Zen and the art of treadmill maintenance

Today’s run: TBD

I’ve been meditating lately (yep, hot yoga last week, meditating this week: I’m that girl). Specifically, I’ve been working through Oprah and Deepak Chopra’s 21-Day Meditation Experience: Manifesting True Success.

Each day, a link to a new guided meditation shows up in my inbox. I barricade myself in my office, light a candle or some incense, sit cross-legged on my dog’s bed, and let Oprah and Deepak guide me from “limiting beliefs” to discovering that my successes can be “infinite.”

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“You’re stealing my bed to do what?”

You may think this sounds ridiculous. And if you could talk to 19-year-old me, she’d agree and you could conspire about how lame and new-agey I’ve become over a pitcher of Alpine.

Historically, I’ve been a firm believer in the glorification of busy. I’ve equated success with being constantly on the move or, failing that, at least having a brain that was operating at breakneck speeds.

I’m starting to figure out there’s little glory in dashing through life like it’s a race to the finish line (ironic coming from a runner, no?) and that a few minutes of stillness, deep breathing and turning inward is way more fruitful than several hours with a mind so busy its focus is split in a dozen different directions.

I’m in Week 2 of my meditation experience and we’re starting to focus on making SMART choices. Yep, that’s an acronym. And yep, I’m aware of how super-dorky it sounds, but bear with me.

SMART choices encompass the following:

S – Stretch more than you can reach

M – Make everything measurable

A – Agreement with your inner self and those around you

R – Record your progress

T – Time limits for acting and getting a result

I’m still new to the SMART doctrine, In fact, so far, I’ve only been introduced to S, which essentially just asks that I move beyond my comfort zone and familiar boundaries.

And that’s how I found myself here yesterday:

I’m fortunate enough to have a treadmill in my home gym. I’m also fortunate enough to have a husband who is rather handy and generally takes care of the related maintenance. Not because I can’t do it. But because I don’t wanna. And because that’s just one of the benefits of having a husband.

This past week, my treadmill started skipping. At best, it was super-annoying. At worst? Kind of dangerous. I let dear hubby know that the belt needed to be tensioned and lubricated. And he promised he’d get to it.

But then, of course, life happened. He worked a week of 14-hour days, coming home just to sleep. On Friday, as he was running late for an out-of-town, all-weekend engagement, he gave me a call to let me know that, once again, he wouldn’t have time for the treadmill.

“I’ve got a great idea for your blog,” he said. “Write about fixing your treadmill. It’s something every runner has to do at some point, right?”

Well-played, sir. Well-played.

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Tools of the trade (including what would turn out to be the wrong T-handled thingy)

So trying very hard to stretch more that I can reach, I marched into the gym, busted out the owner’s manual and got to work. I learned a couple of things:

  1. Read the instructions. Read all the instructions. I did pretty much everything wrong because I gave the instructions a very casual perusal and then just did what I thought should be done. This included loosening the belt, even though it didn’t need to be loosened, trying to run the treadmill while the belt was still loosened, and doing the exact opposite of what I should have done to center the belt. Essentially, not reading the instructions turned what should have been a 15-minute job into an hour-long one. READ THE INSTRUCTIONS.
  2. Familiarize yourself with the necessary tools. I also wasted a lot of time trying to adjust the belt using the wrong T-handled thingy. The treadmill comes with two T-handled thingies. I don’t know why. I don’t care why. But this would have been handy to know from the get-go. I was also using a new-to-me piece of technology called the Lube-N-Walk. It’s designed to simplify this process because you can just slide it under the belt, saving you from loosening it in order to apply the lubricant. I didn’t know this. So I wasted a lot of time (see above).

In the end, the mission was (mostly) a success. I took my freshly-lubricated, newly-tensioned treadmill for a 6-mile trial run and it worked. Only had to readjust the belt once.

Today I might take it for another spin and enjoy the fruits of stretching beyond my reach. But not until I do some meditation because after that nonsense, my state of zen is in need of some serious restoration.

Namaste, y’all.

Surviving hot yoga

Today’s run: Not happening (rest day)

There was a time back in 2010 when I pledged to give hot yoga a try. Five years later, I’m making good on that promise.

Hot yoga: the aftermath (a.k.a. sweat bikini)

Hot yoga: the aftermath (a.k.a. the sweat bikini)

My mom talked me into it. As a recent convert, she’s been spreading the good news about hot yoga: that it’s a great stress-buster, that it’s rejuvenating, that it’s one heck of a workout if you want it to be, but that you can also go at your own pace, adjusting to your personal blend of balance, flexibility and fitness.

