Monday Dare: Hard Knock Life

Every week, I challenge myself to a Monday Dare. Click on the link to see the complete list of Monday Dares or to learn more about its origin.

This week: Take better care of myself

Not too long ago, I ate half a stick of butter to win a $5 bet. If I couldn’t finish the butter, I had to hand over an Abe Lincoln. If I succeeded, I didn’t win anything; I just got to keep my own money. Now that I’m mulling over the bet, something seems a little off about the payout structure, but I can’t quite put my finger on it.

I won, by the way. Not a brag. Just stating a fact.

As I told my family about the incident later that night, I held out an outstretched palm mid-air, expecting a high-five. All I got was a long pause, followed by an “EW” and “Don’t you care about your health?”

Then, they started in on my unused vouchers from flash sale sites. 56% off 10 Bootcamp Sessions? Why yes, I would like to purchase this value-conscious offer to help firm my buttocks. 94% off an Entire Month of Yoga? Sure. That’s almost 100%, so basically, FREE.

I’m so satisfied after locking down a good deal that I let peripheral details like using the vouchers fall by the wayside. Once in a while, I get “Reminder: Use your vouchers!!” emails from the flash sale sites. The vaguely threatening wording and exclamation points seem a little excessive to me. I push back by not using them at all. It’s not that I don’t care about my health, I just want people to know that they can’t push me around.

I felt a little sensitive at this point, but still, my family kept going. Everyone makes mistakes, so it was callous of them to bring up that one time I let a Twix bar melt into the passenger seat of my car under the radiating warmth of a large bag of fries I planned to eat for lunch. It only happened ONE time. I keep my candy in the glove compartment now.

Harv told me that by eating poorly, not getting enough exercise or sleep, and by not regularly deep conditioning my hair (he didn’t say that one, but I’m adding it because I really care about you a lot), I was creating my own Hard Knock Life. I appreciated the initiative he took to convert his Regular People Language into my Hood Speak. Good man.

It’s never my first inclination to be good to myself. What a hassle. What a bore. Funyuns > Real Onions any day in my book. But my family is riddled with heart disease and diabetes and very bad split ends. I don’t want to be one of those old ladies that’s crotchety all the time because I’m in a shitload of pain due to poor health. I want to be crotchety because it’s a privilege I’ve earned for staying alive that long.

What are some changes you’ve made to take better care of your health?

P.S. I’m addicted to Instagram. Username: flourishinprogress.
P.P.S. Need some daily Thug Life Thoughts? “Like” the Flourish in Progress Facebook page. I got you covered.
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  • L-Train

    Trying to quit smoking cigarettes and sucking at it.

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      At least you’re making the effort to quit. Mustering up the desire to even stop those little fuckers is so hard sometimes. Good luck, homette.

  • Michelle

    I imagine I’m a little older than you, but after indulging in a married life for several years, I suddenly found my “Happiness 10” had quintupled in about five years. After returning from the “trip of a lifetime” I found I seriously needed to go on a “diet of a lifetime.” Not a diet but rather a lifestyle change. I started doing regular exercise SIX TIMES A WEEK. Gah. I track my calories like Farmville crops. I recently added walking five or six days a week to that. Then I bumped it up to running. In addition to the regular exercise thing. I’m within 10 pounds of my premarriage weight, and I look better than I’ve ever looked, and I feel better than ever, and I’m a tiny bit obsessed with the whole thing. Best part: hubby joined rather than scoffed. It’s pretty awesome.

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Goodness gracious, that is some HARDCORE dedication. Working up the desire and energy to exercise 6 days a week is some serious biznass. Your husband is pretty dope for joining along. You got a good one. Are you treating yourself to new clothes along the way or do you plan to do a big spree once you hit a certain point?

  • Heather Watson

    Fantastic post! I just made some changes myself and wrote a post. Check it :)

    PS, my personal motto, okay one of my personal mottos, is that you can tell how a woman lives by the condition of her hair. So good lookin out for those split ends.

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Oh, for sure. And elbows. And feet. But maybe I’m a little too judge-y.

  • Jen Reinmuth

    I gave up drinking years ago but less as a health-conscious thing and more as a ‘holy shit I’m an alcoholic and probably shouldn’t rack up another DUI’ thing. Now I just have the 3 a Day rule: every day I do 1 thing that breaks a sweat, 1 thing that makes me laugh, and 1 selfless and anonymous act of kindness. I like to keep my Zen in check, yo.

    Oh, and if Ronald Reagan could say that ketchup was a vegetable then Funyuns totally are too. ((fist bump))

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Damn, Ronnie and I musta gone to the same School of Hard Knocks.

