Saturday, January 30, 2010

pimp and complain - the interesting saturday night

Snow, snow, snow.  Ugh.  I hate snow.  I hate shoveling it and driving in it and just dealing with the ice melt that ends up getting tracked around everywhere.  Stupid snow.

I actually accomplished a little decluttering today, getting rid of some dvds that never get watched and going through books of doom.  And I got in advanced bootcamp despite my own best efforts to avoid working out. 

Yes, this is a driveby post as my brain is frozen from the cold and the snow.  That said, I wanted to share this very cool contest with all of you.

The Book Junkie is running a Birthday Box of Books Giveaway now through February 22nd.  Free books, my friends.  Can one go wrong when there are more books to read?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Week 4 - Progress Report

Week #4 (January 22nd - January 28th)
Jan. 22 = 4 miles

Jan. 23 = 5 miles

Jan. 24 = 0 miles

Jan. 25 = 3 miles

Jan. 26 = 0 miles

Jan. 27 = 2 miles

Jan. 28 = 0 miles

Total miles for week # 4 = 14 miles

Again with only four days of workouts and my workout on Wednesday night was one of those where I just couldn't break through the wall.  You know that feeling.  Usually about 10-15 minutes in, your muscles are fine and while it's work (hence the working out), it gets easier and not so hard on the body/mind.  But Wednesday, my knee started to hurt, i felt slighly nauseous and I just felt funky about the workout, so I didn't do much.  And I ended up not working out yesterday - first anniversary of my mom's death and I decided to wallow a little bit instead of what I probably should've done.

Oh well, it's a learning process.  And 14 miles isn't so bad.  I'm just hoping tonight when I workout, I don't feel that wall again.  Or at least that I'm able to bust through it.

Monday, January 25, 2010

inspired to act...

This entry, What You Don't Do Doesn't Matter, from the Art of NonConformity really struck a chord with me this morning.  Maybe it's because I'm amazing at this type of behavior.  I often think up little things I can do for people, ways to be kinder, better and have a positive effect on other people...and then I do nothing about it.  I write it off as being busy or needing "me" time.  And sometimes that's true, but usually, I have ten minutes I can spare that could be put to better use than just staring at the screen or thinking how bored I am. 

So this week I am going to attempt to do an act of kindness for someone, anyone, every day this week.

Friday, January 22, 2010

so pretty...

I'm procrastinating, can't seem to focus on anything, and feel little to no creativity.  So let me share this.

Isn't it pretty?  Just look at all those books!  I just...I want to live in there.  Think of the book, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, except instead of living in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, I live in this library, reading books forever and ever.

It could happen.

Week 3 - Progress Report

Week #3 (January 15th - January 21st)

Jan. 15 = 4 miles
Jan. 16 = 3 miles
Jan. 17 = 4 miles
Jan. 18 = 0 miles
Jan. 19 = 3 miles
Jan. 20 = 2 miles
Jan. 21 = 0 miles

Total miles for week # 3 = 16 miles

I kinda found my groove again.  I had wanted to get in a work out last night, but I ended up feeling really sick and there was just no way my body could take it.  I still can't complain.  Sixteen miles is a huge improvement over the week before.  I'm almost back from my fun with bronchitis and getting back into the swing of things. 

I am trying to challenge myself a little more with whatever I'm doing, trying to work different muscles, push myself just a little harder, sink just a little deeper.

Still trying to figure out how to manage it all.  You would think by now I'd have a routine that includes working out and my fun leisure activities, but lately I find my hobbies get waylaid but workouts.  And I know this isn't necessarily healthy.  After all, how long will I continue with something when the rest of my life has lost the things I love?  Must work on this for the next week.  Learn time management.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

the exercise blues

First, I did a guest post over at the 100 Mile Fitnesss Challenge on my own approach to exercise - loathing and terror.  It can be found here.  It's nothing mind blowing, but I appreciate Trish giving me the opportunity to share my feelings on such things.

Second, I tried the Biggest Loser Weight Loss Yoga last night and am now feeling it.  I do not believe it is fair to add push-ups into yoga.  I think that is cheating.  If I knew Bob Harper, I would tell him so and run away before he could make me do jumping jacks.  I've also come to realize that for someone who used to be a dancer, I'm quite inflexible and lack any grace whatsoever.  On the dvd, the people, even the guys, move easily, practically flowing, from one move to another, while I'm stumbling around like a lunatic.  Hopefully, this will get better with time, but my ego is a little bruised.  Stupid yoga. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wait...what are you trying to say?

So today's question at Creative Every Day got me to thinking.

How do you tune in to your body and hear what it has to say?

