A Profound Change and Peace of Mind- My Life Transformation

I am in Spain on a bit of vacation. I am absolutely loving it. After this last year and half everyone of us needs it.
I have my AirBnb so not meeting people, got tested before and will be tested again in few days.
I am extremely tired and I think that I would need more than just one week, but it is for sure better than nothing.
I feel so blessed that I can afford this. And with that thought started more thoughts.
Thought on how I take on life today. How, since I decided to take charge of my life, my life has profoundly changed.
How I am in such a different spot than I have been and how I have not really noticed the change and how I see life until now. I have had my fair share of testing my newfound attempt to peaceful living and harmony and I can honestly say that I am blown away with how I have been reacting.

As most things that could go wrong, has gone wrong, but my reactions to them has been quite fantastic. Things I have implemented during last year and half have shown to give results.

I Want You to Panic!

i want you to panic text on paper against wooden background
Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com

We sat on the bus, my daughter and I close to Prague Airport, 45 minutes away from home. 45 minutes until check-in closed. My daughter will be away for really long time, so we needed to check-in manually as there was a piece of luggage involved.
I looked for my phone.
Nowhere to be found. NOWHERE. I panicked for a bit. Getting angry and upset. How the hell am I suppose to be away a week without a phone.
I had one day of work which needed to be done, people to contact and some Geocaches to be found, just to mention some of the impediments not having a phone. I was so angry and felt the stress building up.
And then! Like a bolt.
My old cues to make me panic were not completely engaging. They stopped actually. It was strange. It stopped from escalating because:
New thoughtprocesses were there!
Just buy a new one. You get a new phone and a new sim card and problem solved. You have for the first time an emergency fund and this is when it should be used.
For an emergency.
I felt the anger and stress come right off. I have not thought about this unplanned purchase really at all, as it has not affected my plans over my trip. It has not dipped into my travel budget nor has it left me stranded.
It was a hick-up and now it is gone. 2 years ago, this would not have been the case. I would have eaten myself up inside. Hating and punishing myself. Talking bad about myself to myself.
What a “small thing” as an emergency fund can do. What peace of mind!

The Rest Which Followed

I ran about 10 KM out from the city, with the intention to take the bus back. I had misunderstood the information given and I was not able to leave with the bus. I needed cash, nearest ATM was about 5 KM away.
Just to start walking.
For a split second my first thought was to cry. Cry and Cry and feel that this was impossible to manage.
Then I reminded myself that I RAN the 10 KM out, and WALKING 5 would probably not be the end of the world.
Again the panic subsided and I was all good to go.
I found the ATM inserted my card and nothing happened. Nothing at all.
A man behind me told me that you should not insert the card, just use the contactless way.
Card was gone gone.
Again no panic. I knew I had some food at the Airbnb. I knew that I could walk the rest back home and I knew that I could transfer money from one account to another, having the money in a day or two.
Not at one point did I panic about it
2 years ago. I would have gone under. I have profoundly changed and gotten really peace of mind. I have, what they say, really transformed.

What Do I Dedicate the Change To?

purple petaled flower and thank you card
Photo by Giftpundits.com on Pexels.com

Many things but I can see few clear reasons why I am dealing with these debacles so much better than I would have done in the past. Again can I see that there is not one answer. Not only about one part of my life, but in many.
My holistic view is working out.

  1. My Emergency Fund.
    It is insane how this is helpful. I messed up NOTHING financially by forgetting my phone. No scandals. No Panic. No skipping meals while on holiday to pay this phone. Nothing.
  2. Physical activity and moving in general.
    I have way more energy than I had about 1 year ago. I was lethargic, out of breath just thinking about moving. Annoyed and angry as I was in horrible mood. Physical health has put me on such a great trajectory with my mental health. The mind clarity being active is something I neer intipicated.
  3. Not drinking alcohol.
    This is a topic I have not really touched yet. But I will. It is not that I never do it, but almost never and cutting it out from my life to almost nonexistent has been such an improvement of life. Hangover anxiety is a past memory. Forgetting my phone being hungover would have killed me. Not entering the bus hungover would have killed me too. My tolerance to shit happening has increased imensly. Also being mind clear, makes less shit actually happen.
    1. Cutting away drama!
      Not talked about this either, but will. You live the life you want to have.
      You shape your life.
      If I do not want drama, I have to leave drama behind. If I want peace I need to look for peace. It is that simple. Not easy but simple. All my actions need to transcend this. This is something I have worked on last year. It has helped me a lot.

      I am in no way finished and I am in no way perfect. I get anxious and panic. My mind plays tricks with me on a regular basis. What I did realize though these days is that I am on a very good path. The work I have put in is coming back. Imagine where I can be in another year!

      Where are you in your transformation journey?





From Snail to Speed of Light- Part 2 – How to Move Forward

fit athlete during training on running track
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

As you all, by now know, is that I am a somewhat newfound runner. Or at least a wannabe runner. A runner in the making.
I did a check the other day, mostly for fun of course, or maybe not. I am still not fully sure which one of them, it was.
Yes, so I did a check to see where in the runner scale I am. How much of one am I? According to this check, not a full runner just yet. Check it here.
Again it was just for fun.
What I have done though is becoming more intentional and focused when it comes to my running. It is such an interesting path. Never have I ever looked at exercise as I am looking at it now.
It is not a punishment it is an investment and a treat in and to myself. So I wrote a text about how I managed to go from absolutely nothing to something, sometime back. – Read about it here

I have now a new plan. Not so much looking back but looking into the future. How to move on from where I am, into something even better.

