Category Archives: Fitness

Alcohol free zone…..really?

Have you ever considered how much space alcohol takes up in your life?    I mean the sitting around sipping wine, the wine with dinner, the digestif’s, and the sometimes groggy day(s) following the night before.       Some of you needn’t consider this at all, others may.     Everyone is different.  Enough, or too much varies between individuals.

Or does it?     What is the norm exactly?  It’s an interesting debate really.   Depending who you ask, a glass of wine with dinner every night is the norm, and not at all problematic.     Yet, the next person, would consider drinking every day, completely over the the top. 

Thought I’d share with you my latest project (well I have a few going, but this is one of the latest).     I have decided to remove alcohol completely for 30 days, November 15 to December 15.

No, I’m not in any sort of program, and no I’m not in trouble – please don’t worry.       But what I am testing is the impact that alcohol (specifically wine, I really don’t drink anything else), has on serotonin levels.     Recall, I am on a wellness journey and my hormones and serotonin levels are at the forefront of my study.       I am testing varying amounts of alcohol against how I feel and my overall outlook.   And we all know that alcohol is a depressant.  Right now, my test is at “0” amounts of alcohol.       But I have to say, while the ‘no alcohol’ isn’t a big deal, the habits, routines, and traditions around alcohol are fairly deep-set.     For example, one of our traditions is kicking back on Friday nights with a few drinks, order-in pizza, and catching up while sitting around the fire.     While all of this can certainly happen without alcohol, it does somewhat change the tradition somewhat.     For me, anyway.     

So far, I am half way through, and am feeling fantastic.     I am trying hard not to make early conclusions as I really feel I need to complete the full month to have complete understanding of the project on the whole.

I am curious as to how many people have ever considered this in their life?    Certainly, I can’t be the only one.    (Can I?).       

alcohol free zone

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Wellness – not a project after all?

I had a lovely acupuncture appointment today with my ND.    We talked alot about the wellness journey.     I explained to her that I was beginning to feel better, how it seemed to be a slow and steady journey, and how bit by bit, day by day, I was feeling improvements, more energy, a better outlook. 

Knowing how I project manage everything (this didn’t take her long to figure out), she counseled me on the process of wellness and how health is not a project – there is no start, middle or end.   It is not “accomplished” once a certain goal is reached.     It is a constant and continuous journey.       

I have a hard time with this concept I must say.    How does one manage something that doesn’t have a start and end?        This is definitely homework on my end – maybe I need to ‘project manage’ my inclination to project manage my health.    JK.

In the meantime, I read this on The Happiness Project today, so I thought I’d share

10 Common Happiness Mistakes.                               

  1. To delay to do something important until you have some “free time,” because you may never have any free time
  2. To retreat into isolation when you’re unhappy
  3. To neglect to make a small change because you think a big change is necessary
  4. To refuse to consider a big change because you assume you can only make a small change
  5. To “treat” yourself to something you wouldn’t ordinarily permit yourself, because you’re feeling blue
  6. To postpone something important until you’re feeling healthier, or thinner, or married, or whatever
  7. To think that you can “make” someone else be happy
  8. To imagine that what’s true for other people is true for you
  9. To spend too much time, or not enough time, thinking about the past, present, or future
  10. To ignore the truth about your own temperament, interests, and aptitudes

Well, in my opinion, there are no mistakes – only learning.

Happy Hump Day everyone, let the sun shine on.

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Get up’n go for Pete’s sake…..

I think I mentioned my year long date with my personal trainer is coming to an end.     We only have somewhere in the neighborhood of 6 sessions left.     That’s just a few weeks.

So, I’ve joined the gym in my building (for $60/year), and will be talking to a trainer today who writes training plans for people to work out on their own.   

My question is – how do I gear up to do this on my own?     I need to find the zone  and get in it – you know those times in your life when you are in “the zone” and it’s a no-brainer, you just go and workout because it’s what you really WANT to do.      You wouldn’t dare let the day pass without getting your workout in.  

So what would Caitlin do, or Angela, or Jenna?      (Ok for the record, these three women are a lot younger than me!  Just sayin’)

My new project is to search for the “get up’n go” required to do this on my own.     I know I have IT.   IT has shown itself at various points in my life.     I need to feed IT to get IT to come out of hiding.      Hmmmmm……….what to feed IT????     This is the question.

So, what do you feed your IT to get it out of hiding, and stay in charge?     (please don’t say ice cream :))

                     no impact aerobics

Cartoon by Every Day People Cartoons

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Project: Smart Spending (SS)

My husband and I are challenging ourselves with a new project:

Project Smart Spending

I love this project.   To me it creates order, and anyone who knows me, knows I love order.     Gretchen Rubin of The Happiness Project says ”external order creates internal order” – but I think the same goes for financial order.    Don’t you think?

