Why Hosting Your Own Holiday Party Is Easier Than You Think
Let’s face it—as fabulous as the holidays are, they can be the most stressful time of year. Between the chaos of travel, the highs and lows of seeing family and friends, buying presents, and everything else, this time of year can cause anxiety in even the least anxiety-prone mind. One excellent way to control your amount of stress during the holiday season is to consider hosting your own event. It may seem counter-intuitive, but there are many benefits to doing so. Here are some benefits and tips to managing your anxiety and hosting your own holiday bash.
Every family has history (sometimes “capital H” History!), and different personalities can clash. One benefit of hosting your own holiday events is conflict management through avoidance. If you know for certain that Aunt Sue and Uncle Joe cannot be in the same room, consider hosting two separate, small events. If you buy food in bulk and prepare things in advance or even make/buy frozen appetizers, you can easily arrange two or more parties with ease. Then you can relax knowing that those conflicts and arguments that seemed unavoidable simply won’t happen.
Spread Out the Work
It’s no secret that making a holiday meal for your whole family is an entire day of work. If you’re hosting more than one party, for any reason, the task of spending that much time in the kitchen can be daunting. A potluck-style party or even an afternoon event where your guests bring their favorite snacks can remove the pressure of slaving for hours over the stove. Another plus to sharing the load of cooking is you make sure your guests have something to eat that they will definitely enjoy. With so many dietary restrictions, popular and necessary, in this day and age, ensuring guests are happy by bringing their own food is a way to lower planning stress and to engage all your partygoers.
Anyone who suffers from anxiety knows that perfectionism is a thing that haunts your every waking minute, especially in stressful situations. Those who suffer from it also know that challenging these thoughts and fixations on perfection are key to overcoming them. You won’t have a perfect party because perfection doesn’t exist. Learn to let yourself off the hook; it’s okay if every room isn’t spotless. Close doors to rooms that you don’t have the energy to tidy up, and keep the lights off or put a trash can in front of the door. People will know not to go in. Decorate simply and don’t worry if your mother or grandmother or Uncle Simon decorates “better.” Simple is elegant and tasteful, and if anyone says otherwise . . . consider them uninvited next time!
Offer Festive Non-Alcoholic Options
It can be intimidating when attending a holiday party in recovery, being the “designated driver,” or even just knowing how certain relatives act when drinking. Whether you’re afraid of being singled out by an overly eager host, feeling pressured by friends or family to drink, or afraid of how your brother will act when he hits the whisky, alcohol can add unnecessary stress to any event. Hosting your own party can immediately relieve those fears. Make it clear on the invitation (whether it’s an e-mail, letter, or text) that there will be plenty of non-alcoholic drink options available. You might even consider not offering alcohol at all – or making a festive punch or eggnog that has far less alcohol than the standard. At the end of the day, recovery/safe driving is far more important than a drink at a holiday get-together. Hosting your own party could allow you to engage in holiday cheer without feeling the pressure of resisting temptation or feeling like others are walking on eggshells around you.
All in all, the notion of hosting a party might seem like a bad idea to someone with anxiety, but it can truly help to lessen stress during what should be a magical time of year. You can spread out the burden with friends and family by hosting it potluck style, make sure conflicting personalities don’t clash, and offer festive, delicious non-alcoholic drinks (whether for recovery purposes or to help keep tempers low from those around you). And by letting go of the need for perfection, you can have a holiday that is painless and maybe even fun.
Guest blogger Jennifer Scott knows how difficult it can be to live with anxiety and depression. She has experienced both since she was in her teens. Today, she writes about the ups and downs of her mental illness on SpiritFinder.org. The blog serves as both a source of information for people with mental illness and a forum where those living with anxiety and depression can come together to discuss their experiences.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you might want to catch up HERE.
Yesterday, I learned the value of dilution.
(No, you didn’t miss a blog post – I was too busy to write. Read on…)
As I have complained about before, you’re required on this eating plan to drink 1/2 of your body weight, in water, every day.
Honestly, did our caveperson forebears drink like this? I think not.
Every single diet plan on God’s green Earth seems to want you to drink gallons of water. Frankly, I don’t get it. We can’t be “built” to drink this much water.
I guess the idea here is that we’re also not built to be drinking wine, and eating Twinkies and Kentucky Fried Chicken.
As such, we have to dilute the toxins we shove in our mouths with as much water as possible. So, our caveperson forebears would drink like normal people, because they were eating the way we’re s’posed to be eating. We have to drink like camels, because we eat and drink stuff our body doesn’t know what to do with, and this is the only way to get rid of it.
Doesn’t mean I have to like it . . .
But back to dilution.
Day 1, I didn’t quite make it through all the water I was supposed to drink. As such, on Day 2, I figured I’d add it to the smoothie and the tea.
This made the smoothie far more palatable – though it does mean that you now have basically a pitcher of smoothie v. a cup. (All the ingredients wouldn’t fit in even the largest cup of my smoothie maker anyway, so this just turns what was about 1-1/2 large smoothie-maker cups into a pitcher.)
This also makes the tea a bit more palatable. Yay!
Yesterday, I also learned the value of stirring.
If you read my Day 1 rant, you’ll know that the “tea” is really basically lemon oil. Well . . . what do they say about oil and water?
Oil floats on water.
So the tea that I drank on Day 1 (especially Morning 1, Day 1) came right off the top of the pitcher in my fridge. As such, I think that it was basically all lemon oil. On Day 2, when it seemed like I was “getting used to” the tea, I actually had a lightbulb moment and realized that it was just that there was less and less of the oil in it.
Stir the Damned Tea before you Drink It.
Today, I learned the value of stevia.
You’re allowed to “sweeten” the tea and the smoothie – I just didn’t think that it would do that much good. This morning, I decided “What the heck, I gotta do something here,” and added stevia to the smoothie.
The smoothie is made up of raw cranberries, raw limes, blueberries, kale, walnuts, avocado, and cucumber. Sour-acid-nasty.
Add stevia? It kinda tastes like a cran-lime margarita.
I don’t know why I didn’t do this immediately upon tasting the cran-lime battery acid on Day 1. Probably because, in the book, she says “Well, if you really want to, hey, you could add a bit of stevia…” – so I didn’t think it would make that much of a difference. Duh!
What does this mean?
I had my pitcher of smoothie today and didn’t hate it.
Ok – I actually liked it. WHAT? Yeah, it wasn’t bad. Sure, there was a good load of stevia in there, but it’s straight stevia leaf, which is allowed. My lord, why didn’t I figure this out before the final day?
As an added bonus, of course, I’ve drunk a big lot of the water I’m supposed to be drinking, because I diluted things, as learned on Day 2.
I have a TON of the soup left.
Pomroy says in the book that the recipe makes a lot of soup – and it does. I actually fed some to my hubby last night, and he said that it was pretty good. (Granted I did drizzle his with truffle oil.) I drank more of it yesterday than I did on Day 1, because I was a lot hungrier than on Day 1, and the soup is a “free” food.
