09 August 2013

August Motivation - With Music

No question that music is powerful. And sometimes it's the only thing that gets us moving.


Anybody else have a song they can't stop listening to?

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August Motivation ~ Yoga - Running -Tournaments -Cider - Dips, Burgers, BBQ - Make Up -In Pictures -With Music

07 August 2013

August Motivation - Looking Like Me

It's not surprising things change in six months or a year, but it is sometimes surprising how and what changes. Life experiences influence your priorities, your lifestyle, and your definition of success. Being unemployed for over a year now, I look back at the Frivolous and Feel Good goals I had set out about a year ago and think to myself, why?

Some of them make sense, like getting a massage ever month (preventative health measures and all). But hair extensions? WTH? Oh yeah. I had this notion about a year and a half ago because I had chopped my hair off because I kept dying my hair and being cruel to it. I also probably had this notion because I had the money to spend, instead of taking my advice of "hair grows" and be patient. Now that my hair is a good length and I can pull it nicely back into a pony tail, I look back on this goal and think "WTF?" I mean, what would I even do with that much hair? The same goes for lash extensions.

I thought eyeliner in the form of a tattoo was a good idea for a while too, particularly when I was working in an office. Again, I felt the peer pressure to conform and add eyeliner and mascara to my beauty routine and a tattoo would just save me a lot of time. It was the same sort of idea with laser hair removal, although, I could justify that better as I was only getting the laser where I was removing the hair anyway (ie. underarms. You were thinking something else, weren't you?)

Goals like a facial, mudwrap, a pedicure every 6 months, or an all day spa day I made most likely out of peer pressure as well. Not having the prospect of affording the above mentioned on a regular basis kind of makes you wonder if all of this is just a status symbol: Like cars are for men, beauty treatments are for women. Some beauty "habits" (I don't know what else you would call this) I enjoy though, pedicure being one of them. Again though, a pedicure every month? I can buy a lot of nail polish and stickers for the price of  a spa pedicure. 

Out of this unemployment, three things have happened I have learned to
1) do some of these beauty habits on my own.
2) re prioritize what's really important.
3)  save for these frivolous things.
4) go without.

But there is a flip side to getting rid of all these Frivolous & Feel Good goals. There is something to be said about pampering yourself, treating yourself, and spending a little extra time on your appearance. People tend to perceive you differently if you look after yourself, mostly like a well adjusted member of society, and people tend to feel confident if they feel they take the time to put effort into their appearance. I mean, who hates being told they look great today or that they're rocking an outfit?

A lot of goals that fell into this category were not necessary, they did make me feel good, if only for a while. The satisfaction or happiness I got from a new hair cut or a laser hair removal treatment was fleeting and the last thing I've learned is that

5) I like looking like me

I can make all the excuses in the world about why I don't wear make up, like laziness or inability to master a skill, but most of the time, it doesn't feel right. I feel like I'm covering up, putting on a mask, and not being me. And it's nice to see there are other people with a similar mindset, even if our social circles will never connect.

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August Motivation ~ Yoga - Running -Tournaments -Cider - Dips, Burgers, BBQ - Make Up -In Pictures -With Music -

06 August 2013

August Motivation - Burgers & Black Beans

For the last couple months my life hasn't really had a semblance of routine: my husband was gone for two months, weekends out of sync because of tournaments, I had a friend come visit for a week, I attended two week long training sessions, etc etc. This didn't resemble anything I had been doing before May or since July ended so I ended up sticking with food that I already knew how to make quickly and on the run.

New Recipe #8 - Black Bean Dip
In May my mom helped my Great-Aunt arrange to send a food processor from Germany to the UK because I was complaining at how expensive hummus is to buy. Do you think I've made hummus yet? No. Black bean dip. And it actually tasted pretty good.

New Recipe #9 - Homemade Burgers
I haven't really had any pangs of homesickness in the last couple months, until last week or so. My husband had a work BBQ and one of his supervisors was walking around with a solo cup goblet. He had just gotten back from visiting family in Canada and had purchased them at Bass Pro Shops just outside of Calgary.

I felt a bit nostalgic for my summers spent in Canada where my mom BBQ-ed just about every night. The burgers were 100% beef and when my mom had the notion, she made her own burgers with varied spices. I have tried finding a recipe to recreate these burgers and so far the burger recipe from BBC Food didn't make the cut. Granted, I was BBQ-ing out in the rain, but there's not reason the burgers should have fallen apart.

The hunt continues for the perfect beef burger recipe. Or pork. I eat all animals. I might pass on the rat and pigeon though...

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August Motivation ~ Yoga - Running -Tournaments -Cider - Dips, Burgers, BBQ - Make Up -In Pictures -With Music -

05 August 2013

August Motivation - Cider

This may be a counter productive lifestyle habit and lifestyle. A lot of fitness blogs, magazines, and trainers basically abstain from any form of alcohol, or try to get you to drink the lightest form of a certain beverage. Although replacing tonic water with soda water in a G&T will make you want to abstain from drinking anyway.

Having problems with gluten I tend to avoid it and have replaced beer drinking with cider drinking. I still love my wine, however, sometimes when you're out with people who are all drinking pints of beer, such is the case 90% of the time in England, I don't want to be the lemon without a pint glass.


 Yes, I'm still subject to that sort of peer pressure. 

