Monday, November 28, 2016

Heidi’s Yuletide 2016 Challenge

The Big Why

Attention to small things gives us real results in large things.
This is my Why, and the Tao is my Way.

Objectives: What I Want

  1. A peaceful mind. I value balance in all things, but especially in my heart and mind. Peace of mind vanquishes all.
  2. A healthy body.
  3. Happy family time.
  4. A clean and orderly home.

Activities: What I’m Willing to do

  1. Attitude Awareness and Adjustment:
    1. Read the Tao daily, preferably with my partner, sharing our thoughts on the passage of the day.
    2. Go to work with a positive attitude, grateful wherever and whenever possible
    3. Sauna meditation daily
  2. Take care of the body that I have been given:
    1. Physical workout once a week
    2. Maintain a restful and restorative sleep schedule
      8+ hours, with a gentle buffer for falling asleep and waking up
    3. Make time for activities that help
      1. Walking
      2. Acupuncture
      3. Therapy
      4. Yoga Therapy
  3. Play with Vivian
  4. Uphold the house system in place with love and care
    1. Clothing set out each week
    2. Dinner prepared and dishes washed with love and mindfulness.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

This morning at the gym, after walking a mile and a half, the number was 24. With a 7.5 pound weight in each hand, I did 24 each of inclined twisted sit ups, skullcrushers, twisted archers, squats, and swimmers press. Then a minute-plus plank was followed by ten minutes in the steam room and five minutes in the sauna before heading off to the meeting of the day.

Lots of walking and lifting courtesy of a book sale.

Life is good.


Weight: 135.9
Waist: 29.25
Abdomen: 34.25
Hip: 37.25
Upper arm: 11
Neck: 15
Wrist: 6.25
Thigh: 21.25
Calf: 13
Forearm: 8.25

Body fat: 23.4

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

  • Morning meditation and centering
  • Acupuncture
  • Local goodness at Market Day
  • Gym
    1. 15 minute sauna meditation
    2. Half mile walk
    3. New PR: 36 twisted back extensions
    4. 36 inclined twisted sit ups
    5. Half mile walk
  • Dinner of burgers topped with havarti and garden-fresh tomato and basil, homemade hash browns and freshly roasted kale chips
  • Cards
  • A walk around the neighborhood
  • Ice cream and the last bit of a movie
  • Early bedtime

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Today at the gym:
  • Walk  1 mile - had great flash of insight as to what I'm afraid of as I go forth in my new ventures
  • 32 back extensions
  • 12 side extensions l,r
  • 48 inclined sit ups
  • 30 minute sauna meditation

We had planned on going to the library after the gym, but on the way there, an emotional time-bomb went off. I have to confess that it was a faithfully affair for about a half hour. Honesty and softness and quiet were, as usual, the way through. Gardening and cookies were perfect for reconnection activities. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Today at the gym
  • Walk -jog 1 mile
  • 32 back extensions
  • 32 inclined sit ups
  • 1 minute plank
  • 20 minute sauna meditation
An hour of yoga therapy after the gym 

Monday, June 6, 2016

Today at the gym:
  • Walk -jog 1 mile
  • 32 back extensions
  • 32 inclined sit ups
  • 20@7.5#(l,r) each: swimmers press, skull crushers, fly
  • 1 minute plank
  • 30 minute sauna meditation

Friday, June 3, 2016

Yoga in the park with the family to start the day. Then, at the gym, I hit a groove, and felt that moment when you know that you mastered a level.
  • Walked and jogged 1.1 miles, pretty equally half and half
  • 32 back extensions
  • 24 inclined sit ups
  •  Skull crushers: 20@7.5l,r
  • Fly: 20@7.5l,r
  • Swimmers press: 20@7.5l,r - noticed some crunchiness in my left shoulder. I'll need to bring that up to my acupuncturist.  
  • Glute curl: 10@10l,r - I havethe shape I want, so this is maintenance, now 
  • Plank 60 seconds
  • 20 minutes sauna meditation

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Gym today, with walking, weights and sauna meditation. Yesterday I walked off before the sauna and I was super glad to get it today.
Lunch of eggs, Swiss, tossed salad, and a cucumber sandwich on a homemade sourdough English muffin.

Life is good.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The morning was a bit of a train wreck emotionally. Even the gym could not get me to stop imploding, and thankfully I had yoga therapy waiting for me in the afternoon, with a hair appointment after that.

I am loved and magical.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Yesterday's "rest day" saw a mile at the track, 24 situps and 24 back extensions.
Then today, morning yoga and acupuncture followed by a trip to the library after the gym and getting fruit and vegetables for the week.

  • a mile on the track
  • 32 inclined sit ups
  • 32 back extensions
  • 8@10#(dumbbell l,r) swimmers presses
  • 8@7.5#(dumbbell l,r) fly
  • 8@7.5#(dumbbell l,r) skull crushers

I think I need to update my definition of rest day.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Wow, what a great day.

This morning we all went to the gym. I was starting to really feel the effects of adding in squats, and weighted squats at that, so I kept it pretty light.

  • 1 mile walk
  • 32 inclined twist situps
  • 32 back extensions
  • plank
  • 1 sun salutation
  • bridge
  • C100
  • 2 jackknifes
  • 2 plow
  • 20 minute sauna meditation
  • .5 mile walk while my partner swam

Then home for eggs, swiss, basil, tomato, shrimp and pepperoni brunch and a hand of cards before going to tinker cliffs for a hike with the family and the neighbors. It was good all around, and a mile and a half all told, so fun and not overly strenuous. The kids played in the creek halfway through, and were absolutely soaking wet and exhausted by the time we got back to the car, which is a beautiful thing. There was great conversation with the adults, too.

Now, I'm pretty tired, and I realized after the hike that I keep accidentally forgetting to eat any carbs, like at all (the meal above had less than 5g carbs -- that's just not enough to fuel a person). It's tough for me to eat enough. Even adding in a half cup of pistachios after the hike only brought the calorie count today to 800 something. Looks as though I need to start throwing rice in with the eggs after the gym.

Over 11k steps so far today, and I loved every one of them.
Life is good.

Friday, May 27, 2016

At the gym this evening we got to see the newly remodeled section that is nearing completion. The team is using some reclaimed wood for the wall panels and it is gorgeous. I was commenting on holiday w lovely it is and found out the person I was talking with is the CEO of the Y. How cool was it that the CEO hangs out and works on the project at 530 on Friday? Anyway, when I found out who he was, I registered my one-and-only complaint, a policy measure that he was completely unaware of. It was a great conversation, and was really connected instead of awkward or uncomfortable - he seems like a great guy - and then we went back to talking about the renovation before Harvey and I headed off to the track.

