21 Day Challenge: Day 11

Well it’s been a super productive day, unfortunately that means a fair bit of time on my computer.  I still managed to fit in a movie and to catch a Pokemon so not too bad.  Step count for the day is sitting at 5042, so I will need to pick it up tomorrow.

Then I’m headed out-of-town and going to cheer for my friend at her first ever body building show.  Who knows seeing so many fit people may make me want to get working on my fitness.

Also, Ghostbusters, if you haven’t already seen it, you should it exceeded my expectations.  I am not one for reinventing the wheel, but this was funny, and had it’s own storyline, so it’s not trying to be The Ghostbuster movies some of us love, but A Ghostbuster movie we can also enjoy.  If you’ve seen the original ones you’ll get some of the references and catch the 5 cameos.  You may also laugh at parts others don’t quite get, so don’t feel bad if you and your friends happen to be the only ones laughing at a reference while the rest of the movie theater is silent, just own it!  Oh and stay until the very end.

As for me, I’m signing off a little later than usual today, but I’m looking forward to what tomorrow might bring.  Hopefully some more sunshine 🙂

Good night world!  Signing off until day 12.

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 🙂

Zumbies

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Zumbies

As those of you who have been following my blog for sometime know, my friend A.G is getting married this summer. As such everyone is in workout mode. Although, we’ve both been working on fitness and keeping the weight we’ve lost off, it still is a struggle.

A.G’s motivation is a little more powerful than mine, as she has a dress to fit into…Still, the thought of me in a bathing suit should also motivate me to NOT skip workouts, and yet it doesn’t quite do the trick. This cold Canadian weather, ideal for warm sweatpants and big fluffy sweater can easily make you lose your focus and fall back into complacency…

So to avoid spiraling down the path I was on before, I’ve really had to dig very deep for motivation.  You know it’s bad when you start making excuses to miss your favorite Zumba class.  Still, there was one thing that had kept me coming to class and that is trying to learn a little dance AG wants us to do at her wedding.  Of course knowing that it takes me at the very least 7 months of prep time, I’ve had to keep going to Zumba.  Still, I have to say my progress was not looking promising at all.

I was however hopeful that once I pulled off AG’s belated Christmas surprise, things would improve.  Since AG reads my blog I hadn’t really been able to write about our secret plan to surprise her with a private Zumba lesson from our amazing instructor.  The plan was to have some of her closest friends get together and practice the song she wants us to perform at her wedding.  I’m happy to say that after months of schedule conflicts and cancellations we managed to pull it off.

Our turnout was not as expected but it was actually just the right size 🙂  AG’s face was priceless as she saw our Zumba instructor in the lobby of her building.  Total #fangirl moment.  It took her a few moments to figure out what was going on, but from then on she couldn’t really hide her excitement (and I have pictures and video footage to prove it).  I honestly couldn’t stop laughing when I started sending her the pics and video, because through most of her still shots she’s got the hugest smile!

In her own words, she was star struck, and I believe her.  You see AG loves taking selfies and for her to shy away from her phone, well it takes a lot.  In all honestly her crush level was comparable to that of a fan girl meeting Zac Effron, except she was trying to contain it and not appear too creepy, but the smile said it all lol!  We had a pretty great time, discovered that our Zumba instructors call our group their Zumbies, and also confirmed without a doubt that AG’s is without a doubt a solid Jenna Marble level 1 girl crush 🙂

So as I struggle through these next few weeks battling my eating habits, and crushing my excuses not to go to the gym, I’ll hold on to the fun times of Zumba, AG’s surprise, RubySlippers’ advice and remind myself why I’m doing what I do.  Motivation you see is the biggest part of it all and you have to make sure that no matter what anyone says you personally convince yourself that you are worth it!  That you are important and that you deserve to work on yourself, to improve and to train hard everyday to be the person you dream of being.

The truth is, it won’t be easy.  It won’t happen overnight.  There will be struggles, you will lose some battles, but if you stay the course, get back up, and keep at it, you will win the war against your fears, and that little voice in your head saying I Can’t.  If you ever feel like giving in or giving up, please don’t, just keep going because it really is like RubySlippers says: “You’ve got this!”

Believe!

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Believe!

Happy Sunday everyone! Sundays have always been my favorite days. Mostly because everything seems to slow down and it’s okay to lounge around on a lazy Sunday afternoon. So make sure you enjoy today! Take a moment for yourself and think about how far you’ve come. Think of how much higher you can still soar! Think of the wonderful people and things in your life and be grateful for them. Remind yourself to slow down every now and then to enjoy life around you.

Smile often and soon enough you’ll realize that if you do, then the Universe will start smiling right back at you. As you go through your day, think of how great your life can still be, and ask yourself what else you can do to make it happen. Take those positive thoughts with you to bed, and dream of all those amazing things you can still accomplish.

Keep in mind that your life might not be where you had envisioned it to be right now, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get there. So stay positive, work hard, do good and don’t be afraid to dream big!

