Monday, December 19, 2011

Resolution Time Again... and Again

One of my favorite bloggers from Nicole is Better, did a big post on how she’s going to organize her upcoming goals for the next year.  I thought her system has lots of solid points.
Basically she breaks it down like this:
Choose a one word resolution to be a driving force for all your goals.
Choose several ‘life buckets’ (overall categories).  She chose 9.
Example: Romance, Exercise, Friendship, Work
Choose three big goals for each ‘life bucket’ that you would like to accomplish by the end of the year.
(Key point here being end of year, not the start)
At the start of each month choose one small action step toward each of your big goals for each bucket.
Example: So maybe one of your goals is to have consistent date nights.  So your action step for the first month might be something as simple as researching possible date night activities.  That’s all you have to do for that goal for that month.
I’m going to give this system a try.  I’ve always struggled with creating a system for following through on goals.  What I’m not going to do is pick as many ‘life buckets’ as she did.  When I did something different for every month of my happiness project before, I found I got overwhelmed with the sheer number of resolutions I needed to keep up with.  Granted this is different, but I still think I need to choose a manageable amount of goals.
Another difference is that I would be working on my goals somewhat simultaneously.  It wouldn’t be daily like before, but I’d being doing something toward all my goals each month instead of focusing on one topic each month.
The challenge now is that I feel very disconnected from my goal planning.  I’ve been very distracted by my efforts to help Flash with his goals.  I must admit I don’t know how anyone who is has a group of people dependent on them gets anything done for themselves.  Other people are so distracting and it’s hard to separate yourself from their problems.
So, I’m sitting thinking I’ll start re-planning, making goals, finding better ways to be successful and I’m staring at the page.  I came up with a dozen monthly categories and dozens of sub categories in an afternoon for my last go around and now I’m struggling to pick three.  It’s not that I don’t have things I want to be different, I do, but I did tackle most of my problems in some way shape or form last time and they weren’t always successful.  The ideas aren’t fresh, but the approach is structured differently.
Still, I feel uninspired.  I haven’t sat down and thought about what I want for a while now. 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Keep On Keeping ON

I have now had two sessions with my trainer and I think it's great.  These were my two "free" sessions for signing up for a year membership.  I wish I had done them earlier.

Now, I'm not going to say that the cost of a training sessions isn't worth it, but I will say it's expensive-ish.  My research has found that in my area (downtown) an hour with a trainer runs at about $80.  If you were wanting to meet with a trainer once a week, you're looking at around $320.00 a month, plus tax.  Now, there are lots of people who can afford that, and a lot who can't. 

There's a deal on training at my gym right now for reduced prices.  You can buy as many sessions as you want but you have to purchase them by the end of December.  You can then use them as you please throughout the following year.  I'm debating buying some because it's a good deal.

I would recommend a trainer to absolutely anyone wanting to get in shape or get out of a fitness rut.  I already feel a hundred times more comfortable at my gym.  There's this confidence I've gotten from having a trainer tell you what to do, how many and how much weight.  I hate the idea of wasting time, and with a trainer I know I'm being super effective with my hour.  I also have little circuits of moves I can repeat on my own with confidence.  We're using areas of the gym I never attempted to use for fear of being in the way or looking stupid.

Happiness level = higher.

Maybe it's okay that my training sessions came later.  I'm coming to the end of my fitness focused quarter and I feeled a renewed sense of motivation to continue to make this a real part of my life.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Push Harder

As a perk for signing up for a membership you get two consultations with a trainer.  For a long time I thought maybe they were really backed up at my gym because no one contacted me about my consultation.  A girl I know recently became a member of my gym and after talking with her realized that she had her consultation within a week of buying her membership.  Well, wtf gym.  So I popped my head in the office and asked if my paperwork got misplaced.  I was getting charged for my membership so it couldn't have been that lost.

Anywho, Courtney called me to set up a consultation.  I became extremely nervous at the thought of doing a training session.  I've seen others happen around my in the three months I've had my membership, and some people are a bit pathetic.  There's a lot of I cant's and people pleading not to do certain exercises and what not.  So when I finally got the courage up to do the appointment I told myself I would not falter, I would do whatever was asked of me.

I don't like to run.  I'm more into weights and resistance then cardio.  As a warm up for the workout she had me run at a 6.0 for five minutes.  Shit.  This is the first thing, and I will not punk out.  So I did it.  I thought my heart was going to explode but I did it.  We then went through several exercises back to back to back.  I was doing well until I got to burpees.  I hate burpees.  I had to do 15 and I got about half way and wanted to die.  I also couldn't do 20 push ups on my toes and after 10 had to go onto my knees.  We also did this absolutely awful exercise where you stand on a resistance band, cross it and pull the handles up to your waste and then side shuffle 40 feet to the left and then 40 feet back to the right.  Not only does it take forever because the band forces you to take tiny steps, but the muscles on the sides of our thighs and glutes are on fire.  I asked her that we please not repeat that part.

All in all it was good.  It was challenging.  I got new ideas for moved I could be doing and I used more of the gym than normal.  Most of all I think it was eye opening for intensity.  I left that workout thinking that I need to push myself harder.  I also felt reaffirmed in the belief that Flash needs a trainer to push him.  I don't think I could've made myself work at that intensity without someone telling me to do it and seeing it for myself.

I have my second consult with her next Tuesday.  She said the first one is to gage what you can do, strengths and weaknesses and all that.  So she's probably going to make me run and do burpees.  Sad face.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Another One Bites the Dust

I have been sick all week.  This infuriates me for several reasons.
1. I hate being sick.
2. Until this week I had gone nine months without taking a sick day at work.  Taking a sick day is inconvenient to everyone else because we are understaffed at work.
3. Technically this results in my losing the competition to Flash.

