Thursday, March 10, 2011

New Exercise Gear!

I have known for a few days that I needed new trail walking / running shoes – the pair I have been using for my trail walking had a hole punched into one of the air cushions, and so they have been making a hissing noise for a few days – and, of course, though I hadn’t noticed a huge difference yet, the support the shoes were providing was being impacted negatively… I had this morning’s 4.5 KM walk with Jasmine and then went in to the chiropractor.  Excellent news – I’m in good alignment and he’s pleased with where I am progress-wise.  I have received the green light to also start yoga again! 


Yesterday (in my personal email) I received a coupon for the Running Room – buy a pair of shoes and get 20% off of any and all additional purchases – even sale items! Knowing that I was heading to Nanaimo today to take my Grandma out for her 96th birthday lunch, I printed off a copy of the coupon and put it into my purse “just in case.”

Lunch done, Grandma dropped off at home, I headed to the Running Room in Nanaimo to have a look at shoes.  I also wanted to see about maybe getting a pair of Capri’s and maybe another long-sleeved shirt or two – hopefully with pockets where I could put my iPod, some dog-poo bags (I have a dog - the bags go with me EVERYWHERE I go) and my car keys. 

I *love* shopping for exercise clothing.  Probably the only clothing, ever, that I actually *do* like to shop for.  Work clothing is boring – I have to be “professional” and that, to me (and in a bank) means sober colours, traditional cuts and, if the mood arises, tame patterns. Exercise clothing is WAY more fun – wild colours, brilliant patterns and really cool colour combinations that I wouldn’t (and couldn’t) wear in my usual “every day life.”

Today’s acquisitions included shoes – the shoes that I have the best results with are Asics Gel Kayano (this year it’s number 17) – and so the shoes have a turquoise highlight to them. I also replaced (finally) my running coat – I bought my original about eight years ago and it really and truly has no water repellence left to it.  So I bought a bright blue Running Room brand Unisex coat with the reflective silver accents.

From the “Pink Ribbon” section of the store, I picked up a pair of Capri’s – black with pale pink accent at the calf.  Not totally flattering, none of my running wear is especially flattering – it’s VERY functional though and bought for function AND colour. I also got myself a long sleeved HOT pink running shirt.

Then, long sleeved shirts with pockets still in mind, I also got myself a couple of others – black with purple accents and a GORGEOUS turquoise one. A few other little things (some gel shots and a replacement water bottle for my water bottle pack) and I was all set.


Yes, I spent WAY more than I needed to spend – I know it… but the colours are so gorgeous that I can’t wait to get out there in some of my new gear and exercise in brightness! I can’t guarantee I’ll be all matchy-matchy, but I can guarantee I’ll be bright and colourful and happy!

With love across the waters,

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Hypnotherapy - Part II

Tonight I had my second session with the hypnotherapist.  As I anticipated, at the beginning of the session, we discussed what went well this past week and what, if anything, I had noticed that was positive and what I am seeing improvement in.

There have been a few improvements this week:
  • I was able to discern when I had consumed enough sweet stuff – and was even able to have a couple of bites of something and decide I really didn’t *feel* like eating it (and thus threw the rest away.)
  • Exercise has been important to me all week – I have enjoyed being out and, yesterday, needed exercise (instead of sweets) to manage my upset.
  • I’m more aware of what I am eating – and meals are getting slowly healthier. I have been incorporating much more in the way of vegetables.
  • Snacks are more responsible – instead of a couple of granola bars I have been taking one and then making up a dish of fruit and yogurt, or raw carrots for the second snack.
  • I actually think I have been eating a little less this week – not as much snacking.
  • Ooh – and my Tim Horton’s coffee habit (which was to get one on the way to work) stopped dead in its tracks.

Once we discussed the positives of this past week, I was asked to define what my stressors have been – what’s been bugging me.  I wasn’t expecting this and so had to think a little on this - I didn’t know there was homework! I was, of course, able to talk about the things that came to mind – yesterday afternoon being the freshest and therefore the most discussed.  There were some other little things here and there. 

