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Monday, January 25, 2010

Nice to know I am not the only one struggling with boredom eating

The following is today's  post from a new blog I am reading: Badass Fitness.  It's by Spinning instructor and trainer Shannon Colavecchio, and I am so hoping it will give me that added umph! I need right now to kick things up a notch and keep plugging away at healthy eating.  So far I like her (and the contributors) approaches -- they seem like real people to me, not super humans.  The part I particularly liked is about boredom eating -- I've highlighted it. Enjoy.

Monday Mailbag: Keepin' it real, as you keep me going: "
Happy Monday! As you trek into work and think, Ugh, Monday already!?, consider this: Monday means you are embarking on a brand new week to reshape your Badass selves.
Kimmiebike And what better way to kick off the new week than with a mailbag reminder of what the Badass Army and the journey are all about?

Last week I introduced you to Kim Bibeau, a lifeling yo-yo dieter who finally, at age 30, found her path to Badass and took it all the way to the mountain peaks of the Tour de France. Awesome!

Your response was just as awesome. It reminded me, once again, that the best motivation out there is to witness real people figuring out -- after plenty of stumbles -- this whole healthy and fit thing.

Carolyn wrote: What an awesome story. I hope my story will turn out like this too....

Hilary wrote: Kim, you are amazing! Your story inspires me to think that just maybe someday unathletic old me will be brave enough to try something I'd previously ruled out as impossible. Thank you for sharing her story, Shannon.

Well, Hilary and Carolyn, I believe your journey will end in success, too! It won't be a walk in the park, and it will take determination, but Kim and Badass Jenn Bertsch are proof that it CAN be done. So keep at it!

This past week we also started the Friday Confessional, and based on the enthusiastic, funny, honest responses from so many of you, I am excited to make this a regular feature. As I had hoped, it made many of us feel comforted to know we aren't alone in eating peanut butter or almond butter out of the jar or making a 'dinner' of ice cream or peanut butter and crackers with wine. We sinned, but so what? We're still Badasses, "keeping it real," as one blog reader put it.

Stacey read the Friday Confessional and wrote to say that just knowing it was coming at the end of the week helped motivate her. Is that like reverse pyschology? C'mon, I know you're going to eat a bag of Cheetos or skip the gym. Oh, no? Prove it, then! Well, Stacey did. Here's what she said:

Just wanted to pass a note about how great the Friday Confessional was for me this week. You put the call out for confessions on Wednesday. I sent you one. But it got me thinking - what do I NOT want to have to confess by Friday? So I made 2 healthier than usual choices at lunch (salads are not my thing but I ordered them instead of the burger and fries). And Thursday morning I did my first run/walk in over a couple of years!!!! AND...Thursday night I made it to hot yoga. So - asking us on Wednesday to confess actually helped motivate and focus me for a few better choices at the end of the week. Thank you!

Julie totally dug the confessional. For her, it was a welcome change from seeing "perfect" bodies in fitness magazines but never reading about their stumbles:

This was a great idea. I read Oxygen magazine & Fitness and they always make me feel like those folks are perfect and I'll never be, so why try. This confessional is strangely movitvating. I feel like I can have a little "food fun" and still reach my fitness goals. All of you have shown me that it's possible!

Paula read my Wednesday reminder to send in confessionals and replied with this:

The one thing I have been thinking of ever since you posted your reminder is how often this week I have eaten because the sheer act of putting something in my mouth keeps me from being a little less bored. Many of these times I am not hungry at all, just incapable of staying awake and/or focusing without the act of putting something in my mouth and chewing. If workplaces could condone 10 minute catnaps I could cut a lot of this out. Afternoons feel like a marathon!

Paula is so right about eating from boredom. That is a big danger zone. So here's my suggestion. The next time you've got a lull at work, or you're waiting for an appointment, or the professor's lecture has you thinking about M&Ms instead of social theory and the principles of economics, whip out a sheet of paper and write down any of the following. It will pass the time, make you reassess your fitness and health, and it won't add any junk to your Badasses:

  • 5 healthy foods you will try out over the next week
  • 5 new exercises you will try at the gym
  • 5 new songs you want to put on your iPod to fuel your energy at the gym
  • 5 personal indulgences you can give yourself that DON'T involve food or calorie-laden drinks (Think manicure, a new fitness or healthy cooking book, 30 minutes away from the kids to go for a calming walk or invigorating run, etc.)

