all the good things – check

It has been sometime that I have noted down my gratitude.

Believe or not, they are right when they say that “it is the little things in life that makes a difference.”

But more importantly, since there are so many “little things or experiences” that are available to us every single day that by just reminding ourselves them and by being grateful for them, it is possible to feel good without needing a huge life event, a lottery win, or a miracle.

Try it yourself 🙂

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I am grateful;

  • for sleeping well and getting up without caring for what time it was – check

honestly, when was the last time you got up only you wanted to get up? For me the last few days were exceptions – other times I always had work to do, an office to go to,  house chores to do, a bus to catch, etc. It feels amazing to sleep knowing that you can get up whenever you want and when your body feels it just right

  • for enjoying my morning coffee – check

this drink is the best thing to smell in the morning!

  • for speaking to my family and my uncle, who has recently been diagnosed with cancer – check

my uncle sounds good. His wife sounds hopeful. Or, maybe they are just not aware of what this disease and its treatment course are like. They show little concern. Not sure this is just a visible mask they put on. Nevertheless, I enjoy seeing them upbeat and well. My own family, on the other hand, is quite demoralized by this diagnosis. I try to keep contact and support. One day at a time…

  • for walking and seeing the first flurries of the year – check

we always get the first snow around this time of the year 🙂 I love that white fluffy stuff. It is such an innocent thing. Cannot wait for the first serious dump of snow 🙂

  • for eating a healthy and hearty salad – check

I have eaten too much yesterday, with a lot of junk food…. this shows on my face, which is puffy. I know that I must be changing my relationship with food, especially with junk and easy food. When I am presented with food, I cannot help but eat. Not always, but you know, I am tempted. So even though I steadily and slowly lose weight in my own routine, whenever I travel, eat at airport or at professional meeting meals/snacks, go out for lunch or dinner with friends, am offered a treat at the office, or go out for shopping, I find myself either wanting to eat or eating. I am trying to be mindful of this pattern now.

  • for appreciating the moment and taking everything light and joyful – check

it is strangely beautiful that when you allow yourself to just do nothing and immerse yourself in the feeling of freedom (to do nothing), positive feelings start to fill your heart and mind. Everybody should take “freedom weekends” like these! I certainly must 🙂

 

Have a great Saturday everyone!

 

 

 

 

Life-related objectives following a vacation

I just returned back from a family visit – it was great!

I found a chance to see my family and friends, and I have had a great time. Food, conversations, and visited places were all awesome. I am glad I have done this trip!

I also found a chance to stay away from work, especially in the last half of the vacation. I did not access and respond to emails, which was a blessing! I like this improvement in my approach to work.

My work-induced stress levels were down to zero as soon as I stepped on the plane. I still feel positive and relax. I hope to be able to respond to work related feelings and pressures better. I want to convince myself that I can do this.

One of the best things about having a break from the routine and engage in activities and thoughts that are different than what I usually have (mostly work related issues) is that it is a good opportunity to formulate new plans to remove the negativity of the past activities and have a chance to improve things that do not go so well. Today is a good day to do these:

Aims related to personal life:

1. Going back to frugal and abundant life-style.

I have been quite successful with this a couple of years back and then I broke it with junk food and can-fare expenses… I want to go back to that as of today.

My specific aims are:

  • to spend no more than 100 bucks a week on grocery and other needs (cleaning products, personal care products, etc.). This does not include medication and health-care related expenses (e.g. physiotherapy)
  • to utilize what I already have (dried food, frozen food, etc) to reduce my food cost, while not sacrificing from healthy and diverse food
  • to have another shopping freeze for flower pots, shoes/clothes, books (occasional ones are okay) and furniture
  • to keep all other frugal activities I already have (e.g. use of coupons/discounts, points, etc.) to maximize the value of my money
  • not to make any pre-payments unless an unexpected sum of money finds my way. This is to ensure that my chequing account will remain at a healthy level. I feel quite strongly about this because when it dips, first I pay extra money to the bank each month, and second, it makes me feel like I am in a financial crisis – not a great feeling
  • to eat the food that I have in the freezer and pantry (I have a lot of dried legumes/beans/rice that are waiting to be enjoyed)
  • to save around 7K bucks till December
  • to make a prepayment in December with the money I will save till then while also keeping around 5K in my chequeing account. This is an ambitious but doable aim. I feel like this will give me the best motivation to move forward and keep my frugal spending habits.

