The Gambler

Just advanced warning… I'm really tired today and bordering on delirious so this may not make any sense whatsoever πŸ™‚

On the weekend I was browsing at a department store beauty counter. A twenty-something sales assistant sprang out from behind a mirror and said, "Can I help you? How about this primer?" She waved a tube in my face. "I think you'll love it. It's great at smoothing fine lines and wrinkles!"

Yeah, thanks very much lady!

This trifling anecdote is the only way I could think of to start writing about the tangled pile of stuff I've been thinking about lately. Ageing and health and relationships and work and meaning and whatnot.

At times I've lived like I had a neverending bucket of time. Like no matter how poorly I treated my body I'd have time to Ctrl+Z the damage. But really, it's only luck that I've escaped relatively unscathed (thus far).

Recently I've been humbled by how fast life can change – seeing how the most healthy specimens can become fragile overnight. We humans are really are so vulnerable. It's left me feeling quite rotten for gambling with my own health so much.

Another thing that's brought clarity was hanging out in Brussels with my Up & Running compadre, Julia Jones (better known as Coach Julia to the ladies she bosses around with her virtual megaphone!). The premise of our meeting was to do lots and lots of work, which we did; but I came away feeling like my brain and heart had been dismantled, scrubbed and polished, then put back together again like new.

I dunno, maybe Julia hypnotised me or something? But hanging out with her makes me look forward to being 50 years old. She is kicking arse. Not just because she finished a freaking half iron man a couple of weeks ago, but because does things with purpose, thoughtfulness and consistency. She lives with the kind of structured mindfulness I've been striving for. She squeezes her running shoes into her carry-on luggage – it wouldn't occur to her not to move her butt on a long weekend away. She orders exactly what she wants and relishes a yummy restaurant meal, but eats lighter and healthier at the next meal without making a big thing of it. She works hard, on projects she cares deeply about, but knows when it's time to down tools and chill out. She gives so much to people, but she knows when to draw boundaries. I admire the hell out of her approach to life.

Does this post have a bloody point, woman? you may be asking. Yes! Sorta! I guess lately I'm feeling very conscious of time passing, and the cumulative effects of my thoughts and actions. I'm seeing this Making Healthy Choices thing in a different light. Sometimes a slice of cake is just a slice of cake, but when scoffed too often cake numbs; it dulls the edges and clouds the thoughts. I'm trying to be more thoughtful about what's going on when I reach for cake and what happens afterwards… both the immediate sugar crash and mood plummet, and the effects arteries years down the line.

Likewise when I choose to lift some weights, or go for a bike ride, or eat a salad… sometimes a salad is just a salad. But when it's bursting with colour and flavour it almost feels like a declaration of intent…

I want to live a long life
I want to have strong bones when I'm an old lady
I want to spend my days doing meaningful work
I want to walk for miles without hurty knees
I want to be a strong, clear-minded partner, friend, daughter, sister, business partner

And I really don't need a Β£30 tube of primer!

(I could really do with a nap, though πŸ™‚ )

New Years Goals Check-in: June

I'm doing monthly updates on my New Year Goals.

We're 50% done with 2011! 

June highlights

  • Kettlebell Love. Wow that weird lump of iron makes you feel like such a badass. But a lot of the love is for lazy reasons. There's only one item to deal with: no faffing around switching plates on a barbell or putting dumbbells away afterwards. Makes it easier to get past the "I don't wanna" tantrums!
  • Bike Non-Hate. I cycled up my very first hill without stopping this month. I know most people achieve this when they're 8 years old, but one must celebrate the victories. I had to use the very lowest gear but at least I got up the bloody thing. I attribute the attitude improvement to this wee cycling computer. Now I can geek out on how fast (okay, how slow) I am going and how far I've been.
  • Six months of Food Mood Journal Spreadsheet completeness. Nerdgasms ahoy!
  • Six months of not gaining weight and actually very slowly losing, without being an obsessed dieting crazy lady. That feels great after steadily expanding for so long.

June lowlight

  • I completely unravelled for about ten days. There have been some challenging times lately and I managed to carry on with the mindful habits for a good while, but for awhile this month I lost it. It started innocently with running out of yogurt for breakfast leading to me deciding to buy a pastry from Starbucks, then a chocolate after lunch, then skipping a few workouts, then feeling really crap then just wallowing that feeling. And while being aware of exactly why I felt crap (which is progress in some ways), I decided to continue feeling crap by making poor choices, not planning meals, ignoring hunger signals and not pausing to think before I ate.

The positives: I've returned to the healthy habits so much faster than previous setbacks. I'm back to Tuning In and the meal planning is sorted so July is looking better.

Mid-Term Review
It's been a modest kind of year so far. But when I think about my mental state and the inability to breathe in my jeans back on January 1, it feels like real progress.

July plans

  • Improved consistency with strength training – twice a week minimum. Need to remember how much I enjoy it when thinking of ditching it for a cuppa and a book!
  • Cycling cycling and more cycling. There's only three months til Cycletta, eep.

Hope you're all well… thank you gazillions for reading. Apologies for the cobwebs on the blog lately!

Two Fit Chicks Episode 27 – Kettlebells and Kindness

For your aural pleasure!After an unintentional 2.5 month absence there’s finally a new peisode of Two Fit Chicks And A Microphone for you – Episode 27 – Kettlebells and Kindness.

We spoke to the lovely Karen Anderson of Before & After: A Real Life Story about her path to self-acceptance and also her love for kettlebells. Karen is such a smart and thoughtful woman so the conversation flowed like BUTTER, baby!

Carla and I also talk about the Fitbloggin conference and finally meeting each other in person. Consider this a verbal recap as six weeks on I’ve still not managed to write about its goodness. Oh dear. As The Mothership used to say in flustered fashion, “I just haven’t had time to bless myself!”. I bet she doesn’t say that now she is retired πŸ˜‰

Monthly review post coming soon! Hope you are doing well, groovers. How’s life?

Check out the podcast… if you dare πŸ˜€ Β»