Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ten Goals for 2012 - Inspired!

Ta da! Here it list of goals for 2012. When I was first thinking about what I wanted to do in 2012, I thought meh...I might have a couple things.  As I started thinking about it, more and more goals came to mind as I found sources of inspiration everywhere.  So here goes - wish me luck!

1. Run a 1:50 half marathon - There! I've put it out there. Scary? Yes. Ambitious? Maybe. Considering my last half marathon personal best was 1:56, that means shaving off 6 minutes and pulling 5:13 min/km splits. Huh, just writing that out, I might be biting off more than I can chew! But I'm excited, and what better way then to kick off the Year of Speed! Goal races for this year are the BMO Vancouver in May and of course, the Goodlife Victoria in October. I'm looking to hopefully repeat my half marathon time at the BMO Vancouver, and then pull out all the stops here in Victoria and hit a 1:50 half.  Speedwork, here I come!

2. Yoga more - as I've said in the past, I love how it makes me feel, love the stretching, love how much it's helped my back. So why, oh why don't I do it more?!  Geez. So this year, I want to make more time for it and incorporate it into my workout routine.

3.  Volunteer - yep...a carryover from 2011 goals.  I thought about this a lot over the past few years, and I really want to volunteer this year.  As I've said previously, I'm grateful for what I have so I want to give back with my time.  I've got a few things in mind that I want to volunteer for (food bank or helping seniors), but unfortunately it seems a lot of the things I want to volunteer with happen during work hours.  Grrr!  Well, that just means that the perfect thing is waiting for me, right?

4.  Make weights a habit - Operation NROLFW is in place.  I love this program and so far am loving the results, so I'm going to continue with the heavy lifting.  Maybe...if I'm brave...I might take pictures so I can do a before and after.  Holy shizen, did I really just write that? 

5.  Be more involved in bloggie community - I love blogging and I love the blogging community...the people are so awesome and supportive and a wealth of valuable information!  But I'm soooo bad with the commenting.  I tend to lurk so next year I'm coming out of the closet and going to engage more with the awesome folks in bloggieland.

6.  Read 15 books - having a reading goal really helps push me to expand my horizons and read instead of always turning on the boob tube...and I've read some pretty kickass books the past few years.  I won't lie was hard for me to fit in 15 books this past year so I think I'll stick with the same number again this year.

7.  Eat 7 servings (or more!) of fruits and veggies per day - Amanda over at Run to the Finish totally inspired this goal with her awesome Holiday Booty Buster Challenge.  Instead of just focussing on this during the holiday season, I'm going to try to incorporate at least 7 servings of fruits and veggies every day.  I felt energized and healthy when I was on a fruit/veggie roll, which is in stark contrast to how I'm feeling right now after some holiday excesses and a lack of anything remotely fresh.  To be blunt, I totally feel like ass so I'm rarin' to go and ready to get my fruits and veggies in.

8.  Cut back dairy - oh sigh...dairy...I've been falling for your siren song a lot lately.  I love you but I know you don't quite feel the same about me, so I think we're going to have to take a break.   

9.  Take swimming lessons - so you know the famous saying on the lululmon manifesto...the one that says "do one thing a day that scares you?"  Well, this is the scary thing for this year.  Maybe my life.  I can't swim and have almost drowned twice (one day I'll tell you the sordid stories) the impetus for me to learn to swim has always been in the back of my mind.  I've always wanted to learn, but was inspired when I was at the Xterra triathlon world championships this year when we were in Maui.  While I may never become a triathlete, I do want to know how to swim so I'm not afraid, as I tell Hubs, to get sucked out to sea every year when we go to Maui.  And about the triathlon, who knows...never say never, right?  Oh, and for those who are wondering...yes, I'm shitting myself.  Ha!

10.  Create a vision board - for Christmas, my BFF gave me this awesome necklace by Andrea Waines, a Canadian silver jewellery designer....

I love how simple this necklace is (I'm not a big jewellery person - yes, I'm a freak of nature)...but that's not the only reason I love it.  Each necklace has an inspirational saying on it, and the one she chose for me says "the only courage you need is the courage to do your heart's desire."  How cool is that?!  This saying gave me the flash of inspiration for the last goal for 2012 - a vision board!  What better way to tease out my heart's desires than putting it into a visual format. And I get to be a kid again and cut out pretty pictures and glue them onto colourful paper.  Wheeeeee!

