Day 6: Let me pull up real quick…

Hello beautiful friends!

I just want to quickly mention that this little guy has better form than me, and he’s using rings. One day panda, one day.

RED PANDA

Big news!! Today I tackled a huge PERSONAL challenge of mine. I did 1, then 2, then kind of almost–but not really 3 unassisted pull ups. I’ve been able to do chin ups for a while now. So to compensate for my lack of pull up ability, I did 3 sets of 4 chin ups. (Hey! That’s still a big deal for me!) I’d like to mention, when I created that 30 while 30 post, I actually MEANT chin ups. So in a way, I’ve reached my goal, but finally being able to do a chin up motivated me to then move towards the pull ups. It took me a long time to trust that I could pull myself up. I know a lot of people can do them no problem, but it’s been really difficult. I’ve practiced often. At first, I couldn’t even budge my weight, so I used the assisted pull up/dip machine until today! I’m REALLY proud of myself! I can cross that off now! Yay!

Onward!

Ladies, and i’m sure even most gentlemen, whether you care to admit it or not have been where I am right now–The dreaded “I have nothing to wear” scenario. Although I have not been robbed, so there are actual pieces of clothing in my closet, but quite frankly I feel like they belong to some alien girl with strange taste.

I am having dinner/a night out with a friend tonight and obviously that means I have to dress up. Nikes and a sports bra aren’t going to cut it, and since this beauty sees me most days at work, drab office attire isn’t going to work either.

Okay Regena, you got this. Wear a dress.

Ugh. All of my dresses are too flowy, or too tight, or to long, or too short, or too something that i’m not looking for right now.

The same is true for my shorts, my skirts, my tops. The only thing i’ve managed to decide on are the shoes I want to wear.

Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Focus! This is getting dressed we’re talking about, not an actual crisis like the Ebola virus, so snap out of your hysteria and find something to wear.

I scanned the room waiting for a complete outfit to jump out at me, and to my amazement it does! Okay, not quite, but I noticed the flower print on a pair of high waist loose shorts that i’ve been dying to wear. These would look really cute with a flowy top, a boyfriend blazer, ANY shoes, and maybe a little bling. Perfect.

But wait. What’s this. ANOTHER outfit comes together as well. I remembered a cute blue dress with side cut outs that is really flattering, and goes great with the shoes I have to wear.

And just like that, I changed my focus and figured it out. Now I just have to get motivated to do my makeup, my nails, my hair, and get dressed.

Have a wonderful night everyone. Be safe, be kind, and be happy.

Namaste.

Day 5: Cacao Crisps and Almond milk…what are you doing for dinner?

Good Evening Beautiful Friends,

As I sit here happily crunching away on my cocoa puffs vegan sprouted brown rice cacao crisps cereal with almond milk, I can’t imagine ever going back to eating those terrible barely chocolate sugary chemical filled cereals from my childhood young adulthood. Thankfully, my mom didn’t allow these foods into the house when I was a child, so once I went off to university, I couldn’t help but rebel and buy all of the sugary deliciousness that were marshmallows, Oreos, deep and delicious chocolate cake, and Lucky charms. When pure sugar wasn’t enough, I took it one step further with chocolate cereal. I recall there were Nestle chocolate something balls, that to be quite frank, looked like rabbit droppings, and then my favourite were chocolate cereal with freeze dried?? super crunchy marshmallows that I had a serious obsession with.

WHAT? Why were the marshmallows so darn crunchy??

Oh god, so much sugar in one bowl….

Oh right, the point of this post isn’t the cereal. Let’s go back to reflecting on the past week. I’ve been tired, hungry, sore, frustrated, and even stressed, but also, happy, excited, and passionate and I’ve managed to stay focused on maintaining some form of balance in my life. Not all play, but not all work either. Ordinarily I allow myself to fall victim to the vicious cycle that is stress and before I know it, i’m unable to sleep, worried about the numerous things I haven’t completed, and fixated on all of the things I have left to complete. I don’t think i’m extremely anxious or anything, but I like to create tasks for myself that take up more time than I have, such as knowingly scheduling dishes, laundry, meal prep, on a day I only have 1 free hour. Clearly, this task won’t get accomplished, so why put the pressure on myself? With that said, I want to proudly scream from the roof tops:

I AM OVER INSANE TO DO LISTS. NO MORE TRIPLE BOOKING MY TIME. NO MORE PUTTING MYSELF DOWN. NO MORE REQUIRING MENIAL TASKS TAKE PRIORITY OVER RELATIONSHIP TIME. NO MORE UNNECESSARY STRESS.