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2. Having a healthier body and weight

I have gained quite a bit of weight this year and its negative effects on my health were noticeable during my vacation: my feet ached a lot, my back gave me trouble (twice I have had my back pain/sciatica – they were minor compared to last year, but still I did not like having two episodes in a short time…).

I am aware of two reasons as to why I have gained weight this year: I did not walk as much as I did in the past years (I used to walk from office everyday – rain or shine) and I ate quite unhealthy food (pizzas and prepared food…). I still have two boxes of frozen pizza and some frozen, pre-made dinners in my freezer. I will consume them as well but with the understanding that my priority will be not to purchase them anymore so that I can eat better.

Thus, my specific aims are:

  • not to buy any pizzas or other prepared meals
  • to eat at least 6 different food (veggies, fruits, or dried food) every week
  • to cook meals at least 3 nights a week (I often consume them in two-three days)
  • to eat apples everyday at the office and to continue to eat carrots and radishes that I love so much (for some reason, these veggies made me feel much better and help me lose weight at the same time)
  • whenever feasible, to walk in the morning to office and in the afternoon from the office (this will help me feel great, lose weight, and also save from the transportation – win-win situation!)
  • to shop at the farmers’ market to have fresh local and affordable food
  • to keep take my calcium supplements and drink milk to keep my bones healthy
  • to re-start doing my back exercises to help strengthen my abs and my back muscles
  • to do light weight-lifting at home to keep my muscles and my bones healthy and strong

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3. Heaving a healthier mind and higher quality of life

I wish not to have stress and anxiety to my best anymore…. Work-related stress, sleep problems, and problems related to relations with the colleagues have hit the ceiling last couple of years… I am better at managing my anxiety by means of the worry journal exercise. But in terms of stress management I have not been much successful.

Hence, my specific aims are:

  • to walk everyday, to eat a healthier diet, and to exercise whenever I can find a chance to provide myself a healthier, nourishing way of life
  • to rest everyday. This I noticed is quite important for my stress levels. Whenever I am tired, I noticed I feel more pressurized and over-react as a result
  • to not access the emails in the evenings and the weekends, unless I have a good reason to do so
  • to take things a little bit lighter and not to react to problems when I am anxious or panicky
  • to trust the life and people around me a little bit more
  • to stop thinking that I am the only person who can do things well and on time. This is one of the main reasons that I feel resentment towards people I work with. Often times I have a good reason to think that the work is not done well and corrections/my involvement is needed. However, this also makes me over-work and over-stressed… Perhaps it is time to lower my standards without harming the quality of the work. I can also take it easy with relations. I can be more tolerant and less assuming… (wish me luck with this one. It is hard…. but I must do this)
  • to make it priority to feel calm at the office
  • to feel confident that I have solved many issues in the past and I can do so now and in the future as well. I must remind myself this everyday, especially when I face of an issue
  • to integrate a new walking route or an activity in my life over time – whether this would be going to theaters/shows, visiting a cafe on a Saturday morning, or reading about an entirely new topic does not matter. Something useful and enjoyable!
  • to continue to read my daily affirmations first thing in the morning to set my intentions for the day for the better

For example:

I am calm and can take care of any of the work-related issues easily

I am confident and successful

I have great work-relationships with everyone I see today

I am known by my high quality and meticulous work and I am respected for these

I am kind to everyone I meet today, especially, myself

I have time to do my work

Today has all the opportunities and beauties I may need

I welcome and appreciate the opportunities life can offer me

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Have a great Sunday everyone!