Happiness Project 2 Jpeg

(this is a great read by the way – afterall, it’s a “project”)

Anyway, on a similar note, my husband cooked dinner tonight! (! intended)    He decided that he was going to make lasagna.    Not one but two lasagna’s.       Much to my surprise, they were bubblin’ in the oven when I got home (hub doesn’t cook as a rule, so yes this was a surprise.   Although he tells me he made me a roast 5 years ago :)).       Anyway, while enjoying his amazing creation, we did the math and calculated that each serving cost about $2 per serving!!!!       This was a major A-HA for us!      When can you eat good homemade food for $2!!!???      This fit nicely into Project Smart Spending, without us even making a conscious effort.     Imagine what we can accomplish when we put some conscious effort forward(?).

Another item on Project SS  is my fitness regime.    I have decided to join the gym in my building.     Cost:   $60 per year!!       Then, I will hire a trainer that my g-friend uses to do 6-week plans for $40.        Now that is some smart spending, in my opinion.

In the meantime, I’m going to add a couple of strength programs to my regime myself.       Caitlin from the Healthy Tipping Point posted today about starting the following strength programs:    One Hundred Pushups and Two Hundred Pushups.

pushups jpeg

situpds

How awesome would it be to do 100 pushups?      Love it.     And better yet, it’s free – you do this program at home.

It gets better.    As some of you know, I’ve been shopping for fabric for my headboard.     So, I have to admit, we bought some last week, and put it together yesterday, and I hate it.     So, while this is NOT a good move for Project SS, we chose another fabric (the fabric I should have gone with in the first place).     The swatch I got from the store was $36/yard.     BUT!!  I found it online for $8/yard – so my headboard will cost $24!! (well besides attempt #1) but still!!       I need a round of applause here for resourcefulness!

Please share some of your Project SS  choices – I’d love to hear them……

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Oh the joy…….

Today is ending so awesomely (is that a word, I think so, no red underlining).     Okay, so today.      Weekly team breakfast meeting at work – went pretty well, made some contributions, didn’t sound crazy or anything.      Check.

The rest of the day was…….also pretty good.     Heard back on a proposal we submitted, that we are in first place so far, and now it’s down to pricing.     And we priced to win.       Check.

The rest of the day was f-i-n-e.     Nothing special.       Afternoon a little long I must say.      Mini-chocolate bars in the kitchen disappeared, so didn’t even have any chocolate to entertain myself with.     Yes, I know, I am better for it.    Yada yada.

But, the piece-de-resistance was this evening.     I went to watch my friend play women’s volleyball.     And when I walked into that gymnasium it was like I was home.    For those who don’t me, I played women’s volleyball alot of my life.    Varsity volleyball in high school, played some college ball, and played on women’s teams through my 20’s and 30’s.      Fell away from it when my ladies started having babies, and well I really haven’t played since.

That old familiar smell of the gymnasium, the sound of balls hitting the floor from women running drills, the sound of sneakers on the hardwood, the ref’s whistle blowing, the cheering, the camaraderie – ohhhh, I’ve got the fever.     I’ve been away so long, I thought I had lost it.

You know, I think there’s something just so good about sports.     And playing sports.     I wonder sometimes, if we spend too much time in the gym, or doing solo type activities, ie, running, yoga.      It’s good for the soul to “play”.

So, while the leagues have already started, I’ve committed to putting my name on a spares list, and getting back on the court.    

I fell in love all over tonight.        Here are some shots that bring me joy.

071018-F-1798W-123 

US Women’s Team.

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Wasn’t sure which team this is – but check out their reach – wowza!

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US Women’s power hitter.    Check how much air she has!!!  Yeah!

“Play” is good for the soul.      I know I don’t “play” enough.      Do you?

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Yoga. Love. Inspired.

I just got home from my yoga class.      I went to a Yin class at Santosha Yoga  in Westboro.   I am so pleased with my class.   I LOVE Yin Yoga.    It’s exactly what I always thought yoga was, or should be.    I can’t wait to do it again.     And the instructor was amazing – Markus Sanchez.       If you can catch his class, highly recommend you take it.

As I was walking home, I stopped into a home decor store, and got the decorating bug.    And now, as I write this, I am watching Sarah Richardson.

I’m finding wallpaper more and more appealing.    Now, I know it’s been all-the-go, for a few years, but it’s just really hit me.      I’m itchy to decorate.     Am planning a trip up Merivale Road to a fabric store as soon as I sign off.   Good thing to do on a rainy Saturday I think. 

