Monday, January 24, 2011
I've joined a team called the Positivity Challenge which I am hoping will help all of us focus more on the good things of life rather than concentrating on the doom and gloom.
Yes, I know everyone is facing their own challenges and it is impossible to be happy all of the time. We all have to face illness, family problems. economic downturns, nature's wrath and other troublesome times but it is how you deal with them that sets you apart.
Today, we have had our first snow day of the 2010-2011 academic year. It meant no work for me and my husband left to drive to his campus one hour away only to find out his classes were cancelled. So that was the first positives for me today. Both of us home together.
Actually the very first positive thing was just to wake up. Imagine how many people don't?! See, and you thought you were having a rough day. How about old Gerry who didn't wake up...imagine what his day was going to be like. I mean just waking up is something we all take for granted when in reality we should be thankful we were blessed to be on this earth for another sunrise.
And to see the snow? Well, I'm glad it gave me a fun way to exercise. I used the snowblower and I used the shovel for a total of at least 90 minutes. That must count for some exercise points! Did I mention it is a beautiful day out? It is! It is the kind of day where everybody is out helping one another.
My husband and I went to help a co-worker clear out his driveway. They are from Pakistan and are renting a house a few houses down the street from us. I knew they have a young baby so I thought that it would be nice to lend a hand. They were tickled and Rifat, my co-worker, actually asked to try our snowblower. The expression on his face was like a child on Christmas morning. As we were finishing up, his wife called out that she had made us tea and invited us in. So off we went, dripping snow everywhere to somebody's house we had never been before. It was so nice! (Not the fact that I was messing up somebody's house!!!)
So today, I might have stopped in McDonalds for lunch but I know I worked off those calories by having a bit of fun in the snow. Sometimes you just have to make fun out of the normal things around us. We could have grumbled about every shovel of snow we threw but where would that get us? Frown lines and sore muscles.
I am feeling positive today as well that I lost a very teeny amount of weight. I know I could have done better nutritionally last week but I'm feeling quite stoked about learning how to run. I have completed the first week of 9...yes. little old me!
To wind up my blog, please consider how you view things. Even in your darkest moments there has to be something you can be thankful for. It might be the smallest, most insignificant thing, but hang on to that little glimpse of gratitude and positive outlook. Your world might still be turned upside down but you've made the realization that behind every cloud there is a rainbow....if you care to look for it!
Sunday, January 23, 2011
As you can tell I'm doing the dreaded chores today. Luckily I sweat enough using the vacuum that I'm sure I burned a few calories of the raisin tea biscuit my husband brought home to me from Tim Hortons.
Today, it feels like we are brewing a major snowstorm. According to the forecast we are supposed to get anywhere from 15 - 20 cm here overnight. I'm hoping for a snowday tomorrow! Whee! You see, I learned a long time ago (I sound like a wise OLD woman when I write that) that living in Newfoundland you just have to embrace the weather because there isn't much we can do about it....other than wait five minutes for it to change!
I haven't been out through my door today but the day is only young. I want to do do the Day 3 of week 1 of the C25K program so I know I will get my exercise but I really need some fresh air. Maybe we will go for a drive later on in the afternoon and hang my head out through the car window like Maddy and Lou do! THEY seem to enjoy it! Can't you see me now...woof...woof. I bet I'd be back in the psychiatric ward before too long if I did that! Good to be able to joke about such things, isn't it?
Okay, back to my blog title.....household chores. I've got my list written up of what I want to accomplish today and I get a weird sense of enjoyment of checking things off. Anyway, I got thinking about multi-tasking while cleaning up. I'm the type who starts in one room and gets so distracted that nothing gets done....but FLY LADY is helping me out with that. Anyway, I rewarded myself with a facial mask yesterday so I decided to smear that on while I was squirting toilet cleaner into the toilet. So there I was, the inside of the toilet bright blue and my face changing colour from bright green to white as the mask dried. Oh, I also had my hair pushed back in a headband (such an unattractive look for me!), wearing a purple t-shirt and blue fleece pj bottoms.....when the doorbell rang! Then to my horrors, the front door actually opened (nobody locks their doors around here especially in daytime) and my neighbour called out "anybody home?" I quickly sang out, "Wayne, I'm in the bathroom, but trust me you don't want to see me right now". He burst out laughing and said, "what are you doing to yourself....some female stuff, I suppose. Could you get John to pop over when he gets home".
When he was gone, I burst out laughing. For starters, he is like a combination of older brother and father to me and secondly, he has a daughter and wife who I know do "female stuff" in the bathroom too. Not sure if he thought I was trying to remove hair from my upper lip or what, but it was funny. Hey, maybe I should have done that too,,,,the hair removal thing...but I was too busy cleaning the bathroom mirror, moving clutter around, etc.