I've had several conversations with The Drunk Runner about how alcohol is part of our lifestyle and abstaining from it to lose weight is fine, but obviously the minute you reintroduce alcohol into your life you'll put the weight back on. For the average everyday person, learning to balance alcohol consumption with your workouts and the rest of your meals and an acceptance that weight loss will be slower needs to be given more weight than abstaining 100%. Why? Because it's not realistic where alcohol permeates large portions of our lives. Unless you weren't really a big drinker in the first place. Binge drinking though, is a whole 'nother ball game that I won't touch on in this blog post.

Try 100 Different Types of Cider
Before I moved I had a friend +Kelsey Meehan go to Australia and set a goal for herself to try 100 different kinds of beer. Not to steal her idea, but stealing her idea, I decided to challenge myself to drink 100 ciders. This was a fine goal last year before I decided to become an amateur athlete and train almost every night of the week.

When I started back into training my alcohol consumption dropped off rapidly because I was just so tired I'd go to bed straight away. I started having a glass or two of wine my nights "off" but I felt so dehydrated the next day at training that I kept any sort of alcohol consumption to weekends when I didn't really have to exert myself. And just one drink at that: the dehydration the next day just feels awful. So the progress on this goal has been quite slow but I'm up to number 45 on my FaceBook album and every weekend I get the chance to sip on another cider.

At this point, Magners Cider is still my favourite. We'll see if it stands up to the rest of the ciders I'll be trying.


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August Motivation ~ Yoga - Running -Tournaments -Cider - Dips, Burgers, BBQ - Make Up -In Pictures -With Music -

02 August 2013

August Motivation - Running

If you've been with me this last year you'll have read about my ups and downs of trying to run. There have been a lot of set backs in the last twelve months that have left me feeling pretty down, particularly in relation to a goal I had made in May to run twice a week and I failed miserably. Not from lack of trying, mind you, but my body just being misshapen and compensating for the misshape.

Run Twice A Week
It's a goal that I'm not giving up on, even though I didn't accomplish it on my first attempt. I'm nearly finished the third week of my walk to run programme and I'm able to run longer and longer distances according to the programme and runs over and above the programme.

 Yes, I have been jumping for joy every time I complete a run and not feel like I'm a cripple when I get home. I'm going to keep this up.

Tracking My Runs, Run More This Month Than I Did This Month Last Year
I use the Nike+Running app for my iPhone and iPod and have been tracking my runs that way for the last two years. It's sad looking back that far and knowing I was unfit but still ran more than I do now. But I feel good about not having quit and that I've been able to stay active in other ways in spite of my misshapen knee.

Since I haven't gone for a run yet in August, I'll use July stats. In 2012 I ran a total of 27.7 miles or 44.5 km and this July past I "ran" a total of 18 miles or 28.9km.

Tracking My Runs, Run More This Month Than I Did Last Month 
I could let the above July 2012/2013 stats bum me out, but I won't because June 2013 I "ran" a total of 5.3 miles or 8.5 km whereas I "ran" the 18 miles in July. A vast improvement and I'm on the right track to even better than. It might be hard to beat 18 miles this August but I'm hoping that if I can run at least 18 miles then I beat August 2012's 15.8 mi or 25.4 km, without really trying. 

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August Motivation ~ Yoga - Running -Tournaments -Cider - Dips, Burgers, BBQ - Make Up -In Pictures -With Music -

01 August 2013

August Motivation - Yoga

So now that I'm on a motivational upswing and it's the first of August I'm going to try my best to find ways not to fall into a sink hole of despair and hopelessness. A bit dramatic, but you get the idea. My strategy to achieve this is to talk about the goals that I happened to work on without too much intention instead of dwelling on the lack of success on my last group of intended goals.

Attend 15 Classes
I mentioned in yesterday's post that one of the positive experiences in my life over the last year is having met my yoga instructor, Natalie Coleman. I know very little about yoga, so when I attended her class for the first time I didn't know what to expect. I mean, I had researched other yoga studios and instructors but a lot of them were "Hot Yoga" or "Hatha Yoga". Hot Yoga and it's disease infested studios don't appeal to me and Hatha Yoga is a bit too slow for what I want. But I've always been aware of the benefits of Yoga and I was hoping that when I attended my first class with Natalie it would be what I was looking for.

And it was! So much so that I got back about once a week, stuck between all the Taekwon-Do training and have wracked up 11 out of the 15 classes I was aiming on completing sometime next year.

I'll give myself a pat on the back for doing better than I thought.

30 Days of Yoga
Because of the positive impact I've gotten from getting back into regular yoga classes and practice I feel like I'm ready to do this challenge in the next couple months. I may or may not start this challenge on the first day of a month, but kind of more when I'm ready to do this challenge. Obviously it won't be in August, but then, halfway through I might change my mind.

What is 30 Days of Yoga? It's a challenge, mostly personal, whereby you practice yoga everyday for 30 days straight. Apparently it takes 30 repetitions to make a habit, so it might as well be a good one.

There are more organized and official 30 days of Yoga challenges like the one from Do You Yoga and Daily Cup of Yoga. So if anybody wants to set up a challenge me, I accept! Just let me know.

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August Motivation ~ Yoga - Running -Tournaments -Cider - Dips, Burgers, BBQ - Make Up -In Pictures -With Music -