Workout Wonder Woman

 Posted by at 4:00 am  fitness
May 312011
 

As I’m living it up in Texas, my dear friend Liane lent her hilarity for your reading pleasure.

Liane is someone I talk to every single day via email, and I can’t even begin to tell you the dedication this woman has to getting a killer work out in.  In the last few months I’ve heard her stories about gym trips, training runs, fighting through yoga DVDs, and almost tossed my cookies just thinking about the list of exercises she is knocking out during the various boot camps she tackles through out the week. 

After six weeks of our sharing work out stories, Liane compiled the following list noting the changes in her life.  As someone who has made quite a few changes in my own healthy living in the past few years, I found myself laughing, nodding along the way.
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What Liane learned after 6 weeks of working out like a mad woman:

You might be a work-out wonder woman if…..

  1. 4 athletic bras aren’t nearly enough.
  2. The pile of boots and high heels that used to be scattered at your front door are now replaced by 4 pairs of running shoes, 3 pairs of ballet flats and a pair of flip flops ; heels are the devil to your sore calves.
  3. Lululemon Groove and Astro pants are awesome for stretching, Pilates, yoga and Barre fitness, but should never, ever, under any circumstances, be worn for running, strength training or boot camp.
  4. You realize calm, zen, spa like rooms fitted with ballet bars are deceptive. It might seem easy, but will hurt like hell.
  5. The crumpled bags of potato chips that used to hide under your car’s seats have made way for reusable water bottles. Sudden braking now sounds like waves crashing in the ocean.
  6. Speaking of your car, the trunk now doubles as extra storage for your yoga mats, tennis rackets and Costco flats of water.
  7. You can convert kilometers into miles in 10 seconds or less
  8. Your living room resembles a physiotherapist office. Mat? Check. Foam Roller? Check. Exercise Ball? Check. Tiger tail? Check. Pilates Strap? Check. Medicine Ball? Check. Random tennis and golf balls? Check. Thawed cold pack? Check.
  9. Categorizing your workout wear by activity is how you help ensure you don’t accidentally wear inappropriate clothing at 5:45AM. [See #3]
  10. You forget how long your hair has grown because it spends 99.9% of the time pulled up with an elastic band.
  11. Light rain, heavy rain, sideways falling rain are all fine for outdoor athletic endeavors, but you should probably reconsider when the thunder rolls.
  12. Your weekly laundry pile has increased 4 fold.
  13. Your morning commute seems 5 times longer the day after a lower body workout given the incredible soreness you will experience each and every time you use the clutch and change the gear. (this only applies to 5 speed vehicles, automatic are for wimps)
  14. You can accurately explain the difference between mountain climbers, twist planks, side planks and running planks.
  15. 9:00 PM is a perfectly acceptable bed time.
  16. You realize you haven’t stopped by Starbucks during their half price Frappucino happy hour because you’d rather not spend an additional 45 minutes at the gym sweating off the calories.

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Insomnia

 Posted by at 4:00 am  Ramblings
May 022011
 

A few weeks ago, I had a bit of trouble sleeping.
Okay – that’s a flat out lie. 

One night, I tossed. I turned. I tossed some more.  I stared at the wall.  I drank a glass of water. I got up to pee. 

I tried laying with my head at the foot of the bed.  I tried laying on the floor in my bedroom, then the living room, and for 2 minutes I attempted the kitchen floor, too.  I tried laying in each of the recliners with the TV off and then with the TV on and then with the TV off, again.

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I tried reading the dictionary, a cookbook, some Jane Austen, Donald Miller, and a few magazines.  I read the remaining 150 pages in order to finish a novel.  I tried reading books with large print and with small print, too.  I wrote a letter. I did the dishes. I counted sheep, and goats, and Presidents.

Nothing I did made me sleepy; but a lot of it made me smarter more knowledgeable.

