X-MAS CHALLENGE

I’m starting a X-mas challenge! The holidays are quickly approaching and a lot of us have several different emotions connected to this specific event. We have sometimes forgotten the real meaning with the holidays. It’s not about spending ridiculous amount of money on presents. And it’s definitely not about all that food, binge-eating, being immobile and swelled up afterward, then feeling anxiety and guilt for stuffing yourself beyond recognition…

I am doing my own X-mas challenge this year and it would be great fun if you could join me. Whatever your goal might be, it would be awesome to share the experience. My own goal is to tone up my muscle definition and get even fitter cardiovascularly, but mainly, instead of gaining weight this holiday season, I am aiming to lose 5 kilograms / 11 pounds.
My start date is 1st of December 2009 (tomorrow) and my finish date is 10th of January 2010.

What is your X-mas challenge? What are your personal goals?

LINA’S BIRTHDAY PART-AY

Despite not feeling the best last night, I went to Lina’s birthday party. It was fun and crazy, as usual… and lots of whacko photos to show for it. Here are a few of them:

Getting ready for the party.
My gorgeous new down jacket. So warm!
Birthday child Lina and I.
Having fu-u-un!
Gotta fit some dancing in too…
…and some Karate as well! KE-I!

SUNNY SUNDAY

Woke up this morning with a clogged sinus system, sore throat, throbbing head ache, tingly and achy body. Darn it! On 1st of advent as well. I was looking forward to go and fill up on some spirituality from a vibrant, singing and praising mass.
Still, I had to get bundled up and take the mutt for a walk. Once outside, it was so peaceful. Hardly anybody out and about. The sun peaking out from behind the hill, stubborn rays trying to reach each and every dark corner of the woods. So refreshing. Welcoming sun. Finally! And on 1st of advent. What a blessing!
Enjoying the crisp morning sun

FRIDAY RECAP

For you girls who have been wondering about my running bra, this is what it looks like. The brand is ENELL. The best!!

Had a lovely day yesterday. Was buzzing like nobody else could! Got home from school and went out for one of my best runs ever! EUPHORIA! Felt like my legs were gonna fly off of me. Did some amazing high puls hill intervalls as well. Then home, get ready and off to a girl’s night in at Anna’s place. Clothes swapping night. Excellent idea. You bring the clothes you want to give away, swap with the others, whatever nobody wants, goes to charity. Love the concept. Had a really enlighting night with the girl, lots of fun and laughter mixed with deep conversations, good looking clothes, wine, beer and yummy snacks… Can’t get any better.

The feast! 🙂
The girls!
Emma showing some of her goodies
A jacket I fell in love it!

Today I’m in the X-mas spirit and have brought down some lights from the attic to make the flat more cozy. I love the X-mas holidays. Every home become so much warmer and lit up with ornaments and lights. Tomorrow is 1st of advent as well…

Been munching on Ginger Snap cookies as well. They’re addictive! Dropped the whole box on the floor though and spillt half of them out. Better that way! That way Murphy got some too instead of me chowing them all down… haha!

HOW TO AVOID WINTER VIRUS

Our bodies are amazing! From the moment we are born our bodies start building a defensive shield to protect us against the onslaught of bacteria. Our immune system hunt down invaders in the body and eliminate them. It also protects us by developing anti-bodies and immunity to certain “nasties” preventing us having the same illness again and again.

I don’t believe in pumping ourselves full of flu vaccine. What I do believe in is building healthy eating and regular exercise into our lifestyles so that it actually boosts our immune function! Healthy people are ill less often, recupperate quicker should they get ill, feel better in themselves, have more energy and are less stressed! However, when we run, especially if we’ve run hard, we leave a window of low immunity open for a while. This can leave us more prone to bugs and illness. That’s why it’s really important that us runners think about how we can minimise our risk of catching bugs – they play havoc with your running! Finishing your run and then not refuelling adequately, or going out for a run and then heading straight back into a warm, airconditioned, bacteria laden office with people coughing and spluttering, or not changing your clothes and being cold post-run, really doesn’t help ward off the winter lurgy!

