21 Day Challenge: Day 9

In one of my recent posts I mentioned the power of language and self-talk.  I’ve been paying closer attention to what I say to myself in these last few days.  One thing I have noticed is that when it comes to my work which I love, I always tell myself I “MUST” or I “WILL” do this or that when I’m going through my tasks for the day.  I don’t use “maybe” or “might” but when it comes to working out or making other choices in my life I do use “maybe”, “might”, “tomorrow” and other words that make it easy to create excuses.

This evening I took and accidental nap.  I changed into my workout clothes to go for a walk, and instead of heading out right away I thought I would lie down for a moment, which I did, except that that moment turned into a two hour nap.  By the time I woke up I really didn’t feel like working out.  I honestly just felt like changing into my pjs and calling it a day.  But, then I remembered I would have to blog about it and decided I had to get it done.

So, I jumped out of bed and threw my running shoes on.  I made a choice and made getting some steps in a MUST rather than a MAYBE or a TOMORROW.  The funny thing about saying tomorrow is that that’s what I’ve been telling myself for months and it just never happened.  It’s too bad it have taken these rude 4:30 am wake-ups to get some clarity back.  The good news is that it’s getting better.

At then end of the day, it really is about choice.  There are some things in our lives we cannot control, but for those things we can control, it’s about being strong enough to make the right choice for ourselves.   Sometimes we’re lucky and have a RubbySlippers in our lives to push us beyond our comfort zone, and other times we have to be our own RubbySlippers and believe that we’ve got this!

So for those of you who are following along and maybe even doing this challenge with me, remember that your 4:30 AM may be a little different.  Maybe you work nights or evenings, maybe you have kids or loved ones you take care of, maybe there’s school and life going one.  But you always have the power to chose getting up 15 minutes before your usual wake-up time and progressively turn it into an hour of you time.  What you do with this time is up to you, but it will certainly get rid of the “I don’t have time excuse” and allow you to reclaim some ME-Time.

Well, that’s all for this Cookiefiend today.  Signing off at 11,028 steps for the day.  Good night world!

 

21 Day Challenge: Day 7

Day 7, one week achievement badge earned!  Who knew I could have so much time on a Sunday.  I’m usually so swept up in doing things, running errands that I don’t take time for me.  But today was a little different.  I started my day with a map of what I wanted to accomplish.  Usually I’m just rushing through things.  Instead today I had a moment to myself to simply think.  I got up, showered and went through the motions of my day.  By the time I was ready to start I was actually prepared.

I took my octogenarian friend grocery shopping, and had the opportunity to hear some of her history.  It’s always an adventure because she has so much real knowledge to share.  She’s live through so much from Mussolini to WWII and is still going strong and planing lectures.  She often feels that she hasn’t accomplished much, but doesn’t realize how much impact she has had on generations of music students who decades later still call her when they are in town, and on people like me who love hearing what history books have left out.

Her life itself and how active and sharp she still, is really impressive.  Then again, if you look at her grocery list you can see how her diet keeps her so healthy.  You’ll never see soda, or chips or sugary cereals in her cart.  Instead she reads labels and buys products with the least amount of additives like Bob’s Red Mill whole grains, and she’s been doing this long before it was popular.  Unlike my cart with my Corn Pops five-year old cereal, I know, hers has fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, a little pasta, plain Greek yogurt, and every now and then the guilty pleasure of Häagen-Dazs.  So it seems I still have a lot to learn from my friend.

Then after driving her back home, I went home for lunch instead of my usual fast food stop.  And after a short break, I headed back out not with the dreadful feeling that I’m not going to find anything, and the dread of trying clothes on, but instead telling myself that I’d get to finally cross one more thing on my to-do list and reduce my level of stress over thinking that I have to go shopping.  Finding pants that fit just right is not as much fun as searching for Pokémon, but that’s only because I keep telling myself it’s not.

