Playing Catch-Up

After a few weeks of so-so lent participation, I’m determined to pull it together and end the month on a high note. Let’s do this!

Last night I topped off a busy week with a Tibetan Singing Bowls session at a local yoga studio. For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, it was basically an hour-long “sound massage” where we laid in shavasana, covered in blankets, while being serenaded by a beautiful orchestra of singing bowls. I’m pretty sure that covers my “yogic relaxation technique” base for the week. Check!

Then this morning, before I could even distract myself with anything else, I rolled out my mat and did a 45-minute yoga and meditation practice on Yoga International lead by my teacher Karina. For anyone looking to practice yoga at home, I highly recommend checking out Yoga International, they have a whole host of classes to stream, all free to the public.

After that I managed to talk myself out of eating a spoonful of chocolate frosting from the fridge that was leftover from Dan’s birthday cake, and I decided to hold off on putting a cute pair of boots on my credit card that have been in my DSW shopping cart all weekend, so I’m off to a good start.

And it’s New Year’s Eve tomorrow! Time to find some plans and set some intentions for 2014. Anyone have any resolutions they’d like to share?

Fanne loves yoga almost as much as I do

She loves Fanne-bombing my home practice

Did > Did Not

I’ve had a hard time keeping up with posting though all the holiday hooplah this month and I’ve also hard a hard time keeping up with my challenge. I just reread my posts from this month and realized that all of them pretty much say the same thing: “Whoops, I missed the mark this week. At least there’s always next week!”. But then the next week brought the same story.

I could beat myself up for this but I don’t believe in that. Negative self talk never makes anything better. Plus, even though I never checked off every single item on my self-care to-do list on any given week, I’m actually feeling pretty good right now, so the few things I managed to get around to must have paid off.

So instead of focusing on what I didn’t do, here’s what I did do this month:

  • I recommitted to my meditation practice and have integrated it back into my life.
  • I made time for yoga, even when I only had 20 minutes to practice, and was reminded that sometimes that’s all you need.
  • I did an awesome job abstaining from sweet-eating and saved myself a bunch of empty calories/instaregret.
  • I finished all my shopping a week before Christmas—for the first time ever—saving me a bunch of last minute stress (although my family just got their gifts in the mail today, which is a total bummer. Thanks USPS)
  • I moved and unpacked a whole house worth of belongings 2 weeks before Christmas and still managed to get a tree, do my holiday decorating, and send out cards to friends and family.
  • I actually ended up having a really nice Christmas. It was my first year away from my family for the holidays so there were certainly sad moments, but overall I managed to have a really nice day at home with Dan and Fanne in our beautiful new apartment. We slept in, we cooked, we baked, we ate, we exchanged gifts, and we relaxed. Perfect, right?

Maybe I hard a hard time fitting in those 2 cardio workouts a week, and maybe there were a few times when I went to bed without meditating, or times when using my credit card was the only option, but I feel ok right now, and holiday burnout never made it’s way to these parts. That’s some sort of success, right?

And it’s only the 28th too, there’s still a few days left before the new year to do a little self-care catch up before I’m off to my next challenge—which is going to be really fun btw 😉

My favorite Christmas tradition: Watching It's a Wonderful life on xmas eve

My favorite Christmas tradition: Watching It’s a Wonderful life on Christmas Eve

 

Holidays–1, Danne–1

If it were yesterday the title of this post definitely would have been, “Holidays-1, Danne-0”. You know those days when you get in your car for lunch break and seriously consider driving home, crawling into bed, and calling into work “bat s**t crazy”? That was my yesterday.

Last Tuesday we returned to MI after a whirlwind trip home to the east coast (with Fanne in tow, yay!) and immediately had to pack up all of our stuff because our apartment was finally ready to move into (I wouldn’t believe it myself if I weren’t sitting on my new turquoise couch right now). Then we spent my entire birthday moving, and the 6 days that followed were a mix of furiously unpacking and getting eaten alive by holiday retail madness. Woah. I’m 98% sure this is the first time I’ve sat down in over a week. It’s been a doozy…

So needless to say, my holiday survival guide didn’t get very much attention last week and I give myself a big, fat F—not even an E for Effort. Damn moving, it gets me every time…

But this is a new week and a chance to recommit. Although we’re not entirely unpacked, our apartment is mostly functional so I have a little more time to devote to taking care of myself and to getting back on track—and I intend to do just that.

But for the record—and so you guys don’t think I’m a total slacker—I’d like to make it known that I finished all of my Christmas shopping today and made a trip to the post office to mail out what needed to be sent home to my family. That, and I have 20 Christmas cards sitting in front of me that are all sealed, stamped, and addressed, ready to hit the post office box tomorrow morning. At least I hit one holiday survival guide goal. That’s something, right?

You might have got me earlier in the week holidays, but I think we’re even now. It’s on.

My first of 2 legal sweet cheats this month: birthday cake!

My first of 2 legal sweet cheats this month: birthday cake!

p.s. In case you missed it, here’s my second post about my holiday survival guide for the lululemon blog this month.

p.p.s. We got the best, most squatty, little Christmas tree tonight. Pics to come once it’s decorated, I’m in love.