Of course, it’s a free food made up of a ton of root veggies, which make me, as they say in England, “windy.” Not smelly, just windy. (TMI?) I actually looked up the ins and outs of loud, soft, smelly, not smelly on Google – it’s fascinating (generally has to do with fermenting carbohydrates) – but I’ll let you do that research yourself ;-)
Tonight we have to meet with someone, and that means we are likely to go out to dinner after. I guess I will do my best – probably meaning just get veggies. And then, we’re done! Not quite sure what we’re moving to on Monday – my guess will be the Pomroy Fast Metabolism Diet. I did have some success on that one before, I just got bored and quit.
So, any changes, as I’m in the middle of Day 3?
*My daughter has found her rings are really spinning on her fingers (a sign that inflammation is down)
*I haven’t lost any scale weight. I know, I know, you’re supposed to stay off it for the 3 days, but the dang machine is there staring me in the face. On the plus side (I did NOT say “plus size”…), my daughter has lost 3.5 pounds and my son-in-law 4, and they’re dutifully drinking all their water, so I tend to think it’s not “just water weight.”
*My rosacea is non-existent. That doesn’t surprise me, of course, as I actually know that it’s a by-product of inflammation. But it’s quite nice to have white skin and not red blotches on my face.
*I’m really hungry. You’re supposed to eat “as much” of the soup, tea (!!), celery, cucumbers, jicama, limes or lemons as you want. The thing is – that these are basically just water. And they sit in my stomach like water. I feel bloated, and not “sated.” So – I’m hungry.
Yeah yeah yeah. Me again. Trying to lose weight again. What’s new?
Well THIS time, my family is going to do it with me. (Well, that’s what we thought. Read on…)
In texting this weekend about what we could possibly “do” to lose the stupid weight we’d both gained, my daughter and I talked through a bunch of plans.
The nutritionist at my daughter’s gym uses Haylie Pomroy’s “Fast Metabolism Diet.”
As we texted about it, I realized that it sounded familiar. So I went to my stuffed “diet and exercise” bookshelf (four huge shelves!) and looked through it. Yup! I have tried that diet – oh, I mean “eating plan” – a few times! Not only that, I blogged about it HERE and HERE and HERE . (The second link actually talks you through that plan in detail.)
My issue with dieting is always that no one is doing it with me, so I get bored, and quit.
(I talked about that, in fact, in the first blog post linked above.)
I had one copy of the Fast Metabolism Diet book but, for some reason, I happened to have two copies of her “micro-repair” follow-on book, The Burn.
It has a 3 day plan, a 5 day plan, and a 10 day plan. They state that you are likely to lose 3, 5, or 10 pounds on them.
These plans are centered around dealing with a certain issue for why your “scale is stuck” – the 3 day plan is the I-Plan for “Inflammation,” the 5-day is the D-Plan for “Digestion,” and the 10-day plan is the H-Plan for “Hormonal Regulation.”
The 3-Day plan appealed to me as a “Jump Start.” I Priority Mailed the 2nd copy to my daughter and texted her that it was on its way.
We decided to go on the I-Plan (the 3 day plan).
The thought was that we could do it Monday (today) through Wednesday, then we could pay attention to what we were eating and not go wild from Thursday through Sunday (Mother’s Day), then perhaps start one of the other plans from The Burn – or even jump to the 30 day Fast Metabolism Diet plan – next Monday.
Yesterday was “grocery and prep day.”
One thing I do like about Pomroy’s books is she gives you grocery lists for everything that’s on the plan you’re about to embark on. You can take a picture of it on your phone and just go buy the stuff. She also talks about how to prep, and also has some “Success Boosters” that you are to add to each day.
I actually like prepping. My daughter and her husband are in Utah, and I texted to find out how the shopping was going. Though they thought they’d have trouble finding watermelon, turns out they couldn’t find cranberries, not even in the freezer section of a number of stores that they frequented.
My issue was celery seed! I went to 4 stores and finally found one TINY package of it. You need 3 Tablespoons – this was 2. I did have some celery
seed in the upper reaches of my pantry probably circa the last millennium – but I figured that 2T of the “good/new stuff” and 1T of this wouldn’t be so bad.
You have to prep (at least) three things – a tea, a soup, and a smoothie.
Now – Pomroy tells you to “make the smoothie every morning fresh.” But, come on. You’re supposed to drink it within 30 minutes of waking up, and in my daughter’s household, that involves wrangling kids, getting lunches ready, being sure homework was really done, not to mention waking up yourself, dressing, makeup, etc.
The recipe calls for (among other things) peeled limes, which isn’t an easy task at 0-dark-00. Knife. Bleary morning eyes. Slippery citrus. Um, nope.
So I made “baggies” that contained the makings of the smoothie, already parceled out. In one bag, I put the cranberries, blueberries, and kale (my “Success Booster”), in the other bag I put the walnuts, cucumber, peeled limes, and avocado.
As for the tea, it’s made up of a ton of lemons that you squeeze into the water and then throw in, boil, and let steep. There’s herbs in there too (the aforementioned celery seed, plus dried parsley and cayenne) – and I was able to find dandelion leaf at the bulk food counter, so I also included that (another “Success Booster”).
The soup is mainly root vegetables and mushrooms – there are 2 different kinds of mushrooms, sweet potatoes, carrots, celery, parsley, then 2 “other” root vegetables (I used a rutabaga and a turnip), plus a few other things. You can also add beet greens (another “Success Booster”), so I threw those in there too. You bring it to a boil then simmer it for like 2 hours, ultimately putting it through a high-powered blender to make the soup.
I suppose I should have had an inkling of what was to come when my husband came in and said “It smells like skunk in here.”
I had the kitchen fan on High, but he was right – the kitchen definitely had an “interesting” smell. He chuckled, and said he was so glad he wasn’t getting roped into doing this.
A while back – geez, has to be over 10 years ago – we did a cleanse that involved pulverizing raw beets into a smoothie. He has never looked at a beet since.
Everything was merrily cooking away, and I got to work prepping for our actual dinner (read: The Last Supper). As I was chopping, my husband came back in, held his nose with his fingers, and said (cue Austrian accent): “Oh my God no! It smells like ass in here now!”
I was texting these “peanut gallery comments” to my daughter, and they were dealing with the same smells on their end. We just couldn’t stop laughing in our texts. Yeah, well it turns out, joke’s on US! . . .
As of 9:00 last night, I texted my girl, “Fingers crossed this starts us on a good path!” She texted back, “It’s gonna be great!”
Oh my lord in Heaven. Joke’s SO on us . . .
And then, it was Monday. Time to get started.
I dumped the smoothie baggies into my high speed Ninja thang, and got it a-whirlin’. It didn’t look all that bad, so I took a cautious sip. HOLY COWS! It was SO limey! I mean, limey beyond all limes. Battery acid with a hint of lime.
As I was putting my tea into the microwave, I texted my daughter and asking how it was going for them. (You start out with the smoothie and the tea.)
She texted back: “For the love of all that is holy, that tea is the worst thing ever. Like drinking acid. I wanted to die!!! And the smoothie wasn’t much better.”