If my floor doesn’t get mopped until Sunday, but I have it on the docket for Thursday, well then, it doesn’t get mopped until Sunday–I am not going to freak out about it. Not to say, ignore the things that truly need to be done, but most things in my life are not so insanely urgent that an extra day is going to harm anyone–or any floors.

This week I’ve had a few things that needed to get done. Okay, that’s a lie–there have been MANY things on my radar, but I came to the conclusion that not all of them were of supreme urgency and so I chose to sleep (although only 6 hours) rather than spending time trying to complete them. After letting things go, you know what I learned? I CAN! It’s okay to not push your mind, spirit, and body to the breaking point every single day. As a matter of fact, it’s quite harmful to do so. Taking time to relax, to sleep, to focus on matters of the heart rather than the crazy Type A ‘to do’ lists that are piling up at work and home are essential to the life of a happy healthy girl.

Tonight, rather than rushing home after a rather long day at work, I spent some quality time with my husband. I enjoyed a few glasses of wine, we talked, and it was so relaxing and refreshing to forget about all of the things that “should be done” and to focus on the way I felt being with him. True calm and serenity is not going to come over night, heck, it’s not even going to show up in a week, but each day that I challenge myself to stop and THINK about what i’m doing is another day closer to discovering the balance that i’m seeking.

For next week, my challenge to myself is to leave time in the day completely unscheduled. Honestly, truly, free time. During this time I can do whatever I please (except make to do lists). I need at least 60 minutes EVERY SINGLE DAY. I know it sounds ridiculous, but for someone who has every minute of their day planned, this is a really big deal, but I have faith I can do it. I will report Monday-Saturday next week on how this goal transpires.

Namaste beautiful friends.

Day 4: A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.

Good Evening beautiful friends!

It has been a difficult few days. Not because I’ve been tired, it’s not work, heck, it’s not even due to the fact that i’ve had no free time. No world, the reason this week has been so trying is because I did legs on Tuesday and the thought of walking, sitting, even going to the bathroom causes me to fight back tears. My usual quick pace has been cut in half, I swear under my breath each time my mini overactive bladder forces me to go to the washroom (which is MANY times per hour if i’m drinking water regularly), and stairs–well they can just go to hell. Let’s not forget tonight was bootcamp, but i’ll get to that in a moment.

If you’ve ever seen my hair after it hasn’t been washed for 5 days you know it’s a tangled mess that requires a lot of arm strength. I am currently on day 8, so my hair DESPERATELY needs to be washed. Before you say “eww” to the length of time, I have coarse, curly hair, the break does it good. Since I have so much hair, and it’s a lengthy process to get done, I scheduled doing my hair during the only “down” time I had today. I got home at 4, then had until 6 to eat/wash my hair/pack my bags for tomorrow, etc. I am happy to report I got my hair washed, diffused it before the gym, and even packed my lunch! Yay me!

Okay so, back to bootcamp. It was actually not as bad as I had expected in regards to my legs–that is, until the end. The final round is what the trainer likes to call “Team fun time” and I assure you, fun is the last thing that is happening. Tonight the plan was person A (me) did 20 JUMP SQUATS while person B (the other girl) did kettlebell swings. After 20 jump squats you swap, so then I did the swings while she did the squats. This went on for 3 rounds…by the end I wanted to fake passing out murder the trainer but somehow I survived.

If you check the time this post goes up, you’ll see it’s VERY late. I am exhausted, hungry, and I smell. I was supposed to be home by 9 but as you can see that did not happen.

