Friday, April 12, 2019

30 Days of Self-Improvement • April Challenge • Update 2

We're already well into April, so I thought this would be a good time to provide another update on my 30 days of self improvement. In the month of April, my challenge will involve waking up at 5am and eating no processed junk food for the entire month (I'm playfully dubbing this challenge 5AM+NPJF for "simplicity"). By doing this challenge, I'm hoping to see positive results in my energy levels, motivation, and productivity.

Waking up early
I've been doing reasonably well with waking up at 5am. I felt like I cheated a bit in the first few days -- I would wake up and turn off my alarm, but I would then stay in bed and "meditate." Truth be told, my "meditation" essentially functioned as a snooze. With that realization, I started trying to get out of bed once my alarm went off, and I was successful twice in the first week. On most other days, I would roll out of bed between 5am and 5:30am. There were only two days when I missed the 5am hour completely -- on Saturday morning, I got up at around 6am, and on Sunday morning, I didn't bother trying to wake up within a reasonable hour at all as we went to bed at around 3am the night before. I value and prioritize my sleep, so I try to get around 7 or 7.5 hours per night.

Stopping the purchase and consumption of processed junk food
I'm still doing very well in terms of processed junk food. For the purposes of this challenge, processed junk food includes potato chips, bagged popcorn, chocolate bars, candy, rice cakes, tortilla chips, cookies, etc.—basically anything that comes in a box or bag that you would keep in your pantry and consume as a snack. I’m still going to be eating bread, cheese, yogurt, crackers (e.g., with my goat cheese appetizer), etc. If you are planning to take on this challenge, please feel free to set your own rules! I initially thought this shift in my diet was contributing to higher energy levels and better skin. I do still believe this, but my time of the month came this week, and with it came lots of fun symptoms. Yesterday was the worst day for me since starting this challenge -- I felt physically exhausted and emotionally drained... and I got some bad breakouts to boot. Part of me even started craving chocolate bars and potato chips -- the first time I've felt this way throughout the challenge. Thankfully, I'm feeling much better today!

Daily updates will be posted via Instagram stories @Authenblissity. I’ll also be posting periodic updates and standalone videos (on topics related to waking up and healthy eating) on YouTube.

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