Sounded like exactly what I needed after navigating a particularly stressful stretch in my life, not to mention the first week of my new 10k training plan. So mom twisted my rubber arm and I found myself at a Saturday morning hot yoga class at Peak Performance Health Center.

I showed up ready to rock: well-hydrated (lots of water that morning and the evening before), lightly fueled (teeny tiny breakfast providing just enough energy to get up and go but not enough to feel like a lead weight in your tummy), and fully equipped (lightweight workout clothes, yoga mat, towels, water bottle).

But I was also pretty nervous. The heat and I don’t have the best relationship. There have been a few fainting spells on hot summer days or in steamy showers. There was also a particularly traumatizing race in 30+°C heat when I crossed the finish line, threw up, and ended up lying under a tree, covered in ice packs, attended to by a paramedic. (Good times, good times.)

So when I entered the room, kept at a balmy 38-40°C, I was feeling the exact opposite of zen.

Thankfully, Peak Performance doesn’t fool around. They have very specific rules set out for hot yoga participants: the first being that you have to show up at least 20 minutes before class, giving you time to get into the room and acclimatize to the heat.

That 20-minute buffer was a godsend. After spending just a few minutes in corpse pose (see, I know yoga stuff now!), my heart rate slowed, my breathing deepened, my body relaxed, and the class seemed doable.

Doable and, it would turn out, enjoyable.

Our instructor was lovely, suggesting variations for the poses as we moved through them so we could all find the proper fit for our bodies. She also maintained a very light vibe: smiling, joking, playing music that was actual music and not just chanting or ambient, ethereal strains.

All the small things that make a beginner like me feel at home.

As for the workout itself? It was a pleasant shift from pounding through interval training and slogging through distance runs to focusing on other aspects of my fitness, like flexibility (pretty on point) and balance (I may have fallen over a few times). There was also some definite strength work, which I felt in my abs during class and in my arms and shoulders for a couple days afterward.

The best part though? Just walking out of there in a state of total relaxation, feeling like I’d done something awesome for body and mind. A feeling I’d love to find again.

A couple of Christmases ago, my dear husband bought me a gift certificate for 10 yoga classes. I never went, too afraid to put myself out there, try something new, potentially make a fool of myself. Time to cash it in…

Risin’ up back on the streets…

Cue Eye of the Tiger because I’m about to be back in training!

As I wrote yesterday, I’ve been a bit off-kilter lately. A little up in the air. A little unsure.

With that, I’ve noticed a steep decline in running’s positive spin-off in my life. A run that used to keep me centered for a couple of days now wears off in a couple of hours. It’s made me less excited to run, which means I’m doing it less, which, in turn, depresses me more, creating this whole build-up of bad energy that no run has the power to fix.

Clearly, my lackadaisical, run-when-you-feel-like-it approach just isn’t working.

And so, as many a runner before me has done in the midst of emotional turmoil, I’ve fallen on my knees at the altar of finish lines and medals and signed up for a race: the 10 k event at the Scotiabank Fredericton Marathon on May 10.

Like Martha Stewart says, “It’s a good thing.” Here’s why:

  1. "Pacing yourself? What's that?" A much younger me upon completing the 2009 TC10k.

    “Pacing yourself? What’s that?” A much younger me upon completing the 2009 TC10k.

    It’s 8 weeks away – Enough time to get trained if I start right now; not too long that I’ll put it off.

  2. It’s right here in my hometown – Gotta love those roll-out-of-bed-and-run kind of events.
  3. I know the course – It’s part of my regular running repertoire and (*Hallelujah*) it’s flat and fast.
  4. It lets me work on my speed – 10 km is a comfortable distance so I can focus on achieving a PR. 53:02 is the time to beat, set by a much younger me at the 2009 TC10k. It was my first-ever race, back when I was too naive to know I should be pacing myself. Sigh. A much simpler time.

Next up? I’ll be turning to my own personal Mickey Goldmill, a.k.a Google, to lock in a training plan that will beat the pants off of 23-year-old me.

And it turns out, I’m feeling better already. Amazing what a $40 registration fee and a little healthy competition with oneself can do.

It’s the eye of the tiger, y’all.

Comeback Kid

I feel like about one-in-five of my posts is generally used for assuring you readers out there that I’m still alive. As you’ve seen, if you’ve spent any amount of time following me, I volley back and forth between being hyper-productive, writing multiple entries a day and totally disconnecting for days at a time.