By this time, I’d gotten my tea out of the microwave. The oddest part was that, in pouring it into the cup, it seemed almost…?gelatinous? Well – definitely “thicker” than tea normally is. As I took a cautious sip, I realized why.
As I mentioned above, to make the tea for the 3 days, you squeeze the lemon juice into the water from like 10 lemons, and then you actually throw the lemons into the water and boil. Then let it steep for a couple hours. With those skins/rinds in there.
The lemon oil “steeps out” of the skins and into the water. So that’s why the “tea” seems “viscous” (I just typed “vicious” – yeah, that too) – because it’s full of the lemon oil.
I think that drinking Pledge would be more tasty.
Their smoothies were much more “cucumber-tasting” than mine – well, either that, or I just don’t mind that flavor as much as I do lime. Within an hour, I had a text that said my son-in-law had barely made it to work before the diarrhea started.
We kidded a bit about how “cleansing” that was, but within another hour, we had another text from my son-in-law:
“I have the perfect disclaimer for the book. ‘In order for this program to work, you must stay home for the amount of days for your preferred plan. This way you can stay in the bathroom the full time, shitting your brains out.'”
Three hours passed, and I’m still working on the smoothie.
I had diluted it with water – you’re supposed to drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water, daily – but it tasted so much like lime battery acid that I couldn’t get it down any quicker.
Another hour, and my son-in-law texted that he was out. There was no way that he could be this sick and work.
The mid-morning snack was a pear – which was good – and you’re “allowed” to “drink as much of the tea and soup as you want.” I hadn’t tried the soup yet, but drinking the tea is like a special torture invented to get people to spill their guts. (Um, literally.) “I’ll tell you anything, just no more TEA!”
My daughter, being ahead of me a few hours, texted that the “ass soup” actually tasted pretty good. She was at work, but luckily hadn’t had the same issue as her husband . . . I was at home, but was worried I might start having the issue, as lunch called for a spinach-based salad, and spinach sprints through my digestive tract.
At about this time, I realized that the only water I’d had was the water I used to dilute the smoothie.
I knew I would be rowing later in the day, which would help me catch up – but going from basically zero to 5 Nalgene bottles in a day is a TON of water. Drinking too much water makes me barf – so I have to be careful about it. There are tricks to it, of course – I’ve blogged about it a number of times, probably the best one being HERE. I’m not a good water drinker.
Just as I was picking up my phone to text that I was behind on my water and was afraid re. the spinach, I got a text from my daughter:
We really are the picture of loveliness . . . I just threw up the tea I forced myself to drink.
I couldn’t stop laughing.
I had to be careful though because if I laughed while drinking the tea, I was afraid it might burn a hole in my sinuses, or I might spit it out, and then it would burn through my desk, and the floor, and . . .
Another hour rolls around, and it’s time for lunch.
More tea. “Drink all you want,” says Pomroy. Who obviously has a sadistic streak.
I grumbled about it to my daughter, who texted back: Just chug it like you are a frat boy. Mind you, then you will puke it up, but it’ll be done.
Mid-afternoon snack – watermelon.
That’s actually a great snack, I like watermelon. Even better, my dog LOVES watermelon, so I parceled out some for him, too.
As an experiment, I put the soup bowl, the cup with some of the tea in it, and the smoothie glass on the floor to see what my dog thought.
He liked the soup.
He sniffed at the tea and didn’t even try.
But he licked the smoothie glass, snorted, then pulled his tongue in and out of his mouth while trying to wipe it with his paws. I nearly fell over laughing. Yeah buddy, I’m with ya!
And that’s where we are, as I type this blog. Dinner is to come – it’s based around roasted vegetables and fish (to which I am allergic, so I will have ground turkey). I can feed my husband the roasted vegetables, but I have to make him a steak or he will divorce me. :-) Dinner also comes with more soup and – surprise! – Tea. I might be willing to give up state secrets after another cup.
But at the end of today we will be 1/3 over . . . and in 3 days, we will certainly have a story to tell!
I’ve been behind on listening to their podcast (as in, I’m like 7 weeks behind – argh). I was able to listen today while walking the dog though, and they were revisiting the whole “Year of Less/Keep It Simple” idea.
(The reason that I haven’t been able to listen to any podcasts is because I’m in a book club, and I’m listening to the book (via Audible) while I’m “doing things” like walking the dog, prepping food, etc. that would normally be prime podcast-listening time. More on that book below.)
I’ve also had a ton of work recently – which means I can’t get on Facebook, skim through newsletters I’ve subscribed to, etc.
Not that I’m not grateful for the work.
But I’m actually quite “guilty” of the fact that I don’t work nearly as hard as anyone else.
No – seriously. I don’t.
I don’t need to commute to work (I work at home). I don’t need to work around anyone else’s schedule (well, usually . . . unless the other side in a contract must have a teleconference, which happens rarely). I have enough paid work that I’m able to do a consistent level of pro bono work for smaller entrepreneurs that I like. In fact – I like all of my clients. If I don’t like them, I fire them. And – yeah, here comes the part where you’re going to shoot me – if I have 8 hours’ worth of paid work per week, I can pay all my bills. (I told you that you’d be mad. And yes, yes, I said per week, not per day.)
I’ve found that when I have more work, I make better choices.
What exactly does that mean? It means that I find that my work “expands” to fit the time that I have.
It also means that I get in a lot more trouble when I have too much time on my hands.
When I have too much time on my hands, I eat more – and always the wrong things. I will go get a glass of wine, “because I can.” I won’t stay on an “eating program.” I will play Solitaire instead of learning something new. And, paradoxically, if I don’t have a “lot” of work, I actually put off doing the work that I have.
In short, I sloth-ify.
However, when I have a good bit of work to do, I must schedule in all the things that I want to do – whether it’s meal prep, Crossfit, walking the dog, reading my book club book . . . and so I wind up getting more done. (Isn’t that weird?)
Which brings me back to Unsubscribing.
Though I feel “guilty” about doing it . . . I mean, these emails are generally from “gurus” that I relate to, I like their thoughts, etc. . . . I have to look at what’s just cluttering up my Inbox.
For example, if I subscribe to podcasts I don’t listen to, they just sit in the podcast folder on my phone. No worries.
But if I subscribe to emails that I don’t read, they stress me out, because they’re in my Inbox.
As I said in the other post – I actually have often put things I am Unsubscribing from into a separate folder that just says Unsubscribe on it and the date. So for example, I see one that says 20160511 Unsubscribe. That means that I unsubscribed to the emails in that folder on May 11 2016.
So the next time I purge – meaning, with respect to this folder, right now – I delete the old folder without going through it. (I just did that now.)
This is a digital version of my “purge and hold” strategy, found in my book.
In Fempowerment, the whole first chapter is about cleaning/clearing out your life. One suggestion is to take everything that you are not “really sure” you want to get rid of, put it into a big bag, and put a date on it. I suggest a date that’s plenty far in the future – like 6 months.
