Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Perfect Workout: If You Want to Feel Like More of a Bad Ass

If you have heard of P90X, you know that it’s pretty much insane. 

If you know the Fowlingtons, you know we are too.

So Doc and I are doing the “Extreme Home Fitness” routine for the next 90 days.  This workout system is incredible if you want to feel like a badass or superhero.  The workouts are different each day but are INTENSE!  They are about an hour long each and on some days you have an extra 15 minute workout to tack on.

The first two days were hell, but I tell you what – Doc and I are already feeling incredible!

Screw my work out 3-4 times a week idea.  We’re working out for a solid hour every night after Little Bird goes to bed and we feel incredible!  Our stress level is down, our energy is up, and we have much better attitudes every day.

We’ve completed phase I – the first 30 days.  Granted, we have 60 to go, but we feel amazing.

I will tell you that I have brought out the Bad Ass boots and definitely feel more like Uma Thurman each day.

Here’s to being fit!

 

For those of you wondering how you do an hour to an hour and a half workout each day, here is my answer.  You don’t have to workout everyday.  You don’t have to work out for a full hour to hour and a half every time you work out either.  But this is a jumpstart to a life change for us.  You need to decide, either it is worth it to spend the time to be healthy and fit so that you live a longer and fuller life – or it’s not.  Period.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Decisions, Decisions

Ok.  So you think you’ve made your decision, but when it comes down to crunch time, you seem to always second guess yourself.

Two paths.  One that we want, and one that we want to be the kind of people that want.

How do you make the decision?  Based on who you are, or who you want to be?

Looking into the future, this choice could split our path very different ways.  It seems monumental. 

The only way you become the person you want to be, is by acting like that person until it becomes habit.  Making decisions like that person would.  And eventually, they’re instinct.

So do you chose based on who you are now and what you want – or do you risk putting yourself out there and trying to become the person you want to be.

Easier said, than done.

Who we are wants to believe that the things that are not wonderful here will get better.  The things that are wonderful, we hope will stay the same, maybe even become more amazing then they already are.  I get to stay at my outstanding job.  Doc works in a familiar setting with familiar people, though he may have fewer opportunities to branch out and try new things.  Money will not be a worry.  Staying is easier.  Staying is safer.  Staying means that we get to stay close to family that love us and Little Bird.

Going – going means adventure.  New opportunities.  A life of outdoor adventure.  More options for Doc.  A fresh start.  A chance to start over and make new mistakes instead of continually paying for old ones.  But it means throwing ourselves far away from family.  Some who will come and visit, some who might, and some who won’t.  It means taking Little Bird away from a group that love her – leaving the best job I’ve ever had.  Risking that we will struggle financially if I cannot find work.  Maybe putting off extending our family.

But it means being the go-get-em, fearless, pushing onward, experience craving family we want to be who doesn’t do something because it’s easier or safer – but leaps into the unknown and pastes “Carpe Diem” across their chests.

“Tied down”

If Little Bird wasn’t here – it would be easier to chose to take the plunge.  I guess I am maybe more tied down than I thought.  Is that really so bad?

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Decisions, decisions.

Friday is the last day to enter our choice.  I will definitely need the meditation this week.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

5 Ways to Live Greener Right Now

1.) Promise yourself – no more plastic water bottles!  Carry a water bottle with you that you can refill as you go.  If taste is a major concern, use a water purifier.

2.)  Pick 2 things off your grocery list to start buying organic, hormone free, or free range.

3.) Lower your thermostat 2 degrees.  You can handle 2 degrees! 

4.) Put 1 Cloth Grocery Bag in your car to see if you use it.  Just one.

5.) Clean with vinegar when you can.  1 part vinegar, 1 part water + $.99 spray bottle from dollar store = easy peasy.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Certainty

Beware: the below is another one of those philosophical, na├»ve, and probably borderline bologna postings of mine.  Don’t read it if you are a cynic who knows everything.  It’ll just prove to you that I’m an idiot.

