Thursday, December 31, 2009

Thoughts for Thursday: Happy New Year! (Video!!!)



My Wish for You in 2010

May peace break into your home and may thieves come to steal your debts.
May the pockets of your jeans become a magnet for $100 bills.
May love stick to your face like Vaseline and may laughter assault your lips!
May happiness slap you across the face and may your tears be that of joy!
May the problems you had forget your home address!
In simple words ............
May 2010 be the best year of your life!!!

Thank you all for being part of this amazing year and I can't wait to see what 2010 brings for all of us!

I'll be posting a few 'success tips' over the next few days that have helped me get started and keep moving!

Till then, Many hugs and best wishes for an amazing year!!!
Steph

Monday, December 28, 2009

The obligatory 2010 Goals post...


Yep... it's that time again. One where the bulk of the holidays are over, the fridge is packed with leftovers, the sugar rush is starting to abate, and my body and mind are craving some semblance of order and normalcy to return to my life. It sets ones mind to thinking ahead to getting through the next few days so the schedule allows more focus, and a little less fudge. ;)

I had to look back to see where I was last year, and I came across this from December 30, 2008:

January Goal/Plan:
- 3 interval workouts per week
- 1 45-minute cardio session to increase speed/endurance
- 3 strength training workouts per week

Weekly goals:
1. Lose 1.5 pounds of body fat/0.5% body fat a week.
2. Increase lean body mass by .25 pounds a week

Daily plan
- Track food intake
- Consume 40% Carbs/30% Protein/30% Fat (this is my experiment to see what macronutrient ratios work best for me.)

Yeeeahhh... As far as the fitness stuff went, I started out with a lot of cardio and some strength training. Foodwise I did well with tracking and mostly hitting the 40/30/30 ratios. As for the weekly weight loss/muscle gains... I learned that, with a hypothyroid system, it does what it wants in its own sweet time. I also keep forgetting that muscle gains don't happen that quick.

As the year wore on I found myself wanting... omgpleasekillmeifIhavetodoonemorebicepcurl
... something different. In late June/early July I took the plunge and started doing CrossFit.

::insert sound of angelic choir::

Wowza! Different (always)! challenging (you betcha)! Fun (99% of the time yes, yes, YES!)!

*ahem*

Above all else, it, along with a lot of work on my brain, helped me really make that transition from weight loss/get fit mindset to who the heck cares about what the scale says, how much weight can I lift?! I looked at CrossFit for a while the way you look at the punk rocker with a 3 foot green & pink mohawk.

Fine for them, not for me.

I realize now I just wasn't ready. It's not you have to read a lot into it - they have workout plans the same as anyone. Follow them and you'll see your endurance, strength and body composition improve, like any program/plan. The key element, for me anyway, is the continual challenge - always strive to beat _your_ best, not anyone else's. That carried me through the rest of the year and I'm sooo looking forward to improving even more in 2010.

Without further adieu, here's some goals for 2010. There's no timeframes or specifics at the moment... those will be fleshed out in the next few days when I put my goal poster together, but here's some general things going through my brain:

[Just so ya'll know, I have many other goals, such as financial, home, personal, etc... I'm just going to focus on the fitness oriented ones here.]

A#1 goal: Get that *#$& test DONE! January 15th! That's it!

*clears throat*

Moving on...

Crossfit goals:

I still consider myself a beginner and am going to be working may way up to doing stuff the "big kids" can do:
Handstand Pushup
Unassisted Pull ups & dips
Ring dips
Muscle ups
Rope Climb

Basically, get to the point where I can support/lift my body weight consistently.

To get there I need to:

Get a pull up bar
Get olympic ring set

Other fitness goals:

Complete the Walk to Rivendell - 458 miles. I'm a total Lord of the Rings geek so this challenge made me go *squee*. I did 430-ish this year, and barely made 200 last year. And heck, I may exceed it and move on to the Rivendell to Lothorien.

Enter 2-3 competitive endurance activities. Not sure if that means all 5K's, or working my way up to a 1/2 marathon. Or picking up a new bike and doing a triathlon. It's still a work in progress in my brain.

Periodize my workouts to off set intense weeks with dialed back weeks to prevent overtraining.

