Friday, January 13, 2012


I'm writing, packing, organizing, and basically freaking out.

I leave for Argentina in a few hours ... my thesis is almost done ... almost, but not quite.

I'll update when I can ...

Fingers crossed it all goes well.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Fugly Day

Today sucked.

There's really no other way to put it. It was just one of those days that didn't start out right ... Well, I guess nothing really went wrong ... but nothing felt right today.

I woke up early (3 a.m.) and was at my desk ... I found myself stuck on one particular section of my writing and it was driving me insane. How can it be that at this point in my PhD I am still struggling with my words? It's so frustrating. I felt totally inadequate and unintelligent.

After working for a few hours I decided to take a break and try on a few clothes that I wanted to take for my upcoming trip. Talk about kicking myself when I was down ... Everything fit, but nothing looked right. I just felt disgusting. About a week before that time of the month I bloat so much -- apparently a natural reaction for the fibroids -- but let me tell you, it's no fun looking like you're 7-8 months pregnant when you're NOT! What's worse is that when I look in the mirror, I see someone who looks like they sit on the couch all day with nothing but a bag of cookies and ice cream for comfort -- that is so FAR from the truth ... but that's what I look like. Going through those clothes just made me feel an overwhelming sense of dread. I want to enjoy this trip and not be riddled with so many insecurities and so much self-loathing.

I then had to go to the university to proctor an exam. The exam was supposed to be two hours long. I thought I'd get some editing done while I was in the room -- but half an hour into the exam the director came in and said I could leave ... I should have been thrilled, right? No. I would have rather stayed the whole time. I couldn't get anything done in the half hour I was there - instead it felt like such a waste -- getting ready, driving to work, and then proctoring. Anyway.

I decided to go to the doctor since I hadn't been to see her for almost two months. I was dreading this visit. I knew that she wouldn't have much to tell me. I just mainly wanted to see if by any chance there were any improvements. There weren't. I asked her several questions about my condition and what the chances were for improvement and how this would affect my weight loss etc. She didn't have any answers. She was just like, 'It could get better, or get worse, or stay the same." Thanks genius. That was helpful. The worst part was towards the end of my appointment when she told me that it was expected that I would feel emotional after going through major surgery and then not having it be successful - but that I should let it go and just get over it.


What kind of doctor says that? The surgery was unsuccessful and you'll continue to be in pain for the rest of your life, but just get over it.


Now I know my whole theme for this year is "Let it go" but the way she said it was NOT what I had in mind. I think I've done a good job pushing forward and not letting the whole surgery thing get me too down -- it's been hard. A lot harder than I actually let on ... but there's nothing else I can do. Having the doctor tell me to get over it, however, is a completely different story. I was not happy at all.

I met up with my BF at the mall and we had a chance to vent a little, have some lunch, and buy a pair of Timberland hiking boots :) so for two hours things were better ...

Then it was just a whirlwind of things to do -- general errands/household stuff, pre-travel stuff, and of course the never-ending PhD ...

Things are hectic and my stress levels are high -- I know I'm getting close to finishing everything, but I still don't see the finish line. Will I ever see it? I'm running out of time.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Pumped Up

I cannot explain how sore my arms are from Sunday's workout. Even raising my bottle of water to my lips was painful. My biceps and triceps were killing me!!

Nevertheless, I made my way into the exercise studio for another Body Pump Session. Working through the pain was tough. The chest track, although easier than the last session, was more difficult because of all the soreness I was feeling. I have not done chest presses in MONTHS, so doing chest presses for 4-5 minutes in a row with very little rest really challenged me and woke up a few muscles that I haven't used for a while. Ouch.

Still, I love that class! It's the last one I'll do for quite a while, probably not until the summer because of my work schedule from February, but we'll see.

My eating over the past few days has been fine -- very boring still, oatmeal for breakfast, nuts/dried fruit for a snack, egg white veggie scramble for lunch, and soup for dinner. I think I've have exactly that set of meals 4-5 times a week. I just can't be bothered at the moment to do anything different ... perhaps when I return from holiday. At the moment, I'm just trying to do the basics of getting a bit of a workout in and eat sensibly.

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Walk in the Mall

I was just heading out the door to go to the gym this morning when my BFF called and suggested we do some pre-Argentina shopping ... I didn't say no! I headed back to my desk and got another 1 1/2 hours of PhD work done before heading to work to deal with final exam student conferencing (I hate student conferencing days - they should call it student complaining days)! Besides I knew that after a day of shopping, the last place I would end up is behind my desk ... gotta make the most of my time!

