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.

 

 

 

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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.

 

21 Day Challenge : Day 3

Ok, so it’s day 3 and I’m exhausted.  It’s not even 10 PM and I am fighting to keep my eyes open.  I also may have fallen asleep while watching The Lego Movie, and that never happens!  Is this my body adjusting to the shock or going into shock?  I am not going to lie, the thought of 18 more days of this is daunting, but I’ve already invested 3 days and I can’t stop now, can I?

After all, nothing changes if nothing change.  And I need change in my life right now.  I also need a few new pants and a new pair of shoes, but shopping is not something I enjoy.  I dislike trying stuff on and not being sure whether or not I should by it.  Also, finding a sales rep honest enough to tell it like it is isn’t always easy these days, because everyone is so sensitive.  Still when I look at something and think it’s a NO for me, and a sales person starts saying how amazing it looks, I usually lose interest.

I remember once going into a store and trying a few things on.  They had the mirror outside the small dressing room and my sales person kept saying everything I tried on was amazing.  She was very nice and had said the same thing to her previous customer who made a large purchase.  As I came out wearing the last outfit and ready to leave empty handed again, he co-worker stopped by and had a nice tailored pant suit in one hand and three blouses in the other and he said he had noticed I wasn’t convinced by everything I had tried on so far, but thought this might work.

I remember coming out and liking the suit but not the blouse and before I could say anything he said, no, and came back with a different color blouse.  I remember thinking that day of how great it would be to have a personal shopper or designer.  Shopping was so much easier that way.  I made a large purchase that day, and even wore that suit to an interview.  I’ve been back to that store a few times, but that sale rep has moved to the big city, and I’m sure is helping more people like me look like responsible adults.

Still, I’ve been putting this off for a while because I dread it and don’t look forward to finding out what my new comfortable pant size is 😦  But I have two choices.  One, start working out or two keep buying bigger pants.  So, workout it is.

Today’s mini workout:

  • 10 push-ups (from the knees)
  • 10 sit-ups
  • 10 squats
  • 10 stationary lunges (5 each side, I still have to be able to walk tomorrow)
  • 10 Spiderman crawls (my attempt at them, who knew that was so hard)

Well, so far Day 3 includes a mini-workout which means it’s better than yesterday.  I’ll take it as an improvement.

Whatever you are doing in your life, do one thing no matter how small to make today better than yesterday.

That’s all from this Cookiefiend today.  Signing off at 22:05h.  Good night world, I’ll see you on day 4!

Day 2

I don’t know where time went today.  I woke up at 4:30 AM and have been feeling sluggish all day.  A friend of mine who has this habit, but who also has a 9 PM bedtime says it’s normal for the first few days.  Until your body adjusts to the shock, and you set an earlier bedtime for yourself.

I also had a work party to attend which was a nice break.  But I did feel like I was going to fall asleep there if I didn’t leave early.  Now, I just have to breakup with Netflix because it’s a bad influence.  I say to myself I’m going to watch one episode and next thing I know it’s past eleven.

No workout today, unless yawning counts.  I kind of wish RubbySlippers was here to tell me I’ve got this.  Since she’s not, I’ll just have to tell myself until I make it.

Here’s to day 3, may it be better than day 2.  Signing off at 23h23.  Wish me luck world!

21 Day Challenge

If I had to describe my first 4:30 AM day in one word, I think it would have to be “rough”.  It may have something to do with my bedtime last night, so I am going to try to get to bed earlier today.  I’m not going to lie, I’ve been yawning for the last 3 hours and feel so drained.  I wasn’t very productive this morning, I just sat there contemplating why I was trying this and thinking that perhaps it is sheer madness.

Although it did give me time to think about my day, most of my focus was on staying awake.  So today I am going to try going to bed a little earlier to see if it pays off in the morning.  It would be nice to finally have a set workout time again, and perhaps those 3 hours I would gain in theory would allow me to get things I don’t particularly enjoy like working-out, out of the way first thing in the morning and leave time for other fun stuff later in the day.