Here’s a bunch of immune system boosting tips for the winter:

MAKE HEALTHY EATING A LIFETYLE CHOICE. A big key to a healthy immune system is to eat a healthy balanced diet. Fresh fruit and vegetables, carbohydrate, proteins and essential fatty acids all play a part in keeping our defences strong and fit for action. The key vitamins to support your immune system are zinc, iron, copper, selenium, A, B6, C and E. If you are concerned over a lack of any essential vitamins or minerals, a ‘top up’ in the form of supplementation is to consider.

KEEP THE CARBS! Complex carbohydrate plays an important role in supporting the immune function (and we’re not talking about white bread and pasta now!). The Atkins diet is not good for fighting the winter lurgy. Trying to loose weight quickly simply adds stress on your body. A steady weight management programme that is based on eating the right amount of the right foods at the right time, coupled with a regular, progressive and appropriate exercise routine is the way to go.

GO FOR PROTEIN! Protein and essential fatty acids are also vital for immune function. Protein is important to help your body recover and re-build your muscles after running. A lack of protein will mean that your body will not be able to repair itself adequately and you run the risk of getting over tired and run down. Great protein choices are lean cuts of meat, fish, dairy and eggs. For higher doses and other important amino acids, whey protein isolate supplemantation is to consider.

EAT THE ESSENTIALS! Essential fatty acids such as Omegas-3s in particular are good for immunity as they are an essential part of effective functioning of every cell in the body. Healthy cells mean that your body can function at its best. Omega-3s can be found in eggs, oily fish such as salmon and mackerel, and seeds or nuts such as linseeds/flaxseeds, sunflowerseeds and walnuts. A small amount of these foods should be present in your diet each day.

PROTECT WITH PROBIOTICS. Probiotics are ‘friendly bacteria’. Everyone needs these to survive. They help us to syntheses vitamins and help rid ourbodies of harmful bacteria found in the gut, such as viruses, helping stimulatethe gut immunity and enhancing our disease resistance. Probiotics can be eaten in foods such as live yoghurt, but it has been found more effective to stimulate the activity of existing healthy bacteria in the gut by eating certain foods such as bananas, asparagus, garlic, wheat, tomatoes and onions.

STAY CLEAN! Wash your hands regularly. Our hands pass over countless objects in the day that many people have touched, including money, door handles, pens, taps, hand railings, buttons on cash machines, telephones, computers, etc. The constant contact spreads virus. By washing your hands with soap and warm water for at least a minute, you will be reducing your chances of catching whatever lurks!

DON’T TOUCH! Avoid touching your face. Viruses like to get into your body through your eyes, mouth or nose.

EXERCISE. That’s right. The exercises you do is great immune boosting activity. Regular physical activity makes your body stronger and better at warding off bugs and viruses.

SELF PRESERVATION! When you see someone has a cold, cough, or other symtoms of the flu – steer clear! That might be tricky when they are your husband, partner, child or the person you sit next to at work, yet you can think about strategies to minimise physical contact when they are really ill!

NIGHT NIGHT SLEEPY HEAD! When you are tired, your body just can’t catch up and something has to give, and it’s usually your health. Avoid constantly driving yourself into the ground. Aim to get enough sleep (7-9 hours per night) so that you feel properly rested. At least once a week, try and wake naturally and not to your alarm.

GRATEFUL

Grate·ful

Etymology: obsolete grate pleasing, thankful, from Latin gratus — more at grace.
1 a: appreciative of benefits received. b: expressing gratitude.

Grateful is such a beautiful word. For the holidays, let’s all be grateful for everything we have in our lives. Let’s be grateful for the food on our tables, the love surrounding us, our own health, having a roof over our heads, having shoes on our feet, clothes on our backs, other people in our environment to share our joys with, grateful for being able to speak, see, touch, sing, cry, laugh, feel happy, feel sad. Grateful for being alive. Grateful for being me!

Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len’s mantra through Joe Vitale: I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.