That’s just how I do things. It’s how I handle my wedding planning (back and forth between micromanaging every single detail and pretending the whole thing isn’t happening so I don’t have to deal with it), my house-keeping (back and forth between scrubbing the bathroom floor crevices with a toothbrush and letting dishes pile up for days), my cooking (back and forth between trying out new recipes for healthy well-rounded meals and eating a supper of cereal straight out of the box since I don’t have any milk because I haven’t gone grocery shopping in days).

I’m not proud. I wouldn’t pretend to believe it was a healthy way of doing things. Let me just say that I’m working on it. I’m still trying to achieve that perfect balance in my life. And the fact that I keep coming back to let you know I’m still hanging in there is proof.

Anyhow, since I’ve on the upswing of my productivity cycle, let me give you a quick update on my life and my progress with my last slew of Mini-Resolutions:

I spent last weekend mostly in hibernation. Just me, my dear fiancé and a lot of rented movies.

It’s Friday night that did me in. We decided to go out to a nightclub for drinks, dancing and — mainly — helping my dear fiance’s newly-single buddy meet some lady friends.

This was a stretch for us. We don’t generally go out. Sure, we do beer at a pub, wine and appies at a restaurant, but we don’t really do the bass-booming, lights-flashing nightclub scene. On Friday night, I realized why.

Nightclubs are scary places.

I don’t know when they became that way. It wasn’t that long ago I went through my partying phase.  Indeed, I remember vividly a time when I’d spend my Friday and Saturday nights getting glammed up, dancing like a maniac until closing time, then finding an after party or after hours club where the dancing continued.

Then something changed. Part of it was me, no doubt. I’m 24 now, for crying out loud. Nearly ancient in terms of the club scene. I can’t keep up with the 19-year-olds. I’ve got a job, a car payment, a fiancé. I’m not a university student anymore but a university employee.

But I won’t take all the blame: something else has gone horribly wrong to make the club scene a damn nightmare.

Like, maybe the fact that nobody wears clothes anymore?

Ok, that’s probably not quite fair. Clothing is worn. Pants just seem to have become passé.

The standard club attire has become skin-tight, spandex dresses cut just below the underwear line. Sometimes they’re not even that modest. Basically, underwear has become outerwear (That’s for girls, by the way. The guy’s uniform of a dress shirt and jeans still stands). I’m not sure when this happened exactly. It seems I didn’t get the memo.

But the horror starts way before that. First there’s the cattle corral you have to wait in outside. Which I’m pretty sure is there for no other reason than to give the bouncers some sense of importance and superiority.

That’s probably also why it takes three of them to check your ID. Literally. Three guys. I’m standing at the front of the cattle corral, 50 drunk people trying to push past me. Bouncer #1 looks at ID. Says it’s ok. Still doesn’t open gate. Drunk girl falls to the ground behind me, bangs head against the back of my knee and nearly takes me out. Bouncer #2 checks ID. Asks for a second piece. Finally lets me through.

Money grabber girl charges me $4 for the privilege of getting this far.

Dear fiancé and his newly-single friend get to Bouncer #3 first. This is where things get seriously twisted.

Our city has implemented a program called Bar Watch. Bar Watch is designed to:

“help identify problem patrons for night clubs and bars. The program includes swiping patrons’ IDs, taking pictures and placing an alert on the file of anyone who shows themselves to be a problematic patron. The alert will show when they attempt to enter other bars also participating in the program, and their entrance is barred.”

I suppose this sounds like a good idea, in theory. If you can get past the whole freaky Big Brother, 1984 aspect of having your whereabouts on a given Friday night recorded, stored and this personal information used for who-knows-what.

Which I can’t. It bothered me, right off the bat. And with good reason: BC’s Privacy Commissioner has recently ruled that swiping patrons’ ID and storing their personal information is a violation of BC’s privacy laws. Nonetheless, Victoria has decided to continue with the program.

Sound ridiculous to anyone else?

What really bothered me, however, is that when I stepped up to Bouncer #3 to hand him my ID and have my photo taken, he said “No that’s ok, sweetie. You’re fine.”

Say what?

When I told my Dad this story, he laughed and said “They have no idea what kind of trouble you could cause.”

And he’s right. I could. I’m not saying that I am a troublemaker. I’m not. But I could be. And it’s not fair to assume that because I’m a little woman I’ll be well-behaved.

