The Cold Penguin

expanding the box

Organizing Life

I have to get my blog post done a little earlier today so I can watch the US soccer match this afternoon!  Go USA!

So we are focusing on actions now.  Not whining or inspiring words, but true and solid actions.  Change does not come from soul-searching and deep thoughts, but from actions.  (Although the soul-searching and deep thoughts are an important part of change, and life in general!)

This weeks focus is on cleaning out and organizing.  I’m a firm believer that you can not make a positive change when your surroundings are in chaos.  And an overstuffed closet, a messy desk and a pantry stuffed to the brim all bring chaos into my life.

So the steps I’ve taken in my clean out include:

  1. Cleaned out our guest room armoires.  This was my bedroom furniture when I was single, and it has now been relegated to the guest room.  I use the dresser in the guest room for out of season clothing (its full of fleece and jeans right now), but the armoires has become our catch-all.  It had pictures, games, cameras, and things we didn’t even remember we had stuffed inside.  So on Sunday my husband and I pulled out everything from the armoires and placed it around the guest room in organized piles.  What we could toss, like packaging to my Nexus that I’ve owned for 2 years now, we tossed.  Then I’ve been slowly finding new homes for the items throughout the room.  Some have landed on our new bookshelf in the den.  Some I still need to find a home for.  So this project is still ongoing, but a big part of it is done.
  2. Cleaned out our pantry.  There were some pretty old items in there that needed to be tossed out (including items that had expired in 2013 – yuck!!)  I also found that I overbought vanilla pudding mix.  I have 3 boxes!  So cleaning it out will not only help me find things easier, but will help me save a little dough.  I know I don’t need to buy vanilla pudding mix for quite a while (this is not a “staple” in our home, so I have no idea how I got 3 boxes!)

So the armoires is still in progress.  The desk area needs to be started.  And then I have a bin full of pictures, most of them loose, some in albums, that need to be taken care of.  Hopefully I can get this done by the 4th so I can have a clutter free home before the holiday!

Other actions I’ve taken.  Keeping up with my exercise.  I got a little off schedule with my running.  And I need a schedule to keep me running since I’m not a big fan of it.  When I get off schedule, I have a tendency to quit because I have difficulty finding my way back on schedule.  But today I went for a 5 mile run.  This is the longest run I’ve done in a very long time!  I had to stop and walk a few times, but that’s ok, I did it.  I ran 5 miles!  And I’m going to keep up my running, schedule be damned!

And for a girl, this may sound odd, but a big action I took was going to the mall to do a little shopping.  I hate going to the mall.  Well, that’s not true.  I love going to the mall.  But I hate trying on clothes!  My body isn’t exactly where I’m used to it being (aka caring a little extra weight) so trying on clothes and wishing things were a bit smaller is not fun.  And then I hate spending money.  I always feel a little anxious when I part ways with money, no matter how little or how much.  I would rather have a zillion dollars in the bank than a home full of designer clothes.  It’s weird, I know, but it’s true.  Spending makes me anxious.

So today I needed to visit a shop near the mall for some personal care items, so I went in the mall.  And I was happy to see there were sales.  I still get anxiety with sales, but I can easily rationalize spending with good deals.  So I bought 2 new pair of running shorts (so now I have 5 – yay!), a cute running top (I just love running tops!), 3 pairs of casual shorts (in desperate need of shorts that aren’t wicking workout shorts!) and 1 casual tee.  I still need to buy some more clothes since my wardrobe is still lacking in the nicer casual pieces, but I made a good start and hopefully wearing these cute clothes will help boost my confidence a bit.

So there are my actions.  Let’s keep the momentum going!  I’m excited about all that I’ve accomplished so far.  And I’m excited to reap the benefits of life organized!

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Action Required

So I realized at our “family meeting” yesterday that I have really slacked off on “Project Me”.

First off, yes, my husband and I are dorks and have a meeting every Sunday afternoon.  We chat about anything and everything, including big life goals, schedules and meal planning.  It’s really kind of helpful to make sure we are sharing responsibilities and on the same page for our upcoming week.  Plus, it helps keep me on my game.

I guess since my husband was out-of-town next week, I slacked off on project me.  I did do some things.

I went through my closet and found just a few things to get rid of – I did a clean sweep a long time ago so I didn’t have too many clothes that don’t fit me anymore hanging around.

I also spent the week as a vegetarian.  And honestly, I have to say, it wasn’t for me.  I did it just to see if there was a difference in how I feel.  If I had more energy, felt healthier, etc.  And really I didn’t.  I only eat lean meats and I don’t eat a lot of it, so maybe that’s the difference.  I’m sure if I was eating steak and pork chops several times a day, I’d feel a difference.  So I’m back on eating a little bit of meat every now and then, with plenty of veggies, whole grains and fruits.  I think that’s the right balance for me!

