A Tentative Beginning: Resolutions, Night Owlism and Recovery

I was driving the other day when my offspring, now nearly an adult, asked a very interesting question.  

“Do you have any New Year’s Resolutions, mom?”

I responded by explaining…yes and no.  (Poor kid.) I said that I don’t necessarily believe that new Year’s resolutions will stick, and I said that I think that for most people they are doomed to failure.  

I’m not trying to be negative here.  I think that’s the case for a few reasons.  Firstly, people are usually pretty vague.  “I want to lose weight” doesn’t mean much in the real world, so it’s hard to turn that into a daily, actionable goal.  (Deciding to log your food, or taking part in a regular exercise program/class is probably far more beneficial.) You need to have specific, actionable goals.  Daydreams will not cut it. 

So I explained the necessity of definable goals.

I also noted the other problem I see, and that is that people love to dive in headfirst.  They decide that they are going to go from relatively sedentary to running a 5k a day overnight.  Intense efforts out of nowhere are a huge shock to the body, and you could be paving the way to injury, exhaustion or frustration. Plus getting hurt will build a negative association with exercise.  Too much too soon is generally not helpful in the long run.

I told him that I have goals, but that I always have goals, and for me, New Year’s is a time just to reaffirm those goals.  My current big ones?

  • Gently increase the exercise my foot can handle/strength in my ankle while maintaining my strength training efforts.
  • Be less negative toward myself by assessing and noticing my internal monologue
  • Get some actual focussed writing done by improving how I budget my time

Speaking of productivity, I think those who know me well know that there is a real push-pull that goes on within me at all times; I have my kooky off the wall, late-night-party side, and my I-want-to-be-productive, let’s-have-smoothies-after-we-hit-the-gym health-nut side.  

Trying to balance them is rough.  Like with the whole getting up early thing.  I find maintaining a good sleep/morning routine really, truly, insanely hard.  This can be disheartening, as a lot of the people I look to as productivity gurus seem to be regularly rising to take on the world at 5AM.

Meanwhile, it seems I’m more likely to experience 5AM from the other side!  Over Christmas I had some time off.  Since I had the freedom, I decided to take the pressure off myself and just go to bed whenever I was tired.  Result?  A couple of nights I stayed up until 4AM, but most of the time I started feeling the pressure to sleep between 1:30 and 2AM.

1:30 and 2AM! Routinely.  Happy to get ready for bed around 1:30.  No wonder I have trouble fitting with the 9-5 business world.    

Clearly, I am a night person.  When well-slept I have no trouble staying awake and social until 2AM.  I have even been known to enjoy the occasional 10:30PM trip to the gym on a weekend. I can do stuff, like cleaning, or making candles at 11PM and still be genuinely productive.  Morning larks don’t want to be doing housework at midnight.  That’s perfectly fine for me.

The downsides of this tendency are obvious and many.  Am still half- asleep at 11:30AM.  My brain box doesn’t feel fully functional until noon or so.  Morning exercise makes schedule-sense but is very difficult for me to carry out in practice.  Being forced to get up early for school or work is slightly tortuous.  Coffee required.

I don’t have a solution to this quandary now, as I face down the new year. The best I can say is that I will probably stop trying to force 5AM on myself.  7AM is the time I need to regularly get up,and I will do my damndest now to enforce at least THAT semi-productive/responsible schedule.  

(I recently learned about the concept of “sleep pressure,” and from what I can tell, I don’t typically feel much of it unless I’m very very physically tired or it’s very late. Sleep science is interesting!)

On a totally different topic, I am very pleased to say that my foot/ankle is getting better!  I know I mentioned that I’m experiencing an issue, and the problem seems to be extensor tendonitis. I am only now getting back to being able to walk for 20 minutes.  (Finally up to 20 minutes, yay!)  I’m working with a physiotherapist and he has been extremely helpful and given me a way to progress. I’m SO HAPPY to see a way out of this thing.

Wishing you all continued health, happiness and truly restful sleeps, 


Fitness, 6 Months In

It’s hard for me to believe that I’ve been working from home for almost 6 months.

A lot can change in that much time, and it has.  I guess I don’t say much about my personal life  lately, because everything I have going on just feels so small to write about in comparison to the worldwide craziness happening.   

It all has me very much on edge. Since March, my sleep has probably been my biggest physical daily obstacle. It’s so much harder to do things when you’re tired, I hate it, and that’s bound to happen when you just plain don’t sleep enough. The more my brain starts to turn things over, the more sleep and I become distant strangers.  I feel like this is slowly improving.  

I’ve gained 15lbs.  I’m not particularly mad at myself.  I don’t hate how I look.  It’s just that everything in my life changed, and my body did too.  It’s logical.  No more walking from car to work and back again.  No more taking the stairs at work.  All of these little daily movements are gone, and weight is, of course, a bit of a math problem; less movement equals fewer calories burned and therefore more fat to hang around my hips and butt. 

