Accountability Tuesdays – Week 31

Have you ever experienced a thunder storm without the rain? Maybe that’s common in other parts of the world, but up here in Cape Breton it’s not the norm. We usually have torrents of rain coming down for hours before the thunder and lightning starts, but yesterday we had hours of thunder (and possibly lightning, but it was too light out to tell) for hours before the rain started. It seemed odd and unique to me, which is why I bring it up.

Alrighty, let’s get on with it, shall we?

Health and Body Image Goal

Still thinking about striking this goal from the list, but at the same time I’ve been thinking about how to resuscitate it. I do want to be healthier and lose some body fat while I’m at it, but I’ve been expelling some much of my energy on everything else that I can’t figure out how to work this back into my lifestyle. I’m amazed that I somehow haveย lessย time and energy while unemployed at home than when I was working 12-hour shifts out West. How does that even work? It doesn’t matter. The point is that what Iย want to do (once I tie up a few loose ends) is start a three-times-a-week exercise program that I will interweave with three days a week of doing my Zombies! Run! program (which I will have to start over since I’ve negated everything I did before). Currently I’m trying to decide what the exercise program will be. I’m considering taking Jillian Michaels’ Body Revolution and just replacing the cardio days with my running days, but if anyone else has any suggestions for a good three-day-a-week program for women, please share!

Editing Goal

I’m happy to report my best editing week yet since I made these goals. My supernatural romance (tentatively called Moonlight) is complete! I just have to do one more read-through to make sure I didn’t make any glaring errors and then it should be ready for submission. I don’t have high hopes for it, but being able to say that I finally submitted a manuscript to a publisher will be a big deal for me. Plus, now that I’ll finally have that story out of my hair, I can move back on to my zombie apocalypse novel, which is the one I really care about. This one is much longer, so it’s obviously going to take longer to edit, but I’m setting myself a mini-goal to have it done by November, because I fully intend on participating in NaNoWriMo this year and I don’t want to have the last chapters of a zombie apocalypse on my mind while I’m doing it.

1,000,000 Word Goal

Good news! My mini-goal was a success! I wrote my ass off last week, and between blog posts, writing exercises, morning pages, and new-or-changed scenes in Moonlight, I wrote a total of 20194 words! That brings me up to a year-long total of 201938! When I originally made this goal I had hoped to be a lot further along by now, but this is still so many more words that I likely would have written had I not made the goal in the first place. That’s like four NaNoWriMo‘s! In one year! I really hope to be able to keep up this pace. It’s become very unlikely that I’ll hit the 1,000,000 words by the end of the year, but if I’m able to hit 500,000 I will still be very impressed with myself and will mark the goal a success.

As a closing note, I want to mention that I’ve begun The Artist’s Way this week, and over the next couple of days I will be trying to complete as many of the Chapter 1 tasks as I can. I’ve accidentally timed my start such that I’ll finish one week before NaNoWriMo starts, so aside from sharing updates as I go, once I complete the program I’ll do a quick review and let you all know whether it helped me in any way toward writing a new book. Look forward to it!

Accountability Tuesdays: Week 18

Man, the couches at Wapasu Lodge camp feel so cushy on the day you fly home. Why do you think that is?

So here I am again, plucking out an accountability post as I wait to travel. There have been worse ways to spend a day, let me tell you, and since this one results in my returning home to my baby girl and husband, I’m as happy as a pig.

(No feces necessary. Pigs just seem to be rather happy creatures overall.)

Health and Body Image Goal
I have to admit, I’ve waned on this one, but there is an up side. Starting about Wednesday I started shying away from the Body Revolution videos for two reasons. One, its really hard to get up in the morning to do them, especially when your camp neighbors ensure that you’re not asleep at night until a good two hours after you wanted to be. And two, I was finding that combined with the diet (or as close as I could get to the diet with what’s available at camp) I was feeling too god damn weak to do the exercises! I’m sorry Jillian, but my body seems to require significantly more calories than you think it does.

