August Update

augustupdate

For the sake of keeping you all updated, and giving you a chance to become involved, I decided to update you guys on a goal that I am setting for myself starting tomorrow.

  • 15lbs of sugar a year.
  • 25+ KB Increase Challenge
  • 500 jump rope rotations daily.
  • Preparing for my “home school year”.
  • Writing out the Bible.

15lbs of Sugar a Year

I believe what most people lack in their diets right now is balance. Folks tend to go and demonize certain foods, swearing that it’s detrimental to ones health. I prefer to take a more gentler stance and recommend that one incorporates balance into their diet.

One hot topic is sugar. Processed, refined, granulated sugar. Most swear it is a poison, closely related to cocaine. It’s the #1 addiction among Americans today. (Only in America. Everywhere else is better.) I could list all the major health problems that are caused by sugar, but I’ll just summarize it all using one word: Death. I mean, cancerous tumors feed on that stuff!

While I do understand that sugar can cause health problems, I believe it’s due to the lack of moderation. I agree that there are better forms of sugar than the white processed kind. But I’m not going to associate it with hard drugs and be convinced that sugar is the cause of all major health problems in America.

I normally hear the comparison between modern day America to the past when it comes to sugar consumption. In the 1700’s, on average, people would consume about 4lbs of sugar a year. The following century the number tripled. The century after that  it quadrupled. Now in the 2000s, the previous number doubled. (Figure those numbers out, homeschoolers.) It is reported that we consume about 152 pounds of sugar a year.

In “Laura Ingalls Wilders days”, American’s supposedly consumed an average of 15lbs of sugar a year. I believe this greatly depended on where you lived at the time and how well off your family was. (Compare Laura’s family to her future husband Almanzo’s family in “Farmers Boy”, for example.)

As far as my personal health goes, I know I would benefit from cutting out refined sugar. It is hard to do so, considering it’s in almost everything we eat now, so I do want to allow myself some leeway so I can avoid stress. (Something most health nuts suffer from.) I figured 15lbs is a good number to aim for. Perhaps I may never reach it, but I think it’s a good goal.

According to my calculations B), 15lbs of sugar would allow me to have 28 cups of sugar a month; about half a cup a week; and about two tablespoons a day.

That is not a whole lot when you really think about it, lol.

I’m going to start slow. I’m going to take it one step at a time. I’ll just have to practice saying “No.” and go for the alternatives. (I really don’t mind the alternatives, and normally prefer them. However, I do tend to cave into peer pressure when it comes to food, unfortunately.)

This also plays into my year goal of becoming more disciplined. I’m hoping this will also benefit my health.

I will still consume sugars like honey, maple syrup, molasses, juices (limited), herbal sweeteners like stevia, etc. Those all have health benefits to them, compared to refined sugar. I’ll still practice moderation with them, though. (Philemon 4:5)

25+ KB Swing Increase Challenge

This is a challenge I saw on Instagram (credit goes to “braintancho” under the #kbchallenge tag) and I thought it would fit in quite well along with my jump rope challenge, which will be explained below.

You start off with 25 KB swings, and each day increase by 25. After five days, you have a rest day. (Monday-Friday, Saturday Rest. Repeat starting Sunday. Sunday-Thursday, Friday rest. Repeat starting Saturday. ETC.)

It would look something like this:

Day 1: 100

Day 2: 125

Day 3: 150

Day 4: 175

Day 5: 200

Day 6: Rest

Day 7: 250 (or start again at 200)

I plan on doing as many swings as I can comfortably the first day, and create that as my starting point. Then I will increase by 25 each day. I plan on breaking them down into different sets, to make the work a little more manageable. ex. 4 reps of 25 swings to have a total of 100 swings.

A couple of months ago, I participated in the kettlebell challenge hosted by the blogger CheeseSlave. I really enjoyed it. It was really hard at first, but I definitely reaped the benefits once the challenge was over. I was stronger; I had more stamina; and I felt better and healthier. I have since then stopped working with my KB, and have noticed a drastic difference. I feel much weaker; I don’t feel as good physically; and I have lost all my stamina I previously earned. I hope to try and use my KB more regularly, starting with this challenge. (Discipline.)

One reason why I stopped using my KB so much was that I became much too comfortable with the weight I have; 15lbs. But I have plans on purchasing a 25lb weight. So I may follow this challenge with the 15lber, then start over, or gently ease myself into it again using the 25lber.

I am definitely looking forward to this. I love kettlebells.

500 Jump Rope Rotations Daily

A few months ago, I read a book called “The Perfect Exercise” by Curtis Mitchell*. I can’t remember where I originally picked it up, but I believe it was at our local library book sale. It seemed interesting, but kind of goofy. I thought if it wasn’t any good, it might make a good gag gift.

To summarize the book, Curtis Mitchell explains that jump roping is the perfect exercise. It works your whole body, but is specifically mentioned to be good for heart health.

“It is fun. It is easy. It is convenient. It can be done indoors or out. It is inexpensive. It can be done alone. It saves time. It strengthens the heart. It helps reduce overweight. It helps improves your skill at sports. It reduces nervousness. It banishes fatigue. It increases endurance. It is self-limiting; no danger of overdoing. It is a natural exercise.”