When we were making the rules for the contest Flash started hinting that he wasn't feeling that great and might need to take some days off  from working out right from the get go.  Turns out he wasn't sick, but that didn't stop me from shutting down the idea that sick days were valid.  I rarely get sick, so the idea that I would get sick during this one month competition seemed highly unlikely.  I would've let Flash take a couple sick days, I just didn't want him thinking that was a loophole he could call in whenever he didn't feel like working out.

So technically I've lost.  Flash has told me I can keep going if I add the days I missed onto the end of the month.  As far as the 'prize' goes, my birthday is in a couple weeks, so I'm getting a present then anyway.  Needless to say my motivation has dwindled.  I'll still finish, but I'm annoyed that one of my own rules caused me to lose.  I'm going to do it because I said I would, but any competitive fire has definitely been snuffed out.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Healthy Competition

I must admit I am pleasantly surprised at what a motivator a little competition is.  From a scheduling perspective, I am thinking a lot more about when and how I will fit a workout into my day.  I simply have to do it.  None of this see how I'm feeling crap.  I woke up this morning with a killer headache that had carried over from the night before.  My first thought was, "Shit, today is a workout day I can't be sick."  I decided in the beginning of the competition that being sick was not an excuse to miss workout days.  In the real world, it is, but for the sake of our one month competition I decided to leave no room for excuses and loop holes. 

Tomorrow I am getting a massage after work, so in my head I'm trying to figure out what I should do.  Do I take a rest day tomorrow and workout Friday?  Do I do a workout dvd at home after my massage?  Do I get up and workout in the morning?  Without the competition I wouldn't even consider factoring a workout into my day tomorrow.

I had thought I'd lost a lot of my competitive spirit, but I feel a strange sense of motivation to complete this.  I think going through a goal like this with someone has been helpful.  In the beginning of my Happiness Project when Melissa had decided to do it as well I felt excited.  As time went on we did different 'month's' themes at different times, and were rarely, if ever, working toward common goals.

It's really the accountability that I needed.  I've created a win win situation for myself with this gym competition.  I use a little reverse psychology on Flash, pretending to be excited at the prospect of him missing two days in a row, or failing, but I only do that because it makes him mad and motivates him to prove me wrong.  Really, I want him to go, I want him to complete the challenge.  The only real benefit to me is not having to buy him a prize if he does fail.  It's like reverse nagging, instead of constantly reminding him to do something I'm instead getting amped at the idea of him not doing it.  Go ahead and lie on the couch tonight, because then I will be the winner. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Gym Phobia

In my efforts to become a 'fitness' person I have been going to my gym for 3 months now. It has been taking me forever to get organized enough to move beyond the cardio and leg machines.  At first it was my own ignorance about what I should be doing, but now I'm starting to realize that I have a gym phobia.  The fear of looking like an idiot.

I am not a big fan of putting myself in situations where I might embarrass myself.  If I had to learn to water ski, I'd like to do it on an empty lake.  I've never let myself by hypnotized because I was worried I'd do and say mortifying-ly embarrassing things.  I had my mother make my appointments for me up until I was in my 20s because I didn't know 'how' to.  I hate practical jokes, or the kind of teasing meant to make someone feel small and stupid.  Other than the fact that the girl signing me up for my gym membership was flustered and rushing through everything, it was my fear of looking stupid that stopped me from signing up for the deal on sessions with a trainer.

I've debated going to a different type of fitness class, like a dance oriented or kick boxing class but everytime I start to seriously consider it, I start worrying about the fact that I don't know what to expect, and what if I can't keep up (because kick boxing is hard) or if I look stupid trying to follow the choreography of the dance class.

I had a workout plan for yesterday of upper body work.  Lifting some weights on the ball and some use of the cable machine.  The area for that was crowded and I found myself nervous, the balance balls were in the other room and there was a boot camp class going on in there.  I could do it on one of the reclining benches, but I'd have to carry one to an open spot and adjust it and I didn't know how.  And then people would be looking at me like who's this retard taking up space, she doesn't know what she's doing.  Eek.  So I got on the treadmill and did some tricep and back work on the machines.  I chickened out.

Another unexpected thing that's happened at my gym is running into people I know.  I have, to date, run into two different people.  One is my roommate's best friend's boyfriend, and the other is a guy I worked with at my last job.  If I'm going to look like a retard I'd at least like to do it anonymously.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Competition Week 1

Week one has been a success.  I took my rest days on Friday and Sunday. 
Doing this contest has created an interesting mental shift.  I refuse to lose.  Saturday was a challenge.  I'm not used to working out on the weekends, I had plans to go out that evening and as I was about to run out and do my Saturday errands of Wal-Mart and grocery shopping I realized that I needed to make time to work out.  Normally, I would've told myself to see how I felt after grocery shopping and then just not done it.  But not this time.  I didn't work out Friday, I had to work out Saturday, or I would lose.

I will NOT LOSE!  So I went into my room and did a workout dvd that focused on the lower body, squats and lunges, and put a big fat check mark on the calendar.

My rule, of not taking more than one day off in a row is great.  It makes this competition way harder than just working out 5 days a week.  Taking the weekend off isn't an option, you have to be super consistent.  If you want to take a rest day you really need to strategize if it's the best day to take it.  Do I have anything in the even that will make it difficult to work out tomorrow.  If so, maybe I better work out today and take a rest day tomorrow.

I am getting frustrated with the size of my gym.  There just isn't enough open space.  If I want to set up a mat or do work on a ball there's very little space to do it, and what space there is available is always occupied.  I bought a year membership, so I have to make it work.  Because my gym is only a half block from my work, it just doesn't make sense to me to push my workouts later.  Going home and then coming back later kind of defeats the purpose of having a gym so close to my work.

I keep thinking about mornings.  It's just something I can't seem to figure out for myself.  It makes sense.  I think it's the best long term solution for finding time to work out.  It's so hard for me.  I love sleep, and mornings are so dark and cold, so very cold.  I could see it being doable on the days where it fit with Flash's schedule and he could drive me, but if I'm serious about it I'd have to be committed to getting up and going on my own in the dark freezing mornings. 
Ahh I can't commit to that yet!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

It's On Like Donkey Kong

Flash and I have been struggling with motivation, so we were trying to figure out a solution.  Flash suggested we have a contest.  His idea was to go to the gym 5 days a week for a month staight.  The winner would get a prize.