A smooth sea

After my bootcamp session, I met someone for an hour. I kept an eye on the time, and left in PLENTY of time to catch my bus home. It only comes once an hour so missing it is NOT an option. I was at the stop with 8 minutes to spare and the bus didn’t show. *insert sobbing*

I was so tired that I wanted to cry. I considered taking a taxi home, but instead decided to tough it out, grab a tea, read a book since the bus stop is right outside Chapters, and wait for the next one. I also made up my mind not to be angry, or frustrated, or bitter because none of these emotions would make the next bus come any quicker. As I sat on the floor in chapters holding my mint tea, I felt a sort of ‘calm’ wash over me. However, this also could have been nausea as I hadn’t eaten in some time. I kid, I kid. Typically in a situation like that, I would have just been angry. It was refreshing to know that I really am in control of how I choose to feel. Instead of the usual response, I went with zen. There may be something to this challenge after all…

Good night all. Please try to direct your energy in a positive way. When we cannot change the situation, making the best of it really is the best way to approach it. I proved to myself that I can be hungry, tired, disappointed without being angry.

Namaste.

Day 3: The Chocolate shake you’ve ‘bean’ waiting for (gluten free, vegan) and my plan for success.

Good Evening beautiful friends,

Welcome back to my blog! I can’t believe I’ve managed to finish all of my chores for today BEFORE 7:30. I think this calls for a celebration! Don’t worry, nothing too crazy, but I am going to reward my scheduling success with Netflix and a bubble bath. I have an amazing chocolate shake recipe at the end of this post for you! I won’t be offended if you skip to the end, BUT perhaps you should check it out anyway. See for yourself.

Before I get into the smoothie recipe I quickly slowly and wordily want to list some of the things i’m hoping to complete/achieve, or to at least begin, in the coming weeks.

1. A healthy balanced approach to eating. I eat quite healthy most of the time, however, as of late i’ve become obsessive about ‘clean’ foods, have started feeling guilty for indulging BUT the more that i’ve wanted to eat ‘clean’, the more i’ve indulged and I don’t like it. It’s part of why I’ve opted to take a more relaxed ‘If It Fits Your Macros’ approach. I still plan to eat nutrient dense foods most of the time, BUT for those treats that I do indulge in, I want them to be guilt free. I no longer want to think of foods as ‘clean’ or ‘dirty’. I know the importance of fruits, veggies, carbs, protein, healthy fats, etc in my diet and I will ensure I get those first, but if I want to have 1/2 cup of coconut milk ice cream in the evening and I have those macros left, then I shall. I won’t be consuming artificial sweeteners, chemicals I cannot pronounce, etc. but I will be having treats and that is OKAY!

2. More Yoga. The goal is to start this week with 2 days per week, 30 minutes and to increase the days to 3 and maybe even 4 per week.

3. Work my way through the “30 while 30” list. First up, perfect that handstand, practice my french, AND read Game of Thrones.

4. Sleep more! I don’t sleep enough. I know that. My husband knows that. My body knows that. No more eating well, working out, but not recovering.

5. Post 2 recipes per week to the blog. I am starting with a chocolate shake recipe below!

6. Daily meditation. I have been trying to do 5-10 minutes before bed at night, but my body wants me to sleep the moment my eyes close.

7. Start training BETTER. Not harder per say, not even more, just smarter. I love the way my body has been changing with weight training, I will be pushing it over the next 60 days BUT making sure to listen to it and always rest when needed.

8. MENTAL/EMOTIONAL Balance. What can I say, I have a million lists, with a million thing to do…sometimes I just need to learn to walk away, do something fun, and let it go. I will work on my stress levels for sure. This will also tie into the yoga, meditation, etc.

9. Spend more quality time with hubby AND make him fancier meals. I have gotten into the habit of throwing food together but not putting a lot of thought into it because i’m busy. Well no more! I mean, hubby, if you’re reading this, don’t expect homemade pie every day or anything, but I will definitely put in more of an effort.

10. Get in more quality ME time. Not writing lists, not worry about work, nothing. Just me, a book/tv/walk letting go and relaxing.

11. Reading personal development books. First on the list are: (feel free to pick one up and join me!)

-Be That Girl by Tina O’connor

-Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy

-Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

-How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

12. TRY NEW THINGS. Not even sure exactly what this means yet, but I will figure it out this month and I will try new things.

