Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The What-If Game

I want to start this post by giving a huge shout out to Crunchy Betty! Please go take a look at her blog as it is full of awesome fabulous fantasticness. She posted today about a new game she is playing and she wants all of us/you to try it. It's called the What-If game. It's pretty easy to play and the best part is that as long as you play, you are a winner. Sounds awesome right? That's because it is.

Here are the deets:

The Objective: To learn whether, through no-biggie experiments, you can change the way you look at life, achieve a goal, or kick a bad habit – without feeling like any of it is a Very Big Deal.

There are only a few rules:
  1. What Ifs are all experiments, and nothing about the outcome is a Very Big Deal. It’s just fun to play.
  2. It doesn’t matter what other people think about the experiments you run by saying What If.
  3. If you don’t like the outcomes after a few trials, you can adjust the experiments or just move on.
  4. As long as you’re unattached to any specific outcome, and as long as you play it truthfully and without manipulation in mind, it is a success, even if it fails, because you’ve learned something new about how you navigate your life.
 So right now, right this very second, I want you to think about something in your life you would like to change. Something that causes you problems. Maybe you have a bad habit, a goal you want to achieve or a way of thinking you would like to change. Now think about the What-If's for your situation. Some of the ones that are floating around my head are "What If I woke up earlier than I needed to be awake every day", "What If I wrote in my journal more often", "What If I took a more active role in my relationship with my parents". These are just a few of mine. I should probably add "What If I didn't take on so many projects/goals at once" as it seems relevant in this situation (hahaha).

Ok, so now you have your what you want to change, and your action to make that change happen. All you need to now is start to experiment with your What If one day at a time. Maybe tomorrow you force yourself out of bed an hour earlier than usual. Or maybe instead of yelling at your kids because they are getting on your nerves you close your eyes, take a few breaths and calm down. Whatever it is, try it out today, right now if you can.

The key to making this game work is that you focus on the experiment without investing in the results. If you are unattached to a particular outcome then you won't be disappointed. Remember that this is about making the change and then noticing how that change affects your life. Try not to expect a particular result. If you aren't hoping for outcome A then you won't be disappointed if you get outcome B.

And don't give up on the first try either. If you get a result at first that doesn't settle well with you afterwards then try it again a few times. Really give the experiment time to cultivate a consistent result and then decide whether or not you want to keep the change in your life.

My first What-If is definitely focused on trying to get my butt out of bed earlier. I always feel amazing when I force myself out of bed and can have a relaxing morning before going to work. I just hate the whole act of getting out of bed. We'll see if I can get myself to do it every week day for the rest of the month and how it changes my life. I'll make sure to keep ya'll updated.

What are the What-Ifs you want to experiment with?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Pinterest Finds: Health and Fitness

So I passed my written exam for my personal training course! Yaaaaaaay. Therefore I figured this week would be as good a week as any to show you all some of my health and fitness related Pinterest finds.

1. 25 Ways to Run Faster (original source) - Planning on incorporating a lot of these techniques in my training regimen. Although I hate hills I'm hoping they will make my running a lot better.

2. Jump Off Jiggle (original source) - I have recently fallen in love with jumping. On my upward motion in my squats I'll normally jump my feet together and back out then move into the squat. I also love doing squat jumps on my stairs. It's such a good way to burn fat and build muscle!

3. Reasons to be Fit (original source) - This happens to me all the time. Never ceases to amaze me how many muscles we have but don't realize we have until they get sore.

4. Kettlebells for Beginners (original source) - I don't know about you but kettlebells look like I love exercises that keep things interesting and this is definitely one of those exercises. This article gives you tips on how to start using kettlebells.

5. Top 15 Reasons to Run (original source) - I love running when it doesn't cause injuries but there are some really good reasons to start running.

6. Crossfit (original source) - Maybe I'm masochistic but I think crossfit looks like so much fun plus you get an amazing workout. I love the idea of really challenging yourself and using your body weight for most of your resistance training.

7. Common Knee Pains (original source) - This is super informative. Use it to analyse where the pain is and what it could be diagnosed as. Of course you should always consult your doctor if you're feeling a pain but this could satisfy your curiosity if you are curious like me. Make sure to open up the link to read what it says!

If you'd like you keep updated with my pins make sure to follow me or a board of mine that interests you! Happy Friday and I hope everyone has a great weekend :)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Race Recap: Not Since Moses

A few weekends ago Matt and I went on a camping trip to Five Islands. I knew it was going to be beautiful but this beautiful. I had no idea.

Dancer's pose on the ocean floor at low tide.

View of the camp ground and Five Islands from the office building.

Matt and I at the end of the camping property. There's actually a drop off right behind us.