In the meantime, some inspiration:

ceilingtort

sarahs-house2-guest-suite1-image1

Love this room by Sarah Richardson.

west-coast-classic-dining-room-image1

Dining room by Sarah Richardson.

Off to the fabric store – how I love fabric.      And wallpaper, apparently.

Happy rainy Saturday afternoon.

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Times….they’re a-changin’

Well, what a day this has been!!    What is the date today exactly?!     October 19th.    This one’s gotta be documented.    I’m tired – thought about not writing, but seriously, this one’s gotta be captured.

So, after going to to bed at 7:00 pm last night, with lights out at 7:30, I awoke at my typical 5:15 AM(!) to my alarm waking me for a work out.        Yes, I went to bed at 7:00 last night, and yes, it’s because I was up till (only?) midnight two nights in a row, and yes, this completely does me in and forces me to go to bed at 7:00 p.m.    Ok, so that’s covered.

So, I decided yesterday, that today was the first day of “Project Yoga”.    OK, no I didn’t make it to yoga on Sunday.  Why?    because I was up till midnight on Saturday night (see above), and I fell asleep on Sunday afternoon, and didn’t make it.     Covered.   

So, I found a class at 6:30 a.m. this morning, as I’m not an evening person (clearly [see above paragraph]) .   I am beginning to think that maybe yoga is best done in the a.m.     I hear that of a great studio, and I set out to attend a Kundalini 6:30 class.

So, feeling all rested (10 hours of sleep afterall), I arrive at the studio, and expressively explain I am there for Kundalini.       She asks me if I’ve ever attended such a class, to which I reply, ‘no’.      Her reply:    “Ohhhhh, okaaaaaay…….no problem”.      Hmmmmm, I wonder.       I begin to look around and realize that everyone who is funneling in to the studio is wearing white, and some have these turbin type things on their heads.     Me:   a purple (a nice colour for the record) Nike T-Shirt, yoga pants (at least they weren’t sweats), and my sweat socks.     I whisper to the woman, “why is everyone in white?”    She explains, it’s the Kundalini practice, and that it’s a spiritual thing.     Oh dear.    My athletic self is feeling very intimidated, or…..definitely in the wrong place.

                                    

So, I fight that off, and up I go to the “Soul Room”.     I am there with 5 other “students”.     The yogi approaches me in her ‘healing’ way, and explains the practice.       I’m OK, I’m good.    All good, not to worry.     Yeh, good to go. 

And so we begin.    Chanting,     And lots of it.     I have to read off of a piece of paper, which surely, in my mind, defeats the whole purpose of the chant.    But I gotta ask, what’s up with the chanting?     I get that it’s a prayer in Sanskrit, but if it means nothing to you, is it really a prayer?     Reminds me  of going to Saturday night mass as a kid, at a french church in Quebec  (we’re anglo’s), not understanding a word, but by God, we were there.     What does it really mean?

So, I made it through, shorter than I expected (note:  no clock on the wall to watch).      Different.     And an……… experience.    Am feeling pretty good, Project Yoga has been kick started.

The day at work was an average day.     I’ll skip past that.

After work, I met my most favoured and reliable hair stylist.      She took me from from cougar- blond (my made up label just now) to 5-year old brunette (yes, I brought a picture of me when I was five – I had good hair then, so leave it!).      Fairly happy here.

Oh, no, the day is not over.     Next, I meet my old and very dear friend, Louise  at a wonderful wine bar in The Glebe.

                                    Lou

(this is Louise – nothing she does is mainstream [in a good way])

She is an amazing woman whom I love and cherish.    She is one of those friends that is just so comfortable to be with, it makes my heart open wide to be in her company.  😉

We share some wine and some delicious Food.     All the while, ‘LouLou’ is probing, and prompting, and pushing me on my fitness level.       I explain to her that while my hormones are wacked, I’m feeling pretty strong physically.       She asks me how many (men’s) push-ups I can do.    I tell her.    She’s impressed.      We pay our bill, we leave, and she is still talking about these push-ups.     End-result:  there we both are, doing push-up’s on Fourth Avenue in the Glebe.     Leslie, you’d be proud.    

I remind her how times have changed.     We used to be in the Market at 2:00 a.m., eating street meet, smoking cigarettes, trying to hail a cab ‘cause we can’t drive.    Now, we’ve had minimal wine, good food, it’s 9:00 p.m. and we’re doing men’s pushups in the middle of the road ‘cause we’re so proud :).     

Oh, the time’s they are a changin’ (or I should say, “have changed” in this case). 

My challenge to you:      aim to do 3 sets of 12 men’s push-ups 3 x week.      And, just to add to that, reconnect with an old friend – perhaps you can do the push-up’s together .

Love you Lou Lou!!!    Never a dull moment!

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