I have an early party to go to tomorrow, it’s funny the older you get the earlier parties seem to get.  Then again they’ve also gone from plain ol’parties, to Tupperware parties, work parties, Enjo parties en so on.  Still it’s always nice to have a break in the day where you can just relax and enjoy the company of your friends and colleagues outside the workplace.  Also, Tupperware parties have come a long way since I remember attending one with my mom a million years ago.  Now they’re cooking demos, of 4 minute brownies, buffalo chicken dip, guacamole and many other delicious treats, no wonder people go to them.  And of course there is the nostalgia of flipping through the catalog and seeing so many things my parents still have in their kitchen.

Well, that’s all for today. it’s 21:50 h and time for sleep.  Until Day 2!

10 Reasons why you should change

As a child of the 80’s I’m so lucky to have seen so much already, and look forward to owning a car that drives itself one day.  I can still remember the euphoria of getting our first NES, our first computer, my first cell phone.  I can also remember doing math in my head, and a time where I didn’t doubt the math I had just done in my head or felt compelled to double-check it on my phone’s calculator.  I remember knowing so many phone numbers by heart, and now I second guess my own phone number, because it’s easier to exchange emails.

I also remember the clarity of knowing that there was so much to do in a day and that I couldn’t wait to get up and get started.  I took a little break-in between graduating from University in a first world country and took the road less traveled and went back to where my story started.  A country recovering from years of war, civil war at that, and earthquakes that took so many more lives.  A place where violence and fear are palpable and hope is slowly dwindling in the hearts of those who’ve stayed behind to rebuild a country whose beaches, mountains and country side beauty can leave you in awe and for a moment make you forget all evils.

It was truly an education no university could ever impart on me.  It was the real world my parents worked so hard to shelter me from and there I was looking at it all, wondering what I had gotten myself into.  No one thought I could last more than I month, to be honest I doubted myself too at first, but that flicker of self-doubt just strengthened my resolve to power through it.  I decided that since I looked like everyone else there, I would just blend in and live like everyone else.  Except that I was told that this was just a very western way of thinking, a north american romantic idea.  The simple fact that I was there by choice, wanting to stay in a country where everyone and their cousin wants to leave really meant that I could never be just like everyone else.

But there really isn’t a norm in a place where the socioeconomic gaps is so abysmal between those who have and have not, and once I learnt this, I realized that I had to make my own path in spite of not  really knowing  what that meant.  It’s ironic that I would be so “foreign” and out-of-place in the very place that saw me take my first breath and where more than once I felt I would take my last.  But my heart was fearless, although perhaps it was simply the recklessness of youth.

I thought I knew everything in my twenties and of course had the brilliant idea that blending-in meant eating like locals and so in my first three months in the country I lost a little over 30 pounds, because my stomach disagreed with everything I ate.  So you can imagine the shock on my first visit home.

It was an unhealthy weight loss to say  the least and my mom was worried.  I was too, but after my short visit I got back on that plane and returned on my journey, after all I had a world to change.  When I look back at photos of that time it almost feels surreal.  I still have a pair of jeans from those days and I haven’t tried it on in years because I look at it and don’t think it would go up past my calves let alone my thighs.  But I was sorting through some things and came across it earlier today and albeit it made me regret the Dr.Pepper and KFC I had earlier it also reminded me that there was a big reason why I lived a decade of my life trying to change things so far away.

Part of it was to help others, but a big part of it was to help myself.  To find myself and prove to myself that I could look at that big brave new world and stand up to it on my own two feet.  So really it was mostly about me, and as selfish as that may seem to some, it really is the best reason to do something.  Because doing something for you, and working hard to better yourself is the best way to help others.  Even airlines know this, and that’s why they ask that in the event of an emergency you fight your instinct to be a hero and put your oxygen mask on first, before you try to put one on others including your children.  Because what help would you be to them if you couldn’t breathe and passed out?

Somewhere along the way we lose sight of so much.  We become obsessed about helping others and forget to help ourselves.  We become selfless and forget that it’s ok to be a little selfishly authentic too.  It’s ok to want some me time.  It’s ok to want to do something just for you because you have to live with you everyday, so why not love you and try to be a better happier version of you everyday?

So unlike all those posts where we’re given the top 10 reasons to change, I am given you just one.  You.  Change what makes you unhappy for You.  Don’t blame others, let go of grudges, don’t blame the system, politics, that kid in 5th grade who broke your art project, just let it go and bet on you.

They say life’s a gamble and once again I’m all in.  Signing off a little later than expected at 23:23 EST, good night world, I’ll see you on day one of 4:30 AM.