Shame, shame, Bouncer #3.

The night out at the club kind of shell-shocked me. Dear fiancé and I spent the rest of the weekend hiding from civilization.

Which was good. Because I definitely needed that period of recuperation to get ready for the week that followed. Super-busy week at work. Events to plan. A conference to attend. The tentative acceptance of a new part-time job that’s only go to up the insanity. And in my personal life, the realization the wedding is now just six months away and all the terror that strikes within me when I realize how many tasks are still on the to-do list.

So, I didn’t get much done. I’m still working on the last slew of Mini-Resolutions I posted eons ago. You remember those ones, don’t you? Way back on Jan. 30.

(Yikes! I didn’t even realize it had been that long!)

I have a few more that I have completed and just haven’t written about. Those will be coming soon. Promise! I’m on the upswing of productivity now, remember?

I’ve also decided to hold off on officially beginning Week #4 of Dr. Andrew Weil’s 8 Weeks to Optimal Health.

Why? Well, first because I make the rules and I can.

Secondly, this will give me some time to make and complete some new non-Dr. Weil-related Mini-Resolutions. This was never supposed to be the “Dr. Weil Show” and I think it’s worth giving some face time to some other healthy ventures I could try out.

As for now, however, my dear, wonderful fiancé is cooking up a breakfast of Valentine’s Day pancakes for me. And right at this moment, that’s the biggest priority for me!

I’ll be back soon.

Seriously.

Happy Valentine’s Day, all!

Dr. Weil and Jambalaya

Jan. 4. My first day back at work after the holidays and a very good reminder of why I so desperately need this project. It’s 8 p.m. and I’m exhausted. Also, a little cranky. 

Talked to my dad today. He and my mom went to a New Year’s party. 

“We managed to stay until 12:15,” he said. “Us old folks have a tough time making it to midnight.” 

I didn’t tell him that the dear fiance and I were already in bed by 12. Now who’s old? 

I just can’t help but think that this can’t be right. I’m 24. Shouldn’t I have enough energy to keep me going into the wee hours? Actually, screw the wee hours. I’d just like to be able to see 10 p.m. on a weeknight and not feel like that’ s pushing it. That bums me out. 

Enter Mini-Resolution #1: View Dr. Andrew Weil’s program 8 Weeks to Optimal Health. 

Dr. Andrew Weil's 8 Weeks to Optimum Health

My loaner copy of Dr. Andrew Weil's 8 Weeks to Optimum Health

 

I have a lot of good to say about this one. In part, because dear Dr. Weil has given me eight weeks of exercise, nutrition and mental/spiritual tasks that will help me meet the ridiculous quota I’ve set out for myself with this project. But also because it’s Dr. Weil and even if you don’t agree with everything he says, you can’t help but love him. The man’s half-Santa, half-yogi. 

Anyhow, the DVD is actually a spin-off of Dr. Weil’s book of the same title. Which I should probably read. But let’s face it, who has time for books? 

What I do have time for is reading Amazon.com’s review of said book: 

“Health,” Dr. Andrew Weil writes, “is a dynamic and temporary state of equilibrium destined to break down as conditions change.” In other words, there’s no such thing as the type of health that allows you to feel equally great every day of your life. Instead, Weil suggests, your goal should be to improve your resilience to disease, and while you’re at it, feel more joy and strength. 

More joy? Sign me up. 

Dr. Weil relies on an eastern-inspired school of  thought which suggests that health is not just an absence of disease but rather an inner resilience — or “bounciness” as the Santa-yogi puts it. It’s being able to deal with deleterious things like germs without getting infected, allergens without having allergic reactions and carcinogens without getting cancer. It’s the ability to maintain a balance. 

Love it. 

Also love that Dr. Weil takes a more holistic approach than one would normally expect from an American MD. Among his advice: buy flowers and then just have them near you to enjoy. Well-being, he says, can be improved simply by being in the presence of flowers. 

That, I can get on board with. 

What I can’t get on board with is Dr. Weil’s Week 3 suggestion to rid oneself of electromagnetic pollution. This includes electric blankets. He says there’s reason to be concerned about all those coils and wires sitting right next to your  body for long periods of time. He says they generate large electromagnetic fields that are suspected of deranging the body’s natural healing system. 

I’m wrapped in an electric blanket right now. I spend most of my evenings wrapped in an electric blanket. I dig my electric blanket, in a must-have-on-a-desert-island kinda way — that is, if the desert island happened to have electricity. 