Which brings me to my next bit of goals: Nutrition

A couple of months ago I decided to hop back on the Zone band wagon... for all my talk about being more concerned with my fitness level than the number on the scale, it was bugging the heck out of me that the scale. wasn't. moving. It was really rather annoying. Once I really started to dial in the Zone stuff... blam-o, movement on the scale, endurance was doing better, bloating was down. Fabu stuff. So heading into 2010:

Continue with Zone way of eating - lots of veggies, minimal grains. Stick to 3 block meals/2 block snacks for January, re-assess in February.
Re-feed day once a week (or less/more as needed)
Alcohol - only on weekends and very special occasion week nights

The other aspects of my 'program' have everything to do with the measure of success I've had to date: accountability & self development. It's the things that help me stick to my program and keep going when I'd rather just say "Meh" (unless I need to say "meh" and then I listen to my body. ;)

Accountability: I plan my workouts and track them daily. I check in daily (or nearly every day) with my CrossFit group and a private group and share the good, bad & ugly.

Self Development: Read my affirmations 2-3x a day; Listen to at least 15 minutes of positive material, reading positive blogs/books and/or fitness related materials (*cough* finishing test *cough*)

Overall, the goal isn't to get from one weight to another, it's to get my body from here:


(with the suit that I have had since my wedding. I *am* getting in that suit and will look awesome... even if it's just in my own home cuz OMG can you see my scary pasty whiteness?!)

to here:



It's not a question of *if* this is going to happen, but *when* during the year I'll achieve this accomplishment and maintain it. You can be sure I'll be posting several photos when that happens! :)


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Thoughts for Thursday: Christmas Eve Edition...


I've been wracking my brain for something thought provoking, touching and/or light hearted non-denominational, mostly PC yet faith filled/hopeful to say to wish folks a very happy Christmas... and it just wasn't coming to me.

I know! Me! At a loss for words!


Yep... I knew it! (and ironically, I grew up about 35-ish miles SW of here and have never been there!)

Anywho, in one of those "Ask and you shall recieve" moments, I got an email from the always poignant Dax Moy who is a brillant man that ditched December in Britan for a lovely holiday in Florida...

Since he beautifully sums up what I've been struggling with, I shall let him take over...

But before I do, I want to wish everyone a very happy, healthy, hopeful, peace filled day tomorrow. Regardless if you're celebrating Christmas or Friday, I hope that it's magical and wonderful, just like you!

Thank you for making my life richer just by being you!

Many, many hugs,
Stephanie

Now take it away, Dax!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
~

I'm in Florida right now for my winter vacation with my family but I thought I'd take just a minute to say 'Hi' and, if you're celebrating Christmas, wish you a wonderful Christmas day for tomorrow.

And hey, if you're NOT celebrating Christmas because your religion or belief doesn't celebrate it then, guess what? I still want to wish you a wonderful Friday and hope that it brings you everything you wish for : )

But before I go and hit these crazy theme parks with my family today, I just wanted to share something about Christmas and, truth be told, the celebration days of people of all faiths with you.

Personally, I think this is amazing... I hope you do too : )

All of the holy figures throughout all of the holy books of all time have shared the exact same qualities:

- They all had the ability to love without limit, to share that love and teach others how to do the same.

- They all had the ability to care beyond reason for all those who they came into contact with

- They all had the ability to give beyond limits, often giving away all they had in order to help others

- They all had the ability to believe in something bigger, better and more powerful than they had actual proof for in their lives

- They all had the ability to stride confidently in the direction of their biggest dreams, regardless of the ridicule and punishment often sent upon them by others

- They all had the ability to see fears as nothing more than 'tests' as to how much they really believed in their purpose

And by these qualities, holy men, prophets, Messiah and 'Enlightened Ones' have changed not only the course of their own lives but the course of mankind as a whole.

Pretty amazing, don't you think?

But what's REALLY amazing is that these qualities are in each and every one of us has the opportunity to demonstrate them not just at Christmas or Ramadan or Hanukah but every day.

- EVERY day we can all show love and teach others to do the same

- EVERY day we can offer genuine care and concern for those we come into contact with (as well as those who are afar)

- EVERY day we can give, no matter how small, to help others experience life in a better way

- EVERY day we can believe that something better awaits us rather than getting caught up in the negativity that we often find ourselves enmeshed in

- EVERY day we can think about, talk about and act upon our biggest dreams and inspire others to do the same

- EVERY day we can pull apart the fabric of our fears by doing just one small thing that scares us

- EVERY day we can live out the message that Christmas and, in fact, every Holy Day (Holiday) is supposed to teach
us.

When you think about it, every day WE have the ability to do AMAZING things with the power we've been given...

...EVERY day!