Moving on…

Today, while reading facebook posts from old friends, I noticed this status:

Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it. ~Andre Gide

This pretty much sums up a lot of the changes in my philosophy over the last half decade.  When I went to college, I thought people had answers to the big questions, and I just lacked the faith or the intellect to understand and accept them.

Now – I’m a parent and a teacher.  Those two authority figures were some that I really thought had a lot of the answers when I was a kid.  Now, I realize that most of us are going by our best guess and trying to figure out the answers.

That’s good enough to me.

I have a hard time believing anyone that says that they have it all figured out.  I think the people that are “figuring it all out” seem more grounded and happier generally.  That’s just an observation.

I don’t have all the answers.  Infact, I continue to realize I have very few answers, if any.

I don’t know is becoming a more and more acceptable answer.

"I’m trying to find out” is becoming the best.

This has particularly affected my take on “forgiveness”.  How do I even know if there is anything to forgive?  We know so little of why people do what they do.  I believe people are mostly good, so I doubt that many of the “wrongs” done to me have been intentional.  I know that so little of the harm I have caused others was ever intentional.  So I can never “know for certain” that someone tried to do something out of malice unless they confess it to me directly.

So next time someone cuts me off, or hurts my feelings, I’m going to try to hold to this.  Odds are, they weren’t trying to do something mean.  May as well forgive quickly and move the hell on.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Point of Release

Ever workout and start to cry?

It’s weird.

The best thing I have discovered about really pushing yourself in workouts is that it keeps you from “running” from the things in life that you don’t think you are ready to deal with.  It exhausts you to the point that you are too tired to keep the walls up and it forces you to slow down and address the stress.

I aimed to exercise 3-4 times a week, but Doc and I have been working out for an hour at least everyday for the last 10 days.

The peace of mind and ease of stress I have noticed in the last 10 days has been incredible.

You cannot do these workouts if you do not clear your mind of all the negativity and just focus on moving your body.  It’s almost impossible to get through an intense hour long workout without pushing everything else aside.

And if you can’t push it out, it surfaces.  And you deal with it. 

You literally don’t sweat the small stuff – but the big stuff – the big stuff you face – you figure out – and you move the hell on.

Simple.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

No Regrets?

I like the person I am becoming.  I wouldn’t be the person I am becoming if I hadn’t made the choices I did in life.

That being said, I don’t think it’s really possible for me to say that I have no regrets.

I don’t regret the lessons I have learned, but their price is a bit high for me.

I have made mistakes.

I have burned bridges.

I have hurt others.

I cannot take it back, as much as I wish I could.

Sometimes no matter of apology or effort can rebuild a bridge.

I don’t know that the lessons are always worth it.

I am proud of the changes I have made in my life to be better – less petty – more understanding – less judgmental.

I only wish sometimes that the changes had not been necessary.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Songs That Matter to Me: Doubting Thomas

 

Those of you who have ever seen me listening to music, know of my deep connection to the music produced by Nickel Creek. 

My last years in high school, they released their final album, “Why Should the Fire Die”.  This album shifted from the lighter storytelling notes of their first two to a darker, more honest, and raw take on their bluegrass blend.

When I first heard Doubting Thomas, it moved me to tears.  It echoed so deeply the thoughts I had as someone who had begun to battle with the ideas of “faith”.  Accepting ideas because they are told to you is one thing, but truly believing them within yourself when you openly question them is completely different, and terrifying.  This song gave me so much comfort as I struggled with my desire to search for answers and fear of where that search would lead.

I have posted the lyrics for you, but also, I will post a music video.  This is NOT a video by Nickel Creek.  A group produced this for a film project and posted it on YouTube but I rather like it, so enjoy!  Video below lyrics!

Doubting Thomas by Nickel Creek

What will be left when I've drawn my last breath,
Besides the folks I've met and the folks who know me,
Will I discover a soul saving love,
Or just the dirt above and below me,
I'm a doubting thomas,
I took a promise,
But I do not feel safe,
Oh me of little faith.


Sometimes I pray for a slap in the face,
Then I beg to be spared 'cause I'm a coward,
If there's a master of death I'll bet he's holding his breath,
As I show the blind and tell the deaf about his power,
I'm a doubting thomas,
I can't keep my promises,
'Cause i don't know what's safe,
oh me of little faith.