Where I used to be and the Future Where I Am Going

I have come a long way since I started my running journey, about 10 months ago. As you already read, it was an ultimate fail at first. My idea that I would just go and run my 10K without breaking a sweat just seems as quite ridiculous looking back at it. It is OK though. I did not know better.
I know that my goals seem too much for some. I have not received the best reactions as apparently they are too much for me but it is totally OK. I rather aim high and come somewhere near it, one day than conform to the idea that I as a fat person should not have plans or goals, that might be “too high”.

My old goals which I already have reached:

  • Able to run 5 minutes straight
  • Able to run 10 minutes straight
  • Able to run 3 KM straight
  • 5 K
  • 5 K in 30 minutes ( this one is still questionable if I reached as my Runkeeper stopped working the day of the run. So I am recycling this one.)
  • 10 K in one go, under 1.30 minutes. I did it in 1 hour and 15 minutes.

These are my new goals. Shorter list, but I am pretty sure it will grow.

  • 10 K in 1 hour sharp.
  • 5 K in 30 minutes.
  • 5 K in 25 minutes.
My first time trying hill practice- just last week!

What Is the Plan I Have?

I have been reading a lot of running articles and blogs. I did kind of surprise myself when I found myself doing this. It was about then I also figured that I am probably starting to think about this on a new level.

It started with Christopher McDougall’s “Natural Born Runner”
This one took me to the other places too, such as :

Runners World, Runners Need, Global Triathlon Network, and Higher Running just to speak about few of them. I constantly read and watch videos on this topic.
I started to see that a plan was really not set into action and what I did was great to get me reaching the goals I had reached but probably not the best to get to the next level.
My idea has been to just go out and run. The more KM the better has been my philosophy and that this would translate into faster, better, and longer runs. Automatically.
It seems like this is not the case.

I will have to incorporate intervals:

Running an interval involves running at a faster pace than your usual aerobic pace. … A pace that requires more huffing and puffing, a step up from your aerobic pace, is run for a predetermined length of time, with a recovery jog interval, and repeated for a set number of repetitions.Active.com

Hill training :

Training on hills improves leg-muscle strength, quickens your stride, expands stride length, develops your cardiovascular system, enhances your running economy and can even protect your leg muscles against soreness. In short, hill running will make you a stronger, faster and healthier runner

Slowrun:

Doing your regular, weekday runs at a slow pace reduces the risk of injury dramatically while still contributing to your fitness. A weekly long, slow run will improve your endurance, enhance your fat-burning ability, improve bloodflow to your muscles, and build mental toughness.

First time I did 10 K 1hour 15 Minutes.

How Will This Translate?

I plan to manage it like this.
3 times a week run so far, from now on to the end of June.

Week 1:
1x Hill training= Hills up and down for 30 minutes adding 5 minutes per time for this.
1x Slow run = Run for no time for 40-60 minutes. As speed nor length is really the interest I have seen it seems good to add some time here.
1x Interwalls= Meaning you do 400M fast 400 M slow. Then 500 fast,600, 700, 600,500,400. Inbetween 2-400 meters slow.

Week2 :
1x 30 Minutes fast= Run a fast 30 minutes race.
1x interwals= 5 Min fast and then 5 Min slow.
1x long run= The 10 K long run practice. Every 2 times of this adding another 1 KM.

These 2 should be switched between every second week.
So this is my plan and then by end of June see how my 10/ 5 KM speed has improved.
Let’s GO!

1 Year Anniversary of My New-found Life and Transformation


This was me exactly one year ago. I was just in the life-changing decision to start doing something with myself.
I was dead tired of myself and my whining. Every single time I met with my friends it was the same story.

“I want to lose weight. I am really getting too big. I just cannot go on like this. I just have to lose weight.”

But this went on repeat. Over, over, over, and over again. I was so sick and tired of hearing it.
I was also so sick and tired of feeling sick and tired.
Because no matter how much I smiled, and how much I said I did not feel bad.
I. felt. Bad.
All. The. Time.
Something just had to change.

16 May 2020

What Made Me Change?

Not only did I feel bad all the time, but it also hurt constantly. If I sat, it hurt. If I stood up it hurt. If I walked it hurt. If I laid down it hurt. The photo above is from my first hike of 2020. I remember it so vividly, as I walked 20K steps and I was crying coming home. Everything hurt.

Not only that.
I knew that I was not well as my blood vitals did tell me that. Everything supposed to be high was low, and everything supposed to be low was high.

I would wake up with massive headaches and my uvula swollen and hurting, on an almost daily basis. I knew I was snoring, and I did fear that I was suffering from sleep apnea due to the really swollen face and aching throat.
It was more than just few nights when I was a bit scared of going to bed. What if the sheer weight on my chest would be too much and I would suffocate.