One mile.
16 inclined sit ups
20 back extensions
20 minutes sauna meditation

Forty five minutes of relaxation yoga with the family before bed.
Steps and water complete.
Age of Ultron in the queue

Life is good.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Take Two

Harvey and I went back to the gym and walked two miles on the track before heading into the Power Core class. Spoiler alert: it was pretty easy for us. That was new.
At the gym this morning:

  • Walked 1 mile
  • 32 inclined twist sit ups
  • 32 back extensions
  • 20@20#bar lift and overhead press (10 overhand, 10 underhand)
  • 30 second plank

I have a bunch of head congestion, so I did 5 minutes of meditation in the steam room before 15 minutes sauna meditation
Weight: 134

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

  • Walked 1 mile, ran .1 mile
  • 32 inclined twist sit ups
  • 32 back extensions
  • 10@10# kettlebell squats
  • 20@5#(l,r) skull crushers
  • 20@20#bar lift and overhead press
  • 30 second plank
  • 20@15#(l,r) glute curls
  • 20 minutes sauna meditation

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Gym this morning:

  • 1 mile walk
  • 48 twisted inclined sit ups
  • 32 back extensions
  • 32 skull crushers - 5 pounds each hand
  • 32 squats, 10 pound kettlebells
  • 32 overhead lifts from the hip, 20# bar
  • 32 gunslingers, 5# kettlebells

20 minutes sauna
Signed Vivian up for summer camp beginning June 6.
Lunch and cards and now nap time.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Dropped Teros at the airport, received Vivian, went to the gym, walked a mile, lifted weights and did a sauna meditation.
Some household errands such as shopping and picking up forms was followed by a jaunt down a road. It was absolutely beautiful.
Afterwards, I rested and read some more before going to meet with my sponsor and then go to the women's meeting, both of which were wonderful and restorative.
At home, Harvey and I did basic stuff in the kitchen and made coffee before settling in to watch the Avengers, which I ended up falling asleep in front of.

Life is good.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Roaring Run

Early morning yoga at the library park with Harvey and Vivian. I swear i need to get someone to take pictures of this. Then we went on a hike with @Teros and the family -- Vivian was especially cute. We went to see the falls at Roaring Run, which are pretty spectacular. All told, the hike was almost 1.5 miles, and a great first hike for my new boots and new camelback -- I'm tickled to report that both came through excellently. There is a particular hike that I'm planning on taking in the twelve months, and good boots and a pack I can count on are essential.

After the hike, we went to Wildflour Towers, my other favorite restaurant in town, and ate lots, which was just what we all needed, and then naps were taken until Vivian got picked up for visitation. After that, Harvey and I were missing the sauna, so we went to the gym for Date Night, where we walked over a mile, then hit the weights room:
24 twisted inclined sit ups
24 back extensions
3 full extension pull ups
20@5#L&R swimmers press curls
20@5#L&R skull crushers
20@5# windshield wipers weirdness
Then meditation in the sauna and conversation in the hot tub afterward.

And now, at home, we are munching on homemade chicken noodle soup and market-fresh strawberries while the sourdough bakes and we watch another episode of Daredevil.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Went to Hollins this morning, signed up for a class, formally applied to the Certificate of Advanced Studies program (post masters level), and then went to lunch with Teros at Wildflour Fourth Street, one of my favorite spots in Roanoke. Looked at a house in the neighborhood, then went to the gym with the whole family. Now we are making burgers and Teros and Vivian are coloring and reading. I'm seeing some Daredevil in the future real soon now. I made my steps today, did 48 back extensions, 48 inclined twist situps, 12@10#L&R biceps curls, 12@15#L&R glute curls, a plank, and ten minutes of pilates leg work before hitting the sauna for meditation and the hot tub for general wonderfulness.

Life is good.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Went to the gym this morning and left my weird attitude (that was threatening to wreck my peace) at the door.
A mile on the track, 40 inclined situps, 32 back extensions, fifteen minutes of sauna and a shower.
over 4k steps, and we are sitting down with eggs, bacon, salsa, swiss and captain america.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Went to meet my sponsor last night, then to an evening meeting. Both were just what I needed.
I led the first Tuesday Morning YogaInTheYard at the community center today, and even though it was raining a bit, my family came with me, rolled out their mats, and did Sun salutation and warrior poses alongside.
We went to the local coffeehouse to pick up more tea, and I kept getting bumped. I mentioned it to my partner as we drove away, and he said, "I told you your ass looks good." It made me smile all morning.
At the gym, we met a radical named Betsy in the kid zone. She and Vivian got along famously.
Harvey and I walked a mile and then hit the weight room,where I ran into a professor, then did 20 back extensions and talked politics with a guy who remembered us from last week. I did 20@20 glute curls, each leg, and talked with Katie, a woman who had seen me on the track and wanted to know if "the guy with the great hair" was my boyfriend, because we make "such a cute couple."
Then 4 pull ups, some biceps curls, and we were ready to raid the fridge.
Betsy promised to visit for morning yoga when we picked up Vivian.
At home, brunch was tea, bacon, eggs, fresh basil, Swiss cheese and tomato with Trivial Pursuit, then we made a loaf of sourdough.
I scheduled Vivian's overdue physical, and am glad to have that off my list, and she and I took naps while Harvey went off to do some work.
He's still at it, and Vivian and I are about to leave for the market to get this week's fruit and vegetables. We had to cancel the meat and cheese share because it was way too expensive for what was being delivered, but everything looked wonderful.
Also on the list today is to go to the alterations lady and do a drop off and pick up.

Life is good.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Planted two types of basil, Genovese and Sweet, and some chives in the garden.
Planned the new hedge of roses, now that the scrubbery has been hacked down.
Finished the new capelet for Little Miss, and now I'm relaxing with coffee.

A Day of Silence goes a long way.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Taking today as a Rest & Indulgence Day.
Knitting and cookies this afternoon.
A salt cleanse this morning.
Maybe the sauna later.

Friday, May 13, 2016

I got my steps in and hit the sauna.

I spent time with a budding community center with farm, and I feel valuable.
The family and I did yoga at the park in the early morning.

Life is good.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Not smoking at this point (today marks four weeks) isn't a stressor in itself, but I have to develop a whole new approach to stressors, and I have to develop a new relationship with emotional discomfort. It's difficult, to say the least, and that's what makes this such a boss fight. Nicotine is 6 times more addictive than heroin, so this conversation I've been having at the lizard-brain level has been with me for a long time. Retraining it is difficult.