After this, we started to get into some of the nitty-gritty.  She asked me to tell her what I LIKE about myself. I had a really difficult time with this one.  I only have about four qualities in myself that I actually really like, and after that it’s more easy for me to clearly define what it is that I DON’T like about myself. After I finished rattling off some of the humongous list, well, I started feeling a little emotional (as do we all, I believe, when we start confronting what we dislike about ourselves) and she said something that struck me a little sideways.

She asked me if I realized that the things I listed about myself that I liked were all internal things – and yet I had started off my “don’t like” list with physical things.


After a quick final piece of discussion about what I wanted to work on this week, we got into the hypnosis part of the session. She guided me through more work on mindful eating – but this time, she also included mindful exercise into the mix.  She also started laying the groundwork for some self image improvement. I was totally aware through the whole session – and could even hear the background music and ambient noises from the street, but if you asked me to describe the hypnosis part of the session in detail I probably couldn’t at this second.  I can describe snatches of it here and there, but not the whole thing end-to-end. I noticed this last week too – and what’s cool is that little kernels of it sort of “lit up” in my brain throughout the week – kind of like a time-released capsule.

My homework for this coming week isn’t only to keep my eyes and heart open to seeing things that are improving (in my eyes) but also to keep my eyes open to what bugs and stresses me. I’m thinking that, at this point, I might want to put my mini-notebook back into my purse so I can jot things down as I see them (positive and negative) through the week. I may also jot down notes about the “kernels” as they light up in my mind – just to reinforce things, 

My next session is on March 18th.

With love across the waters,

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Anger and Exercise

To be fair, it wasn’t just anger, it was anger and disappointment… but none the less, my work-day didn’t end on a positive note, not really.  

There’s something inherently soothing about sweating out anger.  Had I boxing gloves and a bag to punch, I may have tried doing some of that instead – it’s excellent for frustration AND works up an intense sweat in seconds flat.

So I sped (yes, drove way too fast – and am lucky and grateful not to have received a speeding ticket anywhere) home, got changed, loaded Jasmine into the car and headed up to Seal Bay Park to power-walk out some of my frustrations at the end of my work-day.

A few minutes into the walk, music moving me along, I could feel my shoulders start to let go of what I was carrying. My breathing got into swing quickly and I was making good time - and considering I had less than an hour of useful daylight left, it’s just as well!  Half way through I could feel it leaving – the frustration and anger I was holding onto. Grateful, I let it go as much as I could.

I even included some running in this evening's walk and my knee still feels OK!

By the time I got home, I didn’t care any more.  The thing that upset me has been pounded into the soil of the paths that I marched along today.  Feeling much better than I did when I left work, I drove home - happy and well exercised dog in tow. Before I made either one of us some dinner, I had a long hot shower and washed the final bits of negativity off of myself.  

Symbolic? Hell yes.  Sometimes that symbolic shower makes all the difference to what’s going on.

And a final note on something positive that came out of this afternoon’s anger and disappointment? I didn’t reach for cake or chocolate or ice cream to make me feel better… tonight I reached for my hiking shoes.  And they walked me through it.

With love across the waters,

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Hypnotherapy – Part I

There’s a great explanation about Hypnosis on the University of Maryland Medical Center’s website – essentially it explains the Greek origin of the word hypnosis (Hypnos - meaning sleep) and some of the initial things that anyone considering hypnosis and / or hypnotherapy should be aware of.

While in a hypnotic state, the body relaxes deeply, and thoughts become much more focussed. Physically, blood pressure and heart rates change and certain types of brain waves can also change. What is really cool is that you are completely aware of everything going on around you and feel totally at ease. In this state many human beings are highly responsive to suggestion.

I’m seeing my hypnotherapist to get assistance with weight loss. My hope is that she will be able to assist me in “re-programming” myself for a couple of things: what I am eating and why.

What I am eating - I LOVE sugars and starches. I crave them. I see them and I eat them with gusto. I don’t crave vegetables – unless they happen to be in potato (or corn) chip format. So first of all, I would like to be able to not be so phased by sweet and salty things. I would like, very much, to be able to look at a cookie bar or cake that someone has brought into the office and not NEED to try some. I’d like, very much, to crave raw veggies (without a fatty thing to dip them into) for a snack – carrot sticks, broccoli and the like.

