Replacing Bad Habits

Hello fuzzbutts!

Oh you read that this will be about bad habits and probably a hundred things flooded into your brain that you currently do. Habit of eating junk food? Drinking too much coffee? Bouncing around the various video games you own rather than working on your goals?

We all have bad habits. Even the best the fandom has to offer have at least a bad habit or two they could identify. It stinks because we know we shouldn’t do it but we do. Then we beat ourselves up a bit for it anyway. A personal example I have is that I went running yesterday. I was doing well and decided I want to cut down a little bit of weight and carry less fat. So I ran as hard as I could and thinking to myself “Less sweets, less fat, less junk.” So what happens when I get to work? Somebody brought donuts! Without even thinking, I grabbed one and wolfed it down. I wasn’t even thinking. It was just an automatic response to what happens when I see free donuts after years of going in and grabbing a donut if there were any available. This is a deeply ingrained habit that I have to work on if I want to lose some weight.

Studies have shown that going cold turkey on a habit, whether it’s smoking or even snacking, rarely works. You’re so focused on resisting it that the temptation just builds up until you break down. The true solution from these studies is that you need to replace the habit with something else.

One thing for me would be that I already try to make plain oatmeal every morning at work unless I’m not hungry or somebody brought bagels and donuts. The habit I should cultivate is to ALWAYS make oatmeal. Two reasons: 1- I’ll always end up eating it. 2-After eating oatmeal, I won’t be so tempted to grab a sugary treat. The only thing I need to do is have some quality oatmeal on hand which is something I already have the habit of keeping.

For video games, I end up having similar issues. I have all these unplayed games and occasionally I’ll want to install all of them and just have them there at the ready. Instead of working toward my goals, I might fire up a game. With so many to choose from, it’s easy to put off serious work. So, obviously, the point is to keep 1 or 2 games tops on the computer. If you want to play something else, you need to re-download and wait. That extra obstacle will make it easier to choose the things that are actually important to you.

So what’s something you’re doing that you’d like to stop? What’s an option you can try to replace it with? It won’t be easy. After all, preparing oatmeal is more work than plucking a donut out of a box! However, if it’s really worth it to you and your ideal furry life, you’ll do your best and it will get easier over time.

Good luck out there, fuzzbutts!

Time to get up early!

Hello fuzzbutts!

This title is a doozy for many of you! Just hear me out first!

I know in my previous posts from a couple months ago, I said I just wake up, eat breakfast, clean up, etc etc and then go to work. Well, the more I’ve explored my mornings, the more I realized these are great times to be productive!

After a day of work, you might be feeling rather drained. That’s one of the reasons I try to keep my workouts to the mornings since I’d rather avoid traffic and I’m usually tired at the end of the day. Waking up earlier gives me the time I need to do that!

After realizing how much better it was to have time for a workout, I expanded my idea to include other activities. What about a little mindfulness meditation to relax? Maybe squeeze in some time to read!

“I can’t wake up early. I’m not a morning person.” you say, still cuddling your blanket while you stand at the cash register buying coffee. “Nonsense!” I say. Anyone can be a morning person. It just takes a little work to get used to it. So how do I do it? No you won’t just be able to go to sleep earlier since it’s not really your schedule.

Wake up earlier than you want to by about 30 minutes. It’ll be difficult but you’ll survive. Go about your day as normal while enjoying that extra 30 minutes in the morning to make progress in whatever you want. Go about your day and then go to sleep a little earlier. Good chance it’ll be easier to sleep early this time around. Continue to inch yourself along until you’re waking up at the desired time.

Fitness and Your Fursona

Hello Fuzzbutts!

This time around, I’m going to touch on a sore spot for many furries. As I write this, I feel some tension rising up. Anyway, there’s been a pretty negative stereotype surrounding furries (among many) and that is our fitness. Fine, we’re not alone among fandoms that have a reputation for being husky. I’m still talking about physical size, not the perfect fursona (ahem!).

“Hey Wuffles! It’s shallow to talk about physical appearance!” somebody yells from the audience in the dark. I agree that physical looks aren’t everything when it comes to many aspects of life. However, in a fandom where most tend to represent themselves as supermodel fuzzbutt versions of themselves, it’s still worth bringing up.

I want you to be healthy.

I’m emphasizing that. Also, being more healthy leads to more productivity! There’s all kinds of benefits to being healthy: more overall energy, better sleep, reduced stress, blah blah. You can see how those effects would also help you pursue your goals and make you more productive. You know these things. You’ve been hit over the head with it in the media and from others. For whatever reason, most furries don’t do a great job taking care of themselves for the sake of personal health and the listed benefits. So I want to propose a new idea.

Become your fursona.

“Uhh… my fursona is an anthropomorphic purple cat.” you say, considering what my angle is. Well of course you’re not going to become a cat. However, what is your fursona’s body type compared to yours? Is your fursona  svelte, athletic, maybe even a body builder while your own body is doughy or borderline obese? Treat your fursona as the ideal you can become rather than as an escape from daily life. You made your fursona the way you did because there was something in them you wanted to be, starting from personality and right down to their physical traits (maybe vice versa). You may not be able to become your fursona exactly, but you can bring yourself closer. Plan a goal around becoming your fursona.