I would have a strange feeling in my head as if wind was blowing in it. Still to this day do I not know what that was. High blood pressure or something else. For sure something was off.
I would get winded really easily and I remember getting my step counter and really struggle to get 5000 steps in, as it was just too much for me.

Joints and ligaments were hurting. I was constantly tired. I was constantly hungry. I was scared of falling, I did not want to break anything.
It just had to stop.
One day I just had enough. I was 35 not 75.

July 2020- I had already started losing weight here

Transformation to a Healthier Life.

The start was really hard. I got a trainer 3 days a week that I paid a small fortune for. My best spent money ever. I was now accountable, not just to him – as at that stage I could not be accountable to myself. I did not know how- but also to my money.
A single mom in a raging pandemic, not knowing if she would have a job or not, paying for such nonsense. I just needed to not waste one single cent.
And that I did not. I kept that word to myself.

It is funny how I thought 10 sessions with this trainer would solve it all. Somehow I really did. Silly me!

II just saw it as a lack of regimen and that I needed to work out few times and life would magically transform itself to pink sky and rainbows.
After 2 months of this idea I started to realize that I was way wrong and it was more than just few sessions with a trainer that I needed.
Neither the dietist really did it for me. I knew what I needed to eat, that was not the issue. I just ate anyhow, regardless of the knowledge.
That is where the idea of a holistic viewpoint grew stronger and stronger.

My body and health is the product of all stress, anxiety, bad thought, old coping mechanisms, memories, traditions and habits. it was not just about getting on a diet and run 3 times a week. It was about honoring myself and creating a better life- in general and overall. A overhaul of my life and its inventory.


Test of My Transformation and Finding Support In Myself

I went to my GP 2 weeks or so ago. Probably more.
My vitals are back to normal, except one part of my cholesterol but it is so marginal that he said that it is deductible.
I am no longer deadly tired, at some few occasions have I woken up with my uvula swollen. My daughter tells me I do not snore any longer, at least not to the extent I used to.
I smell better, why I do not know. Maybe I am not leaking, from you know where, as I used to.
I have better skin, sleep better, eat better, and my mental health is totally 180. My work on all the mental parts has been huge. From eating few medications due to mental issues I take occasionally one medication.
It was 2 weeks ago I went for a hike and I did about 30K steps and I knew I could do some more.

I am not going to lie though, It has not been easy. It was not simple either. It was difficult and hard. It IS difficult and hard. There are still so many parts that are missing.
It has not been easy for my friends. The change I am doing, and everyone will not support.
Many times have I been tested in my conviction to my transformation. Tested to see if this is really what I wanted. Friends pushing to peer pressure to not do what I was on my path doing. I have slipped up. I have done things I really have not wanted. Just as “Old” Manka would do. Give up. Give everything to the instant gratification monkey. Not looking into the future. It is not their fault. It is normal but it would have been easy to just throw my hand up and give up but the positive feelings has so far been winning over old pathways and habits.
It has been sad to feel that I have not been supported but in that, I have reached out to others. I have reached out to myself and that push and accountability I so desperately needed to get from someone else- I gave myself.

I give myself!

2021 Hike

I have a long way still. There are more kinks and stuff I have to work on to get where I really want to go. I need to push myself again, a little bit more and not feel so comforted in this change. I need to continue doing more. I have stagnated some the last 3 months, as I feel it is pointless. Pandemic lockdown has not added positively to the motivation.
I still have things that block me and keep me away from reaching my full potential.
But this year has taught me that I can do it. I am doing it. I am full of accountability and I can do it without the external locus of control but my internal.
I am stronger inside myself than I thought. remembering that hike last year and this year they were just so different. And how this coming year is quite exciting!

Hill practice run! first of many to come!


Beat Procrastination- Beat Weight Gain

Photo by Brett Jordan on Pexels.com

Maybe not beat but at least work towards some decreasing of it. I really believe hinder the instant gratification monkey and work towards productivity is to be truly successful on a long-term basis with my weight loss. It has to be sustained forever and to do that, I need to heal from whatever shit is going on and to heal is to work on things. It just has to be done!

What Is My Plan to Beat Procrastination?

I have written about my plan to beat procrastination here.

It is not so much of a very deep plan, as it only consists of 1 thing. Lists. That is the idea I have for the moment. I could have added few more steps and gone all-in killing this beast inside me, making me really unproductive.
I think of doing that would have been a failure as so much in my life, as I would not have been able to keep it going.
Too big of a change, and we get scared and do not do it. Too little and we get bored and do not do it either. It has to be the right balance.
My balance was 1 thing. One could not do less than I did but for me that was the right amount. That is how bad I was in actually getting things done.

How and When Did I Make My Lists?

Every evening, apart from very few nights am I sitting down at my desk and evaluating what I want. I do this on many different levels. What do I need done?

  • Short-term, such as everyday mundances but that is better for me to plan out so they get done.
  • Urgent things that have come up over the course of the day, or that I know will approach soon. Such as filling my taxes or getting my papers in order.
  • One-time work that needs to be done for the better good of life but that has been kept off such like fixing that squeaking door or calling the dentist for a checkup.
  • Long-term work needs to be broken down into smaller steps, so they get manageable and now done. Working on my children’s book or taking up that class so I can improve things at work.

