Tuesday, June 26:  I just discovered a new challenge from Marge Katherine at Inside Out Cafe.  Her blog is called Inside Out Cafe because her “inside thoughts show up in [her] outer world and [her] outside activities influence [her] inner thoughts.”

She set a challenge called The No Comfort Zone Weekly Challenge. I really like the idea of this. She writes:

  • Once a week in 2012 plan to do something out of the ordinary and blog about it each week.
  • These things don’t have to be earth shattering but they have to be different from your ordinary course of action.

    the gym at the Falaj Daris

“Whether you decide to take a different route home, listen to country music instead of rock and roll,  read a book by a new author, drink a new type of wine or work on a crossword puzzle, visit a new website, increases your daily steps, try a different workout routine, listen to new singer, try a new food, attend a poetry reading or WHATEVER …. do it and share it on your blog!”

This idea reminds me of a book I read a while back: Do One Thing Different: Ten Simple Ways to Change Your Life by Bill O’Hanlon.  The review on Amazon.com says: “The theory behind the title of this book is solution-oriented therapy. Rather than probing the past and analyzing causes and effects of psychological problems and troubles, therapist O’Hanlon advises making changes in behavior in the present in order to feel better sooner rather than later. Using 10 “solution keys,” he challenges readers to focus on the here and now and adjust behavior to change the situation. The author uses plenty of examples to show solution-oriented therapy in action. There is something to be said for taking action in times of trouble rather than wallowing in the many negative feelings that arise.”

Well, it’s not exactly the same, but anyway, it’s just my cup of tea.  I read another book by writer Julia Cameron: The Artist’s Way, that encouraged me to take artist’s “dates,” to plan an outing each week to nurture my artistic and creative self.  I love this idea and try to do this anyway in my daily life, ever since I read this fabulous book in 2000!

So, my No Comfort Zone action for this week was to sign up for fitness on a website I heard about on Facebook: My Fitness Pal.  On this website, you can write down everything you eat, and the calories are calculated. You also keep track of your daily exercise. The only weight loss plans that have worked successfully for me in the past have been ones where I’ve written down everything I eat.  So today, I signed up for this, in hopes of slowly changing my bad eating habits to good ones.

run, lift, walk, ride, sit-up!!

On Thursday I paid 30 rials for a membership at the Falaj Daris Hotel in Firq, which has the only exercise room in the vicinity of my house.  Now I can go every day if I want, and then relax poolside afterwards.

the falaj daris hotel pool

So, wish me luck!  Hopefully between being aware of everything I put in my mouth, exercising more regularly, and being held accountable to myself, I will be able to get in better shape and fit into my clothes more comfortably.  Here’s to trying new small things.

refreshing relief after exercise