Kirby: So if you complete it, you get a prize, and if I do it as well, I get a prize.  What's the point of buying each other prizes then.

Flash: What?

Kirby: Well, if I buy you a prize for however much money, and then you buy me a prize for the same amount of money that's dumb.  I should just buy myself a present.  But that wouldn't work for me because waiting a month to buy myself something I want is dumb.  I'll just go buy it tomorrow.

Flash: Uh, well what would be a better prize then?

Kirby: *Shrug.

So I thought about it, and thought about it, and realized Flash sucks at follow through.  The chances of him going an entire month of working out 5 days a week without fail were slim to none. 

Before I had been thinking that it was do able and that we would probably both win, like a tie, but on second thought I realized my chances of coming out of this with a straight up win.

Kirby: So I've given your contest some more thought.

Flash: And?

Kirby: We need some ground rules.  1. You can not take two days off in a row.  2. We need to track our workouts on the whiteboard calendar where we can both see it.

Flash: What if I get sick and don't work out for two days.

Kirby: Then you lose.  Period.

Flash:  Lots of people at work are sick, what if I get sick?  That's not fair.

Kirby: Suck it.  This contest is serious.  If you're going to get sick it better be a 24 hour cold because you only get one day off at a time.

Flash:  Whatever.

Kirby: If you get sick due to your pathetic immune system and take two days off in a row you lose.  You are a loser and must live with the shame of your failure.  BUT, you have the option to start your 4 weeks over, beginning with the next day you work out.  If, from that point on, if you can complete 4 consecutive weeks of 5 workout days a week, you will win a prize of slightly lesser value.

Flash: Lame.

Kirby: Um, no, I think you mean awesome.  It's called a second chance.  The goal is to do the 4 weeks and form good habits and get in shape.  If it takes two tries to do so that's okay, the goal is to do it, but you want to do it on the first try, because the spoils are the sweetest the first time around.

Flash: Okay.

Kirby:  Please note that I have agreed to this contest on the grounds that I believe quite strongly that you will fail.

Flash: Are you trash talking me?

Kirby:  Most certainly.  You've already started trying to find loopholes with your talk of illness.  You don't got the stuff.

Flash:  That's not very nice.

Kirby:  You know what else isn't very nice.  Losing. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Lockdown

I had started writing a poor me post about how hard it is to stay motivated, but then I remembered that I didn't want to complain on the blog all the time so I thought suck it up bitch.  So I went out and bought the new Oxygen magazine.  Yay!

I always thought I was a planner, but I'm not sure I am.  Not like I thought I was anyway.  

There's really a huge organizational component to working out and eating well.  You have to plan.  I would argue that the planning and prep required to be successful at getting in shape and eating right is more of a contributor to people success or failure than anything else.  Even if you're putting the time in at the gym if you're not planning workouts you're probably floundering around at the gym, wasting time, resorting to cardio because you don't know what to do.  You're probably not getting the results you want.

If you're not planning meals then you'll never have the ingredients needed for a last minute recipe choice, or you're resorting to buying whatever is convenient for lunch or ordering food for dinner when you're too tired after work to figure out what to make.

When it comes to stuff, physical stuff, I'm quite organized.  I know where every thing I own currently is in my apartment.  I use something and then put it back in it's place.  I make cut throat decisions about clothes that I need to let go of every 6 months.  I've made the most of every square inch of the bedroom I share with Flash without it feeling messy and cluttered.  Me = organzied.

Yet, when it comes to sitting down and organizing workouts and routines it's harder.  I thought I would address my lack of know how by taking advantage of the trainer deal that was going on at my gym when I started.  It was super busy, I waited 20 minutes to finally talk to someone, and when I did the girl was so flustered that she flew through my application.  It just didn't feel right.  I almost didn't get the membership at all because my sign up was such a bad start but I'm made my mind up that I was going to so I did.  I'm glad I didn't get the trainer now because it's super awkward when someone has a training session.  There's not a lot of space in my gym so the workouts are kind of like, spectacles.  The person is very on display during their training session.

I still need the know how.  I still need a plan.  I've said this a hundred times yet I never figure it out.  I don't just want to work out, I want the smartest workouts.  I want results.  Gretchen Rubin did a post about procrastinating and how sometimes she'll put herself on lockdown.  Like, she'll literally lock herself in her office until she accomplishes a certain task.  Maybe I should put myself on lockdown, somewhere outside my apartment, and I'm not allowed to go home until I do it, ha.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Fix Your Own Shit First

I went to the gym today for the first time in 10 days.  I thought there would be a gym at my hotel in San Francisco but there wasn't.  It was a very small downtown hotel.  We did a lot of walking, but that's about it.  I brought my gym clothes to work yesterday, and didn't go to the gym.  It was the first time I've ever done that.  I felt burnt out.  Getting back into the groove after vacation is an adjustment.

Flash stayed in San Francisco with a friend of his for a few days longer than me, and when he came back he took the time to sit down and write down some goals for himself.  Please note, Flash does not makes plans.  He lives in the the now, 150%.  Organizing and planning for things ahead of time is not how he rolls.  Flash is... unhealthy.  It's a source of frustration for me.  I'm not health nut, but I just can't understand why he always puts in at the bottom of the priority list.  So when his list of goals involved really committing to working out and getting in shape I was more than pleasantly surprised.  He's currently going to the gym, but I feel like he does it begrudgingly, like he's just putting his time in and not trying very hard.  