So here's to a new week. And let me just end this Monday Mailbag with an open letter to all of you:

Dear Badass Army,

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I started this blog in November not knowing if anyone would even care to read it. But steadily, more and more of you have joined and -- more importantly -- encouraged me to keep this going and make it something even bigger.

Every time you comment on a post or send me an e-mail or post something on our Facebook group, Badass Fitness (join if you haven't already!), I smile and feel more certain that this is what I am meant to do. When you tell me about your healthy weight loss or that first 5K you ran or that Spinning class you started taking regularly, I get as much of an endorphin rush as if I had done it myself! Because I feel like, in my own little way, I am helping you. And that is all I want to do -- to help all of you find your strongest, fittest, healthiest, happiest selves.

In many cases, I have never even met you or it's been years since we spoke. Yet I feel like we are building not just a Badass Army here, but a family. That means we will push each other with high expectations, but we will support each other through junk food days and clean eating days, and through sloth Sundays and marathon-practice Mondays. We won't judge. We will build each other up. That, dear readers, is the most Badass kind of army/family I can think of.

With love and a Badass fist bump,

Shannon, Badass Fitness CEO



Sunday, January 24, 2010

Books I read in 2009

  • *Olive Kitteridge: A Novel in Stories by Elizabeth Strout
    • Odd, compelling and beautiful.  As a friend of mine said -- very Maine -- where it takes place. 

  • Cross Bones by Kathy Reichs
    • I love these forensic police crime novels -- the TV show Bones is based on them though the books are set in Montreal which is more interesting as a locale for me than Washington, DC where the TV show takes place.
  • Not in the Flesh by Ruth Rendell
    • Another great Inspector Wexford British murder mystery.  Love them.
  • Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
    • This was a good read too, a bit odd, but fascinating too.
  • *Someone Knows My Name: A Novel by Lawrence Hill
    • Loved this one even though I didn't want to read it and thought it would just be unrelentingly depressing.  Somehow it was fascinating, interesting, compelling and much less depressing than I thought it would be -- even uplifting in some places.
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
    • An enjoyable read -- the whole novel is in letters -- I am very interested in the Channel Islands which were occupied by the Germans during WWII when some of this novel takes place.
  • Miss Julia Strikes Back by Ann B. Ross
  • Brother and Sister: A Novel by Joanna Trollope
  • *The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
    • Worth ones time -- a good mystery with great plot twists
  • *A Free Life by Ha Jin
  • *Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum
    • Wonderful and incredibly thought provoking especially for those of us who are mothers.
  • Death of a Snob by M.C. Beaton
  • Tail of Emily Windsnap by Liz Kessler
    • Books for kids 8-12 which Emma and I read together.  This was interesting and enjoyable for me too which is always a nice plus when reading together.
  • *Good Thief by Hannah Tinti
  • *The Whistling Season by Ivan Doig
  • The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis
Well, it's not a very long list and for that I blame my new found addiction: digital scrapbooking and the laptop I got last January making my addiction so easy to indulge in any and everyroom of the house. Thank goodness I am in a book club or this list would be shorter.  I've put an asterisk next to the books I read for book club.  I may add ratings or comments at a later date, for now I'll just note the ones that I really loved.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Our past two weekends in photos and words

 Last weekend Emma and I went to see the musical Wicked in Providence.  This was Santa's gift to Emma (and to me too!)  I thought it would be good, but didn't realize that it would be fantastic.  I loved the clever  story line and identified with Elphaba perhaps more than I wanted to.  I do seem to have had several good friends all of whom were/are blonde, popular, and mostly perky (okay you know who you are: Cathy, Wendy R., Lynne and Maria). One of the best moments in the muscial is when Elphaba and Glinda are complaining about having the other as a roomate.  Glinda has this long list of things she doesn't like and is talking really fast and Elphaba pauses at the end and then says very seriously "she's so ......  BLONDE!"  I was definitely the serious, brainy, broody, brunette and I am eternally grateful to all of my perky blonde friends for pulling me out of the muck of too much self examination and introversion.  Also the singing -- terrific -- loved that the two main characters are women and do almost all the singing -- some in close harmony.  On top of all that the sets and costumes and dancing -- was -- well spectacular. I am still on a high from having seen this.

We (well mostly me with some help from Emma) finally took the Christmas decorations down the day after our Wicked afternoon.  It was several days past Epiphany, but I don't think God will mind that much.  Here's what our couch looked like while we were undoing the tree.  I also took some photos of favorite ornaments.  I had the idea that I might do a mini book of my favorites: why I love them, where they came from, etc...

