Friday, May 20, 2011
I was watching the Spark Streak awards on my page and noticed that some of my goals were WAY out of date. I hadn't tracked many of them since February. I went to go catch up and realized that it was silly - those goals were meaningless to me because I had made them habits. It became an exercise in tracking rather than something to push me to improve. So, out with the old goals, in with the new!
It helps motivate me, if I make my goals public, so here are the new goals:
1) Get at least 7 hours sleep a night.
Boy, I struggle with this one. I just have very little free time, and I'd rather spend it doing things I enjoy than sleeping. Nonetheless, I know it's better for me, so I need to force myself to go to bed!
2) Strength train 2x per week.
I've really fallen off the wagon with my strength training since I broke my toes, then injured my finger. Climbing was always my main motivation for strength training - it's the reason I started climbing, because I HATE strength training so much. Nonetheless, I can feel myself getting weaker and I HATE that too! I must consistently strength train!!
3) Burn 2000 calories a week.
I'm actually doing this pretty consistently. This just gets it out there in public to keep me motivated, as I've been tending towards laziness on the weekends and not getting out there as I should. I may up this to 2300 to push myself a bit more. I'm actually on the fence, because I may have been over-training when I was burning that many calories. Still pondering...
4) Run 1x per week.
I was really enjoying running when I broke my toes. I've been struggling with consistently running since, because I got out of running shape and it got hard. But I know I need to be consistent for it to get easy again. Right now, I get pretty bad DOMS when I run, and the weekends are the only time I can run, since I bike to work other days, so the goal is at 1x a week until I can run without DOMS. If I can run without DOMS, I plan to up it to 2x per week. I NEED to run because cycling barely gets my heart rate into the target zone now. I'm limited by the pain in my knees, so I can't push harder. I need something else to help improve my cardio.
5) Devote time to spiritual growth 1x per week.
I used to read spiritual books all the time, and that was a time in my life when I was really growing spiritually. I'd like to spend just a little time every week, focusing on my spiritual health. It is so important, and I have allowed myself to stagnate spiritually over the years.
That's it! New goals, fresh motivation! Now, on to making it happen!
Sunday, May 15, 2011
I'm having problems with my knees, and my massage therapist asked me what kind of fat I eat. I told her that I use canola oil and olive oil, and I eat walnuts every day in my yogurt. This led to a discussion about fat, and I discovered a couple really interesting things:
1) Canola oil turns into a Trans Fat when heated (and all canola oil, even expeller-pressed, organic is subjected to heat in the deodorizing process - apparently it is really stinky without deodorizing).
2) Olive oil turns toxic when exposed to heat.
Wow! Canola oil is the main oil that I use! I did some of my own research on the subject and, of course, there is much controversy around canola oil. I couldn't find any long-term, peer-reviewed studies on it, but here's my general take on considering the source, when I'm researching food issues. I don't trust the government or the FDA. Sorry, but our government is highly influenced by big business and money. Look how long they let us eat Trans Fats before the truth got out... So, I'm more likely to believe holistic authors - the authors who have been promoting eating organic, and non-processed food all these years. Those authors agree that canola oil isn't as good for us as we're led to believe. They also say that butter and coconut oil are not as bad for us as we're led to believe.
Butter has vitamins that our body needs - like vitamin E. Canola oil, by contrast, has been shown to lead to vitamin E deficiency in studies on rats. Coconut oil is great for our joints, hair, skin, and is said to boost metabolism, because our bodies more efficiently use that fat rather than just storing it.
My massage therapist said that the problems with my knees could be affected by eating canola oil. Apparently, it's not as good for our joints as the basic oils our grandparents ate - like butter and coconut oil.
Finally, my general belief is: the less processed, the better. Canola oil is HIGHLY processed. Margarine is highly processed. Butter and coconut oil are minimally processed. So, I have gone back to basics, and as soon as the margarine and canola oil that we have on stock are gone, we'll be using butter (gasp!) and coconut oil. And, with regards to saturated fats, I'm back to the old adage of "everything in moderation". As long as I keep my fat intake down, in general, I think I'll be fine.
It's funny how things come full-circle, isn't it? More and more, I'm finding that the old ways really were the best. Our technology has brought us many advances that have been beneficial, but, it has also brought us so many that are ultimately harmful. Back to basics is the way to go!
Friday, December 03, 2010
The spa I went to last night is a Korean, woman-only spa. The spa has heated rooms that have different temperatures and cleansing properties - one has sand on the floor (under a canvas covering) and charcoal on the walls, one has salt on the floor (under a canvas covering) and something else on the walls - I can't remember what, and one has jade on the floor (under a mat covering) and something else on the walls. My favorite room is the sand room, because it feels like lying on the beach...ahhhh.... (that's why I know what's on the walls there...lol!).
The spa also has an area with a heated granite floor and has pillows and blankets around so you can lie on that floor and read magazines and relax. It has an area where there are couches and foot massagers and magazines. And finally it has two saunas - dry one and a steam one, and several different temperature hot pools.
You can also purchase facials, foot treatments, body treatments, massages...the works. It costs $30 to get in and stay as long as you like.
When you check in they give everyone matching robes and caps to put your hair in, which everyone wears around. The area where the pools are, though, and the saunas are no clothing areas. My friends and I call it the naked spa.
