September 21, 2016

Reaching personal goals! ...And a setback :/

A photo posted by Lauren (@gymprotestor) on
^ Cheeky spon for my health & wellness Instagram account! :) ^

I went to the gym this morning and came back home feeling super pumped.  My personal challenge for September 11th through September 24th is twofold:
  1. Eat healthier (for me, this means passing up on my daily fast food stops & prepping fresh, balanced meals instead, as well as cutting out dairy and sugary drinks)
  2. Go to the gym 10 times
I told myself 2 weeks because that's an amount of time I can handle in my brain.  To stop drinking 2 coffees/lattes a day/eating breakfast sandwiches cold turkey, and to start going to the gym after years of inactivity, is a little intimidating, but I can push myself to try it.

A photo posted by Lauren (@gymprotestor) on

It's been going well! Today is day 11 of my challenge, and I am feeling fantastic.
  • After a few coffee-free days, I've stopped feeling that afternoon caffeine headache and I may have kicked the habit (fingers crossed!).
  • And, after week of delicious salads and sandwiches made with my favorite vegetables, granola bowls with fresh strawberries, and healthy snacks, I don't want to eat a greasy breakfast sandwich anymore.
  • Plus, the routine of going to the gym early in the morning makes me feel so good and energized for the rest of the day, which makes me tired at an appropriate time of the evening -> which makes it easier to fall asleep -> which makes it easier to get up -> which makes it easier to go to the gym early... And so on.

All this and I've had waaaaay fewer ~digestive discomforts~.  Heck yes.

My incentive to do this was, of course, to get into healthier habits and feel really great.  But I also decided my "prize" will be new running shoes when payday comes this Friday.  I didn't want to get ahead of myself and buy the shoes before completing the challenge, buuut I've done really great and I'll be away this weekend... So I wanted to get those shoes today.  I feel like I've earned it.  And my current sneakers are crap. :x

I drove to the gym this morning with no problem, but on my way to the mall a couple of hours later, my car overheated about 7 minutes away from my house.  I don't know what's going to happen or how serious any problems are, but it has thrown a monkey wrench into my week for sure.  It might be expensive (thank God I have saved up an emergency fund).  I'm going to have to mooch a ride to work.  I can't drive myself to the gym.

Fun.  Fun stuff.  But it's just a Thing and it's a Thing I can handle, haha.  Just a pain.

Other than that, I'm happy with my progress and hope this becomes my lifestyle.  It's right now that I should be forming good habits, when I'm young and pliable haha, not when I'm older and it'll be harder.

September 20, 2016

September Goals

I've been keeping track of my monthly goals since the spring.  Some months I have very specific goals, like making certain appointments, while other months I have general goals about improving a skill, etc.  This month I am definitely leaning more towards general goals, since I have a much looser daily schedule.

We're 1/3rd of the way through with September, but I wrote down my goals at the beginning of the month in my journal, so I'm going to transcribe it here for accountability, as well as rate my progress so far.

A picture from a nice night over Labor Day weekend. :)

September Goals 2016


  1. Pick up more days at work.  I almost never turn down a request to fill in for somebody, but I really hope to get more hours this month.
  2. Save and tithe more/spend less.  I spend too much and haven't budgeted my money wisely this whole summer.
  3. Take more walks.  I was aiming for a 30 minute brisk walk every day.  I decided to join the gym last week, so this is going exceedingly well.
  4. Practice ukulele more. Fortunately I LOVE playing ukulele.
  5. Finish HTML/CSS course on CodeAcademy. Almost done with this.


  1. Complete website for my mom's homeschool sports organization.  My plans went wildly awry, so I'm going to cross this off my goals list and not count it at the end of the month.
  2. Apply for an online college.  I'm honestly spent from applying to school this summer and having everything fall through, so I'm procrastinating really bad from this.
  3. Get involved with a ministry. I have volunteered only sporadically the past 3 years since leaving the church I used to be involved in.  I miss being committed to a ministry.  I've contacted my current church to see how I can serve, but I won't check this off until I'm officially committed.
  4. Make an appointment for a new fall haircut.  This was one of my more exciting goals; I stress out about going to hair salons but I looove the feeling of trimmed hair.  I only got an inch or so off I think, and added some layers in the back. So this is definitely done.
  5. Take inventory of fall/winter clothes and go shopping for what I'm missing.  I need a new jacket, but I have a ridiculous abundance of cardigans that will get me through til it gets really cold.  And I already bought new boots at the end of this past winter.  However, last week I found the clearance rack in the athletic department at Target and bought two pairs of leggings, two shirts, two sports bras, and a lot of socks, which I paid for out of the money I had for fall shopping - a good decision, since having fun, comfortable workout clothes makes me feel more confident going to the gym.

