Discovering a transformation over the next twenty-eight days.
Preamble: What’s ahead.
I’m trying to figure out a good name to encompass all these monthly challenges I do. Ideally, this is something I’d do for for all twelve months of a year, even as publishing daily seems an ambitious goal to hit. But perhaps one day I can get there. It’d make for an fascinating book of essays to document a year in my life. Who’d be interested in anything a near-thirty-seven year old woman in New York City thinks, I’m not sure, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. This is about my February on this blog. And also on Substack. But mostly it’s about the plans for myself as I really put the focus on me, and go after what I’m meant to truly have. All I’ve been doing no longer suits my purpose, and is in need of a far more thorough examination. So beginning on February 1st, I’ll live the next twenty-eight days with a new set of rules, something I think is enough to put me on the right track this time.
This month’s focus is about healing the body, mind, and spirit. I’ve always found that once we discover who we are at the core, we never become “different” as we make changes. We merely transform what’s already there and take it to the next level we’re meant to go. As for me, I’m not getting any younger, and the ‘next level’ I want to go means bringing forth the next generation using half my genes and half someone else’s. And since I’m starting with no options on the table, there’s plenty of room for countless ones to appear. But I’ve got to approach it with my whole heart and soul if I really want to make it count. And that starts by fixing what I believe is holding me back, transforming the physical as well as the emotional.
So with that, here’s my three rules for February that can narrow the scope and give me the beginning I’ve always hoped to have.
Rule 1: The Body – Work out every day and stick to my diet.
I’ve been hovering just under 200 pounds for over a month. I dropped my 36 pounds rather quickly thanks to changing my eating habits. But now, I’m simply maintaining. I’m no bigger nor smaller than I was when I started losing weight. I’m just stuck, and I know the exact reason why. I’ve been on some kind of goodbye tour for foods that I know don’t satisfy me anymore. I keep “trying” them, just to see if I can stomach them. But as it turns out, my tastebuds are forever changed. No sugar, no processed foods, no wheat or breaded items. It all tastes bad. Weeks ago I tried a Dorito and I swear it tasted like straight up evil. It reviled me. Chemical drippings and mashed up insects stayed on my tongue the rest of the night. I vowed to never again bring that stuff to my lips, and I’d keep it out of the mouths of my children too. I don’t know what they’re feeding to us, but I know I have to stay away from it, no matter how hungry I may be or what kind of cravings follow.
It’s an unfortunate thing that this is my life now. Food is such a fun and social thing, and it just doesn’t excite me anymore. I can’t keep assigning emotion to that which no longer nourishes me. So for February, I want to be strict about keeping to the carnivore diet, so I can finally see progress again. No more stalling, no more giving in to foods I know won’t taste good. Meat, dairy, eggs, and Greek yogurt with honey are really all I need. And water. Lots and lots of water. I still take my supplements; I’ve added beef organs and superfoods to the mix to give me a few more nutrients. Otherwise, I know what works here. I don’t push this lifestyle on anyone else, it’s just what I’ve been left to work with after a virus forever altered my senses.
I also want to make sure I’m doing workouts every day. There’s plenty of ten-minute HIIT videos on YouTube that work great, plus yoga videos to keep me strong and flexible. The goal here is not only stick to my diet, but do at least ten minutes of movement a day. I’m way too on-the-couch lately, and my body lacks the shape I know it can have. I look good, but I know I can look better. I want to feel shapely and desirable, knowing my clothes fit me in all the right places. This is something I can’t just wish for, I have to physically do it. The plan is to follow a Chloe Ting 28-day program, and on the ‘off’ days, play a video from Yoga with Adriene.
It’s a reasonable goal, considering I anticipate some lazy days within. But overall, I’m going to make this one happen for myself. I need to see myself as physically appealing again, as that’s what initially draws us to one another. We have to at least be a sight for sore eyes. And a body in shape allows the mind connection to come through. Which leads me to…
Rule Two: The Mind – Fix your filthy mouth.