If you open up the bag to get something out of it before the date comes up, then don’t change the date . . . just re-seal the bag. When the date comes up – give the contents of the bag away or throw them away (without re-opening). To make it easier, you can mark the bag as a “Goodwill” bag, a “Clothing Swap Party” bag, or a “Throw away” bag (good for, for example, opened beauty products/makeup cluttering up your drawer).
Like I said – this is the digital version.
I “date” the Unsubscribe folder. If I discover there’s something I miss reading, I can go back and re-subscribe to it. If not, I delete the folder during the next Purge-A-Thon.
The slippery slope of subscriptions.
One thing I’ve found this time around is that there are a lot of newsletters and the like that I actually did not subscribe to. This means that folks are selling their lists. I haven’t paid that much attention to it in the past, but I’m quite amazed by it this time around.
I can tell that the coaching association I belong to sold its list, because a lot of the stuff I’m unsubscribing to ties back to that group. (Shame on you, Association for Coaching.)
However, one of the real impetuses (impeti?) for this current round of Unsubscribing is the book that we’re reading in book club. It’s called Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble and deals with an over-50-year old ex-Newsweek tech reporter’s employment at Hubspot, an “inbound” marketing company. (If you’re at all in this industry – as I am – this book is hilarious and well worth the read – it has some laugh out loud moments.)
I have definitely fallen “prey” to the various “techniques” that he talks about in the book – which makes me a bit angry at myself. :-) As such, I’m going through my Inbox ruthlessly (take that, you inbound marketer!), eliminating all the emails related to “tactics” I “fell for” (e.g., a “free ebook” or the like).
I have put some of these into a 20170426 Unsubscribe folder, just in case I’m getting rid of email information that I might miss (these are mostly to do with folks who give me recipes, I’ll admit). But I think that it’s as unlikely as it always is that I will want to Subscribe back to any of them.
And I’m feeling I’m living the “Year of Less” thing.
Fewer emails to delete every morning is a good thing. Less guilt that I’m not reading emails that I (maybe accidentally) subscribed to is a good thing. Having a little bit more time to blog – which I’m doing so little of these days – is a good thing.
Now it’s time to go and do that work that I’ve been avoiding.
I have two projects – which means, of course, I’m procrastinating. Bad sloth, no! Better get to it!
Point of fact – I’ve actually never dived (diven? dove?) into anything. (Well, except for Love but I’m not quite sure that counts.)
Even as a little kid, the idea of doing something that would put me in the “heels over head” position terrified me. I’d get into the position that you see with these kids here – then I would jump into the pool (feet first) with my hands in the same position.
Also – since I went to a Catholic school where Gymnastics was a pre-requisite – I was basically an outcast.
I was a pretty smart outcast though – I did things like clean the gym, clean the equipment, spot others – anything to get away from the dreaded “heels over head” possibility.
The nuns figured this out at one point though – and they “made me” do a “flip” on the lowest bar of the uneven parallel bars. Since I couldn’t get into the position on my own, and was petrified to boot, 4 nuns had to basically haul my close-to-6-foot self (8th grade) to the bars, hoist me up until my stomach was on the bar and my hands white-knuckle gripping it, then two nuns dunked my head down and the other two threw my feet over my head. Everyone else in the class was cartwheeling, flipping, balance-beam-handstanding, vaulting, etc. but of COURSE stopped long enough to see me in this ignominious position. It was just GRAND.
When I was doing vertical gymnastics (a/k/a Pole Dancing), I was okay. Interestingly, I JUST figured out WHY.
To get into the position that you see in the photo, you don’t “dive your head down” into anything. Instead, you hold onto the pole, swing one leg up and above your hands, kick the other foot behind the pole to lock yourself in, and then slowly lower your head down. I could never do the moves that were the reverse – go into a handstand next to the pole, lock your legs onto it, then sit up from there.
Today was “upside-down day” at Crossfit.
The good part about my Monday and Wednesday morning classes is that I have my favorite coach, and I have my ‘Crossfit husband,’ who is better than I am with some things, worse with others, but we have the same sort of mentality and dynamic when it comes to Crossfit. If it weren’t for my coach and my ‘Crossfit husband,’ I’d still be snuggled up in bed now, not back home an hour after the workout. (Thank you Chelsea and James . . . )
Today two other guys were in class as well. (Normally, it’s just my ‘Crossfit hubby’ and me.) One is a guy I’ve been doing Crossfit with off and on for about three years. He, my ‘hubby,’ and I are about the same age. Then, there was a guy who I’ve worked out with a couple times, who is a few weeks out of On-Ramp. (He could be our son, age-wise, EASILY.)
Our workout today started with a “Skills section”:
Do three sets of:
3 wall walks 3 “skin the cats” on the rings (and then some other, non-threatening, moves)
A “wall walk” is when you start out lying on the floor, with your feet against the wall. Then you “walk your feet up the wall” as you’re pushing back with your hands, until, in the end, you wind up in a handstand position against the wall. Then you walk back down.
A “skin the cat” is when you hold onto rings, bring your feet up in front of you and over your head (already bad), then back. Here’s a video (you need to click on it):
When it comes to Wall Walks, I actually can kick my feet up onto the wall. Think basically like a downward dog, but my feet are up on the wall. I just can’t move any closer. So I’m kinda in an inverted “L” against the wall.
I practiced trying to take my weight off my hands a tiny bit, one after another. But just being my inverted-L-self against the wall is an uncomfortable position for me, and even taking a tiny bit of weight off of each hand in turn is a big, grunting effort. (Yes. I grunt.)
I watched my ‘Crossfit husband’ do three legit wall walks, getting all the way up to the wall in a full handstand upside down, and back. It was amazing! I was so proud for him!
And then, it was “skin the cat” time.
The “scaled” version of this is that you sit with your butt on the ground, and hold onto the rings hanging from the pull up bar above your head. Fingers out/back of hand towards you. Then, you kick up and basically hook one foot onto the strap that’s holding the ring above one hand, then you use your abs (!!) to hold that all together while you get the other foot and leg wrapped around the other strap on the other side. In this position, you’re off the ground, though your back is still basically facing the ground. As you move your feet up the straps/lean your head backwards, you ultimately wind up upside down. Then, you can take your legs off the straps and lower them over your head to the ground (and, theoretically, back up – hello, Abs). Again, to use a yoga analogy, it’s kinda like a plough . . . but in the air . . . and your feet keep going until your head is back up and your feet down, but your hands still holding onto the rings.
Then, you do the whole thing backwards, until you’re standing back at the rings like normal.
We were doing this whole progression three times.
The first time around when we got to the skin the cat, the coach came over to help me, but I couldn’t get my second foot off the ground. I’d get my right foot off the ground and onto the strap, but the best I could do was get my left toe weightless. Couldn’t move from there. I think that we both thought that this was going to be the best that I would get.
Now, mind you, this was a BIG DEAL because even in that position, I was “almost” upside down.
The second time around, our coach thought that our newbie could do it from the rings hanging in the middle of the room – so, legit going from standing holding the rings (instead of lying on the floor), hoisting himself up and then his legs over his head, and then back over his head and down. (Like in the video, above.)