But not impossible. :)

Some of the hardest points have been letting sadness or hurt happen, something that I used smoking to distract me from or to deny altogether. And some of the sadness and hurt is really old, so it is difficult to give myself permission to spend my Now dealing with something that happened Then. Intellectually I understand that until I give the issue some sunshine it won't be released, but it's difficult to do so, and frankly, it seems that these shadow-lurkers have become friends and neighbors over the years, their keening cries of self-deprecation a familiar soundtrack, if a toxic one.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Got my 7500 steps in, but only because I know @T2sarahconnor is out there killing it. I would have stayed in bed all day if she wasn't challenging me. :)

Discovered that people are weird.
In other news, water remains wet.
Sauna meditation this morning, followed by breakfast, a trip to the possible new gym for information, and then a saltwater cleanse at home.

I'm wicked tired. It has been a very emotional week, and my partner and I didn't rest much all night before he left in the wee hours for work. Unfortunately, we are starting to develop a bit of Friday Night Blues before he leaves, and that is silly as well as counterproductive.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Made bread with Vivian this morning, then headed out to the gym with my family. What awesomeness.

Elliptical, walk, weights, pull ups, plank, sit ups,walk, hot tub.

Then a meeting followed by acupuncture.

Steak and sweet potato and navy beans for dinner.

Life is good.

Shenanigans are scheduled to ensue tomorrow.

More of the Walk2Jog1 repetition, and then some pull ups and a stint in the hot tub.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

7.5k steps yesterday, but managed to forget to eat, probably because of all the weird emotional roller coaster stuff that has been going on internally since Monday evening.

Vivian and I played some this morning, and now she is working in her workbook while I type and catch up on threads. When I get tired or cranky, my parenting ability goes out the door along with everything else, and I am making a conscious effort not to fall back into the electronic babysitter habit that my lazy-brain wants to develop.

It's rainy and grey again today. It's my partner's turn in the sauna, and then yoga for me.

Yesterday marked three weeks of not smoking, and I can honestly say that the support here has made a huge difference. I've had great support in my real life too, but even so, sometimes more is needed, and you folks were there in my mind, so thank you.


self-care day of yoga, a meeting, errands, a long hot bath, some walking.
At the gym, I did:
-1.5 miles with some jogging thrown in 5@[walk .2, jog .1]
-glute curls 2x10@40
-chest press 2x10@15
-glute extension 10@70L,R
-inclined twist sit ups 16
-Plank to exhaustion (63 seconds)

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Ended up with a scary amount of steps on Tuesday (15k+) because I was at the voting center all day (5 a.m. - 9 p.m.) and whenever there weren't any voters, I was walking around trying to avoid the other election officials. No plank yesterday, because that would have been too wried in the polling station.

So far today has been ok, though rough emotionally. I went to the library, contacted my professor, contacted the writing center to make certain I could get the essay printed on the right paper, contacted the farm shares to let them know i felt ripped off and hoodwinked by the meat share delivery, asked a library patron to either take his ten minute plus long phone call out tot he patio or to go rent an office somewhere, and now I'm off to go pick up the clothes I had altered and drop off another round of clothes for altering.

I'm feeling problematic, by which I mean that no one else seems to be having a problem with what is clearly wrecking my peace and serenity.

And I'm writing weird poetry, to boot.
O wait. All poetry is weird.

5k steps so far.

May the Fourth be with you

Over 7500 steps today (barely, but it counts).

Monday, May 2, 2016

Gave my partner a half pound of handmade chocolate for being awesome and putting up with my weirdness while I quit smoking.
Then sauna.
5500 steps so far.
Walking now before meeting with my sponsor.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Went out on the parkway and stopped a few times to walk and take in the views, despite the cold, rainy, grey weather. Totally beautiful out, and we saw some amazing things -- a sea of trilliums, a yoga tree, canals and locks on the james river.

Dinner in Bedford, then home to curl up in front of a fire.
Life is very, very good.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Yoga this morning released some potent emotions, not the least of which is grief.
I scheduled a sauna session this weekend and am on the waiting list for some restorative private sessions.

And more rest. Definitely need to be gentle with myself in the coming fortnight or so.
Languishing can be tricky.

I think I'm going to extend this into week 0 for the next round, since it could clearly use a bit more attention.

Side quest unlocked: today marks two weeks without a cigarette, and I feel really solid on this front.
I need a SmaugSlayer badge.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

10000 steps yesterday and today, with kettlebells both days.

Funeral for a friend this late morning.

Lots of water and love and gratitude.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Woke up stiff and sore, so a long hot shower was in order before heading out to yoga, where we did lots of stretching and hip work. Afterwards, I mostly rested until we took Vivian to swim lessons. Still sore, I stuck to arm weights while walking, five pull ups and some abs work.

Only 5800 steps, but still not bad for a stiff and sore day.
I'm a little concerned about tomorrow, so I took some arnica.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

I got some rest, then enjoyed walking more while Vivian was in the pool. All told, I got in over six miles yesterday. Walking is my center, and when I forget to keep it central, my headspace gets all wonky.

I looked up fitbit distance badges, and the next one is the Monarch Migration badge - only 150 miles to go. Probably not this challenge, but quite possibly this summer.

Went to the gym this morning. Ten minutes elliptical, one mile walk (20 minutes), one km row (6:15), a quarter mile walk, 2-5 pound kettlebell workout: 20 each gunslinger, overhead press and deep squat, then twelve back extensions with 8 pounds and 16 inclined twist sit ups with 8 pounds.

Sunday, April 17, 2016


So the urge to commit homicide (I.e. smoke a cigarette) was wicked this afternoon and evening, and that's strange since it's been 98 hours or so now. But you know, cravings are real.

I took Vivian and visited my sponsee. Afterwards, Vivian and I suited up and went to the pool for a bit, then grabbed some Chinese after for dinner. At home we cleaned up, made some calls, watched an episode of The Flash and cleaned some more. Clothes were sorted, hung p, and some scheduled for donations. I'm still with the urges, but proud of myself anyway.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Picking up where I left off

Went to a couple yard sales with the family, bought a writing desk and a new to me chair, and then walked over a mile in a park.

Lunch and cards and naptime.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Went for a walk in the neighborhood, then on to the gym with my partner this morning. Ten minutes elliptical, walk, 1km row (6:12), walk to finish the mile, weights: triceps 10@40, glute extension 10L/10R@70, inclined sit ups 12@10 lb medicine ball, 5 pull ups, one minute plank, glute curl 10@40.

Eggs with cheese and hot tea and toast, then the library for a new book and to return a couple movies. Picked up some fresh eggs and produce at a local market before resting. What a great day.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Went to yoga this morning for the first time in forever. It was good to be back, and I feel centered, calm and capable.

