Tuesday, July 22, 2014
In the past two days I remind myself of Princess Fiona, true love of Shrek.
By night one way, by day another... apart from the fact she seemed to enjoy her life as an ogre. I don't.
By day I'm physically active and eat well, then evening comes and I just sit and eat like an ogre ... if I continue doing this I will look like one too.
I haven't gained yet, but I surely will if I go on like this.
I like summer a lot, especially the cool early morning walks / runs, and being able to do yoga outside, but I'm uncomfortable with my children traveling around for 3 weeks, and hardly seeing them all. And when they come home exhausted they sleep all day, then invite their friends over and I can't have much quality time together, like during usual school year time.
Quite normal behavior from 20-year olds, and it bothers me far less than in the past years, but I'm not so cheerful as usual.
Probably this is why I feel grumpy and my motivation is low.
Otherwise everything is great, work is interesting and workload is normal, I have great books to read, I can do yoga or go for walks with hubby in the evenings...
This too shall pass.
Tonight I managed to eat a normal dinner, so far. I hope I can stick to it.
Monday, July 07, 2014
My most important realization coming from my mindfulness / meditation practice is this: I am not my thoughts. My thoughts are objects of my mind, they come and go, some are true others are not.
This is a great thing to keep in mind in case of negative thoughts.
Here is a (bit long) story about how it works.
Yesterday DH and I drove 3 hours to pick up DS and DD + one of their friends after a music festival.
I got up at 5:30 to get a short run in at least, instead of the usual 7K forest run.
We agreed that they will be all packed and ready when we are there at 9:30-10:00, so I assumed we will arrive, pick them up and head back to home.
I called DD when we were one hour away - she was still sleeping. Told her to hurry up, wake her brother and get to the main exit.
She called back: DS is sitting on a chair, sleeping and she is unable to wake him up, he doesn't respond to slapping or water splashed into his face. Also DD has a huge inflatable bed that she cannot deflate (!).
Did not sound promising.
The habitual thought "the ungrateful boy does not deserve that we spend tour day driving him home, all he had to do is drink in moderation and pack his luggage and tent and show up, and he doesn't care to do this, so we can't head home at 10:00 as we planned despite getting up so early ...." rose in me, together with annoyance and indignation.
Two years ago this thought would have sent me into screaming white hot fury.
Now I stopped at the stage being annoyed and looked into my thoughts.
Yes, my son is stupid and careless, we will have a hard time getting him out of the festival's premises (it is huge and we don't have tickets so can't go in) and we will be delayed.
Yes, I will have to educate him again on the dangers of extreme drinking.
Yes, this is different from what I expected, but this is the present situation, I can't change it and have to let go of my expectation and deal with the reality now.
It helped: I didn't lose my temper and did not suffer more than 10 minutes.
I called DD back, asked her and their friend to pack DS's things and bring to the exit where I wait for them, then go back for DS and bring him out.
When they got out with the luggage, I lay down on the huge inflatable bed in the shadow, watching the sky, the clouds and tree leaves above me, relaxing.
After another quarter of an hour later they emerged again with DS who was still unresponsive but walked, with eyes closed... We got all the stuff in to the parking lot where DH was waiting (two rounds again) and headed home.
I could even see how funny the situation was in its own horrible way, and laughed.
I'm very proud of myself for handling the situation effectively and not stressing out.
Another thing I'm proud of is the Crow Pose: I did it today!
I did it many times for 1-2 seconds in the past week, but today I held it safely for 3 breaths, two times, so no mistake!
OK, it was not as graceful as my goal picture below, and my toes were only 2 inches above the ground, but still I DID IT : ))
I will post a picture of myself when I'm more confident and I have a witness to take the photo.
Tuesday, July 01, 2014
I have been doing yoga for a couple of months, and I LOVE it.
I know I talkl too much about yoga, but I have to go through this phase with every new activity I fall in love with.
Here are my reasons:
1. it is graceful, and feels like dancing
This is why I started it. My 20-year old daughter has been doing yoga for 3 years, at home, and when she does it outside on the terrace, I can see her, radiating strength, grace and beauty.
2. there are so many kinds of poses and workouts
One can start at any level of strength, and there is an endless opportunity to improve.
I love running and getting my pace from 10:00 to 9:30 min/mile is great but is not as meaningful as learning a new beautiful pose I was unable to do just a week ago.
3. there are so many kinds of poses and workouts
This is the same, but I love this for another reason too: whatever body part is injured, there are endless possibilities to work the rest of the body.
4. yoga builds strength everywhere (legs ,core, arms), improves balance, flexibility and posture
It keeps my arms and abs just as strong and shaped as barbell lifting, no kidding!
