happiness

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Still Continuing to Challenge Myself Beyond My Comfort Zone!

Published April 15, 2013 by Susan Woodward

I actually have not posted lately for two reasons: one- for the past three days I have been down for the count with a really nasty virus and and have done nothing but sleep, and two- I have been keeping myself busy!  However, based on the past couple of days, I can see how it would be sooo easy to return to that sedentary lifestyle, and that realization scares me.  I am determined to NOT return to that pre-Challenge life.   I have to get better and then fight the temptation to slip backwards.  And I look for things to keep me moving, keep me healthy, and keep me happy.

As for keeping me moving:

While I am waiting for my tendonitis to heal, I am still keeping up with my cardio work and my strength training.   I’ve been taking it easy on the arms, but have been trying to ease a bit of work on them from time to time.  I thought I might be ready for five push-ups the other day… nope!  So I am listening to the body and working around it.

Sadly, I had to postpone my silks class till next session.  I have five more weeks to get this arm back into working order!  While I may not be able to work my arms as much as I need to, my core should be in MUCH better shape by the time I start up again!  I need that core strength to get me to finally flip into the ball, so here’s hoping!

As for keeping me healthy:

Grocery shopping is a new experience as I stay out of the aisles full of pre-packaged and processed “foods” and stick more to the outer realms of the store (the produce section, bulk, meats) and the Nature’s Marketplace section of Wegmans.   I still have not bought a single package of cookies since January, and there’s not a box of macaroni and cheese in the house (much to my son’s chagrin).

Going out to eat is different for me, too.  Because I am more aware of fried and high fat and high sodium foods, I try to make better choices while still feeling like I am treating myself to dinner out.

RohrbachsFor example, last week I took myself to Rohrbach’s on Buffalo Ave.    I enjoy going there, especially for their Scotch Ale.  While I know that Scotch Ale would be frowned upon by our health coach as a no-no, giving it up would make me feel deprived.  Deprivation is the key factor in making folks turn away from health changes… it’s moderation that will keep me on track.  So, yes! I ordered my glass of Scotch Ale and savored every single delicious drop!

As for my meal, I originally had my taste buds set for their sauerbraten, but sadly, it is only available on Saturdays.   The young man who served me suggested the specials of the evening after I voiced my disappointment about no-sauerbraten Wednesdays, one of which was a tropical salad.   When he listed the ingredients, I was enticed: pineapple, mango, avocado, star fruit, papaya, plantains, and chicken on a bed of greens with a fruity vinegarette dressing.    It seemed like getting dinner and a dessert all in one!  The blend was delicious, except that I really would have liked more avocado in it.  And I still had my Scotch Ale!  I have to admit that I am not one who usually turns to the “Salads” portion of the menu when ordering dinner, but I am glad he mentioned this special.  Since I had just come from a workout, the meal was light, yet still satisfying as a treat.   And so was my Scotch Ale!  😉

As part of my new way to continue challenging myself after all the work I have done for the past three months, I think that I will make it a point to visit different restaurants in my area to find out what other lighter-fare treats might be available.   Then I’ll share them here!

You know what I will be on the hunt for?  A juice bar!  I have to see if there is one in the Rochester area.  If there is, I will definitely haunt it for blending ideas!

Except for the days when I have been too sick and in pain to even move off the couch, I have been juicing daily.  I make a large batch in the mornings and take it to work with me.  The kids see me drinking it and ask, “What’s in it today?”   I usually list the fruits for them first, but as soon as I say spinach, beets, or kale, they scrunch up their noses and say, “Yuck!”   But it doesn’t stop them from asking me what I am drinking the next day!

I do see a difference in my skin from the juicing– even on my feet!   And while many of my students who have had this nasty flu have been out for about a week, today is day three and I am beginning to feel better already.  Maybe the vitamins from the juice helped with the quick healing?  Or maybe it was the tea I drank yesterday?