P.S.
This is my 100th post 😛 Thanks to each and everyone of you for reading, sharing, commenting, following, inspiring & motivating me to continue on my imacookiefiend journey ❗ Sending lots of positive thoughts & encouragement right back at ya!

@ImaCookiefiend

Acts of Random Kindness

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A.R.K

I looked up and realized that there was still a long, steep and hard road ahead of me. For a moment I felt discouraged and overwhelmed as I stood there roasting beneath the scorching sun. The heat and humidity made even breathing a challenge.

Our truck was stuck in the middle of nowhere and of course the “no service” icon was in full display on each of our cell phones. The only option was walking and hoping to stumble upon help as there’s no chance of CAA in these mountains.

One day this will be a highway and these mountains will be overpopulated, but right now it might as well be a desert. It seems like we’ve been down this road for hours, and yet my watch says it hasn’t really been that long. We hear the blast of dynamite in the distance as crews work to make their way through the mountain. Help is near or so we hoped.

We walked in silence, hungry, thirsty and on the verge of a heat stroke, comforted only by the idea that there is safety in numbers. We’ve heard too many stories of rabid ocelots and other wild creatures in these parts and so we moved forward hoping to reach help or shelter before night fall.

As we powered through we also took turns complaining and whining about our predicament. Until we saw a red spot moving in the distance. The heat haze shimmered above the dirt road and at first we couldn’t tell what it was. Without saying a word we came to a collective stop and stared in complete silence waiting for the figure to come closer into focus. I took out my camera and zoomed in to get a better look.

As I did I couldn’t contain my laughter. It echoed and also made my companions question my sanity. So they took turns looking through the lens making sure that the heat and desolation of this place hadn’t been playing tricks on my mind.

Sure enough as we walked closer we knew that it was no mirage or apparition. Help was in sight! We walked on towards the ambulant vendor hoping she had either food or drink in her red plastic tub. Soon we caught up with her, a friendly and witty woman in her late fifties who walks three hours up and then three hours down the mountain everyday in this unbearable heat just to be able to put food on the table for all her eight children.

Hearing her candidly tell us her story, and laugh at our fear of the tales of wild beast roaming the mountain told by locals to frighten naive foreigners like us, we realized how trivial our transportation problem was in comparison to her story and that of thousands of single parents struggling to keep their families afloat.

Our little group would later talk about how we felt when hearing her story, her optimism and positive outlook on life and her dreams and hope for her children’s future. We felt ashamed of ourselves, for complaining about the little bends in the road and for not being thankful for all that we have. We were schooled in the most unlikely place by someone who never went to school but knew more about life and spoke in such an eloquently motivational way that given the right circumstances she could give Tony Robbins himself a run for his money.

She hadn’t sold much of what she had baked that day, and as she was making her way down the mountain two hours ago she had prayed that she would at least make one or two more sales to break even and start again tomorrow.

Her prayer had been answered because we were famished and bought everything she had left. We sat there on that dirt road devouring the sweet bread and pastries and forgot ourselves for a moment. By the time we looked up we saw our traveling friend walking back towards the construction crew without saying a word. A short while later she was riding back in the bed of the pickup truck driven by the construction crew’s foreman.  When we got in the truck we learned that not only had she gone back to get us help, but according to the foreman she had also declined the offer to ride back in the air conditioned cabin because she thought that we looked like we needed it more than she did.

Had I not been so dehydrated I probably would have cried at all the kindness she bestowed upon us. It all made me think of my mother. As long as I can remember she’s always said that you should be kind to others, give selflessly and expect nothing in return because you never know when you yourself might need a helping hand. Unknowingly or without all the bells and whistles of today’s social media this lady, my mother and countless other amazing people have been paying it forward all these years. And there in the middle of a nameless mountain, life had paid it forward to my group and I as we met a wonderful and kind stranger who reminded us that you don’t have to be Noah to build an A.R.K (Act of Random Kindness).

The Pursuit of Happiness

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The Persuit of Happiness

Happiness, that ever elusive feeling that comes and goes and seems to have a mind of its own. Or perhaps it is simply as illusive as it is elusive and that’s why we constantly chase it in hopes of basking in its ephemeral presence…

The sun is out and it’s a beautiful day today. My life is not quite where I had envisioned it, but it’s not over so there’s still time and a great deal of hard work ahead to get to where I want to be.

Still, at this very moment, I have much to be thankful for and I am.

I also choose to be happy because lets be honest, the emo-ish alternative isn’t too appealing. It gets old and boring pretty soon. If you don’t believe me, then ask your friends and family what kind of person they’d rather hang-out with, and I’d be surprised if they chose a Debbie Downer. So do yourself a favor today, smile and choose to be happy too!

Coconut Bliss

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Coconut Bliss

Sometimes in life you just have to have a little faith and hope for the best. Especially when you decide to take a nap under a very tall coconut palm tree…just close your eyes and try not to think about velocity, acceleration and gravity 😉

Wherever you are in life just ask yourself: How does it get any better than this? Because if you ask the right questions and listen carefully the Universe will answer. So if you’re willing to take a leap of faith & put in the work, it will inevitably get better!