      I LOVE your 3 a day rule. Can my act of kindness not be pushing someone in the face? Or…no?

  • gtaylor619

    I do some pathetic amount of exercise every day. Running on alternate days, etc. I’ve noticed that I can consistently exercise a bit every day, rather than undergo huge efforts and then give up entirely.

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      There is way the word “pathetic” applies when you’re making the effort to do something every day. ;) But more than that, I find that it’s the most successful people who know that what you do all the time counts so much more than the “big push effort” you make once in a while.

  • Ann

    First a question…did you do it for a penny or five dollars? ( by it I mean eating half a stick of butter)
    Now I quit drinking at the tender age of 20 when I realized that I am not capable of passing out. Some assholes with GHB who didn’t unerstand how I was still awake and could kick their asses helped with that (thank you, kick boxing) I quit smoking around the same time because I didn’t like how it smelled.
    For exercise I hike, but I am still overweight, and my doctor says that I am at risk for heart failure. Because both my brother and my father have it.
    I just choose to live a life where I am happy now, and if that means junk food once a week…good for me.

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Five dollars. Although..if I’m being honest, I would still probably have done it to keep from handing over a penny too.
      I’m envious of people who can quit a bad habit early on. They did it, had enough of it, and chose to move on. I have none of that. Clearly.
      I wish they measured heart health by the amount of kindness people have in it…rather than genetics.

  • Angie

    I’ve made a conscious choice to be more positive. It’s hard for a gangsta like me, but ballas gotta be happy, yo.

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      An unhappy thug brings the whole gang down.

  • Princess Dianne

    Girl, I am the Hot Mess Princess. :-) It took my 20’s, my 30’s, and a good part of my 40’s to figure out who the hell I am…problem is, once I figured it out I had 219 extra pounds on my body and a shit load of huge pants in my closet. 219 extra pounds…that’s like 2 1/2 Justin Biebers. Eeew.

    The biggest change I’ve made for my health? I stopped listening to the ass-hats in the diet industry who were millionaires because of people like me…and I decided to find my own way. Once I decided that, I lost 45 pounds without even working out…just giving up sugar, fast food, and diet soda.

    I still have quite a bit of weight to lose, but the difference is deep down…this isn’t a diet or any other kind of fad. This is me…addressing my issues head on without surgery, shakes, or pills. I’m actually about to launch a series on my own blog about how to survive the holidays….this time last year, I’d already eaten all the Halloween candy I bought for the neighborhood kids…so I had to buy more. LOL. This year…not gonna be on that road!

    I got this. :-)

    I really enjoyed your post today…and you always make me laugh. You rock!!!!

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      CRACKING UP at the J Bieber reference.

      Princess, you just named my Daily Trifecta! Sugar, fast food and (regular) soda. You have more willpower than I ever will.

      Clearly, you have tapped into some kind of inner-strength and hardcore self-love and self-worth that I hope everyone has a chance to experience one day.

      DOPE. SO DOPE.

      • Princess Dianne

        I’m just channeling my inner gangsta. Fo shizzle.

        • Jennifer Peters-Ahnberg

          MY GOD. I think I’m in love with you, Dianne. I call my extra 120 lbs. Bethany. She’s my skinny bitch of a frenemy. I’ll be looking for that blog.

          • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress


          • Princess Dianne

            Holy crap, that’s awesome! LOL. I think I would call mine Blanche…she’s an abrasive bitch who won’t leave me alone!!!!

        • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

          Inner thug= hardcore
          Outer thug= beautiful

  • the Blah Blah Blahger

    I hired a trainer. If I wasn’t painfully financially invested, I knew I’d blow off the gym every single week. ; )

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Harv says a hit to the wallet is always the most effective blow. I can’t imagine why he would say such a thing. ;)

  • ColdBlooded

    I try to drink a lot of water. And no soda. Have you seen that MythBusters where they clean the car engine with soda? Yea. Water it is.

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Uh oh.

      Shit. I drink like, 900 sodas a day.

      • Jennifer June Clark


        • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

          hahahahahaha. i mean….my bad.

  • Jeremy Corder

    There is a endless fountain of knowledge in the internet. Join a site to track your info for working out and staying health involves a lot more than drinking water. I eat no fast food no soda even diet, aspertame is bad for you just like sugar. I work out in some form 5 days a week and I will not eat anything my great grandmother would not recognise as food. All I can say is it has made me dead sexy. I look fucking great I can fuck like a wild animal and love it. All because i take care of mysehlf properly.

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Dude. That’s hardcore. I’m just trying to not clog my arteries and suffer a heart attack by the age of 35. And also be able to bend at the waist to touch my toes until I’m at LEAST 41. Hadn’t even thought of online resources. Good call.