So anyway, I ditched the diet for the more enjoyable method of eating what I want while keeping a keen eye on my calorie and fat intake, and since the weather made a turn for the better, I traded Jillian for the Zombies! Run! app. I plan to continue Body Revolution at home (and possibly next shift if my neighbors are a little less ragingly inconsiderate), but for the past few days I’ve just been enjoying getting some fresh air and running from imaginary zombies. Win-win.

Editing Goal
This is another one that has waned, but mainly because I’ve run out of printed copy to edit. My manuscript is several hundred pages long, so I only printed out the first few chapters, and I think I’ve done all with them that I can. Next shift I’ll bring up the USB stick with my soft copy on it and print out some more. Until then, c’est la vie.

1,000,000 Word Goal
I wasn’t expecting this past week to add up to much because with layoffs happening all around me I’ve been about ten times busier at work than usual. Combine that with the nosy neighbors/loss of sleep issue and the fact that I’ve hit a roadblock on my work-in-progress, and I figured I wasn’t going to have anything to report. Imagine my surprise when I counted up all the blog posts I’ve been writing in advance this past week and found that they totaled 6769 words. Not too shabby, huh? I won’t complain, for sure, because I’ll be lucky to get that total over the next twoweeks.

Which is to say I plan to be terribly busy playing My Little Pony with my daughter. So long coworker suckers!

Accountability Tuesdays – Week 17

Another week has come and gone, and while work has been slow and sleep has been scarce, this one actually seemed to go by a little faster than usual. I’ve been often told that I shouldn’t wish my life away, but in these moments I’m going to go ahead and ignore that little anecdote because dammit, I’d rather be home. ๐Ÿ™‚

In all seriousness though, it’s been a pretty decent week. Not as productive as I would have hoped, but still better than I may have expected. So let’s get on with it, shall we?

Health and Body Image Goal

I won’t say I’ve been a saint over the past week because you’d see right the hell through that, but I will raise my head proudly and say that I’ve done pretty good. I skipped only one exercise day, due to a particularly rough two nights that resulted in some extraordinarily frightening black circles under my eyes, but I actually made up for that day later in the week. I am now into my third straight week of Jillian Michaels’ Body Revolution, and have been diligently eating salads, egg whites, oatmeal, and whatever other nonsense the program suggests. I’ve had a couple of small candies, and during the Saturday Night Hockey game I allowed myself some chips and pop, but other than that I’ve eaten really well and continued to exercise diligently. I’ve also lost 2 lbs, which doesn’t feel like a lot for the amount of effort I’ve been putting in, but I suspect that when I get home from this shift and take my measurements again I’ll found that at least some of me has shrunk a little. Looking forward to it!

Editing Goal

This…this right here is the bane of my existence. I got a little bit of speed up there for a week or two, but now it’s gone again. I have to go ahead and admit that I haven’t even glanced at my manuscript. There is just so much else to concentrate on, and I feel that I only have enough time for one: edit or write. Invariably I end up choosing to write because editing sucks. You know it, I know it, everyone knows it. No, it’s not an excuse. Yes, I’m using it as one.

1,000,000 Word Goal

The week did not go as I planned, but I really can’t complain too much about the result. Because of the little exercise I explained in yesterday’s post I got a good bit of word count built up. Unfortunately I also discovered something disappointing. It turns out that my tablet really really sucks at cutting and pasting. What does this matter, you ask? Well here’s the thing…since the beginning of the year some time I’ve been using my tablet to type out blog posts. Since the WordPress app doesn’t show your post word count at the bottom of the screen like the website does, I’ve then been copy-and-pasting my posts into a word counter app. Well I only just recently noticed, by complete fluke, that the copying and pasting hasn’t been working properly. I have no idea why it doesn’t work properly, and I have no idea how to fix it, but when I highlight a large chunk of text and copy it, apparently only part of it copies. Thus, I may have been losing significant numbers of words toward my goal since the beginning of the year. Even more unfortunately, the only way I could possibly fix the error is to go back and recount every single thing I’ve written since January 1st. I don’t know about you people, but Tracey don’t have time for that. Therefore, to help balance out what may be a significant chunk of lost words, I’ve started adding any technical writing I do for work to my word count. It’s not much, but it should help offset the balance a little. And with that large wall of text expressed, my word count for the week was 5777 words.