I'm always trying to help him, being encouraging, making an effort to eat better, planning meals, etc.  I chose to re-do fitness again for me, because I thought it was important to boost my energy, that I didn't do as well as I could have before, but a secondary motivation for doing it again was Flash.  There were times where I'd be sitting in the apartment and I'd ask Flash if he was going to the gym, or if he appeared to be bored I'm suggest going for a run, or to walk the dog or whatever.  As I was asking him I'd always think to myself, "Do I feel like going to the gym right now?"  "Would I want to walk the dog right now"  A lot of times the answer was no.  I heard somewhere that things that bug you about other people are things that you don't like about yourself, or something to that effect.  Your lazy hypocrite girlfriend harping on you to go to the gym can't be that motivating, people in glass houses and all that jazz.

My thinking is that if I can change myself, that will be the best way I can hope to help change anybody else.  You know, be the change you want to see in the world, right? 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Kicking My Ass

I did one of my P90X workouts at home on Sunday.  Gave myself a little pat on the back for actually doing it.  As I got about halfway through I realized, I'm getting stronger.  Little by little, but I am.  I'm not sprawled out on the floor panting, I am keeping decent pace.  I rock.  This of course was followed up on Monday with incredibly sore legs.  You know you are embracing exercise into your life when your legs are super sore and you think to yourself, Sweet!  I know I did something right.

I think most girls have at one point or another felt like they were a bit of a masochist.  Whether it was a toxic relationship, a grueling program at school, a relentless demanding job, or any negative yet technically optional situation they find themselves in.  Like being pessimistic, or self defeating, making things harder than they have to be on yourself.

Working out is the perfect subsitute for that.  Beat yourself up, literally. 

I've been trying to use up my massage money before the end of the year.  I've always liked an intense deep tissue massage.  My regular girl is good, but I recently found another girl at the same place that takes it to a whole other level.  On my visits to her I find myself focusing on breathing through the pain and convincing myself to suck it up because I'm being a baby.  I even love the pain I feel for the rest of the day because it means something is happening.  Things are getting worked out.  This pain means things are getting better.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Sand Man

I’m starting to get into a groove with working out.  The past couple weeks have been pretty successful as far as going to the gym and going to yoga class.  The days where I had planned to do morning workouts at home have been a big fat fail.  If anything I’ve been coming very close to being late for work, so clearly a far cry from getting up early.
I love the feeling of going home after the gym, getting off the train and walking that last block to my house knowing that my workout is done and I can do whatever I feel like from now until I go to bed.  I would imagine that getting up and working out before work must feel 100 times better than that.  A guy friend of mine that goes to the gym and is a morning person describes morning workouts as something nobody can take away from you, it’s done.
Ah but I still can’t seem to do it.  I’ve tried going to bed early, but my roommates are still up and I can hear the TV clear as day throughout our small apartment.  So I’ve tried going to bed and reading a book, but I really like the books I’m currently reading so instead of putting me to sleep I keep trying to squeeze in another chapter which results in me staying up later than I planned.  Flash is a snorer.  It’s a nightmare.  I have on occasion slept on the couch to get away from it.  It’s not so much loud as it is annoying.  Any wheezing whistling sound you can think of, he does it.  This also adds to the amount of time it takes me to fall asleep.  Usually I just end up getting to the point where I’m so exhausted I can fall asleep despite it.  I guess getting enough sleep is the first step.
I have begun to enjoy going to the gym.  Going straight there after work has increased my success rate.  Flash has been going to the hole-in-the-wall gym in our building to run and he has been going later and later.  Usually he goes around 8 or 9 pm because the gym is empty then.  I know that wouldn’t work for me.  I would hate to be at home thinking over and over about how I still need to go to the gym.  All I used to do for the first hour after work was watch Oprah, or whatever else is on TV now that Oprah is done, so I don’t feel like I’m losing that much of my evening.  On days where I go to a 5:45 pm or later yoga class I do feel like it eats into my evening.  Maybe I’ll start looking into doing yoga on the weekends instead.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

My Friend the Gym

This past week I did pretty good with workouts.  Monday was a holiday so I did my core workout during the day.  Tuesday and Wednesday I went to the gym after work and Thursday I went to yoga.  Friday I failed to get up and do my morning workout and I didn't have the living room to myself on Saturday either.  I seem to be the most successful with going to the gym after work.  So as much as I want to use my dvds, if I can't motivate myself to get up in the mornings and use them then the chances of me consistently doing them are slim to none.  I just don't have enough control over who's home and when to guarantee myself the living room.

So I'm going to keep on with the gym and put more emphasis on trying to plan out workouts.  I like my gym.  So far I mostly use the machines.  I like weights a lot more than I like cardio.  The thing I haven't done much of at the gym is non machine workouts.  There is a small area where you can lie on a mat and do whatever, but it's super small.  There's another area in the back of the gym that is bigger where you can also do these things, but sometimes there's a bootcamp class in there.  The gym is quite small so space can be an issue at times.

Time to get out my fitness stuff and plan some workouts.

Monday, September 5, 2011

A Workout Schedule

I meant to post on September 1, as it was the one year anniversary of my happiness project, but I didn't feel much like celebrating.  This long weekend has been lazy.  I've spent most of it sitting in bed reading.

I sat down and went through some of my fitness stuff.  The P90X dvds I have outline workouts to do each week.  

1. Core Synergistics - (mornings at home)
2. Cardio (gym)
3. Shoulders & Arms, Ab Ripper (gym)
4. Yoga (class)
5. Legs & Back, Ab Ripper (mornings at home)
6. Kenpo (at home)
7. Rest

If I start with Core Synergistics on Monday, then I only need to get up two mornings a week.  The Kenpo dvd is also done at home but day 6 is Saturday so it doesn't necessarily have to be done at 6am.  Yoga falls on Thursdays and I will use my pre-paid classes that need to be done before they expire.
Today, being Monday, I attempted to do my Core Synergistics.  I finally had to kick Flash out of the house when I saw an opportunity to have an hour alone to do it.  I got about a third of the way through and remembered how hard the dvds are.  I'd always been athletic, good at sports, stronger than I looked.  I sat there watching the rest of the dvd playing out realizing how out of shape I am.  This draggy tired feeling follows me everywhere.  I want to work out to have more energy, but it takes energy to work out.  It's a constant battle to motivate myself.  