Here's one of this year's new ornaments.  It was Chloe's first Christmas and my sister managed to find a black pug ornament that she could personalize.  Thank you Katey!

I had to add this photo as well.  My godson Gavin gave me this absolutely beautiful reindeer ornament.  I tried it on the tree, but liked it much much better on our mantel piece.  Thanks Gavin (and Wendy too).

Here's Chloe, "banished" to her bed while we are taking down the decorations and loading the boxes to put away.  She was VERY curious about the whole process and just generally getting in the way. She doesn't look to happy does she.

And of course we made time to play some Wii.  Thank you Mom and Dad for this great Christmas gift.  My parents are divorced so this was truly and act of coordination and love for their grandaughter. Thank you!!

Our Sunday concluded with ordering take out from the nearby Thai restaurant. Here are Emma and Jim studying the menu.

While we waited for dinner to arrive we all played a couple of games of UNO.  We even kept score on the neat white board that is part of the UNO DELUXE game Mom gave Emma for Christmas. Thank you Mom.  Even Jim played with us and he hates board games -- I think it was because he thought the adding up of points at the end of each hand was good arithmetic practice for Emma!

Now on to this past weekend:

Friday was Open House/ Family Night at The Ballet Center where Emma is a ballet, pointe and jazz student.  Here she is doing a short routine with other members of the ballet 3 & 4 class. It's always crowded, but it's a fun event with a potluck after and I always enjoy watching the kids dance and hanging out with the Mom's.  The dancers all get certificates (kind of like report cards as they get a score of 1-5 in various categories such as musicality, technique, follow instructions)  Emma's was terrific this year. She got her first 5 in following instructions/listening and all 4s in the other categories.  She's had mostly 3 and 4 in the past.  It's also the most beautiful piece of paper/cardstock I've ever seen with a lovely color photo of  dancers on it.  Thank you Miss Garance.

On Saturday I drove up to Boston to attend Lawberry Camp at Harvard Law School.  This is an "unconference" organized by a few younger and very energetic law librarians.  I went to a shorter version at AALL this Summer.  As a solo librarian with no librarian colleagues at work I found a day of exchanging ideas and learning about new technology invaluable. I am re-energized.  Plus there was an interesting mix of people from different places and library types and position.  Even one director and two law firm librarians.  There were about 20 of us and the group just seemed to gell well together.  We started the day with a "unkeynote" mini speech (about 20 mins plus questions).  This was given by David Weinberger of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society.
Starting with a short talk and question session was a great idea as it gave us all some time to wake up and get ready for more active participation later.

The photo above is not of the Lawberry Camp, but of lunch at the Ethiopian Restaurant Addis Red Sea on Mass. Ave just up the street from the Law School.  I'd never eated Ethiopian before and we did actually eat with our hands and the bread.  They brought us warm towels to wash our hands before and after the meal!  Cool, but not very practical -- though I swear I ate less because it was so difficult to get the food to my mouth!.


My day ended with a trip into the city (Boston) to meet some law catalogers for dinner.  They were in town at the ALA Midwinter Conference.  We had a delicious and relaxing meal at Papa Razzi near Copley Square.  It was good to spend time with some "older" law librarians and after my energizing day with mostly (but not all) younger law librarians.  I also thoroughly enjoyed my brisk walk from the Park T station through the Common and Boston Garden and down Newbury street to the restaurant.  It was fun reliving my Boston city girl days.

Sunday was a day of recovery. I went no where, not even to church.  I can't start my day at 6 am and get home at 10 pm and not go to bed until 1 am very often these days.  Now it's time to wrap this up and commence on the quarterly tidy-up and cleaning in Emma's room.  

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Basic Grey now has digital scrapbooking paper and products!

I found out from one of the scrapbookers I follow on Twitter that Basic Grey has just launched some digital products.  I LOVE their paper and scrapbook embellishments (the real live paper ones) so I am very excited about this.  I checked out the site today and downloaded this new header for my blog -- not sure it's exactly the way I want it to be yet, but we will see.  You can check their new digital stuff yourself at the Basic Grey website.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The reason why I am up late again

I got involved with creating and tweaking this digital scrapbook page. Not the best photo quality wise, but it shows what fun we all had making tiara's and necklaces and wearing them around all morning on New Year's Eve.
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