I felt a bit guilty about not going for my cardio session but with the way my legs now after 4 hours of walking around the Avenues I know I made the right decision. Although it was nothing like an intense cardio session, I am always drained after a trip to the Avenues!

My arms and legs are so sore from yesterday's weights + pump session - my biceps and triceps hurt every single time I move!!! Still, it feels good :)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Weights + Pump!

I didn't leave the house all weekend. I stayed at home, in front of my desk the whole freaking time. This also means that I haven't been to the gym since Tuesday. Wednesday was my rest day from the gym ... but I didn't make it back on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday (though I had poor-excuse for a workout on Friday). Just typing out all those days makes me feel panicked. Anyway - today I definitely made up for it.

My intention is to finish Stage 2 of NROL4W before my trip. If Friday's workout had gone well, then I would just have 1 workout left ... but it didn't, so I still had two left to complete.

This morning I did my usual 1 km warm-up before starting Workout A. I managed to shave a few more seconds off my time (completed 1 km in 10 min, 2 sec). Then I completed Workout A properly. Having my home gym is great, but nothing substitutes having all the right equipment when needed!

Workout A went really well -- again, I'm so surprised at how just 7 different exercises (2 sets; 10 reps each) can make me work up such a sweat! I guess it's about quality and good form versus more reps/sets/exercises but without the challenge.

Then after my workout ... ... ... ... I went to Body Pump class! I had not been to Pump class in 7 months (SEVEN MONTHS!!!) -- Ever since I started doing the NROL4W program, I stopped doing Body Pump (if you haven't tried the class, I highly recommend it). Since KD was back, and since I didn't need to be at work till a bit later, I decided to go.

It was awesome, but OMG after doing my normal weights routine, lifting weights for another hour was absolutely killer!! I haven't decided what hurt the most ... I think the 100 something lunges per leg was the toughest - my legs were SHAKING! Still, I felt amazing after class - though I'm sure I will pay the price for today's intense weights session in the morning!

A clip of Les Mills Body Pump (I'm glad our classes aren't this crowded!)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

27 Rules

Read this great list in The Wall Street Journal -- Enjoy :)

This is the time of year when even people who hate the gym think about going to the gym. Many of us are still digesting whole floors of gingerbread houses, and jeans that fit comfortably in October are now a denim humiliation.

Sweating is a good way to begin 2012. Exercise, like dark chocolate and office meetings that suddenly get canceled, is a proven pathway to nirvana. But if you're going to join a gym—or returning to the gym after a long hibernation—consider the following:

1. A gym is not designed to make you feel instantly better about yourself. If a gym wanted to make you feel instantly better about yourself, it would be a bar.

2. Give yourself a goal. Maybe you want to lose 10 pounds. Maybe you want to quarterback the New York Jets into the playoffs. But be warned: Losing 10 pounds is hard.

3. Develop a gym routine. Try to go at least three times a week. Do a mix of strength training and cardiovascular conditioning. After the third week, stop carrying around that satchel of fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies.

4. No one in the history of gyms has ever lost a pound while reading "The New Yorker" and slowly pedaling a recumbent bicycle. No one.

5. Bring your iPod. Don't borrow the disgusting gym headphones, or use the sad plastic radio attachment on the treadmill, which always sounds like it's playing Kenny Loggins from a sewer.

6. Don't fall for gimmicks. The only tried-and-true method to lose 10 pounds in 48 hours is food poisoning.

7. Yes, every gym has an overenthusiastic spinning instructor who hasn't bought a record since "Walking on Sunshine."

8. There's also the Strange Guy Who is Always at the Gym. Just when you think he isn't here today...there he is, lurking by the barbells.

9. "Great job!" is trainer-speak for "It's not polite for me to laugh at you."

10. Beware a hip gym with a Wilco step class.

11. Gyms have two types of members: Members who wipe down the machines after using them, and the worst people in the universe.

12. Nope, that's not a "recovery energy bar with antioxidant dark chocolate." That's a chocolate bar.

13. Avoid Unsolicited Advice Guy, who, for the small fee of boring you to death, will explain the proper method for any exercise in 45 minutes or longer.

14. You can take 10 Minute Abs, 20 Minute Abs, and 30 Minute Abs. There is also Stop Eating Pizza and Eating Sheet Cake Abs—but that's super tough!

15. If you're motivated to buy an expensive home exercise machine, consider a "wooden coat rack." It costs $40, uses no electricity and does the exact same thing.