I am trying to get all these points down and worked on the next day to make sure that it is a process for the long run into this equation and not the daily work points written down.

 Evaluation of  the Productivity

It is a strange and odd feeling I have. A feeling I have not really experienced many times in life. It is a warm fluffy feeling in stark contrast to the stressed, angst, and worried feelings I used to have.
What am I talking about?
The feeling of getting things done. Of really getting things done. Seeing that things get done, consistently and timely on a monthly, weekly, daily, hourly basis. Consistently and routinely.
Not having the feeling of un-accomplishment, stressed over lost time, always chasing the feeling of getting ahead. Angst over things not happening and ultimately lies over not done things. Lies to myself and others, why things are not done. What do I do with these feelings normally? I eat them up. I lazy them down.
I have had those feelings as long as I know. Being a mediocre failure that does not do what she should. All this due to procrastination and instant gratification monkey.
These are gone.
Gone.
Working with lists has truly transformed my life. I know it sounds like a cliche but I cannot credit anything else. It is an amazing feeling crossing over that item that I have done. Productivity level is up tenfolds. It is an amazing feeling to know that I have filled those taxes 2 months before deadline and I do not need to get stressed. I know that my story is being worked on and closer for that old dream of mine to be realized.
The squeaky door does not squeak anymore and my plants are thriving from the constant care they get. The stress has decreased as I know I am doing all that I should. No more lies to myself about what I did not do and why.
The only thing I wonder is why I did not do this sooner!

Photo by energepic.com on Pexels.com

Moving Forward- What to Do Now

I will forever do my lists now. I have tried few times not doing them, and I fall back into my old patterns. Not as bad as before but I accomplish way less if I do not write down what to do. The decreased stress levels are so important for my life that it is a no-brainer to continue with this.
So this is a given keeper. What I have also heard and read in many places is journaling and that how it can help with structuring up ideas and what to do and even though it might sound like a childish thing to keep a diary I have started this too.
I will see if keeping a journal can keep me even more structured and actually do the things I am set out to do. Maybe do some more things. Structure up how I do things. An evaluation of the day and why some things were not done.
It is small implementations but for me this has truly changed me and my life in the way I am productive and where to I have moved in 3 months.
What are you doing to beat the instant gratification monkey?

Intermittent Fasting As My Weight loss Strategy?

Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting.
What does this really mean?

Well it can mean different things to different people, but in general it means this:

What does if actually mean? Basic information
  • 16:8 You have a 16 hours fasting window and you have a 8 hours eating window. Fasting essentially meaning that you do not consume any food. Some people also include drink anything else beyond water.
    A more simple way of putting it. You do not eat.
  • 18:6 Which is essentially the same as previous one, but with the difference of eating and fasting times. 18 hours non eating and 6 hours of mouth pleasure.
  • OMAD – One meal a day. Quite explanatory in it self. You basically have one meal.
  • 24 – You eat nothing for 24 hours.
    If you want to read more about it, as I am no way near a dietician or nutritionist. Please read here. I have read quite a lot here and I do really like it.
why would anyone torture oneself with this?

I did have this idea that it would be torture and too hard to do anything like this. Come on I have had 35 years of food dependency and used food as stress reliver. How would I be able to manage anything like this? Why would I want anything like this?
I did not read in the link above too much at that time, I did read this book which I found it in a city library booth.

Surprisingly at first, not so much when I started to think about it, IF(Short for Intermittent Fasting) has quite some health benefits they say. So what are just some of the benefits we can see eating after IF method.

  • For example, your body starts important cellular repair processes and changes hormone levels to make stored body fat more accessible.
  • Generally speaking, intermittent fasting will make you eat fewer meals. And truth to be told this is the reason I started to look into this. The only reason.
  • Intermittent fasting has been shown to have major benefits for insulin resistance and lead to an impressive reduction in blood sugar levels
  • Intermittent fasting has been shown to improve numerous different risk factors, including blood pressure, total and LDL cholesterol, blood triglycerides, inflammatory markers and blood sugar levels
    All these have I copied from
    HealthLine.

    These are just a few of the health benefits we can see with IF. As I wrote. Mine was only number 2. Nothing else. So I did start it. Thinking the fat would just shed off like snow in spring.
A new mindset forming

As I mentioned I started off IF with the mindset of losing weight. What a great way to lose weight. I did see it as some kind of magic pill. Just do not eat for 16 hours and the fat will just melt off. This is exactly what I believed. Melt of like snow in spring.
But like everyone knows, snow do not melt that fast as we want. It comes back and it is icy and mushy and just a big grey blob of smush.
This can sum up IF for me, for losing weight. Nothing melted off. I did not wake up one day and wohoo! 20kilos off! Not even close.
What I did though was pushing on almost every single day doing it anyhow. Let’s see this through, for once, was my mantra.
And you know what, something started to change.
After two weeks of headaches and fatigue something started to change. Not in the KG section but in the grey section. My brain.
Feelings of energy, amusement, clarity and possibility started to form. From sleeping quite poorly to sleeping really good. From being without energy to feeling full of energy. From brain fog to clarity. I started feeling that my runs went better, my recovery speeded up and the easiness of working out when my stomach was lower on intake, or empty. From feeling dependent on food and the mouth pleasure, I started to see it as a way of fueling myself. Something I have never ever thought about.