So I walked into the dressing room with 14 items and took my time.  If I didn’t like I immediately took it off and put it in my no pile.  I didn’t agonize over it, I just moved on.  Surprisingly enough it took me less than an hour and I came out with two new pairs of pants and 3 shirts on my first try.  For which I’m awarding myself a successful shopper badge 🙂

I came home feeling rather proud of myself, and decided to take a short walk.  And here I am at 22:46h with 16,481 steps for the day.  Pretty good for Day 7, but I’ll let you be the judge:

  • Day 1:  4736 steps
  • Day 2:  4787 steps
  • Day 3:  5236 steps
  • Day 4: 8436 steps
  • Day 5:  4423 steps
  • Day 6:  760 steps (I forgot to wear my vivofit for a few hours, but likely in 4000 s)
  • Day 7:  16,481 steps

I logged 399,805 steps for the month of July 2015.  This July I’m at 98,092 steps, which means I need to BRING IT from Day 8 on!

Stay tuned for step counts for the rest of July.  It’s lights out for now.  Signing off until Day 8.

 

 

 

21 Day Challenge: Day 6

This morning I woke up and asked myself why am I doing this?  What is the purpose of this, and what do I expect to accomplish?  That early in the morning my mind really didn’t have a crystal clear answer, and my body was saying just go back to sleep it’s Saturday.  Still, as tempting as that was, there was a stronger uncomfortable feeling saying quitting would feel worst than just getting up.

Over the years I’ve started many things and never really seen them through.  There seems to be something about commitment that scares me.  Maybe that’s why I like trying things but not really sticking to them once the experience is done.  So far it’s made for an interesting and rather fun lifestyle.  I’ve traveled, I’ve tried bubble soccer, snowboarding, skiing, archery, fencing, roller coasters, parasailing and so on.  I’ve live on a mountain and off the grid and it’s really all been about seeing if I could do it.  But once it was done and checked off my list, then it was just one more level completed and on to the next new adventure in the game of life.

Still, all of these things were fun, and that’s why I don’t have any regrets about trying them out and getting them done.  But this business of getting up so early is not fun.  It’s hard, and I wonder if it’s because that’s what I keep telling myself.  I keep using this language over and over and maybe that’s all my mind is hearing.  It keeps hearing that I don’t know if I’ll make it, that it’s hard, that it’s crazy and so forth.  Not the most positive self talk for someone who is looking for a transformational outcome.

When I think of how I talk to my friends, and how I try to be encouraging and supportive, I wonder when my words to myself stopped being encouraging and supportive and why they’ve become so self-limiting.  The change in my self-talk language, and how much more I use the words “I’m exhausted”, “I can’t”, “it’s too hard”, just crept up on me.  It’s funny that it took a sleep deprived brain to realize that I need to change more than just my bedtime.

I knew from the start that this would be a challenge.  At first I thought I could complete it and just check it off my list.  But now I realize it’s more than just a challenge, it’s a journey I have to see through.  The purpose of this challenge is no longer just to have more time for a workout, but also to take control back, to change my words and maybe even my perception.

Let’s see how this all unfolds in the next few days, and what other insight skipping the 4:30AM snooze brings.

Good night world, I’ll see you on Day 7!

21 Day Challenge: Day 5

As tired as I was this morning I surprised myself by getting up at 4:30 AM, Yay Day 5!  I had a mini workout and then checked my email.  Forwarded some updates for work and even had time to check Swagbucks.

I’ve had intentions to quit a few times from Swagbucks, but then it seems that every time I think of just leaving it behind I get a reminder email of how close I am to my next reward, and I keep coming back.  I’m not a serious Swagbucks collector because I feel like it can be time-consuming when you don’t qualify for most surveys.  But I’ve gotten a few amazon gift cards and movie ones so it’s not bad just for answering daily polls and checking out a few offers, points eventually add up for free stuff 🙂

So I’m hoping that as slow as my progress is with these mini workouts, I’ll eventually start seeing results just like I do in Swagbucks.  One can hope right?

Also, the weekend is here and although I like sleeping in as much as the next person, Day 6 and Day 7 are waiting for me.  Still, even if I do wake up super early there is still the beauty of being able to take a nap and that makes me happy.

