Wellness 5— Motivators

Let’s take this week chronologically and focus on motivation and activity a bit. There are motivators–of which we all have many— relating to health, family, goals, finances, etc. Then there are motivational tools– which I learn from and use to keep me focused.

I find that a fitness tracker motivates me to pay more attention to my activity level throughout the day. I’ll compare the two I have for you:

  • The Motiv ring fitness tracker that I ordered arrived about two weeks ago. It’s waterproof so I can go swimming and kayaking without worry of ruining it. My Fitbit Alta is not waterproof and is sometimes irritating in hot weather. 
  • I love the sleep tracker on both the Motiv and the Fitbit as it lets me see if what I do before bedtime each evening is helping or hindering my sleep and I can change my habits accordingly. However, the Fitbit is bothersome on the wrist at night and lights up when I’m restless making me wakeful. The Motiv ring is very comfortable, doesn’t light up, and I forget that it’s there which allows better sleep.
  • I like the Fitbit app better as there is a community of people that you can connect with, groups you can join to discuss your fitness journey, and challenges that you can do with a group or solo. I like to learn from what others are doing and I find their stories motivating. It’s nice to see their various levels of activity and how supportive they are of each other. The Motiv app has only two free workouts and no community pages, although there is an option to invite people you know, by email, into your ‘circle’.
  • You can clearly see your tracking information on the Fitbit by tapping the screen. There is no screen on the Motiv and you have to access your information on the app. I don’t see this as a big deal or an inconvenience for myself as I always have my phone with me. I can understand how this might not work for other folks though.

Both trackers have their pros and cons for me. If Motiv should come up with community pages for their app I would probably make the switch complete and stop using the Fitbit app.

Self improvement books are motivational. Just a few days ago I began reading another self help book. The premise is good in my opinion. It’s about arising a little earlier each morning in order to begin your day with a positive and affirming routine in order to effect beneficial changes in your life. I do like to read an occasional self improvement/self help book. They have nuggets of wisdom that you can extract and apply to your life in order to effect small changes slowly that will stay with you over time.

On a side note: It amazes me when young people write self improvement books. I know their intentions are good, but they just don’t know or comprehend the limitations that  come with an aging body. They have the “no excuses” mindset and are adamant that literally everyone can and should be able to do everything they recommend. I would like to see how they would approach writing the same book 30 or 40 years from now. I think they would be much less rigid in their thinking and more inclusive of medical issues and the age factor.

On to the week’s ups and downs:

Monday: I forced myself to walk on the treadmill (aka hamster wheel or dreadmill) for 12 minutes. Completing an activity as simple as this is a boost for the mind even if it’s a struggle for the body. The muscles can well handle it but there is still the fatigue and the complete lack of motivation that the treadmill inspires. It’s a struggle but I keep my end goal in mind to prod myself into action. I’d much rather be out walking in the woods although having a book to read while mindlessly marching on a spinning rubber mat is a big help. Gotta keep that motivation going and that end goal in sight.

Tuesday: I didn’t make notes for Tuesday. Maybe we didn’t have that day this week?   It’s a mystery. 🕵🏻‍♀️

Wednesday: A wicked storm— heavy wet snow, sleet and rain. I had to drive in it and there were cars off the road everywhere. When I arrived home I was so fatigued that I slept thru two movies. That was a huge disappointment for me. I had taken the day off because I wanted to accomplish some tasks at home and perhaps do something fun and relaxing. Things never seem to go as planned. When the storm cleared we walked around the fields and woods. I was still exhausted though. Some days dealing with this fatigue is overwhelming. 

Thursday: Motivation is slipping at this point. I was headachy and tired most of the day. My doctor is away for a month and I don’t really want to see someone else about this. To top it off I had a horrid dream the previous night about choking on phlegm. I’m pretty sure a sleep study is what’s needed here.

Friday: Feeling a bit better. I managed to get in three short walks. 20 minutes on the treadmill on lunch break with an easy pace, then another ten minutes on it at the end of the workday, and finished up with a walk around the fields at home after supper. It was nice to feel the muscles working. I’m so glad it’s Friday and the weekend looms ahead. There are so many projects I want to get done.

Saturday: Yard work! It seems that spring is finally arriving in fits and starts. A little raking and cleaning up gets the muscles working and the blood flowing. Just what I needed. 

Summing up the week: 3 days of walks and a morning of yard work. Alright! I can feel good about that despite the ongoing struggles with fatigue. I’m beginning to get some much needed activity. The motivators form a foundation which can be built on and revised as I progress and begin to see changes in myself. More endurance, better habits, increased strength, and redefining goals are all part of the process. I’ve learned to be flexible and allow myself the hours or days I need to rest and recover.

Why do you get up every day and do what you do? What are your motivators? What gets you back on track when you’ve wandered off? What sort of motivational tools do you employ?  👩🏻‍💻

Wellness 1– The Journey Begins

As I unfold from winter and reach toward spring the desire to begin a new path to wellness preys on my thoughts. Winter has taken its toll on my body, like always, and it becomes more pronounced with each year that passes. The cold and I are not on friendly terms, so I tend to be indoor oriented and sluggish all winter. I emerge much the same as a bear does, groggy but glad to be awake again. Add to that some health issues that I struggled with for most of last year and you can see why wellness thoughts have sought me out like a predator seeks prey.

Now it’s time to refocus my attention on outdoor activities, fresh air & sunshine, and building some muscles to support the flab. In order to achieve a thorough wellness of body and mind, I’ll need to balance the physical efforts with other activities that bring me peace and serenity. This is not about losing weight. Nor is it about how many steps I can take in a day, even though I do use my Fitbit as an activity motivator and a tool to check on my sleep patterns. This is about taking small steps to getting strong and improving my health. I would love for you to join me and post about your goals, your journey, and what tools you use to help you along.

The first thing I can tell you about here in post #1 is that I gave up coffee a few weeks ago. I’m very surprised that I don’t miss it. Seriously.  I thought I would be miserable without my morning coffee that I’ve been drinking each and every day for the past 30+ years. What I discovered is that I have much less stomach upset, decreased bouts of nausea, and have almost achieved zero intestinal cramping. I’m truly amazed that this beloved, yummy, warming morning beverage could have caused so much bodily upset. This one small step that I thought would be so difficult actually turned out to be effortless and quite an eye-opener. I think perhaps it was more the habit of it that I was dreading losing. It was the one thing I did faithfully every day, without deviation, to begin my day. I’ll confess that giving it up has allowed me to reclaim valuable time each day, time that was previously spent not feeling good enough to do anything, or running to the bathroom with stomach cramps. Then spending time waiting to feel better or to feel like I could go out without needing to be in close proximity to a restroom. All from coffee. Wow. What is your observation of your own coffee habits?

Wellness encompasses mind, body, and soul. As I travel along my path I’ll be writing about my adventures in all these areas. Let’s talk about your journey as well. 

  • What motivates you? 
  • What do you struggle with? 
  • How have you overcome challenges?
  • What do you do just for you that fills you with happiness? 

Join me as I document the journey. Please share your thoughts, experiences, successes, failures and most difficult challenges.  We could learn a lot from each other. I look forward to hearing from you. 👩🏻‍💻