Sunday, August 31, 2008

Most stupid weight loss suggestion to date...

I get a "Healthy Living" newsletter in my inbox most every day. Today, the subject line was "25 Ways to Lose Weight." Generally, I feel like I do pretty much everything in my power to be healthy and manage my weight, so I thought it might be interesting to read this list to see if I was still missing something.

Way #1 was to drink green tea. OK, so I don't do that, because it doesn't appeal to my taste buds. I kept reading... Eat cereal (check), consider peanut butter (check), etc, etc. Then I came to way #14:

"Weigh down your remote."

What does this mean? My first (naive) instinct was that the author was going to tell me to watch less TV (since the average American watches four or so hours per day), because that would be a great way to lose some weight (I prematurely assigned a "check"). But boy was I wrong...

By attaching a 2-pound weight to your remote (with a piece of string or a rubber band), you'll get a little exercise every time you lift it, says Nonas. "Sometimes people will lift the weight a couple of times between channels or will stand and walk around with it. It gets you going and moving."

Wow, why didn't I think of that?

I'm officially unsubscribed to the the Healthy Living newsletter.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Routines rock!

One of my new favorite blogs, is a "productivity" (really more simplicity) blog called Zen Habits. The author, Leo, writes about everything from being more productive at work (so you can have more free time) to the benefits of exercise.

Earlier this week, there was a post on Zen Habits called "7 Little Habits That Can Change Your Life, and How to Form Them." In this post, Leo talks about the top seven habits that he feels will impact your life the most. (He also briefly describes how to get into habits, which is helpful)

1. Develop Positive Thinking
2. Exercise (got that one down!)
3. Single-Tasking (this is the one I have most trouble with...)
4. Focus on one goal (OK, this one too...)
5. Eliminate the non-essential
6. Kindness (sounds easy...)
7. Daily routine

I have to say, the one that really struck a cord with me this week was the last one, "Daily routine." Due to my frequent travel over the past 2+ years, it has been virtually impossible to have a daily routine. This has definitely impacted my ability to be as organized and as healthy as I would like to be.

Now that I'm working and living in the same place, I have been able to establish a pretty awesome morning and evening routine. It enables me to work out every day, eat well, be less stressed, and read books! The most important parts of my routine are:

- Waking up early and at the same time every day
- Getting my exercise clothes ready the night before
- Eating before and after working out
- Taking some time every morning to read
- Fixing a lunch to bring to work (so I won't be tempted to go out - cheaper and healthier)

If you are able to have a routine, consider yourself lucky. It is truly a life changer.

Now, you obviously don't want to get so obsessed with your routine that you can't be flexible when needed. For example, I stayed up later than normal to see Barack Obama's speech on Thursday (Barack rocks!), so I got up a little bit later to make sure that I got enough sleep.

It's all good.

Monday, August 25, 2008

My new toy!

I have a new toy. It is a Yamaha electric piano (or "Portable Grand Piano," as they tout it). We sold our "real" piano before we moved and I've been going through withdrawals ever since. The cool part about this piano is that you get the good electric piano features as well as a lot of the "keyboard" functionality (think funky sounds, percussion, MIDI, etc). Here is a picture:

I'm soooo excited!!! I'll have the neighbors banging on the walls in no time. :)

Btw, I've seen Mamma Mia! The Movie three times now. This is a record for me. In fact, before this, I don't know that I'd seen any movie more than once in the theater. The movie is sweet, crazy, energizing, emotional, funny, and has tons of great choreography. A must see movie. Not a great plot, of course (since the creators were kind of constrained by the lyrics in the ABBA songs), but nevertheless awesome.

My friend Beth sent me an article attempting to explain why ABBA's music is so catchy. You can read it here. I know I can't get the songs out of my head and every time I hear one, it puts a smile on my face... and I don't think it's just because I'm Swedish.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

dream on...

"There is no excuse not to dream."
(Printed in my morning dove chocolate wrapper)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

What is this world coming to...?

OK, so I know this is yesterday's news (at least I heard about it yesterday), but I just had to comment on the following:

(From "HARROLD, Texas (AP) -- A tiny Texas school district will allow teachers and staff members to carry concealed firearms to protect against school shootings, provided the gun-toting employees follow certain requirements."

The reason the superintendent gives is that the school is a 30-minute drive from the closest Sherriff's Office, so they would have no way to get reinforcement should something bad happen. Right - because in all other school shootings around the country, the police really had time to come stop it.

This is great... Now we are communicating to the youngsters of the world that the only way to fight violence is with concealed firearms. That is an awesome message and will really help us move in the right direction.

Does anybody else feel like we're moving backwards?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Getting organized!

Lately, I've been spending a good bit of time trying to organize every part of my life to be as efficient and productive (and hence maximize free time) as possible. I'm getting some good advice from Zen Habits and coming up with stuff on my own as well.

Today, I got my personal email down to 5 emails in my Inbox. These are all recordings my mom has sent me from our childhood that I still need to listen to when I'm in the right frame of mind for that. These recordings are so much fun that I want to make sure I get to enjoy them properly.

Anyway, next, I want to get my work email down to zero. My goal is to achieve this by the end of the month. I think it's doable. I am trying a new trick when it comes to email which is to check email only 2-3 times per day and do batch processing. It's so distracting to have new emails pop up on the screen every 5 minutes. So far it is working pretty well.

I'll be writing a lot more about these things coming up... I'm definitely on a Simple Living kick that will hopefully last a lifetime. It's all good!

Saturday, August 16, 2008


I'm getting back into it. I've signed up for Race for the Cure here in Milwaukee. I'm pumped! I have a training schedule that will not just allow me to finish, but race (at least that's the claim...)! Training plans really help me. They allow me to not have to think about what my workout should be at 5 AM in the morning. I'd rather be thinking about solving the world's problems.

Todd and I ran our 3.5 mile loop this morning. The Milwaukee air is awesome. No more sweltering heat. Birch trees abound. As do fir trees.

Sophie likes Wisconsin. She gets to go on walks several times per day (because there is no fenced-in back yard... in fact, there is no back yard).

After lunch, Rebecka and I ran around Target trying to complete the school supply shopping. It was exhausting. There were a lot of very snippy parents. I tried to be calm and collected. It would be cool if Target could stock protractors right before school. Seems like they would like to buy a few extra of those during the weeks before school is about to start. Just my two cents...

Off to do some birthday shopping for Todd. His birthday is tomorrow. But first, we must stop at Kopp's for some frozen custard, because the flavor of the day is cookie dough.

Who can pass that up??