Thinking positive thoughts.

You guys, thinking positively is harder than I thought.

I mean, I am really good at having negative sarcasm laden self deprecating thoughts. Really. Good. You’d probably be jealous of how good I am. It’s a hidden talent that I didn’t realize I had. I knew that I’ve been focussing on the negative lately, but I didn’t know how much.

“You look beautiful today” says my hunky husband. It’s 7am, I’m getting dressed for work, makeup done, nice dress on and working on getting my hair to behave. The thing is, the dress is sort of ‘pencil skirt’ style, and I honestly find those things a pain-in-the-ass to walk around in, so I have it janked up to my waist. Janked is a word, just ask any woman who regularly wears pencil skirts and values her leg mobility. Anyway, the first thing I do is dismiss what he is saying to make fun of myself and my ample ass hanging out in that dress.

Whomp whomp whomp….

He meant it as a real compliment, and I knew I was lookin’ cute, but I immediately cast his compliment aside rather than offer a simple thank you.

Fast forward a day or so, and it’s me, my kobo (I’m reading Orange is the New Black after becoming addicted to the Netflix series) and an iced latte in a sunny sunny park on my lunch break. It is just such a perfect afternoon. Except for one thing… I’m surrounded by a ton of similarly minded people and all of their cigarettes. Gross. Disgusting. My hair and clothes will surely stink when I leave here. Why must all of these people smoke? Don’t they know about lung cancer/mouth cancer and the wrinkles (not to mention the STENCH)? Hmmmmmppphhhh I huff. I consider moving. I consider complaining on Facebook. But- I’ve committed to 21 days of positive thinking so I chose to make the best of it. The day was beautiful, the sun was shining, I had an un-interrupted hour with a great book, and these people are enjoying the same thing (albeit with cigarettes). I took a deep errr shallow breath, turned my face to the sun and read my book.

I’m sitting on the train on my way to work, dreading the day ahead for no good reason. I don’t have a deadline, no meetings that I don’t want to attend, just a regular work day, but I am dreading it just due to the fact that I just really want to stay home. I’m tired. I’m overwhelmed. I need a break. So, I harness this thought and try to re-direct my thoughts by saying (in my head of course) “Today is going to be awesome. Today is going to be awesome. Today is going to be awesome.” The absurdity of thinking like this kinda made me smile inside and on the outside too, and I tried to finish the rest of my commute as if I was really excited for the day. And you know what: it kind of worked.

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21 days of re-directing negative thinking is harder than I thought it would be. I am good at stopping those pesky negative thoughts in their tracks, but not quite so skilled at replacing them with positive ones. It is surprising to me to discover just what a Debbie Downer I’ve become lately, and that is something that I’m going to keep plugging away at- even after the 21 days is up.

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What do you do to keep positive?

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Negative Self Talk

One thing that I hear fairly frequently from people I know is “you’re too hard on yourself” and I’d like to say that they’re crazy, but- I know that it is true.

They say that you are your own worst critic, and I know that I am mine.

On the one hand, being ‘hard’ on myself makes me strive for more, be more than I thought I could be… It has ensured fitness, academic, personal and professional successes that I might not otherwise have had if I wasn’t so driven.

On the other hand, it results in a lot of negative self talk.

“You look so good!”

Sadly my reply is “Thanks, but I feel so soft and out of shape lately. I was having a hard time workout out for the past few months.”

Excuses.

Wow, your back is looking really muscular.

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“Thanks but are you sure those aren’t fat rolls?” (I’m kind of ashamed to even admit that was my response because once I saw a photo of it I was like woah)

I’m beginning to realize that it is a really bad habit.  It spills over into other areas of my life. Focussing on the bad instead of the good. Pushing to do more, be better, instead of valuing what I have, what I’ve done, how far I’ve come. Focussing on the things that I’m unhappy about. Focussing on the things that need work instead of things that I am grateful for.

This morning, for my entire workout I was thinking about how I don’t really like TRX, and mentally planning a purchase of some dumbells, a small barbell and a bench. Why can’t I turn that thought around? TRX may not be my favourite, but it is an awesome workout. It is bringing my muscles back (yay!). I own one (um well actually two) already and have a perfect setup to use them. I can get a full body workout plus cardio and see results using this equipment. Why am I harping on the negative?

So, in my 21 days fashion, I am going to spend the next 21 days working on my inner dialogue. Focussing on the awesome. Ignoring the bad. I’m going to do this with my professional life, my personal life, my health and fitness efforts. Oh an also on general household stuff like not freaking out when my floors are full of dog hairs and the dishes aren’t done, but instead congratulating myself for getting in my workouts and eating healthy foods (we can’t have it all, right?).