And he DID IT.
I was SO proud for him. (He looked super surprised when he did the first one.)
Our coach moved from spotting him to coming back over to spot me. I was so excited for him, that the excitement kinda carried over and scared away the scared feeling. I also had a second of clarity, and remembered that I very much have a “good side” and a “not so great” side when it comes to all things Crossfit.
So, I started with my left foot up, first.
And, miracle of miracles, I felt a LOT more stable. I also realized that I could definitely get my right foot off the ground. And so, I did.
Everyone in the gym already knew that being upside down was NOT my jam. (Even the new guy.)
So the fact that there I was, hanging upside down from the rings, was a REALLY emotional moment. EVERYONE was excited for me (including me!)
I did it 2 more times with my coach spotting me, and even got my legs up and over my head (though I didn’t have the core strength to get them back over).
And then I started to feel dizzy. And sick.
I hung out for a bit, but realized I had to get out of Dodge, just in case I threw up. I went outside, and it was really nice looking at the mountain. As I was heading out the door to get some fresh air, our coach said something really profound. She said:
Getting dizzy is your brain’s way of being sore . . . it’s a good thing.
I was able to get things under control, and luckily didn’t throw up. (You know that feeling you get in the back of your jaw, though, and you start salivating a lot? Yeah, not pleasant – I got that far but no farther.)
When our coach came out to check on me, we talked about how it was basically being scared that had made me feel so sick. The dizziness was likely from the upside down stuff – but the nausea?
I was one of those kids with lots and lots of fears.
Fear of public speaking. Now I’m a public speaker in front of thousands – it’s a great story, if you want it, let me know.
Fear of heights. That one I gave away to Pachamama to take care of, on a mountaintop in Peru. You still won’t find me oh, say, free climbing, but I can cross a bridge or stand on a balcony without having a panic attack.
aaaaand, Fear of Heels over Head. Now, I’m still not going to be cartwheeling or diving into any pools in the near future. However, I definitely feel that I will try this “scaled” skin the cat again.
Because I feel like having been coached through it, I have broken the attachment to the fear.
When I was in the Marines, we were told that fear was a “useless” emotion, because it was scenarios we were making up in the future that might never come true. Our D.I. said that if the feared scenario came to pass, it was better to deal with it then (once) rather than obsessing about it over and over and over and it maybe never even coming true – and changing yourself and your Life because of it.
I even remembered what we were taught in Boot Camp about Fear as I was writing this.
We were told that if you sing a song, you are actually legit Fearless. The words take up one half of your brain, the tune the other half, and so whatever part of your brain is obsessing about the thing that you’re afraid of can’t get a word (or tune/feeling/emotion) in edge-wise.
Humming won’t do it, or “whistling in the dark” – unless that’s the side of your brain that is generating the chemicals that make up your Fear. You need both words and music to lock it down totally.
The key? You gotta know all the words. If you falter, the Fear can rush back in.
I’m going to have to give some thought as to what my Fear-banishing song should be.
Now it’s your turn…
* What are you afraid of?
* Who can coach you through an exercise addressing this fear?
* What song are you going to sing?
The way that this year is ending, don’t you think that it’s time to get it out of all the “nooks and crannies” of your life?
One possible way is to cleanse and clear the energies of your home.
In this fairly long post, I will explain how to do just that.
So, let’s start.
Everything is composed of constantly changing energy.
You aren’t separate from the world and energy around you. What’s an example of this? Have you ever stepped into a room ‘charged’ from an argument? You feel it. So – while certainly more subtle – if you step into a room full of comforting and joyful things, you will get a similar energetic ‘charge.’
The energy that is invested in ‘things’ is powerful and important, and we can also train our brains to look for support by the way in which we order our world using techniques such as feng shui.
There are a few different types of feng shui – the type I have studied is often called “black hat” feng shui. However, all types of feng shui are based upon the belief that every geographic area is made up of 9 quadrants, called the “bagua.” Simply placing the “bagua” map on the area you are considering, you have regions in that room (or desk, or building) that correspond to parts of your life. I did a couple of in-depth podcasts about this…you can find them HERE and HERE. I also did an episode on ABC-TV on this subject – they used to have it up on their website, but it’s down now. I need to find the DVD with my copy, to post it here!
Anyway . . . so . . . if you really want the past year out of your life . . . I’d strongly suggest that you consider clearing its energy from your home, office, purse, car, etc.
These places are comprised of millions of overlapping energy fields. For example, let’s take a chair in your living room. That chair has residual energy from the raw materials that made that chair (e.g., the “energy” of a California oak will be different than that of an English oak). It has energy from the craftspeople who worked on that chair. Energy from former owners (do you have a dresser in your bedroom from an ex-mother-in-law who hated you? Why is that in your house?). Last but not least, that chair has your own residual energy from sitting in it. This doesn’t even consider the energy of the sun coming into your home, the energy of the home itself and its builders, the energy from your family, the energy from your pets, or the residual energy from interactions that have taken place in your home.
What I said above about your chair – or your home – would also apply to your office, your purse, and the like. Because “You” are not separate from them. If you want to “neutralize” your surroundings to have a clean template for next year, you need to remember that these areas are not just an extension of your thoughts, intentions and feelings plus the energy of their furnishings and surroundings; in a larger, energetic sense, they are You.
“You” are no less your home than you are your body. Both are outer manifestations of your inner energy fields and Spirit – which is the true You.
In the deepest sense, your home reflects and mirrors your consciousness. Just as your body is “symbolic” of your inner state, your home also reflects that state. Therefore, as you can imagine, you can shift personal energy by shifting energy in your home. For example, windows are your eyes to the world around you. Just the simple act of cleaning your windows, with the Intent of being able to “see your way” in life more clearly, will effect that clarity.
Which gets us to the point of all this. How do you do it?
This clearing can take place in your office, your purse, your car, your house – your “wherever.” Let’s just presume that this will take place in your house.
The four steps are: (1) preparation, (2) purification, (3) invocation and (4) preservation.
Once completed, the area that you clear can be “neutralized” from energy carried forward from the past. It can become a peaceful oasis for you, but almost more importantly, it can attract and radiate what you would like in your life out into the world, becoming a beacon that will in turn direct more of that to you.
So, let’s get started!
Where Intention goes, energy flows. So – to begin – you need to understand what your Intention is for this clearing. That’s right – no need to change into your coveralls just yet, ‘cos we’re starting in your head!
If your overall conscious and subconscious Intentions are aligned and are to instill an uplifting energy in the home for the betterment of the occupants and mankind – so it will be. If your overall Intention is to contribute to the vibrant health and well-being of the home’s occupants and thereby raise the energy of mankind – so it will be. Do you want to create an environment in which you can undertake the creative work you dream of? Or to create a warm social center where friends and family can gather to share hopes, laughter and tears? Take the time to clarify, define clearly, and write down your Intent.
This is an essential step. This is similar to preparing the soil before you seed the ground. Your Intention will be instilled in your home at the time of the clearing, even if you are not constantly thinking about it.