Today’s micro workout:

  • 12 Spiderman crawls
  • 12 push-ups
  • 12 sit-ups
  • 12 squats
  • 12 lunges
  • A short walk downtown

I watched a video today from a little guy I am fortunate to know.  He happens to have a spinal cord injury but is as cool as can be.  He really doesn’t let anything get in his way.  He skis, fences, plays tennis, plays drums, sings and performs.  Basically he does it all!  Most importantly he says life is too short and we should get out there and do things.  And he’s right.  Life is meant to be lived.  There really is no reason why we can’t be active.  Even if it means hunting Pokémon.  So let’s get do this!

That’s all from this Cookiefiend today.  Signing off, until Day 6!

21 Day Challenge: Day 4

Well here I am, back from another busy day.  It’s 22:44h and I’m ready to get my pjs on and call it a day.  I had a long productive day at work, and attended a bereavement workshop, and then it was time for the drive home.  This time of year there’s traffic everywhere and never ending construction on every major road it seems.  The worst part is that they do it every year, they patch up a spot and then the next year another spot or the same spot.  I don’t know much about road or construction, but I’ve often wondered who does quality control on these repairs.  Again I know nothing about construction and this could very well be how it is, but it could also be that sometimes they are just poorly done and that’s why they keep needing patch after patch.

Still, I feel as if escaping traffic isn’t really possible at rush hour, so I’ve decided to invest in Siriusxm radio.  Some people think it is a waste of money, but I like the idea of driving without having to hear all the news breaks about all the bad things that keep happening.  At least for that 30-45min I can just be free with my thoughts and tunes.  Well as free as one can be when driving since there are so many reckless drivers out there.  I see mini vans zoom past me with their baby on board signs going 70km on a 50 road.  It’s just crazy, do speed limits mean nothing to people?  Or people who honk when you are waiting to turn at an intersection and can’t yet do so ssafely but they are almost kissing your bumper in the intersection, when, if I remember correctly there can only be one car out there to begin with, right?

It’s all these little things that make me consider taking the bus again and letting someone else worry about these drivers.  If only they knew that honking won’t make me turn unless I’m ready and feel it’s safe.  Someone should tell them that honking is to warn of danger, not a magic sound that makes others go faster.

But aside from all the crazies, I got to celebrate my friend’s Pokemon themed birthday.  The lady at the party story asked me if the balloon bouquet I was picking up was for a child or an adult, and I told her that I believed the word she was looking for was “man-child”:)  Since I had a round at the golf range after, I did something I have never done before.  I said no to ice cream cake.  I still can’t believe it!  But being lactose intolerant means there are somethings you shouldn’t have before going out.

Then I hit the range with two equally newb-ish friends so it was a safe judgement free area where everyone laughed at themselves and with each other.  Golf balls flew in all directions, but I am glad to report that everyone left injury free.  Then off course someone suggested frozen yogurt on the way home and how could I say no.  So after my vanilla almond milk frozen yogurt with some added deliciousness, I’m back here ready to call it a day.

Was this morning easier, no, it was not.  Will I keep trying, yes absolutely.  Why?  Maybe because I’m deranged or maybe because I need to see this through.

Today’s micro workout:

  • 12 push-ups
  • 12 sit-ups
  • 12 stationary lunges
  • 12 squats
  • 12 Spiderman crawls
  • 10 minute walk in the park post frozen yogurt

Well that’s it for this Cookiefiend.  Good night world, I’ll see you on day 5.  Officially signing off at 23h14.

 

The Giver

colorappleYears ago, I read The Giver.  It reminded me of 1984, Utopia, and Plato’s Republic, and it made me wonder if the Receiver of memory chose the right path.  Since then, many things have happened in my life.  I’ve traveled, I’ve lived, I’ve loved and I’ve seen how beautiful life can be for some, and how incredibly cruel it can be to others.  Thoughts of the latter still haunt me… I’ve never known hunger, and aside from history books and television I have no memory of war, but I’ve seen the turmoil it leaves behind long after peace treaties are signed.  I’ve lived in a gang-infested country, where people live in constant fear, and hunger drives people to things we can’t even fathom.  I don’t think I’ll ever understand why there is such disparity, and part of me almost wishes we could all live in “sameness” and fairytale happiness. 