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Shifting Gears

The end of the month has arrived.  Normally, this would be my lackluster post about how I didn’t do the things I wanted to accomplish this month.  My goals are no longer monthly, so this is only month one of three (or four).
What did I do?  I got a gym membership.  I have gone to my gym several times.  I went to two yoga classes.  I watched my body for life dvds.  I went for a hike in the mountains.
I’ve been thinking a lot about mornings.  The past couple days I set my alarm earlier and both times I thought to myself you can get up or not, and both times I stayed in bed.  So, that’s crap.  I’d really like to incorporate some of my workout dvds into the mix, but the only time the living room is empty is in the morning.  So I Googled up how to become a morning person and found an article on AskMen.  The four points it gives are:
1.       Prepare yourself the night before
-          I have not been doing a solid evening prep.  Lunch for the next day, picking a work outfit, choosing what workout I’ll do, etc.  Making lunch is the last thing I want to do after cleaning up the kitchen from supper.
-          Getting all these things ready the night before is a type of mental preparation for the morning.  I simply need to do it.
2.       Give yourself something to look forward to
-          I had one summer job where I was on the bus every day at 7:05 am because I could switch to a direct bus a few stops later, but if the first bust I caught was a later one I would miss the direct bus.  Option one would get me to work about 15 minutes early and I would buy breakfast at the cafeteria (you used your employee card to pay and  the charges were deducted off your paycheck) eggs over easy, cubed potatoes and bacon.  I love breakfast and knowing that I wouldn’t have time for it made me get to the bus stop on time for the earlier bus.
-          I have also debated taking up drinking coffee since it seems to be a big morning motivator for people. 
3.       Schedule your sleep time
-          I think I get enough sleep, but I don’t think I sleep well.  I often take a long time to fall asleep.  I need a strict bedtime.  I’m never going to drag my ass out of bed if I’m exhausted.
4.       Get outside
-          Uh, I don’t know about this one.  He says morning air is special, and I believe him, but he’s probably sitting at a desk in LA typing this and well, it gets painfully cold here.  I just don’t think a blast of icy dead of winter air is going to be more tempting than curled up in my bed.  At best I think I could aim for getting out of the house by an early morning trip to the gym (if Flash drives me) or getting up and going out for breakfast.
I need to up the intensity.  I’ve more or less given myself permission to only focus on getting in shape and boosting my energy but I really don’t spend a significant portion of my day working on or reinforcing my goals.  So I'm going to see if I can handle my life revolving around my new goals.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Nothing is Happening

I’m currently working my way through the Game of Thrones series.  I can’t put the books down.  I was thinking about the time it takes to read a good book.  If you really like the book you find time in all sorts of places.  On your lunch break, staying up a late before bed to squeeze in one more chapter, getting a few pages in on the train or reading while in the passenger's seat of the car. 
Time keeps moving by but it feels like nothing is ever happening.  I keep working these useless jobs.  In fact, all my jobs have been useless.  I’ve had several office jobs, administrative mostly, where I sit at a desk and never have enough to do.  It’s frustrating and weird.  Especially since other people around me seem fairly busy. 
The feeling follows me home, this lazy unproductive feeling.
Then I think about school and how my entire life was school, and how stressful it was to dedicate all of your energy to working on and thinking about and stressing about it and I feel a tightness in my chest, an anxiety.  My last year of school was incredibly miserable and I don’t want to feel like that again.
It was miserable because it wasn’t right for me.  I’ve rebelled against it into this weird limbo that I’ve been in for what feels like an eternity.  I live a very low stress existence, except for the constant nagging feeling that I’m not moving toward the things I want.  So I get up to move and stand still because I don’t know what I want.  So I stay in the same place, time moves, and nothing happens.
I remember watching the Pursuit of Happiness in the theater and thinking to myself that his level of dedication to doing everything he had on his plate was unbelievable; to dig that deep day in and day out without a break.  It seemed superhuman. 
Then I think that it must take that kind of dedication, that kind of commitment and motivation to make things happen.  Like stealing away every spare fifteen minutes to read a great book you must always be working tirelessly toward your goals.  This makes me even more anxious.  Like some sort of mad race is happening and I can’t seem to get my shoes on and everyone is getting farther and farther down the track, and then people start to lap you and you think about how long ago they started running and how far behind you are and that you’ll have to run so hard and fast to catch up.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Fall Is In The Air

There's a chill in the air.  I feel it in the morings, and the days are growing shorter.  This summer was meh.  The weather was nothing special, lackluster even.  We really only had a couple nice weeks, lots of rain and lots of overcast days.

I love walking into the convenience store and seeing the September issue of all your favorite magazines lining the shelves.  InStyle, Harpers Bazaar, Vogue and the latest Oxygen magazine of course cause fitness not fashion is my project's focus. 

One of the downsides to working in an office all day every day is that they are always cold.  In winter they are never warm enough and in summer the airconditioning makes them just as cold.  I rarely wore shirts and dresses this summer because once it finally stopped raining all the time and got nice out, it was still freezing in the office.

So I can't help but be excited about fall because it means warm clothes.  I think I'm getting better at buying clothes for myself, I know certain styles don't do much for me, I've gone through enough seasons to know what wardrobe staples I need.  I think the old tank top with a cardigan over it is becoming my go to outfit far too often. 