In the book he explains that a Dr. Rodahl performed an experiment on a group of women, ages between 19-42 years old. Their previous activities included hospital duties, housework, and walking to the bus. They were instructed to jump rope for five minutes a day, five times each week, for four weeks. He recorded their pulse rate during the first week, and by the last week their pulse had lowered. “Statistically speaking, his rope-skipping workers had increased their average fitness by a huge 25%.” (Chapter 1, pg. 21) (He also had a group of women with similar ages and background who did not jump rope and recorded their pulse rate. There was no pulse rate improvement for them.)

I decided to try my own personal experiment. I followed a program within his book that has you start off at 25 rotations and increase 25 rotations each day. I did this for a couple weeks. The first few days were hard. Real hard. I mean, if you want to know where your body is at physically, just jump rope. It’s a humbling experience. But after a while, I started to jump rope daily with ease.

Compared to KB, I noticed that I developed better stamina at a faster rate. I felt really good when jump roping, and felt a difference. I developed a love for jump roping similar to that with kettlebell. (Mostly due to the results.)

Though once again, I stopped. And now I can barely jump rope to 50 rotations.

I am picking it up again, and hope to stick with it. My goal is to meet 500 rotations when jump roping with ease. Not too sure if that’s realistic, but I’m going to try. I think it’d be a good warm up before doing KB.

*I cannot recommend Curtis Mitchell’s book since I do not agree with everything within his book, nor do I know how accurate the information within the book is. I do appreciate the general information of jump roping, his different programs and exercises that are included.

Preparing for my “Home School” Year

I’m not too sure how to say this, but I’m going to school myself, starting this fall, giving myself a “home school” year. All in a life learner fashion.

When I look at years past, I feel that I have wasted a lot of time. (I think we all do, to a point.) I never really took much initiative over my education. Yes, I did read a lot, and actively did research, but not to my full capacity.

I would like to increase my knowledge in several areas, such as history. I would also like to better my reading, writing, and comprehension skills; to become more confident and more skilled in math; develop better discipline; give myself more experience at planning a schedule and following one. I want to do all of this for the Lord, that I might be able to work better for Him.

This might seem completely silly, but I feel like this is something I should do. It won’t be a “real” homeschool experience. I mean, I have been homeschooled. I’m “graduated”. I won’t have the regular schedule when I “do school”. But I will have goals, books to read, things to write, etc. (Have I mentioned that I want to form better discipline in myself?)

I have a few books that I hope to use for any possible future children, and I have a method in mind to use for homeschooling. I’d like to practice it, in a way, and apply it to myself. I figure now is the time to do so.

The method I am talking about is the Charlotte Mason method. I have become very fond of it. It is very friendly, in my eyes, and works very well from what I can tell. I already naturally apply some of Charlotte Mason’s methods to myself, which is what initially attracted me to it. It makes sense, and encourages the love of learning, and the motivation and self-discipline to do so. These are all things I hope to instill in my children, those around me, and myself.

(I know I have spoken in the past of my support for unschooling, or perhaps you’ve heard somewhere. I still do, and I hope to explain this in better detail soon.)

I turn 21 next June. I have finished school, but I have had no official graduation party or ceremony. Nor do I have a diploma. (We’ve never gotten around to printing one.) I think this is the perfect time to tie up some loose ends that I have, and wrap it up on my 21st birthday.

I hope to keep you all updated on what I am learning, what I am using, how everything is progressing, and my thoughts on it all.

Writing Out the Bible

“And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them: That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.” Deuteronomy 18:18-20

Part of a Charlotte Mason education is copy work. You give the child a sentence, poem, verse, or selection from a book to copy, word for word. Through copy work, a child learns spelling, handwriting, grammar, and punctuation. It also aides in memorizing and comprehension.

In the past I have written down different Bible verses to help aid my understanding of them and to memorize them. I’ve also copied different poems, quotations, and song lyrics into my journal. It became a regular habit for me, and I learned to really enjoy and appreciate it.

With my plans with this “home school year”, I thought it’d be a good idea to regularly incorporate copywork into my routine. And why not start with the Bible?

With Deuteronomy 17:18-20 as my inspiration, I plan to start with the book of Proverbs.

“To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion. A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

Proverbs 1:2-7

When looking for a book to write my copy work in, I found a product called Journibles, who use Deuteronomy 17:18 as the basis for their product. You write the scripture out on the right hand side of the journal, and the left side is used for notes. I wasn’t too impressed, and decided to stick with an art journal that I was originally going to use as a sketch book. The cover can be decorated (plain cloth cover), so once I get better with my sketches, I hope to decorate it.

I encourage you to prayerfully consider incorporated copy work of scripture into your life. It has helped me in the past, and I believe that I will benefit from this practice greatly.

Those are my goals starting tomorrow! I normally do not actively plan a new start each month; it tends to just happen that way. Works out good for the calendar!

Like I said, I hope to keep you all updated on my progress. Feel free to join in with me with whatever strikes your interest, and keep in touch.

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