13. Finally, I want to become more organized. Yep, definitely need this. My desk drawers are completely full, of what, I have no idea–but they are full and that is a problem.

And without further ado, here is the recipe!

IMG_20140827_175743

Creamy Chocolate Black Bean Protein Shake

(vegan, gluten free, soy free)

1 cup almond milk

1/2 cup organic black beans

1/4 cup oats

1/2 tbsp maple syrup

3 dates, pitted

1.5 tbsp raw cacao

2 tbsp cacao nibs

Scoop protein powder (I used Vega Sport performance Vanilla)

6-8 ice cubes (depending on size)

Add all of the ingredients to blender in order they’re written. Blend REALLY well. Enjoy!

Namaste.

Day 2: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7,8….wait did I forget something?

Good evening wonderful friends!

Periodically I worry about my thought process and how I reach particular conclusions. Case in point, today I checked the class schedules at Goodlife to see what time spinning was tonight–

perfect, 4:30 pm!

I signed up for a Kettlebell/TRX boot camp that starts at 6:30pm. If I attended spin class I could go straight to kettlebell bootcamp.

Great! I love when scheduling works out perfectly!

I get home from work, snuggle with hubby for about 40 minutes before I need to leave again for spin class. I change, grab my gym bag, and head to the gym. Traffic is insane, the bus i’m on is barely crawling forward, I keep glancing at my phone and start to worry…

Am I going to make it on time? I really dislike showing up late for class…

FINALLY! I’m at the gym with 2 minutes to spare.

Hmmm that’s odd, there’s no one on the bikes. No towels or water bottles marking territory, and no one is circling the area incessantly. Meh, must be a slow day.

However on my way into the locker room I notice the GIANT sign on the wall with class times and then it hits me! Class WAS at 4:30 and right now it’s…yep, 5:30. But how could this be, I checked the schedule earlier and spin class was an hour before boot camp, which means…oh crap!  

It hits me! When I originally saw the 4:30pm start time I thought it came an hour before 6:30 so then I stopped focusing on the actual time class began and focused only on arriving to the gym an hour before boot camp started. Which would mean 5:30– I mean, at least I figured out the right time to be there, even if there wasn’t a class scheduled. I am pretty certain, that gets me points or something. Remember in calculus class, as long as you reached the correct answer if you showed your work, EVEN if the work was incorrect you got some points. The same was also reversed I believe, my methods of getting there could be atrocious, BUT if I did eventually manage to get the correct answer i’d get some points. Okay fine, perhaps I am reaching a little.

It really is okay about the scheduling problem, because I had been so busy all day, that I needed to get a few things done anyway. So, I found a chair in chapters and thought about recipes I want to post this week, and other ideas I have for the blog.

Moving on to Boot camp (which truly did happen at 6:30). I had so much fun! There were only 3 girls + the trainer, but honestly it was good energy and a really good workout. I was sweating and out of breath by the end. I need to work on my ‘cleans’ though, my forearm took quite a beating tonight.

On my way home on the bus I realized how hungry I was feeling. Don’t worry, I didn’t forget to eat today, but scheduling is definitely making Tuesdays really insane. I won’t always give you a play by play of my day, but this is what today looked like (The classes will be Tuesday and Thursday evenings for the next 6 weeks):

5:20 Wake up

6-7 GYM

7:30-3:30 Workity work

3:30-4 Commute from work to home

4-5  Watched 2 episodes of “The middle” with hubby

5-5:30  Bus in traffic

5:30- 6:30 Prepped things for blog, work, etc.

6:30-7:30 Kettle bell class

7:45-8 Commute home

8-8:35 Getting ready for tomorrow.