Now, onto those final thesis edits.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Leap & Languish

School stuff: Leap week 1
  1. Thesis edits to Advisor March 31 Complete 3/31
  2. Conference Presentation April 2 (Epic Quest Moment) Complete 4/2
  3. Thesis to second reader April 4 Complete 4/4
The Core: Languish weeks 2-5
  • Meetings 1 3 4
  • Acupuncture 1 3 4
  • Gym time 1 3 4 
  • T'ai Chi / Yoga / Pilates 1 3 4
  • Library weekly 1 2 3 4
    Ongoing House ideas:
    • Paint entryway April 1-4
    • Paint kitchen
    • Keep baking
    • Rebuild entrance cover and pillars
    And something for my birthday. :) Complete 4/7

    Saturday, March 26, 2016

    Saturday morning at the gym:
    Elliptical ten minutes
    Rowed 2km (thirteen-thirty minutes)
    Walked to complete the mile
    Prone leg curls: 10@40
    Glute extension: 10@70
    Triceps push: 10@40
    Chest press: 10@15
    4 pull ups
    16 incline twist sit ups with 8 pounds
    24 side extensions (12 l, 12 r)

    Sunday, March 20, 2016

    Went to the gym this morning with the family. Twelve minutes of elliptical, 2km row (11 minutes and change), a mile plus walking, and weights. While at the weight machines, I encountered a girl who was clearly intimidated by it all and cheered her on. It felt great. Also did twelve incline twist sit ups with 8 pounds, twelve back extensions with eight pounds, and added in twelve side extensions. Did twelve glute extensions at 70 pounds and twelve prone leg curls at 40 pounds. Then 100 yards in the pool before the hot tub.

    My inner Paladin came out in full force when we were eating lunch. Some red neck cretin was standing in the street, yelling racist comments at the Hispanic family that lives a couple doors down. I went outside and loudly and firmly told him he needed to leave. He mouthed off to me, questioning my breeding, and then thought better of it when my partner stood, silent and firm, behind me.

    It's good to have a team

    Thursday, March 17, 2016

    Just finished up finalizing and submitting the conference paper. I feel pretty good about it, overall.
    It's a beautiful day.
    My partner and I went to the gym this morning, and after so long away, I was worried that it would be onerous in the extreme. Training pays off, and while I certainly noticed the workout, it was anything but impossible. Elliptical for ten minutes, walk for .3 miles, row 1m (7 minutes), walk .3 miles, weights [triceps 10@40, biceps 10@25, 10 back extensions, twelve inclined twist situps, 10 glutes@70, 10 prone leg curls@40, one minute plank], walk for .5 miles.
    After the gym, we came home and made another strawberry shorcake, and I decided to dice up the berries and put them straight in the dough. It was totally yummy. Harvey and Vivian took them out while I was at a meeting, and they were just right when I came home before heading to the library to work on the paper.
    My resting heart rate continues to be in the lower 70s, a good sign if ever there were one that I'm doing the right thing

    Tuesday, March 8, 2016

    We took Vivian to a walk along the greenway before lunch. Walked a mile ish and picked up some fallen pine for the fireplace. Then cards with lunch and now rest time.

    Friday, March 4, 2016

    March forth, young people

    Made it to the gym this morning, and it was hard to break the haven't-been-lately inertia. Once there, the rhythm of elliptical, walk, row, walk embraced me. We did weights after, and I stuck to simple stuff, with very little hand and wrist: glute curl, glute extension, inclined twist sit ups, five pull ups to keep it real, a minute plank.
    Lunch and House of Cards and a nap.
    The office is coming together nicely. I put some shelves and books and pictures in today and set up my computer.
    Switched out side tables in the dining room, to the benefit of the dining room and my partner's office.
    Vivian seems to be getting with the program.

    Tuesday, March 1, 2016

    My thesis draft has been deemed excellent by my advisor - I'm so centered and strong for hearing so. There's a bit of organizing that needs to be done, but that's simple, relatively speaking.
    I have had to skip the gym yesterday and today due to tendonitis in my dominant hand - T'ai Chi tomorrow though, for certain. My partner and I discovered a four mile walk in our neighborhood.
    The elementary school in our district was flat scary when we visited today. Homeschooling is looking like a real possibility.
    We voted in the Virginia primary today, my first ever national primary.
    I turned in my graduation from, got measured for cap and gown and ring, ordered announcements and talked about graduate programs. I am feeling very calm and happy.

    Saturday, February 27, 2016

    206.03: Luck

    This challenge is about making the most of opportunities as they come up. I have a lovely foundation behind me so far this year, and some ends to wrap up, or items to put in place this round. I would like to make the most of my energy and my choices so that I am flexible and available to make use of opportunities that come my way.
    I'll be continuing with the near-daily gym visits. More than ever I have seen how beneficial they are to my emotional well being and balance. I have a good rhythm with my partner on this front, and it grounds me. We do T'ai Chi once or twice a week as well, and really like it. Vivian, now 5, has become a bit of a gym rat too, and days when she doesn't get in the pool are a bit gloomy for her.
    The thesis and conference paper final edits need to be completed and submitted and done and dusted by mid March. I'm looking forward to it, and wondering where the universe will lead me once it's all wrapped up.
    The onerous task weekly list will always be a part of my life, as will the gratitude and affirmations journal.

    Tuesday, February 9, 2016

    Happy Tuesday

    12 minute Elliptical-walk-row (1800 meters in 12 minutes) -walk to finish out the mile - 12 crunches with a twelve pound ball, 12 ab twists with a 12 pound ball, plank for 1 minute 20 seconds.

    The glute curl was at 25 pounds for 12 reps. It's my valentine's day present to my partner. :)

    Monday, February 8, 2016

    Happy Year of the Fire Monkey

    Super tired again this morning, but went to the gym with my partner anyway.

    12 minutes on the elliptical, three quarters of a mile walk, then twelve minutes on the rowing machine (1500 meters). Another quarter mile walk before weights, where everything was a set of twelve with 25 pounds except for triceps press (36 reps), chest press (15 pounds), glute extension (40 pounds), and back extension (70 pounds). Abs work with the 8 pound ball included twists and crunches, and leg lifts. Two one minute planks, one before and one after weights.

    We walked another half mile before T'ai Chi.
    I nearly passed out coming up from a forward fold, so I'm guessing the blood pressure is pretty low right now.

    On the upside, my resting heart rate is down to 82, second day in a row.

    And now, naptime.

    Saturday, February 6, 2016

    In the small quiet spaces

    Yesterday's migraine persisted into today, making me slower and more easily worn out. My partner was great, and my daughter and mother-in-law were wonderful too, being supportive about me needing rest.