RUNNER’S HIGH

Nothing could’ve dampen my spirit this morning. No rain downpour, no hurricane wind gusts, no soaking wet socks and shoes… Oh what a treat! I finally got to go out for my run early this morning! Still a bit sore in my right groin, but my extatic mood and runner’s high covered upp all kinds of pain. It’s amazing what exercise can do to your body. Especially hard core workouts! Releases the best pain relief, all kinds of feel good hormones, growth hormones, endorphins, etc. I’ve been on a high all day… Thought I’d make it to Body Pump tonight at the gym as well, but back is still sore and I rather recupperate fully than get injured again. And when I’m all better, I will UNLEASH!!! :))

INVESTED BODY PHYSIC

Bob Harper always says it’s not about the one push-up. No it’s not, but the little things we do everyday, some sort of exercise, do add up in the end. I have to remember this as my anxiety escalates because I haven’t worked out for 3 days! My stomach curled up as soon as I wrote that. 3 days!!! I don’t take into consideration that I take 2 long walks with Murphy every day, which I should because after all walking is some kind of exercise. However, not on the level I have been training. And after past weekend, packed with HOURS of heavy duty exercise every day during my Body Combat training, I shouldn’t really be stressing about 3 days, but that’s just the way I work. I don’t want to lose all my hard work, all the early hours, all that sweat and huge investment I’ve put into my physic and body… Yeah, I think it’s fair for me to feel this way. I have a minor injury as well, which is a pulled groin muscle. Hopefully, it should be healed soon so that I can start up running again and practicing my Combat choreography for real. Hopefully tomorrow? 🙂

A HEALTHY HOLIDAY SEASON

It’s ironic that during a time when we should be celebrating the blessings in our lives, we are most prone to depression and dysfunction. The holidays bring out our co-dependency in spades: doing, buying, being for everyone except ourselves. And the symptoms of this behavior are obvious: Eating becomes gluttonous. Family issues become magnified. The gym becomes a distant memory. Stress levels go through the roof, and so on.

So I ask you… Are the standard tips about white meat instead of dark meat, or going for a walk before your Thanksgiving or Christmas meal the answers to these problems? Isn’t it obvious that if you consume healthy foods in moderation and move your body more you won’t gain weight? And since it is that simple, the real question becomes, Why aren’t people doing it? The solution isn’t reiterating self-evident information, but rather discussing ways of remedying the problem’s origin – lack of self-worth.

This issue is a major one and not something we can fix overnight, but by taking small steps like redefining our holiday experience we are moving in the right direction. Let’s start by shifting our thinking, behavior, and overall attitude to one of self-preservation instead of self-sacrifice so we are heading into 2010, and subsequently, many new years to come, with our bodies healthy, hearts happy, and minds centered.

Every day this season I want you to wake up and think about how the actions you take throughout your day will make you a happier healthier person. If holiday parties create temptation for you, avoid them. Find a healthier way to celebrate with your friends like a night on the town dancing. If stressful family reunions throw you off track, set boundaries and stay away. Take a healthy vacation with close friends instead. If the memories of holiday seasons past cause you to feel lonely, channel those feelings constructively instead of destructively. Take them as a sign that it’s time to form new connections. Join a club, support group, or online community where you meet new people and make new friends. If buying presents for everyone and their mother crushes you financially and puts you behind the eight ball, offer the ongoing gift of your love and friendship instead.

These things might seem impossible at first. You might be plagued with concerns about what people will think. Will they be angry or disappointed with you? Stop talking to you and so on? Honestly, who cares? If someone doesn’t love or appreciate you for putting yourself first they have done you a favor and identified themselves as someone you don’t need in your life.

So stop wasting time and start putting your health first, physically and emotionally. Make the holidays a time of inspiration and possibility, one empowered step at a time. And remember, taking care of yourself is a gift to everyone else because everyone ends up having a happier and healthier holiday. By Jillian Michaels

PRACTICE IN LIFE

This theme has been coming back at me repeatedly these last few days, in all kinds of forms. During my Body Combat training days, while flicking through the telly quickly and ending up on some low budget channel hearing Prem Rawat speaking, while listening to an audiobook by Jack Cornfield… I think the Universe is trying to tell me something…

Have you heard the saying “Practice makes perfect”?
What do we practice in life? Do we practice being miserable or unkind? Do we practice whining and complaining? Do we practice being angry and nasty to others? What do we really practice in life? Because what we practice, we become good at. True?! If we practice being happy, humble and kind to others, don’t we become better at it every day? If we practice become giving, open and sharing, isn’t that something we become good at? A lot of people have adapted the Secret and Law of Attraction and think happiness and success will just happen. Yes it will, if you practice it. If you put actions to your good feelings and thoughts.

Mahatma Gandhi used to say that we should be the change we want to see in the world…
Listen to this snippet of Prem Rawat talking about practice. Hope you have a great day!