How does my if look like?

This is exactly how it looks like.
8AM– Coffee with milk to stave off a bit of hunger from the night.
12 AM- Lunch, which is normally a soup and a second plate. Quite often a small desert too. Had no photo from it though.
6 PM- Dinner- Plate of Yoghurt with fruit. Usually banana plus other fruits. Knackebrot or a piece of bread with ham and cheese. Tea with milk or Decaf coffee with milk.
6PM- 10PM – A cup of decaf coffee and tea or water.
And that is it.

So where am I know?

I have totally embraced IF. Not so much as a weight loss plan, as it initially started out. The KG are still not melting off. I go at a really slow pace. One still cannot eat too much to lose weight. Even if it is just in a 6 hour window. 6 hours window is not a magical number where you can have whatever you want and rest does not matter.
What I have started to feel though is that during these 6 hours, I have to make sure I fuel myself. I need the right thing to enter my body because I need the energy from it. This is an idea I never ever had before. I never thought of the idea of fuel myself. I just wanted to stuff myself.
Never have I ever felt good and done eating. I will not paint pink clouds and unicorns in the sky but I do have to say I am getting to the point I do not obsess about food.
My brain fog is just not there anymore and the amount of clarity I have is on such a different level. It is as if the brain has woken up after years of nothing.
So I will for sure continue with this. Not for weight loss but for life gain. For the future of myself.

How to Holistic Weight loss- My Version

I read something really sad today. Something I think about quite frequently and it is something I have on my mind on a regular basis.
According to the article on CBC
“Only about five percent of people who try to lose weight ultimately succeed, according to the research. “
There is other research out there saying that losing more than 20 percent of your body weight once, has a success rate of 5% going for a second time the rate is down to 1%
This is not my first nor second time. But It will be my last time. That is why I am doing it differently this time.

Holistic Weight loss

“PHILOSOPHY

characterized by the belief that the parts of something are intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole.

MEDICINE
characterized by the treatment of the whole person, taking into account mental and social factors, rather than just the symptoms of a disease.”

And this is exactly what I do differently this time around with my weight loss journey. I have a holistic approach.
I cannot treat my weight loss as a free-standing problem in my life that does not affect or get affected by the other parts of my life. It is all connected.
I have problems with mental health and my mental health issues as many underlying reasons.
I have had financial instability and uncertainty and these issues give me stress and my coping mechanism is always eating. I cannot cure one thing without looking at the other.
I have lived an empty life, without meaning or path, guiding or reason. There has been no plan to work against, and nothing to work towards. I have just had the next meal in mind.
This is what I have done in the past. I have looked at weight as just the single issue of weight. Never ever have I wanted to deal with the issue at hand. All the other parts connected.

What  I Do For a Holistic Weight loss

I have made a plan to discover life. I know I am 35 but better late than never. I need to want to do something more than watch movies and snack. Or go for dinner and have food and drinks. Or meet friends and drink and have snacks.

  1. I am dedicating a minimum of 30 min a week to self-exploration.
    These are things that I do not know if I like, but I have to give it a go. I need to try things out. I have put some time into drawings. I will maybe not become a new master painter but I have to say has given me quite some joy. Ok, quite some frustration as well. I just don’t get how to do it.
    This targets the boredom of life which I often feel and staves off that feeling which just wants me to eat instead.
  2. Studying languages for a minimum of 30 min 3 times a week.
    I live in Czech Republic but I do not speak Czech fluently nor even close to it. This stresses me out, tremendously. What do I do when I am stressed? Yes you are right. I tend to sit on my ass, watch a movie and snack.
    This targets the discomfort I have with language which ultimately will give me peace of mind and less angst about it. 
  3. I work on my finances and the financial independence I am working towards. I have created budgets, sinking funds, plans, and investments to create stability and  foundation for me and my daughter. I do not need to go to bed nervous if I can pay my next rent or not.
    This is quite explanatory it targets the stability in life. 
  4. I am reading books again, both fictional and non-fictional. Traditional self-help books, investing books, novels, anything right now in written form. I want to read what others do or feel. Improving my own situation by learning from others and reading is an amazing resource for that. Reading how others have done things, inspires me to become or do even better, and keeps me motivated to not cave into the mouth pleasures of food.
    It targets the spiritual instability with little connection to meaningfulness I have. 
  1. I move and getting truly excited and interested about it. I know that moving is not the biggest need for weight loss. It has shown that for sustained weight loss exercising is an important tool. Being genuinely interested in it, and actually looking forward to moving and how to improve and what to do really help the entire process. Keeping active helps me with my food intake as well, and my general healthiness.

Will This Work?

I do not know. I cannot tell. I for sure hope so. I can just say that I have a quite different feel about this time around. I feel different. I am different. It is this notion of clarity and understanding. The things I do might change, but I will not stop doing them. Even if it will not work for losing weight, which it will, it is a really workable tool for my life. Getting ahead and having the life I want. Doing and experiencing life to the fullest. As it looks like now, this will be the thing that keeps me in the 1%.

