Sunday, January 27, 2013

Week Three: Eh. I don't wanna.

This week did not go so well.

Goals for Week of Jan 21 - 27 were:
  1. Track my food - not to count calories or anything, just to keep track of what I'm eating, when, how I'm feeling, etc.
  2. Workouts - I think I'm going to miss Zumba on Monday night, so make sure I get there on Wednesday, and get to Yoga on both days this week. Get some strength training in there. Maybe pull out another DVD that I haven't done in a while.

1. Only managed a couple of days of writing things down.
2. Had to change my plans on Monday, but still did get in a workout; then only one other workout all week.

What happened:
Monday, I had a meeting so couldn't get to yoga at noon. Then realized that Zumba Monday evening was not going to work either, because I had an appointment to go for blood tests in the morning, and I had to fast for 13 hours; I don't like to eat before Zumba and I wouldn't have much time after. Not a problem, I got in a workout as soon as I got home from work and then had time to eat dinner.

Tuesday was fine. Got up, went to the hospital, did the blood test thing. Went to work. Came home and got in workout #2.

Wednesday woke up feeling kind of crappy. Was still feeling crappy after work, so I gave myself the night off...and then again on Thursday and again on Friday. I wasn't seriously ill or anything, just headache, sore stomach and really tired. Like I said, feeling crappy.

I was hoping to squeak in another workout today, so I'd at least be able to count 3 for the week, but I was busy in the kitchen all day - made a quinoa salad for my lunches this week, butter chicken in the slow cooker and baked a loaf of Rye bread for Husband to have for lunches this week. I also called one of my sisters this afternoon and chatted for quite a while. I'm not a phone person, so I rarely do this, but I noticed she had called me yesterday (I had gone out and forgot my cellphone), so I decided to call back.

So tomorrow is Monday again and I am giving myself a do-over. Basically the same goals: write down my meals/snacks, get in my workouts. That's it. I should be able to do that, right?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Week 2: None Sae Bad

I can't believe it's Sunday night already. This weekend really got away from me. We had snow all day yesterday. Then the temperature went up to 7 degrees today and it all melted away. We went out to buy groceries this afternoon and it felt like spring. Supposed to get cold overnight again though. What a schizophrenic winter we are having.

Not everything went according to plan this week, but I was able to adjust and recover fairly well. And let's face it - it's not that uncommon for plans to change, so when you can roll with the punches and adjust, it's a good thing.

My goals for this past week were:

  • Still working on that sleep schedule
  • I know I'll only make it to 1 yoga class this week, so will aim for both Zumba classes and at least 1 full body strength training session
  • I got lazy and bought a quinoa salad at Costco this weekend for my work lunches.
  • Back in October, I challenged myself to stay out of the potato chips at work for the month. I don't think I ever posted the result, but I was successful. I want to stick to that again. For one thing, high sodium intake is one of those Meniere's triggers. Potato chips every day would definitely be a no-no.
  •  Sleep schedule: Going to bed on time, but having a hard time waking up in the morning still. That's going to be a challenge until it starts getting light earlier.
  • Workouts - I'm giving myself a pass on this one; didn't do exactly what I had envisioned, but think I still did pretty well:
  • 13: Jackie Warner 30 Day Fast Start UB
  • 14: 12PM Yoga + 6PM Zumba
  • 16: Jackie Warner 30 Day Fast Start LB&ABs + 6 Zumba songs
  • 18: Zumba Fitness Party
  • 19: Crunch Super Slim Down Pilates Yoga Blend
  • Packed my lunches & breakfasts for work, stayed out of the potato chips. All good there.
 Goals for next week:
  1. Track my food - not to count calories or anything, just to keep track of what I'm eating, when, how I'm feeling, etc.
  2. Workouts - I think I'm going to miss Zumba on Monday night, so make sure I get there on Wednesday, and get to Yoga on both days this week. Get some strength training in there. Maybe pull out another DVD that I haven't done in a while.
Diary for last week below...Don't feel you have to read it cause it's not all that exciting. Just trying to keep track of things for myself. Time flies by so fast, it's hard to keep track of things. Sometimes I get the urge to write down the mundane details.

