ASTALANYA   17,793
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Tired and Bedeviled

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

By the tone of my thoughts, I definitely feel the effects of stress from work. Yesterday and today were resoundingly thankless due to a string of miserable tasks, unappreciative coworkers, and most importantly, verbal confirmation I was only hired to "fill in 1s and 0s." Great reaffirmation I have any occupational worth or growth here, thanks guys. Earlier in the week, another coworker joked that I must feel highly underutilized and I agreed, unable to quite disguise the bitter note in my voice. It's been an ongoing problem since I was hired on -- I get treated like a lame girl Friday, doing tasks and jobs which amount to busy work and menial labour instead of the higher scope my project administrator role actually entails. The one person who turns to me for the financial and contract tasks is on the far side of the state, and unfortunately no one yet trained me on how the processes for our division work. Great times.

The stress has turned into a knot at the nape of my neck from standing over a comb binder, cobbling together pages off the copier refusing to print straight. I am irritable, annoyed, and desperately looking forward to water aerobics tonight. Never mind I suck at half the moves, never mind I spend half the time looking around trying to figure out what's going on in the last two or three classes. The water supports me, embraces me, and takes away the unease and embarrassment of being out of sync or not quite toned and on the ball as long-time athletes.

I look forward to those moments when I hop into the pool, stretch out, and feel somewhat graceful. Albeit the flotation belt fails me most every time, for I fit the smallest size on its smallest setting but it keeps riding up my back. Is that a sign I'm skinny? Or they don't stock extra small?

It's not all bad though. I refuse to focus only on the negative!

Either way, the sun is out and as soon as lunch hits, I'm running out to do chores, like return an overdue library book. I bought the beau and I a brewery tour down at Atwater Brewery -- Google Offer of the day, $6 netted us 8 tastings, a tour, and our own pint glass. A healthy lunch awaits, and my efforts to up my water intake are going very well. Plus, dinner is sort of made if I have the skillet lasagna we made two nights ago. I think I'm in love with that recipe.

Karma clearly loves me because I got the Yelp! review of the day for Detroit.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TEGOCHU 5/10/2012 1:16PM

    Ugh, sorry for posting twice. D: Well, I guess this makes three. ~_~

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TEGOCHU 5/10/2012 1:15PM

    After working for possibly the worst, most horribly run company in all of Canada, I have to say that I totally feel you on the job woes. Any chance of finding a new one? I just know that I spent way too many years at that company and it was starting to change me as a person.. I didn't like feeling angry and upset every day. You deserve to be in a job where you enjoy yourself and you feel appreciated!

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TEGOCHU 5/10/2012 1:15PM

    After working for possibly the worst, most horribly run company in all of Canada, I have to say that I totally feel you on the job woes. Any chance of finding a new one? I just know that I spent way too many years at that company and it was starting to change me as a person.. I didn't like feeling angry and upset every day. You deserve to be in a job where you enjoy yourself and you feel appreciated!

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ASTALANYA 5/9/2012 11:55AM

    If only massages weren't $40 around here. :D And the beau is on the far side of town.... XD

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RHEYNKLW 5/9/2012 11:51AM

    (Wow, that came off as a little creepy...)

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RHEYNKLW 5/9/2012 11:51AM

    You know you would feel so much better if you just got a massage...

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DISP715 5/9/2012 11:21AM

    Oh Honey. So sorry work is so stressful. Can I just say, that you don't have to give away your power. Work doesn't define you. Everyday, you go to work because you have too, but, never let anyone change who you are. You don't sleep with them and you don't have to take them home. Therefore, their opinions are not important and have no weight in how you should feel about yourself. ALSO, you have choices, it might not seem that way or in any way be easy, but, you do have choices. Everyday check the paper for other jobs. Maybe online classes. Maybe a new career?? I am in no way minimizing how you feel, I just want you to look at it with different eyes. As of today say "NO MORE". Good luck darling! HUGS!!

