Fitness Update #1

So far so good. I’ve been working out more and getting more weights in. So I wasn’t totally shocked when I stepped on the scale and got this:

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In my mind, that’s the following:

  • muscle gain
  • shark week water retention
  • holiday eating

One good thing is, I feel and look a little less pudgy around the midsection, so that’s always good. And considering the foods that were thrown at me on a daily basis, I think I did well with the latter. As soon as I realize that MyFitnessPal really is a friend and not a foe, it’ll probably be even better.

I’ll tell you what, over the past few days of less strict eating, I can tell a difference in how I feel. Eating better means feeling better.

My knee hurts – shocker! At this point, I’ve learned when to push through and when to sit my azz down. I think I may go to the pool tonight, as that is a little less strenuous.

Onward and upward! Countdown to #ONE27 (my birthday) is in effect! Can’t wait to see where I’m at on my fitness journey then. The big 3-8 is approaching! 🙂

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Meditation

I always say I’m going to try meditation. I did one guided meditation in a yoga class once; I relaxed, but I don’t think I got to the point of falling a sleep, like some of my classmates.

I don’t know how to turn my brain off.

Seriously. I have to be to the point of extreme exhaustion or something before I can just really veg. Or extreme relaxation. This is a problem…because clearly, my body does need this time to wind down.

Last night, I downloaded this app:

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The iSleep Easy meditation app. It was a guided meditation with soothing background noise. Of course, I had to use headphones cuz SOMEBODY was in the living room with the tv on 78.

Anywho…

During the guided meditation, the voice was saying things like, “everything I need to take care of can wait until tomorrow” and “this sleep will restore my energy.” It all sounded great!

And I could not get relaxed. *facepalm*

Eventually I must’ve dozed off, because I had set it to play 30 minutes of “forest wind” after the guided meditation was over (which I think I’m going to switch to “rain” later) and I don’t remember hearing any of that.

Then HH came in the room clanking around and woke me up. *shakes fist at him*

I’m going to try it again tonight…but it probably will work better when he is NOT home. LOL!

Yesterday, I planned to buy some Calms Forte while I as at the store. It’s supposed to he,p ease you into sleep. Apparently, a lot of Charlotteans need to ease into sleep, as they were completely OUT. I ended up getting some biochemical phosphates, which are supposed to help with nervous exhaustion, irritability and sleeplessness. I can take them throughout the day. We shall see. Homeopathy to the rescue!

Have you ever tried meditation?

Relax, Relate, Release!

It’s raining in Charlotte, so that usually means crazy traffic. Sure enough, I went to leave work around 4:30, and I-485 was backed up in both directions. I decided to just take 521 and drive through the city. I went up Park Rd., then decided I would stop by Healthy Home Market to pick up a snack, and say “hi!” to my favorite vitamin department manager (totally forgot she wasn’t working today. LOL!).

I walked in and there was a table set up, inviting customers to pay $20 for a quick 20 minute assessment on how stress was affecting our physical bodies.

Why not? HH was at the airport with CH, so I had the time.

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Long story short, the assessment is done by measuring “electrical impulse responses to stress frequencies” which are “tested and measured through a trinary (voltage, amperage, and resistance) software program.” It sounds complicated, but the 20 minute version simply involves putting your hand on a sensor, which sends the impulses back and forth through your body.

I should add here that I’m a firm believer that we can use things in nature – food, minerals, etc. – to head things off at the pass, so that we don’t need drugs and drastic intervention to be healthy. I don’t always do it, but I do believe in it. I think we can lessen our dependence on “big pharma,” but that’s another post for another time.

When it was time to review my profile, Joy told me about my quantum energy profile. The paper describes it as energy signatures that reflect stress markers and reactions to body functions.

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We went through each of these areas and I wasn’t hugely surprised by what she told me. A lot of the readings that were low were related to emotional tension and lack of restful sleep. I also found out that a lot of what could help me (B-complex, trace minerals, and a daily probiotic, amongst other things) were things I was taking before and I stopped. *facepalm*

She went into a lot of details, but my takeaways were:

  • I need to take better care of me through my diet. I know this, but sometimes you need reinforcement.
  • I need to release emotional tensions more than what I’m doing now. If I can’t get to yoga, I’ve got to find another way.
  • I’ve GOT to get better sleep. More of it, and better quality.
  • Winding down from the day is the key to better rest at night.
  • Stress is no joke.

So, I made a few purchases…

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…and I’m ready to start 2013 off with a stronger me. The good news is that my body does a good job with the use of water and the ease of water flow. My pH is not bad, and my body is good at processing oxygen and overall oxygenation. I know what my stressors are, I just have to do a better job of managing them, because they are things that won’t change any time soon.

What are some things you want to change, health-wise, for the new year? Better management of stress? Better nutrition? More exercise?

2 Down…

6 to go!