Accountability Tuesdays – Week 16

Has anyone ever noticed that when you’re flying over Toronto the city looks just like a game of Sim City? Or is that just me? Hmm.

So here I am again, in the Toronto Pearson International Airport, waiting for my traditional travel day quesadilla and plucking out an accountability post. It’s fun times, I tell ya. It’s a gritty, exhausting, miserable kind of fun, but…yeah. Moving on.

Let’s jump right to it, shall we?

Health and Bodty Image Goal

I feel secure in my ability to not whine about this one this week. Though I may have eaten a few things I ought not have, for the most part I feel I did pretty well over the past week, and that’s including an unblemished week of Jillian Michaels’ Body Revolution videos. I rearraged the schedule of the videos a bit to account for a day out shopping with my husband and daughter, and of course to deal with today (like hell I’m exercising at camp after a 20-hour travel day!), but I still did the correct number of videos in the correct number of days, and I made a real effort to push myself. I’ve lost a whole 0.6 of a lb (hahahahahaha). My tentative plan is to repeat the first set of videos for three weeks instead of the normal two to attempt to condition myself a little better before moving on to the next set, because the last time I hit the second set of videos they were so painful I almost threw up. The jump from stage one to stage two is really noticable, and I don’t want to break myself like last time.

Editing Goal

I didn’t do much of anything since that last little push two weeks ago, but believe me when I say I’ve got a plan, okay? Okay.

1,000,000 Word Goal

This week wasn’t a great bit better than last week, I have to admit. I wrote 3079 words toward the blog, which puts me at a total of 16,139 for CampNaNoWriMo. I’m hoping to put a real push on in the next couple of days so that I can hit my CampNaNo goal of 30,000, so wish me luck. As I write this I’m trying to come up with blog post ideas so I can type on the plane. Got any ideas? Please feel free to share them. What do you want me to talk about? Come on people, I’m an (almost) open book. ๐Ÿ™‚

And with that done for another week, I look to the horizon and the quesadilla that is headed toward my table. Laters!

Actually, this explains a LOT…

As you know, last week it was my birthday. I got a couple of nice presents, but one of them isn’t in my possession yet because it has not yet been purchased. You see, my husband suggested that he would buy me a new bathing suit for the (hopefully) coming summer. I’m not usually the kind to spend much money on such a thing, so he thought I could pick out a really nice one for a change. I loved the idea, but here’s the thing…if I’m going to get a really nice bathing suit, I want to look good in it. So on Saturday night I gritted my teeth and decided that this is it: I’m restarting Jillian Michaels’ Body Revolution and this time I’m sticking to it.

Sunday morning started a bit askew, since little missy was up in the middle of the night, which resulted in all of us sleeping in until almost 10 am. But I gritted my teeth, and after a healthy breakfast of whole wheat toast and boiled egg whites, I headed downstairs and did workout number 1. I then attempted to go about my day without resorting to any of the mindless snacking I’m famous for, while waiting for my meatloaf to finish cooking and anticipating the fact that I was going to have to measure my portions to keep from eating twice as much of it as is smart.

So you see, my day was full of willpower. Painful, frustrating willpower. And that got me thinking about something I once read in a Cracked.com article. At the time of reading the article I raised my eyebrows a bit and doubted the reality of the claim, but on Sunday I did a bit of Google research and lo and behold, it looks like it’s true.

Willpower is a finite resource.

I know, I know, it sounds like an excuse, right? But apparently there have been a lot of studies done on this idea, and so far it’s holding water. It looks like the more willpower you use in one area of your life, the less you have left for other areas. In other words, you might struggle all day to keep yourself from snacking, and actually manage it, but then when it comes time to do your exercises you just can’t seem to work up the willpower. It’s not entirely your fault…you haven’t got any left. This explains why you can feel so good about yourself early in the day and happily resist temptations, but later in the day you crash and start (for example) devouring everything in sight.