I think that's pretty much it.  I decided to challenge myself to two weeks of healthy meals and exercise last Sunday, and I've also been pushing myself to step out of my social comfort zone in various ways, so this list isn't 100% reflective of what I'm accomplishing this month.  But I feel good about this list and about my progress so far.

September 14, 2016

sunshine n rainbowz

To say that my posts are few and far-between would be an understatement... Yikes.  I guess I like just knowing that it's here, though, if I ever want to word vomit somewhere other than people's ears.

Also if you're reading this hey you're probably lost!  Like what are you doing here, I never post, but welcome.  I'm just going to get uncomfortably personal here, you've been warned, lol.

So my last post was 3(!) months ago and some plans have changed since then; I'm not able to go to the school I was planning on attending due to various factors which is.  Fine.  But at first I was like "Really, God?  I go to all the trouble and stress of starting a new educational endeavor and the week before I'm supposed to start everything dissolves?"  I don't understand what I'm supposed to do.  I went full-steam ahead with all green lights and guidance and confirmation and bldlkwjfjkldfst there it goes down the drain, starting from scratch.  And really I'm saying this just to show you that I am making decisions that I don't understand, but that I'm trusting God about.  I look forward to being at a place where I can remember this season and realize "OHHHH that's why that happened!"  Because right now it's more like "Ohhhhhhhh no."

I had PLANS, guys.  I was going to be working part time, going to school full time, busy busy, getting things done, moving on.  But now I'm just working part time.  Leaving me with ample free time to do... What?  I have no idea.  I am trying to fill my days in a God-honoring way.  I'm finding things to do.  But I just feel stuuuuuck as anything and if you could read my mind you'd just see a series of ?????????????????

Bizarre.  Biiiiizarre, going a little crazy.  Honestly I think the biggest reason for the anxiety I feel about how things are going this semester is that I'm embarrassed.  I am so distressed when people ask me "So what do you do?" (meaning, what's your job, what's your major, what productive things do you do with your time?) because in my head I'm like "WELL right now I'm working a couple days at a library, and I'm also constantly depressed!  What about you?" whatever, cool.

Anyway what I've been doing to kind of stave off the feeling of immense purposelessness is to set monthly goals for myself, which is going... well (shockingly).  I've been doing it all summer, since April or May - I've set specific goals about things on my to-do list, as well as more general goals about things I want to improve.

I'm focusing on improving different skills: I play ukulele but I wanna get go0d and hey I have plenty of time to practice, I am relearning HTML/CSS, I am helping make a website for my mom's homeschool sports organization, I am reading a lot, brushing up on Spanish, etc. etc.  AND this month I have committed myself to a 2 week trial of making healthy food choices (I cut out dairy and fast food) and going to the gym (just to walk/jog on the treadmill for like half an hour).  Usually I would make absurdly ambitious goals like "STARTING TOMORROW I AM NEVER EATING BAD FOOD AGAIN AND I WILL GO TO THE GYM EVERY DAY AND RUN FOR FIVE MILES AND WORK OUT" and then fall short and get disappointed and burnt out and fall into bad habits.  So if I can get on the treadmill like every other day and eat mostly healthy for 2 weeks, I don't think I'll get burnt out, I'll probably feel great and want to keep doing it and see what else I can do to make good choices. (The incentive for me to finish this is if I'm happy with how the 2 weeks went, I'll go out after payday and get real running shoes.)
Idk how to end this post.  Haha but yeah that's basically my life right now, good times, lol.

Deep down I'm taking on faith that this is just negative things I'm saying to myself - I know from experience and I know from the Bible that I don't know everything and I am prone to mistakes and things have reason and it's not like God forgot about me even if it feeeeels like that.  When things were going well I accepted the truths in the Scripture and the things God has spoken to me through my life, and now is the time for me to HOLD ON to that and that's faith, that's what faith is I guess.  I think CS Lewis kind of says what I mean in Mere Christianity: "Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted, in spite of your changing moods.”