  • Jennifer June Clark

    Elizabeth, I swear you write this shit just to watch me rant and rave! Must you push my buttons?!?

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      But you look so lovely when you rant and rave….perhaps I really DO do this to mess with ya. ;)

  • Jennifer Peters-Ahnberg

    I’m doing that whole eating less, moving more schtick. It sucks like a mother-fucking Dyson.

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      It seems so damn basic….yet it’s so fucking hard. Here’s to continued success and willpower. xoxo

  • RollerScrapper

    Rollerskating helped me lose 30 lbs…unfortunately eating out made me gain about 15 and then having a baby made me gain a lot more than that so for now I walk :)

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      My personal belief is that you have until the baby leaves home for college to lose pregnancy weight.

  • Are You Kidding Me?

    You’re still young, so major changes…may not be absolutely necessary yet. If you start with small things (more fruits and vegetables, less fast food), you may just find that you enjoy the healthy stuff more than crap food. (Hasn’t worked for me yet, but some days I want a salad instead of the biggest cheeseburger I can find. So, I get a salad.) Add a little mild exercise (I like to call it walking around my neighborhood and looking in people’s front windows to see what they’re up to, how they decorate, etc.), and you’re making progress. Also, you can get a dog that requires lots of walking. I’m not a gym person, so I can’t offer anything on that score – but spending money on stuff is definitely a fine way to make sure you use it for me.

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      I think my taste buds adapted to artificial tastes early on because now, when I have naturally sweet things like fruit, I’m just not…not satisfied at all. Cal and Harv think it is both funny and sad when I turn down a plum for a Kit Kat.
      Well, if I can look in other people’s windows, I will totally consider the whole exercise thing. I don’t like going to the gym because it feels so intimidating. All those women who have OBVIOUSLY been going to the gym for centuries and then…me.

  • Meredith L.

    I once bought a Groupon or something for 3 FREE katana lessons! What-what! Then I got preggo before I could use it. Kids ruin your life.

    I’ve started waking up early to exercise, but the damn baby stays one step (and half an hour) ahead of me. See above, re: ruining lives.

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Is a katana one of those Japanese swords. brb. googling.

      LMFAO. Why yes, yes it is.

      I’m sure you’re a lot more careful than I am, but it’s not a good idea to have sharp objects in my home. Because of me.

  • Lovelyn

    My health plan involves eating more butter. In my estimation if you can keep eating about a half stick a day you’ll be doing great. Butter is good for your teeth. You’ll get less cavities. I swear it’s true. I also get plenty of sleep. You don’t want to be around me if I’ve had less than eight hours. I’m a nightmare then. If I wake up in the morning after having a full restful night’s sleep and then I eat a bowl of oatmeal with like a tablespoon or two of butter in it, I’m heaven to be around for the rest of the day.

  • Elizabeth Barnes

    I’ll admit, although I try my addictions to coffee, Cherry Coke, and fast food are a lot more fun than eating healthy. Well, no. They’re easier and more temporaraily satisfying. But damn if I don’t actually feel more like a real person when I actually eat something healthy.

  • Misty

    Dammit, woman! Why you gotta post about such a hot button issue for me? I read this days ago and just couldn’t comment. I had no answer to that question . . . what am I doing to improve my health? A whole lot of nothing. I take Zumba once a week, and more often than not I skip it because I am too tired and lazy. I’ve been eating like crap, even though I know what happens . . . my ass just keeps growing and growing. I can logically look at it and know what to do, but my body and mind are not harmonious right now. And that bitch is getting bigger and bigger. Fuck.

  • Melia

    I just started the Whole 30 Program. For 30 days you reformat your tastebuds by avoiding certain foods. If you can go a year without shopping, I’m certain you can go 30 days. I BELIEVE IN YOU! :) I’m on day 17 now. I wanted to punch the cashier in the face yesterday at the grocery store and steal some chocolate, but I didn’t. Here’s the website on it, and if you want to laugh at my stupidness with it, here’s my blog updates on it.

  • mjane

    I just took up Crossfit, not so much to be healthy but to try and help my backside defy gravity. A girl has to have priorities.

  • newfoundjoye

    Well, I was forced to take better care of my life when I moved to Northern VA/DC. There aren’t as many fast food restaurants here, and I have to walk all the time since I don’t have a car. Then, I make my own food to save money, and I get most of my recipes from Martha (I talk about Martha Stewart like I know her—don’t judge me). To top it all off, my job is all about wellness and prevention, so they’ve been helping us make healthier decisions.