I started meditating in the 2009 and I've found it's been a great way for me to simply be in the moment.  I can sometimes feel the emotions and the thoughts, but it allows me a chance to quiet it all.  There is also a great meditation that I'm able to do called a body scan and it takes you through every part of your body.  It's an amazing experience, as long as you can stay awake.  Yes, I admit it, the first time I attempted the meditation, I'm pretty sure I dozed off, as I doubt I'm a meditation savant. 

While I don't dance in the rain barefoot, as I'm just not that girl, and don't want to end up in a straight jacket, I love to dance.  It's my favorite form of exercise, if one could dare to say that I enjoy exercise.  I grew up dancing.  For the longest time, I was self-taught.  My father would buy me musicals on VHS like Kiss Me Kate and Singing in the Rain and I would memorize the dance numbers and perform them for my family.  I guess that supplied the idea of "hhhmmm...maybe she would like dance classes."  So I did that for a long time.  And I still have this weird knack for picking up dance moves rather quickly.  I stopped dancing after high school and it somehow fell off my radar for a long time, but I'm glad I started up with it again.  It's like an old friend who I haven't seen in awhile, but we can pick up right where we left off. 
I read Twyla Tharp's book on creativity and there is a part where she talks about how our bodies just know/remember things.  She even has an exercise where, even if you're reading the book not as a dancer, she has you create an eight count of moves and do it repeatedly for a few weeks.  Then you stop for a month.  And when you go back to it, your body instinctively remembers.  I love the idea that our body can recall every move we've ever made, even if we seem to forget.

And when you do hear it, do you listen?

Body:  If only you'd listen to me...
Me:  Fa, la, la...I can't hear you.
Body:  I know what you need to do...
Me:  Fa, la, la, Ms. Know It All...

I wish the above weren't an accurate take on things, but alas, there is quite a bit of truth behind it.  For the longest time, I ignored it and a lot of the emotions running through my head, wreaking havoc on my body in response.  I'm still learning to let myself just be.  To be in the present and listen to what my body is saying.  For example, I'm currently learning how to tell when I'm actually hungry and when I'm just going to eat because I can.  Hard habit to break.  I've spent years perfecting it - time to watch a movie, must eat - and actually paying attention takes work on my part.  I'm a lazy creature by nature, so some days are harder than others.

I've been using the meditation and the dancing along with a few other tools to try to pay more attention to these things.  Hopefully, it will pay off in the end.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Creative Every Day Challenge

The bright side to bronchitis, being home from work for a week, and bored out of my skull was that I could do small snippets of writing and journaling, even really bad doodling in my notebook.

I also managed to get my morning pages (3 handwritten pages) in every morning for The Artist's Way. I look back over those and they always tend to be about the most random things, usually bits of dreams I had since I just woke up. I also think it's the one place where I don't edit myself. I'm the girl who has to go back over and over every line she writes as she goes, willing it into perfection. It's one of my constant battles when I write. I could spend hours on one page of dialogue in a first draft.

That's part of the reason I signed up for this challenge. I'm hoping if I just let go, I can create.

Anyway, the theme for january is the body. So I've been trying to write little snippets focusing on different parts of the body. Some days I'm able to incorporate it into the current novel I'm working on, but other days, I just write little ficlets. Nothing I'm quite ready to share (going back to that perfectionist thing) because I'm not sure a lot of what I wrote when I was hopped up on meds. Also, a lot of it is really personal at the moment. The first anniversary of my mother's death is this month and I'm trying to use creativity and writing to deal with a lot of emotions.

100 Miles Fitness Challenge Round 2 - Weeks 1 & 2 check in

I started off the New Year strong, but by January 4th, I started to feel like crap. I ended up with bronchitis and that put me out of commission (per doctor's orders) through that whole week.

Week #1 (January 1st - January 7th)

January 1 = 3 miles
January 2 = 3 miles
January 3 = 2 miles
January 4 = 0 miles
January 5 = 0 miles
January 6 = 0 miles
January 7 = 0 miles

Week 1 Total = 8 miles

Week #2 (January 8th - January 14th)

January 8 = 0 miles
January 9 = 0 miles
January 10 = 0 miles
January 11 = 2 miles
January 12 = 2 miles
January 13 = 2 miles
January 14 = 2 miles

Week 2 Total = 8 miles

It was really frustrating being down and out for a week. Don't get me wrong. I haven't suddenly changed my mindset about how I approach working out. It's not something I look forward to and if my doctor would say to me, "You can eat pizza and still be healthy and in shape without doing anything" I'd be the first on that boat. I mean, there are activity things I would do, probably, but not as often as I do now. What frustrated me was that since September 2009, I have set up a routine. I have made exercise a part of my life the same way work and laundry and watching my favorites shows are. And I as scared that a week of no exercise would really mess that.

Also, last week I wasn't allowed "to push myself" so that was hard too, though important. As those small workouts were killer in ways they haven't been in awhile.