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Spring plans

I used to have posts about the things I would like to change or implement in my life. The majority of the time they did work really well and I have implemented them in my life. I do not think I have done this for some time. So let’s roll again 🙂

1. Eat at least 10 food that I have not eaten in the last one week. I keep eating the same things over and over; apple, tomato, onion, herbs, milk, yogurt, beans, cheese, and eggs are the regularly consumed food. While they are more or less healthy, I am afraid I am missing the opportunity to benefit from other veggies/fruits/dry food. In the past whenever I recognized this, I aimed every week to purchase and eat at least 6 different things that I have not eaten within the last week. This time I would like to increase this to 10 so that I can challenge myself (always fun!).

2. Consume the pantry food that are older than a year. I know what they are; rice, bulghur, and wild rice. I am not into rice that much, but I can make an effort to consume more of it. I will get creative with the others. It will be great to use them up so that I can get fresh ones 🙂

3. Thrift shop for blouses and shirts for a renewed wardrobe this Spring :).  I want to budget 50 bucks to keep visiting the thrift stores and buy blouses and shirts. I am happy with my latest purchases and I have been meaning to renew my shirts for some time (many of them have been in use for at least one year). Change is always good and I am discovering that certain styles are fitting me well. It is exciting 🙂

4. Declutter the wardrobe. After I purchase new tops, I want to remove from my wardrobe those that I do not wish to wear; some can be modified (I hope I can make this with my sewing machine),  donate (those that are in good shape), or dump (those that are old and battered). Since this has been a wish of mine for so long, I think it will feel awesome 🙂

5. Clean the yard and plant veggies/seeds. I do not know how the previous owners managed, but the yard is uneven which requires me to fix it. Also there are broken glass bottle and plate pieces everywhere. I cleaned quite a bit in the past but this year I want to do a better job. I also want to grow herbs and other veggies. Spring is almost here, so I can be busy working at the yard the next few months.

6. Lose another 10 pounds. I managed to lose 15 pounds in Fall. I gained 5 pounds back but I am still keen about losing a little bit more of fat. I know morning walks from home to office as well as eating lots of raw veggies and not eating after 8 pm coincided with my weight loss. So I am interested in replicating these behavior and hope that I can lose another 10 pounds 🙂

7. Drink more tea and reduce coffee consumption. I increased my coffee consumption too much. This coincided with me having my weekend breakfast at home rather than at a cafe. I drink around 6 cups of coffee per day now, which does not sound good to me. I do not experience physiological problems like palpitations, but nothing of too much can be good. So from tomorrow on I will focus on drinking 3 cups of coffee per day at most. The rest of the time I can drink tea. Good plan 🙂

8. Get a new hobby or activity that I do not usually do. Whether it is a sitting meditation or hiking the trails, I do not know.  I have read somewhere about “nature bathing” or something like that. Basically it means sitting in a park or around trees, and exposing our body and mind to the natural beauty and freshness around us. I am looking forward to finding a park and doing this this summer.

9. Surprise myself :). I would like to surprise myself by doing things that I would not normally do. I believe this would help me break my routine habits, or see things differently. No idea how I could do this but having it in the list means I will revisit the idea time to time. Who knows maybe I could come up with something interesting 🙂

10. Sew. I could not focus on sewing yet……. I have the machine, notions and fabric, so all I need is a new project that will help me get excited. Ideas?

random thoughts

I always found March-May kind of tricky; they feel like spring but then they are not. As you can guess, yes we are expecting another snow storm tonite. I am sure it is not going to be a snow day, but boy, do I really want the freedom to walk without thinking about the snow banks or ice? Well, looks like I will wait for sometime for that.

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Nevertheless, I walked this morning and it was a pleasant walk. I had my dental cleaning appointment, which went well. Only that I have been cranky lately and that meant I was not complying with everything. For example, my dental hygienist suggested that I have an additional X-ray, which I refused. She might have had a good reason, but I am not getting an X-ray unless it is absolutely necessary or recommended by a dentist. I am proud of myself for saying NO, which is easier when I am not in the mood. Also, it helped that the hygienist made me extra annoyed by asking all bunch of personal questions, spending time like this, and making me pay for an extra time. Next time, I am making clear that I am keeping the time to make sure I will not be charged more than the required, especially while also being subject to a ridiculous conversation. So, that was how I started my day….