16. There's the yoga instructor everyone loves, and the yoga instructor everyone hates. Memorize who they are.

17. If you see an indoor rock climbing wall, you're either in a really cool gym or a romantic comedy starring Kate Hudson.

18. Be cautious about any class with the words "sunrise," "hell," or "Moby."

19. If a gym class is going to be effective, it's hard. If you're relaxed and enjoying yourself, you're at brunch.

20. If you need to bring your children, just let them loose in the silent meditation class. Nobody minds, and kids love candles.

21. Don't buy $150 sneakers, $100 yoga pants, and $4 water. Muscle shirts are for people with muscles, and rhythm guitarists.

22. Fancy gyms can be seductive, but once you get past the modern couches and fresh flowers and the water with lemon slices, you're basically paying for a boutique hotel with B.O.

23. Everyone sees you secretly racing the old people in the pool.

24. If you're at the point where you've bought biking shoes for the spinning class, you may as well go ahead and buy an actual bike. It's way more fun and it doesn't make you listen to C+C Music Factory.

25. Fact: Thinking about going to the gym burns between 0 and 0 calories.

26. A successful gym membership is like a marriage: If it's good, you show up committed and ready for hard work. If it's not good, you show up in sweatpants and watch a lot of bad TV.

27. There is no secret. Exercise and lay off the fries. The end.

Where's my infomercial and best seller?

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Friday, January 6, 2012

Tangled in Time

Any day that starts at 3 a.m. is bound to be a long one.

I woke up with a start just before 3 and knew that there was no way I would be able to relax and fall back asleep, so I got up.

I had a specific task that I was working on last night and I guess leaving it unfinished before going to bed kept haunting me - anyway, I got up and got it done. It's amazing how something that you thought would only take 1 1/2 hours or so can end up taking almost 4 hours - talk about gross underestimation of time!

Unfortunately this seems to be quite a trend in my life lately -- a task that shouldn't take more than an hour ends up taking three, or preparing a meal (even when the prep time on the recipe says '40 minutes' it always takes longer) ... or going to the gym.

The gym trip is always misleading. A one hour cardio workout does not include the 15 minutes to get ready, 20 minutes to drive there, park, get into the gym, the at least 5 minute cool-down, 20 minutes to drive back home, and 30 minutes to shower etc. That's not even including any conversations you might have with friends at the gym (minimum of an extra 15 minutes added on, though for me it's more likely an extra half hour to one hour ...). So that one hour workout ends up being 2 1/2 - 3 hours out of your day.

Of course it's totally worth it, but I definitely feel the pressure when I'm working under so much stress ... luckily my home-gym is building up nicely. Well, part of it is D's, but I also got a few nifty additions for Christmas - a Reebok step (for step aerobics, not a step machine), some Kettlebells (I love Kettlebell workouts), plus a Zumba DVD - complete with Zumba sticks!!

So today, I decided to cut out that 40 minute drive to the gym and just workout from home. Even getting started at home can sometimes be a task. I wanted to start at 6:15 ... but I was in the middle of writing something so I postponed it a bit, and then I had to put the clothes from the washer into the drier ... etc. etc. I didn't get to the 'gym' until 7:15 ...

I started with the 20-minute quick Zumba workout for my cardio (LOVED IT!!!) and then proceeded to do NROL4W - Workout A4 (Stage 2) - that's when I hit an obstacle. The trouble with the weights etc. that I have at home is that I don't have much variety ... like I don't have 8 kg dumbbells or a combination of 22 kg plates to put on the barbell (I found out the hard way that going from 20 kg to 26 kg for front press squats is TOUGH) ...

So, I did what I could (only half of the program) and called it quits. Sometimes it just wasn't meant to be. I noted my reps but I'm not counting this as a completed workout. I'll attempt it again at the actual gym.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Still in that Chair

I fully intended to go to the gym today - or at least do some sort of workout at home -- but it didn't happen. I just could not get away from my desk. It's amazing how much I still have to do to get my thesis in the shape I want it to be in. I'm definitely frustrated. I travel in a week and I'm so busy with my editing that I can't even enjoy the build-up to the trip ... oh well. I've just got to focus on getting it done -- so unfortunately no workout today, just more ass-enlarging. *sigh*

At least I've been eating well - today I made a delicious cauliflower soup (will post the recipe later) and not having any junk food in the house has really helped - so now I just munch on nuts/dried fruit whenever the craving arises.


It's tough not to feel overwhelmed - there's so much I want to be doing right now, but it'll all have to wait. All I can do is keep moving forward ...