HBBC:  Dec 23, 6 points (60 mins bootcamp), Dec 27, 6 points (10K/6 mile run), Dec 28, 6 points (60 mins bootcamp), Dec 29, 2 points (30 minutes stationery bike)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2011 Resolution Review

2011 - what a year, what a year!  Is it me, or is time flying by incredibly fast?  I remember last Christmas like it was yesterday, so to realize that a full year has past just blows my mind.  So many things happened this year - of course, the big one for me was the marathon, but there are so many things that defined 2011.  The good?  The memorable Canucks run that I still get a little misty eyed when I see recaps of it on TV.  Getting surprise tickets from Hubs to see Prince (one of favouritefavouritefavourite musicians of all time) after I thought I wasn't going to be able to go...and spending the whole concert singing, screaming and dancing with the Purple One.   An amazing whirlwind trip to Hong Kong full of great shopping and even better eating.  Kicking ass and pulling a personal best of 1:56 at the Oak Bay Half Marathon in torrential rain.  A pretty awesome year all in all!  But along with the good comes the not so BFF moved to Saskatoon as her husband got offered the job opportunity of a lifetime, and left a hole in my heart as I miss her terribly.  Le sigh.  Thank god for texting, right?  Ha!

So with only a few more days left to go in this year, I thought I'd revisit what my resolutions or goals or objectives or whatever the heck you want to call them were for the year, and how I did.  Nothing better than a public shaming for motivation, eh?  Here goes...

1.  Run a marathon - OH YEAH, BABY!  Bucket list item #1 has been struck from the list.  Truly this was one of the most memorable and proudest moments of my life, and sometimes I still think back and think did I really do it?  While the day was pretty fantastic, the journey to get there was even better.  Sure, some days I really didn't want to run and there were other days when I really wanted that whisky or dessert but had to say no...but it was so worth it in the end.  I never, ever dreamed in my life that I would have completed a doing this has made me realize that I can dream and achieve goals that I never thought were possible.  To commemorate the marathon, I bought myself a new Christmas ornament that I'm going to hang up every year as a reminder to keep dreaming and keep achieving.

2.  Incorporate more weights into workouts - weeelllll...I will admit that for most of the year, I didn't do much weight work besides what we did at bootcamp.  To be honest, it was really hard to fit it in with all the marathon training...but I think I did redeem myself a bit as I've been keeping up with the New Rules of Lifting for Women gig in the last month or so and love love loving it.  With next year being the Year of Speed, I'll have more time to concentrate on lifting weights and getting leaner and stronger overall.  Yes!

3.  Maintain a consistent weight - yipppeeee...I done good on this one, Pa!  My weight has stayed relatively consistent through the whole year, and I avoided the marathon weight gain that I packed on last year.  What was the secret?  You'd think it would be the fact that I ran or worked out for hours and hours...but it was all about what I put in my mouth that made the difference.  I absolutely credit resolution #4 for keeping me on track.

4.  Eat mindfully - you can't exercise away a bad diet, right?  I really tried hard to think about what I was putting in my mouth and how it would affect my body and training...but at the same time didn't want to be too rigorous and regimented as to take all the fun out of eating...pretty important for a foodie!  Food is supposed to nourish the body, but sometimes it's just as imporatnt to nourish your soul.   This year I've been giving a lot of thought to mixing up our diet to incorporate more beans and grains and less meat, while still keeping our protein/fat/carb ratios in balance for when we're training hard.  It's not easy, but I love the challenge...bring it on!

5.  Start Meatless Monday - kicked ass on this one!  With the exception of maybe one or two weeks, we did Meatless Monday every week without fail.  I'm so glad I did this resolution because it forced me to be more creative in the kitchen rather than just dishing out a plate of pasta every week because that kinda defeats the purpose.  I will admit though that vegetarian pizza has made the rotation quite often (hee hee!) but I've got a lot more meatless recipes in the cooking repertoire now. 

6.  Write in my gratitude journal daily - this is where the public shaming comes into play.  Oy vey!  Two years in a row that I have NOT done well on this goal.  But to my defense...even though I didn't write in my journal daily, having this goal really did make me think much more and more often about how thankful and grateful I am for things in my life.  Honestly...I am so grateful for what I'm blessed to have.  I find myself wondering did I get so lucky?  And when I hear people complaining about their lives or when I catch myself doing it, I just think to myself that there are so many people on this earth that would love to have a tiny percentage of what we have.  However, as far as actually journalling my gratitude...epic fail.  Ooopsie.

