Sunday, July 30, 2017

Setting Intentions for Sleeping, Exercising, and Cooking

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I’m slowing doing more self-care on my “summatical” from work.  If last week was about doing nothing, this week was more about setting intentions

One of my goals during my leave is to rehabilitate my sleeping habits.  The last couple of years, I have slowly let little bad habits creep into my life.  One of them was going to bed later and later, which causes less sleep.  I’m one of those people who wake up when the sun comes up, no matter what.  So going to bed later still meant I was up with the sun and getting less sleep.  That was not okay.  Many studies have shown that getting enough sleep is helpful for everything from stress management to weight management.  It’s not a coincidence that I weigh the most that I’ve ever weighed in my adult life.  I have been sleeping so much more since my leave.  Not only that, but I feel like the quality of my sleep is better.  Without work, my mind is able to shut down rather than keep churning, even when I’m trying to sleep.  On Monday morning I was so excited when I woke up and realized that I had slept nine hours! 

Above photo is from Sunday evening.  Todd knew about this two mile trail near our house and didn't tell me until now! We took a 2.5 mile round trip walk after dinner and it was so nice! I can't believe he didn't tell me about the trail earlier!

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Another exciting thing that I started very successfully this week was regular exercising every day.  I started a six week program called “Walk Strong”. 

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I had been sporatically doing Jessica Smith’s “Walk On: 5 Fat Burning Miles” DVD for a year and a half.  I love the workouts she puts together.  It’s do-able and quite fun.  So I decided to do this Walk Strong 6 Week Total Transformation System, because I don’t want to have to put my own plan together, or even think about what exercise I should do.  I want someone else to tell me what to do for six weeks, and this was perfect.  While I thought this program was very do-able for me, a couple of the workouts this week really kicked my a$$ and made me sore!  Third day into the workout program and my quads & glutes were sore.  It’s no joke!  The Total Body Training on Tuesday and Barefoot Fusion Sculpt on Thursday were deceptively a$$-kicking.  I saw “Barefoot Fusion Sculpt” and thought it would be easy. So hard! I'm great with the cardio. By put weights in my hands and add squatting and leg movements in, I'm done.  But this is great because that’s what I wanted:  an exercise program that tells me what to do each day, and challenges me and works out my entire body.  So far so good, except I’m taking a ton of showers, ha ha.

I think it’s really important to intentionally change your mindset about exercising in order for it to become a regular part of your life.  Regular exercising is not about losing weight or HAVING to do it.  It’s about intentionally valuing your body as it is, and all the wonderful things that it can do.  It is time that you get to take care of yourself and feel good about doing something good for yourself.  It’s easy to get frustrated with exercising if the end-goal is to lose weight, because that’s probably not going to happen right away.  But with consistency you will see and feel a big difference. 

Another intention I have during my leave is to cook more.  As my regular blog readers know, Todd is the primary chef of our family.  I did a six-month stint of making a new dish every week.  But I don’t cook regularly.  It’s not because I can’t or don’t know how.  It’s because I have been spoiled by a husband who is really good at making amazing meals.  Now that I am on leave from work, I am doing it more!

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Tofu with baby bok choy and bamboo shoots.

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Salmon with corn and pepper relish.

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I also cleaned more this week.  Cleaning is really not one of my favorite things to do in the world, but it’s necessary.  Vacuuming and cleaning the shower is not my idea of a good time!  I think one thing we should consider is to hire a regular cleaning person after I return to work.  Why not outsource something that we don’t enjoy doing, so that we can spend time doing what we enjoy doing??  We already have a gardener who comes twice a month so that we don’t have to do yardwork.  (We do NOT enjoy yardwork.)  Why not a cleaning person?  I can’t believe I’ve waited this long to consider this!  Outsourcing things that you do not enjoy doing and saves you time helps with stress levels tremendously, and is money well-spent in my opinion. 

There’s a reason that I am calling all these items above INTENTIONS, rather than goals.  I’m a very goal-oriented person by nature.  I often get frustrated if I do goal-oriented tasks and yet I don’t achieve my goals.  And then I stop doing them.  I want these things to be intentions, because I now believe that the “input” into these things is more important than the “output”.  We can’t always control the output.  I can exercise every day and eat pretty well regularly, but it doesn’t necessarily mean I will lose weight.  But I can always feel good that I am doing my best for my body on a consistent basis!  The “input” part is all I can control.  Hopefully in the long run I will see a good “output”, but that’s really not the measurement of success.  My consistent inputs are the measurement of success.  It’s taken me all my life to learn this!  I’m excited for this mindset change and working on my intentional inputs into my life during my leave of absence.

Other fun things I did this week…

Reason #371 that I am loving my leave from work:  impromptu lunch date with friends! Pearl texted me on Thursday at 10am and was like, "I know it's last minute but can you have lunch?". And I was like, "Girrrrrrl, yes! I'm not working so I do impromptu lunches!" I would never be able to have these experiences if I were working!  We met up for a pho lunch, and chatted non-stop for 2 hours.  So thankful for these types of experiences.

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On a side note: I'm letting my salt & pepper hair grow out. I don't feel like at my age I need to hide my pretty silver hairs. I don't feel old for having them, and I earned each and every one of them. Now, I may add pink streaks in soon, but not because I want to hide the gray. Because, PINK HAIR.

On Wednesday I went to watch Todd’s softball team play again.  They are the Mean Green Peace Machine (MGPM) and they played Natty Ice.  My long-time friend Daryl happens to play on Natty Ice, so I got to see hm and have a nice chat with him too.  It was really fun.  Except MGPM lost in the last inning.  So I am no longer considered a good luck charm for Todd’s team! 

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Yesterday Todd & I went to try a new Chinese dumpling restaurant called “Steamy Piggy”.  

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We had the Dan Dan Noodles (spicy and mouth-numbing!).

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The Piggy Bao.  The meat was really good, but the bao was surprisingly tough and not soft, like I’m used to.

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The pork & chives dumplings were the star of the show.  We ate one order and had to put another order in to get more of them.  Yummy!

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Then afterwards Todd wanted to try Camellia Road Tea Bar.  He had heard that the tea is the star of the show at this new boba tea place, and that was a correct assessment.  I got the black milk tea with bobas and Todd got the Jasmine green milk tea with bobas.  Both are really great.

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We also went to the bike store because Todd wanted to try some triathlon suits, but they didn’t have any at the store.  They had taken them all to the triathlon expo in Encinitas.  So we went to the swim store and Todd got some silicone ear plugs and nose clips.  (Staples in his swimming repertoire!) 

Other things I enjoyed this week:

  • Air-drying my hair
  • Cut my own bangs
  • Cleaned out some fountain pens and refilled them with cool new inks
  • Watched So You Think You Can Dance, Game of Thrones, Keeping Up with the Joneses, Grace & Frankie, Sneaky Pete, and The Aviator
  • Finished book “Talking As Fast As I Can” by Lauren Graham
  • Took naps

Todd is taking this upcoming week off, so we are looking forward to some staycation fun together!  He is also doing a 50 mile bike ride at Big Bear Lake, which I’m looking forward to, since we’ve never been there before. 


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