8:35-9:15 Eating like a boss/write blog

As you can see, I didn’t really leave myself a lot of wiggle room. I really don’t mind being busy, but I definitely need to help myself out a little. So for instance, I’ll make sure my outfit/shoes/meals/etc are already prepped and ready to go so when I get home Tuesday and Thursday night’s all I have to do is pack them in my gym bag. I will determine which bus routes have less traffic, I won’t show up at 5:30 to the gym on Tuesdays, etc. I will also change up my meals a little Tuesdays and Thursdays so that I get all of calories but don’t have to stress about how I’ll get them without having to eat dinner at 8:30 every night. I see black bean protein brownies in my future. I know it isn’t autumn yet, but I’ve also been craving pumpkin bread–perhaps I will experiment this weekend! Would you interested in a protein pumpkin bread recipe if I can somehow manage to perfect it? It is a long weekend, so I guess I know what I have to do!

I have some pretty wonderful recipes coming soon, so please stay tuned! And of course, it’s only 2 days in, and i’m already figuring out little things. Progress beauties, progress.

I’m off to dreamland, have a wonderful night friends.

-Peaceful thoughts-

 

Day 1: Balance or the lack thereof…

Good Evening beautiful friends!

As my alarm frightened me into an upright position this morning, I felt myself instinctively think the words “Mom, just 5 more minutes”. As I opened my tightly closed eyes, I noticed the light peeping around my curtains. It’s morning! This is no ordinary morning however, and just as the first day of school always left me feeling excited, nervous, and hopeful, so did this particular Monday. For you see, today I begin my 60 day journey to personal, emotional, and spiritual awakening! Speaking of awake, I’m not quite sure I was at this point, but I dragged myself out of bed anyway.

I checked into myfitnesspal while brushing my teeth and doing my make up to ensure my macros were prepped for the day, then packed my lunch, which to the untrained eye, seems like WAY too much food for my little 5 foot frame, but as my mom always said growing up “don’t judge a book by it’s cover”. This girl plans to make some serious gains over the next 2 months, and food is fuel!I will get more into this in another post, but essentially, I have decided to adopt an “If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM)” approach to eating over the next 60 days to compliment my training, and also because I want to try something new.

Luckily for me, today was a rest day, so I was able to slowly get ready. I showered at a moderate pace, ate food without choking, and applied mascara without poking my eye out. If this was a workout day, I would have been stumbling about blindly with only 1 eye partially open, drinking the iced coffee i’d made the day prior, absent-mindedly chewing on some cold oatmeal while making sure my bag was packed and that I had not forgotten to pack a towel, or more essential still, a bra. I am a morning person, but in the 20 minutes I leave myself to get ready for the gym in the morning I do not have time to really allow my brain to wake up properly. As I was saying, today was restful, I made coffee and ACTUALLY sipped it like a normal person, rather than throwing in 3 ice cubes just so I can chug it like water. I put on some music, Norah Jones to be exact, and began my trek to work!

Today was an insanely busy day, but I survived WITH a smile on my face, and even managed to go for a 30 minute walk with a friend at lunch. I have come to the realization in recent weeks that I often take on more than I can handle. I push myself to my limits both in and out of the gym, I often do not get enough sleep, and lately my nutrition has been all over the place. I need focus, I need a plan, and I need a change. The constant act of burning the candle from both ends approach to life is leaving me drained and I know I can’t do this forever.

My post today was going to be all about balance; I had it all planned out actually, but let’s just say it was forced to take another direction. I was getting so much done tonight when 7:30pm rolled around, I noticed my stomach growling like crazy. I was STARVING and realized that I had been so focused on getting the 15 things on my ‘to do’ list crossed off, that I had forgotten to make and have dinner. So much for balance…

I was faced with 2 choices, keep working and ignore the hunger or stop and make dinner.

So what did I do?

Please, this is food we’re talking about. Of course I stopped and made dinner. Before that however, I took a moment, sat down in the quiet for about 5 minutes, and just centered myself.  For dinner I made mung bean pasta (high in protein) and a simple sauce of garlic, onion, zucchini, and mushroom with a Neil brother’s organic roasted garlic pasta sauce–which happens to be my FAVOURITE combination ever. I had a simple pea shoot salad on the side, and left over tomato, corn, coconut soup. DE-Lish!

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I may  not have gotten everything done today, but I recognized the behaviour–that obsessive need to get everything done at once– and took a step back. I’d say that’s a big win in the balance department.