    We made it to the gym for some family time. Vivian's gymnastics class was cancelled, so we signed her up for next month and she played while we did a little in the gym. 8 minutes on the elliptical, 1000 meters on the rowing machine (took just over 8 minutes) and half a mile walk were all I could manage.

    Insight moment: the workout that I began with in January has become my half-hearted accomplishment. This is how to know the level up is real.

    Lots of quiet rest and calm conversation today led to finding a taoist yoga retreat in April, with the possibility of a month in an Ashram. Sometimes God speaks through pain.

    Friday, February 5, 2016


    I was weary this morning. Not merely tired, but bone weary to the point of apathy.
    My partner got me moving, and we ended up in the gym, despite the drenching rain. Twelve minutes on an arc trainer, then a half mile walk, then 1200 meters on the rowing machine. Another quarter mile walk and then T'ai Chi, and I felt like myself once more.

    I am still tired, and even a bit weary, but I care again.

    Thursday, February 4, 2016

    The Power of the Gym

    I'm so glad my challenge this month is about asking for help and leaning on others - I really am nothing without my support right now.

    My attitude was all prickles and vinegar this morning on the way to drop Vivian at school and then on to the gym. Instead of nursing it in silence as I usually would (convinced that what I felt didn't matter because I don't matter), I took a breath and told my partner what is bugging me. The world did not end. We did not argue. We drove quietly, then talked, then drove, then talked about something else.

    Apparently I felt the need to announce in my sleep that "There are no car companies in Canada."

    We talked like normal people the rest of the way to the gym.

    My heart rate was way up for the twelve minutes of the elliptical, but came down during the four tenths mile that we walked after. Then I rowed for twelve minutes (1750 meters) and though about the workout narrative some more, and felt my perspective fall back into place about halfway through. Another six tenths walk to complete the mile, then onto arms and abs. The number of the day was 15, except for the abs work, which was 16 per set. I was flat on the floor today, doing weighted (10 pound) crunches, toe dips, and twists and a one minute plank.

    I almost got the eighth pull up in a row, but realized I would be better off doing four with good form.

    And then hot tub.
    Always the hot tub.

    Tuesday, February 2, 2016


    A lot of arms work again this morning after the elliptical-walk-row-walk. We did a full mile, with some focused effort on incorporating the T'ai Chi walking.

    Then hot tub.
    Now, tea before a meeting.

    First swim instructor class tonight, with lots of instruction and 480 yards of swimming.

    Be me

    My workout has achieved a regularity that is comforting. There is enough structure that it covers everything, while allowing for enough flexibility that I can tweak it for tired days, shortened gym time, increased ability and the like.

    1. Elliptical - do the minutes and level that make sense for you. The goal is to get your heart rate into a good zone for at least five minutes. Do not push too hard, by getting into your max heart rate, here. (220-Your Age). You should be working hard and energized, not wrecked.
    2. Walk. Recover the heart rate by walking at least ten minutes.
    3. Rowing machine. Same rules as the elliptical. The rowing machine is a full workout in its own right. If you need to shorten your workout, skip the weights but not the row.
    4. Walk again, at least ten minutes.
    5. Plank
    6. Abs work
    7. Weights
    8. Plank
    9. Walk to cool down
    10. Swim
    End the whole thing with ten minutes in the hot tub.

    Yes, I know it's a lengthy workout, but it's the best part of your day.

    Monday, February 1, 2016

    Encouragement matters

    My partner's encouragement is the only reason I made it to the gym today. I was so freaking tired. But then, as always, being at the gym was Just Right. Why do I ever fight it?

    The number of the day was 12: even the elliptical was twelve minutes. The press were there again today, which is good, but always weirds me out. Rowing took longer than usual - 7 minutes for the kilometre - but I did it.

    In the weight room, I added twelve weird arm dip things on the rack that I usually do pull ups on. It was good but wow, hard!

    Twelve inclined sit ups with the 8 pound ball, center and each side. A minute plank, with 15 seconds single leg each leg.

    An hour of T'ai Chi followed by tea, a garlic bagel with egg, cream cheese, lox and red onion. Again, I probably would have skipped the class if he hadn't walked out the door. I think I owe him a thank you note for carrying my motivation today.

    NOW I can go back to sleep if I want to. :)

    Love 2016.02

    In keeping with all things "love" for this month, I'm including a lean on others piece.

    This month I will actively look for ways to accept the strength and wisdom of others.
    We are all stronger together.
    I am not alone.

    ~Daily Gratitude Journal continues, and will include when I'm grateful for the assistance of others.
    ~Daily gym will continue, with my partner. It's not as though I am incapable or disallowed to go alone, or anything. But it's a powerfully connected time when we go together.
    ~Onerous Tasks will continue, as ever, and I will make a note of how and when I am able to have help slaying these pesky kobolds.
    ~Papers: I have full rough drafts for the thesis and the conference papers due this month.

    Sunday, January 31, 2016

    Food food and food. Oh, and the gym

    I was so hungry on the way to the gym that I ate a banana, two nectarines and an orange.
    At the gym, we did elliptical and weights and rowing and walking and hot tub.
    Afterwards, we picked up a dozen bagels and some dinner supplies. Hungry again, I got a bagel with egg, cream cheese, lox (2 slices!) and red onion - it was amazing.
    By the time we got home from shopping, I was a little peckish again and had the last lemon poppyseed cookies with my tea before a nap.

    Life is good.

    Saturday, January 30, 2016

    Moving, stillness, silence and communication

    A quick bout at the gym for elliptical and rowing before a day long meditation seminar.
    Just wow.

    Such a great way to close this challenge for me, and really clarifying, too.

    2016.01 Wrap Up

    Holy cow - it's the last day of the challenge.
    That happened fast!

    +Gym membership
    +Gym integration - went nearly every day. One day missed for a cold and three days missed because it was closed. I am seeing some real definition, so this is definitely the right plan for me.
    +I made bagels from scratch
    +I did a pull up. Then a couple days later, I did three of them. In a row.
    +Old tuition balance cleared
    +Registration for Spring term complete

    The gym with my partner is my sanity zone. I need it, every day, sometimes twice a day.

    I absolutely cannot return to IT.

    I need an income, something reliable and within my power to maintain, but the upside is that I don't actually need very much.

    Separate from income, I need a job, a sense of purposeful activity.

    Graduation is looming large. For most people, graduation is a good thing, even a great thing. Hell, it's the whole point, right? Wrong. For me, the point was being a student, especially at my home university. My undergraduate graduation was nearly the death of me. I've carefully crafted and rearranged my graduate studies over the last several years to be patchwork, specifically to avoid graduation. I love working on papers. I love seminar classes. I love being at Hollins.