7.  Volunteer - errrh...once things are on the interweb, it's permanent right?  Gah!  I did nothing on this goal for 2011.  I do, however, plan on fixing this for 2012 (ooooh, see the clever use of foreshadowing?!).

8.  Keep up supplements - sigh...things started out so well but then we kinda skidded on this one.  We were pretty sporadic with our supplements and would go great guns for a few months and then just peter out once we ran out and were too lazy to restock.  Both Hubs and I are committing to doing better for 2012 though.  

9.  Read 15 books - just finished book #14, and have four days to read book #15...nothin' like leaving things to the last minute!   I was doing pretty good for the first part of the year until the marathon training started, but after that bit of business was over I've been back on the book train.  I love this resolution because I love to read, and over the past few years I've read some amazing books (the Book Thief by Markus Zusak - one of the best I've read ever...I still find myself thinking about this book).

10.  Be more aware of finances - woot!  Hubs and I have been talking a lot more about our finances and what the future holds for us...we're at that age where we need to start thinking about it more, and we've got a path carved out in our minds.  Plus I've been asking more questions of our planner and doing a little side reading on my own to augment my knowledge.  A solid "B" on this goal.

So?  All in all, I'm pretty happy with how I did this year!  Some things I can work on, but I love setting goals for myself.  If I achieve them, great...and if I don't?  It gives me something to work towards.  And speaking of working towards post will be my goals for 2012.  Woohoo!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

HBBC Update

OK is anyone else looking forward to Boxing Day or is it just me?!   This holiday season has been incredibly, insanely busy and all I can think about is sleeping in and relaxing.  Every day there's been errands to run, tasks to cross off my list, lunches and dinners to go to, friends to visit and meals to cook - I'm so tired every night I swear I'm asleep before my head even hits the pillow!  And...with all the holiday insanity going on, I've been slightly remiss in blogging.  Eek!  But good news...I've been still keeping up with the Holiday Booty Buster Challenge...go me!  I will admit that last week wasn't stellar for fruits and veggies, but I've been kicking ass in the exercise department.  My bootcamp buddy D and I made a pact last week that we'd go to all bootcamps no matter what, and so far so good.  With all the yummy Xmas goodies about and all the eating out, we decided that we had to do something and the pact is perfect for forcing us to go as it's just a little too easy to jam out when no one is counting on you.  I actually never thought I'd hear myself say this but...I'm just about done with all the eating out.  Ha!

HBBC:  Dec 14, 7 points (60 mins bootcamp, F/V), Dec 16, 6 points (60 mins bootcamp), Dec 17, 6 points (10K run), Dec 18, 2 points (20 mins stationery bike and 20 mins weightlifting),  Dec 19, 7 points (60 mins bootcamp, F/V), Dec 20, 1 point (F/V), Dec 21, 6 points (60 mins bootcamp)

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Single Best Thing

I've been thinking a lot about this post, and whether or not to write it.  Should I?  Shouldn't I?  Will I come across all preachy?  After a lot of thought, I decided to just throw all caution to the wind and just do it because this is a topic that I feel incredibly passionate about...and this is my blog, so why the heck not, right?   Ha!  As I've mentioned previously, I'm a live-and-let-live kinda gal...I don't like to foist my opinon on others, and don't go around espousing my thoughts on everything under the sun to anyone who will listen.  I'm generally a laid back kinda gal...that is, until you start talking about health.

Look out folks...Health Nut Harpy is in da house!

I saw this cool video the other day, and I felt that I just had to share it because the message behind it was such a good one (and the drawing in the video is pretty effing awesome!):

Dr. Mike Evans, the force behind this video, talks about the single thing that you can do that will make the biggest difference and return on investment to your health.  According to Dr. Evans, this one thing done regularly can:

 - reduce rates of pain and disability with those with knee arthritis by 47%
 - reduce progression of alzheimers and dementia by up to 50%
 - reduced progression to diabetes by 50% for patients with high risk of diabetes
 - reduce anxiety by up to 48%
 - for patients suffering from depression, up to 30% were relieved with a low dose and 47% with a high dose

Sounds pretty awesome, right?  So what is this one single thing, you're wondering? 


