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 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: 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.

 

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!