With July being over already (it really just flew by!), it’s time to recap my July monthly challenge. This time, my challenge was to read 10 pages of an eating disorder recovery book every day. I set this as a challenge because I’ve been having trouble finishing any recovery books and I thought breaking it into smaller chunks would help.
I’ll admit, this challenge got off to a rocky start. Since I do almost all my reading on my Kindle, I was finding it tough to switch between the recovery book and whatever fun book I happen to be reading at the time. Fortunately I solved this problem pretty quickly. I have my fun book reading on my Kindle, and my recovery book is read every day on my iPhone on the Kindle app. I don’t love reading on my phone for too long, but this works for the 10 pages I read (which usually only takes a few minutes).
There were a couple of days where my 10 pages were done at almost midnight, but I did set an alarm on my phone right around when I go to bed to remind myself to read my pages. Most days, I ended up doing my reading right before of after dinner so I got them done pretty early. And even though I knew I could read more than 10 pages a day, I didn’t want to get myself burned out like I have in the past so I tried to keep myself to that limit (I went over a bit when I was close to the end of a section or chapter).
By reading my 10 pages a day, I got one book finished and I’m about halfway through another one. I have several recovery books that I’ve purchased over the years on my Kindle, so I’ve got a ton of options for future reading. And since it seems to take me about 3 weeks to read a book this way, I could also get Kindle books from the library (the e-book rental period is 3 weeks so it would be cutting it close). I’m not going to worry about my book choices until I read everything I already own, and that’s going to take me a while.
Just like all my previous monthly challenges, I plan on continuing this one. It’s a good habit to be in and I don’t see how I could have anything but positive results. And because of my reading, I was inspired for my August challenge.
This month, I challenge myself to start practicing mindful eating. This is something that I read about in one of the books I read and I know it will be a challenge for me. While many people who practice mindful eating pray or say grace before eating to get into a mindful mentality, since I’m not religious that’s not really going to work for me.
Instead, I’m going to use the self-meditation timer on the meditation app I’ve been using for my daily mediations (my June monthly challenge that I’ve kept up). I can set the self-meditation timer to be as short as 1 minute so I don’t have to worry about it being too long. Eventually I’d like to be at a point where I am practicing mindful eating before every meal, but I know I need to ease into this. So I’m setting a goal to practice mindful eating for at least 1 meal a day.
This isn’t going to be easy for me. For my first day, I struggled to even try to do this before most of my meals. I was able to do it before dinner, but I had to force myself and it felt like the least natural monthly challenge I’ve given myself. I know this will be a good thing and I need to be pushed to do this, but I hate feeling like this is tough. I don’t give up easily that often, but when I’m really struggling it can feel useless. I even debated changing the monthly challenge but that’s the moment I knew I needed to do this. If I wanted to give up, that meant it was a good challenge that was pushing me to a new place and that’s the entire point of this.
I’ve got a couple of ideas for the monthly challenges for the rest of the year, but I also have to see what inspires me along the way to do. I have a lot of things I want to accomplish this year and I feel like I’m making some great strides toward all my goals. I love how successful this year has been so far and I just keep reminding myself in my down days that overall I’ve been doing so much better than before.