Have a wonderful Friday And Saturday, and Sunday and...

(you get the message!) : )

Truth, joy and love

Dax Moy
www.themagichundred.com


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Worldess Wednesday: Christmas Edition


You knew I couldn't resist... and after all the seriousness and heartfelt sharing of the last entry, I had to lighten things up...

With helpers...


And gathering around the tree...


Whether you celebrate by singing modern carols...


Or you prefer the more traditional songs...


Watching Christmas specials on TV...


Or just hanging around the cozy fireplace...


I wish you all a happy, healthy, peace-filled season... and prosperous new year!


Happy Christmas!


Words of Wisdom Wednesday: Gifts of Holidays Future


This is just a quickie-ish drive by post to share some thoughts that have been niggling around my brain lately...

Here we are... a week out from Hanukkah, a couple of days from Christmas and a week from the start of a new calendar year and a new decade. (ok, technically 2011 is the start of the new decade but work with me. ;)

This time of year is always one of reflection for me - I've seen a lot of the "2009 in review" and "Loose 10 pound in the first 10 days of 2010" stories popping up already and it always puts one in an interesting frame of mind.

For many, many years I was one to look at the next 8-9 days with resignation. There was no reason to "start" doing anything because I was too busy, there were parties to go to, food to be eaten, drinks to be imbibed. I would push that twinge of regret aside of being in the exact same place I was the previous year weight wise, financially, emotionally. Well, if I was lucky, I was in the same place. Some years I felt like I'd taken many steps back from where I was, other times a few steps forward. But on average... the same place.

I would invariably make the quiet (or not so quiet) resolution that NEXT year will be different! NEXT year I will wear that slinky size 8 dress to the New Years party. I will have more money than month. I will have a sparkling clean home that looks like it lept off the page of a magazine. I will stop making excuses and I will make it happen.

Thing is, despite all my resolutions, I had very little resolve to get them done.

Then something happened. I got *it*.

There was no big fanfare.

No shouting from the mountain top, "Enough is enough!"

It was quiet and uneventful. It was like that little seed that had been planted over the course of a few years that started to grow. That seed that said, "Something is more than nothing. Baby steps build unshakable habits. Stop talking and start doing. YOU can do it. YOU are worth it!"

I shut up and started doing something. Some days a little bit, some days a lot, but every day I did _something_.

It didn't pay off immediately. In fact, it didn't seem to pay off for a long time.

One day I took stock of what I *was* doing and was amazed. What I did each day pushed me to the next, which propelled me to the next, which was like a slingshot to where I am now.

I was looking forward, not staying stuck in the past.

I got an email today from Jonathan Roche (you can get your own daily dose of awesome here) - my fave trainer and all around awesome guy, that really drove all this home:

"Today's actions will dictate the quality and number of holiday celebrations later in life"

"This is scary, but true. If you make your health a top priority then you will probably set yourself up to live to an old age (and not be hurting) and enjoy many fun holiday celebrations with your family.

"Do you want to be a great-grandparent sitting on Christmas day (or earlier in the season at your family Hanukkah gathering) and be able to get down on the floor with your great grandkids as they open gifts and play?

"Most people don't think about how today's actions (and today's lifestyle) plays such an important role in your future (the length and quality). We are too busy rushing through our days ("I am too busy to exercise today." "I forgot to eat.", etc.) that we don't realize our health is slipping away.

"You and your family deserve for you to be around for many years to come and celebrate many more special holidays. Keep this in mind during this holiday season as I want you to be insanely focused on making yourself and your health one of your top priorities in 2010 and beyond!"

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Here's the thing... it's up to you to decide if you're ready to strengthen your resolve to overcome the excuses and take the baby steps to build a rock solid foundation (aka if you're ready to take on the process of change), or if you are happy staying where you at? Either way, do what's right for you.

No matter what you decide is right for you right now, allow me to plant a small seed of hope in your heart: Don't make any resolutions this year.

Give yourself a gift instead.


Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Solstice!


To quote my dad: Winter's back is broken and spring is on it's way!!! (I know - there's several of you who are buried under pounds of snow... just keep thinking warm thoughts! ;)

So... yeah, the rest period is slowly starting to kick in...

I realizing with a lot of emotional stuff going on and the increase in exercise, I was pretty much on the fast track to burnoutsville out (one 'advantage' of being hypothyroid - even when I'm doing well, my body can only deal with so much before it depletes the adrenals and thyroid reserves.