Like I said, I don’t hate it.  It’s different but not awful.  I’m still curvy, there’s just more of it.  However, I have also noticed that I was feeling less comfortable overall in my body.  I was generally less energised and was feeling kinda frumpy.  I knew that I definitely needed more exercise to conquer that ‘blah’ feeling.  (And maybe something to kick my butt!) No one wants to feel hefty and out of whack, no matter how confident they are.

So I downloaded the Bodbot app.  Couldn’t hurt, right? You guys.  This thing is genius!

I’m not going to turn this post into an ad for Bodbot, but I am positively thrilled at the outcome so far:

  1. The weight gain has stalled.  I haven’t gained more weight in the past few weeks.  
  2. My measurements are changing. I’m not seeing a big scale drop but I’ve lost about an inch off of my waist.  I even think I’m seeing some arm definition. Yay!
  3. I feel better generally.  My body feels more alive. I like feeling good!
  4. My back feels better.  This is huge for me.  I have gained some flexibility in my spine, I don’t hurt in the mornings anymore, and I don’t feel nearly as achy.
  5. I learned how to jump rope. 

The whole concept of Bodbot has me pretty excited!  It’s an absolutely brilliant use of “adaptive technology.”  It takes any chance of bias right out of picking your workout. 🙂 Basically, the AI learns from you and is able to target your weak spots.  You do fitness tests before you start, put in your goals and Bodbot can fully plan your personalized workouts.  It takes into account the equipment you have available. The AI creates workouts catered to your exact needs, and it doesn’t care which exercises you’re stellar at.  In fact, you’re way more likely to get the stuff you suck at.  

Because that’s the stuff you need to work on! The challenging exercises are where the growth is.  Bodbot makes you focus on the niggling small stuff to become more balanced and foundationally stronger. (Example: Bodbot likes to get me to squeeze a yoga ball between my thighs and hold for 3 seconds, then release, and then repeat this squeeze another 22 times. Ow!)

Also! The jump rope thing! Holy moly!  

I was a shy kid, and from an early age I had the idea that physical activity was mostly something for other people.  I was absolutely dismal at team sports, I had little coordination, and…I sucked at jump rope.  As a kid I didn’t care enough to try to get better. 

Well, my beloved Bodbot has been asking me to do jump rope sessions.  I was initially pretty intimidated, but I’ve been making the attempt.  

The first time I took a  jump rope outside I was absolute garbage.  Tripping on the rope.  Thwacking myself in the back of the head with it.  I marveled that so many small children can master this with ease. I didn’t sweat it though.  I just decided that I would keep trying. I could probably get a little better through repeated exposures.  I couldn’t get much worse!

It was an ideal personal challenge.  No pressure.  A defined goal.   The stakes were low.  I wasn’t going to be mad at myself for failure. 

The second time, I managed to get the rope around a couple of times in a row.  By the fourth or fifth session I realized that I was able to string more of my jumps together.  I was better able to establish a rhythm!  In fact, the only thing holding me back now is my stamina.  I can actually jump rope!  It’s still really hard, but I can!

I’m thrilled with that.  I’ll take the progress. It’s damn satisfying to teach yourself something new. 

Speaking of something new, for me at least…my hair’s getting longer.  I can actually put it half-up now!  Hair growing is very slow-going, but this is the longest I can remember it being in years.  I’ve pretty much always had short hair as an adult.  20 years at least. I’m enjoying the new length so far, and I’ll keep growing it as long as that continues to be the case.

 Even if that means I have to wear a headband while I’m skipping. 🙂

Stay safe,


A Great Night’s Sleep and a Productive Tomorrow

10:30PM really snuck up on me tonight. I’ve taken a late Christmas vacation. I’m no longer accustomed to going to bed remotely early. Been leaning a little too hard into the whole “night owl” thing, I suppose. I really have to make this fast, because I have work in the morning.

I don’t ever really talk about my job, partly because it is very boring to talk about, and partly because it is one of those jobs that you’re really not supposed to spend a lot of time discussing publicly. (Believe me, I don’t want to bore you with the more bland details!) That said, I’ve gotten a (kind of?) promotion at my somewhat beige job, and it starts tomorrow!

I say “kind of” because while yes, it is a promotion, it’s an ”acting position.” That means that after the term of my position is up (in April), I could wind up going back to my current position. (Hoping that doesn’t happen, but we shall see.)

Anyway, same workplace, new role. I’m super nervous because now I have to be more of a resource person for some of my colleagues. Yikes. People depending on me. I’ll be trying to do everything to be as by-the-book as possible.

It may not come as a shock to anyone that I’m not an overly “square” person. I have to force myself into the more regimented parts of the job. I excel at the person-to-person stuff with clients. I like to think that I’m usually pretty decent at “getting” people, and at being a real human being.

I don’t know about this. I’m comfortable in the wings. I feel like I could be a really good political speech writer. I also know that I’m ok with the spotlight. I don’t mind singing or acting in front of a crowd. Being in a mentor/resource person role though? Totally different. I’m so comfortable just doing my own thing. The idea of anyone’s success being directly tied to me is…uncomfortable.

Come to think of it, I really ought to have done to a little ritual to feel ready. Perhaps bedtime could wait but a moment longer?

Here’s to a great night’s sleep and a productive tomorrow,