  • In the office early for a deploy, a step towards getting back on my normal sleep schedule
  • Hello 8 degrees Celcius in January - I love you!
  • Yoga at noon. Studio was really warm today. I love the yoga studio space - reminds me of my first apartment here in the city - high ceilings and tall windows that let in lots of light, radiators painted white, non-functional-but-decorative fireplaces. I much prefer having a house, but I do miss the character of that apartment.
  • Zumba at 6pm; when I got home around 7 pm it was still 6.5 degrees!
  • Sadly, the up-and-off-to-work-early did not last past Monday. It such a struggle this time of year, even though I do have a dawn simulator alarm clock. It will get better as it starts getting light earlier (or at least it has in the past so I'm hoping).
  • Temperature went back down below freezing by Tuesday morning. Not exactly a shock. It is January after all.
  • In my mind, I had a workout scheduled for after work last night, but that went out the window when I got home Monday night and Husband told me we were meeting friends for dinner Tuesday night; normally we go out on Friday nights, so I wasn't expecting it, but our friends could only go Monday or Tuesday, and Husband told them Monday was my Zumba night. I'm actually kinda impressed that Husband would make sure I got my Zumba class, so I'm not going to complain about that.
  • Worked from home today because I had a doctor appointment and the logistics work out better from home. I now have a form for blood tests and a referral coming for the ear specialist. My blood pressure was higher than normal today - usually I'm 110/70, today 130/80. Still not high, but higher than usual.
  • Started to snow in the afternoon. Kept snowing. I started wondering about going out to Zumba class tonight. I hate driving in the snow. Wondered if I was being a wimp. Checked facebook around 5:30 and class was cancelled. Went downstairs and did the workout I had planned for Tuesday night plus tacked some at home Zumba on the end. 
  • Was wondering why I haven't done the Jackie Warner Fast Start DVD more often. I liked the upper body portion that I did on Sunday and was satisfactorily sore for the next couple of days. Did the lower body + abs part today and remembered how much the abs section sucks. Or rather how much I suck at doing the abs portion. I can't figure out if my abs are really that weak or if Jackie Warner just puts really hard ab moves in her workouts. I can do a plank. I can do boat pose in yoga. I can do crunches on a Swiss ball. I can't do Jackie Warner's complicated floor crunches. Maybe it's like how I can't run but I can do Zumba? Just not my thing? Or maybe it's time to dust off some Pilates DVDs. It's been a while. I hate ab work.
  • Weather forecast: Thursday a high of 2 degrees, Friday a high of -14. That's gonna hurt. 
  • The new schedule has Zumba on Friday nights;  the class is 20 minutes longer than regular classes and has a section using the Zumba toning sticks. Most of the time we have things going on Friday night, but this week we don't, so off I went to a 75 minute Zumba class. Lived to tell the tale even.

    Sunday, January 13, 2013

    Week One: Oh Routine, Wherefore Art Thou?

    After two weeks of vacation, lazing about the house and sleeping in, I was totally off my sleep schedule and workout routine. Went back to work on Wednesday the 2nd, and it was pretty painful.

    This will be the first full week back to work. I'm still not quite back on the proper sleep schedule, I don't think, and I have not done any workouts. It was all I could do to drag myself into the office last week; once I got home I was done.

    There are some things that I want to pay attention to diet-wise, and it came to me today that it would be a good idea to post more often. If I can manage to post once a week, it might keep me more focused. So that is my goal for January. Since I just published a post yesterday (this is Sunday pm), I'm not sure when the next will go up, but I figured I'd get this in writing so I can't back out (Like a draft can't be deleted. Ha!).

    So, here goes...

    Sunday, Jan 6, 2013
    Feeling more prepared to get back to normal routine (not that I would say no to more vacation, but unfortunately that's not an option). Quinoa salad made for lunches this week. Have dry ingredients mixed together to make a microwave flax muffin for breakfast. New fitness studio schedule has Zumba classes Mon, Wed & Friday evening. The word is, noon time yoga classes will also be Monday & Wednesday; got word on Friday that I will be starting a new project, hoping I can get to the yoga class tomorrow to try it; have yoga outfit set aside to take with me. Leftovers ready for reheated dinner after Zumba tomorrow night. Kitchen is even tidied. A good start to the week.

    Friday, Jan 11, 2013
    A typical week for me - I start off Monday feeling rested, organized, ready...then as the week goes on I get tired, staying organized seems like too much effort and I'm just doing my best to make it to the weekend. Please tell me I am not the only one who experiences this.