What I Do In a Day to Lose Weight

Photo by Total Shape on Pexels.com
  1. Eat a high protein breakfast. 
  2. Avoid sugary drinks and fruit juice. 
  3. Drink water before meals. 
  4. Choose weight-loss-friendly foods. 
  5. Eat soluble fiber. 
  6. Drink coffee or tea. 
  7. Base your diet on whole foods. 
  8. Eat slowly.

Does anyone recognize a list like this?
I got this from googling “top daily tip on how to lose weight”.
This is not the exception. This is the standard. Almost everywhere people give tips and tricks like these on how to lose weight.
And even if these tips are per say not bad I no longer want to abide them. I used to, just as so many before me but this time around it has to be for life and never again. I cannot mentally go through this again. 
I want and do things differently now because I truly believe that these tips above are only short-term mentality. At least they have been for me. I want and need long-term success. There cannot be any other option for me. This is like my shot of doing it right. I am exhausted already, and making it again, I do not know if I have it in me. 
Hence me really looking into a new way of doing weight loss. Sustainable, long term, mindful and holistic. 
This means, for me looking into all aspect of life. Weight loss is  much more than the amount of water you drink, or how much raw food you consume.
Weight loss is about strategies and a fulfilled life which give you balance and helps you to choice wisely. Weight loss is about being in peace with your mind and get proper coping skills to deal with the suffering of the world. 

What I Do In a Day to Lose Weight

1. Making my bed- I do it straight away when I get up.
This was advised to me years ago by a really dear friend. He told me this when I was in my deepest depression in Bolivia, when I just had gotten divorced. I did not do it then though but wish I had. It does something with me. I start the day of achieving something! If I have achieved one thing, I can do just about anything. If I start the day doing something, I want to keep the day in a positive way. 
And is there anything better than going to bed in a made one!

2. Reading books– Last year I was able to manage 12 books.
This year I want to push it a tad bit more and get 15 under my belt. Once you are in the read, time flies and there is no time to think about anything else. It enriches me and I feel as if I accomplished something again.  An extra plus is that I learn something or only to get entertained. Keeps my mind away from wandering off into the dark side. 

3. Working attentively during the day-I do not only work and nothing else.
But I tend to be quite focused on what I do. I also tend not to think about food while I am working. I am a scout and the scout lead word is to always do its best. Neither this have I truthfully done in the past. But to be immersed and really work your best gives me a real satisfaction and I feel proud over it.  Why make myself unproud of this proudness, doing something which is not beneficial for me, such as stuffing my face or skipping that run. 

4. Working on a new or old skill. I often eat when I am bored.
I do not have time to be bored if I work on some kind of improvement of myself. Again, if I do it properly and give it my all, I do not feel I have cheated something.  Neither am I  in the need to eat those feelings of shame that I have done nothing,  away. I work on my self esteem and to see that I can actually improve, and quite quickly once I have decided about it is such a boost I do not want to spoil it with any negative feeling. 


5. Being on top of my finances. A huge stress factor for me has been finances.
It has been a big reason why I overeat and overfill myself. I have gotten so stressed so I do not know what else to do, then to eat. Having my finances in order and creating a strategy on how to improve them further gives me a sense of relief and I stress less. 
6. Not meeting people. I of course mean people which I do not want to meet.
I am terrified of being left alone. Not being loved and to have no friends. Many times have I met people “because we have been friends for long time and I should”. I am working on not feeling terrified anymore. Everyone do not need to love me, nor me them. I have met with people I did not even like and this is no a healthy action.  Due to some twisted feeling of should. Or old memories and connections. I do no longer do this, or rather say I try not to do this,  and it is such a relief!
7. Working out and watching my diet. Here it came though.
The bit more normal tip. I do try to move and exercise every day. I have a goal of walking 10 000 steps just to know that I have been moving. Then I do quite a lot of other things. You can read more about my activity plan here. I also eat after intermittent fasting and I try to stay away from some foods sometimes. There are no bad foods though, just unhealthy amounts! 

Does It Work Not Focusing on Traditional Tips?

Truth to be told, I have not been moving one single gram the last 2.5 months. Nothing. It is extremely frustrating and more than once have I broken down in tears. Why oh why do I not shed the weight? This is what I have asked myself. Not even one single gram and I struggle immensely with this as of right now. Just today I wanted to stuff myself with something, nothing in particular just something, as I could feel the panic and resentment towards myself rising.
Why you idiot did you do this to yourself. You are a fucking idiot and loser. No one will ever love you as you are such a idiot and you will forever be shit.
On and on it goes.
But somewhere I am truly convinced that if I do not focus on losing weight, and I am focusing on creating a balance in life. I focus on making my bed. On removing toxicity in life, on being gentle with myself it will give the best result. It might take longer time but it will happen. If I really look at my eating habits, there are probably tweaks I can do. I probably do not do all the points above all the time resulting in me not feeling well about myself and either do not do as good work out, or eat something I should not. My mind resent myself sometimes, and by doing this we hang on to weight. I need to forgive and let go. If I work on loving myself and enjoying this journey it will result in something good.

My Fully Funded Emergency Fund!