Trying to "burn it to earn it" backfired since apparently I felt really entitled to 'earn' a lot... lol!! I am taking it easy this week, as I did over the weekend, and am hopeful that the 'restful' feeling will eventually catch up with me..

I am really grateful that I've built a strong foundation so that my indulgences aren't as bad as they could be, and breaks from exercise aren't that long and are more beneficial than plowing through.

This week, my plan is be extra mindful of food during 'normal' days, enjoy without overdoing on the 'special' day, moderate cardio on T-Th-Sa, and incidental/whatever I can fit in the rest of the days.

Just to share some of the 'relaxation' from this weekend (which, unfortunately, wasn't as recouperative as I was hoping)... a couple of photos from a gathering with friends, courtesy of SHORTPUTTS - a 'real life' friend who, I was excited to learn this weekend is also a fellow Sparker!


The hubby & I soaking in the sun!


The "gang" in front of the most awesome tree in Tucson - decorated with fantastic ornaments and tons of love!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

And since the Christmas holiday is fast approaching, and the stress levels may be creeping up to near critical levels, I wanted to share these two little tidbit with you as a bit of perspective:

1) A post from the amazingly lovely, inside and out, KNH771:

2) A bit of wisdom from my favorite money "Guru", Mary Hunt:

"The best way to avoid going through this season of doubt is to anticipate it and be ready with a counter punch.

The gift is exactly right. Think back to when you made or selected that gift. If it was the right gift then, it's right now. Relax and trust yourself.

No one is keeping score. You're not calculating how much anyone spent on you, right? Then, don't assume anyone else is doing that either. This is not about settling scores or spending equally. A gift carries an expression of love and best wishes. Let it do its job.

No one has starved in your home. When is the last time you really ran out of food and left a poor soul sitting at the table half-starved? That's what I thought. Such a thing is not going to happen this week, either. Should there be a sudden shortage of food or beverage, find out now which store will be open and keep the address handy. Now relax and trust yourself.

If, after all of this self-talk, you are still feeling unsure, I have the perfect antidote that will not cost you any money, but will put you at ease. Write each one of your gift recipients and dinner guests a note. Express your fondness and tell each person what they mean to you. Attach those notes to the gifts, or place them at the table.

Your work is done. Now, it's time to enjoy the holiday."


Friday, December 18, 2009

Better-ish


Yeah... that stuff I mentioned yesterday about feeling less than enthusiastic about my workouts?

I was really hoping that a semi-decent night's sleep would have helped, but the snooze bar was sooo tempting this morning, and I think I spent 5 minutes looking at my workout clothes before I actually put them on.

I did find some good motivation to get myself out the door.



Ok... it was more like really strong coffee, but you get the idea...

I did my workout as re-planned: did the plan, but did scale it back. I did 4 rounds instead of 5, dropped the amount of weight I had planned and took extra time with it.

I felt good afterwards but was really happy to leave.

Yeah... looks like a forced rest period this weekend and probably for next week.



I also decided to take advantage of the spiffy reporting features that Spark People has to offer and realized I've done a LOT of work over the last 10 weeks.



On average, I've done about 150 minutes of activity each week.

Now to some, that may be leaving you skritching your head thinking, "I do that in one day, why on earth would you be tired? Lazy bum."

Ok, maybe not the bum part, but compared to some, I'm way on the low end of dedicated fitness minutes.

But what I lack in quantity, I make up for in quality and intensity.

I'm all about the short, efficient, intense workouts. Nothing wrong with longer workouts - It works well for some folks and while I do enjoy me a long stroll once in a while on the weekends, as a day to day thing, not for me.

3 things I learned about how to effectively deal with my hypothyroidism is to 1) get on the right meds and the right dose, 2) nutrition [especially adequate protein intake and eating real food] is a huge factor in how my body functions, and 3) Go for exercise that gives me a big bang for my buck with out totally burning me out.

#3 is why I looooves my CrossFit workouts.

For example here's a rundown of what I've done this week:

Monday:
"Cindy"
Complete as many rounds in 20 minutes as you can of:
5 Pull-ups (60# assist)
10 Push-ups
15 Squats

I did 10, count them _10_ rounds!!!

PR's all over the place: most rounds for Cindy to date, I did 8 FULL pushups (Ok, I didn't get all the way down to the ground, but darnitall I was on my toes and feet were together), finished the 10 rounds in under 20 minutes.

