2015 Mid-Year Review – Virtue of Beauty: Body

2015 Mid-Year Review – Virtue of Beauty: Body
2015 mid-year review body
Dressed for flu season

Six months in, it’s time for the June 2015 Review – Virtue of Beauty: Body. Recap: I started Project Worthwhile Life around eight months ago with the primary goal of flourishing, supported by my household.  This was revised to become the virtue of beauty: the pursuit of excellence in aesthetics. This means that we are well overdue a six monthly review of the 12-month project (until the next transplantiversary), so I think it’s past time to review how I’m going.

My plan for my body was to take care of it through diet, exercise and taking my medication. Ironically the picture of me was taken on a ferry near exotic summery Portofino (Italy), with a cold, blowing my nose. As I sit here in not quite so exotic wintery Melbourne, I have the tail end of that cold I have been whining about and I’m blowing my nose.  Thank goodness for MooGoo’s Udder Cream.

The draft plan that looked like this:

focus12 month goalactivities
bodyWeight ≤62kg
  • eliminate processed foods so far as possible
  • eat wild fish and grass fed meat
  • eat a wide variety of colourful fruit and vegetables
  • eat more slowly and chew more thoroughly
  • drink water
  • research other diet and lifestyle changes
  • start clinical pilates and yoga classes
  • walk daily
  • research weight training
  • get up early and go to bed when tired

And this is where I have got to.


I’m smiling a little cynically here.

I mentioned that I would be guided by my medical team, following their recommendation of weighing 62kg, moving more and eating less, assisted by a daily glass of red wine and a small piece of dark chocolate. Though I acknowledged that losing weight would be hard because my drugs make me hungry and make it easier to put weight on than take it off. I later revised my goal weight down to 61kg, to take account of clothes etc. at hospital weigh-ins. And added complications with weekly weight loss and exercise targets, none of which I have achieved.

My last weigh in was 65.5kg, but [insert the excuse(s) of your choice here].


I expressed the opinion that eating was for enjoying, and while I have tried some different approaches to eating I still think that it’s not really the thing for science experiments. I am still following an “eat what and when I want” approach, though I really need to make more of an effort to eat during the day so that I don’t overeat at night. I find that if I eat a big dinner I am not hungry at breakfast.

I have almost completely eliminated processed foods, with the bulk of our meals being made from scratch. I am really happy with the amount of vegetables I can get through in a day, but I find it hard to eat more fruit. I’m not exactly sure why that is, but perhaps it’s the lack of consistency of favour between pieces of fruit (compared to jam for example which is generally a consistent level of flavour intensity). Or because I’m just not that fond of sweet things (I don’t generally eat jam). I’d really like to eat more fish, but somehow it almost always ends up being garlic prawns or salt and pepper calamari! I still find it hard to drink (and still wake up with the odd dehydration headache) but overall I am improving on this score.

Doing really well at sitting at table, and it’s nice to have a time of day that we can sit and talk which is good for the marriage as well.

All up, I’m happy with diet.

Rating:  wlEmoticon-smile.png


Exercise remains problematic, though I did think that coming out of this cold would be a good time to initiate a schedule. I initially identified the need to undertake exercise for core stability (pilates), flexibility (yoga), balance (pilates and yoga), cardio and strength.

I don’t think these needs have changed, but I have changed. In my April Progress Report, I glossed over a change in my mindset. I realised that I was living as if I was in a temporary state of unemployment and that I would get another job any minute. But our employment rate is still at pit of despair levels, and dear Aunty Kate reminded me that I am “very old” now and will probably never get another job… (like she can talk).

Anyway, the difference between un-/self-employed and employed people is that we can do things during working hours that they can’t. Like shop, visit the hairdresser and go to exercise classes. I recently a James Clear interview and he mentioned that his commitment to publishing articles on Monday and Thursday drove his schedule. And he said that he used a similar approach to drive his workouts, and I was thinking that might be a good approach to moving more. Just commit to attending X exercise class on Y days.

Exercise still needs attention, but I think the way forward is to commit to some daytime exercise classes. So more work required, but I can see a way forward.

Rating: wlEmoticon-disappointedsmile.png


I declared that getting enough sleep was high on my list of body intentions and that I slept better after physical and/or mental heavy lifting (which is still true).

However, among other complications, Pretty Girl is an old dog now. She likes a quick bathroom trip in the early hours of the morning and if I don’t let her out I have to deal with the consequences before my morning coffee (not good). I’m developing a strange split system of late nights and afternoon naps which isn’t helping. But I really don’t want the morning drama.

I am quite at a loss as to how to deal with this.

Rating: wlEmoticon-disappointedsmile.png

Revised plan:

focus12 month goalactivities
bodyWeight ≤61kg
  • eat a wider variety of fish
  • eat more fruit
  • drink more water
  • commit to a schedule of exercise classes
  • get up early and try not to nap

Whoever it was that said you can’t reach your goals if you don’t write them down was right.


Have you thought about any of this in the last eight months? Have you made any changes?


Next review will be presence.



Reviewing the virtues of:

Planning for the virtues of:

  • beauty – living authentically and taking care of our physical well-being and surroundings (body, presence, home, and garden)
  • friendship – treating the planet and other beings as well as we want to be treated (creatures, friends, family, contribution)
  • pleasure – agreeing to seek out new experiences as well as make time to do unproductive things.
  • wisdom – understanding ourselves and making choices based on the things we value
  • wealth – having sufficient income to meet our needs and spending it wisely


  1. CathyT says:

    Thank you for sharing your progress. When my husband wanted to get into the habit of drinking more water, he found that using a straw helped him. In the USA we have large plastic reusable cups that are double lined so they don’t sweat so much and they come with a plastic (reusable) straw. He fills it several times a day with iced water (sometimes adding a lemon slice) and drinks more than he would if he had a regular glass. I think it is the straw. I don’t know if that would help you. I have one son who likes fresh veggies more than fresh fruit and one son who likes fruits more than veggies. Variety of both fruits and veggies is good; I cut up slices of carrots, celery, peppers, and cucumbers and leave them in a small bowl on the table with a bit of water covering them. Later I cook or eat them myself if they don’t. I don’t care if they eat one thing more than the other, both ways seem healthy. I like fresh veggies more than fruit too. Good luck!

    • Alexandria says:

      Thanks for your thoughts CathyT. I’ve been trying to link drinking water to other activities. I often set a timer for an hour to remind me to get up and step away from my desk for a moment, so it’s a good time to get a drink too. And I like a slice of lemon or sometimes orange in there too.

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