J Crew Fall 2011 - Tweed Jacket & Cable Knit Sweater



H&M                                                                                                                       Zara


Monday, August 22, 2011

Keep Fit and Have Fun


I am a weakling.  In my attempts at getting in shape I haven’t been pushing myself very hard;  a little cardio, a little leg work, a hike, walking the dog, a couple trips to yoga.  All pretty low intensity.  So why I am so sore is beyond me.  I went to a yoga class on Friday, a faster paced one to upbeat music.  The class wasn’t advanced, but my hamstrings have been sore for three days now.
I interpret this to mean that I am so weak and out of shape even the most low intensity workouts are challenging my muscles.  How sad.  I have a long way to go.
The other day I was feeling like I need to start making changes and I was going over and over in my head what I might be able to do and coming to dead ends and getting frustrated when I came to the realization that this is not the time for that.  Right now I am giving myself permission to focus only on health and fitness.  I will worry about future jobs, career changes, school, keeping up with the Joneses and the like once I have completed this phase. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Rise and Shine

Every morning I begin my day with a lost battle.  Mornings and I go head to head and mornings almost always defeat me. 

Mornings - 5079
Kirby - 31

I was reading Working Girl Blog and a couple of the girls did a breakdown of their morning routine from wake up to arriving at work.  I found these extremely frustrating to read, which I thought was weird, why should I care if every day this girl goes on the internet before work and wastes time browsing the web causing herself to run late EVERY DAY?

It bothers me because my mornings are always an epic fail and I don't want them to be.  I think mastering mornings could be a game changer for me.  I feel like I would get a lot more done.  I have a lot of admiration for people who say they are going to do something and do it; productive people with their shit together. 

Every morning I play little mind games with myself about how much longer I can sleep before I absolutely have to get up.  The past couple weeks that has been getting later and later.  So I'm always rushing.  My morning routine involves throwing clothes on, putting my hair up, brushing my teeth (I have a mini toothbrush and toothpaste at work just in case), mascara (often gets thrown in my purse and done at work), throwing some food in Slone's dish and grabbing a granola bar.  I can do this in 15 minutes flat.

So, I'd be a hell of a lot more presentable if I got up earlier.  Hair, makeup and wardrobe would benefit.  I might even fit a bowl of cereal in there.

It's also a struggle every evening to do more than just lay on the couch.  I loathe the idea of getting my gym bag ready or making a lunch for the next day before bed, but if I don't do it the night before they simply won't get done because there is no room in my record breaking morning routine for making lunchs and packing bags.  Like really, my dog is lucky she gets fed in the mornings.

I have no idea how someone who has spent more than half their life oversleeping can become a morning person.  It seems impossible to do it on your own volition.  Unless you have a job with a strict early morning start date or small children I don't know how anyone forces themselves to get up when the bed is oh so comfy.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Yoga People Watching

On Friday I went to yoga for the first time in quite a long time.  Even though I am certainly not hitting the gym hard yet, my legs have been sore.  So I decided to try the Restorative class which I interpreted to be mostly stretching. 

I am becoming more and more facinated with people watching, and yoga is no exception.  I find most people at yoga to have very curious behaviors.  For example, one woman, who was in her forties and clearly out of shape, came to class alone and was wearing jean shorts.  JEAN SHORTS.  This alone baffled me.  You wouldn't wear jeans to the gym, much less to yoga in which you need flexibility and range of motion.  Then I thought, "Kirby, don't be a jerk.  Maybe she doesn't have any other shorts."  But then I countered that thought with, "This class costs $17.  If she can afford to come to yoga then she can afford to go to Wal-Mart and buy a pair of basic shorts."  

There was also a little Philippino couple that came late and instead of splitting up and taking the two clearly open spots, the huddled into a corner and faced their mats perpendicular to everyone else.  They were so close together they couldn't have really done the moves properly.  Someone had to slide their mat back so they could space out a bit.  The couple was also, clearly out of shape.  People of all ages, shapes and sizes come to yoga, and I think that's great, but there are times when I see people who just don't fit into my stereotype of who would want to come to yoga.  This couple was it.  I wondered if the wife was scared to go alone and made the husband come.  

It would be different if the studio was part of a fitness complex where anyone with a membership could sit in on classes, then I wouldn't be surprised to get some unusual characters in there.  I'm always curious what motivates someone non-stereotypical to come to yoga, because frankly, it's not cheap.

Another unsual looking pair were two guys (straight) who came in right before class started and took the two open spots.  I often see guys come alone, or with a girl.  They were in pretty good shape so I guessed they were athletes.  The one guy was next to me and I couldn't help but notice him struggling with the stretching.  He couldn't even straighten one leg completely.  Maybe he's recovering from an injury.  Or his coach told him to work on his flexibility to prevent injury.

The class was fine, but almost a little too chill if you ask me.  The pace was so slow that we didn't even cover that many stretches.  I don't think I'd do that class again.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

1 Man, 1 Woman and 1 Mountain Dog


This weekend I dragged Flash on a hike.  I have never been on a hike, neither had Flash.  So I did some research, picked out a hike I thought would be fun.  A coworker of mine asked what I was doing on the weekend and when I told him about hiking he suggested the Canmore Nordic Centre.  So, I put my planning aside and decided to try it.  I don't know why he suggested it because it's for bikers and it's not scenic.  It's basically wide trails through the woods.  I started to fear that the day was going to be a write off.  Flash is not on outdoors person, he's a city person.  He's also impatient so he definitely wasn't impressed that we got early and came out here to waste our time.  

We went for lunch in Banff and then I suggested we try to find the trail I had originally picked out, Grotto Creek Trail.  Reluctantly Flash agreed.

The majority of the hike was through a dry river bed that cut into the mountain and ended at a small cave.  We brought Slone, and even though she was a trooper, the trail was a bit advanced for her and we ended up carrying her for parts of the way there and the entire way back.



It was fun, and beautiful.  Flash griped a lot but I think he enjoyed himself toward the end.  The next day he even commented about how he would do it again.  It's something I wouldn't have done had I not been doing this project.  It was a good adventure.

Friday, August 12, 2011

One Good Gym Deserves Another

This is my gym:


I work in a building complex within Tower Two, a ten storey building that houses a different business on each floor.  The other day as I'm walking in from lunch I notice that the blinds are open to office space in the main floor that they are renovating.  Previously, it was offices, so I thought they were either updating the space, or renovating it for new clients.  What I saw through the window was not desks, it was exercise bikes.