Tuesday:
AM workout: clean & Jerk 1-1-1-1-1-1-1

I did 50-55-55-60-60-65-65

Whoo hoo!!! I hit my 65# PR!!!

PM: Hit the gym again for a 33 minute interval walk/run - 5 min. warm up/cool down, then 3 min push (mostly running between 5.0 - 6.1 mph) and 1 min. recovery.

Wednesday:
YAY rest day!

Thursday:
"Eva"
As RX'd:
Five rounds for time of:
Run 800 meters
2 pood Kettlebell swing, 30 reps
30 Pull-ups

Post time to comments.

I opted for the "Puppy" version:
Four rounds for time of:
Run 400 meters
1 pood Kettlebell swing, 20 reps (Used a 25# DB)
20 Beginner or assisted Pull-ups (60# assisted)

I managed 2, count them _2_ rounds in 14 minutes.

Soothed my humble, kicked bottom with a 1/4 mile run the a 1/4 mile walk to cool down.

Friday:
Five rounds for time of:
95 pound Push-jerk, 15 reps
15 L pull-ups

Post time to comments.

I opted for the scaled down version
Five rounds for time of:
Push-jerk 65 lbs, 15 reps
10 Tuck sit pull-ups

And scaled it down even more:
1 round PJ @ 55#, 3 rounds @ 50#
Pull-ups were done from the ground pulling myself up to the bar

4 rounds - 15-ish minutes.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Take all of that and multiply it by the last 10 weeks...

Yeah... it's given me awesome results but eventually I get the ClueX4 to take a rest.

If that wasn't enough of a ClueX4, the fact that my resting heart rate has creeped up the last few days was enough to scare me into paying attention.

I shall enjoy the heck out of said rest - Bring on the cookies & bonbons!



LOL!! KIDDING!!!

I will be taking it easy, enjoying the Netflix holiday movies on order, getting kitten snuggle time, spending time with friends and scheduling a night with the hubby to walk through Winterhaven to look at the lights.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

You know you need a break when...


You start feeling like this all the time...



I'm pooped down to my bones.

I know, I know - who isn't? There's a lot of it going around. A lot.

For me, it's not the hustle and bustle of the season, the shopping, the parties, the whatever. It's all the little things that I've been working hard to brush off, my efforts to be like Teflon(tm) and let things slide off, finally sticking to me. Maybe it is the holiday, maybe it's the time of year

The funny thing is that the weariness doesn't manifest itself as much in my mood (though I'm sure I've been a bit more touchy than usual) as it does in my attitude towards exercise...

I was adding workouts to my book (cuz I'm a geek and like to have at least 2-3 weeks worth planned in advance) and was perusing the WOD at the CrossFit site. I knew I was in trouble when I found myself thinking "Ugh!" with each one...

Not the good kind of "ugh" that I can tell it's going to be hard but welcome the challenge.



It's the "ugh" that makes me wonder if I can pay someone to hold a gun to my head to make me do them. (Ok, that's extreme but you get the idea.)

As much as I'm needing my sweat therapy, I'm thinking it needs to be seriously dialed back over the next several days or put on the back burner. There's that fine line between "Push through it" and "push it aside" and I'm trying to figure out where I *really* am on that slippery slidy scale.

If I push through when I should push aside, I run the risk of over working my already delicate adrenal system, not to mention feeling exceptionally discouraged at my lack of performance... if I push aside when I should push through, I feel guilty and run the risk of beating myself up for not doing *something*.

Gotta love that perfectionist, darned if ya do, darned if ya don't, Catch-22 cycle!


It's also extra fun when I'm so close to the end of my 12-week cycle and a planned rest/easy week is within sight...


It goes back to "People make plans. God laughs." So what if I've been pushing hard for the last 10 weeks and only have 2 more weeks to go, the greater plan says, "Nope."


Basic game plan is to seriously scaled back tomorrow - something instead of nothing but not full boar. Saturday will be a get out and clear my head walkies. Next week will basically depend on how things are after Saturday.

It's all about learning to listen to your body... and even more importanly, learn to trust what your body is saying.

Sometimes the most beneficial action is inaction.

Sometimes the most powerful strength is shown in lifting yourself up.

Sometimes you have to do nothing now so you can do more later.


Monday, December 14, 2009

Looking back, looking forward


I have been blessed over the past year+ to come across some amazing people on Spark - _Ramona, MTER67 & CJROMB to name a few - who have the ability to write the most heartwrenchingly light heartedly challenging thought provoking essays (I just can't call them "blogs"... they're too darn good!) and usually they are all those things all at once.