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I’m curious about how this change is going to affect my life. I know this will be a challenge of epic proportions and I doubt I’ll be able to succeed  but I am going to give this one my best efforts.  I need the mental break. I need to be kind to myself. I need to treat myself with the same kindness I give to others.

A fun workout

This week I’m still on vacation but it is more of a stay-cation consisting of pool time, home organization and some back to school shopping for the step-kidlets. With my wide-open schedule has come GYM TIME!!!! Yay! No TRX in the basement but real fluorescent-lit-humid-from-other people’s-sweat-all-the-equipment-I-love GYM TIME!

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I’ve said before, there isn’t a gym close-by that is convenient besides the Crossfit one, but I do actually have two gym memberships. One to Goodlife, which doesn’t have any locations in my new home town, and another to the base gym where hunky husband works.

I wouldn’t normally shell out for two memberships, but I paid in full of the Goodlife one before I found out I’d be moving, and the base gym costs peanuts, so I keep renewing it for the times when I have time to make the 35 min drive.

This week, I’ve had nothing but time:)

Yesterday’s workout was a doozie, and today I can feel it in every muscle of my body. Since the gym is a luxury that I haven’t had much lately, I trained my favourite parts: biceps and triceps. Usually when I workout, I follow a plan, but since I’ve been TRXing, I don’t have a current weight lifting plan so I made it up on the fly.

My workout consisted of 3 sets of 10 reps for each section outlined below. I choose a weight that was tough to complete the last two reps of each set.

Superset
– barbell curls
– seated tricep press

 

Superset
– DB hammer curls
mountain climbers

Superset
– decline seated bicep curls
hippity hops (otherwise know as lateral bench hops, but I call them hippity hops. Get a sturdy bench, stand alongside it with one foot planted on the bench and the other on the ground, power-up with an explosive movement, landing with your bench foot on the ground on the opposite side and your floor-foot now resting on the bench) one of my favourite plyo moves because it is really FUN

Superset
skull crushers
– pulsing squat jumps (pulse for 5, explosive jump up)

Superset
– cable tricep pull down
– box jumps onto a bench

Roman chair raises
(I was too tired to superset this)

Arms are my favourite part to work. In fact, I’m kind of like this guy on the inside, even though I know better and wouldn’t actually do this, I’d still like to.

Anyway, I am still feeling this workout in every part of my body. All of my plyometrics kept my heart rate up and had the added benefit of working my legs and behind. Today I did a similar workout, intersecting HIIT intervals into a chest/back workout.

What is your favourite body part to work?

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Vacation

I haven’t been blogging because I was on vacation…

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I packed workout gear, but it just didn’t happen.

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The beach happened.

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Some hiking happened.

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A lot of sight seeing happened.

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And then some more.

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And amongst all of that a lot of eating happened. I always managed a healthy breakfast and lots of water, but beyond that, well… Let’s just say that I was relaxed.

These guys….

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…turned into these guys…

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And were consumed with abandon.

So was this.

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(so good!!)

And several rounds of these…

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And this… Which is probably the most buttery thing I’ve ever eaten.

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And if you look closer my latte looks like this

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(does this look like what I think it looks like? Because I think the milk frother dude was trying to tell me something)

Anyway, it was a week of being easy on myself. Taking time to stop and smell the roses seaweed salt air. But now I’m back, and it’s time to get serious once again.

The first thing I did when I got home was went to the garden and pulled a ton of fresh lettuce to juice. I added it with some questionable celery from the fridge, two lonely apples, and a lemon. Voila instant nutrients and detox juice all in one.

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Tomorrow I’m back to workouts and meal planning and feeling re-invigorated after some well needed vacation.

On being afraid…

Despite my general awesomeness and bad-assery, I’ve been afraid to do something lately. Crossfit.

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(The ladies of Crossfit Montgomery, taken from the official Crossfit Facebook page)

Though, I’m not afraid for the reasons you might think.

Like this:

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Or this:

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(That would be me, literally crying from exhaustion one morning and my hunky husband took a photo of it)

Or this:

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Which is incidentally what happened when I attempted to do 36 inch box jumps to the beat of Shoop.

A few stitches later, 3 weeks before my wedding, I was just happy it was my calf and not my face.

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Anyway, the point is, I’m not afraid of hard workouts, I’m not afraid of bleeding hands, or sore legs or disfigured shins (still have a scar)…

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I’m afraid, well more like intimidated, to do Crossfit in my second language: French. Where I live, not many people speak English, and my local gym box is totally francophone. My French is pretty good, and getting better by the day, fine for work, fine for shopping and socializing, but working out?!?!?!? SCARY.

