3/11 for my Zahara boutique article):

  • Weight: 214
  • Chest, Waist, Hips Measurements: 48, 43, 52
  • Dress size: 18
  • Resting Heart Rate: 72 bpm
  • BMI: 44% (according to a body-fat scale I have)
  • # of sit-ups I can do: 20
  • # of push-ups I can do: 0 regular, 20 “assisted”
  • Amount of time I can jog without having to stop for air: 2 minutes
  • Amount of time I can focus in a meditation: 3 minutes
  • Level of clutter in my apartment (1-10 scale, 1 being clean, 10 being hurricane): 5
(Check out my original progress report here to see how far I’ve come)

About Queerie Bradshaw

Lauren Marie Fleming is a writer, speaker and motivator known for her intimate, informative and often hilarious look at sex, relationships and body-image. Lauren runs the critically-acclaimed QueerieBradshaw.com blog, writes for major news sources including VICE, Nerve, Huffington Post and Curve, and is the author of her memoir Losing It: My Life as a Sex Blogger. In 2013, Lauren founded Frisky Feminist Press (FriskyFeminist.com) as a way to enhance conversations about sexuality through educational guides, online classes and entertaining publications. A law school graduate, Lauren has spoken all over the United States and is internationally recognized for her dynamic, engaging style. In everything she does, Lauren’s goal is to educate, remove stigmas and encourage people to achieve their desires.
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