Despite this small drawback and a few others (the amount of organic produce this guy suggests buying would put Donald Trump in the poorhouse), I’m going to give Dr. Weil’s eight-week plan a try. Read more in Mini-Resolution #3. 

Mini-Resolution #2: Use that damn slow cooker 

Slow Cooker Jambalaya

My Slow Cooker Jambalaya. Believe me, it tasted better than it looks here.

 

Yesterday, I set myself the task of finally using that $10 slow cooker I bought on a boxing day high at the Home Depot. 

This mini-resolution happened to coincide with Movie Night. 

Movie Night, by the way, is capitalized for two reasons here. First, to emphasize that it is not just any movie night. Oh, no. Movie Night at this writer’s residence is more than just renting a DVD. It’s renting a DVD and then planning and preparing some kind of meal and/or appetizer inspired by the rented movie. 

It was my dear fiance’s idea. 

That’s the second reason it’s capitalized. To emphasize the pain in my ass it is. 

I kid, I kid. 

(Kinda) 

We both love it. 

(Once the cooking’s done) 

Anyway, yesterday after committing to create a snack for Movie Night in my slow cooker, I scrambled like a lunatic Googling movie-inspired menus. I found a lot for last year’s Oscar nominees. Among them, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

“A-ha,” I said. “A movie neither of us have seen that we both actually want to see and it comes with a ready-made menu!” 

Ready-made indeed. For sensible people who don’t lock themselves into written contracts to cook only with a slow cooker.  The menus I found included oysters, crabcakes and blackened catfish. Not exactly slow cooker-friendly fare. 

But the menus did inspire. I started looking into other New Orleans fare and finally found the recipe I’d been searching for: slow cooker jambalaya

It turned out great. As an added bonus, it also turned out pretty healthy, coming in under 100 calories per serving, a little more when served over some brown rice.  Low in fat. A good source of protein and Vitamin C. 

Not too bad, if I do say so myself. 

Of course by the time I finished cooking the damn thing, my dear fiance was falling asleep on the couch. Trooper that he is, he bucked up to eat a bowl of jambalaya and also stayed awake through the whole movie — which was, for the record, just as good as it had been built up to be. 

*two thumbs up* 

Now it’s tally time! 

Days to go: 361 

Mini-resolutions to go: 258 

And with those overwhelming stats in my face, it’s time to commit my silly self to the next task. 

Mini-Resolution #3: This one comes straight from the moth of everyone’s favourite Santa-yogi. In Week 1 of his eight-week program, Dr. Weil asks his viewers/readers to purge their cupboards and fridge of some particularly unhealthy crap. Specifically, all polyunsaturated vegetable oils and everything containing hydrogenated vegetable oil, artificial sweeteners and artificial colours.  

I will attempt to do this, with a slight twist.  

I can’t bring myself to actually throw away this food. I have my reasons. They’re twofold.  

First, it goes against my upbringing. I can’t in good conscience throw away edible — if somewhat unhealthy — food. When my parents told me to finish up my what was on my plate because there were starving kids in Africa who would love to have it, that stuck! Consequently, I’m not one of these Women’s Health girls who will eat half a piece of pie and throw away the rest just to “cut the calories in half.” That’s ridiculous. Wasting food is ridiculous. I won’t do it.  

Secondly, my fiance didn’t sign on for this. He’s got a couple packs of Pilsbury danishes sitting in the fridge that he’s just dying to dig into. I know they’re full of hydrogenated vegetable oil, but I can’t deprive him of this small joy and the many others lurking in our kitchen that are likely on Dr. Weil’s purge list. 

I will, however, find all these culprits and quarantine them safely away from my Dr. Weil-approved foods. I will avoid them (at least for the duration of the eight-week program) and see what impact this has on my health. 

I’m my own little science experiment. 

P.S. Remember how my dear fiance made those resolutions to eat better and work out more? Well he had four Pogos for supper and he hasn’t been to the gym yet. Alison – 1, Nicholas-0.

Normal Woman’s New Year Manifesto

A few days before New Year’s Eve, my fiance announced he would be making a number of New Year’s resolutions as we entered 2010. Among them, the admirable feats of eating better and going to the gym.

My dear, ambitious fiance then asked if I planned on making any. I said “No, of course not. No one ever keeps New Year’s resolutions.”

Or at least I don’t.