I went with my (Francophone) husband to do a trial class, and spent a good part of it with the dude yelling “Baisse tes hanches! Baisse tes hanches!!!!” at me, much to my confusion (and mortification). Finally with a loud whisper from my hunky husband, plus a pointed physical cue from the Crossfit dude, I finally lowered my hips.

That’s not so bad, really, that I could deal with. But what really terrifies me is the thought of doing it without my trusty translator and holding up the whole class…. Basically what I’m afraid of is…. Looking stupid.

I know, it’s totally ridiculous. But there it is. I am afraid of looking stupid because I don’t know workout related French vocabulary and I won’t have a trusted Frenchy to be my buffer. Because so much of an hour-long Crossfit class is group oriented, I’m afraid of holding people back from getting a good workout and them quietly (or not so quietly) resenting the Anglo interloper in my tiny French town. Even though I do speak French, I just need some help in the workout department.

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I’d love to end this post with an inspirational message saying I’m going to get over my fears, open up a French/English dictionary and march down that box gym uh box, but I’m not. It has been holding me back for 6 months. Well, that and I would prefer to go to morning classes, but they don’t have any early enough to get me to work on time. But, I’m going to keep pondering it in the back of my mind until my balls get big enough to not care and be shy about my Anglo-ness and just go and work out with people who probably don’t give a F– that I’m a little slower due to my translating the instructions to English in my head.

Apple Cider Vinegar

It occurred to me that I’ve been going through an awful lot of apple cider vinegar lately.
Case in point: my nearly empty bottle.

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I’ve used Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar a lot of different ways in the past few weeks:

On salads in a home made dressing:

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I mix acv, a generous scoop of minced garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper for a delicious homemade vinaigrette. You can also add a tsp of mustard (any kind) for added kick.

Yum!

I grew a ton of vegetables for homemade salads this year. We have been eating a salad almost every night with this dressing.

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I also use ACV to combat bloating and to make the body more alkaline. It helps with digestion and water retention too. If you’re constipated, a few days of a tsp of acv in warm water will get things moving along smoothly. Tosca Reno, my eat clean idol, swears it helps her ab definition.

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It can also help with acne. I’ve been using it as a facial/toner, just gently smoothing it with a cotton ball across my clean face. I don’t have sensitive skin, and have done this lots of times. It gives a great tingly feeling and helps tone and smooth the skin. If you have sensitive skin, I’d be careful with this method.

I’ve been using it to treat yeasty ear infections that my dog Apollo gets from too much swimming. His large floppy ears make for the perfect conditions of yeast growth in his ears.

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I mix equal parts acv and warm water in a clean saline bottle and add a few drops to his ears nightly when he is swimming regularly to discourage yeast growth. My stepson was also complaining about his ears from swimming so much, so we put a few drops in his ears too!

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Apple cider vinegar is a staple in my kitchen (and bathroom!). What do you use it for? I’ve heard a million different claims about its usage, but can vouch for the above ones myself!

Now what?

After successfully completing my goal of re-committing to a healthy lifestyle for 21 days, I’m now sitting on the other side of 21. If you don’t remember, or didn’t read, I chose 21 days because apparently it takes that long to form a habit, and I wanted to make healthy choices a habit in my life again.

Well, I can say that I feel like I succeeded. I left town for the weekend to visit a friend for the weekend, and was afraid that all my work would go down the toilet. That I’d binge eat bad food and lose all my progress. Well, I didn’t. I didn’t spend the weekend stressed because my meals weren’t properly balanced or fretting about what I ate either. I focused on spending quality time with my best friend and trying to be healthy ish, but kind to myself.

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I didn’t eat perfectly, or worry about perfectly balancing my meals for the weekend, I just ate what was available and tried to make good choices. It was perfect. I dipped my hand into a bowl of munchies too many times. But, at breakfast, I ate a vegetarian omelette with rye toast, and left the hash browns on my plate. I had sushi one night for dinner, and had something called sushi pizza which I’d never heard of before, but it was delicious.

I relaxed, had quality time, and a pedicure that I’m pretty sure made me reach nirvana.

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I didn’t work out, but, I did do some push-ups and sit-ups in my room one morning before getting dressed. I hit a personal best in push-ups to boot! Those darn things have always been a challenge for me, even at peak fitness.

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I’m not looking to be perfect, but I am looking to make better choices most of the time, and I think I’m on my way.