JOANNA202   34,632
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I'm 32! And a great big geek :-)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

I always get reflective at significant times - my birthday, my sparkversary, new year, christmas, sunday nights,... Oh I can overmuse and overthink with the best of them. But hey, it's my birthday and I'll think if I want to :-p (One of my cards today: 'It's my birthday and I'll have carbs if I want to.' Too right!)

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So lying awake last night in excitement (because despite those around me who try to say it's ridiculous, I'm still excited by my day :-) ) I started thinking about the numbers that go into 32. Hey, I'm a mathematician and a geek. So we have 16, 8, 4, 2, 1. I tried and failed to remember those birthdays so instead tried to think about what I was like at those ages. And my big theory is that in each of those gaps, we grow up about the same amount. Between 1, 2, 4, 8 and 16 there are obviously some major life developments, but given how much I've changed as a person since I was 16, I reckon that's just as big of a change as happened between 8 and 16, between 4 and 8, etc. So who will I be at 64 I wonder??

31 was not a great year for me. 30 was effing awesome. I feel 32 is going to be somewhere in between and the odds are looking up at the moment. My meditation is helping me to learn to live in the moment, and I'm taking so much joy from little moments now. I've definitely stopped overworrying about the future quite so much in the last few weeks. Who knows where it will go from here?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNSHINE20113 3/22/2014 6:49AM

    Happy birthday!! I also still love my birthday, and am very insistent when it comes to the necessity of cake! I think I also enjoy the opportunity to get a little reflective, and, really, just to have an excuse to celebrate something.
I think there's something to that theory, too. I hope we all keep changing and developing and growing well into our 90s!
(Thanks also for commenting on my blog. I have relaxed with the streaks. I'm just doing what I can as I have the energy to, and learning to be okay with that)

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VW_STEPH 3/18/2014 9:39AM

    Happy birthday to you!!!!

I like your big age theory hehe. I would certainly agree with the changes between the ages, too. It's a lot of fun to think about. A bit scary when you double it to 64 though, hehe.

Here's hoping for an effing awesome 32nd year of life! :D

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FELINA 3/18/2014 9:27AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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My hypertonic hip flexors, or how I came to have a lazy bum

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Let me just emphasise: I Ďhaveí a lazy bum, not I Ďamí a lazy bum (although some people might question that in my new profession!)

Iíve mentioned my tight hips and thighs before, which initially started with me seeing a physio when I tried running, and now sees me at an amazing sports massage therapist every couple of months. Well things only seemed to be getting worse lately but a (possible) breakthrough came when I emailed this wonderful woman to ask where I could find some information on what muscles are meant to be in use when sitting and lying, because my hips and thighs now seem to be tensed, even when Iím lying down. And this really didn't seem right to me.

She came straight back and said I have hypertonic hip flexors, meaning theyíre denser than they should be and so they get switched on when they shouldnít be on.

You know when you have no idea how to fix an issue because you donít know whatís wrong, and then you find out the answer and you know what to do to fix it? Yep, that!

Nothing is ever simply and straightforward in the body so of course there could be plenty of other issues, but now I have something to work on. She said the cure is to stretch and Ďcalmí my hips and thighs, while activating and strengthening the opposite muscles (the glutes) to work more.

Iím not sure how I got to this state, but apparently my hips and front thigh does all the work, and my bum does nothing. Nada. Zip. Absolutely nowt.

So under her guidance Iím working on loosening the front and making my butt work. Oww! My bum is so SORE this week, just from doing fairly simple exercises. How was I so blind to the fact I had a weak bottom (oh so many possible jokes!)? DH said he was always surprised that I had such a long bottom for someone who worked out like I do.

And of course the other excitement, as well as potentially fixing my stupid hips so they work properly again, is that I might get some nice round glutes relatively quickly (my theory being: no work to lots of work in a short space of time will tighten them up sharpish). Maybe Iíll actually fill out my jeans in the right places, instead of the wrong ones soon?!

Exciting times ahead for me and my lazy bumÖ

PS Why is there no emoticon of a nice big booty?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VW_STEPH 2/21/2014 4:14AM

    Oooh plenty of squats in store for you then? And lots of crazy new bum exercises! Ha.
Very interesting!

And yep, Spark is defo short of a big booty icon!!! emoticon

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Extra weight, and sparkversary!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

I've just realised I should really update my weight tracker on here, which I haven't done for about a year. I lost 30 pounds when I first joined spark (over a very long period of time!) but have since put back on about 10-12 pounds. But my measurements have not gone up and I'm still leaning up - it's 10-12 pounds of muscle!

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Very pleasing indeed (although all those gains are stalling a bit at the moment with an incredibly haphazard non-programme at the moment - more on that another time). I know it's wrong though, but I don't want to update the weight tracker because it feels like that's saying I've gone backwards. I'm very happy with my weight, but still stuck in society's way of thinking!

In other news, I might be mentioned in a nationwide UK magazine as a new freelancer soon. Might not happen but it would be exciting if it does. Watch this space...

Oh, and I've just realised tomorrow is my 3 year sparkversary! Entire life turned upside down since then, in many, many good ways!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VW_STEPH 2/18/2014 9:08AM

    Eek 3 years! Crazy how time flies and you realise how long you've been checking into Spark for, isn't it?!