As some might have understood by now, I think finances are a really important part of life.
I believe it is imperative to have my finances in order to be able to keep my emotions in check and therefore not do the emotional eating things I have going on.
I have struggled a great deal with my finances, and about 1.5 years ago I decided that enough was enough and decided to make changes for me to get some financial stability, stop living paycheck to paycheck and ultimately reach financial freedom. You can read more about it there.
Today I am celebrating a big milestone for myself.

My fully funded emergency fund!

What Is a Emergency Fund?

It seems like the word emergency fund has a different meaning for different people.
I will tell you what is my meaning for it.

The term “emergency fund” refers to money stashed away that people can use in times of financial distress.

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/e/emergency_fund.asp

At first, I thought of an emergency fund as monthly income and I just could not understand how I was going to save up to 4-6 months of monthly take-home pay, that would take me year to save up monthly take-home pays.
I have really left that notion and put different definition to the word.

Emergency means just that, it is an emergency. What do we do when in an emergency. We need to make sure that our basic needs are covered for. Not the extra charcuteries or nicer coffee.
For me I decided that these four things would be my base of my fund:

  • Housing
    • Food
    • School
    • Transport

I went thought my budget tracking for the past 6 months and looked what my cost had been for these categories were.
This amount is what I needed to save up to create my emergency fund.

Why Do You Need a Emergency Fund?

For me, emergency fund will not be used for leaving for vacation; buying clothes; getting a bike or whatever things you can imagine.
These are saved for in my sinking funds. Read about my sinking funds here.
Emergency fund is exactly for what is sounds like.

Emergencies.

Emergencies will come. That is the only thing I really know. Flatmate moving out; job getting canceled; health problems or something else unexpected happening.
These are the reasons I was so focused on getting the fund, funded. I have had quite a lot of emergencies happening to me and I have felt like one step from total disaster.
Money can not bring you happiness they say, but I am for sure more calm and happy with the knowledge that I have this money on my bank account.
I have gained such a calm knowing that I have what I need to live OK for 6 months without any other extra income.

6 Months. No other money coming in.

I struggled to live from one day to next, in the past. I am so relieved now. Such a weight lifted from my shoulders.
It also gives me a freedom to say NO. I do not need to say say anymore to everything that comes my way, workwise. I can pick in a different way, as I do not need it to survive today.
I am surviving already. I wish for everyone to have this feeling. I wish for everyone to have this security and the best thing is: if I can do it, anyone can.

Am I Done with My Financial Journey Now?

Not even a little bit.

I am a freelancer and that comes with benefits but as with everything also some drawbacks.
One of them is my pension. I will basically not have any, unless I work for it myself.
No state coming to rescue me.
I will need to work to get it myself and I am not planning to be a poor pensioner. I am not. I have done poor, and I am planning a different future.
As I am single, I will also need to have a look in the mirror regarding housing. I know I will not be able to rent, once I am a pensioner and I know I need to do something regarding that. For that I need money.

I am not only thinking about my future though. I really want other people to have it good, and I want to be able to give more than I am able to do now.
I want to work improving other single parents lives. I need to have enough to be able to give and share so that others who are not in the same situation can seek help somewhere.

I have plans and these includes money, so my financial journey has just begun.

Photo by Anna Nekrashevich on Pexels.com

January Review- My Way to Financial Independence

As mentioned several times before. Money has been a huge source of stress for me the for a long time.
This changed this past year.
I made a very conscious decision year and a half ago to change my situation and to work toward financial freedom. It has helped me tremendously!
From being a basket case whenever I have just been thinking about my financial situation, and the feeling of hopelessness to where I am today.
I can do this.

I have decided that I will reach independence and that is it. Not in a week. Not in a year. Not in 10 either. But I will. I will live safe and comfortable. Actually I already am. Budgeting had really helped me with that. I already chose what I want out of life and my budget is just helping me reaching it.

How I start and go about my budget


So at the beginning of my financial month I posted about the start. Let us now have a check how things actually went.

As I wrote I do not go filling in my budget as I go. For each income I receive, I spread them out in my budget and how I want to spend it.
Even if I know I will get the money, I do not add it into my budget as I have learned from the past, that even if you are expecting the money something might happen and it does not come.
So I only add it when I can see them deposited into my account.
Then I assign that money into my categories. I always pay my needs first, and once that is covered I cover my half needs and the last my wants.

Needs Vs wants and that odd half need
  1. Needs- The first I add money into. These are the expenses I need to pay to cover expenses which I cannot chose to pay or not.
    This is such as Rent. Phone. Health insurance. Social insurance.
    I cover these things absolutely first as then I know I am done. In worst case scenario I have at least roof over my head and if I get sick I can get well.
  2. Wants- These are the things I want to pay for. The things I do not need to cover my life but to add that little fun in life. The ones which makes life fun to live. These are things such as Clothes. Bags. Phones. Books.
    All the fun fun fun things.
  3. Half- needs- so what is this about then? Well these are the things that I might not have to do or maybe not always want to do but a little bit of them both at the same time.
    Food is not something I maybe want to do, neither is it something I maybe have to get either every month a lot of as I do have quite a big pantry and freezer.
    Savings are maybe not either something that I do want to do every single month, but I do it anyhow. Workout is the same. want tor need? A half need 🙂
savings- what i do to get rich