Anyone who knows me knows I swear like a sailor. It happens a lot more than I mean to, and lately all the f-bombs coming out of my mouth feel forced and unladylike. I don’t care if you disagree with that sentiment, and it’s frankly none of my business what you let come out of your mouth. I’m talking about my personal feeling about where all this swearing is taking me.
It’s a choice to swear. It’s a choice to want to have such a dirty mouth. And so far, in these thirty-six plus years, it’s gotten me absolutely nowhere. No partner, no best friend, no career centered around cussing up a storm. So now, for at least the next twenty-eight days, I’m going to make a different choice about what I choose to say. I’m going to do everything I can to not use those 4-letter words in my waking life. Stop dropping the f-bomb, lay off the s-word, and keep the c-word under wraps. I’ve already stopped asking God to damn things, and have been using a lot of “darns” and “dang its” in place. Maybe a “fudge” happens here and there when I’m conscious enough to use it. So there is a concerted effort taking place, but it’s got to be consistent, especially in the heat of whatever moment I find myself in.
While I don’t necessarily judge people who swear a lot, I’m finding less and less avenues for my foul language use to be appropriate. None of it sounds quite right on my ears anymore. There’s a time and place to let the freak flag fly, and my day-to-day conversations are not the place for that. Sure, I’d love it if there was an outlet for me to say all the gutterminded things I think, but that is no longer present, and right now, I can’t bank on it ever existing again.
So here’s just another thing I think can help transform me onto another path. If I do find myself swearing, I will note it at the end of each entry, explain the circumstance, and donate fifty cents to the swear jar. What the money will be used for at the end, I don’t know. But it’ll be better than washing my mouth out with soap. In my writing here, I’ll do all I can to avoid swears, but if I must, I will censor them. All bets are off in my personal notes, though. The essence behind my filthy mouth has to live on somewhere, which brings me to this…
Rule Three: The Spirit – Write every day and revisit my story.
In case you were wondering why this wasn’t the first rule stated, a) I thought it was obvious, and b) it doesn’t fit with my theming. Writing has become my passion over the years, and it’s very much embedded in my spirit. It’s all I plan on doing as long as my hands and mind allow. However, this will be unlike other challenges where it was zeroed in on the writing. This month, I’ll just be detailing what I thought about that day, fitting in my usual theming and oh so clever wordplay. It’s because I’m using this month to get more serious about my first draft, something I’ve barely touched since crossing my 50,000 word threshold.
The updated goal is to at least finish my book this year. It’s a worrisome sort of goal because I don’t really have the rest of the story fleshed out. In fact, I stopped at a near crossroad for my characters. I’m purposefully blue-ballsing them so I can decide where I want to go with all this energy I’ve build up. I went back and read pieces of it, noting it was far more interesting than I give myself credit for. I have something real here, and it deserves to be seen all the way through to the end.
As I’ve written my thoughts day in and day out, I’ve found new plot twist and end points for these characters. Things are starting to make sense and plot holes are seeing closure. There may even be a happy ending somewhere in there, despite how bleak a lot of the worldbuilding has been. The question is how they’re going to get there; What happens in the story in order to fill in the gaps. I can picture it. The ideas are there. And the only way I’m going to get it out of my head is to write it all down. I can’t dictate it through speech to text; I’ve tried. I have to do things the old fashioned way if I want to make it real.
So I’m jumpstarting things again. I’ve got a long way to go before I can finally put this to bed, but I think a minimum of 500 words a day is enough to see real progression. I’ll also be noting my wordcount at the bottom of each entry.
Who knows if this first draft will ever see the light of day when it’s completed. But I’m going to make it happen either way. This story deserves a proper ending, as does the writer who’s creating it.
So that should be another month in my life. Like I said, I will be crossposting all these entries to Substack as well. I just want to see what branching out will bring me, if anything. Thank you again for choosing to follow me. May we all find our own version of positive transformation in the month ahead. Perhaps we’ll discover a little bit of focus is all we ever needed.