So does this mean we’re all doomed to failure because we can’t keep up the willpower thing forever? Of course not, although it’s definitely going to make things more difficult. Willpower (apparently) is like a muscle. It needs to be exercised. So the more willpower you are able to exert today, the easier it will be tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that. It’s likely to be a slow process, but in the meantime you have to figure out how to dole out your willpower as necessary. If resisting snacks and treats all day depletes your stores so that you can’t bring yourself to exercise later, figure out how to let yourself have a little something, thereby saving that bit of willpower for when you need it. It’s a delicate balance, which in itself probably uses up willpower.

In fact, you know what? It’s not a delicate balance; it’s a vicious, circular cycle that makes me want to punch walls.

*cough cough*

Anyway, I guess the point of this post is that I need to work on my willpower muscle. I’ve worked up great levels of determination before and used up all my willpower after a week or so, and I don’t want that to happen this time. I want to succeed this time because dammit, I want to look good in a really nice bathing suit! Is that so wrong? ๐Ÿ˜›

Accountability Tuesdays – Week 15

Sometimes we all need to just take a break, sit back and relax, and try to forget about the chores we have to do, the responsibilities we have, and the numerous things we are trying to accomplish.

Or at least that’s what I’ve been telling myself this past week.

With that thought in mind, I don’t have a lot to report this week. I decided when I got home from my shift out West that I was in desperate need of a week of doing absolutely nothing, and I’ve pretty much stuck to that.

Health and Body Image Goal

As stated above, there isn’t a lot to report, since I allowed myself to relax after I got home for this turnaround. However, I can mention that I’ve restarted Jillian Michaels’ Body Revolution plan as of this past Sunday. More on that in tomorrow’s post, but suffice it to say that my teeth are firmly gritted. I’m gonna get in shape if it kills me, dammit. (And it probably will.)

Editing Goal

Hells yes, I avoided this one while I was relaxing. Something that needs to be done? Yes. Something I enjoy doing? No. With that in mind, I don’t expect to dig up much time for editing in the coming week either, since I’ve fallen drastically behind on my blog posts and need to replenish the supply so I don’t have to worry about it during my next shift out West.

1,000,000 Word Goal

Have I got something to report for this one? Yes. Yes I do. I can report that this has been my worst week yet at 2183 words, all of them blogging words. Something is definitely better than nothing – and you’ll be so kind as to recall that bit about relaxing – but still, I feel a bit bad. Worst week yet. Ick. In addition to that, my lack of writing over the past week has meant that I’m only up to 13060 words for Camp NaNoWriMo. Less than halfway to my goal and less than half the month left. I’d better get back to work, hmmm? Agreed.

Accountability Tuesdays – Weeks 10 and 11

If you read yesterday’s post, you know that I’ve had a bit of a rough time this past week. In addition to that, there was a bit of a snafu with the WordPress app on my Android tablet. Although I scheduled a few posts in advance for last week, as it turns out this particular app does not automatically upload scheduled posts directly to the website. Instead, it saves the posts to local storage, and at the scheduled time it then uploads to the website. This, of course, doesn’t work if the tablet is not currently connected to the internet, and since I scheduled updates for Tuesday on, and disconnected my out-West router in order to pack it on Monday night, the tablet never sent the posts.

Don’t give me that look. It was an honest screw-up that was totally not my fault.

So with that all established, this accountability post will be for this week past, and the week before, for which the post lay rotting on my traitorous tablet.

Health and Body Image Goal

Things got a little out of hand the past two weeks, I’ll be honest. I was still doing fairly good before I left work, although the exercising ground to a near halt because advancing to new Jillian Michaels videos nearly killed me. Seriously, what a jump in intensity between the first set of videos and the second. Jillian, you are a right awful witch.

This past week, of course, has had it’s issues, and the husband and I have found ourselves at the wrong end of quite a bit of take-out and fast food. I’m feeling sufficiently bad about myself though, don’t worry about that.