    My week:

    • Yoga: Went on Monday, and it was a fairly mellow, stretch-type class. Went on Wednesday and it was a challenging, make-your-muscles-tremble-type-class. All good! The classes seem expensive to me - they charge more for 5 classes than the fitness studio charges for 10 classes. But. The class is at a convenient time & location, the instructor is really good (he used to teach yoga at the gym I belonged to), and it seems like a good way to get yoga back into my life on a regular basis. Will stick with it for the time being and see how things go.
    • Zumba: Went on Monday, had intended to go Wednesday but that didn't work out. Since yoga on Wednesday at noon was pretty challenging, I didn't feel so bad about missing it. 
    • Other workouts: I had good intentions, but that didn't work out either. Will try to get in at least one workout of some sort over the weekend.
    • Food-wise: Feeling okay. No hard and fast rules or restrictions this week, but I seem to be in the zone I want to be in - eating reasonable meals & snacks, minimum treats, no mindless eating. I had a quinoa salad made to take for lunches, which helped. It felt easy and natural this week. I know from experience this will not necessarily last, but I will try to pay attention to shifts in how I feel. Also, while I have not cut out wheat, I have definitely been eating less than I was over the holidays, and the patches of eczema that were developing on my hands seem to be disappearing. Side note regarding alcohol: I don't generally consume large quantities of alcohol, but over the holidays while we were home visiting, I was having a glass or two of wine every day. Now I am back to almost none. Have no idea if this could be related, but it makes sense to pay attention.
    • Other: I have been doing a bit more reading with regard to diet &Meniere's Disease. It's a bit frustrating, honestly. While I had read that some dietary changes might help with all symptoms, including hearing loss, the larger consensus seems to be that it doesn't make any difference. However, in a lot of what I was reading, people were looking to improve symptoms of vertigo & nausea, and hearing isn't mentioned as much. Most information that I can find seems to be focused on relieving vertigo and nausea. I am not sure if this is because those are the more common and debilitating symptoms, or if it is just accepted that nothing much can be done to improve hearing. I don't like reading/researching about this because it's all pretty discouraging. Being told that I had permanent hearing loss was upsetting. While I would be thrilled to find out that something could be done to fix it, over the years I have come to accept that this is the way it is. It is frustrating to live with. It does cause me stress. But it is what it is. I find that researching this is like being told over and over again that there is nothing to be done. It's more upsetting than just living with it. 
    • Other Other: Our garage door opener quit on us Tuesday morning, and being winter we did not want to waste any time getting it fixed. Fortunately, we were able to get someone to come fix it the next day. One of those things that's been on our "Needs Work" list forever, so at least we can cross one thing off our list now.

    Sunday, January 12, 2013
    I keep thinking '2013' and typing '2012'. :)

    For this week:
    • Still working on that sleep schedule
    • I know I'll only make it to 1 yoga class this week, so will aim for both Zumba classes and at least 1 full body strength training session
    • I got lazy and bought a quinoa salad at Costco this weekend for my work lunches.
    • Back in October, I challenged myself to stay out of the potato chips at work for the month. I don't think I ever posted the result, but I was successful. I want to stick to that again. For one thing, high sodium intake is one of those Meniere's triggers. Potato chips every day would definitely be a no-no.
    The weather really warmed up this week, which we have been thoroughly enjoying. Not just Husband & I either, the cats are finally braving the snowy conditions now that the snow has melted down and compacted enough that they can walk on top of it. It's been a good week for all of us!

    Saturday, January 5, 2013

    Good-bye 2012! So Glad I Knew Ye...

    I often feel like the years go by and not much happens, nothing much changes. I'm sort of alright with that because I like my life. But then I run into people and they inquire "What's new?" and I can't think of a thing to say.

    Not that much did change this past year, certainly nothing drastic, but some things were certainly out of the ordinary.
    • Husband spent more than half of the year traveling back and forth between here and Japan. That was different for both of us - he got to experience living in Japan for weeks at a time; I got to experience being on my own for the first time in ten years. 
    • Husband and I had some vacation time in Japan together which was an unforgettable experience, and we definitely plan to go back some day.
    Those were the big events. Some of the smaller stuff - while Husband was away, I got to experiment with my diet, going pretty much vegetarian and cutting out wheat & dairy for a while. On his last trip to Japan, Husband experienced a recurrence of an eye condition he had a few years back, so he got to experience a bit of the medical system in Japan and once he got home there were lots of doctor appointments.

    It seemed like things had just settled down from that, when our washing machine quit on us and then Husband got sick from a spider bite. Yes indeed, life has been eventful.

    Early in December I realized I was missing a piece of jewelery - a square cut emerald ring that Husband bought for me many years ago when he was in Columbia for work. This broke my heart a bit (actually more than a bit, there were tears), I'm still not over it. I walk around the house looking, as if I expect the ring to appear, but it's gone. I don't think there is any point in going into detailed explanation of the series of events. Suffice it to say, this has put a damper on my mood. I know it is just an object, and there are much larger problems out there in the world, but there was a lot of sentimental value there and it hurts.