It’s 9:44 and i’m calling it a night. My goal was for 9, but i’m close. Gym bag is packed, food is ready to go, alarm is set, so it’s just my 10 minute bedtime yoga and meditation routine to complete and then sleep! I hope everyone had a wonderful day. I have a feeling tomorrow is going to be GREAT!

Namaste.

 

If you change nothing, nothing will change…

Good Evening beautiful friends,
As I sit here typing, listening to the sound of rain water gently tapping my window, I can’t help but think it’s the perfect evening to finally come forward with this post. I am so incredibly excited to share what I’ve been working on, and I hope you’re equally as excited.

Remember, many months ago…last November to be exact, I posted a BUCKET LIST called my ‘30 while 30‘ list.
I know what you’re thinking “Regena, you’re actually still doing that? I assumed you had forgotten.” Well, I sort of had been doing it, but I also sort of forgot about it at the same time. I was excited at first, but I won’t lie–I’ve sort of ignored it for months. Life got in the way, and I allowed it to.
However, a few weeks ago the realization that November is only 2.5 months away came CRASHING down on me like a ton of bricks. I was eating lunch in the park on a sunny afternoon, reached into my purse, pulled out my E-reader to find the Stephen King Novel I had just added. I turned on the E-reader, started flipping through the book list when I noticed the first 2 ‘Song of Ice and Fire” books staring back at me. I would even go so far as to say they were mocking me, slightly. You see, THEY are on my bucket list, but they have NOT been read. At this exact moment, I panicked.
I am running out of time!
I am practically OUT of time.
Well, Okay, I have a little time. *breathe*
I took a deep breath and re-read a few chapters.
I can do this.
I read a few more.
Uh oh…not sure I can. I remembered why I quit in the first place. As much as I love the show, I just can’t seem to get into the books. However, I have made it my mission to read them–SO here goes! I have started them again, and have given myself the goal of completing the first 3 books by November. (I have only chosen to read 3 for now because when I wrote the initial blog post I thought there were ONLY 3 books, and not 5.)
As i’m sure you have already guessed–the books only account for 1 item on the list, meaning there are 29 other items to go! Luckily, I have completed SOME of these things, and will write another post in a few days listing exactly which ones are done, and which ones are left to do. Please check back regularly to see my progress. I enjoy “crossing things off” so i’ll DEFINITELY be using the Strikethrough command at some point.

This brings me to the next part of my post. For several weeks, I have been feeling sluggish and unmotivated but with a little soul searching, have concluded this is partly to be blamed on the fact that I have not been feeling particularly inspired by anything lately. Well baby, that is all about to change. I am constantly telling others they need to stop settling for ‘okay’ and take what they want from life. So, in the spirit of unlocking my true potential I have decided to embark on a 60 day journey of Personal Growth and Enlightenment.
My journey begins on Monday, I will be blogging and Vlogging the entire thing. EVERY single day I will write an entry about what I’ve done, how I feel, what I’ve discovered, etc. I will write another post later this week to include some additional details, but essentially, I need a change, I need to feel driven, I NEED a challenge!

The fact that I also need to work through my ’30 while 30′ list, just ties in perfectly with this journey, and some of the items on the list such as Learning to play chess, Taking guitar lessons, etc will prove to be worthy adversaries that I must bravely face. I will also be reading many personal development books and will provide a list of the books I decide to read–if anyone is interested in jump starting their energy and want to join in, PLEASE do!

Although the 60 days will include certain changes to my workouts and current eating style (I have decided to try an IIFYM “If it Fits Your Macros” approach as research) it is not the MAIN focus. However, to improve myself, I also need to take these into account, as these are a huge part of my life.
Whoops! I became so excited while writing this post, that I kicked over a green smoothie. It makes me very sad to have wasted this delicious snack, and I considered drinking it anyway, but even I have my limits. 5 second rule can’t really apply to liquid seeping into carpet now can it. 😉

I hope this post has not bored you terribly. If you are looking to challenge yourself a little, please let me know and we can do this together. Feel free to add me on Facebook or send me an email at ash.regena@gmail.com.

Be well my friends.