CJ wrote one of those essays recently that's hung around my heart like a warm wet blanket since I read it. (Go read for yourself and you'll understand.)

In this essay she asks a critical question, one that I never really thought much about until recently, but the topic has been forced to the forefront of my mind: "What 3 things have to happen for me to consider 2010 a success?" This lead me to take an even a broader approach, how do *I* define success? Then the inevitable question comes to mind, "what /are/ my goals for 2010?!"

Let me back up a little bit... I've learned a lot along the way about the importance of setting goals, writing them down, breaking them down, etc. I've told many, many people the steps involved, why it's important, etc.

I just never did it myself.

I was one who didn't have much of a plan past today... and maybe tomorrow, depending on if I felt like it or not.

I wouldn't make plans for the weekend before Friday because I may or may not feel like doing something, or I was holding out for a better offer.

I remember the first of many uncomfortable discussions with my now hubby of 'where do you want to be/what do you want to be doing in 1 year/5 years/10 years?!'

I always used to dread that question.

You see... I had excellent sight, but I was lacking vision.

Lemme 'esplain... Sight is what you see right in front you, right this moment. It's what you are, right here, right now.

Vision is what you can be. It's the seeds of greatness that's planted inside you.

"Faith is taking the first step, even when you don't see the whole staircase." ~ Martin L. King

Sight is temporary. It's your current situation and it's always subject to change.

Vision is eternal and bigger than you are right now. It's the place you can go... if you just stop talking yourself out of it.

I was /really/ good at talking myself out of things.

Improving your vision is scary - it forces you out of the comfortable place you've built for yourself and into unknown territory.

Then I decreed 2009 to be the year I got comfortable with dis-comfort... I pulled out my machete and started hacking into the unknown. I actually set goals! I set timelines! I made daily, weekly action steps!

And I made AMAZING progress...

But after reading CJROMB's essay, I started to wonder - was I successful?

That was the part of the puzzle I had left out - I put had a plan down on paper and put that plan into action. I had my road map firmly in hand and some destinations marked out... but how did I measure the end result?

I mean, if I didn't meet my set goals was that an automatic "FAIL"? Did I just say, "oh well..." and walk away?

Of course not... It's all about learning and growing and adapting. Sometimes I "get it" right out of the gate - I see the value in doing something and it's easy to incorporate into my ever evolving lifestyle of choice. Other times it takes a while... do one baby step till it becomes a habit, then add another one that seems logical, and so on.

So what have I learned this year? A LOT!

Let me just tell you right here and now: When you make a grand announcement that you are changing your life, that you are welcoming dis-comfort, prepare for life to get really interesting, really fast.

It's easy to say you're doing something, but it's another to do it. When you're at the fork in the road where one side is smooth sailing, sunshine and rainbows, and the other is rough, rocky and a little dark... it takes every ounce of courage and determination to take that proverbial less traveled road.

But here I am, still on that rocky road, realizing that in learning to navigate new territory, I've grown in ways I didn't imagine possible... that weren't part of my limited vision. Since I didn't put any sort of scale to determine if the goal was successfully met or not, here's the general summary of the trip:

In physical ways I've changed - I'm becoming a leaner, stronger, more concentrated version of myself. I'm trying new things, and continually welcoming physical challenges every day. Something that I wouldn't have imagined myself doing a year ago.

Have I reached the weight I set as a goal for 31 December? That's yet to be seen. If I don't, I've gotten a heck of a lot closer than I would have without the plan and action.

I RAN in a 5K! Doode! That wasn't on the plan, but it was a logical extension. Big success in my book!

I haven't done a full on, unassisted pull up... yet. But I'm getting closer. Heck, I did _regular_ pushups this morning! First. time. ever. If I don't do the pull up, am I failure? Nope... at least not in my book. It just means I don't give up till I can do it. And when I can, I won't give up till I can do 10, then 20... you get the idea.

I am very close to my yearly fitness minutes goal yet will fall short of meeting it... however I have already exceeded what I did last year.

While the physical changes are more evident, it's the mental and emotional ones that are most telling to me. I have an accordion file that I put any pertinent documents for tax purposes and it occurred to me last night that I have more slips of paper in the "charity/donation" file than I do in the "medical" file. And most of the medical ones are for my chiropractor. I have 2 ongoing prescriptions: thyroid meds and nose/allergy stuff. The only one that gets filled like clockwork is the thyroid meds.