Still, one look at the news and I can tell that our global village is still light years away from peace and the opportunity for everyone to have all the freedoms and opportunities we have and sometimes take for granted.  Although the movie is but a shadow of the book, it still managed to shed some perspective on my first world problems.  Which, truth be told, seem trivial in comparison to what people around the world endure.  So as you go through your day remind yourself that you have freedom of choice, and make sure your choices count for something…Choose to be happy, choose to be kind, choose to do good and choose to get better 🙂   

problems in a pile

 

 

 

Cheerleaders

Image

dreamserrI’ve been struggling this past week with a lot of things. Mainly keeping myself motivated. I have a little over 1 month to prepare for my first 5K and to be honest the couch to 5k program is a bit more challenging than I thought, and I’ve found myself bogged down by my lack of progress.

I know I won’t be running 5K overnight, and I know I have to stick to the program, I just really wish my lungs and heart would get on-board with the program. Everyone keeps cheering me on and saying that it will get better and easier and I really want to believe it, but my aching body was just not responding to the pep talks.

As much as I don’t want to keep making excuses for myself, there is something to be said about listening to your body, and my body was saying it was tired and needed a break. So for the first time in a long time, I took almost two weeks off from the gym. I gave my body time to recover and my mind time to regroup and think about why this was really important to me.

A few months ago I got rid of all my double digit sized pants, and as I was getting ready for bed the night before a conference this past week I started to wondered if the dress pants to my suit would actually fit. Then I started to panic a little as I wasn’t sure they would fit.  As I lay there in bed wrestling with the idea of not fitting into my pants, it dawned on me that I didn’t like this feeling, and that the extra weight still bothered me and that I didn’t want to go back to buying bigger pants.

So, when I got up Monday morning after being away from the gym for a while, I decided that it was time to get back to the grind. There are a lot of things I can’t control in my life, but there is no reason why my weight should be one of them. My mind was made up and I purposely packed my gym bag and left it ready to head to gym right after work before I had time to think of any more excuses.

My body and mind were rested and as I walked into the gym I realized how great it was to see familiar faces and to hear people welcoming me back. It reminded me of how nice it feels to be a member of a gym with friendly staff and encouraging people all working towards a common goal of fitness. It also made me think of how grateful I am for all the amazing cheerleaders in my life. My friends and family who may not wear uniforms or wave pompoms around, but who are always there with encouraging words, smiles and even a hug when I need one. I know that not everyone is as fortunate as I am to have such a support group. But as I’ve said before you’re not alone in this, I’m right here with you, working on fitness.

In this day and age with blogs and social media there is always someone you can reach out to for inspiration and motivation when you feel your own dwindling. So if you ever feel like you can’t make it and you need a break. Take a break. Listen to your body, and think about what you want and why you started this pursuit of a healthy lifestyle. If the important people in your life don’t support your healthy choices, it’s ok, they are entitled to their opinion, but don’t let their opinion stop you from making better choices for yourself. If the people you chose to surround yourself with are dragging you down, then reconsider how much time you spend around them. Remember that you don’t get to chose your family, but you do get to chose your friends. So surround yourself with positive people who bring out the best in you. If that’s not enough then follow fit and motivational people on Instagram or Facebook or whatever social media you’re on. Inspiration is everywhere.

Remember to cheer for yourself as much as you would for others on this fit quest.  Most importantly don’t give up on yourself. Believe that no matter how slow the process or progress you can and will get better!  So don’t quit, because like RubySlippers says:  “You’ve got this”!

P.S.

Thanks to all the 195 bloggers who follow my blog and to my 6 email followers!  All 201 of you have made my day!  I really look forward to getting back on track so that I can start publishing more workout posts and maybe sharing a few more interesting and funny things that RubySlippers says…Until then have a wonderful week and don’t forget to remind yourself of how awesome you are 🙂