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Anyways; after that it was better. First, I felt hungry and bought some muffins/baked goods and ate them with great appetite and enjoyment 🙂 Since I usually do not have breakfast, this was a nice change that I appreciated very much – I can do this more often 🙂

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The rest of the day was not eventful, for which I am grateful. I walked back home and prepared myself a healthy meal. I still have 10 pounds to shed (that I gained lately), which bothers me. Yesterday, for example I was miserable thinking about it…. Yet, I want to feel positive, rather than negative, and believe in myself that I will take the necessary steps to start removing extra fat from my body… This evenings’ meal was a good example of healthy meal (cracked wheat salad with lots of onion, tomato, celery, pepper, and parsley 🙂
Hope I will keep this determination up 🙂

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getting back to aims and plans

I love to have aims and plans to tackle them. There is something exciting and energizing about this.

I am not always successful in my aims or plans, but, hey, I will try as many times as it takes and as much as I can enjoy.

The majority of my aims are around similar themes; having a financial plan; having a simple yet non-routine life; and having a healthier life-style.

I will focus on details later but the particular areas of my life that I would love to work on real soon are:

  1. getting a much leaner budget and getting rid of the extra expenses for good
  2. making an extra payment to mortgage till new year and increasing my payment after that sometime. My very ambitious plan is to drop it to 100K in 3 years. Likely not gonna happen but whatever I can do is good
  3. eating healthier and losing 25 pounds and keeping it off
  4. having a vacation somewhere this year only for my own enjoyment
  5. having a less stressful work life and dealing with work and emotions better
  6. being more social
  7. baking the perfect loaf
  8. decluttering the house and the office again and possibly again
  9. buying a new set of plates
  10. being more aware and appreciative of my surroundings, life experiences, and everything else in life 🙂

post-vacation resolutions

Well.. It is kind of a tradition with me that whenever I am away from my routine life I almost always make some resolutions to work on. Never mind the success rate (ahem… very similar to new year’s resolutions..), but it is nevertheless exciting to come up with plans. They are focused around “cleaning”, “clearing”, and “change” this time. Interesting….

Here are my current resolutions:

1. Losing weight. This has been on my list for ever…

I want to do this because of health reasons as well as to feel good about myself. This time surprisingly I have not gained weight while I was vacationing at home, even though I literally munched on everything I could get my hands on, especially my mom’s food! 🙂 Very surprising but also highly welcomed fact 🙂

I am very happy about this and motivated to lose some more (I had lost 10 pounds prior to my vacation only because I was working like a worker ant for 6 weeks or so). Good job me!

My aim is to keep doing whatever I am doing (it is mostly not eating at nights – I stopped seeing it as a way of rewarding myself) and to lose an additional 15 more pounds. This will put me back at my weight 8 years ago, which is really cool 🙂 I have so many nice clothes from those times (yep – I kept them and did not give away/donate… shame… 🙂 )

2. Decluttering and getting rid of everything that I react negatively to. While I was on vacation I have realized why I do not enjoy buying gifts for people and rather prefer to give them what they may like (if they are open about it) or the gift cards. The problem with gifts is that when I am given gifts, I cherish and appreciate them so much (the sentimental value is really high) that I keep keeping them with me forever! this is not a problem if the gifted item was something I needed or something I really loved, but honestly there are things that do not satisfy either of these requirements. Plus, some of the gifts are from people whom I really do not like much, so seeing their gifts reminds me them, and as such I get agitated once again for no good reason.

I want to have only those things around that I need or want. Thus, together with the fact that it has been sometime that I have decluttered my home, I have decided to start a new haul pretty soon.

I will  find a way to re-use things, like old shirts can be used as cleaning clothes.

Or they can be modified in way that makes them usable. For example, I have a nice shirt which has a somehow wide neck. I am planning to work on it  (i.e. tighten it a little bit) so that I can comfortably wear, rather than checking and correcting the neck part every single minute.

Unwanted items that are in good shape can be donated.