I haven’t weighed or measured myself, because quite honestly I don’t want to find out that I inadvertently began heading back in the wrong direction. Straight back, gritted teeth, and let’s just move on, shall we?

Editing Goal

As previously mentioned, I’m seriously considering just not bringing this one up any more, and we’ll see if anyone even notices. Although the realization that I’ve gone almost a quarter of the year and not set pen to paper yet on this one has me reconsidering my approach. Amongst other organizational decisions, I’ve established that I’m going to have to set aside specific time for this one. I’m thinking possibly that this is an “on-the-bus-on-the-way-back-from-work” thing, and once early morning daylight catches up to Northern Alberta again, it can be an “on-the-bus-on-the-way-to-work” thing as well. Wish me luck on that one!

1,000,000 Word Goal

Week 10 wasn’t too bad, with a total of 4254 words (179 of those words for the blog, the rest for Parallels). Week 11 (again, understandably) was weaker, at 2795 words (912 of those for Parallels, the rest for the blog). Not too shabby, all things considered, but I really would like to boost that. I’m not really sure how, or where I’m going to find the time, but realistically speaking I’m unbelievably behind for the full-year look-ahead, and I’ll be extremely disappointed in myself if I don’t at least get half a million words. Wish me luck on that one as well.

And now that I’ve consolidated two fairly disappointing weeks, I’m going to go attempt to fix up the scheduling for this week’s posts (which should have been last week’s) and then I’m going to bed, thank you very much.

Accountability Tuesdays – Week 9

Have you ever had a week during which you got a ton done, accomplished a lot, but ultimately felt as though you’d failed somehow? That’s how I feel about this week. I actually had quite a good week overall, but somehow I not only don’t feel good about the week, but actually feel bad about it.

Though that may be sugar withdrawal talking.

Let’s press on, shall we?

Health and Body Image Goal
Aside from one Cardio day during which I was so tired from lack of sleep that I could barely lift my legs, I managed to closely follow my Body Revolution videos. Jillian Michaels is a harsh trainer sometimes, but she’s also very motivating so I’m enjoying the program. That said, I just recently began the third week of the program, which brings new videos, and I’m not adapting well. In fact, today I’m so sore that I can pretty much guarantee that I’ll be skipping another cardio day. My legs are positively throbbing.
On the diet side of this goal, things are going well. I’ve been eating a lot of veggies and lean protein (if that’s what you can call the chicken at camp, which we are very, very suspicious of). Last week I was very cranky and suffering lots of cravings, but this week this far has been a lot better. I’m catching on to the difference between actually being hungry and just wanting to eat because. I am, however, still getting sugar cravings, as mentioned above. Ain’t no one gonna convince me that sugar isn’t highly addictive. God damn delicious stuff.

Editing Goal
DON’T JUDGE ME.

1,000,000 Word Goal
I had an excellent week for writing, thanks to my new Bluetooth keyboard. I wont break it down this week because I unfortunately don’t have that kind of time right now, but my total for the week was 12824 words. Go me! The downside of this is that I was only able to achieve this word count through the use of my new keyboard…and recently all mobile devices were banned from the building I work in. In other words, for 12 hours of the day I’m back to being stuck with a pen and a notebook. C’est la vie. Back to a meager word count…I’m totally never going to hit 1,000,000 words. ๐Ÿ˜›

And that’s what I have to say for today. Booyackasha.

Accountability Tuesdays – Week 8

Okay, before we start with the tears and accusations accountability, I would like to take this moment to thank L. Palmer of The L. Palmer Chronicles, for the “High Five” she recently awarded me as per her recent Hello’s and High-Fives endevour. It was a very cute way to help bloggers interact and get to know each other, and as a result of both the initial post and the follow-up “awards”, I saw quite a lovely boost in visitors. So thanks again, L! We all enjoyed the chance to visit some new blogs and obtain some new visitors of our own. ๐Ÿ™‚

Now on to the tears and acc-, uh, I mean accountability.