We originally went because we were participating in the Not Since Moses race. Even though we did still run in the race, I think the camping was the real highlight of the weekend. I haven't been camping in years so I wasn't sure what to expect but it was amazing. We had perfect weather the entire weekend including the drive up. On the way we found an awesome cluster of yard sales and antique stores where I bought a lot of wicked items for my new apartment. One of them I plan on refinishing and posting a DIY for it on here soon. We forgot to take a photo of the shops but we'll do that next year since I think this is going to become a yearly tradition for us.

Our little camp site with this amazing view behind it.

Even though we were late (because of the shopping) we still got to the camp ground with plenty of time to set up our tent, make some dinner and enjoy the evening sun before bed.

Playing Skip-Bo while eating dinner.
One of the many benefits of car camping is that we could pretty much make any food we wanted. So for dinner we had a tofu/veggie stirfry on rice with peanut and coconut curry sauce. It was delish!

Tofu and veggie stirfry with wine :)

Enjoying the view after dinner.

Our muddy feet after a bit of exploring.

I know I know, marshmallows aren't vegan. But you gotta make exceptions sometimes.

Hanging out by the fire.

Right before bed.

We woke up the next morning with a bit of a hangover and Matt had a migraine. I was expecting him to stay in the tent while I went to race but he was a trooper and went with me anyways.

Before the start of the race.

The Not Since Moses race is very unique as it isn't run in a normal race environment, for this race you are literally running on the ocean floor. Five Islands is on the Bay of Fundy and at this particular spot the water goes out so far at low tide that there is actually room to run 5km on the ocean floor. We hadn't done any training for running in mud but it wasn't as hard as I expected. Since Matt was having some chest pains we just took it easy and alternated between walking and running when he was up for it. Because of that our finishing times weren't as expected (48:45 for the both of us, Matt coming in 439th, me coming in 440th) but his health is more important than our finishing times. And we still had a lot of fun! We're definitely planning on coming back next year and training for the distance so that we get some good times.

Start line.

Everyone gathering around at go time.

At the half way turn around point.

The aftermath. We just threw out our shoes.

And there you have it. I can't wait to come back next year. Maybe I won't drink the night before so my head is in better shape for the race. Hope to get a better time next year too!      

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

CIBC Run For The Cure

This year I am again participating in the CIBC Run For The Cure. Yay! I've run in this event at least 4 or 5 times over the last 10 years and every single time I enjoy it. It is always the highlight of my racing/running because of the spirit that goes into it. And this year I'm expecting it to be even better if only for the simple reason that I am actually running for someone.

As many of you already know the Run For The Cure is to raise awareness of and funding for breast cancer research. Personally, no one in my immediate circle has been affected by breast cancer. That being said I have been touched by cancer. Last November my Nan died from colon cancer. It was a challenging time filled with lots of tears and sleepless nights. I believe she was taken from this world so that new life could be brought into it but I still wish that it had not happened and that no one would ever have to go through that kind of pain and loss. Alas, it happens every day. So this is why I am participating in the run. I figure getting one step closer to finding a cure for cancer, all cancers, is a step in the right direction.

If you would like to help me raise money and awareness for this amazing cause please go to my donation page and donate whatever you can. Whether that's $.50 or $50, it all counts.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Pinterest Finds: Superfoods, Sun Tea and Nothing to Wear

By the time Friday comes along my brain usually wants to go for a run and then crash on the couch to veg for the evening with a big bag o' chips (hence my nick name "girl who eats whole bags of chips"). I'm normally completely burnt out. So to keep things light I have decided to start a new series called Pinterest Finds. For those of you that don't know, Pinterest is an online pin board. You can categorize your "pins" to keep them organized and you can also follow other people's boards and they can follow you.

I absolutely love this site. I'm always finding things online that I want to remember but hate having a ton of bookmarks. Pinterest allows me to keep track of all my random online finds in a way that makes sense to me.

So without further adieu, here are some of my Pinterest Finds this week.

1. Superfoods (original source) - Most of these I eat on a weekly basis, some daily. How many of these do you eat regularly? Avocado is my fav :)

2. Audrey Hepburn (original source) - I couldn't agree more. I get so much joy out of helping other people. It makes me feel alive and like I've been put on this Earth for a reason.

3. Nothing to wear (original source) - This is me every morning.

4. Balloons (original source) - This is such an awesome idea. I really want to try this when I have the space and take some self portraits!

5. Roasted zucchini (original source) - ....drooling... Oh how I miss cheese. Going to try making these with a vegan cheeze sauce though.

6. Wooden spoons (original source) - Just started my wooden spoon collection. In my new apartment I want my utensils to be made out of metal or wood, no plastic. This will be a great way to spice up my collection.

7. Sun tea (original source) - I wonder what this tastes like and if it will give me super powers or not.

8. Beach (original source) - Having sand between my toes is one of my favorite feelings in the entire world. pure.bliss.

Make sure to check out my Pinterest boards and follow any of the ones that interest you :)

Happy Friday!