And those that I have been keeping for years because I was thinking that I would need them, like some of my shoes and boots, that just take up space without providing anything back, can be dumped (finally….). So can be all the stuff that are given to my by toxic people or those that remind me toxic experiences – they all will go.

Yuppi!!!

Exciting 🙂

3. Change the living environment. I think it is time that I re-arrange the furniture, especially at the bedroom so that it can feel “different”. I also have got new couch covers, which will help me to change the look of the living room. The table clothe will change as well with a new and lovely one. The towels gotta go as they they have been incredibly sturdy and of good quality but that meant that I have had to use them for years!!!! It would be lovely to have new ones, at least for some time.

4. Paying attention to my attire. I have a tendency to not care what I wear. This does not mean that I wear old or bad stuff. But honestly I can look better and feel better too. Today, I wore a new shirt I bought last week and I felt really good in that shirt. I also noticed how different I felt…. I have no logical explanation why this effect has occurred, but I decided I did not need to know everything and I could continue to wear things that I love and feel good. Whether they are shoes or clothes, does not matter.

So be it 🙂

I will be checking all my clothes soon and use those that I like but did not use for sometime, or go for a shopping spree (no worries – I will be frugal) 🙂

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Clean, clear, and change. I guess this is a good plan.

I hope to be successful with this plan! Wish me luck 🙂

 

assessing the progress re; challenges I assigned to myself

Did I tell you earlier that I love to plan?

Maybe not, but that is the plain truth.

Planning and assessing the progress. Slight changes and modifications to the plan if required. Learning along the way, and hopefully also having fun.

I have had a number of challenges I have had assigned to myself a while ago. It is time to review them, adjust if required, celebrate the challenges tackled, and plan for the next items on the list.

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challenge 1: take the bus (not the cab). DONE! – hopefully I will not give up 🙂

challenge 2: eat better and healthy – cut out the carbs and consume more veggies and fruits. Well, missed that one big time.. NEED A PLAN.

PLAN: have regular breakfast, eat more protein, eat more veggies, cut out the bread (one bag/week) and fried eggs, cut out late-night eating, eat more apples and pears. cook at home; make it fun, and monitor the progress.

challenge 3: walk an extra 30 min at the weekends. NEED A PLAN.

PLAN: have the breakfast at another cafe 15 min away from home. Have leisure walks.

challenge 4: do not buy books for two months. I did pretty good with this, with only occasional buys. I have a new two-months freeze in place. DONE! 🙂 Good job! 🙂

challenge 5: cut out the bagel breakfast- one bagel/breakfast. Could not do that yet. NEED A PLAN – maybe withing “better eating” plan.

PLAN: Overall, I should be skipping the bagels as part of the healthy eating plan… Ouch!

challenge 6: do grocery shopping as required and buy small amounts. Going well. DONE! 🙂 

challenge 7: start listening to music and relaxing 20 min a day; this is done easily now thanks to my computer and youtube/internet sources. DONE! 🙂 

challenge 8: drink at least one cup of tea a day. I easily and lovingly do this during the week. DONE! 🙂 

challenge 9: get up in the morning and smile to yourself and hum a song. well, remembered to do only a few times. NEED MOTIVATION AGAIN.

PLAN: just remember this challenge; the rest will come 🙂

challenge 10: look outside the window at the office three times a day – enjoy the view and relax. Going well. DONE! 🙂 

challenge 11: record the progress in these areas in breaking the routine or joy journal categories. Not necessarily in these pages, but I kept posting them somewhere in this blog, good job 🙂 Going well. DONE! 🙂 

challenge 12: increase the contribution made to the RRSP account. Nope. This is not happening. This gotta wait until my chequeing account moves to a positive balance. NEED ADJUSTMENT.

ADJUSTMENT: wait till I accumulate some funds or till I cut  my weekly budget in a sensible way.

challenge 13: during the day remember to smile.  NEED MOTIVATION AGAIN.

PLAN:  just remember this challenge; the rest will come 🙂

challenge 14: lose 15 pounds in two months – record weight and food consumed every day. Missed big time! NEED A PLAN – possibly within the healthy eating plan.