Ladies, I'm hear to tell ya, if you want to become more comfortable with your womanly shape, you must go to a woman-only naked spa. There are always women there of all shapes and sizes, they are all beautiful, and guess what? There aren't many who have flat bellies. You know why? That's not a womanly shape! Even the most slender women have a bit of a pooch. A flat belly on a woman is very rare...so those pictures in all the media that we're being brainwashed with...they're unrealistic...and even...unnatural! And guess what? We women have hips, and cellulite, and not all of our breasts are perky!
I love the woman's spa because it puts me in touch with a REAL woman's shape. My friend, who is one of the wisest parents I have ever met, brings her teenage daughters there - to give them some perspective on what REAL women look like - not just the unrealistic images from the media that they are innundated with most of the time. She is wise, indeed.
Thursday, December 02, 2010
I have learned a way to resist the nummy mochas from the coffee shop in our building. We can't afford them, so that helps, but it also prompted me to learn to make my own mochas. Now I like mine better, AND they're less calories! WIN!
However, the evil owner of the coffee shop (he isn't really evil, he's a sweetheart, but I tease him about being evil) makes homemade brownies to sell in the shop. Since he's on the ground floor of the building and we're on the 5th floor, the smell wafts up the stairwell and into the hallway on our floor. He really IS evil!! And, of course, the brownies are DELICIOUS!! (Yeah, he put little tasters out, so I could know that - evil, right?) Chocolate with chocolate chunks...heaven in a little square. AND, they are only 75 cents!
I have scoured every penny out of my wallet in pursuit of little chunks of heaven, so I've been safe for a while because I don't have any cash left. However, the other day on my ride into work, I found a dollar on the ground. It has been in my jacket pocket, taunting me. Saying, "I'm a brownie in disguise".
I think I resisted for 2 days.
I'm not one of those that eats when I'm stressed. I'm the opposite. I don't eat. However, AFTER the stress, THAT'S when I go seeking treats as a reward for "job well done". (I'm sure it's my ex-boss's fault. He used to bring me chocolate whenever he asked me to do a difficult task.) Anyway, I had a really stressful presentation yesterday, and the "brownie in disguise" in my pocket, AND, the last straw, I discovered that I had my second flat in as many days (due to all the gravel that the street cleaners so kindly swept off the streets after our snow and ice and right INTO the bike lanes - we cyclists just don't get no respect! ). So, on my way back from taking my bike to the bike shop for repair, I had to pass the coffee shop, and...I just couldn't resist! It had been a long, hard week, the dollar in my pocket was practically already smelling like a brownie and I convinced myself pretty quickly that I deserved that brownie!
Right into the shop I went, reminded Chuck how evil he is (he just gave me an evil grin) as I snacked on one of his brownie tasters, and bought myself a 300-calorie little chunk of heaven.
Every other time I have done this, I don't even make it up the elevator before I have devoured the whole brownie - despite my best intentions of only eating half. I did have a little victory yesterday. I took the stairs so I couldn't eat the brownie on the way up. When I got to the office, I promptly cut that baby in half and stored half of it for later. Then, I warmed my half in the microwave, and enjoyed my piece of warm, chocolately, heaven!!!
Yeah, maybe I need to learn to not reward myself for "job well done" with chocolate, but at least this time it was a treat in moderation. Or, maybe that's good enough. After all, if I feel too deprived, that's what will cause me to give up. So, I'm thinking moderation, not deprivation, is the goal. That means that the half brownie yesterday wasn't a failure, it was a success!!
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
A couple months ago, I was feeling pretty down. I was still recovering from broken toes and couldn't exercise. My husband has been laid off 17 months out of the last two years, and times are tight. My job is tenuous (because the company is struggling to survive), and I'm really sick of it anyway (I need a new career - one that I don't hate). I was pretty much letting circumstances drag me down.
But, then I decided to start practicing what I KNOW to be true. Your attitude makes all the difference! We have the choice. We can choose to be unhappy, which I was doing a couple months ago by only choosing to see the negative. OR, we can choose to be happy by thinking happy thoughts. Our mind is a very powerful thing, and our thoughts CAN affect our reality.
These days, the only circumstance that has changed is that I can now exercise (which really does help my attitude). My husband is still laid off. I still don't enjoy my job and it's still tenuous. BUT, I'm WAY happier. That's because I am really striving to see the positive and maintain a positive attitude every day. When I catch myself having negative thoughts, I try to turn them around.
My husband is still laid off, but guess what? He hated his job, too, and he's using this opportunity to pursue a new career path that he LOVES. He's going to school to become a massage therapist, and it's a PERFECT fit for him! Life really does give us what we need. AND, even though he has been laid off for so long, we're still able to pay our bills, we're still doing ok. We're very fortunate, really.
I still am not super fond of my job, BUT I LOVE the people that I work with. I LOVE the company that I work for. AND, I'm so very fortunate that I still have a job. I KNOW that when the time is right, I will be presented with an opportunity that will take me in a new direction - just as that opportunity was presented to my husband.
It's all in the way you choose to see things. As my husband and I were outside trying to get into our car that was frozen shut the other day, he said: "I HATE SNOW!!!". It was pretty cold out there, the car was frozen shut - I could have easily gone there with him, and led myself on a spiral of negativity for the day. Instead, I looked around and saw the beauty, and said: "But, look at how the sun is sparkling on the snow, hunny. It's beautiful!" And just like that, my day was happier (and so was his, I think).
Positivity begets positivity, happiness begets happiness. The happier I THINK, the happier I AM, and the happier those around me are! It's a win, win, win!!!
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