When I started on this journey, I had 6 prescriptions, including _2_ antidepressants and NO donations to charities... closets/cupboards overflowing with the abundance of STUFF and near depleted checking account (hmmm... coincidence? Don't think so).

That, in my opinion is a huge success!

Overall, the year has proven to be more than I expected (showing my lack of vision ;) - along the way, I have babystepped my way to measuring my improvements, setting mini-goals that include success markers (if I did 10 pushups today, my goal is to do 12 the next time I do that workout).

Looking ahead, I'm still formulating my goals and will be answering CJROMB's question of "What 3 things have to happen for me to consider 2010 a success?" for the different goals. This is a great way to close the loop as well as setting milestones to meet or exceed. To push myself just enough to continually increase my vision, my self- and greater-than-me-belief and see what heights I can achieve in a few short months.

While the theme for 2009 of getting comfortable with discomfort may be coming to a close, I know my discomfort level is just getting started, and my dreams and my belief are getting bigger!


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

2Fer Tuesday Blogging... Act your age!

I just had to share this article because it's so flippin' awesome and inspiring.

On the theme of looking ahead, having just celebrated the big 4-Oh, this totally made me all giddy to all the things I have to look forward to, because I'm enjoying the heck out of them NOW!

"How you are as you get older is no different then how you are now... It is only reflecting how you live your life now."

P.S. Here's the video featured at the end:



Another Drive By Blog... Looking ahead


Guess what?! There's 23 whole days left between now and December 31st! Whoo hoo!

How many are excited to meet each of those days with enthusiasm and work yourself a little harder to end the year on a high note?

::Crickets chirping::

Ooookaaayy... how many are brushing pie & cookie crumbs from thanksgiving off the ever growing To-Do list and thinking, "Eh... no time... Wait till January, though! I'll be on fire!"

Perhaps you're already imagining your glistening, chiseled Adonis/Athena body that's just waiting for you once the calendar page gets flipped. The boundless energy and amazing health that's just around the corner. Get's you all giddy thinking about it, doesn't it?



Then reality hits.



I wanted to share something I heard on my Monday Night Motivational call yesterday. This is mostly paraphrased: It's easy to get excited about potential success. You have your dream, your end result in your head and it's awesome and exciting and what do you mean I have to go through a process to get there?!

Dream big! Bigger than you think is possible!

Get excited about what you're working towards and do _something_ every day to get you there.
Even if you're not really feeling it, let the excitement of your end result get you going - do that 15 minute walk, take a few extra minutes to make a salad instead of hitting the drive through, shop for instead of ordering your food. Celebrate your actions- the big ones, and especially the small ones - and soon you will be celebrating your success!

I was also reading the Beck Diet Solution this weekend and there's a part in there that addresses change... specifically being _ready_ for change. If you're not ready to really get into the process, to get your mindset in a place that's different from where you are now, then don't. Seriously. Don't force yourself into something that you're really not ready for.

Instead do something. Break it down, find some small thing that you can commit to doing - say having 1 piece of fruit every day, or tracking your food, or taking just 10 minutes out of your day to devote to exercise.

Nothing huge, but something to get you closer to the trail rather than blazing it.

Soon you'll be ready for more.

Soon you'll be setting the world on fire and amazing your friends and family.

Until then, I'll leave you with this last thought from my fave Personal Trainer (aside from my kitten! LOL!)

"All major undertakings are scary. If you look back at the biggest things you have accomplished in your life, you will probably see that they were all scary. Don't let being scared keep you from accomplishing all your fitness and/or weight loss goals!

"Don't let the fear of failure scare you from becoming the high-energy and healthy version of yourself that lies within. This approach is different - no quick fixes - just a highly-effective and simple (not easy) approach to developing healthy habits that will last the rest of your life." Jonathan Roche

YOU are worth it!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Drive by Blogging... The power of 10


Work had been super busy and didn't get much computer time this weekend... I got a friendly 'nudge' that I've been too quiet of late, so I wanted to share a bit of the thoughts going through my brain:

It's the little things/it all adds up

Really.

Little things done _consistently_ add up to big, amazing, magnificent things.

When you're tempted to throw yourself into your fitness efforts /again/- you know how it goes. You're sick and tired of being sick and tired. You're tired of being in your current body, carrying around the excess poundage.

You muster up your determination and declare, "Today. Is. The. Day."

You make a plan to hit the gym EVERY day this week, for no less than 60 minutes. This month is the month I make it happen!

