21 Day Challenge: Day 8

Sometimes I feel like there should be a recovery day between the weekend and Mondays.  Since there isn’t I’ve decided to start looking at Mondays as an opportunity to set the pace for the rest of the week.  So when I go up this morning I started thinking of what was great about this new week and making a mental list of what I wanted to do this week and why.  I’ve decided to invite gratitude back into my life.  Because I know that I am very lucky and that whatever burdens or issues and challenges I think I have don’t even begin to compare to the hardship millions go through around the world.

Day after day horrible things happen in the world, and lately some people have started asking me why it seems that I’m never really aware of these or don’t find out until it comes up in conversation.  To be honest in the last few months it’s not that want to be ignorant of current affairs or that I don’t care, but more so that listening to so much negativity and chaos can sometimes get to be too much.  It really sucks us in, and we start to think that the world is just getting worst.

We forget that there are wonderful human beings out there trying to save lives everyday.  We forget that there are still strangers doing Acts of Random Kindness everyday.  We forget that there is still good and love in this world, and that all the energy we pour into reacting to all those terrible stories we could invest in doing good.  The world can still get better, and we can still make a difference.  So for those of you who ask if I just don’t care anymore, I say of course I do.  It’s because I care so much that I want to work on me, so that I can do more instead of just talking about it.

For now I want to follow Mr. Rogers’ advice and look for the helpers amidst all this senseless violence.  If only CNN would start focusing on them too, we’d see that there is still hope for us all.

That’s all for today.  Signing off at 12,685 steps today, and wishing you all a good night!  May tomorrow be a better day, and may you find a moment to be kind to yourself and others.

 

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

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!

Hiatus

So much has changed since my last post, that I’m not even sure what to type.  I could tell you all about my journey, but I feel like looking back is not the best thing for me right now…Lewis Caroll said it best:  “But it’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”.  Which is true, not only for me, but for you as well. 

Every day changes us, and every new day gives us an opportunity to change ourselves.  Change comes in so many shapes and forms.  For some the main focus is physical.  We call it fitness and we focus on it, and this is a good thing, as long as we don’t lose sight of everything else around us.  Because, more than just fitness, what we need is Wellness. 

Unlike fitness, wellness, requires us to take a long hard look at what lies beyond the looking glass, and deep within.  In my case it took trying to discipline my body to admit to myself that there are other aspects of my life that I have to get back on track with.  When you workout, people who train you always tell you to listen to your body, but unless you’re into yoga, nobody really talks about your mind.  If your mind is as busy as mine trying to keep everything together, juggling all the responsibilities that come with this little thing called adulthood, can be rather exhausting. 

Which is why we have to be careful not to forget to balance things out.  For me this means shifting my focus from fitness to wellness and trying to find that mind-body balance…and off course dealing with this tendency I have of being a workaholic when I’m doing something I truly enjoy, which lately is most of the time. 

My approach to life may be different now than it was a year ago, but my goal of getting better is still the same.  I’m ready to try new things and move forward, and to my surprise quitting is not an option in my mind anymore.  Which is a pretty big deal for me, and brings this new feeling of “unstuck-ness” for which I should thank a number of people in my life, like my friends & family who support me unconditionally.  You for reading my posts, for the likes & follows that are more encouraging than you will ever know.  And of course RubbySlippers, for being blunt, genuine and not letting me get away with minimum effort (commonly known as half-assing stuff).   But mostly for the “You`ve got this“ which may have started as a joke and somehow turned into a mantra…because, I`ve got this! 

I`m not quite sure which road I`ll take to where I`m going, but now that I`m back from my little hiatus, I`ll be sure to keep you posted.  I know that there will be countless bends in the road ahead, still, I’m curious to see where it will lead.

roadchoice    

 

 

 

Cheerleaders

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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 🙂

Calm before the storm

This week is just getting started and already I’m stressing over how I’m going to get everything done.  So before I break out into a panic attack, I’ve decide to do two things.  One take a few minutes to myself to simply be and breathe.  Two, take some time to challenge my body in hopes that the physical exhaustion brings clarity to my mind.

The first part is easy, breathing exercises usually just make me want to take a nap, so I enjoy them.  It also loosens up my neck muscles which seem tense as of late.  The second part is a bit of a challenge, especially because I don’t want to overdo it before Tuesday`s group class with RubySlippers.  Yes, you read correctly, I`m back to training with the one and only drill sarge…I mean RubySlippers.  To prepare, I dragged myself to the gym a few times last week, and I have to admit I`m a little scared.  I`m not sure if the new Zumba playlist requires more intense movement or if I’m simply out of touch.  What I do know is that I was completely out of breath after Friday night’s class and that is not a good omen.

The good thing is that RubySlippers knows where I live so if worst comes to worst she can make sure my post-workout passed-out self gets home after her class.  I`m keeping my fingers crossed and hoping she`ll take it easy on the first class, but I doubt it.  She seems to enjoy the pain I experience during our workouts together, when she says it`s just my fat crying as it leaves my body.  Newsflash, my fat is not the only thing crying!