The “why” of my eating is a little harder for me to define. I mentioned before that I am a comfort eater. I naturally reach for the comfort of something sweet when I’m feeling a little low. I think there’s a lot to be said for chocolate cake when I’m blue. Or Wearing blue. OK – so maybe my self control isn’t so hot either! In any case, I will eat for any and all reasons out there and for no particular reason at all. My goal with this one is to eat when I am hungry – and not for any other reason.

On Wednesday night of this past week I had my first session – it was an hour and a half and did include some hypnosis.

The session was low key and very much an opportunity for introduction and discussion. We talked about her credentials a little (I always ask when I’m seeing a new practitioner of any kind) and her practice. We then went on to discuss my reasons for choosing hypnotherapy, what my expectations were (and are,) what I know and understand of hypnotherapy and then we covered a few basics. Some of the questions I was asked include things like my favourite colour, favourite place, favourite flower / scent, and my dog’s name. I assume that she will use these things when I am in a hypnotic state to help anchor thoughts and goals.

We then discussed my preferences surrounding the use of positive reinforcement versus negative imagery to help me assimilate the goals. I prefer to use positive reinforcement as opposed to negative imagery – it is my understanding that positive reinforcement works better in the human brain than negative, and to be perfectly honest, I would prefer to work with the positive rather than avoid the negative.

When all of this was done, she took me into a hypnotic state and started the process for me. I can remember the whole session and what was worked on. There was a lot of positive imagery – images planted leaving me with a feeling of strength and empowerment.

So have I noticed anything at all? Surprisingly, yes, I have. That night, though late, when I got home, I was actually craving (of all things) steamed broccoli! I had an image of it in my mind – that deep gorgeous green that it turns when it’s steamed. I didn’t steam any up that night – like I said, it was late. But the next night for dinner I did steam some up and was very happy with the meal.

On Thursday (or maybe it was Friday?) one of my colleagues brought in a plate of the most gorgeous looking cookie bars I have seen in some time. Coconut with two different types of chocolate chips and some other stuff – just the smell of them was enough to put me into sugar-crave mode. I had one. It was AWESOME. I immediately had a second one and actually regretted it – the second one didn’t taste anywhere near as good and really, in retrospect, it wasn’t worth it.

Exercise – I’ve been craving it. Thursday I took Jasmine out for an 8 KM walk. Friday was a 9 to 5 work day and so I didn’t have enough daylight to get her out for a long walk, but we did 2 short 1 KM walks. Saturday, as soon as I could get out of the office, (at 3:30 PM) I took her up to the park for a 5 KM walk and today I had her out for another 8 KM walk. Granted, the weather has been cooperating beautifully, but I am getting excited about getting to go for a long walk and then while out on the walk, I am enjoying the movement and feeling.

I’m excited that daylight savings starts next Sunday – that means that, even on work days that end at 5:00 and 5:30 PM I’ll be able to hustle home, get Jasmine into the car and get out for that hour-long walk!

My next session is this coming Wednesday night – I’m looking forward to seeing if I notice more changes…

With love across the waters,

A Day for Catching Up

Today looks to be a wonderful catch-up day for me - the skies are a little overcast (meaning that I will likely want to spend the afternoon indoors) and *most* of my housework was done on Thursday during my day off. 

So what plans do I have for today? A long walk with Miss Jasmine for one - I'll head up to Seal Bay Park as soon as I complete this post.  I'm planning for an hour and a half (at least) tromping the trails up there with my iPod plugged into my ears.  Did I mention I got it back this past week? a quick stop at the grocery store on my way home and then I do have a little laundry to finish and should wash some floors as well.

The afternoon plan is to spend a little time researching dwarf trees and / or shrubbery to plant in the back yard, and also to catch up on some blog posting that I have fallen behind on this week.

Plans, of course, often go astray, and so if I don't finish any one particular thing (say, oh, I don't know, maybe I don't get around to washing the floors?) I won't be especially heartbroken. At this point in my life, Sunday is all about catching up on little things and relaxing.

With love across the waters,