    Moving on, because there is nothing else to be done, we did have an enjoyable holiday season. We both had a couple of weeks off work. Winter actually held off until the evening of my last day of work, and then we had a snow storm. Fortunately, the weather behaved for our trip home to Nova Scotia where we had a wonderful visit with our family there. Then there was another snow storm the day after we returned home, and another on the 30th. Mother Nature packed a whole lot of winter into two weeks.

    No big plans for 2013 so far. It seems like Husband may be finished with traveling for a while, which is nice. One of my sisters is coming home for a visit sometime this spring (I miss my sisters!) and it looks like we will be going to Ottawa this summer, though I'm not sure how long of a trip it will be.

    I don't really do New Year's Resolutions, but at the same time I have felt over the last few months that I was always waiting for things to settle down so that I could think straight and work on some goals. I was feeling pretty overwhelmed for a while there. So, while I am still somewhat rested from my vacation (I was back to work on the 2nd - that was a bit painful in all honesty), I will try to set out some goals.

    Food related:
    • Over the holidays I noticed that I am starting to get eczema on my hands and forearms again, so I think it's time to start watching the diet again with an eye to figuring out the causes. I had cut out both wheat and dairy, but I don't know whether I need to cut out both or just one. I still do not consume much dairy - a little cream in my coffee sometimes (at home I am still using soy), some cheese and butter now and then. Oh, and chocolate. :) Wheat shows up a lot more - it is just so easy to use pasta & bread as components of a meal. I need do some experimenting here.
    • Several years ago now, I was diagnosed with Meniere's Disease. This is an inner ear disease that affects hearing and balance. Many people suffer from severe vertigo. For me, it has mostly affected my hearing. Most of the treatment options seem to be focused on relieving the vertigo and balance issues, there don't seem to be many treatment options to help with the hearing loss. But I was doing some reading recently that said diet can help. The hearing loss I have is permanent, unfortunately, but there may be things I can do to lessen the tinnitus I have in both ears. And I certainly don't want the hearing loss to get worse, so if there is something I can do there to help diet-wise, I should at least try.
    • For a while there last winter, while I was doing my vegetarian and wheat & dairy elimination thing, I got to a place where I found like I was finally at peace with my eating. I felt like I was in control, I was content & satisfied and I was losing weight - slowly, but I was losing. I would like to get there again. 
    Fitness related:
    • Mostly just keep doing what I'm doing; I'm liking the Zumba classes and circuit training at home. 
    • Try to remember that I don't have to put pressure on myself to do a particular workout - I can always substitute if I'm not in the mood for a planned activity.
    • A co-worker has been looking into arranging a group yoga class and it sounds like that is going to happen. I enjoy yoga when I'm doing it. I know it has many benefits. Yet I seem unable to stick to a regular practice on my own - I think I give other workouts a higher priority. So many workouts I want to do, so little time! I have no idea yet what type of yoga this will be, or who the instructor will be, but I'm hoping I can take advantage of this class to bring yoga into my life on a regular basis.
    • My office is moving to a new building this spring; I will be back in the building that I worked in for the first 7 years that I lived in this city. I have mixed feelings - I like where we are now, but there are certainly benefits to being in that office complex, one of those being that there is a gym in that building. I used to belong to that gym, but quit once I was no longer working in the building as I was not getting there enough to make it worth. I'm not sure that it would be worth it to join again either, but when the time comes I will look into it. 
    Other goals:
    • Finish re-organizing the bathroom. We had to remove the doors from the laundry alcove in the bathroom when we got our new washer & dryer in November. I actually find it much easier with the doors gone, but it also means we can't hide our disorganized mess. So I need to get out and purchase some baskets so that we can store things in a tidy manner.
    • The never ending project of cleaning out the basement. This is a one step forward, two steps back kind of job. Someday I hope to actually get a handle on it.
    I had intended to get a start on some of those housekeeping goals over the holidays. Instead I spent most of my vacation like this:

    Not me. Obviously. This is my parent's cat. But the general attitude of lazing around? That was me.

    This is me, underneath my clowder of cats. When we returned from our trip to NS, these guys were stuck to me like burrs.

    There was lots of snowy weather that made hibernation seem quite natural.

    The cats are rather put out by all this snow, Frank especially. They don't want to be out in it  at all, not that I blame them. But it makes them a bit crazy at times. 

    This is Frank's I-want-something-get-up-and-pay-attention-to-me face. Most of the time he doesn't seem to know what he wants though, so I just follow him around the house; usually we end up at the food dish.

    This just made me laugh. I left a blanket and pillow on the love seat, and I come in from the kitchen to see Zappa lounging against the pillow. He looked pretty satisfied with the situation.

    Happy 2013 friends!