Fitness Leisure Reading Recipes Travel

When Less is More

If you’re a gym person, or in fact a person who gets any physical activity at all, you know the gyms and walking trails are pretty lonely places to be in December.  But in January!  Your favorite machine is taken by some lumpy, grumpy stranger and the walking trails are full of people huffing along while the rest of us are trying to get around them.  But, not to worry, by Valentine’s Day, the New Year’s resolution people are back at home and your favorite spot is yours again.

A couple things threw me off goal…

Anyone who has taken college Economics or has been to a business seminar knows about the 80/20 Rule or the Pareto Principle.  It is the law of the vital few and trivial many that has been around since the turn of the last century.  Applying this law means to keep focused on the few and not on the trivial because that’s where the biggest impact lies.  Simply, 80% of results are from 20% of the effort. 

I actually use the inverse of this law to focus on my self-care.  My principle is that I’m goal focused 80% of the time, then that creates who I am and what I look and feel like.  If I splurge and go off track 20% of the time, the effect is pretty low.  This approach has worked for me for the past 30 years, so I’m sticking with it.

The only teensy weensy problem here is that subsequent studies show that the principle is exponential.  Meaning that within the 20%, there is another top 20%, so 4% overall.  I’m not going to do all those calculations, but you can see small changes can mean big changes to the overall.  For example, if I have a budget of 400 calories a day for chocolate, but end up spending an additional 100 calories a day with no other change to offset it, wowza!  I have just made an exponential change that is going to have a large and negative impact on my goals. 

It’s not just the tight clothes I feel bad about either.  My joints are achy, I have crazy food cravings, my energy and exercise is off, and lord knows what it’s doing to my autoimmune system.  And to be honest, those small strays can leave me feeling pretty awful. 

Keeping this in mind, I’m going to try to tell myself that a little extra WILL, in fact, be hurtful and to keep myself in line.  I no longer exercise or diet like a crazy person, but I do want to be reasonable and healthy.

If you didn’t stick to your normal routine over the holidays, it doesn’t have to be a show-stopping disaster.  Take heart and get back at it!

If you don’t have an exercise routine, can I just encourage you to move a bit more?  You may not see results to post on Pinterest, but your health will love you for it.

What I’m Reading

I read all 500 pages of This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger in a day and a half.  It was one of those books I didn’t want to stop reading but I didn’t want to end either.  I LOVED it.  It was a beautiful story written beautifully with interesting, engaging and likable characters.  It’s historical fiction (taking place during the Great Depression) but it’s also timeless.  It’s mysterious and supernatural and spiritual.  Good lord almighty, you could not check off more boxes of what I love in life unless there was a vampire in it.

On audio I listened to Big Red Tequila by Rick Riordan.  Riordan is the author of the YA Percy Jackson books which have been made into movies.  This book is the beginning of a mystery series featuring Tres Navarre and is very much NOT for YA.  I really did like it.  It was fast paced, funny, gritty and violent without being gross.

What I’m Eating

Eating has continued to be a big challenge for me since going on the SIBO Low Fodmap elimination diet.  Finding what I am supposed to eat and then liking it are two different things.  Then getting enough vegetables in is another problem because I’m used to eating raw, and not cooked, vegetables.  We have eaten out quite a bit recently, and when I tell the wait person I need some help because I’m on an elimination diet, they have all been so nice and accommodating and made me feel like I’m not a nutcase.

 I made this hybrid tabbouleh and arugula salad and it was more up my alley than meat and rice.  It really is a pretty salad too.  Here is what I did:

Tabbouleh Arugula Salad

Tabbouleh and arugula salad
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 green onion top only (no white)
  • ¼ cup chopped red and yellow bell pepper
  • ½ cup chopped tomato
  • ¼ cup diced cucumber
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 – 2 cups of arugula

Toss all ingredients together and refrigerate a few hours to overnight to let flavors meld.

What I’m Doing

We are doing a few things around the house that really excite me.  First of all, when I retired in April, we gave away the desk and reconfigured our office for just the hub’s use.  Now I’m back at work, I wanted a different solution.  I moved into the small guest room and hub found a beautiful and sturdy new desk at a good price from –drum roll, please – Costco. 

New desk

A trip to Costco also means bringing home the groceries in a box.  Roxy cannot even wait for the box to be unloaded before she crawls into it.  Her favorite day for sure. Can you imagine the joy she found in helping her dad assemble the new closet?

Roxy helping with construction

I ordered this new budget-friendly indoor/outdoor rug from Amazon.  Amazon cancelled my affiliate account so I cannot link the purchase, but let me say this Orion rug is beautiful.  For those who have seen me in action in the kitchen, the white might make you a little skeptical, but I think it will be okay.  This is my second Orion rug.  I ordered the first for my bedroom where the cats occasionally upchuck and that has cleaned up just fine.  We’ll see, but Day #1 looks great.

Orion Runner

We met with a closet designer at The Container Store to take advantage of their 30% off Elfa sale.  We bought a system for my bedroom closet.  I in no way needed more space, but I needed to have a better solution for accessing my folded clothes.  I have been using a mishmash of old dressers and was constantly refolding my clothes and really have no idea some of the clothes I have.  The designer spent about an hour with us discussing the space, my goals and our budget.  We declined the installation service and hub has installed himself, including demo of the existing shelves.  He’s a fast worker and I’m really excited for my new space. 

Loading up the new closet space

Sunday we went with DFs Barb and Stu and Denisse and saw Million Dollar Quartet, a musical based on a true story of a day at Sun Records when Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash were all together.  It was such fun music and I couldn’t help thinking the entire time how much my mom and dad would have loved it.  I guess Jerry Lee is the only living member of the quartet.  Nostalgia is sweet, but sad.

The weather finally turned decent and we took a four-wheel drive through the Castle Hot Springs area of the Bradshaw Mountains.  It’s strikingly beautiful but I’m not used to four-wheeling and was really glad when it was over.

Castle Hot Springs Resort

I pray your New Year is starting off with a bang and maybe a little walk….