Take some time, and write your Intention down – focus on what you want to draw in, not so much on what you want to usher out.
That’s why, if you are walking down the red carpet, you tell yourself “Walk Tall,” not “Don’t Trip”!
So – positives!
What specific results do you want for yourself and the other occupants of the home? After you have clarified your overall Intention, decide what immediate and specific results you want. For example, if your overall Intention is to generate a loving, creative energy in the home, a specific Intention might be to shift energy in the home so that you can write poetry easily and creatively. This specific goal could be further broken down into specific objectives. For example, you might decide that you need to create a beautiful work space separate from the normal living spaces of the rest of your home in which to do your writing. Or if your overall Intention is to create a social center for friends and family, then you might want to consider what specific elements your heart tells you will help bring that Intention into being. Is it a kitchen with a big oak table to sit around in a light-filled room, where you prepare meals with friends? Or everyone gathered together with glasses of wine and take-out, watching movies and enjoying a crackling fire? Think of your overall Intention as an aerial picture, and your specific intentions as focusing on your street, your house, the rooms inside, the furniture inside, the books and flowers on the tables, and so on. What “supports” your Intention?
Start at the 10,000 foot level, and dive down into what this Intention will mean to you – See it. Smell it. Taste it. What in your house supports that – and what needs to move on to its next best use? I guarantee that something that’s energetically dead to you will be cherished by another.
As a wise person once said, “You need to empty your glass of beer to get the champagne in there – but pour the beer into your friend’s glass that only holds water now, so they can pour the water to someone who is parched!”
Think about the immediate, but also the long term, results of your Intention. Remember, as energy is always flowing, this clearing and arranging will not be a “one-time deal.” In fact, perhaps one of your intentions could be to clear, purify, and re-set the energy of your house to align with your Intention every Friday evening after a wonderful bath. Schedule it. Block the time in. This will keep your energy and Intention focused and current.
When you consider long-term results, you want to consider results that will help to “concrete-ize” your Intention.
For example, if your Overall Intention is a life that is abundant and prosperous, your specific intentions might be a financial increase at work, or getting rid of objects in the house that make you feel poor (a bookshelf made of concrete blocks and a plank, for example). Or a specific intention that supports that prosperous Intention might be living out a specific dream that will take money (like a luxury safari to Africa). The long-term result you desire could be a continuing and growing feeling of expansiveness; of always knowing that you have enough for all your needs to be met.
Or, if your Overall Intention is to have a home that contributes to the spiritual development of all occupants, your specific intentions might be the creation of a beautiful meditation room area and an altar in your home, focusing on colors and objects in the home that elicit a spiritual or uplifting feeling, and daily private meditation times becoming part of your normal routine. The long-term result might be that all members of the household have an increased sense of connection to their spiritual source, and all members feel more physically and spiritually vital and energetic.
We are incredibly fortunate to have had master hypnotherapist Susan Bird do a three-episode deep induction for cleaning and clearing out your past and bringing forth you best life ever. They are searchable in the podcast section, but to make it easy, the first of these can be found HERE.
Take some time, and explore your overall intention, your specific intentions, and the long-term result you are bringing into your life.
Now it’s time to get your hands dirty.
Touch everything – open everything – yes I said EVERYTHING.
You need to have your house prepared, if you are serious about flushing all of the energy through and out of it. As I mentioned above, the entire first chapter of my book Fempowerment deals with cleaning and clearing out, as does the first chapter of the Fempowerment Playbook. If you have either of these books, you can refer to them. You can also search back in this blog (search term “clearing”) for podcasts and blog posts full of details.
In general, you must have completely organized and cleared everything in your environment.
All drawers and closets, and any items with residual “energy” that do not resonate for you in the present (e.g., wedding dresses under the bed, dead plants, “fat clothes” and the like) must be dealt with. If you’re serious about not dragging last year and before into the upcoming year, you must make these steps in the same seriousness.
It is important to remember that all things in our homes are given importance because of the energy that we have tied to them. You may have items in your home that were given to you and you don’t feel you “can give up” (or else you will “insult” the giver); you might have furniture that was given to you by an aunt who you hate but it is “good” furniture and you therefore don’t want to part with it.
It is important to remember that the Universe can only fill your glass with new and beautiful gifts if there is room in the glass.
By the (sometimes difficult!) parting with personal items that do not resonate 100% with your Intention, you are giving the Universe the ability to replace these items with items that are 100% resonant. This leap of faith is critical if you are to lead a 100% energized and non-dissonant life. Remember the champagne -> beer -> water -> thirsty example above!
You should also endeavor to accomplish a full housecleaning.
This includes windows; pulling out appliances and cleaning behind them; etc. Yup, everything. For example, your refrigerator needs to support your Intention. Are there half-filled condiment bottles in there and ice-encrusted mystery packages in the freezer? It’s all gotta go. If you’re not willing to pull the fridge out, from an energetic level, it represents that there are parts of your life that you’re not “willing to” go to the effort to put right. I know. I know. It’s a huge pain. But the idea is to ensure that there are no lurking “bug-a-boos” that could come back to haunt you!
By the way – if you’re doing this all in one day, go ahead and leave your drawers and closets open (they do not need to be “wide open,” just a crack is enough), because you will purify each area, inside and out. Once the drawers and closets are purified and filled with your intention, they can be closed.
House all clean? Great! Next, you need to prepare yourself.
Take a long shower. Use a salt or sugar “scrub” (easily available at Trader Joe’s, etc., but be sure that it is organic and pure – no chemicals or additives!) Scrub all areas of the body, including between your toes and fingers. Remember – you’re leaving behind everything to enter this new year clean and clear.
Next, choose loose clothing that has a good energetic “feel” to you. It is important that you prepare yourself in the same manner you will be preparing your house. Do not wear jewelry (it gives off energy that can interfere with you feeling the energy in your house). Go barefoot, as it is easier to feel the energies of your house without shoes.
Finally, do a short “warm up” session to loosen your joints and your lymphatic system. The point is to get energy flowing through you and to unlock any blocked areas, so that joy and radiance can enter you and exude from all your cells, from head to toe. Breathe deeply. If you do yoga, perhaps you might do a few sun salutations.
Before you being to instill new energy into your home, it’s important to cleanse the overall space. Invoking energy into a home before the home is cleared is like picking a beautiful bunch of flowers but then putting it in a vase filled with stagnant water from a previous bouquet. The reason why rooms need to be cleansed is because the energy becomes stagnant and this stagnation affects the health and well-being of the occupants. Energy particularly becomes stagnant in the corners of a room, because energy travels in circular, spiral movements which cut off the corners. It also becomes stagnant if illness or negative emotions have been experienced in a room.
Choose a method that you will use for this purification.
Often, a rattle or a bell is used to break up and move stagnant energy. Does this speak to you? What about sage smoke? Candles? Your voice/singing? Opera music on your cell phone that you can energetically “hold and direct” into the corners of the room? (Yup, you guessed it – that’s mine. My favorite is HERE.)