An extra 11-12 pounds of muscle baby!!

Oooh watching this space about the mag mention!

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LJOYCE55 2/13/2014 6:07PM

  Happy anniversary and I hope you get your byline.

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A meditation and workout update, and the inner me

Friday, January 31, 2014

Hold on to your hats, this is going to get strange...

First off, I've been frustrated this week with workouts. I normally get them done in the morning before starting on work, but I had so much work to do this week that I didn't want to stall on that. So instead I did little bits and pieces throughout the day which of course are all meant to add up. It just didn't feel the same though and I missed getting my sweat on properly. I'm going to have to go back to the old routine for some sanity next week, but given that I've overbooked myself on work, I have no idea how that'll pan out!

As for the meditation, I've been to 3 classes now and have liked all of them. I liked the one on positive mindfulness less, and everyone I talked to there said it's really hard to do. Basically you think nice thoughts towards various people who you feel various levels of kindness towards. I like to think I'm quite a kind person, but it isn't easy! I can't go to the next few classes though so I'm trying to do it myself at home a bit. I keep forgetting though :-(

Ok, onto the strangeness that occurred at the last class. I can't even remember what we were supposed to be focusing on at the time, but I know I was completely off topic anyway. But halfway through the class I had an experience that, because I don't really believe in weird things, I didn't know what to make of it. But it really did seem to make sense to me.

I turned inwards to myself and suddenly found/saw/felt a little being in there, wrapped up tight, facing away from me against the world. And I knew that this being was my inner self - the one who is truly afraid of the world and all the horrible scary things in it. I found myself trying to coax it (her?) to open up to me but she was so tightly curled, squeezed up into a tiny little frightened ball, that she refused to come out.

This was strange enough, but I could feel myself being in these two places - the scared curled up person and then my outer shell, with more strength and ability to actually live in the real world. I felt like the outside me just needed to help the inside me, to know it was protected and that it was ok to uncurl and come out a bit.

Well I didn't have any luck with the coaxing in that session but I've been back since and can feel a sort of loosening. A kind of reluctant trust in the outside me that I will take care of the inside me. It's still turned away from me, just not quite so tightly coiled. I don't know why I feel it's important to try to do that, but it definitely seems to be.

Ok, I don't know if I really explained that very well, and I feel really weird writing it anyway. I'll lighten the mood a bit by simply saying that my eating and exercise have got really slack this week so I'm frustrated with myself. Looking forward to zumba class early tomorrow, and then I need to get in a lot of steps to make up for being a hermit all week!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VW_STEPH 2/4/2014 3:49PM

    Wow! I read things about meditation and stuff but I always seem to think that sort of thing can never happen to me. Did you think the same before you had this experience? It sounds quite amazing.

Hope you're getting your work done okay! And fitting in time to exercise & eat right. Gosh my eating has been pretty awful lately.

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JULIEABIGAIL 2/1/2014 12:18AM

  thank you for sharing your amazing experience. i think you encountered your inner child, who needs a little care, attention, and acknowledgement. i think you are spot on in understanding your experience. your adult aspect is stepping up to the plate in a wonderful way that indeed requires trust, confidence, kindness, and patience. as you reach your inner child more deeply, you may find yourself being revealed to you in new ways, and you may want to check in with your little being more regularly, so (s)he won't feel forgotten. you are doing great work. kudos to you!

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First meditation class

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

I'm glad to report that some pieces of my mojo have returned from whichever corner they were hiding in and life is slowly heading back towards an even kilter. There's definitely still some fragments missing, but quite enough is back to operate like a fully functional human being in daily life for now.

Having tried 10 days of meditation podcasts over Christmas (from - highly recommended) I wanted to give a real 'live' meditation class a go and found one round the corner from me last night.

It was a really nice experience and I learned quite a lot about the whole process, but the key benefit for me was being away from everything at home, with space, time and peace to focus on the meditation. I really liked the podcasts, and they're much more convenient in some ways than a class at a set time, but now that work and home life all happen in the same place, it's really hard to pull my mind away from everything when I'm still physically here. I guess that's part of the challenge though!

I'm going to try again next week when they are doing a class on 'positive mindfulness', not just 'mindfulness' like this week, so I'm intrigued to see the difference.

I did have one fascinating moment when the teacher (or leader? No idea what they're called!) told us to look at how we were feeling that day, and in that moment. He suggesting looking as a kindly observer. That struck a chord because it reminded me of the thing that's pointed out often (perhaps not often enough) that we treat ourselves far more harshly than we treat others.

So I decided to ask myself, in just the same way I would ask a friend, with genuine interest, how I was feeling. And an entirely unexpected answer popped into my head: Worried about the future.

I was so startled by the response, because I don't generally think I worry too much about the future, just try to steer it as best I can. Well it turns out, this isn't quite true! There are a lot of unknowns in my immediate future at the moment so it's not surprising really. But the best thing of all? Now I know this, I can address it and work out what I'm most worried by.

So quite a revelation in my very first class, but sadly no overwhelming feeling of calm today. Head still spinning as usual, but it's early days!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VW_STEPH 1/30/2014 3:11PM

    How very interesting! How are you getting on with the meditation now, a bit further down the line?

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