Start light.

Changing your mindset about your fursona will help you begin a new journey. You may want to rush out the door and go full beast mode at the gym or on a trail. If you haven’t been working out, start slow. I’ve used a machine that worked my inner thighs (think thigh master-style) and it felt fine and I crushed it. For the next few days, I walked funny and was dreadfully sore. Don’t do that. Start easy on yourself, get an understanding of your body, and then build yourself up. You’ll feel better, you’ll have more energy, and you’ll be working toward your goals of becoming the best YOU that you can be.

Get a friend who will support you or maybe even join you on your workouts. I wasn’t too serious about working out until I started going with a friend. This may be another friend test too. Beware of those “friends” who might try to talk you out of improving your health and overall life. I’ve never met anyone who told their true friends that getting healthier was unnecessary. Don’t let anyone hold you back from making yourself a better fuzzbutt.

I hope this was inspiring and helpful to you. I truly wish for the best in your daily lives. Good luck out there, Fuzzbutts!

Being Productive Takes Energy

For the first post, I felt it would be good to discuss having a good pool to draw your energy from. This means improving your lifestyle to get more done! It makes thing so much easier when you actually have energy for the various things you need to do. Below are just a few ways to help you feel better mentally and physically so you can accomplish whatever you desire.

Your Diet Is Holding You Back

Alright, fuzzbutts, there’s a hard truth to confront. Your diet is likely holding you back. Yes, the diet that has kept you alive to this point has also been one of the reasons you feel so lousy, frazzled, and overall UGH. The frustrating part is you KNOW there’s ways to eat better but it’s so much easier to take a complete meal out of the freezer and pop it into the microwave. I’m not saying you need to go full vegan or ketogenic or whatever. You DO need to start assessing and looking at what you’re eating and decide whether or not it’s actually worth eating it at the expense of your health. Start exploring easy ways to cook healthier food. A quick google search and you’ll be drowning in 10-minute recipes that are good for you.

Get Your Fuzzy Butt To Bed

“Sleep? Are you crazy, Wuffles? I have stuff to do! I can’t be productive if I’m asleep!” you say. “Lies!” I respond. Walking around like a stressed out zombie just means you’re taking way longer to just do a tiny bit of work. You have to sleep if you want to function. Important biological functions occur while you sleep, probably the biggest being the flushing of harmful toxins from your brain (Univ. Rochester Study). You can’t escape sleep, either, so why fight it? Your energy and mental clarity will be way better off if you stick to a routine which will make you more productive. I know those of us in school or working just love staying up late on Friday and Saturday nights, not having to get up on time the next day. Stop that. A regular sleep schedule leads to improved quality of sleep. There’re other ways to improve your sleep I’ll go into with later posts.

Moooooove

You knew this was coming. You might have cringed when I discussed diet but here’s the bad one. You need to exercise. You do. You know you do. So just do something. Enough with the multitude of excuses. Bad knees? Try some sit ups or push-ups. Bad neighborhood so you can’t run outside? Dress poor and run outside so you don’t get robbed OR just do some jumping jacks inside until your heart rate is up. There’s all kinds of things you can do. Think it’s all about cardio? It’s not. Weight lifting increases your muscle size which increases your resting metabolism, meaning you burn more calories by just existing with more muscle. The benefit of working out is that it snowballs. You can run on the treadmill and see you burned 300 Calories. What you also need to know is once you step off the treadmill, your body continues burning at a higher rate for hours (Afterburn Effect). This also applies to weightlifting since your body also goes into a repair mode for your muscles. Fair warning: You will feel hungrier than usual once you start working out, especially in the early phase. This often results to people eating more food than they usually do and the extra calories undo the work you just did! Prevent this by maintaining your portions and resisting the urge to have MORE. If you think your health prevents you from working out, then you’re wrong speak to a doctor who can help give a framework on how to start.

Simplify

I’m probably going to get into this a lot in many of my posts. We only have so much brainpower to dish out each day. Given that most of us have school or work, that’s going to be the big brain burner already so we need to ration what’s left! In future posts I’ll discuss ways to make things easier on yourself throughout the day but the gist is to assess where your energy tends to go during the day (How much time do you spend figuring out what to wear for the day? Do you have to decide every single day what you’re doing to eat? Is there somebody in your life who is constantly seeking your attention for a new crisis?).  Managing your mental energy lets you dedicate it to the things that really matter to you. For more about decision fatigue, check out this Wiki.

That’s all for now!

I sorta went a mile wide and an inch deep with this post because I do feel these are important enough to launch into right now and explore deeper as part of my future productivity posts. I hope my style resonates with you and I will make other posts a little more personal to my own experience rather than just lecturing you adorable fuzzbutts.