What I learned in one night of INSOMNIA!
[alternatively titled: late night television and women magazine lessons]

  • Jeopardy is played on my local ABC affiliate at 1:00 AM.
  • One episode included a category named “Snacks on a Plane.”  ahem.
  • The category “The Ex-Files” has nothing to do with celebrity divorcees, unfortunately.
  • I am better at Jeopardy at 1:00 in the morning than I am at 4:00 in the afternoon. 
  • For a boost of energy, try Camel Pose.  According the July/August 2009 issues of Health, it opens your chest, giving your lungs the ability to bring in more oxygen.  The act of bending backward is said to stimulate your adrenal glands, “revving you up.”

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  • I am coveting the Martha Stewart Deluxe Crafters set on HSN.
  • Also, Martha Stewart says a lot of random things after 1:00 in the morning.  Maybe she needs an espresso?
  • She’s also a bit of a bragger.
  • March was national craft month! How did I not know this!? Crafter Fail!!!!
    [I did do SOME crafting in March, so all was not lost, I suppose.]

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  • I have no patience for commercials post prime-time.
  • I would like to be best friends with Jimmy Fallon.  Okay, so that’s not new knowledge, but it’s worth reflecting and repeating.
  • True Hollywood Story (THS, but not that THS) is not only available for viewing on E!, but also CW.  The “E!” has been removed from the title when viewed on other networks, it would seem.
  • New research has found that doing online puzzles, like Sudoku, can decrease stress and improve your mood! (From Real Simple 09/08)

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After reading that little tidbit, I did a few Sudoku puzzles (in the decorative book my sister gifted me) and drifted fast to sleep.  From that point on my night was full of the most pleasant dreams and sweet, sweet slumzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Lessons from Self Portraits

 Posted by at 4:00 am  Ramblings
Jan 272011
 

When 2011 started, I decided to take on a Project 365 of my own. I would document the year with two photo reels.  One was a simple “general photo a day” reel.  And the other, a self portrait a day. I wish I could say that I had grand plans and ideas of what these projects would produce; but, sometimes, I decide to do something just to do it.  I figure out the why, and often the how, much later. 

[If you are interested in this kind of project, I encourage you to check out a few of my friends who are participating in their own Project 365s: Caitlin, Jaime, and Kristina]

As I write this, I’m a mere 25 days into the project, and I am making my way through the self portraits as honestly as I can.  I have, somehow, remembered to take a photo each day [although, according to Shugarman’s law, now that I’ve said that out loud out blog I will probably forget tomorrow.]  I have found, along the way, a few things to be true.  I am sure many more lessons will come in 2011, and that these are just the tip of the iceberg of learning and self-reflection.

What I’ve Learned About Myself After 25 Days of Self Portraits

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I do not like having my photo taken, even by myself, when I am ill.

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I wear my IPod Shuffle a lot of the time.

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I often like the blurrier photos better. I think it helps me to remember the movement in the moment – that the photo isn’t posed as much as taken during living.

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I am much more likely to accessorize if I remember while getting dressed that I will be taking a photo of myself today.

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My forehead scar is awesome.  But my left cheek birth marks are even more awesome.

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It is very easy to take photos of myself while I am sitting at my desk at work.

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Since I’ve started the self portrait project, I’ve found I feel a lot more confident.  I don’t know why, but I find myself giving attractive 20-something men I meet while out and about “flirting eyes.” 

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My eyebrows are out of control.  And I kind of like them like that.

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I’m looking at a stranger when I am looking at myself sans thick rimmed glasses.

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When I feel bored with what I’m doing, I grab a prop.

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I should experiment with new hair styles every once and while. And when it comes to make up, I will probably abandon the red lip trend.

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I’ve stopped smiling for pictures, for some reason – but I’ve never felt more beautiful than while I am looking through these photos.

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Sometimes I feel self-conscious about my photo project.  Sometimes I feel like I’m back on MySpace.  Sometimes I feel like I’m trying to be something I’m not.  Sometimes I feel vein. Sometimes I feel like people from my past are laughing at my project and talking smack about me behind my back.

Then I wake myself up and publish the photos in a facebook album for all my family and frienemies to see. I remember that in 20 years I will be very thankful for this project.  I remember that it is giving me goodness.  I remember how it makes me feel: confident, self-aware, and gorgeous.