    Graduating feels like becoming homeless.
    It doesn't have to make sense.
    May 22 2016 feels as though it should have R.I.P. next to it.

    Friday, January 29, 2016

    Life is good

    Went to the gym with my partner this morning - while I was doing just-one-more pull up to make it four in a row (I don't release as far down between pull ups as I would like, yet), a little old lady walked by and said, "Woo. You're strong." It made me smile. Then, while I was doing inclined twisted sit ups (I'm using the 8 pound medicine ball for 16 reps because the 10 pound ball is missing and I can't do the 12 pound ball yet), I saw a bombshell of a woman on the thigh machine with a shirt that read "the only competition I have is who I was yesterday." I wanted to high five her, but we were too busy getting it done.

    Ten minutes on the elliptical was murder, and then we walked the quarter mile. Rowing happened at the end of the routine, and those 1000 meters (6.5 minutes) took a lot out of me. I waved at the pool (see what I did there?) on my way to the hot tub.

    After a quick shower, we headed home and then I met a friend for lunch. I had a ginormous cheeseburger and fries at an otherwise nice restaurant. The conversation was wonderful.

    Life is good.

    Thursday, January 28, 2016

    The gym happened in the evening, and my partner and I realised we need (ok, *I* need) to start the day at the gym before interacting with anyone or anything. Some people have Prozac; I have my workout.

    We did the elliptical, walk, row, walk, weights then hot tub.

    Chicken and Dumplings and salad and birthday cake are about to happen.

    Wednesday, January 27, 2016


    Wait wait wait.
    I can't believe I forgot to mention:
    I think I did a pull up.

    My hands were perpendicular, not parallel, so does that make it a fake pull up?

    Anyway, I did it, and I was so shocked that I did a second one, just to see if I could.

    Tuesday, January 26, 2016

    Did. Not. Want. To.

    Played cards after the meeting last night and was exhausted.

    An early bedtime helped, but this morning I simply Did. Not. Want. To.

    I did it anyway. Slow and creaking, but getting it done, my partner along with me, being part of the solution. After 8 minutes on the elliptical and 1000 meters, he went off to the weights adventure and I walked the track. My attitude shook loose after half a mile, and it was nice to walk another half mile in a pleasant, peaceful frame of mind.

    The issues with my mother-in-law continue, and she is sneaking around, acting for all the world like an ill-mannered teenager. My partner and I sigh, a lot, and then deal with it as best we can, together. In many ways having her here has strengthened our communication skills, though I wouldn't recommend it - it was a trial by fire to get where we are.

    I can't upload pictures through the kindle interface, so please imagine a gif of Shifu from Kung Fu Panda, in a tizzy, talking about INNER PEACE! :)

    Monday, January 25, 2016

    Round two

    Went back to the gym with Vivian and Harvey this afternoon. I walked a half mile while he worked out, then he joined me for another half mile before the three of us hit the pool. I swam 200 yards then hit the hot tub.

    A second round of the gym today was just what I needed.


    I worked out for over an hour, and started putting a quest narrative to my routine: ten minutes on the elliptical is walking uphill through sand to get to the road where I can walk a half mile to the skiff that I row 500 meters to the island, where I get to take back rowing another 500 meters, walking back down the half mile road to where my Adventure With Weights awaits.

    Today was all arms, and I did 20 reps on everything, including the glute and back extension, but upped the triceps to 50. I wasn't bored, but it's time to increase the weight on that machine. Flabby chicken wings will be banished! And I added in a new machine - a prone leg curl. It's a bear!

    On the way home, I was hungry hungry hungry.
    My partner and I made the bagels and bacon.
    I added eggs with Swiss and tomato.
    The cream cheese was excellent.

    And now a nap before meeting.


    Sunday, January 24, 2016

    It stopped falling

    The snow stopped falling.
    We shoveled and played, and an lovely fire was tended all day long.

    I made bread and chocolate chip cookies, and bagel dough and cream cheese are curing.

    The house guest was fetched from the airport without incident.

    Saturday, January 23, 2016

    The quiet of the snow

    Yesterday's snow is still falling. Everything is closed.
    We have not gone to the gym, but we did make black beans, rice and fresh bread.
    A house guest is scheduled to arrive just before 11 tonight to stay for three weeks.
    I have not killed anyone yet.

    Future reports as events warrant.

    Friday, January 22, 2016

    Steel cut oats before playing outside in the snow. And now I'm craving beans and rice and cheese and bread and the sleep of a thousand hours.

    Super-hibernation achievement unlocked.

    Also, there will likely be no gym time until Monday. This bums me out, but does not count against me, given that it really honestly is treacherous out there. I promise that the minute we can get to the gym we will all be needing it.

    A bit of calm before the storm.

    Yesterday evening's swim lessons and gym trip were a welcome but of the day. I upped the elliptical to level 7 for 13 minutes, walked a quarter mile or so, rowed a thousand meters, walked another half mile ish, did 20 inclined sit ups, and then hit the weight machines for my arms.

    The number in the weight room was 20 - twenty reps of everything, and by the time I got to the dreaded chest press, my arms were already worn out. The first time I did the machine, I could barely get four reps at the no-weight weight of 15 pounds, and last night I had to rest after a set of 8. I was pretty certain I wasn't going to get to twenty, but while resting after the second set of 8, I realized I only had 4 more to go, so, shaking a bit, and taking my sweet old-lady time of it, I got 4 more.

    I felt like such a badass on my way to the hot tub.

    This morning, the promised snow arrived before dawn. Itty-bitty flakes have been falling steadily, coating everything and accumulating quite nicely. It's supposed to fall continuously until Sunday morning, and I'm perfectly fine with that.

    Thursday, January 21, 2016

    Do it.

    Warriors do not have a monopoly on the weight room. And while there are many schools of thought about the best method for lifting, and the best equipment, what really matters is that you use weights (without injuring yourself), period. Small amounts of weight have an effect, and every day doesn't need to be a new personal record. In fact, I'm a big fan of a mildly difficult weight being used over and over and over.

    Any warrior will tell you that repeated use over time is the one and only ticket to real strength. Yes, it's boring. No, you don't get buff in an hour. But we're here to craft a better life, and that's not a one-off.

    The upside to this approach is that you don't have to over think it: find whatever method is likely to get you to do it (kettlebell, free weight, machines, toddler-lifts) and then do that, again and again and again. If you find yourself still bored after 50 reps, increase the weight a little - no engineering degree required, no act of heroics necessary - until that eighth rep is difficult. Then do that on a regular basis until you're still bored after 50 reps.

    The gains are more at the foundation level, but will be undeniably evident in your physique. You'll look good and be able to lift groceries and toddlers with ease; you'll be able to walk longer and farther than before; you might even be able to move a bookcase or a couch by yourself.