 

“Rut Roh”

In the words of Astro, the dog from The Jetsons, “Rut roh”. Traveling did indeed throw a bit of a wrench in keeping up with my holiday survival guide and it looks like even if I meditate, practice yoga nidra, and get one more asana class in there, I’m still going to come up a little short this week. What can you do? I will say that I did do pretty well overall (and for the record, that cute little jacket did not go on my credit card), and since I’m in the middle of a little vacation my stress levels are pretty low, so at least there’s that. Plus, this was the view from my walk today, and man oh man, the ocean has a magical way of washing away any tension you might be holding onto. How does it do that?

chatham

My favorite kind of swalk

 

And I’ve officially been reunited with Fanne after over 3 months apart so that’s a pretty big spirit lift right there. A little kitty love is just what I need to get me through the holidays. I mean, look at that face?

New hashtag: #selfieswithfanne

New hashtag: #selfieswithfanne

 

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

…Because I started my morning off with meditation and I’m currently having sliced strawberries and a banana for dessert (not a peanut butter cup with an overflowing dollop of whipped cream on top like I’d prefer). I’ve also already fit in one cardio workout, a Pure Barre class (bonus!), and a yoga nidra practice this week so I feel like I’m in good shape. If I can resist using my credit card at work today to buy this little gem that’s coming in I think I’ll feel pretty good about myself.

Tomorrow we fly back to the east coast for a little birthday trip home for me and to pick up the Fanster from the kitty-sitters (eee!!!), so hopefully I can keep up with all of my survival guidelines while we’re away—traveling always seems to throw in wrench in your regular routine. I already have a yoga date with a friend planned for Friday morning though and I’m sure I can talk my mom into going on a swalk with me by the ocean so I feel confident that I’ll be able to fit everything in.

This week’s mantra: I think I can, I think I can…

How excited am I to see this little smoosh after 3 months apart? eee!

How excited am I to see this little smoosh after 3 months apart? Can. Not. Wait. 

And in case anyone missed it, I had a post on the lululemon blog yesterday about this month’s challenge. Check it out!

From Sweating to Surviving: November’s Wrap-Up and December’s Lent

It’s that time again folks, time to wrap up one challenge and move on to the next. Before I reveal December’s lent, here’s a quick wrap-up of November’s Sweat Once A Day challenge.

Overall it was really fun and surprisingly not that difficult to keep up with. I ended up trying a few new workouts, I kept up with my yoga practice, and I definitely logged more physical activity than I would have if I wasn’t pushing myself to, so I consider it a win for that reason alone. Here’s my final tally for the whole month:

  • 10 yoga practices
  • 5 swalks
  • 2 runs
  • 5 Pure Barre classes
  • 1 kickboxing class
  • 1 Real Ryder class
  • 1 Barre-dio class
  • 1 Hampton Inn fitness center session (elliptical and free weights)
  • 1 dune climb at Sleeping Bear Dunes

That makes 27 workouts, and since I was sick for the first few days, I’m going to go ahead and give myself a gold star. Not bad Dzenawagis, not bad…but alas, it’s December now and time to move on so I’ll get right to it and introduce this month’s challenge: the Holiday Survival Guide, Part 2.

Remember last December when I gave myself a set of self-care guidelines to follow to make it through the holiday season unscathed? Well, it worked so well that I’ve decided to do it again, changing a few little things from last year’s list.

The basic gist of it is this: it goes without saying that as wonderful as the holiday season is, the stress of keeping up with it often drives you to abandon your regular healthy habits in favor of overworking, overdoing it, and overindulging. Sound familiar? But while you can’t control how hectic everything around you is, what you can control is how you respond to it, which really boils down to creating and committing to a self-care practice designed to help keep you physically, mentally, and financially healthy.

This year happens to be extra crazy for me too, because in addition to the regular stress of working retail during the holidays and preparing for Christmas in general, this month I also have to contend with moving, a trip back home to the east coast—which includes flying Fanne back home in an airplane with us, oh boy…and turning 30 (which I’m 100% in denial about). So yeah, there’s a lot going on, and to help me make it through to the other side somewhat resembling a sane version of myself, this is what I’m committing to in the month of December:

  1. I will practice yoga (asana) 3 times a week.
  2. I will meditate every day.
  3. I will practice yoga nidra or another yogic relaxation technique 2 times a week.
  4. I will do some sort of cardio workout 2 times a week.
  5. I will abstain from eating all sweets (candy, cookies, cupcakes—basically any type of dessert), but allow myself exceptions for my birthday (because eating an entire birthday cake will definitely make me feel better about entering the next age bracket) and Christmas (because it would just be mean not to, right?).
  6. My credit card will not come out once. Everything I buy and do will be paid for with real money.
  7. I will have all my holiday shopping done by December 18th, a full week before Christmas (if I can pull this one off it’ll definitely be a first).

Does it sound like a lot? It is. But it’s the kind of work that’s worth doing, and the kind of work that pays off, I promise.

Anyone care to join me? If you made your own holiday survival guide, what would it look like? I’ll be blogging about this challenge over on the lululemon blog this month too and inviting their community to jump on board as well—join us!