My first thought was, "You have got to be freaking kidding me."

Two weeks after I purchase a gym membership the building decides to install a gym!?  I shouldn't jump to conclusions, I don't know the details.  They gym could be a private facility that you have to buy a membership for.  It could be owned by one of the existing business in my building for their employees only.  All I saw were exercise bikes so maybe it'll suck.  But if my buidling is putting in a gym that is free to use by all of the building employees, I'm gonna snap.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Get Your Shit Together

Finding things on a web is rarely done directly.  I almost always find things by clicking on a link posted by another blogger.  In this case there was a write up on Design Sponge about online organization tools, that I found through the Working Girl blog.

I tried, with little success, to find something to organize my life both digital and real everyday a while ago.  I found a lot of straight up to do lists, which are fine but not all encompasing enough.  As I looked through the list a few jumped out at me:

Wunderlist





TeuxDeux


Evernote


The Wunderlist is more or less a basic list program.  The second one is geared toward teams, hence the name Teamly.  The third is also a list program, but it's got such a clean, simple, clever look to it.  The forth is Evernote.  I'm going to download this on my home computer and give it a try.  It looks promising.  It offers a bunch of options, that are currently a little beyond my technical understanding, of clipping.  Which I understand to mean that you can use this program to clip things off the internet and put them into the program.  You can also take pictures with your phone that will go right into the program too.  My understanding is you can store and organize lots of different types of things in it.  So I haven't tried it yet, but it has potential.

A side effect of looking at all the programs is that I now want a new phone.  I have a super old and small blackberry with time on my contract.  Buying a brand new phone in Canada will cost you an obscene amount of money.  All the clever little apps for programs, like these lists make me want an iPhone.  Or at least something that I can do these apps on.  Damn you technology; damn you and your brilliant marketing of fast paced ever changing can't live without you or you'll fall behind everything devices.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Procrastacise

I sucked it up and went to the gym on Monday.  My little gym is very busy at 5:00pm, which I guess is to be expected.  I did some cardio because I hadn’t organized what I would do.  I plugged my iPod in and watched a bit of a movie while I ran.
It was a quick trip.  Gyms are intimidating, they are even more so when packed with people.  It was so busy that I debated morning workouts.
I was dizzy after the gym.  At first I thought maybe it had something to do with trying to watch TV while I ran, but treadmills with TVs are pretty common now so I doubt that was it.  It was most likely because I don’t drink any enough water in my day to day life. 
Suddenly you need to start drinking more water and eating better and getting more sleep.  I think that’s what has me procrastinating on getting this new phase of the project figured out; because it requires a total life change.  You need to drink enough water or you’ll pass out.  You need enough sleep or you’ll be too tired to go to the gym.  You need to eat better because it’s pretty stupid to put all that effort into working out and then ruin it by stuffing your face with fast food.
My show, Extreme Makeover - Weight Loss Edition is done for the season.  It didn’t ramp up to a big finish; in fact, I didn’t even realize it was the last episode of the season until the following week when it wasn’t on.  I need to find some sources of inspiration/motivation.  I plan to start working on my inspiration board today.  I have yet to find a fitness blog that I really like.  Fit Sugar is one I check out sometimes, but it’s better for searching for a certain topic than following along as a blog. 
Melissa subscribes to Women’s Health, which is great.  For some reason we always get our magazine late, like well after it has come out on shelves.  I’m not sure when her subscription is done, hopefully not right away.  Another magazine I like is Oxygen.  Melissa doesn’t like it because the girls on the front are women who are known in the fitness world and while not gross like women bodybuilders, they are far more jacked than the celebrities on the front of Women’s Health.  Mel says it’s too hard core ha.  Anyway, I like it but it’s like $7 a magazine.  Pretty sure that price has jumped a fair bit in the past couple years.  I pay $5.99 for InStyle which is a thick magazine.  I dunno, seems a bit excessive.  The magazines are good, but they come once a month, and I’m sure I’ll need more than a monthly dose of motivation.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

I Be Up In The Gym Just Working On My Fitness

I bought a gym membership.  It wasn’t as good a deal as I thought.  I thought that if I signed up before the end of July I would get my first two months free, ie: he first two months of my year-long membership.  Nope, I get two free additional months ON TOP of my year membership.  At the end of the day I’m still paying for a full one year membership.  And, instead of not getting any charges for the first two months I had to pay my first and last month’s dues on the spot, as well as buy my fob key (gym is 24 hours), which was $50.  AND the girl was all distracted and in a huff because of some people who had bought an online deal for something and has misread the location and made a scene so she rushed through my stuff… But whatever, I wanted to work out there and now I can.
I drove home to Manitoba for the long weekend.  I packed my suitcase full of work I was going to do for my project.  I brought workout clothes and exercise dvds.  I was going to take advantage of having a real kitchen, not my tiny claustrophobic apartment one, and try out some new recipes.  Maybe all of this was a tad ambitious, but I didn’t work out once.  I went for one short walk.  I cooked absolutely nothing and spent the majority of the weekend sleeping and feeling completely exhausted.
So now the month has started and I’m not organized.  Are you shocked?  No?  I was going to work out after work today when I realized, shit, I don’t have a gym bag.  So I was going to use any old bag when I realized, shit, I don’t have a lock, where will I put my stuff?  Where do people put their stuff in this gym?  Can I just use a cubbie, or do I have to rent one?  I don’t remember there being that many so surely there aren’t enough for everyone to rent their own… right? 
Now I’m getting paranoid about gym etiquette.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