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ASTALANYA 5/9/2012 11:17AM

    Sorry to hear that it's raining in Montreal; it rained yesterday through the morning and midday. Hopefully you can find a good activity for a drizzly day. Nonetheless, it's a beautiful city no matter the weather. I hope to get there this summer! *fingers crossed*

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MONTREAL12 5/9/2012 11:15AM

  emoticon Glad to hear that you are enjoying the Sun, its raining here in Montreal. Thanks for sharing; have a wonderful day! emoticon

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VEUVEGIRL 5/9/2012 11:15AM

    Good for you looking at the bright side!

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May Goals

Friday, May 04, 2012

My May Goals:
1. Drink 10 cups of water a day consistently.
2. Plan 4 days of meals (3 meals, 2 snacks) a week.
3. Track dinner 7 days a week.
4. Cook breakfast every morning.
5. Burn 4,000 to 5,000 calories a week.
6. Do one cross-training class and one HydroFit class a week.
7. Ditch pop. Again.
8. Do 10 minutes of strength training with cardio.
9. Use my Jillian Michaels DVD!
10. Tell myself I look great once a day.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ASTALANYA 5/9/2012 11:15AM

    So far I'm not going along too badly...

1] Getting up there.
2] Hasn't happened this week, but that's mostly because I'm eating the same salad lunch and skillet lasagna.
3] I think I've done this!
4] Nope. :(
5] Doesn't look like it.
6] Going to Cross-Training on Thursday or Friday if it kills me.
7] I did it! :D YAY!
8] Need to be more consistent.
9] Haven't been able to get the TV away from my roommate.
10] Have, and so has the beau.

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FLEURGARDEN 5/4/2012 4:12PM

    Good luck with those goals! emoticon

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Day 10: Off My Butt

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Today marks just two weeks (!) of attending regular group exercise classes (water aerobics and cross-training) at the Y. Three to four weeks for biking and elliptical after work every day. Not even 10 days ago, I put procrastination aside to turn in my Group On voucher at the local yoga studio, saw an enormous snaking line, and decided to wait a few weeks for the crowds to calm down. I found something else to fill that time. Boy, did I ever.

Now I have a swim cap, my flops, two bathing suits, and my beach towel at the ready. My little string bag is armed with a water bottle, sweat-wicking socks, my rather beloved Lululemon pants, and trusty Kindle.

At 6:00 every Tuesday, I'm in a studio. 6:45 every Monday and Wednesday, in the water. Though I was scared away from a crosstraining (aerobics like) class by embarrassment, I need to be back in there Thursday and Friday at 7:00. There's a cycling class today at 6:15 guaranteed to make me sweat...

Look at these changes. A regular exercise plan. A routine, a route from work, abandonment of the worries about awkward appearance. I can see areas to improve too:

1. More consistency over the weekend
2. Using my workout videos
3. Higher impact cardio
4. Lunch time cardio + strength training
5. More strength training

Not too bad for someone who drove around for two months with a yoga mat in her car that she never peeled out of the packing. It gets flung on the floor every Tuesday, and needs to come out more. Unfortunately the "easy" yoga classes are a tight fit after the water aerobics (I have to fly from one to the other) and the Yin yoga is T/R. I'll find something that works.

But here's proof positive: if you have a will, you can do it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FLEURGARDEN 5/3/2012 2:17PM

    Great job! I've learned that unless I schedule my workout time, it just never happens. And I've learned to be prepared for workouts so I have no excuses. I pack my gym bag with three sets of workout clothes at the beginning of the week and keep it in my car so it's always handy.

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TEGOCHU 5/3/2012 12:36PM

    Wow, talk about an awesome routine! Sounds like you've definitely got things under control! Good for you for trying new things and getting out of your comfort zone. :)

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Try, Try Again

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

There is no failure. Only feedback. ~Robert Allen

Another bout of working out begins this week and I am looking forward to getting into the YMCA for the group exercise classes. I need it!

Rainy weather has not promoted my usual lunch time walks, and I need a substitution for getting out into the fresh air for my usual 2.5 miles. A private gym downstairs for another company in the building tempts me every time I walk past: they have bosu balls, spinning bikes, gleaming yoga equipment, and all of it off limits. So far my inquiries to find out whether I might get access are gently rebuffed as they reached maximum capacity for employees. I'd be willing to go down at non-peak hours, but we will see. Maybe after their construction to expand the existing facility, the company will consider more people on their waitlist.

