Friday, July 24, 2009

Small victories

I’ve had a really great week. I’ve worked out 3 times, got up at 7ish (almost) every day and revised 12 pages of Qur’an (which is less than I would like, but that’s just me being too hard on myself). I wanted to do way more, but I had to remind myself that the only way I’m going to improve is by taking baby steps. I’m the kind of person who wants to change overnight, so I take too much on board, then I can’t maintain all the changes I’ve made, so I start to slack off, eventually quitting and feeling like a total failure. This last week, however, may just turn out to be the fresh start that I was hoping it would be. I’m feeling very positive – I’m just so proud of myself for actually getting up early!

I’ve also been keeping a food diary (although not counting calories just yet – I don’t want to depress myself with how much I’m overeating, as I’d just throw in the towel if I did) which has been quite an education. I’ve finally discovered the importance of a mid-morning snack, something I’d never understood before, mainly because I always got up late and therefore had breakfast mid-morning, doing away with the need for a snack. This week, however, I found that if I didn’t eat a snack I wound up eating twice as much for lunch. (Once the food’s made I really cannot stop myself eating more.) Something else I’ve learned from writing a food diary is that when I eat late at night, I get up in the mother of bad moods the next day, and I find it really hard to drag myself out of bed. I know this isn’t true of everybody, but I just can’t afford to eat late at night. My cut off time is 7-8pm, before then I’m fine.

I’ve also learned that, so long as I take a nap (40 minutes to an hour will do), I can manage on just 4 to 6 hours of sleep a night. That has been a revelation. What have I done with all the extra time? Zilch, really. I’m re-reading the Lord of the Rings and that’s about it. But boy, am I enjoying doing nothing.

Although, if I’m honest (which I will be), I think the reason that I’m only working on these three areas (sleep, Qur’an and exercise) is that in a week’s time I shall be going on holiday for a couple of weeks, then when I get back I’ll have about another week before it’s Ramadan, and, realistically, I have little actual hope that I will maintain these (or any) new changes during either my holiday or Ramadan.

However, a small part of me is secretly rooting for me to succeed with these particular changes right through these times. We’ll see.

For this coming week I intend to improve on my current little achievements, as I feel that the fact that I’m going away is no reason for me not to do so. That and the fact that I’ve really enjoyed the feeling of accomplishment this week and I want more! So, I’m intending to workout 5 or 6 days this week (I’d love to say 7, but I know that that would just be setting me up for failure), revise 28 pages of Qur’an, continue to get up at 7am, and to eat better (i.e. watch my portions, eat regularly and eat before 8pm).

I’ve got Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred, which everyone seems to be raving about (seriously, I’ve seen it praised up on so many blogs and websites it’s ridiculous) and that’s what I’ll be working on this week. I’m just going to get used to the moves, is what I’m telling myself. I’ll start it properly when I start eating right and have 30 days continuously at home. Do I sound like I’m procrastinating?

Friday, July 17, 2009


I came back yesterday from spending a couple of days at my grandmother’s place, where I took some of my younger siblings. I took them down to the beach, to a toy shop and let them stuff their faces with ice cream more than was probably healthy. Needless to say, they loved it. Plus, it was nice to spend some time with my gran and two aunts who were also there.

I came back a bit bored and with the realisation that in order to get more done in my life and actually achieve anything I’m going to have to do two things:

1) Develop a routine. The truth is: I’m scared of routines. I’m always afraid that if I get into a routine it’ll become routine – mindless and monotonous. I know (logically) that this wouldn’t be the case if the routine involved things I love (like exercising, reading, revising Qur’an) and that it would give me a sense of accomplishment every day.

2) Get up early. Every. Single. Day. I like the idea of being able to role out of bed at whatever hour pleases me and get everything I need done, but the reality is I get up too late to get anything done, never mind everything.

So, this week I intend to get up earlier, exercise 3 times (at least) and revise 10 pages of Qur’an. There are loads of other things I intend to do this week, but they’re all kinda mundane, like: finish the spring cleaning, decide on my next knitting project, upload photos to photobucket, blah, blah, blah.

My major tasks (read: time eaters) for this week are to stop by uni one day regarding some paperwork, go visit some family friends who’ve recently moved and I’ve also promised to take my little brothers for a day out buying DVDs. So if I can keep to my little routine I will be very impressed with myself.

Of course, whether or not the routine will last when I go on holiday in two weeks time (I’m guessing not) or even during Ramadan, which is little over a month away, remains to be seen.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Today was a friend's leaving do. She's going away to live in Egypt next week, so I won't be seeing her for a long time. Not that I used to see much of her before anyway. In fact, since we met about a year and a half ago, I don't think I've ever seen her since. And her phone wasn't working, and I don't have her email address, so I've had no contact with her since then. And yet, she's my friend. And I will always consider her to be my friend, because she's someone that I really like, I feel like I can be myself with her and because I just felt like I clicked with her. I like people like that.

I also met a load of new people. I'd heard of most of these new people from the net (from my mum's net-use) and it was nice to actually find out what they're really like.

And there were a load of people there that I know, including one whom I have not seen for years. Seriously, it's been like a decade. When I last saw her she was newly wed. Now, she has four kids. Some change, huh?

Friday, July 3, 2009


I've been blogging in my head for two days now. I've mentally written really witty, intellectual, deep, complaining and uplifting blogposts. None of which i can recall now.

I've got back into my knitting, again, and I'm really happy with my progress. I'm making a pair of booties (actually, I've already made them) and a beanie hat for my cousin's baby who is due to arrive in this world sometime in October.

I'm nearly finished this years marathon annual clean - I've been working in two hour stints on-and-off for about a month now, so it's high time I finish up. I consider this my favour to my mum for doing hardly anything during exam and research time at uni. Can't wait till I'm finally done though.

I've started to go to Islamic study circles once a week in a mosque, but they've been cancelled for the next two weeks, so that's that.

I've started revising my Qur'an: 5 pages a few times a week. Usually done whilst sitting on the terrace working on my tan - I love to multitask! So far I've revised 30pages, which is pretty good, I think. I'll probably have to reduce it when I get to parts that I've forgotten more than where I am now, but that'll be ok.

I intend (hah!) to start my exercise routine tomorrow. It will go hand in hand with waking up early. Mmmmm, we'll have to see about that one.

With regards to the whole marriage thing, I found this on icanread.

And with that I've finally learnt how to link to another page and stick in an image. It was really hard, not. So now I feel a little bit stupid that I didn't do this before, but still glad that I finally got it done. ;)