PLAN: See above; challenges 2,3, and 5

challenge 15: stick to the plans – I have done these before and I can do it again. Hmmm. Some success here and there. NEED A STRONGER IMPLEMENTATION.

PLAN: remember the success in other challenges; particularly taking the bus. You can do it!!

challenge 16: comb the hair everyday. I do not need that anymore – have the hair cut short. Yay! NOT APPLICABLE.

challenge 17: spare 5 min every day to breathe – just to breathe. Well, this does not make sense anymore, now that I am listening to music for many hours a day and thus relaxing. NOT APPLICABLE

challenge 18: apply sunscreen every morning. NOT DONE…NOT APPLICABLE ANYMORE (summer is gone)

challenge 19: apply moisturiser every night. NEED MOTIVATION AGAIN.

PLAN:  just remember this challenge; the rest will come 🙂

challenge 20: every week, eat two different food from last week – whether veggies or fruits or others. Change the brands or types of canned food or others I regularly consume.NEED MOTIVATION AGAIN.

PLAN:  just remember this challenge; the rest will come 🙂

challenge 21: take the stairs at the office (2 storeys) at least twice a week. NEED MOTIVATION AGAIN.

PLAN:  just remember this challenge; the rest will come 🙂

challenge 22: write the joy journal every day; no matter how dry or repeating it may feel.  I do not write it every day – NEED ADJUSTMENT.

ADJUSTMENT: I am adjusting this to “write the joy journal at least twice a week”

challenge 23 (previously not listed): have a budget, write down all expenses in each category, do not over-spend the weekly allowance, save as much as you can. DONE!  I am certainly spending less than before and more consciously. Yay! 🙂

challenge 24 (previously not listed): continue to declutter the home and donate the usable items.

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Some big, some small steps.. Let’s see how it will go this time. The ones that I will vent about in the coming weeks (just like my past ventings while struggling with taking the bus) will be the most important ones. I am predicting they will be about healthy eating and losing weight 🙂

Cheers everyone 🙂

joy journal – June 22, 2015

1. I am grateful for waking up, albeit with a negative mood, yet for nevertheless being alive.

2. I am grateful for missing some people, some smiles, some good memories that I cherish. Yep, I have lost those people, yet having the memories is priceless.

3. I am grateful for working stress-free but effectively today; many tasks have remained that I need to take care of prior to my vacation. I think this weekend and next week (July 1st – the Canada day holiday) will be great opportunities to put an extra effort to finish them all.

4. I am grateful for being usually organized and keeping a to-do-list at the office and at home. Once I take my time and put my focus on the projects/work and itemize their steps in a sequence, the rest is just following the plan one thing at a time. No need to in-depth thinking about the entire picture every single day.

5. I am grateful for typing and printing luggage name tags today; I bought two tag holder yesterday for my coming trip. I have had many occasions when the luggage either did not arrive to the right carousel or the right airport! Describing the luggage each time and waiting for them to be brought back to the residence is a headache. The name tags are supposed to help with the process. More importantly, it is for my peace of mind; last time I could not have had a name tag because of hurry and all I could hope was the description I gave would be enough to locate the luggage. It worked last time, but this year I am more experienced 🙂

6. I am grateful for having the night to myself – peaceful as usual.

7. I am grateful for eating fruits tonite – it is pretty much a habit now. I was only a sporadic fruit-eater. In the last while, I have been consistently eating apples and oranges. They help me with limiting the late-night eating habit (I used to not sleep if I had not eaten carbs, such as bread).

8. I am grateful for the tea I have had this evening – something different today a ginger-lemon tea. Surprisingly refreshing and tasty.

9. I am grateful for being okay with trying new stuff; like internet music sites other than youtube. Thanks to one of them I have come across one of the most beautiful songs…. I have been very happily listening to it, even though its genre is not one of my favorites.

10. I am grateful for walking in the afternoon (from the office to home); a slight yet consistent exercise 🙂

11. I am grateful for my notebooks, pens, computer, internet connection, books, cable, TV, phone line and all the food and furniture I have at home. They are useful; helpful; make me life comfortable and entertaining.