So here are my housekeeping tips:
When multitasking and you're cleaning both you and your house, make sure your doors are locked.
If possible, try to get all household members involved.. Dogs who wag their tails are great dusters as long as they don't knock things to the floor!
After vacuuming, wrap dogs in plastic wrap to avoid shedding fur. Tell them its a beauty treatment!
Tie dusting clothes to your feet and to your dogs feet. If you want to turn this into a joy ride...spray some furniture polish on the clothes first.....whee.......oops....clunk...smack
. "oh that was fun, can we do it again"
Use police "do not enter" tape to bar off rooms just completed. Leave it up for a week and have everybody sleep and eat in one room.
Eat out every meal....you will be plumper, feel blah, and you will be poor but your kitchen will still sparkle!
Okay, so you know I'm being completely silly. We all worry about housework but it is time to embrace it. It is a part of ou rlives. Be thankful you have a home to take care of as I bet all of the homeless people would gladly switch places with you.
Start naming your dust bunnies instead of banishing them. I have Gladys and Alfred living under my couch and they are fine and pretty much stay to themselves. Their offspring do something creep out so I'm thinking about having poor Alfred neutered. Please say you are laughing and not thinking about calling 1-800-She is Crazy.
Like I said, I have to put a spin on housework or it would drive me further insane. Some of it I actually enjoy but other things are just a pain in the bum. They all have to be done, we all have to do them, so why not make it a bit of fun. That is what I'm trying to do and it seems to be working.
Take care my Sparkfriends! You all mean a lot to me and I love hearing back from you!
Friday, January 21, 2011
Yippee! It is finally Friday and can you tell, I'm overly excited. I'm not sure why as Friday does come around once a week and it is not like I have the most stressful job. Maybe it is because I don't have to get up so early, maybe it is having my husband home, maybe it is all in my mind. I mean, if I was on an island somewhere (hey, I do live on an island!!!) all alone, I wouldn't know what day of the week it was or what time it was.
Which brings me to my first question. Do we go to bed when our bodies tell us or when our clocks tell us? I've started really listening to what my body wants and have started reducing my television viewing time. I used to claim I watched mindless television to relax but since Christmas I've made an effort to turn it off early. I'm done to about 30 minutes a day now. Anyhow, you know what has been happening? I've been going to bed earlier. I used to get anxious about going to bed in the fears that I wasn't going to get enough sleep. I actually used to lie there and count on my fingers how many hours of sleep I was going to get versus what I needed. Talk about stressing myself out. I read somewhere that there is such a thing as "learned insomnia" and I'm sure I've dealt with is since university. I would almost fear going to bed in case I wouldn't be able to sleep.
I don't know if I'm alone in this but I've noticed one of the best things about my new lifestyle of exercise and proper nutrition (okay, some of the time!), is that I'm falling to sleep quickly and easily. My doctor once gave me the same nighttime sedatives they give soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress and I took one and then another before eventually falling to sleep. I just get too wired. I also used to have a bottle of prescription strength sleeping pills but I used the last one before Christmas and haven't gone back for more. I don't plan on going back either! So, I guess I've discovered that my body needs exercise to tire out both it and my racing thoughts. Who knew that walking my puppers would result in more sleep????
As for the other part of my blog title, What to do when reality strikes....let me explain. First of all, I was all gung-ho about doing the second part of the first week of the C25k program. I was actually quite eager about it until about 10 minutes into it when my body was saying "no"! Actually, it was only whispering the word and wasn't screaming at me so I kept going. Anyway, my rose-coloured glasses slipped and I could see with some certainty that this was not going to be a walk in the park. See, the first night was quite easy and I was like that story where the man fantasizes about snow before the first snowplow and then nearly axe-murders the plow operator by the fourth week of winter. That was me last night and it was only my second day of the program. The important thing was I kept going whereas the old me would have said, "see, I told you this was going to be too hard for you" and I would have quit and sulked over a bag of some sort of naughty treats.
The second bout of reality came about 30 minutes later when I stepped out of the bath and caught sight of my naked body in a full length mirror. Trust me, it was a shock. Here I was thinking that since I've lost almost 20 pounds I would see a big difference. But, no, the same bumps, lumps, were all there taunting me to stop " this foolishness" and continue my life as I had been living it.
The old me would have jumped at the chance but I looked myself straight in the eye and gave myself a little pep talk that went something like this "your body has lost inches, your frame has lost almost 20 pounds, you are feeling great, people are noticing, so why, oh why, would you want to go back to where you've come from". Simply put, I wouldn't so I pulled on my jammies and sat down with a book feeling good about my resolution to keep going bumps, cellulite and all!
Have a great weekend all and thanks for reading!