This is how you usually progress:
Day one: 60 minutes on the treadmill. I'm on FIRE!!!
Day two: 60 minutes on the dread, er, treadmill... not bad... was a struggle but I did it!
Day 3: oops... and oh darn. Forgot about that, um... 'appointment' I had
Day 4: plan? I had a plan? Oh yeah, but you see it's the cat... she gets flossed on Thursdays.
Day 5: Well, it took me 10 minutes to walk to my car... that count?
Day 6-30... yeah... well... there's always next month.

Total time devoted to exercise: 120 minutes

OR... you could be silly and, instead of starting out with a monumental effort, you could just do /something/ for 10 minutes a day.

I know what you're saying: _10_ minutes?!?! That's it?! That's not enough time to do anything!!!

To which I reply: What are you doing now?

Ok... work with me, here... let's look at it this way:

Day 1: walk for 10 minutes
Day 2: Stroll with the kids around the park for 10 minutes
Day 3: make a few extra trips up & down the stairs for 10 minutes
etc... for days 4-30

Total time devoted to exercise: 300 minutes

Do that every month for a year: 3,600 minutes or 60 hours.

That's from _only_ taking 10 minutes to do something...

What can YOU get done in 10 minutes?


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thought-less Thursday: Brain Dead Edition


My apologies for being a little less than verbose of late... I am blaming my PMS riddled brain.

It's not that I'm in the eat-everything-in-site mood. Or that I'm in the "Give me chocolate and no one gets hurt" frame of mind. It's more that I'm feeling worn out, tired, and somewhere between the verge of tears or ripping someone's head off (or both) at any given moment.

It's also impairing my ability to think - I almost left my office for a meeting that *I* thought was scheduled at a different location... luckily I talked to someone who reminded me that it was in my office, not elsewhere. No need for travel.

Did I mention that *I* scheduled the meeting?

Oh yeah, and the worn out feeling is keeping my legs super sore after my enthusiastic workouts on monday & tuesday... darn inner thigh killing sumo squats!

The good news: This too shall pass. It always does.

So I shall spare everyone all the other weepy silliness going on in my brain and share this touching story that I got in my email this morning. It made me cry (big surprise) and it also served as a fantastic reminder to chill once in a while and appreciate the precious little time we have on this earth.

It's important to remember that at any time, but especially this time of year. We /think/ we have to rushrushrush, buybuybuy. The only way we can show our love and affection to those around us is with stufffoodthings.

Really, the best gift we can give is the gift of our selvestimelove.

Think I need to go get some marbles.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
3,900 Saturdays...

The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday morning. Perhaps it's the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, or maybe it's the unbounded joy of not having to be at work. Either way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning are most enjoyable.

A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the garage with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other. What began as a typical Saturday morning turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time. Let me tell you about it:

I turned the dial up into the phone portion of the band on my ham radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning swap net. Along the way, I came across an older sounding chap, with a tremendous signal and a golden voice. You know the kind; he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business. He was telling whomever he was talking with something about "a thousand marbles." I was intrigued and stopped to listen to what he had to say.

"Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you're busy with your job. I'm sure they pay you well but it's a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet. It's too bad you missed your daughter's dance recital," he continued; "Let me tell you something that has helped me keep my own priorities." And that's when he began to explain his theory of a "thousand marbles."

"You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years.

Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3,900, which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime. Now, stick with me, Tom, I'm getting to the important part.

It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail," he went on, "and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays. I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy. So I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended up having to visit three toy stores to round up 1,000 marbles. I took them home and put them inside a large, clear plastic container right here in the shack next to my gear.

Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away. I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life.

There's nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight.

Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure that if I make it until next Saturday then I have been given a little extra time. And the one thing we can all use is a little more time.

It was nice to meet you Tom. I hope you spend more time with your family, and I hope to meet you again here on the band. This is a 75 year old man, K9NZQ, clear and going QRT, good morning!"

You could have heard a pin drop on the band when this fellow signed off. I guess he gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to work on the antenna that morning, and then I was going to meet up with a few hams to work on the next club newsletter.

Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss. "C'mon honey, I'm taking you and the kids to breakfast."

"What brought this on?" she asked with a smile.

"Oh, nothing special, it's just been a long time since we spent a Saturday together with the kids. And hey, can we stop at a toy store while we're out? I need to buy some marbles."

Mac Anderson
Charging the Human Battery
www.simpletruths.com