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Baby Got Back

When I told D what I was going to post about today, he was not amused - however, after spending all day sitting at my desk, I'm posting about it anyway.

If you take a look at my blog you'll see that I've been working out. I go to the gym regularly; I try to give it my all. Like everybody else, I do have setbacks, but I try to do the work in hopes to see the results ... and I am seeing the results. My legs are starting to look trimmer, my arms are definitely looking more toned, my abs -- well, the abs are always the last part of the body to shape up so we'll just leave it at that -- what I'm most disgruntled about is my butt!

Ya, I said it ... and you know what, I directly blame my PhD for my ever-expanding, never-shrinking ass ... my theory is, if you're spending 8-9 hours sitting on your ass in front of a desk, there's only one direction your ass can spread -- and that's outwards! When I've given this explanation to my friends, they laugh ... but I'm serious! I know it sounds crazy, but I am SURE that sitting on your ass for hours on end will cause it to expand. Gluteus maximus - seriously, who thought of that? Why not a kinder name like gluteus minimus? Or better yet, just gluteus? With an adjective like maximus, it's absolutely hopeless -- especially as I don't see an end to the endless hours at my desk. No matter how much I workout, I truly believe sitting at my desk has hindering any progress in reducing/shaping my ass.

Oh well. Despite the frustration (plus the crankiness at having been at my desk all day) I've gotta admit that Sir Mix-a-lot makes it a bit easier to have a big butt ;)

Enjoy! :)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Starting to Run -- Very Slowly!

Yesterday's post about The Happiness Project took quite some time so I didn't post about my workout.

I went to the gym early in the morning yesterday. I wasn't sure if I should have gone so soon after my almost 6 km walk just 13 hours prior ... but I needed to get the workout in because I had a busy day ahead. I managed to complete Workout B of NROL4W ... it was tiring, but it is going well. I really am enjoying this program. I was able to increase a few more of my weights (as well as shave off a few more seconds of my warm-up km -- I would love to be able to run that km ... I'll get there at some point ... it's still just walking for now).

Today I managed to hit the gym again ... I wasn't sure how quickly I'd be able to go to the gym 4 days in a row, but apparently, I am ready! I definitely feel my energy rising, and I think as I am getting closer and closer to submitting my PhD thesis, the adrenaline is really pumping and getting me to work faster. The sooner I submit, the more time I can spend on the gym - as well as on all the other errands that seem to have been completely ignored over the past 6 months!

Although my overall energy is improving, I do have to admit that I was tired today. I haven't been sleeping well - in fact, only 3-4 hours for the past 5 nights. It's finally starting to catch up with me ... it's the stress of everything that's keeping me up. I just can't seem to relax or stay asleep for long! The fatigue from insomnia really makes working out difficult. My goal today was just to walk -- I felt kind of trapped by my own overall fitness goal of improving with every workout. I think I had set the bar quite high for myself with Sunday's walk ... I wasn't sure I'd be able to walk as fast or as long today. In the end, however, I did -- I managed to complete the full hour -- and even threw in 5 1-minute jog/sprints at 6.7 km (very happy about that) and a final 30-second sprint at 7 km/hr. I know it's not much, but I was really happy that I at least got started. Overall I did the best I could and managed to improve a little bit. I think I could have jogged more, but I didn't want to risk overdoing it so soon. My legs are already quite sore (lunges/squats never help)!!

Cardio chart:




Av. speed



Jan. 1

1 hour

5.9 km

5.9 km/hr


15 min @ 6.2 km/hr

Jan. 3

1 hour

6 km

6 km/hr


5 min @ 6.7 km/hr

Tomorrow will be a rest day for me. I don't have to go into work so I plan on sitting at my desk the whole day and getting a big chunk of editing done.

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Happiness Project

This year I’m participating in The Happiness Project – sponsored by Rebecca at The project is based around the book and focuses on … well, finding happiness. I know that the search is not simple and it won’t be resolved based on a book … but I think it’s a good starting point.

So the first task is to come up with 12 commandments to live by/try to achieve or accomplish throughout the year.

Twelve Commandments

1. Start the day off by giving a little something to charity (This is something my mom got me started doing. Every morning one of the first things I do is put a coin into a jar. It’s not much – around 25 cents. The point is not the amount. The point is to start each day with the intention of giving to charity. The point is remembering how lucky we are despite how terrible things may seem at times. At the end of the there will be enough money to make a small difference to someone.)

