Brrr! What’s up, January?

bruiseThe -38C windchills on my Tuesday morning commute inspired me try and save a few minutes by taking what seemed to be a quicker route through the park versus down the incredibly icy sidewalks. I was almost in tears after five minutes in the brutal cold and it had taken me three times as long to get 3/4 of the way to my bus stop because of the ice everywhere. With one misstep, I pitched forward, completely lost my footing and was flat on my face. The image accompanying this post is my badge of honour from a Canadian winter. Blargh! That picture is from this morning and it’s actually looking much better, I think.

I'm restarting my 13 week running program today. Why don't you join me? It begins with a week of easy walking to prepare your body. Linkage: http://www.runstrong.org/13weekprogram.pdf

I had a full 9 hours of sleep last night and feel like a totally new woman. I’ve been sleeping 4-5 hours every night and it caught up with me, finally. My goal for next week is to tuck myself into bed at a normal time on Monday-Thursday.

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Cracked, this was like music to my ears. In some ways, it summed up my feelings about life and people quite tidily. Do something! Don’t sit around and talk about doing something or how sweet/good/clever you are because you once thought of this thing you /could/ do or maybe once did. I might fail at doing plenty but I’m generally actively /doing/.

Linkage:
6 Harsh Truths That Will Make You A Better Person

Now, go! Be bold!

Close today, ladies and gentlemen.

Woah!

I finally stepped on the scale this morning after successfully avoiding it for more than a month, and it confirmed what my too tight clothing has been telling me. (BTW, the scale image to the left cracks me up. That blue light … it’s like the dread that goes directly to my noggin as I await the final number on my Aria scale.) Image

Anyhow, I’m going to re-prioritize a little. I focus exactly ZERO attention right now on my health and well-being. Nothing. I focus all my attention on school, my family, business and other people. For the last few months, I have spent a little on my home which keeps it from being a total sty but just the bare minimum. I have free time but I often use it to just zone out rather than doing anything productive because I’m mentally tapped and frazzled at the end of the day. I suppose zoning out is for me but it doesn’t feel that way — it feels like survival. Anyone know what I mean?

I started today with just being mindful of what I’m eating, and writing it down with an amount. Writing it down is key for me. I want to see that I’m eating things in balance. I’ll start with that and see where I’m at next week. You thrive where you place your energy and I need to place more on a healthier me, too.

It’s December?!

The smallest, quickest of updates. I’m nearing the end of my term at school,  and I’m currently procrastinating with studying for an exam tomorrow just long enough to write this note. I’m doing better at this school thing than I would have imagined. I’m very excited to see my final grades but less excited to need to sit in a room to spill out the contents of my head over the next week and a half. I still have no solid idea what I’m actually working toward in university — I thought I knew but changed my mind — beyond  personal growth but it’s been a fun journey so far. I’ve taken a mix of science and humanities classes and the absolutely most useless things make my heart sing.

I haven’t had much time to do anything else in life. I have some projects I’m working on, I still sketch a little, I manage some other things, but I’ve been survival eating and have worked backwards a bit in that respect. I’m really looking forward to the end of next week when I can take a breather, not worry about doing anything at all on a timeline and just enjoy my family, a book of my choosing, and putting my feet up.

Sometimes You Have To Say No

It’s midnight. I have not yet had a late night snack. I will not have a late night snack tonight. I keep thinking of all the lovely things I could eat, but then I tell myself “No! I will not eat anything tonight.”

Habit the first: no late night snacks.

I mean, if it’s so late that I’m hungry, it is past my bedtime.

Here I go, off to bed.

No snack in hand.

No Halloween candy. No salsa and chips. No toast with peanut butter. No boiled eggs. No homemade hummus. No homemade guacamole. No no no no.

Good night.

A Tale Of Two Pits

This past summer I wrote about my initial experience with a natural deodorant. You can read about my excitement here: That Sweat Don’t Smell.

I had wanted to get away from my long term use of aluminum salts in commercial deodorants. I wanted a more natural option and I wanted to make my own, but I didn’t want to invest a lot of money in the raw ingredients if the end products wasn’t successful for me. I bought a small local-ish made deodorant that smelled good and seemed to have good ingredients: baking soda, corn starch, coconut oil, tea tree oil and lemon essential oil.

It smelled great and I was amazed that for the first couple days there was literally no sweat smell and no wetness problems in the middle of summer. Huzzah!  But, my elation was short lived. By the third day my pits were a bit itchy. By the fourth day they were insanely itchy and there was a slash of red across the pits.

I wanted to give the deodorant a decent trial, so I kept using it for a few days. Perhaps my body needed to adjust. But it didn’t. I made it 6 days and had to give up. The entire surface of my pits were bright red, itching and raw feeling. I had a chemical burn.  I immediately discontinued all deodorant use.

It took two weeks for the chemical burns to heal. In that time, I emailed the company to let them know. Their response was really unsatisfactory. They said that it was likely the tea tree oil. “C’est dommage.”  I was hoping they would offer to send a sample of a different formulation. That’s what I would do if someone told me my product gave them chemical burns. Certainly there was no warning on the label. I was a little ticked, but I’m sure the rest of their products are great. I’m not going to be giving them another $7, however.

After 2 weeks, I went another week without using any deodorant. I was sort of fascinated with my natural personal smell. It smelled strong!  And bad!  And weird!  I kept sniffing my pits and recoiling and then laughing at myself. When my husband started remarking that he could smell my pits without being close to me, I decided to return to the world of commercial deodorants.

A few months later, I’m still a Lady Speed Stick devotee. My first stick back was Summer Citrus and I recently picked up Fruity Melon. I love the silly fruity scents.

I haven’t ruled out making my own deodorant. It definitely won’t have tea tree oil in it. But I have heard some people say that it is the baking soda or corn starch that they react to in natural deodorants.  I sure hope that’s not my experience.

Have you tried natural deodorants?  What was your experience? Is there a brand you love?

Weight Watchers and Healthy Habits

Today’s meeting was about making little changes to form new habits. The leader, Sue, wanted us to identify triggers for behaviours in order to make them a habit. Sounds a lot like classical conditioning. As I know from conditioning, you don’t really ever unlearn bad habits. They’re lurking beneath the surface waiting to rear their ugly heads. However, even though sometimes it can take a while for your brain to build a new associations,  it can be done!

My triggers for unhealthy habits are, in order of occurrence:

1. Being overwhelmed with stress/negative emotions. I’m highly susceptible to other people’s misery.  I can be like an emotion sponge and lately, this has been a bit of an issue. I have felt emotionally heavy lately — not like me at all — because of my occasionally frazzled environment. 2. Also, not planning my day properly or trying to do everything so I have too many things to do in too little time. 3. Not getting enough sleep or fun in my life. Fun? What’s that?

I then go on into cocoon-mode to protect myself, overeat and numb out.

I had a hard time coming up with triggers for positive habits and maybe it’s because I don’t feel like I have too many right now.  So how can I trigger myself for healthy habits?

One super small thing I can do is to start packing my water bottle in my bag. I hate bringing it because it’s so heavy to lug around and with my shoulder injury, my already heavy bag becomes near unmanageable. Maybe that’ll just convince me to drink the water to lighten the load.

I lost 1.2lbs this week. I don’t know how because I haven’t had a great week. Too much stress that I haven’t been dealing with well. Looking to take it one day at a time for the next 7 days.