OK maybe it is not right now to be rich but for a future independence for sure. I try to manage it that way so I can save about 30% of my income. More than that is not really feasible as I do want to live as well. I enjoy to go for walk and have a coffee of a hot drink. That is all we can do, and I do not plan to skip it. unless I do not reach the 30%.
I did great this month with this, and my emergency fund is almost fully funded. I was able to put in some 10k(czk) into it and I am extremely happy.
House payment- which is for a down payment is still empty but I want to get my emergency fund full before I add into this category.
Sinking funds- Not really savings in the long term but more for the short term and this is not really into my financial independence but I somewhat count them in here anyhow. They help me live stress-free so anything that does that, goes for me.

the real independence building

This month was the first where I actually planned for and executed my new plan. I have officially started investing in stocks and signed up for a retirement plan. I know. I am 35 and I have had nothing like that.
The plan was to live for free in the flat we purchased in Bolivia and much further than that we did not come in our retirement plan. And anywho, that plan failed miserably. Finally did I feel I had enough of saved things and steady income to be able to really do something.

When is enough?

I am extremely happy with January- February result. So when is it enough? When will I feel independent and safe? I ask myself this very often.
I do not know. I am constantly scared that something will happen and I will be left living on my savings and then it is not long before it goes away.
Therefor am I looking into how to save more and better.
I have a number in my head, that when I reach this I can start relaxing and not stress out over losing work or how to survive.
It is 1 000 000 czk. Then maybe. I will aim for this. I need to work hard and be focused but I will reach it.
And now we erase this and start all over for Feb-March

What is your goal?

If I Skip It Once I Should Just Skip It Forever- Why?

This is me. In so many aspects of my life and it really frustrates me. I do not understand where it comes from and why I have it. It is not procrastination, as I do have issue with that as well.
So what am I talking about?

I am on a roll. It can be whatever. Exercise, writing, reading, learning.
Now lately it was this- writing.
I said to myself that I want to have a plan of creating a post every 3 days. I think it is the track I can follow. I think that making more post a week will water down the blog. I will not try to make nice writing, make some sense in my writing, and I will be just stressed by it. I do this for fun and love of writing and not because I want fame or money.
I do want people to read, as I honestly think people can benefit from my words. But that is the point.

So every 3 days, to keep some track and so readers feels that it is enough of post coming and knowing that there is something new coming up.
It makes sense.

What happened to the plan?

Nothing. And this is what happened. It was not procrastination.
The definition of it is this:
Trouble persuading yourself to do the things you should do or would like to do. When you procrastinate, instead of working on important, meaningful tasks, you find yourself performing trivial activities.

I have read about it over there : What is Procrastination And it is not what I did.

So came the day of posting my blog. I had it planned. I had a topic, I had photos I had the text done in my head. It was just to write it. It was not that I did something else instead. It was just a busy busy day.
I am single mom, in a lockdown pandemic and I do have a lot to do. So Tuesday last week came and it went.
And that is the problem.
I did not do it due to procrastination, I did it due to life. Life came in the way and I had no time.

The Voice in my head then goes like

You will not have time tomorrow either. It will be really busy and you have too much to do anyhow. The day after that as well. And then Friday comes and you have a plan already then and you will not fit this blogpost in. There is no time. And then it has already been 6 days since the last post, and then you have ruined your plan of blogging every 3rd day.
People will not be interested in someone who is wishy washy with their publications. So then it makes no sense writing one and it is better to just skip it all together.

This is not just about blogging.

It is about everything.

  • I skip my language learning for 1 day and I feel it is pointless to even do it the next day, as I have failed myself once and now it is all ruined.
  • I do not do my exercise for 1 day and the same story again.
  • Not eating right, guess what? I do not need to do it again as I ruined it for ONE FING day.
Photo by Alexas Fotos on Pexels.com
this is not working anymore

In the past I have maybe been comforted by this. So this has might been helpful for me in the past, as I felt overwhelmed by life and I was trying so many things and struggling to get anything of the table so it was a helpful habit. Negative but actually still helpful.
I did not really want to grow. That is the only idea I have about it.
– Why else?

The things is though. I really want to grow now. I have a urge and ambition to go somewhere in life. Not professionally but personally. I want to become better and evolve. I have this feeling of being stuck as the same persona and I need to move on.
This habit is really not working for me anymore. It is so engraved in me though, that it is extremely hard to change. As I do not know what it is. It destroys so much in its way. It leaves me so unproductive and almost lethargic.
It frustrates the hell out of me. I want to go somewhere in life. I have plan in action and retrospectives and reviewing what I am doing. Daily planning etc etc.
So why do I feel that if I ship it once, I should just keep skipping it?

Why do I reinforce this? What do I keep on feeding myself this stupid stupid idea?

Moving forward?

I do not know. I am happy I did write this post, as in my head I had abandoned this blog and it was a story of the past.
As so many times before.
As I mentioned before, this is not my first blog rodeo and the mentioned reason has been the only reason why I have stopped in the past. Nothing else.
Failing my language learning has only been due to this. I have been over it for ages already but I just do not seem to change it on a profound level and I do not know what to do.

All I know it just has to change.