I dropped weight lifting 3 months ago in favor of yoga, and my arms and abs are just as strong as before.
My husband is 55 and is quite inactive, his job is entirely sedentary, and has hip problems - after a few weeks of yoga he says hips stopped bothering him, and he can bend down and move much more easily. And his posture is much better, standing and sitting!
5. doing yoga feels good and creates a connection between mind and body - very important to me, as I have totally neglected my body in the first 42 years of my life. Being aware of my body feels great, and calms the mind. Good against emotional eating too.
6. and finally: I can do it at home. This is very important to me, because getting dressed up and driving to a gym is very likely to demotivate me. I have my videos, yoga mat, living room and terrace ready at all times, before or after work.
Saturday, June 28, 2014
I already had a bike and a stationary bike, so don't count those.
These are the items I bought during my journey:
-a stability ball
-running shoes #1 (70$) + 7 various tops / shirts, 2 bras, 4 pants, 2x winter underwear, jacket, hat, gloves, socks (total about 280$)
-running shoes #2 (now over 700 miles but still good) 120$
-ice cleats to run safely on packed snow and ice
-fancy pedometer that links to internet
-barbell and extra plates (don't use them anymore, but my son does)
-running shoes #3 (now over 400 miles) 80$
-running shoes#4 (Goretex for last winter but used only once as we had no snow) 150$
-1 fancy running top for the marathon relay 20$ (all my running clothes are still good)
-yoga website yearly prescription 90$
Healthy eating actually costs less than my previous "diet", as I don't drink soda, and always pack my lunch and snacks. Even dinner, when I'm traveling.
I quit smoking too, and I'm saving a lot of money.
Last weekend I had a great run, saw a deer (very rare here!) and met the friendliest biker ever. He said "Hello, biker behind you on the right! Thank you, enjoy your run!" It was so kind, polite and efficient, it made me happy.
In comparison, the rudest person I met on this forest tail ever was (sadly) a runner, I walked with my friend, and as always we kept to the right side of the path, so there was plenty of room to pass, but he yelled "Get out of my f*cking way!"
Anyway, I ran absorbed in my thoughts, kicked a stone and fell. Got away with a few superficial scratches and a deeper cut on my right palm.
So for a few days could not do yoga workouts with hands down the floor.
One wonderful thing about yoga is the wide variety of poses.
I could not do sun salutations downward facing dog and planks, but I had all the standing, sitting and lying poses I could do.
When I hit my knee a few months ago, I had many knee-less sitting and lying poses to choose from.
My husband continues doing 3-4 yoga workouts per with me, and we are both improving a lot, strength and flexibility.
There is a 60-minute arms and core strengthening workout that we found very exhausting 2 weeks ago, he even quit halfway when he did it the first time, but yesterday we did it quite easily.
My work week was crazy. Worked long hours and had 2 one-day and 1 two-day client visit. In addition I had to revise a long and complicated report. Luckily I got home relatively early on the report day, and had a nap and a yoga workout before doing it late at night, and so I avoided stressing out too much over it.
Eating went well, except the report revision night when I ate a quarter of a small jar of peanut butter. At least I recognized it as comfort eating, and made a conscious choice to eat it anyway. It was a poor choice, but did not make me feel awful and -surprisingly- it did comfort me. Maybe thanks to the fact that there was no more peanut butter in the jar ; )
Friday, June 20, 2014
Today is my 3rd Sparkversary.
This makes me remember how different I was 3 years ago, and I want to honor my #1 secret of success: The Spark.
At that time I was content with my body at a BMI of 25.3 as I was 5 kg below my highest, and hopped on my stationary bike a few times a week.
I was browsing e-books and came across "The Spark: The 28-Day Breakthrough Plan for Losing Weight, Getting Fit, and Transforming Your Life" by Chris Downie.
I figured I could do anything for 28 days, and if it really transforms my life, all the better - and downloaded the book.
I learned a lot about eating well, the role of exercise and the "criss-crossing effects" between the two.
Added lots of fruits and vegetables to my meals.
Quit drinking soda and drank water.
And almost immediately I started to feel better than ever. Happier, calmer, and kinder to myself and others.
I think the book helped me putting things together, and feeling better was an immediate result that kept me going.
I reached my goal weight as planned, and I'm here ever since.
I'm maintaining a weight about 2 kg above my lowest which I could maintain only when I was at the top of my motivation and focus.
This weight (63 kg / 138 pounds) is a good center weight for me.
I'm below when I'm focused and I go over when my motivation is low, and going over the range alerts me to get focused again.
Sleeping enough, drinking water, eating fruits and vegetables and workouts everyday (yoga, running and walking) are old habits now, and I can't go one day without them. Like brushing teeth.
This lifestyle is good for me, and I'm enjoying it.
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