2. Spend more time with my parents (I’ve been so busy over the past two years with my PhD and all my other stuff that I really haven’t spent as much time as I would have liked to (should have) with my parents … I plan to correct that.)

3. Eat well and exercise regularly (I am definitely doing well on the exercise front. I just need to continue to make sure I’m eating well too.)

4. Get things done – stop procrastinating! (Procrastination should be my FIRST name I do it so well … I get so distracted at times, or I just don’t want to get some tasks/work done – so I procrastinate … which only ends up making me feel more stressed about leaving things until the last minute. I’ve done this all my life – it’s time for a change!!

5. Read more (particularly non-PhD related stuff!) (I miss reading for fun. The past four years have been filled with reading journal articles and books about globalization, language, culture, and identity etc. As interesting as they were, I really miss picking up a novel and just enjoying it for reading’s sake, not because I need it for my thesis. I have many books on my ‘To read’ list … I need to tackle them.

6. Don’t skip out on something just because it scares you (This is something that was a frequent theme last year – there were so many things that I was intimidated to try, particularly when it came to exercise … afraid to go faster, afraid to lift more weight, etc. but in the end, I could do it and I would feel so proud. This year I don’t want that initial fear to be an issue. I want to have the confidence to just go for it!)

7. Be kind and patient (I believe these are two very important ingredients to a happy life!)

8. Have the courage to speak your mind (I often bite my tongue and don’t say what’s on my mind … in the end, the person who gets hurt the most is myself … and it’s MY fault. I need to have enough confidence and courage to know that my opinions count, and even if others don’t agree with what I have to say, my voice has just as much right to be heard.)

9. Put yourself first (I think there’s quite a balance to be struck when it comes to being kind … and putting yourself first. I guess this commandment would fall in line with ‘It’s ok to say no.’ A lot of times I feel obligated to do something even if I don’t want to do it, again, like I said in #8, it’s really just my fault for not being able to stand my ground and speak up for myself. This year, I will try to rectify that. It doesn’t mean that I will strive to be selfish; it’s about realizing that I’m just as important as other people.) [You have no idea how hard it was for me to just write that.]

10. Avoid people who bring negative energy (People have problems. Heck, I have a zillion problems, but there are some people who just really bring you down. The negativity and ‘woe is me’ attitude is constant … or they are highly critical of everything you do – though sometimes I think that is envy disguised as criticism. These people need to be dropped. I have enough negative voices in my head to deal with. I don’t need anybody else’s as well!)

11. Work hard and play hard (I’ve got to find a balance. I seem to either do one thing or the other. I’ve spent week after week at my desk not talking to anyone and being completely anti-social, only to exhaust myself or make myself ill so I couldn’t even see my friends if I had wanted to … not this year. This year I will strike a balance.)

12. On days when everything seems particularly hard and challenging – Don’t lose hope; remain confident and optimistic (Some days are just bad days. It’s ok to have bad days. It’s ok to take a day off from the gym or sleep in for a few extra hours. It’s ok to take a break … just don’t give up. ‘Fake it till you make it’ used to be a ‘commandment’ of mine … although I still believe it to a certain degree, I also think it’s important to realize when you just have to pause and give yourself a moment to breathe.)

Of course, my overarching commandment for the year is: Let it Go

The next part of this task is to share some secrets of adulthood – what are things that I have learned over the years that are worth sharing …

Secrets of Adulthood

1. This too shall pass – pain, heartache, sorrow are temporary; some take longer to pass than others, but eventually, things will get better.

2. Think before you speak – once you’ve said something, it’s out there. You can’t take it back.

3. Never make big decisions when you are emotional – this is related to #2 but slightly different. Anger, sadness, jealousy are very strong emotions – be careful what you do when you’re in a state of heightened emotions … as with #2, a lot of times things you say/do cannot be reversed.

4. It is better to give than receive … but don’t it be a one-way give/take relationship for long. I know people that are more than happy to receive, and while I am happy to give, after some time, I do start to feel unappreciated. If you’re always buying lunch for someone or always making the first move to arrange get-togethers and the other person doesn’t reciprocate. Stop. Friendship is a two-way street.

5. Others cannot read your mind – if you have something to say, SAY IT – This is something I still have a hard time doing. I often sit there with my teeth clenched and 1,000 thoughts racing through my mind … but I bite my tongue and don’t say anything. Well, now I think that’s rather foolish. It doesn’t mean you have to be unkind or aggressive – just speak your mind.

