My August monthly challenge in my Spark Planner was to practice mindful eating. This is something I’ve read about in the recovery books I’ve been reading and it sounded like the perfect challenge for me to try. I know that when I’m not eating correctly, I am eating mindlessly. So mindful eating seemed like the ideal thing to work on.
I’ll admit that this challenge was not 100% successful like all the past ones were. I knew this was going to happen eventually but it doesn’t make it easier on me. I like to be perfect and I know that it can’t always happen. Ironically, the recovery book I was reading for most of August did discuss perfectionism and the relationship between that and eating disorders so that did help me a bit. I know that being perfect is part of the reason why recovery is tough for me to achieve and that’s why I’m glad I struggled with this challenge.
I set an alarm to go off every day around 6pm to remind me to practice mindfulness before dinner. I don’t always eat at 6pm, but I usually don’t eat before then so it seemed like a good time to have the alarm go off. I could always ask it to go off again later to remind me to be mindful when it was closer to when I would be eating. The thing was, sometimes I’d remember and sometimes I’d forget even with the alarm. And sometimes I’d remember once I started eating and then the perfectionist in me said it was too late and I couldn’t practice mindfulness mid-meal.
I was getting better toward the end of the month, but it still wasn’t what I was hoping for. I really thought I could jump in headfirst like I have with all my other challenges and it would come easily to me as a new habit. I’m not sure why this one was difficult, but it was and it’s something I have to accept. I know that when things get hard for me I sometimes will just give up and think it’s not for me, but I’m not doing this now. I’m going to continue to try to practice mindfulness and hopefully one day it will be just as easy as remembering to track food, weigh in, read my recovery books, and all the other challenges I’ve done.
Since the August challenge ended up being tough for me, I’ve decided to pick another tough one for me for September. I’ve been trying to get into yoga more often lately. I know it’s good for me and my hips and it will also help me with my meditation and mindfulness eating. I’ve tried to set weekly goals to do yoga once a week, but it’s too easy to keep putting it off until the week is over and I missed the goal. So I’m setting a yoga challenge for September.
As much as I’d like to say that I want to do one online yoga class (I have an app on my iPad that I like), I know that it is not something that is likely to be done and the perfectionist in me will give up if I forget too often. So I’m setting the challenge to be a small one that I can hopefully build up over time.
This time, for my monthly challenge, I’d like to do at least 1 yoga pose a day. This is totally doable for me and even if it is bedtime and I’ve forgotten to do it I still will be able to do so. One pose a day isn’t a lot, but I think that it may help me to build my way up to having a more regular yoga practice and I’m guessing that on several of the days I will do a short class from the app instead of just one pose.
As the year is winding down, I have just a few more monthly challenges to go for 2016. I have ever intention of getting a Spark Planner for next year so I know the challenges are going to continue. And since I’ve had my first “failure” at a perfect monthly challenge, I think now I will be more open to doing challenges that may seem impossible because I won’t be as scared of failure as I was before.