In the past, I have been sucked into the New Year’s Resolution vortex. In many past late Decembers, the potential cleansing power of the approaching new year has moved me to shake off the turkey-induced holiday stupor and resolve to better myself. In fact, I often committed to just the same things as my fiance. To eat better. To exercise more. To finally get that six-pack and forever banish the cellulite from my butt and thighs. (Ok, maybe the cellulite thing is just me)

Often, these resolutions were broken by Jan. 2. Because really, who wants to exercise in the middle of winter? And how can one be expected to eat healthy when there’s leftover pumpkin pie and chocolates that must be finished off?

The oddest part is that these broken resolutions made me — a woman who already worked out four or five times a week with a pretty good track record of eating healthy 80 per cent of the time — feel like an utter failure. Following the making and breaking of my resolution to  eat better and exercise more, I felt even further away from my goals than I was pre-resolution.

So no, I said to my dear, ambitious fiance. I will not be making any resolutions this year.

But as Dec. 31 drew near, I felt that familiar urge the new year brings. What if this could be my year, I thought. What if I could finally have the health, the energy and the joy I’ve always wanted? What if this is the year I finally learn to make my mind, body and spirit work as the power team I know they could be? Most interestingly, I thought, what if my past failures to follow through on a resolution were pre-destined by the nature of the resolution itself?

That is to say while in the past I had resolved to score six-pack abs and a dimple-free butt by the time the ball dropped next year, I was ignoring my true life’s desires. Having a flat tummy and toned bum wouldn’t give me more energy. They wouldn’t make me a more vibrant or a stronger person — hell, they wouldn’t even get me through a marathon (unless I could use them to coerce some poor runner to carry me to the finish line).

Perhaps then, these things I was resolving to work toward weren’t actually things I really wanted but rather things I associated with the kind of person I wanted to be.

Revolutionary.

So I resolved at that time, in the spirit of my revolutionary thoughts, to compose a New Year Manifesto.

A manifesto is a “public declaration of opinions, objectives, or motives as one issued by a government, sovereign or organization” — or, in my case, by a slightly loopy redhead. A manifesto of the New Year variety, is one issued upon or around New Year’s  which addresses objectives and motives for the coming year.

It is different from a resolution because (this is the part I love), it can’t be broken. It’s not something you resolve to do. It’s a public declaration of what you want. Moreover, the hope is that the whole public declaration part will shame the manifesto writer into following through on the stated objectives in order to spare one’s self the humiliation of an unfinished task.

So here it is:

I, the undersigned, am a young woman who has been raised in a world where, despite being intelligent, healthy, strong and vibrant, I am made to feel that I am not enough. The messages I receive tell me that in order to count, I must be shaped like a Barbie doll with an impossible hour-glass figure and legs from here to Toledo. I am told, in a million different ways each day through the media I consume, that until I’ve got 10% body fat composition, I don’t matter.

For a long time, I bought into the lie and resolved to work toward this unattainable image. This always and inevitably ended in failure.

I propose, then, a new psychology. My body will no longer be my enemy. I will no longer fight  and try to make it into something it will never be (I mean, let’s face it; I’m 24 and my boobs aren’t going to get any bigger). Instead of subscribing to the predominant image of health and beauty, I’ll make my own.  Health will be that which makes me feel good, which does good for my body, mind and spirit. Beauty will be the result.

This means I may never have a washboard stomach and I may always have dimples on my butt. I accept that and I aim instead for increased strength, energy and joy. I will exercise and eat well because I want to treat my body with respect. I will take days off from exercising and indulge in pleasurable, if somewhat unhealthy foods, because I want to treat my mind and spirit with respect. I will find balance.

My wish is someday women everywhere will learn to love themselves in this way, that they will strive to be healthy and find happiness there, that they will take care of their bodies and no longer punish them for what society wrongfully implies are imperfections. With this in mind, I propose to share my experiences on this journey in the hopes that other women may find inspiration there.

Signed,

Alison

Phew. Now that’s a manifesto. Marx, eat your heart out.

Anyhow, the plan is that I will be back here regularly and often, writing about my journey’s highs and lows, my insights and frustrations  and also sharing recipes, workouts and other healthy living stuff.

I don’t expect this will be a picnic (mmm, picnic). Change doesn’t come easy to me. Neither does balance, being the all-or-nothing kinda gal I am. What I promise is to be blunt, honest (I did mention my cellulite-covered butt about 20 times in this post, after all) and (I hope) mildly entertaining.

See you soon.