The final task is to come up with 5 goals revolving around a month-specific theme. This month’s focus is Vitality. I like the idea of having one focus for each month. I’ve found that trying to work on several goals at once can be very overwhelming. For me, the more overwhelming things get, the easier it becomes for me to just push my targets aside and say – it’s too much. I just can’t.

The idea of having monthly goals that revolve around a central theme is to work on mini-realistic, sustainable-goals so that they add up to big, positive changes by the end of the year (hopefully).

The five goals I’ve set to boost my vitality this month are:

1. Remember to take my vitamins/supplements daily (This may sound like a silly one to start off with, but for some reason I keep forgetting something so simple.)

2. Replace refined sugars with fruit (My biggest problem is my sweet tooth. Although I try not to bring sweets into the house, I still have a craving for sweets. This year I’m going to try and have more fruit to reduce the cravings for other sugary foods.)

3. Watch my carbohydrate intake (I think I’m doing fine nutritionally, but my carb intake is still high and I really need to rectify that)

4. Get more sleep (My insomnia often gets the better of me. My sleep over the past month and a half has been declining – I’m at about 4 hours/night at the moment. I really, really need to sleep more if I expect to have any energy to get me through the day and through my workouts!)

5. De-clutter (I have a lot of stuff … and frankly, I love my stuff!! Lately, however, it’s all getting to be too much. I just want to lighten the load and hopefully lessen some of the pressure I feel being bound to all this stuff … and by relieving that pressure, perhaps I will boost my vitality as well!)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Moving Forward (Still)

Any year that starts off to dancing to great music with good friends is bound to be a good one – at least that’s what I’m hoping for!

At the end of each year in the past I used to frantically go around trying to finish things I started – make sure the dishes/laundry are done, cross of a few more errands on my list, etc. However, this year, it was different.

I felt like 2011 was the end to a frantic and chaotic year … and 2012 is the year that I’m going to be putting myself back together again and continue my journey moving forward – the title of my first blog post last July. This includes steadily working towards accomplishing each task that I have set for myself not quickly rushing around to clean the house just before company comes over or going on a crash diet one week before a big event no. Ive got to be consistent and persistent!!

A lot of my resolutions for last year remain the same – lose weight, adopt a healthier lifestyle, spend more time with family/friends, and finish my PhD – so I don’t have much to add or change when it comes to the resolutions for this year. However what I do hope is different this year is the attitude/approach I take towards accomplishing these goals.

The over-arching goal for me is to just let it go --- I am haunted by so many things in my past that I often feel like I can’t move under all that pressure. A fantastic conversation with my boxing trainer (more details on that in a post later this week) really got me thinking. Since I am still recovery from my surgery and am not ready to go back into my boxing training he pulled me aside and started to talk to me about the importance of mental training as well – how having a clear mind, as well as a clear heart, can give me an enormous amount of strength. The conversation was like none I’ve ever had before and it is something that I’ve been thinking about for the past five days … The basic theme – Let it go – all the grudges, regrets, anger … as well as the bad habits – the idea that something is absolutely necessary, that I MUST have it, that it MUST be done right now, my way …

So that is my focus this year – letting go of bad/negative thoughts and emotions as well as the excess baggage I carry around my waistline and my house!! I hope that lightening this load will help me lighten the heaviness I feel in my heart more often than I should.

Of course I am committed to continuing my weight loss journey. I start this year 5 kg less than last year, but still heavier than my lightest (August 2009). I have no specific fitness goals per se – perhaps finishing the NROL4W program. My overall goal for fitness is to just keep improving.

On that note, I started off the year with a great cardio session. I was keeping a chart to track my post-surgery recovery progress … today I will start a new chart.




Av. speed



Jan. 1

1 hour

5.9 km

5.9 km/hr


15 min @ 6.2 km/hr

For those of you keeping track, my average speed for my first cardio session after surgery was 4.3 km/hr – so I’ve managed to improve by 1.6 km/hr in just 3 weeks. I am really happy with that.

This is Day 1 of a new year … my goal for the rest of the year is to just keep improving this statistic in one way or another – go faster, walk for longer, burn more calories – whatever … I just want it to improve.

In addition to all of this, I have also joined The Happiness Project (hosted by To be honest, I do feel a bit skeptical about how much going through a project like this will really help my inner happiness … but it’s something that I’m striving to achieve this year, so I’m going to try it.

Since this is already quite a long post, Ill write my entry for the Happiness Project tomorrow

In the meantime, Im sharing a quote and a photo that have inspired me and helped give me the confidence to try to let it all go

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” – Lao Tzu