Thursday, January 20, 2011
I was very tempted to start out my blog with a very hearty, HOWDIE, in fine Minnie Pearl style but thought better. Does everybody know who Minnie Pearl is? If memory serves me correctly she was a country singer who's signature trade mark was wearing a fancy hat which still bore the tags hanging from it. Not sure if she is long gone but I'm assuming she would be as that was a memory from my distant childhood!
This is going to be a rather random blog so if you want to stop reading be my guest. If you are going to persevere I wish you luck keeping up with my wild thought patterns!
The first thing on my mind this morning is coffee. I'm wondering about the relationship between coffee, new clothes, and leaky chins. And, yes you Doubting Thomases...there is a link! Somehow everytime I wear something new, my chin decides to leak the coffee I'm trying to drink and I end up with splatters! Maybe I need a bib?
The second thing on my mind is, yeah, we finally have some snow!!!! You are all thinking I am completely nuts now but I think winter is not winter in the north atlantic without some snow and stormy weather! Yesterday was so much fun! It was snowing and the three of us (Maddy, Lou and I) had a blast bundled up and going out to "play". I really wanted to make snow angels but figured if I got down I might not be able to get up with all of the layers of clothes I was wearing! Ha!!!
Thirdly, also relates to snow angels but of a different type. I'm talking about those lovely angels who not only shovel their own snow but do yours as well. We are so blessed in our neighbourhood to have such caring individuals. Last night our neighbour cleared what the plow had put in our driveway and to return the favour my husband did both driveways this morning. Our neighbours all look out to one another which is great. If one leaves town and it snows, they are assured that there will be no snow left in their driveway when they return. Now, that is what I call human "snow angels"
Which brings me to another point...how do the snowplow operators know that you've just finished shovelling? Do they lie in wait and watch and just plow the roads to give us all more snow to shovel? Ha! I enjoy the snow and enjoy shovelling but I really enjoy using the snowblower......although my husband swears that I shouldn't be allowed powerful machinery that blows snow....couldn't be related to the time I buried him with the snow I was shooting out, can it? Ha!
Okay, another thing I'm going to bore you all with is how excited I am. Tonight is Week 1, Day 2 of my Couch to 5km program. I'm really excited and can't wait to get on that treadmill again. This is me, we are talking about.... Miss "I Have to Have All the Stars Aligned Before I Do Anything"! Yeah for me!!!
In conclusion, I'm sure you all realize I am a complete nutcase at heart...it is actually one of the few things I have always liked about myself. This journey has taught me to appreciate other things about me but I think my humour is the original of the "Why I Love Myself" traits. Hence, I'm surprised that nobody commented on my new profile picture. I just love it...as unflattering as it is! Why do I love it...because I can finally see a picture of myself caught in the raw elements that says "this is who I am"! I didn't see (at first) how awful my hat looks pulled down like that, how uneven my complexion is, or how fat my face is....instead I said look at the determination in those eyes!!! Now, I don't expect you all to see what I see when I look at that picture. I'm just proud of myself for posting it!
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Well, I've gone and done it now! I did something last night that I was obsessing over and making elaborate plans to do. I finally said enough is enough with the excuses and waiting for the "perfect time" and just went ahead and did it. Now before you all think I'm involved in a torrid love affair, let me explain....
Drum roll please.......I, Susan, started the C25K running program I downloaded months ago to my iPod. This is a great milestone for me as I had made up all kinds of excuses as to why I shouldn't give it a try.
The top three reasons were:
1. I'm too fat and will start later when the danger of hurting myself has subsided.
2. I will start when I can finally fit into "running" clothes.
3. I won't start now because I don't think I can make it through one session.
Well, guess what? I was feeling out of sorts yesterday as I didn't make enough time to go for a walk. I was sitting on the couch and my husband suggested that I use the treadmill. I think I looked at him like he had three heads because all my treadmill does is take up space and serves as a curtain rod when I have laundry that needs to be hung up!
Anyway, off I went to the bowels of my basement and hopped on the treadmill only to bore myself to death within minutes. It was then that my personal light bulb flickered to life and I remembered I had downloaded the C25K program to my iPod several months ago.
I thought of all of my excuses and decided then and there to give it a try. Was it a perfect time? No, but I did it! AND, I actually enjoyed it! I learned by taking it slow even I could do this!
I feel totally victorious as not only was it a breakthrough on the physical front but it was an even bigger breakthrough mentally! I CAN overcome self-doubts, I don't have to wear spandex to exercise, I'm not going to hurt myself by being slow and steady and, YES, I'm going to see results! Wow! Is that what is called a Woo-Hoo moment? Yeah!!!!
Talk to all later....off to walk the dogs! Can't do another session of running program until tomorrow and I'm so looking forward to it!
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