Can I be used to help others find truth,
When I'm scared I'll find proof that its a lie,
Can I be lead down a trail dropping bread crumbs,
That prove I'm not ready to die.


Please give me time to decipher the signs,
Please forgive me for time that I've wasted,
I'm a doubting thomas,
I'll take your promise,
Though I know nothin's safe,
Oh me of little faith

In the comments, I ask that you share a song that has touched you at a certain point in your life!

Eating at Home

At the request of my husband, I will NOT be posting about what we have been doing for an hour and a half every night after Little Bird goes to bed.

Instead, I would love to share something incredible that has been transforming our home.

Eating here.

We never really ate out very much, but since Little Bird eats “big people” food now, when I cook, it’s extremely healthy well-balanced meals with fresh fruits and veggies and whole grains.

We spend time at the table now, instead of sitting in the living room, eating while we work.

We spend each evening together, first eating dinner, then cleaning up, then playing, reading books, and singing songs until Little Bird goes to bed.

The biggest change I’ve noticed is in our attitudes when we come home.

The old way:

Hi, Honey.  I’m going to change clothes.  Now I’m going to get on the computer for a while.  Let’s each get our own things done.  Crap.  Is it 5:00?  Rush to cook dinner.  Ok, I’m off to work on other stuff more now.  Ugh, Little Bird is so tired.  She won’t stop fussing.  Guess it’s off to bed. Night, night.  Ok great, time for some Netflix until bed.

Now:

Hi, Honey.  I’m going to change clothes.  Are we playing with blocks?  My tower is taller!  Really?  You’re going to knock it down.  4:30, time to cook dinner together!  Hurray, mint peas!  Let’s all eat.  Little Bird you are doing so good!  Look at you trying to use that fork!  Ok, let’s all clean up!  Dishes and putting food away and wiping off the table!  Family clean up time!  Off to Little Bird’s room.  Let’s climb in our tunnel, let’s put things in drawers, let’s look at books and read.  Oh!  It’s 6:20, turn down the lights.  Read a book, or two, or three.  Sing songs together.  Turn on nighttime music.  Little Bird climbs in bed and in 10 minutes manages to fall asleep at about 7:02 every night.  Mom and Dad change clothes, get into the living room and work their butts off for an hour and a half or so together.  Then shower time, bed time.

We do way more stuff this way.  Work stops when you enter the apartment.  We spend our entire evenings together instead of doing our own thing.  It’s pretty nice.  I credit planning meals ahead and sharing the work with food for this change.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Goals for the Upcoming Season

 

Ok, I don’t do that well with "New Years Resolutions” because you’re generally supposed to do something for an entire year and my attention span isn’t anywhere near that.  So here are my goals for the first quarter of the year, to be completed/evaluated at the Vernal Equinox in March.

 

1.) Stop throwing away food.  I HATE wasting any amount of food.  So I want to stop throwing away food because it expires, because we never ate the leftovers, because I made way too much to begin with, or because nobody really likes that food that much.  So I am going to try planning out meals better and cooking/buying in smaller quantities.  Even if it is cheaper to buy the larger package, it doesn’t really matter if you end up throwing away the extras.

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2.) Exercise 3-4 times a week.  I struggle during the work week with getting any kind of workout other than keeping up with Little Bird.  So I am going to try to do Yoga on Monday, Wednesday, Friday when she goes to bed, and then get at least ONE good family workout in on the weekend.  Maybe we’ll go for a walk or go rock climbing for a date.

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3.) Use my cloth grocery bags.  I’ve been lazy about it.  I plan on keeping them in the car so I stop using the plastic ones.  I’d been justifying it based on the fact that we have to pick up after our dog at the apartment complex, but I’d rather use some biodegradable doggy doo doo bags.

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4.) Bring Sexy Back.  Yes, I’m a mom.  Yes, I’m married and “the hunt” is over.  But that doesn’t mean I can’t still be a hott mama.  So I’m bringing sexy back 2011.  Watch yourself.

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