Yes, exercise.  The word strikes fear in a lot of people's hearts...people always have visions of toiling for hours in a gym, running for hours on the dreadmill, sweating buckets and hating every second of it.  By exercise, Dr. Evans isn't meaning doing triathlons and running for hours at a exercise he simply means walking a half hour to an hour a day, which should be enough to recognize some pretty significant health benefits as mentioned above.  As Hippocrates said, walking is man's best that Hippocrates was a pretty smart fella I believe, so I'm more than inclined to listen to him, no?

I know a lot of people will say they don't have time to exercise...too busy, too tired, etc.  This may sound harsh, but being busy is not an excuse...think of it this way, you are investing a half hour in yourself and your family and friends.  Are you really too busy for that?  So for those people who being too busy to exercise is the excuse, here is a cartoon that might make them rethink that logic:

HBBC:  Dec 11, 6 points (10K/6 mile run), Dec 12, 7 points (60 mins bootcamp, F/V)...been so bad at tracking on the blog so I'm just going to start from yesterday!

Monday, December 5, 2011

NROLFW - Progress Report

OK, I've definitely bought into the weightlifting gig.  I'm starting Stage 1, Week 4 of the New Rules of Lifting for Women and I'm already seeing and feeling results.  A big part of the premise behind this program is that women should lift heavy...women don't have to worry about getting "bulky" and looking like some dude on 'roids, and using those little hot pink plastic two pound weights ain't gonna get you anywhere fast.  Each time I lift, I try to increase the weight just a tidge, and my upper body is already getting more defined and I'm losing the dreaded upper arm "batwing" jiggle.  I actually remember on marathon day feeling my arms shimmying and shaking like jello and thinking man, I gotta do something about that!  My legs are fairly muscular because of the running, but I can already feel and see my quads and hamstrings getting firmer and stronger.

I like it.  I like it a LOT.  Hmmm...I'm feelin' a new year's resolution comin' on.

HBBC:  Dec 2, 7 points (60 mins bootcamp, F/V), Dec 3, 9 points (14K/9 mile run), Dec 4, 3 points (30 mins bike, 20 mins weightlifting), Dec 5, 7 points (60 mins bootcamp, F/V)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Be a Santa to a Senior

So one thing that I should have included in my Blackjack list of rando facts about me is that I have a total soft spot for seniors.  This goes back to as far as I can earliest memory was when I was about 7, and we were at the hospital visiting my grandpa who was sick at the time, and this elderly man in the next bed said to us as we left "thanks for coming to see us!"  I clearly remember that it made me so sad that I cried, because I had the feeling that this guy had had no visitors and was really, really lonely.  This penchant for old folks continued on as I got older, as I spent a lot of time in old folks homes as Hubs' grandma lived in one in Vancouver and we would go see her quite often.  I was always struck by the lack of visitors and how lonely it must be and always left feeling sad.

Fast forward to today...I was sitting at my desk eating my lunch and cruising around on the internet when I saw this thing called Be a Santa to a Senior.  Intrigued, I looked into it further and discovered it's a program across North America that helps identify seniors who people can sponsor and buy a Christmas gift for.  Bingo!  Right up my alley.  What you do is punch in your postal or zip code, and up pops a list of participating retailers...each retailer has a tree with paper ornaments with the name of a senior and what they'd like for Christmas.  I immediately put in my postal code and the Walmart by our house was participating...excellent!

After work, Hubs and I went by good old Wallyworld and the tree was right at the front of the store.  There were only a handful of ornaments left, which completely warmed my heart that people were buying for the seniors!  That was quickly taken over by some serious I looked at the names and what they were looking for, it made it extra personal and I couldn't leave anyone behind.  What if no one bought something for that person?  What if they got nothing and didn't have a gift to open on Christmas day?  I couldn't have that so I ended up taking all the ornaments.  Yes, I stripped that tree bare!  Poor Hubs, he just stood there trying to console his pathetic, sobbing wife...a few people in the store actual gave us curious looks...I think they thought we were having a big fight or something.  Ha!  Such a big bawl baby.

Anyways...thought I would post about this organization in case anyone is interested!  I know during this time of year that everyone is stretched pretty thin and so incredibly busy, but small gestures mean so much and every little bit helps those who are less fortunate.

HBBC:  Nov 27, 2 points (20 mins stationery bike, F/V), Nov 28, 5 points (1 hour bootcamp, F/V), Nov 30, 1 point (F/V), Dec 1, 2 points (20 mins stationery bike, F/V)