Monthly Archives: April 2013

Sick, tired, but still going

I seem to have caught a pretty miserable cold.  I swear to goodness i’m not sick as often as it might come across in this blog!  But another great thing about to-do lists – it helps me reconciles what i have to do and what i want to do, prioritizing so the energy i have is used the best way possible.  

I’m also forcing myself into a weekly review Sunday mornings.  The hour of calm and focus is so far well spent (i’m 2 for 2 weeks now).  The weekly review is a critical part of Getting Things Done, and i think the easiest to skip.  Focusing on making sure all my systems are in line does leave me more confident and is helping to build a greater trust in my capture systems though.  Who knew?

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The New Normal – Routines & Healthy Habits

I’m in another transition period.  Duncan is (hopefully) starting work soon.  Michelle was recently diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease.  Aimee is expecting in October.  Ian’s mother will be moving in with them this summer.  The upcoming Life Events will require me be particularly flexible, patient and communicate well, probably through the end of the year.

I love having a base-line normal, on a daily, weekly and overall basis.  Routines are my anchor to ‘normalcy’.  I can count on small things like doing sun breathes when i wake up, laying out my clothes or writing an email to Ian regardless of how chaotic the day may be.  Those touchstones are small, but provide great comfort.

Each of these Life Events will bring changes, and a new normal will emerge, however temporary.  Often times these changes distract me, and become excuses to get away from my values and goals.  Or i become focused on one element, leaving other important aspects behind.

So i’m trying to change some routines & habits to encourage better health.  For example, i know that weighing in every day, while sometimes depressing, keeps me aware of my weight.  When i am aware of my weight, i eat better and am motivated to exercise.  It’s now routine to step on the scale.  I can work on being mindful, accepting my body as it is right now, and making decisions to be healthier.

I am trying for the new normal to include walking and running.  If there are no other plans and it’s not raining, i should go outside and exercise.  I will not miss watching television.  The new normal also means making healthier meals and cooking in.  Again, it’s a time investment, but i enjoy being in the kitchen.  I’ve got the habit of making breakfast and lunch down, so now i can improve on them, making sure they include lots of fruits and veggies and less processed foods.  Why not make today’s dinner and tomorrow’s breakfast & lunch all at once?  If it’s the New Normal to spend time cooking, i can account for that.  It only takes a few weeks for it to feel seamless and be habit, and once it’s routine, it’s even easier, just part of life, like cleaning the kitchen counter or sorting the mail.

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A Run! OK, Run/Walk.

Last night, after months of not running beyond a few feet, i got back to it.  Spring, having time again now that the PE is done, and making some other healthy choices has been great motivation.  I won’t lie.  Being a (slow) runner and the awfulness in Boston has also influenced me.  I’m more determined to aim for the Hartford Half Marathon this year.  It already has been a goal because it’s a big anniversary year, but now just a little more.

So it was 4 miles of mixed running and walking.  My knees are a little sore today, but that’ll lessen up as i get back into it (and have less weight to carry on them).

Afterwards I caught up with Ian for a few, had a good shower and made a dinner of chicken sausage and salad.  The salad had lettuce, spinach, peppers, tomato, celery, carrots, goat cheese and seeds.  Pretty yummy!

The truth is, exercise encourages me to eat well, which encourages me to exercise.  It’s a good cycle.

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This may come as a shock, but studying for the Professional Engineer exam has been stressful.  My ‘free’ time has been spent, the last several weeks, in front of piles of text books practicing calculations, reviewing regulations and memorizing equations.  Or collapsed in a pile of tears, stressed and afraid.

This situation has created two challenges.  The first is no time to go outside and walk/run.  Last year i ran quite a bit, and then lost it in the fall.  I’d like to get back to it, but the studying and stress created a time and energy crunch that just didn’t let it happen.  The second was stress eating.  I am awesome at eating my emotions, and so found cookies, chips, chocolate and just about anything else to eat to soothe my stress.

The result, of course, is gaining weight, which is the opposite of my long term goals.  So, now that the test is over, i can return to healthier eating and getting more exercise.

When i try to ban something from my diet, i crave it like nothing else.  Or it’s suddenly everywhere, taunting me.  Knowing this, as well as how easily i can become obsessive at tracking calories (i end up going for low-score and not eating), i’m just changing habits towards more healthy ones.

Step 1 of this is changing over breakfast.  I love fruits and enjoy smoothies, but my blender isn’t the best, and i was convinced i couldn’t make a good smoothie with it.  Then, after a little internet-foo, i realized i could use my immersion blender with a mason jar.  This has revolutionized breakfast for me!  So i’ve been adventuring the last few days with mostly fruit combinations.  My goal is to focus on this for a week or two, playing with the ratios and what works best for me.  I’m 3 for 3 on good combos, and looking forward to finding more!

I also signed up for the 2013 CSA at our local farm, which should give me opportunities to play with even more great combinations.  I can’t wait for that to start up in a few weeks!

Pear, banana, strawberry and spinach

Pear, banana, strawberry and spinach, i added water & orange juice.

strawberry, blueberry, carrot and spinach

strawberry, blueberry, carrot and spinach, i added water & pomegranate juice

strawberries, blueberries, banana and spinach

strawberries, blueberries, banana and spinach with water & pomegranate juice

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I sat for the Professional Engineer exam on Friday.  I’m still really wiped, but looking forward to returning to ‘real life’ including blogging.  Thanks for sticking with me during my absence, i promise – real content soon!