12. I am grateful for my blog; thanks to it I have a chance to write and formulate my feelings, thoughts, plans, and wishes.

13. I am grateful for keeping up with many of the challenges I have assigned to myself: I am walking whenever I can; continuing to eat consciously and simple; doing grocery shopping as needed not automatically; continuing to consciously spend my funds and making a consistent effort to keep my expenses within my limits; losing weights slowly without no sight of gaining back (yet); moisturizing my face everyday; drinking tea every work-day; continuing with my spending freeze of books; listening to the wonderful music both at the office and home (thanks to internet and computer); enjoying the view from my office and my yard every single day; and writing to my joy journal at least twice a week (not as frequent as it should be but that is okay).

14. I am grateful for not getting up late even though I go to bed late in the last couple of weeks; getting old 🙂

15. I am grateful for helping two people at work today and getting an unexpected offer of help from someone else for a big project of mine; he is supposed to introduce me to important connections tomorrow; cannot wait 🙂

16. I am grateful for looking at the mirror without getting terrified with the size of my belly! I am extra cautious with the belly as it can enlarge in a couple of days just like a balloon. It is such an interesting area in the body; seriously. I guess the types of food I eat can make this area change in a short time. The only way to get rid of this ever-hanging issue is to lose the fat around the belly area. They say this kind of fat is the most dangerous one, as it is close to the critical internal organs and fat can increase the level of inflammation that is linked to many disease such as diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and early aging…

17. I am grateful for being grateful.

random thoughts

A rainy and grey day 🙂

Where I am, the weather is so not summer; the heater is on, the trench coat is back, and the umbrella is becoming one of my best friends.

It is good that I am going away for a vacation in 10-15 days in a sunny place. Family time! It is very exciting and I cannot wait. I will not be able to post to my blog and will certainly miss reading yours. But when I come back, at least these will give me something exciting to do and ease my transition back to my live and work here. You will be here, right?

I have now lost 10 pounds since I started conscious eating plan two months ago. I am still cautious that it may not be permanent; especially now that I am going to spend around a month with my family, I am almost sure that I will gain it all back 😦 That is sad, as I really need to lose another 10 more pounds for my health. Maybe, I will be able to control my eating while on vacation; let’s not be desperate; perhaps I can do that… My motivation is high, yet my confidence is not (how can I say no to my mom’s meals?). Sigh… 🙂 Maybe I will keep motivating myself by looking at the mirror; the weight loss is visible, especially around the belly region… Exciting!

I also would like to keep my conscious spending and budgeting practices while on vacation. I am almost sure that I will be able to do this one; unless something extraordinary happens. My family knows about my financial hardship and are highly supportive of my spending plan.

I took the cab this morning for no reason and I certainly did not feel good about it… I hope it will not rain like crazy tomorrow so that I can take the bus, not the cab. More or less,  I am still within my weekly budget and am hoping this week will be a satisfactory one, too. I will see on Thursday how I am doing 🙂

cheers everyone 🙂

random thoughts

Another interesting day in terms of the weather; it has been grey till an hour ago. During the day it rained, too, making the evening walk kinda challenge. Now though it is all bright and shiny!

I loved looking out of the window and seeing the nature as rain drops on it. With the rain came a little wind, moving the tree branches in a beautiful dance. I have taken my time to notice the tallest tree ahead and from where I stood, it looked like that tree has been there for some time. It is amazing to realize that some life forms have a much longer history on earth than us. I wish the trees could talk to us; we could learn so much 🙂

I have a thing for trees; I love them, their leaves, their cycle of life during the different seasons, their barks, the way they bloom during spring, and the flowers should they have any. I have two lilac trees in my little yard, which are about to blossom. The lilac flowers are short-lived yet when they show up, their scent and sight are amazing. I feel blessed to have them in my yard.

