guess it is time for a blog again, because six years is definitely something to celebrate, even if i have been silent here on sparkpeople for a while. i am still spinning the wheel, taking the daily wellness quiz, and... maintaining.
maintaining, i have learned, is a range - and i am indeed still in the range, albeit the higher end of it. it is also a lifestyle, and perhaps that is why i have not been blogging of late - i've been living, much in a pattern, and finding little to say that would be of interest, and that i or others have not said before.
perhaps the biggest change is sleep - i have managed to sleep "naturally" with no alarm all summer. a couple of times i've been surprised by sleeping 7 hours straight! perhaps the first time in years. the number of times my sleep totals 6 plus hours is far more than usual (i still tend to wake up and be up for a couple of hours and then return to bed for a bit more sleep). the downside has been the inability to fall asleep a few times - whenever i have had 7 or even a total of 8 hours, it seems i have had to pay for it by not being able to fall asleep that night or even a night of so later. there are evidently advantages to sleep deficit - you fall asleep:-)
and of course all this means that i had actually had some real vacation this year for the first time in decades. and work has picked up very slowly after july, which is traditionally the vacation month here in sweden, where everyone has 4 weeks (yes, weeks!) of vacation, usually consecutive, usually in summer.
diet - well, still plant-based, of course. choices? pretty good - it would be better if i didn't enjoy quite as many snacks with the evening wine. which is probably why i am at the high end of my range - plus enjoying the delicious baked goods available here in sweden:-)
beck - still planning meals daily before morning coffee is over, still eating sitting down, pretty much slowly and mindfully.
exercise - i've done something kind of fun and different this summer. i downloaded two apps to my iPhone, StepBet and Runbet, and joined the challenges of each one where you "bet" $40 that you will complete the challenge, in which case you get your stake back, along with the "winnings" of the money that those who do not successfully complete the challenge lose. on StepBet, the app figures out a goal of daily steps based on the history it sees on your phone (in my case from the Fitbit), setting it high enough that it is a challenge - in my case, instead of my goal of an average of 15,000 steps daily, i have had to walk 17,000 steps four days a week, and 21,000 two days; the 7th day is "rest" day, though of course i still go for the 15k. i'm in the sixth and last week of the challenge, and though a few days i have had to work a bit extra to make sure i hit the 17k, it hasn't been too bad.
the other challenge, RunBet, involves the same principle, but there i chose one called "cardio" where you commit to running four days a week, 30 minutes each time, faster than a 17 minute mile (which of course is really walking pace). the challenge here was that four days requires two consecutive runs - and my old body wasn't used to that. so, i changed one run to a power walk - but walked faster than several of the runs. completed that one and "won" a whole $4.50! yeah, not a money-maker, but more a fear of losing:-)
while i am sure i would not have stopped exercising had i not participated in these, it has been fun to have the challenge and the commitment - and sometimes you just need to shake things up.
other than that, summer in sweden has been filled with (unusually) good, hot, sunny weather, though that has changed now, quality time with DD and DSIL who moved to stockholm last winter, but have spent lots of time here in the country with us, lots of guests (with DD's guests last weekend we were 10 people in the house!), some visiting (we travel to stockholm this weekend to see DD's new apartment).
so there you have it! we are still in sweden until the beginning of september, and following news of the wildfires back home (20 new fires caused by lightening last sunday). the nearest fires are not too threatening of our home (yet), but the air quality is "unhealthy" and the heat is bad. fingers crossed...
and of course, no blog would be complete without a photo (though none of claire, who is at summer camp for border collies back in WA):