Tuesday, May 26, 2015

New Chapter

Yesterday I celebrated my 1 year anniversary of moving to England. I have to say, it's been quite a year. From packing up my belongings and saying good-bye to the country I got used to calling home to settling down in a new country -- so much has happened. The biggest change has definitely been shifting from teaching in a university to teaching Jiu-Jitsu. As I continued to get more involved in Jiu-Jitsu training it was definitely something I wanted to do, but it wasn't something I saw becoming a reality so quickly.

celebrating my 1 year anniversary - I thought it would be fitting to wear a traditional Kuwaiti dress as a reminisced about Kuwait and planned for my future in London

The move and my adjustment to this new life has been good. I've taken it all in stride and I'm happy with where things are headed. That being said, I don't really feel like I've been myself over the past few months. I was kind of moving from one day to the next without really feeling fully focused. I'm hoping that now that I've moved into the new house and things are finally starting to fall into place that all that is about to change.

Today was the perfect day to start that change.

My 2nd year in England started with a renewed commitment to myself. I've spent a LOT of time trying to get the house sorted, doing tons of cooking, and running errands. While that aspect of my life will not change, what I want to do is reorganize how I'm handling everything. I found too many days to just pass by without me taking the time I need to get my own things done (studying, lesson planning, blogging, etc.). I also spend so much time prepping food for D and the household that I don't often take time to prepare proper meals for myself. I need that to stop. I am committed to eating 3 proper healthy meals a day. No more snacking as meals, even if it is on healthy foods. I need to eat properly.

In addition to all that, I joined a new gym! I actually went and signed up last week but today was my first day there. It felt good to be back to weight training.

The new gym is close to my house so that's quite convenient. It's fairly large - huge cardio section, a spin studio, an aerobics studio, several resistance machines and an ok size free weight area. They've got a lap pool as well as an indoor basketball court. It definitely has all the basics for a good workout. I think what it's lacking is a bit of character and atmosphere, but I'm going there to get in my workouts so I guess that doesn't matter too much. I'm also not too keen on the fact that I have to wear a wristband while I'm at the gym -- but that's a minor inconvenience too.

 a glimpse of part of the cardio section
I didn't want to take too many photos on my 1st day. 

 the wristband - is it really necessary?

I started off with a basic workout today -
dynamic stretching
warm-up on the treadmill
45 minutes weight training
cool down on the treadmill
cool down stretching

decided to wear a new pair of trainers to my new gym

It felt good to be back in the gym.

I'm hoping that this renewed focus and commitment to myself will help me reach my next set of goals.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Gym Membership

I haven't been feeling like myself for the past month. There's just been too much going on and I feel like I've just been scraping by.

My food has been on point - but I've been so tired, stressed, and distracted that I haven't really been enjoying cooking or eating. I'm glad the Whole Life Challenge has been helping me stay on track and forcing me to cook/eat at home otherwise I know that there would have been many, many takeouts ordered over the past month.

My exercise has been regular but minimal - This week was definitely better in terms of exercise as I got back on the mats for Jiu-Jitsu training and have been attending more classes to assist with coaching. It's felt great. My wrist injury is holding me back from joining in full force, but I'm taking steps to improve it. I've definitely felt lost without my weight-training and as much as I have been trying to take advantage of working out outdoors, I have to admit that unless the weather conditions work in my favor, I've stayed indoors and haven't done as much as I would have liked. Not having a gym membership has felt weird. I don't think I've ever gone for any period of time over the past 8 years without a gym membership -- so not being anchored to a gym has felt strange to me. Thankfully that changed from today!

I signed up at a local gym (membership starting from Tuesday). The gym itself is pretty good, but what was most appealing was the fact that it has yoga/pilates class almost every morning, and that works really well with my schedule - I just hope the instructor is good.

I've only signed up for a one month membership at the moment. I want to see how I like it before committing to this particular gym for a year. The location is really convenient for me so I hope it works out.

I've found that it's so easy to get distracted with daily errands and little tasks that other, possibly more important, things don't get done. I've realized that by losing myself in the set up and organization of the new house that I've been neglecting my own overall well-being. That's had an impact on my sleep, my mood, and my overall enjoyment of things in general. I really do think that with a gym membership and yoga classes to look forward to, I'll feel more like myself. I need to get back to basics and focus on my long-term goals.

I can't wait to get started!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Settling In

I've been absent from pretty much everything for the past week or so as I've been packing up one house and moving into another. It's been busy to say the least. I've been trying to take things in stride and not let myself get too overwhelmed with things -- but I've been exhausted. On my feet from 5 am until the late hours of night packing, moving, unpacking, etc. I'm happy to say that things are coming together, slowly but surely. I just need to remember to be patient.

Although I have a lot of work ahead of me in terms of the house, I've made a promise to myself that from this week I would try as much as possible to get back to my normal routine. Last week, as a stroke of luck, because of the elections in England, all the Jiu-Jitsu classes were cancelled. As a result, I didn't have to go to work all week, which meant I could focus solely on the house. It was not that I didn't want to teach/train, but I knew that I wouldn't have been able to (definitely not in the capacity that I would like) if I was dealing with that plus the move -- so it was kind of a blessing that I could focus solely on the house.

I have to say, being on the Whole Life Challenge is what has helped me stay the most on track during this stressful time. On more than one occasion it would have been very easy for me to give in and order a pizza or grab a croissant for breakfast. However, the food parameters of the challenge helped me stay on track. I prepared meals in advance and had healthy snacks on hand if needed. The exercise and stretching portion of the challenge was a bit more difficult as I was SO tired. However, I got in small workouts during the day (at home) and even though I felt lazy in the evening to stretch, I made sure I did it and was always thankful as it felt great after a long day of running around and lifting boxes.

So all in all I've been doing ok, but to be honest, it hasn't been 100% focused effort. From today, however, that changes. Even though there's a lot to do, I need to get back to some sort of routine and make sure I carve out some time for myself that doesn't involve sifting through boxes to ensure I keep my sanity!

I haven't really gotten off to a great start as my sleep broke just past midnight and I haven't been able to get back to sleep (it's almost 5 am). I know that rest is important so I will try and catch up on some zzz's during the day if I can. Things don't always go according to plan -- but you gotta make the best of your circumstances anyway.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Hello May

I knew that things were serious when I wrote sat down to write a list and 'Must Do' was the heading instead of 'To Do'. Yes, it's come to that point in time where there are tons of things that must be done, and they all pretty much need to be done NOW!

My instinct is to panic, procrastinate, and pout. However, my attempt to adapt a new calmer, much more mature perspective on life (which I wrote about in a past post entitled: Living a Good Life) has been a great help.

Instead, I'm just trying to take things in stride. There's a lot going on so it's natural to feel a bit stressed, but I'm not letting it overwhelm me. I just have to tackle things one task at a time and not let myself get distracted by things that are out of control.

Moving house is a lot of work, but it's not impossible.
Starting the Whole Life Challenge will require discipline, but it's not impossible.
Getting my chapter edited for publication will require time, but it's not impossible.
Preparing for my classes will require a few hours of prep, but it's not impossible.
Getting in my daily exercise and stretching will require getting up a bit earlier in the morning, but it's not impossible.

You get the picture.

It's taking this more laid back approach that has enabled me to not freak out when a dollop of dark blue paint fell on my brand new cream carpet or when only part of my furniture delivery arrived with the other part not to be found anywhere.

I've realized that there are so many opportunities each day to freak out and panic ... but there are also just as many opportunities to stay calm and be productive.

It's still a challenge, but each time I succeed, I feel happy.

It's a new month. I'm going to do my best to make it a good one!