Category Archives: Challenge

Strength & Selfies

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“Hey there, ho there, how do ya do…”

Okay, sorry, I just accidentally channeled my inner Lana (Mandy Moore) from The Princess Diaries.

I wish I had more than a few minutes to stay and play, especially given that I have blogged a very sad number of times this month, but I am positively swamped. I’m putting in 20-25 hours per week at my Internship site — which I am absolutely loving — plus I have more than a lot going on classwork-wise. That’s all I’ll say so as not to go on a stress-induced rant… Besides, sometimes life just gets in the way of blogging. Sorry I’m not sorry that I don’t have the mental or physical dedication to get up an hour early just to make sure I post something daily. As much as I love blogging and I genuinely appreciate the feedback I receive, I don’t anticipate receiving this year’s Hardcore Extreme Blogger Award.

Tonight I want to talk about my two self-challenges for October (y’all know I love a good challenge ;-)) — strength and selfies.

[Ummm… what?]

My first self-challenge is to complete three days of strength-training for every one cardio workout. Whether that be yoga, weight-lifting, intensive stretching, or what have you, I am determined to fit more strength-training into my workouts. I’m not seeing the muscle tone or definition results I’d like, and my weight loss has all but stagnated. I’m not gaining weight, but I’m certainly not losing it, either. I’m hoping to take progress pictures to remind myself of how far I’ve come and of the gradual progress I’m making toward the fit woman I aspire to be! I haven’t decided yet whether these will grace the blog. I’m not one of those brave souls out there who can bare all via Instagram for the sake of comparison. More power to ya, but my tummy ain’t makin’ the front page anytime soon!

My second challenge is to take more pictures of myself! This does not literally mean the blog will suddenly be full of selfies, but… Well, I do live alone… So yeah, that’s probably exactly what it’ll mean! In looking through my iPhone recently, I have found that about ninety percent of the photos I take are of food, food prep, grocery-shopping, adult beverages, wedding dresses… basically anything and everything except myself. I realized that what makes me enjoy other bloggers’ sites so much is their photos of them actually doing the things they’re blogging about. This is something I’d like to beef up, too.

That said, I’m off and running! No rest for the weak and weary, is there? πŸ˜‰

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Thanks for stopping by!

Thirty-Day Zero Negativity Challenge

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Well, folks, today’s the day that I will discuss the results of Ian’s and my 30-day Zero Negativity Challenge, which concluded yesterday.Β For the record, I didn’t debate much about how much or how little to post. While I don’t believe in airing my dirty laundry on the Internet, I do believe in being honest with myself and with y’all. Without further ado, let’s get right into it!

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I implemented the challenge August 5. I loosely based the idea on a newspaper article I’d read about negativity that may exist between couples without their conscious awareness. I don’t think Ian and I were unaware of the negativity that occurs between us, but I do think we were on different pages with what constitutes negativity.

Some days, I would let him know, “Okay, I’m marking down negativity for today,” and he would be like, “Really?! When?” On the one hand, I learned that Ian doesn’t sense negativity in our relationship as I do. On the other hand, I learned that Ian doesn’t sense negativity in our relationship as I do…

All told, I marked down 20 days of Zero Negativity out of 30! The days I marked on my calendar as “negative” were not typically due to actual arguments or serious fights, but more like sarcasm, nit-picking, snide comments, or off-handed remarks that bothered one of us more than they should have.

Let me just add here that I absolutely believe couples should joke, laugh, and be playful with one another, even if a couple’s style includes play-fighting, sarcasm, or playfully picking on each other. After all, if you can’t laugh together, what is all this for? However, there’s a difference between silliness or playful jabs, and comments or actions that take things to the next level and can be hurtful.

Let me also add that I did not mark down the person(s) behind the negativity for any given day. It wasn’t something I thought about until just now, likely because “negativity” is subject to interpretation (in this case, by the calendar-creator). I also don’t see it as necessarily relevant to be specific about who initiated instances of negativity.

The only pattern I saw emerging from this challenge was poor communication, which was always due to one of two things: being pushed for time to talk and having two hours between us.

Overall, I’d say 20 days out of 30 free of negativity of any sort is satisfactory. If I had to assign it a grade, I’d give it a B. I’d like to see us at an A+, but as with anything, making improvements in a relationship takes time. Perhaps this challenge is something we’d like to continue… what say you, Ian? πŸ˜‰ Maybe it’s the Psychology nerd in me, but I’d be interested to see whether extraneous variables (e.g. the month of August having contained Ian’s first day of class, a wedding, my first day of class, my CPCE, etc.) affected the number of days of negativity. Would a month like, for example, November have fewer days of negativity?

We learned a lot about ourselves, about each other, and about our personal definitions of “negativity.” This challenge was, ironically, a positive experience for us, particularly as we were mindful about how we treated each other and about our honesty with recording. Y’all know I love a good challenge!

P.S. Is this something you would ever consider doing with your significant other? If so, would you publicize the outcome? Just curious!