In terms of the challenges I have assigned to myself a while ago; some of them I am consistent now, which is a great feeling;

I am getting way better in taking the bus :);

certainly eating better 90% of the time :);

walking everyday whenever the weather is permissive;

as part of my “spending freeze”, so far I have only bought a couple of books (in the last 6 weeks or so), but not 2-3 books/week :);

doing the grocery shopping as required and in small amounts and so far I hardly let any fresh produce rot in my fridge :);

continuing with my conscious spending plan (not perfect but it is still there);

listening to the music both at the office and the house;

I am very consistent about drinking tea at the office 🙂 (except that I noticed drinking green tea if I am hungry is not a good idea; it upsets my stomach);

I love enjoying the view from the office window and getting amazed by the nature and its awakening during Spring (yes, it is still spring here; summer does not come very easily 🙂 );

assessing and recording my progress by writing them down;

applying facial moisturizer;

and wait….

I have lost weight; 8 pounds to be exact! Now…. Not sure whether it is permanent; I am still eating bread and bagels, but not as much as I used to and sometimes I dine out; but generally I seem to not eat a lot before going to bed (which I think is helping me to lose weight)…

I sincerely wish that this is a continuous progress. I just cannot take it granted as like many others, in the past I have lost weight just to gain back again 🙂 So I better keep doing what I am doing!

have a great evening everyone.

challenging myself – updated list – May

Ok – now that I have some success (!) at integrating some of the challenges I have assigned to myself, it is time to expand it a little bit. I will keep almost all of them, but the new ones (in red font) will just enhance my efforts (green fonts my updates/experience on challenges).

Challenges:

challenge 1: take the bus (not the cab) – get up at 8.15am to catch the bus. getting used to it 🙂

challenge 2: eat better and healthy – cut out the carbs and consume more veggies and fruits

challenge 3: walk an extra 30 min at the weekends – I got it 🙂 with this beautiful weather, staying inside does not feel good.

challenge 4: do not buy books for two months. I think I did buy a couple of books since then, but no. Not unless I feel the extreme need to pamper myself, no new books for two months.

challenge 5: cut out the bagel breakfast- one bagel/breakfast. Could not do that yet. Tomorrow is another day – I will see.

challenge 6: do grocery shopping as required and buy small amounts – many stuff perished in my fridge so far – what a sad waste. Going well. I am not interested in limiting my diet, only to not waste. So far it has been going well.

challenge 7: start listening to music and relaxing 20 min a day; this is done easily now thanks to my computer and youtube.

challenge 8: drink at least one cup of tea a day. I easily and lovingly do this during the week.

challenge 9: get up in the morning and smile to yourself and hum a song. well, remembered to do only a few times. Made a mental note to do more often.

challenge 10: look outside the window at the office three times a day – enjoy the view and relax. This has been one of the most consistent one. what a wonderful idea. With no ego I can say my office has the best view among all on my floor. Plus, when I am at home I get to enjoy the view from my yard.

challenge 11: record the progress in these areas in breaking the routine or joy journal categories. Not necessarily in these pages, but I kept posting them somewhere in this blog, good job 🙂

challenge 12: increase the contribution made to the RRSP account. Nope. This is not happening. This gotta wait until my chequeing account moves to a positive balance.

challenge 13: during the day remember to smile. oh well.. sometimes. Just sometimes.

challenge 14: lose 15 pounds in two months – record weight and food consumed every day. Ok. This is hard to do but I am trying. By means of limiting bread mostly. There is a 5 pounds difference, but hey that happened before, only to gain again in a couple of days later. I am not keeping my hopes high re; this challenge. I will get excited when I lose 10 pounds.

challenge 15: stick to the plans – I have done these before and I can do it again. I am. to my best. I am so motivated nowadays that I am increasing these challenges today.

New challenges (as of today):

challenge 16: comb the hair everyday. Mornings are great when I usually have a couple of extra minutes before I leave for the bus.

challenge 17: spare 5 min every day to breathe – just to breathe. 

challenge 18: apply sunscreen every morning.

challenge 19: apply moisturiser every night.

challenge 20: every week, eat two different food from last week – whether veggies or fruits or others. Change the brands or types of canned food or others I regularly consume.

challenge 21: take the stairs at the office (2 storeys) at least twice a week.

challenge 22: write the joy journal every day; no matter how dry or repeating it may feel. It always makes me feel good.

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