Health and Body Image Goal

I can honestly say that this one is starting to get somewhere. As I’ve mentioned before I am not the best eater while I’m at home…I definitely took the chance to enjoy some foods I would have been better off without (oh garlic fingers, why do you haunt me so?). BUT, I can also report that I had an excellent week for exercise. I stuck with Jillian Michaels’ Body Revolution and I am currently halfway through week 2 of the 12-week program. It has been much more difficult than I had originally anticipated – whether because it’s a tough program or because I just am that out of shape – but I’ve stuck with it so far and I fully intend to continue on with it during my time out West these next two weeks. It’s only a half hour a day…surely I can handle that, right? Right? Well anyway, hopefully I’ll eat a little better the next two weeks as well. I look forward to being able to report either some weight loss or size reduction by the time I get back home again.

Editing Goal

You saw nothing. You never saw the word “editing”. It’s all some vague dream-like memory in the back of your mind that is rapidly disappearing into the land of the forgotten. You will not flog me.

Moving on.

1,000,000 Word Goal

This week hasn’t been one of my best weeks for sure. I got lazy, no two ways about it. The only writing I did was for this blog, and the posts I wrote amounted to 2224 words. Wow. Pretty crappy, actually. But I defend my choices to roll around on the floor with my daughter and watch every episode of My Little Pony instead of writing. Screw you, I maybe a mediocre writer but I’m an awesome mom.

Anyway, in addition to returning to my new habit of scribbling out as many words as I can in between tasks at work, I hope to get a bit more writing done during travel and while hanging out at camp now that I’ve picked myself up a cheap bluetooth keyboard. I just can’t get used to typing large amounts of text on my tablet (even just these smaller blog posts are painful) but the keyboard works great, so I’ve got high hopes. Wish me luck!

Accountability Tuesdays – Week 7

Tuesday, Tuesday, wherefore art thou, Tuesday?

Oh crap, you’re right here? God dammit, I’ve gotta learn how to pay more attention to time passing.

It’s been a bit of a rough week, goal-wise, so let’s go ahead and get this over with, shall we?

Health and Body Image Goal

This week wasn’t as good as I was hoping, but better than past weeks have been. Of course, as I’ve mentioned before I never eat particularly well while at home, so that’s a nick in the ‘bad’ column, but on the ‘good’ side of things I started doing Jillian Michaels’ Body Revolution. It’s a 90-day program something like P90X, but the videos are shorter and involves more cardio than the weight-training-heavy P90X. So far I’ve done two of the “Workout” videos (which are high-intensity interval training programs that intersperse cardio moves with weight moves), and one of the Cardio videos. All are much tougher than I was imagining. I had hoped to use the first week to do Jillian’s “Rev Your Metabolism” program, which is basically doing two videos a day instead of one for the first week, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. I managed it the first day, but on the second I only got five minutes into the second video and literally could not lift my legs anymore. I was really trying, I swear, but it just wasn’t happening. So I’ll continue on with the rest of the week as normal and maybe I’ll be able to manage the “Rev” plan on one of the consecutive weeks. Either way, I’m getting some exercise in, which is way more than I’ve been doing previously.

Editing Goal

I’m going to just go ahead and admit that I still haven’t done jack on this one. No excuses, no reasons, just good old fashioned “Nope. Haven’t done it.”

1,000,000 Words Goal

The only words I wrote this past week were for the blog (I’m trying to schedule ahead of time so I don’t have to worry about it for a little while), and those words totaled 3646. Not a great week, but still better than nothing. Hoping to do better this week, but I’ve got quite a few things to take care of at home before I head back out West next Tuesday, so we’ll just have to see, I guess.
And before I put this post to rest, a request:
Does anyone have any advice for potty training a toddler? I could really use some, seeing as we’re not getting anywhere. She comes to the bathroom with us (and even asks to go herself sometimes) and sits on her potty for a few minutes, but as yet she hasn’t done anything so I don’t think she’s really catching on so much as she’s just copying mommy and daddy. One more week until my husband is stuck doing this alone for two weeks straight, so any advice would be just lovely. ๐Ÿ™‚