Thankfully, I'm back on track with my exercise. Now I'm working out trying to get back on track with eating much better. My big issue is my hatred of cooking, especially after a long work day. So I'm trying to plan ahead and figure out healthy meals that can be reheated or quickly tossed together.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

while I ponder life...

I thought I would share the fact that the very cool Bon Bon Rose Girls are celebrating their one year anniversary with a week of giveaways and for Day 2 there are some awesome things up for grabs:  Ban.Do, beautiful photography, and very cool vintage jewelry.

I highly recommend checking it out.



Recovering from bronchitis, which has really messed up my fitness routine and I'm getting winded with the beginner levels at the moment.  I know it will pass, but this is me, and my brain finds ways to make it seem like I've done something wrong.

Must catch up on many things, including working out and writing.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

In attempts to get the muses working

2009 was not my finest year as far as my writing goes. And I also realized over the course of the year, that I would love to be creative in other ways aside from writing - photography, drawing, painting, crafts. Maybe it's the Virgo in me or the way I was raised or a mixture of many things, but I've always believed that if it doesn't come easily, I shouldn't do it.

But that seems like I'm limiting myself so much. I'm not saying I expect to draw anything I would ever share with anyone else, but I think it would be nice to be able to do it on the simplest level.

So along with doing the Soul Cafe prompts, I'm participating in the 2010 Creative Every Day Challenge

Thursday, January 7, 2010

a minor setback

Currently battling bronchitis. I had started to feel sick over the holidays, but it seemed to go away and then Monday morning...BAM. It hit hard. Needless to say several things, including work (which is so not good), fell to wayside in favor of sleeping and mindless watching of television - yesterday was a Top Model marathon on Bravo!

Last time I exercised was Monday and the doctor said I have to give it a few more days and even then, I have to take it easy. He said he was proud of me for wanting to get right back at it, but it's more about a routine for me. Working out, while never my favorite thing to do, has become something I just know needs to be done. Sort of like laundry and showering and taking out the trash. I don't really enjoy the act of exercise, but I do enjoy the healthy side effects, including loser-fitting clothes.

So I'm feeling down and out at the moment. I feel like crap, I can't work out and my demon brain goes right to all the ways this is just an omen and that I'm a failure and blah, blah, blah, and yesterday would've been my mother's 66 birthday. And 21 days from now will be the first anniversary of her death. It's a weird thing. Sometimes it feels like it just happened, surely a year hasn't passed already. And some days I feel like she's been gone for so long now that it sort of blends into the background the way my father's death does (He died when I was eleven).

On a positive, I am taking part in the Day Zero Project, where you set out to do 101 things in 1001 days. Not quite three years. Sorta like a bucket list, but a little less depressing, as I don't want to wait until I'm near death to finally enjoy life.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Weeks 11 & 12 - the end of round 100

Week 11 (December 19th-December 25th)

Saturday - 0 miles
Sunday - 6 miles
Monday - 0 miles
Tuesday - 0 miles
Wednesday - 3 miles
Thursday - 0 miles
Friday - 0 miles

total miles = 9 miles

I ended up being busier (and lazier) the week of Christmas than I accounted for. I'm the first to admit that I am terrible with managing my time very well and things were getting crazy and workouts fell to the side.

Week 12 (December 26th-December 31st)

Saturday - 4
Sunday - 3
Monday - 4
Tuesday - 1
Wednesday - 0
Thursday - 3

Total miles = 15 miles

Total Miles for the Challenge = 150 miles (if my math is correct). So I not only completed the challenge, but made it over. When I signed up, I saw the thing as motivation, but in the back of my head, the inner demon (which is what I call my negative voice) was being very loud about how impossible this would be for me. That not only do I loathe exercise (still do), but I'm lazy and out of shape and could never do it. So I figured I'll just do what I can...and funny thing was? Along the way, I found myself pushing myself a little harder. Like I said, I still hate the exercising, but I do like the feeling of getting healthier, of how my clothes are fitting, how I can go up flights of stairs without huffing and puffing.

I'm so proud of myself right now. I've still got a long way to go, but I've seen, with hard numbers and data, that I can do this. It's also helped me some of my weak areas. Like the week of Christmas, my issues with time management did interfere with my getting workouts in. I also need to work on the idea that a little is better than none. On busy days I would talk myself out of any exercise because I couldn't do the amount I thought I should. Yeah, only logical in my brain.

Also, I set a task with Google to alert myself every Friday for the next round so that I don't end up in this situation again where I'm missing weeks of posting. I want to take accountability in that moment, see exactly what I'm doing.

Anyway, I'm so thankful for this challenge. And ready for round two. It's not too late to sign up if you're interested. You can sign up here