Hold your Intention in your mind, and feel your home. What does your home feel like to you in your mind? What will “move” or “break up” the energies that are stagnant in that home?
Stand in the middle of the room, and take a few deep breaths.
If you are so moved, offer prayers to the Great Is, your guardian spirit, or the like for the help to clear this room. Then, circle the room, using the method you chose to break up and circulate the energy. Imagine it moving out of all areas – drawers, closets, under furniture, you name it. Usher this energy out of the room through an open window or door. If you close your eyes and use your imagination, you can utilize your hands to feel out any “sticky” areas of energy. Imagine using the sage smoke, or bell, or music to “un-stick” this old energy and invite it out the window.
After your house is cleared of stagnant energies, it’s time to fill it with radiant, crystal-clear energy, and consecrate it to your Intention.
It is essential that you “call” or invoke energy into your home after it has been cleared. Not doing so would be like cleaning a flower vase but never putting fresh flowers into it. You can call the energy in with the same tools that you used in the previous work, but with a different intention. You now are calling, instead of clearing, energy. For example, you can use a bell to break up stagnant energy, and later use the same bell to invoke energy and Spirit. A drum can be a powerful device to dispel stagnant energy, and then to invoke a healing energy in the home. Consider here what methods might speak to you in calling the energy of your Intention to your home. You are calling upon guardians in the realm of Spirit to come forth, bringing in energy of healing and love. Clearing and calling may use different methods: Perhaps sage smoke to clear, and then a drum to call?
I personally like to work with essential-oil scented, pure beeswax candles (scent, light, fire and color).
Once my home is cleared, I light a candle in the center bagua area of the home, and then bring candles into each room and dedicate that room with light and candles to the Spirit. I light each candle from the central candle, so that the entire house is lit from the central Intention invoked with the session.
When each room is completed, the energy is “sealed” in by using a separate tool.
A standard method of accomplishing this is to use salt. You cast it lightly in a circle around the entire perimeter of the room, to “seal in” the energy of your Intention and “seal out” energy that is dissonant, stale, or negative. Other methods include sprinkling pure water around the perimeter, or beating a drum or wafting sage with an eagle feather all around the perimeter of the room. Your method will be specific to you, but should leave you with a feeling that the area is now completely safe and sealed away from the energies that you dispelled previously.
Finally, you will “set” your Intention.
One example of a way to “set” the Intention is to write down clearly on a piece of paper what the overall Intention is, and then fold the paper and place it in the soil of a new houseplant, near the roots. Each time you water this plant, you re-affirm your intention. It is important to note that if the plant dies, this does not say something about your Intention – but you should pay attention! Plants absorb energy from a house, but also are a bellwether for your actions with respect to your Intention. Did it die because you paid “too much attention to it” (overwatering, etc.)? Stop trying so hard – let the Universe do its work. Don’t push. Did it die because you neglected it? Perhaps you are not putting enough daily attention toward your Intention.
I know – it sounds like a lot!
But dozens and dozens of people seem to feel that “life as we know it” is coming to an end this year! As such, this post outlines some very concrete ways that you can make your home a harbinger of wonderful things to come for you and yours in this new year. Stop cowering in fear – get out your journal, get on your coveralls, apply some elbow grease, and sweep out the old and lock in the new!
When the judge’s opinion came down last week, I wanted to read it (really I did), but, as I said, not much of a reader.
Then I thought, “You know, I bet I’m not alone.”
So, as a labor of love, as the saying goes, today I pulled up the document, and I read it into my computer.
You can hear drills/hammers/saws from a neighbor’s construction, I lose my place a couple of times, and I’m most definitely not a professional audiologist. (Trolls, please don’t go crazy in the Comments affirming that remark.)
It is saved as a .WAV file, and unfortunately I had to compress it & store it in Dropbox – because it’s a HUGE FILE.
HERE is the link to the Dropbox link where you can download it if you like. You’ll need to press the “DOWNLOAD” button at the top right, then uncompress the file. (Maybe it would be easier to just read it after all heh heh)
And HERE is the copy I read from, in case you want to reference anything.
I took Friday, Saturday and Sunday off (mostly), which always feels great until, of course, Monday. I got up early and opened my computer to find . . . 312 emails to address. Oy.
However, our FITera.com weekly challenge was to ramp up our exercise. (Last week’s challenge was to work out in the morning.) So I DID ramp up my exercise per the challenge – from one TRX class in the morning to two.
However, today was kinda an accident.
The teacher for the 8am class – Gardie – is SUPER DUPER hard. The teacher for the 9am class – Chris – isn’t so hard . . . or, they are different. Gardie makes you do all sorts of crazy stuff fast or super long. Chris concentrates on form and goes slower. So you work up a sweat in Gardie’s, but Chris’s you are more trying to feel what’s working, stretching, etc.
Gardie SUBBED for Chris today.
Even HE thought I was a bad *ss for doing his class 2x in a row. ;-) We only had two of us in the 2nd class, so though the bulk of it was the same, he modified part of it. The first class concentrated a lot on core (planks, etc.) – which he replaced with hamstring work in the 2nd hour (stirrup work).
The hamstring stirrup work goes basically like this:
1. Lie on the ground on your back. Put your heels into the stirrups/handles of the TRX.
2. Bridge your hips up (butt off the ground).
3. Now “march” your feet in, slowly, one at a time, for 90 seconds.
4. Rest 10 seconds. Bridge back up.
5. Now do it bringing BOTH knees in and out instead of one at a time.
6. Rest 10 seconds. Bridge back up.
7. Now spread your feet out as wide as you can, then back in, for 90 seconds.
8. Rest. Bridge. Curse.
9. Now “frog” your legs in to your chest – sort of like #5, but with your knees out to the sides and your feet together.
10. Rest. Bridge. Cry.
11. Now do all the above, but with each move a count of 3-2-1 in, hold, then 3-2-1 out, sloooowly.
Right now, every muscle in my body is sore.
Because I had to do all those emails before heading to TRX, I let the dog out instead of walking him, and “banked” the coals of my emails as best I could. Then I went to TRX, came back, and washed the dog (and me). Then washed the tub of 10 pounds of pibble fur. How the heck does this dog do it every week?
Then I took Winston (my dog) to his Scenting class.
He’s learning to be a Scenting dog. We’re only on our third round of classes, but he can scent now on birch, the first “non-food” scent of 3 (birch, clove, anise). (Each set of classes is once a week for six weeks or so, but you get homework too.)
HERE is a video of him doing a search. It’s only 9 seconds because he found it fast! The scent is on the side of the bench – neither the handler (me) nor to dog knows where it has been put. This is just a one-box search – I have others of him searching for more, but this gives you an idea.
Today they had 12 equal-sized cardboard boxes lined up in two rows. Only one box had birch in it (the others were empty), and he found it on his first pass. I was SO proud. When you do the actual test, they put food in some of the other boxes. Dirty buggers LOL.
Then I came back and worked and worked and worked and worked.
And am still working.
When I get stressed out, I pull up an old video I did in Kona. It’s manta rays. A “manta ray ballet.”