Still I keep going back, partly because I know she`s right and the other part because I suspect I was dropped on my head as an infant…why else would I like and befriend someone who pushes me so hard?!?

Normally I would say..

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But today, I have decided to try to make it to Zumba and just unwind.  To jump around in the crowded class, and not care how goofy I look trying to follow along the choreos of all the new songs…for those of you who are familiar with my blog you’ll now I look a little lost the first seven day…uh I mean months of the new songs and then as I get comfortable they change them on me.

Changes and all I love my Zumba class, even if RubySlippers mocks it.  I enjoy it because it’s fun and a great gateway to an active lifestyle.  With Zumba class I don’t have to worry about how I look or how the Latin rhythm gene skipped me, because apparently it also skipped a whole bunch of other people and regulars in the class who don’t seem to care either.  The only real downside to Zumba is these small quirks we regulars tend to develop…where we don’t like it when others get there earlier and take our spots…..nooooooooooooooooo! 😦  #problemsofazumbaregularzumba-place

On Today’s Menu:

  • Zumba

On Tomorrow’s Menu:

  • The return of RubySlippers

Wish me luck!

Resolutions

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Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions, those crazy little words that people write down and say every January. New Year’s Resolutions are a great thing, but only if keep them. Since I know myself well enough to know I rarely keep my own New Year’s resolution, I resolved quite some time ago not to make any. Why put that kind of pressure on myself, only to give self-loathing another excuse to visit me come February?

The problem with all those spontaneous resolutions made while we are pumped up on holiday cheer and all its sugary carb-loaded deliciousness, is that we don’t think them through. We make them and expect them to happen overnight in the same way children expect Santa to go around the world in one night delivering presents. When the reality is that unless you have Santa’s magic, a lot of the things you want won’t happen unless you’re willing to put time and a lot of work into them. A LOT of work!

The other thing to keep in mind is the enthusiasm with which you jump into these short lived resolutions. Enthusiasm like motivation wears off, it has to be renewed constantly, so be prepared to do so. As the honeymoon stage of your resolutions wears off, you have to remind yourself why you are doing what you are doing. If you can’t remember the why, or if it’s not an important and compelling why, then maybe it’s time to reconsider and find a truly meaningful reason to do what you do.  Because as Diana Nyad once said if it`s important to you…“you`ll find a way“.  Otherwise you`ll be like all those people who were not at the deserted gym on Friday…yes already 2 weeks into the 2014 game and the crowds have thinned out.  I`m not complaining about all the space, but it`s a little sad to know that already people are paying and not using their memberships, and most will continue that way for the remaining 11 months of their contract.  So please, don`t be that girl/guy who only lasted 2 weeks at the gym.

This 2014, join me in not writing down and constantly obsessing over new year`s resolutions.  Instead let`s pledge to actually keep moving and taking action in our lives.  Let`s be a little less talk and a lot more action!  Don`t join things because they are trendy, try them out first.  Then, if you do join and start something, stick to it!

Keep your chin up and your goals in mind, then work hard for them.  Do you dream about having a beach body?  Then eat healthy and train hard for those abs and buns of steel!  Because Dreams are great, they are projections of what your heart wants.  But to make dreams come true you need more than just heart, you HAVE TO DO the work!

I`ve been kinda stuck in this pattern where I do my thing M-F like it`s a 9 to 5 thing, and then on the weekend I just do what I want and it most certainly does not include working out.  Today as I type away, I realize how crazy that mentality is and how easy it is to fall into it so comfortably.  The reality is that life is a 24/7 gig and so should your work.  When I say work I don`t mean what you do for a living, that`s just your bread and butter.  When I say work, I mean real work.  Work is everything else you do to be better and improve the substance that is You.  For some it`s getting back on track with life, for others it`s finding what that track is.  It really is different for everyone.

For me it`s shaping my life and breathing meaning back into it.  As RubySlippers says:  “we all have a story“…and we do.  Mine is a bit of an on-going sitcom, but I`m not going to bore you with it (although you would probably pee your pants laughing at some parts of it), instead I am going to ask you to think about your own story.  Think not about the past, but about right now and what you would like to change moving forward.  Think about the here and now parts that are making you feel the way you do.  Then take the first step and decide to change!  Once you make that heart felt choice out of your own free-will, then and only then will you “find a way“.  If love for others can make you do crazy and heroic things, just imagine what true love of self can do for your life…

So rekindle your love for yourself, and if you don`t like who you are then re-invent yourself!  Get back into the driver seat of your life, and take it somewhere!  Remember that nothing changes if nothing changes, so let`s change!  It`s like RubySlippers says:“You`ve got this!“

As for me, I`m off to get re-acquainted with long lost push-ups…and working on shedding one pound at a time.  I am still a work in progress, and as slow as that process may seem, I remind myself that each inch of progress brings me closer to my ultimate goal of a lifetime of guilt-free cookies on Sundays 🙂