On the Hunt... For Blogs

With J on holidays this week and a temp here part days to more or less cover my lunch break, I have been very bored.  I’ve been taking advantage of my time sitting at J’s desk to do some internet research.  At the front, people walk beside/behind me 50 times a day, everything I’m working on is highly visible and working on non-work stuff is frowned upon.
I’ve been searching for new blogs.  This, my friends, is extremely hard.  I can find lots of interesting and worthwhile blogs, but I’m looking for certain types.  I want bloggers who are also on a personal development quest, someone interested in writer/being a writer, is humorous, relatable and posts on a somewhat regular basis.
Turns out this is hard because:
The ways that I have discovered to find blogs so far leaves much to be desired.  It’s like the internet doesn’t want me to find them.
Blogs are categorized in very general and often misleading ways.
Anything categorized under personal development usually has an obnoxiously upbeat, preachy, rainbows and sunshine quotes, and impersonal third person advice.
Fitness is a lot of the same stuff too.  The tricky part is finding someone who is at a similar place in their fitness journey.  Sometimes you’ll find a blog by an established trainer giving tips, or workout suggestions.  I really want to find someone who is finding ways to workout, stay motivated and have fun with it.  A lot of “exercise” blogs are just personal blogs with a bit of exercise thrown in.
Cooking blogs.  No real complaints, except that there are too many delicious and temping sites that are 90% baking.  So it’s all sweets, and cookies, and pies.  Amazing, but I’m looking for more lunch and dinner ideas.



Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition

So I have this show I watch, Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition.  It's pretty amazing.  This one guy, Chris Powell, chooses people based on their applications to work with him.  It's a year long process.  For the first three months he moves in with this person.   MOVES IN TO THEIR HOUSE!  That alone just blows me away.  Every day he wakes them up bright and early, is their personal trianer day in and day out.  Cooks meals with them.  Talk about accountability.  Imagine how hard you'd work out if someone was there with you every day.

These people are significantly overwieight.  A lot of them are over 400 lbs.  On average, in the first three months these people lose about 100 lbs.  I mean, how unbelievable is that?  If they hit that three month goal, which has always been 100-110 lbs for everyone so far, they get a reward.  Rewards are things like, a nanny for the next three months, or a new car, or season tickets to the Braves, etc.

For the next three months they are on their own.  They won't see Chris again until the six month weigh in.  Usually people will not hit their weight loss goals during this period.  They discover how challenging it is to do it alone.  At the 6 month weigh in they usually do an extreme physical challenge to show how far they've come, how much better shape they are in.  They get a weight loss goal for the next three months.  If the person is more on less on track so far, if they hit the weight loss goal for the next three months they will qualify for skin removal surgery at the nine month mark.  Not everyone loses enough weight to qualify for skin removal surgery. 

The final three months are the push to the finally when you show off how much weight you lost total.  The results are pretty amazing.  The first few episodes in particular were epic.  They looked like different people.  The ones in the middle have been less dramatic, still huge successes, just not as big a wow factor as others.  I'm hoping for some impessive final episodes.

On the one hand I think, it's good to show that it's hard, that not everyone succeeds.  It's good to show people that this is about hard work, and takes a huge level of committment.  But I also think, if you've kind of given up on yourself and have a self-defeating attitude about exercise, does showing that you can fail could be defeating.  Actually, I just like ending the episode on a really high note. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Suck It Up Princess

I’ve never been a glass half full person.  I’m always drawn to the negative.  This has made my life far more difficult than it should be.  It’s been a part of my personality, a sarcastic, criticizing kind of humor.  Always meant to be funny and not mean spirited; unless you’re some dumb bitch who was a jerk to my friend in which case the sting of my words will wound you so deep your unborn children will feel it.
I used to have a strong sense of self, and over the past few years I feel like it has completely dissolved.  In an effort to leave negative situations, a frustrating and poorly run program at school and a failed relationship in particular, I moved to a new city in which I only knew a couple people.  My battered self-esteem has been working hard to build itself back up.  Right now I’m at the point where I’m fine if no one confronts any of my issues.
One of my sore spots is not living up to my expectations of myself (ie: having a job that does not match up with my education and skill level).  I recently went to the East coast to meet Flash’s parents and as his parents asked me about my work I felt myself shrinking.  I hate being asked about my job.  I mumbled something about how it was alright, more of a sideways move and that I was still figuring out what I wanted to do.  His mother nodded and asked if I was happy I’d changed jobs and I could feel that stinging in the back of my eyes.   Danger Will Robinson, if you continue talking about this you will start crying and look like a total nutter.  So I said yes, that’s it was good to be busier and make a bit more money and then made a comment about Flash’s job and the conversation turned to him.
I had another related experience last week.  We have these stupid day timers at work.  We have several client groups that we make them for, every year.  So I was asked a couple weeks before to come up with a couple ideas, nothing formal just bang something out.  I wasn’t hired for my design or graphic skills so I understood this to be a come up with a few ideas to show us you have the skill set to make these.  Turns out the guy who normally does them thought I was making final, present to a client, covers.  When he flipped through the 5 examples I had made his criticisms were harsh.  I could feel the stinging behind my eyes again and thought, SHIT, abort!  Abort!  This guy thinks I’m smart, I know he likes working with me; I know he thought that my covers were meant to be more final than they were and kind of got on a roll with the critiques… but it still struck that nerve.  I felt like, wow, you suck at everything.  You did not properly pursue your design career and now you’re a bottom of the barrel admin person who can’t even design a decent cover for a 2012 day timer.  Epic fail.
I asked him if we could discuss what he wanted later and proceeded to do a power walk around the office and then began filing like a mad woman to distract myself.  I came really close to crying in front of him.  I try not to cry because I am a bad crier.  My face gets red, my eyes swell up, and once I start I cannot stop.  I find crying in public to be mortifying.  Unfortunately, instead of just shaking it off I start crying harder because I’m embarrassed.  I’m crying because I don’t want to be crying.  Then I look ridiculous to be so upset over something dumb when really, I’m just upset that I let myself get upset.
Clearly my self-esteem/sense of self rebuilding is not as far along as I had hoped.