On Friday, I passed my second CPCU exam. I took CPCU 520 – Insurance Operations. The book was huge and had 11 chapters. Some of which were ridiculously long. Underwriting functions, ratemaking, actuarial function…lots of stuff that I don’t deal with on a daily basis.

When I ordered this book back in the early fall, I mapped out a study schedule. One chapter per week, with the final week leading up to the test earmarked for review.

Well, they always say the road to hell is paved with good intentions, right? LOL! Nothing about that schedule panned out, and I found myself doing 3 weeks of cramming. Nothing like trying to study while your hubby is yelling at the Knicks game, with the tv volume/surround sound on 79!

:/

Despite my nerves, I managed to pass. I am just not cut out for cramming. No matter how much coffee is involved.

There are four foundation courses for the CPCU designation:

Foundation Courses

  • CPCU 500—Foundations of Risk Management and Insurance (This course is replacing CPCU 510)
  • CPCU 520—Insurance Operations
  • CPCU 530—Business Law for Insurance Professionals
  • CPCU 540—Finance and Accounting for Insurance Professionals

I’ve knocked out the first two, and will move on to business law next. You can take them in any order you wish, but I think I’ll just knock out the foundation courses first.

Next, you can choose a concentration in personal lines or commercial lines. I’m going with commercial lines, so I’ll have to take these three:

Commercial Lines Concentration Courses

  • CPCU 551—Commercial Property Risk Management
  • CPCU 552—Commercial Liability Risk Management and Insurance
  • CPCU 553—Survey of Personal Insurance and Financial Planning

After that, I can pick one elective class from a list of 9. I think I’m going to go with AIC 32 – Liability Claims Practices.

Once I successfully complete the designation, I will receive a 10% bonus from my employer. Not to mention, they pay for the course materials and the test. There’s no reason for me to not do it. It’ll help me in the long run with my industry knowledge.

Does your industry offer professional designations? Do you plan to pursue any or further your education using company resources?

Brand New Funk

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I was riding to work this morning, listening to Backspin on SiriusXM (that’s the old school rap/hip hop channel, for those unfamiliar). They cued up “Brand New Funk” by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince. Yes, Willard Smith before the illustrious acting career. LOL!

I started rapping along and it took me back to junior high. At one point in the song, he mentions a cassette. I remember buying this cassette and listening to it over and over again. “Nightmare on My Street,” “Parents Just Don’t Understand,” classic stuff.

Then I started thinking back to some of the first cassettes I owned:

  • True Blue – Madonna
  • Whitney Houston
  • Spanish Fly – Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam
  • Life, Love & Pain – Club Nouveau

Like most of my cassettes, they went missing in action. People borrowed and didn’t return them. The cases were cracked. I had cassettes and no cases…LOL!

I also had my fair share of mix tapes. Slow jam tapes where I’d record from the radio (my Syracusans will remember the Sunday Night Love flight on Z89 with DJ Finesse). Recording from 45s and 78s to tapes so I could take the music with me. Good times, good times.

You couldn’t tell me nothin’ when I got a Walkman with auto reverse! Winning!

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It was cool to take that little trip down memory lane. What were some of the first cassettes you owned? What was your favorite? The one you wore out until you had to try and repair it with scotch tape? LOL!

Necessary Evil

I decided that I don’t want to be this size/weight when my birthday rolls around (1/27). Well, I don’t wanna be this size, period. My birthday is a check in point where I hope to have made good progress.

I also know exactly what’s been holding me back. If you follow me on Twitter, or we’re FB friends, you know I’m not a stranger to exercise. I like going to the gym and I’ve actually come to love getting in the pool.

My problem? This here: CALORIES IN.

I hate tracking calories. HATE IT! Measuring out servings, inputting it all into MyFitnessPal, knowing exactly how many calories are in those goodies at Starbucks (snowman cookies, anyone?)…

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I was successful with my weight loss in 2005, because I did Weight Watchers. I kept track of every little point, and most times I didn’t even give myself the exercise points. Zero point soup? On it! I found creative ways to get full and stay within my points.

I know that was the key.

The other thing is, I am not a big fan of cooking. It’s a necessary evil. I grew up in a house where my mom cooked all the time. It definitely was not weight loss friendly. You threw the food in the pot and kept it moving. Serving size? Unheard of. LOL!

If you follow me on MFP, just know that there will be a lot if pre packaged meals. It’s just easier for me – for serving size and calorie tracking. But I will try to make sure the snacks in between meals are fresh fruits and veggies. I can do that.

So, we’re going to try this again. I don’t want all my workouts to be in vain. And it really is better not to mindlessly shove calories into your trap all day. Or maybe it’s just me who does that at work. LOL!

It’s a tough time, with the holidays and people bringing food into work left and right. I will just have to be strong. It’ll help that half the stuff will be pork, which is an automatic “no” for me.

I am determined. HH and I have a friendly challenge that ends in his birthday in March. It’ll be interesting to see how he does, being away from
Home 5 days a week.

My starting weight was recorded this morning. Let the games healthier lifestyle begin.