    No one is going to write ballads about your grocery-carrying prowess, I'm sad to say. But we here at NF know the dedication and life force that are crafted and honed. We will cheer you on and remind you that even when you feel like a wimp when you're only doing [whatever] at the gym, that you're still knocking it out of the park by being there.

    Just do it.

    You'll be amazed at where you are in a year.

    Wednesday, January 20, 2016

    Wednesday can be weird

    I'm still sick, and the emotional roller coaster continues. Fortunately, my commitment to the gym and to my partner are pretty solid and continue to shore me up when I think I am weak, when I don't know what to do, and when I simply am powerless over a situation.

    Vivian's swim lessons last night provided the perfect structure for another gym visit. We packed a bag before we picked her up from school and went straight to the gym. I did twelve minutes on the elliptical, not quite a half-mile walk and 550m on the rowing machine. I did some arms work, and it felt good to be back in the weight room.

    Tuesday, January 19, 2016

    Cardio versus Weights

    Let's be real: cardio doesn't build shape. Weights do. And if you're working out for any reason, you have an ideal shape in mind. Weights are the ticket to get you there. Yes, processed food and sugar need to go. Yes, running and the elliptical shed calories super fast. But you won't get the body you are after unless and until you work for the shape.

    Me? I want to look dead sexy from every angle, to stop traffic coming and going. And then I'm going to change my license plate to &BRAINS2.

    Monday, January 18, 2016

    Hot tub for the win

    This morning I woke up feeling wicked sick. I made tea, canceled my whole calendar for the day, and did as little as possible, including a nap. After dinner, we took Vivian to the pool, swam some and hit the hot tub some. A little activity and increase of the core temperature goes a long way. Day sixteen of the gym.

    Also, the cayenne-cinnamon-cocoa seems to be helping.

    Sunday, January 17, 2016


    This morning the cold and achiness were with me everywhere. The snow was falling and the wind chill is cold enough to issue alerts over the weather channel. My partner and I skipped the weight room and went straight to the pool, where I swam 280 yards before going to the hot tub.

    Yes, I went to the gym for the fifteenth day in a row.

    There are no cigarettes.

    Friday, January 15, 2016

    Another early morning at the gym. Fifteen minutes at level six (up from level five) on the elliptical. Walked a quarter mile before pulling 100m on the rowing machine in six minutes -- my form is getting better and I'm extending back far enough that it is essentially working in 100 sit ups as well as the other awesomeness that is the rowing machine. Walked another quarter mile, then jogged a quarter mile, then hit the glute extension (12 reps each leg at 70 pounds), the inner and outer thigh machines (2 sets of 12 reps at 70 pounds each) and the back extension machine (24 reps at 70 pounds) and 16 inclined sit ups. I simply could not do more than 40 pounds on the tricep machine, so I set the weight at that and did twelve of them. After that, swimming a mile was a respite, and five minutes in the hot tub was golden.

    At home, Vivian was a delight as we made breakfast and changed her into her uniform and went to school. I turned the stale bagels into slices and toasted them, and they are delicious, a perfect accompnaiment to some lemon ginger tea.

    I'm starting to see definition in the arms and increased firmness in the abs. I can definitely feel the improvement in my back and core. The scale says I've hit 125, and I'm really ok with that. I can feel the weight finally, finally!! coming out of my face, even if only a little. I'm probably going to need new swim shorts by April, since the waist on the ones I have is getting a bit loose. I feel really positive about the way I look for the first time in a decade.

    The biggest bonus is the way I feel, which is way better overall from a couple months ago. I definitely have more energy throughout the day, and feel less cranky in general, less discouraged. I am still an emotional wreck about things at times, I grant you, but for actual reasons and not because I didn't have enough energy to feel good. Peace is possible.

    Oh, and I just found out about the FitBit Blaze that is coming in March. I totally need one, but that's not important right now.

    In other news, today is day nine of not smoking.

    Thursday, January 14, 2016

    Getting to the heart of the matter

    A short morning at the gym helped me focus on what really gets results: twelve minutes on the elliptical at a level higher than usual followed by five minutes (1000m) on the rowing machine, glute extension at a higher weight, and inclined situps. All in less than 30 minutes.

    At home, we made breakfast (i had roast beef, hard boiled eggs, swiss cheese and a garden salad with red wine vinegar) and took Vivian to school, then got more cinnamon tea and splurged on coffee drinks -- that was absolutely nice, but overall not worth the outlay in cash, and I see a real tightening of the discretionary budget over the rest of the challenge.

    Wednesday, January 13, 2016

    Let the Rhythm Take You

    This morning was cold, cold cold. Stupid cold. We shivered all the way to the gym.
    Once there, the rhythm of this month took over: ten minutes on the elliptical, five minutes (1000m) rowing, glutes, sit ups, back extension; swim two miles in ten minutes; zone out in a meditative state for five minutes in the hot tub, remembering that the Universe loves me and wants me to be happy.

    Eggs, cheddar, bacon and horseradish wrap afterwards, with hot tea and a new-to-me mug.

    Tuesday, January 12, 2016

    Running Gets It Done

    Ten minutes on the elliptical, then five minutes (1000 m) on the rowing machine. Arms arms and more arms on the machines, and inclined sit ups, glute and back extension this morning, then a nod at the pool on the way to the hot tub.
    Because some days are like that.

    It was a full day outside the gym. Errands and acupuncture, then a meeting and lunch, then errands and Vivian pickup and a couple more errands. I just landed at home and am nursing a sore spot with an herbal compress I whipped up. Fortunately there is just enough golden noodle soup left over today for dinner. I'm seeing a restful evening with an early bedtime.

    Monday, January 11, 2016

    Monday is legs

    Coffee happened last night, but I'm at 85 hours nicotine free. I confess that the last twelve hours have been hellish, and the only real relief finally came at the gym this morning, though a great game of Cards with my supportive partner was the best distraction from the cravings.

    The gym this morning saw 15 minutes on the elliptical, then on the weights, I took a page from the Warriors - I loaded the weight up until I could barely move it, then did a set of 8. It effectively broke the craving cycle. I might have to go back in half an hour, but the relief is what is important.

    I swam for about a quarter mile against the current in the wave lane of the pool. It took ten minutes and tuckered me out thoroughly. Five minutes in the hot tub and a long shower later, I'm ready for some rest and some more cinnamon tea.

    Life note: I couldn't sleep worth a darn, so I wrote. I started the backstory and framework to a novel. I didn't even know I had one in there.