One of my son, Joe’s, friends came over yesterday.  When he saw how sick I was, he mentioned that he’d once had a tea made from lemon, ginger, garlic, and cayenne and that it made him feel better almost immediately.  Well, I had been trying the cinnamon and honey tea, and that wasn’t working for this, so I thought I’d give it a shot.  I already had the ingredients because I use lemon and ginger in my juices, and garlic and cayenne are just a staples I cook with, so there was nothing to stop me from trying it… I was actually desperate.  I chunked up a whole lemon, peeled a knuckle of ginger, chopped two cloves of garlic and went a bit heavy handed with the cayenne, putting it all in four cups of water to boil.  Once it boiled, I let it simmer for a bit.   Delicious is NOT a word I would use to describe it.  I managed to drink it all that evening, but it took some doing.

Well…. I DO feel a bit better today.  Do I feel well enough to go to the Y to work out? No…I didn’t even feel well enough to go to work at all.   I am not even up to going to the mailbox yet.  But at least I am no longer calling on the Angel of Death to take me away to put me out of my misery.

And now that it seems that Spring has finally arrived in Rochester, NY (late, as usual), I have plans to take my camera for a hike.  While I had hoped to get to Wales this summer, Uncle Sam slapped a hearty “no” on that one.  However, I will make use of my now-fully-paid-for car to hit the road and see where I end up.

And I am still not smoking!!

As for keeping me happy:

Not giving up on myself and having the courage to stick with my new lifestyle will be what keeps me happy!

Hanging In By a Hip and a Prayer!

Published January 22, 2013 by Susan Woodward

Hip Keys… our new move tonight!  After trying two variations of climbing and having success at neither, I was happy to learn that, by gosh, I could at least hang from my hip joint!

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, just wrap that silk right in the crease where the leg bone joins the trunk, get another piece tucked beneath the belly button, and you too could be hanging by a hip and a prayer!  I don’t want to think about if that silk were able to slip another inch inward… akin to falling on a bicycle cross-bar, I’d imagine.  I avoided riding on any boys’ bikes for that very reason… bad experience one time!  Hip Key me

Fortunately, that didn’t happen, and I was happily able to dangle long enough for a photo op.  I’m even smiling!

So I can’t climb yet… I can handle that for now.  I am just going to keep building my upper body strength and my flexibility…and work to get my weight down.  I hope to climb before the twelve weeks are up!!  Until then, hanging out is cool.  And I can do a pretty mean Laffy Taffy!  And the operative word is “Laffy” because I am laughing out loud and making noises as I twist about.  I tend to do that when I am nervous/afraid.  You should hear me in a scary movie.  My kids once got up and walked away from me at the theatre during Jurassic Park because I couldn’t help shouting at the screen.  After Freddie vs. Jason, I bumped into a guy wearing a fedora on our way out of the theatre and screamed my head off.  At the end of House of 1000 Corpses, Rob Zombie music is blaring and the very last thing on the screen after the credits was “This film has been rated R” (for a whole litany of reasons) and I screamed “NO F^%*#@& KIDDING!!!” just as the lights came on and the sound cut out. All that could be heard at the point was me.

So, yup, that’s what it’s like to be hanging next to me at silks!

At least I was laughing today.  That’s better than the crying I was doing yesterday once I got home.  Yeah, you probably noticed that I didn’t post after Cirque Fit.  That’s because my body wasn’t fit to post.  It was beat up.  Badly.  Love you, Will!

However, I followed Will and Chris’ advice for how to help my lower back, and I was feeling much better today.  I also had a little help from my lovely daughter, Illy.  Thanks to you all, I am moving much better today, and no tears!

Things I am noticing:

– the five pounds I’ve lost in two weeks!

– I can do 25 modified pushups without landing on my face (still have to get to the balls of the feet yet)

– I am very conscious of what I eat, and have been eating healthy lately

– I can BREATHE because I am NOT SMOKING!!!

– I do have more energy

– I sleep better and wake up even better than that!

These are changes I want to maintain, and there are a whole list of things just waiting to be added!  I’m happier than I have been in a long time (even though it feels a bit like torture…in a good way), and I have met some terrific people!  I am planning to continue long after the Cirque du Rochester Challenge is over!

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