This was just filmed on a little Samsung camera, floating on the surface . . . no diving apparatus, etc.
Manta rays are my “air” and “water” totem.
I don’t have an air (bird) totem, I have manta as both. I went through a spirit quest quite some time ago. My earth animal is the buffalo.
Anyway – if you’re feeling stressed, here’s the video.
At Crossfit yesterday, we did good mornings, Tabatas, and a 6 minute AMRAP of pull ups.
If you have no idea what I’m talking about when I say things like “AMRAP,” you might want to go back in my blog (linked HERE) and scroll down to “Crossfit lingo.”
Good Mornings work your hammies.
You can see what a good morning looks like in the photo. Deceptively simple. Put a barbell behind your head, and then bend down (keeping your back straight, not rounded), then come back up. How far you can get depends a lot on how flexible your hamstrings are.
It was 5 x 5 good mornings – I did it at 35 kg.
This is because there’s a gal in the morning I always check the Whiteboard on, and she did it at 32 kg ;-) I can never really compete with her 99% of the time, but when I can, I do. A little personal competition that I carry out in my own widdle mind. ;-)
We superset this with “rollouts” – which are basically from Satan.
If you look at the photo here, it shows you what someone without a bad shoulder, with abdominal muscles, etc. will do to perform a roll-out. I’m lucky to be able to push the silly barbell out a foot. Harrumph.
After this, we did a 6 minute AMRAP of pull ups.
Because I can’t do a pull up with my body weight where it is, I added a couple of bands. What that means is you loop what are basically gigantic rubber bands around the bar, put one foot in them, and use them to help you lift your weight. I did an assist of something like 45-50 pounds (blue and red bands), and got to 53 pull ups.
Finally, we did Tabata situps.
A “Tabata” is named after the guy who figured out that if you do any exercise all out for 20 seconds, then rest 10 seconds, for 8 cycles (4 minutes), it winds up doing more good than any other method. I was able to average 9 per round (I did 10 one round, 8 another, but 9 all the others) – which I was happy about.
this – of course, after doing TRX in the morning.
Oy! I even got some grocery shopping and about 6 hours’ worth of billable work done yesterday. Yay, me ;-)
So, THIS morning, my hammies feel like lead!
Holy cats! I knew when I did them that the good mornings were very heavy for me. I had to really stabilize my core and my back to do them with good form. I wasn’t particularly paying attention to the fact that this is a hamstring exercise.
Um, I know now . . .
Thursdays are my favorite day.
I try to start out by taking my dog down into the valley, then up the mountain on the other side. A bit of a hobble, with tight hammies. Especially the really steep bits.
This takes about an hour. If I don’t have my act together – because I do a lot of stuff on Thursdays – I miss out. I need to get out of the house before 7 a.m. to do it.
After the hill hike, to the Farmer’s Market.
I love the Thursday farmer’s market, because it’s the one the chefs go to. They come out of San Francisco, Michelin starred restaurants, to get their veggies at our little market. It’s great.
You can always tell an important one, because he or she has a minion running to and fro gathering things saying ‘Yes, Chef!” “No, Chef!” (Yes, really.)
I get a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box there, eggs, and whatever else I fancy. I love the fact that, by picking up the CSA box at the actual market, I can ‘swap out’ anything in the box that I’m unlikely to eat that week.
The market was brimming with berries and cherries this week – I got a pint of the most gorgeous, “bluer than blue” blueberries, and some great cucumbers and daikon for a salad my hubby loves. The rest was the “usual”: lettuces, spring garlic, new red potatoes, mizuno, chard, carrots, etc.
From the market, off to Pelo.
My hammies were so sore, I actually mentioned to the teacher today that I might need to decrease my “Power Number.” How Pelo works is you actually are fit to the bike, and you have a “Power Number” that’s specifically your own, based on your own fitness. That way, you can ride next to someone who is just starting out, who’s riding next to Lance Armstrong, and you can all get the same amount of workout. When she said that we would be doing a lot of “tempo” riding – meaning, cadences over 100 beats per minute – I nearly walked right out! But I persevered, and didn’t even lower my Power Number! Yay, me!
After Pelo, various errands, then time for work.
I’m nearly done with work now – just two more clients to do. But I’m proud of myself and my little hammies, that we not only got down our mountain, up the other mountain, down that mountain, and back up our mountain, but then we persevered during the Pelo tempo ride!
I’m averaging about 16-17 miles each Pelo ride, and about 400 calories. The bikes that are used in Pelo “really” keep track of your calories, because they know your personal perceived exertion (because, remember, you’re specifically geared to them). So the calories always “seem low” compared to the effort you put out, vis-a-vis a “standard” treadmill or spin bike.
That’s because “standard” spin bikes and treadmills are like the sizes on expensive couture dresses – they lie ;-)
I’ll be going to TRX and Pelo in the morning, and the plan is to take the rest of the day off. My hubby and I were super lucky to wrangle a reservation at The Fork tomorrow – so that’ll start our weekend off right!
I don’t know if it’s because my parents never really drank water. Probably. But I can go an entire day without drinking water (or, really, anything), and feel fine about it.
I know water is healthy.
I know that water feeds your cells. I know that often if we feel hungry, we’re really thirsty. I know. I know. I know.
I’ve tried all the tricks to get myself to do it.
There are apps. There’s having “infused water” in the fridge. There’s filling a big bottle up and just keeping it at your desk.
But finally – courtesy of FITera – I think I’ve found a trick that “works.”
If you go HERE, Chad (head of FITera) talks about a trick.
I was pessimistic this would work for me.
Surprisingly – it is working! If you don’t want to click on the link – here’s the deal.
Get a bottle & some rubber bands.
I have blogged before about the “Camelbak Eddy” bottle. I like it because you don’t need to tilt it to drink. You just pinch the rubber straw-thing on top with your teeth, and sip.
Surround the bottle with the number of rubber bands that represents how many bottles of water you’re supposed to get in, per day. (The FITera blog that’s linked above gives you the math for this.)
When you drink a bottle, take the rubber band off the body of the bottle. In the blog, Chad talks about putting it on your wrist. For me, that’s just never going to work. On the Eddy bottle, as you can see in the photograph, it has a little “hanger” thing on the top. I put the rubber bands representing bottles I have completed there.
That way, the rubber bands and the bottle stay together.
Simple? Yup! Super simple
. . . but it seems to be working for me, where all sorts of other methods have failed! Getting that Eddy bottle (at the suggestion of my friend & client Claire) was the first really great step. It makes it so easy to drink water, that it’s nearly worth the price tag for the bottle ;-) But the rubber bands added to the Eddy bottle were the game changer.
By just looking at the bottle, I can see at a glance how far I’ve come – & how far I have to go.
By the way – linked above is a great little video, also posted by FITera, about making different sorts of infused water. They have some great combos that sound interesting – like grapefruit and rosemary. I’ve tried the apple and cinnamon, and it’s super tasty. I actually have grapefruit in the fridge and rosemary growing rampant outside – so I might make up a pitcher of that one today and see how it goes.