Yesterday was my third (!) lesson in water aerobics, something I find I enjoy greatly. The warm temperature of the pool certainly helps -- no jumping into an ice bath and I manage to keep my head up and hair mostly dry. No need for contacts either. The instructor is a patient, lively woman in her 50s, I gather, who takes her time to correct my position and teach me the moves. Mind you, she's forever shouting, "Heather, butt DOWN!"

The key rule in AquaFit is to stay straight up and down to avoid lower back strain. I didn't feel it the previous two classes but I sure notice now. Ugh. I did a better job on Wednesday for the deep water class at pretending to be a ruler, but not last night. The only way I make progress is by arching, the not recommended position. The other ladies in the class assure me things will click, and as soon as they do, the difficult movements become much easier. I have enough on plate already remembering all the moves, but at least the majority of my body is underwater and not visible! :) No agony there about being awkward.

Nonetheless, I do occasionally confess something seems too easy and, lo and behold, I'm doing it wrong.

As I popped out of the Y after the class and steaming out in the sauna (with a woman who insisted she wanted to be naked, no less), I caught up with the instructor as she held the door open. I thanked her for the class.

Her: "I'm glad you decided to stick it out!"
Me: "I'm having too much fun and feel too good not to come back."
Her: "Good! You'll get it."

Moral of the story: everything takes time to learn.

Using so much of my body without being able to correct in a mirror or by watching others is a new challenge. But goodness knows I need better balance and grace, so this is an excellent test for me. :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GIRLINMOTION 5/1/2012 9:32PM

    I am glad you are enjoying it, and not minding being the "butt" of the class (humour, sorry).

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TEGOCHU 5/1/2012 1:38PM

    I'm a perfectionist so I always have a tough time when I feel like I'm not getting something as quick as I'd like to, but perseverance definitely pays off! Glad that you're sticking it out. :)

Do you have an umbrella so you can still get your walks in at lunch when you're waiting to get into the gym?

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DVD Challenge

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Rheynklaw inspired me to take up her DVD reviews, or at least try doing some self-guided attempts at fitness at home. (And maybe even at work!) I picked up a few choices from the library for free, and I will try them over this week to see how they suit me.

1] Jillian Michael's "No More Trouble Zones" -- a very popular DVD of cardio exercises targeting upper and lower body sculpting. A 40 minute circuit. Small weights suggested.

2] Jillian Michael's "Ripped in 30" -- another popular DVD in Jillian's series based on a 24 minute circuit of strength, cardio, and abdominal intervals. Leveled from beginners to advanced on a 4 week program. I'm looking forward to this bad boy.

3] Jillian Michaels's "Yoga Meltdown" -- I'm not obsessed with her, honest. It just happened this yoga video was on the library shelf and before I commit to a hardcore yoga routine, I would like to have some balance to avoid falling over! :)

To Try Later:
1] Jackie Warner's"Xtreme Timesaver Training" - Not sure how this will go but killing 30 minutes working out hard for 30 minutes sounds like fun.

2] Shakti Yoga DVD - This looks pretty good as well.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ASTALANYA 5/3/2012 11:58AM

    If you're considering different yoga types, go for the simplest ones. The introductory classes at my local studio are mostly based around hatha. Hot yoga, vinyasa, and the rest are a lot more active and challenging (which may work for you). Hatha yoga is more forgiving. My brown-belt hapkido friend also suggests ta'i chi to build up balance and muscle control. He's been trying to get me to do it for years.

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TEGOCHU 5/1/2012 1:32PM

    Jeez, lots to choose from! I've tried a bunch of Jillian's DVDs and they're good for the most part~ She's really a fan of combining upper and lower body movements. I totally love her so I find she motivates me more as well. :)

I haven't tried a bunch of yoga, but there are just so many types that I always get kind of confused on which one I'd like. x_x

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