    Sunday, January 10, 2016

    Simple Sunday

    This morning we turned the dough into bagels, and wow, is it yummy. It's so good that we are considering ditching store-bought and making our own batch of 16 every week. Feel free to stop by for Sunday brunch around 9.

    After bagels and rest time, we hit the gym. It's arms day for me, which means nearly an hour in the weights room after warm up on the elliptical. I am increasing, slowly, so it must be all to the good. Drank a litre of water during my weights hour, too.

    Then I donned my new suit - board shorts for the win, ladies! - and hit the pool while Vivian splashed in the kiddie area. The hot tub at the end is ridiculously soothing. At home, we all devoured some more food - I had 3 eggs, a hamburger from last night, some Swiss cheese, mushrooms and a tomato. And cinnamon tea.

    It's been over 24 hours since I've had a cup of coffee, and nearly three days since a cigarette.

    Saturday, January 9, 2016

    Easy Saturday

    The gym doesn't open until 8 on Saturday, but we were up before dawn anyway. It continues to amaze me that children live to be school aged.

    Ten minutes of elliptical, a half mile walk, inclined sit ups, glute machine and back extension, both at higher weights.

    Friday, January 8, 2016

    An Evening Out

    This afternoon after we picked up Vivian, we all went to the gym together. I did a record 13 minutes on the elliptical before hitting the track to run (yes, run. Me!) a quarter mile before doing inclined sit ups, back extension, glute machine and legs workout. Afterwards, we all went into the pool, and Vivian had a ball in the kids area. Dinner at home was ground beef with mushrooms, leeks, rice, garbanzo beans, and cheddar cheese. It was tasty and filling and super comfortable.

    Today's life moments included paying on my college tuition, dropping a resume at an office, finding a couple other jobs to apply for (tomorrow), and sorting out the books, knitting supplies, and papers that were stacked in and around the study.

    Life is good.

    Thursday, January 7, 2016

    Again with the arms

    This morning we rolled into the gym after a scant two hours of sleep. Arms, arms and more arms. Then back home to do Vivian's morning routine, and then back to the gym to finish up arms, swim six lengths and hit the hot tub for ten minutes.

    I pushed the routine a bit, increasing weights or reps or both. Glute machine, inclined sit-ups and back extension continues, though I had to increase the weight on the glute and back machines. I guess I'm doing something right. Also, a whopping ten minutes on the elliptical.

    Now, a nap before meeting and court.

    Wednesday, January 6, 2016

    Fifteen Degrees

    It was super cold and dark this morning, and I didn't want to get up. I did anyway. The stuff in the dryer was still slightly damp. I wore it anyway. At the gym, the pool was closed, so I walked the track for a mile instead, and then did the glute machine, inclined sit ups, and the back machine at higher weight.

    Because it was more important to do it than to come up with reasons not to.

    Tuesday, January 5, 2016

    Off schedule and off kilter, but doing it

    Last night we were up late, and today's schedule was already thrown for a loop needing to reschedule an afternoon appointment, so the morning trip to the gym got rearranged. The universe must have had a completely different set of plans for us. The evening gym visit resulted in Vivian getting a chance spot in the swim lessons. She had a good time in the kid zone while I did arms in the weight room - ten different machines, with two or three sets on each - and finished with the back extension and glute machine. Yes, after four days in a row, my abs and butt are feeling it.

    Some progress has also been done on the Onerous Tasks list last night and today: I have a new sponsor; I met with the guardian ad litem; I went to two new-to-me meetings.

    Also, whoever came up with acupuncture was a complete genius.

    Monday, January 4, 2016


    We hit the gym before dawn, picking up the routine from years ago with relative ease. The press were in the building, which always weirds me out, covering the popularity of the facility and the New Year's Resolution thing. I found out the pool doesn't open until 630, but it's all good.

    After five minutes on the elliptical machine, I worked legs, walked, and did 25 inclined crunches, followed by a nice plank and some leg lifts. Fifteen minutes in the hot tub before hitting the showers was just right.  As  I got dressed, I started fantasizing about scrambled eggs with Swiss cheese on a bagel with mustard and mayonnaise. At home, I made it half a bagel and enjoyed every bite.

    Sunday, January 3, 2016

    Weights, again, at last

    It has been forever since I was in the weight room. Today's gym visit saw a lot of arm activity on the machines, and I'm exhausted and glad to be back. As usual there were 25 inclined sit ups and a round with the glute machine. Before weights, I managed six minutes on the elliptical machine. Progress is still progress.

    Half an hour of swimming rounded out the morning. Steak, eggs, Swiss cheese and fresh tomatoes were perfect at home. I'm on my third half-litre of water and heading for a nap.

    Saturday, January 2, 2016

    January 2

    I broke down and joined a gym, in January, no less. Because it has a heated pool. But I love it. I need a new swimsuit and a new pair of yoga pants. Still love it anyway.

    Did the elliptical for three whole minutes - this is new.
    Walked a mile, did a minute plank and 30 seconds each side. Side planks are new.
    Swam 5 laps (10 lengths)
    Spent a couple minutes in the hot tub.

    Ate a Huge salad with Romaine lettuce, carrots, garbanzo beans, a parsnip, celery and a tomato-and-a-half. Followed it with 6 ounces roast beef and four slices of Swiss cheese.

    1.5 litres of water so far.
    Weight: (gym scale) 129.something

    Friday, January 1, 2016

    Begin 2016.01

    Focus and routine are the name of the game this month.
    Challenge: Go to the gym every day.
    Let's face it: I know what to do once I'm there. As part of a no-excuses approach, I've joined a gym with an indoor pool as well as a weight room and indoor track, and there's kiddie care for up to two hours every day.

    Life: TheOnerousTaskList
    Serious work needs to be done on this front. In an effort to simply be accountable, and to recognize progress, I'm inserting the stuff I do, as I do it.

    1. Join the gym
    2. Move the study downstairs
    3. Set up the computer
    4. Books and files downstairs
    5. Set up daily routine for January
    6. Meet with Guardian ad Litem
    7. Court with Carol
    8. Major tuition payment
    9. CV to Rescue Mission
    10. Get a new Sponsor
    11. Apply to several jobs with the County / City
    12. Get accepted to present at the ASPECT Conference
    13. Create shared family calendar
    14. Tuition balance paid and hold removed.
    15. Registration for Spring complete.
    16. Applications for financial aid complete.
    17. Update of forbearance paperwork for student loans.
    18. Update payment plan for ANU.
    19. Deliver January payment to ANU.
    Life Space List
    1. Organize beans and grains
    2. Shelf space for beans and grains
    3. Shelf space in the nook
    4. Build closet shelves
    5. Unpack Harvey's books in basement
    6. Hang cross, mirror and rosary
    7. Untrim and remove Christmas tree