But as far as figuring out what my next step is in my career/life goals, I really did nothing.  He kept asking me questions and I told him I felt like it was a bad interview.  I would search my mind for something to say but everything that came out really didn’t mean anything.  Bottom line, I had not done or thought about anything career or life goal wise.

So I guess I need to focus on that.  And if you don’t mind, I’m going to use this blog as a test market.

I use it to voice my feelings, as a sounding board so to speak, somewhere to get my ideas and thoughts written down, but I don’t use it for much else.  I need to start using it for action.  Yep.  Action is the key.  You can say all the pretty things in the world but actions what makes the world go round!

I haven’t figured out my actions for this week.  Since it’s a holiday week and my husbands first week back from vacation, I’m kind of wandering around trying to figure out what my routine is again, even though I really don’t want to jump back into my routine.

But I do have actions for the future.  Including:

– Volunteering

– Ladies Social Group Activities

– Exercise, including a July 4th 4 mile race in my hometown on Friday.  I’ve run 4 miles, but race wise I’ve never gone over a 5K.  So I’m a bit nervous but I know I can do it!

– Church Activities

Plus I’ve gotten a small non-paying job to help get my feet back into the working world and help my resume start looking better and better which will start in July.

July’s looking up!  Here’s to more action (but still words – I’m a blogger after all!)

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Finding Motivation

So today was one of those days where I just felt like I was dragging.  My eyes were always fighting to stay open, my mind was having difficulty concentrating on anything, and my mind always wander off to think of the sad and desperate thoughts of the dreaded future.

Not that I dread my future, but it seems like my mind can create some pretty bad future occurrences for me when I’m having one of those days.

And yesterday I had an energetic, productive and happy day.

What gets me the most is that I’m mad when I have one of these days.  I get mad at myself for feeling tired.  Isn’t that crazy?

I have a heart condition.  It’s nothing major, but it’s something I have to be mindful of.  And one of the “side effects” of this condition is that I’m going to have low energy days.  When your heart doesn’t work as well as it should, you are going to be tired.  That’s just how it is.

Which is one of the reasons why I am so addicted to working out.  I want to make my heart as strong as possible so it can always do it’s job.  And while the exercise definitely helps, it can not prevent these days.

And we all have these days, healthy heart or not.

So why do I beat myself up?  Why do I get all gloom and doom?  Because, really, if I was just tired and allowed myself to be tired, I think my state of mind would be 100% better.

If I just said, “ok, today is a tired day so I need to take care of myself and rest,” then maybe the gloom and doom wouldn’t set in.  Instead I get frustrated.  My mind craves to do something besides nap, watch tv, read and search the web, but my body says no.  It’s like when you are recovering from an illness and all you want to do is get out of the house, play and do anything (even run errands!) but you don’t have the energy yet to do so.

So instead of moping around because my body can’t meet my mind’s demands, I should change my mindset.  Because no matter how hard I try to will my body to have more energy, it’s not going to happen.  If you are tired, you are tired.  The only solution is rest.

So why not make it a happy rest instead of a sad one?  Why not take the time to enjoy reading, watch a movie, curl up in bed during the middle of the day and not feel guilty?  And if your mind starts racing on things you want to do, just write them down.  Because goodness knows when I do have the energy to take on the world, I have no actual thoughts on what to do.  Isn’t that funny!?   Lots of energy = no motivation.  No energy = tons of motivation.  I really need to flip that around!!

So that’s something I’m going to work on.  Allowing myself time to rest and willing myself to have some fun.

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ACSM Health and Fitness Specialist Exam

Well this past week has just flown by, and usually my days last longer than I’d like!

Most of my week was spent cramming my brain with as much information as I could!  Energy metabolism, cardiovascular disease, the effects of exercise on your physiological processes, and legal responsibilities when training a client.  At times my brain felt like mush and it literally would just stop processing information.  Brain overload!

At about 9pm Monday night my brain had enough of reading and repeating.  I shut it off (as best I could) and tried to get a good night’s sleep to prepare for my exam Tuesday morning.

I arrived super early to the testing center.  Partly because I’m an early bird and also because I had fears of not being able to find a parking spot on the college campus I was taking the test.  I arrived so early they wouldn’t check me in until about 20 minutes after I stepped through the testing center doors.  But I did get to sit down for the test earlier than my assigned time, which was what I was hoping for.  I just couldn’t wait to get this exam behind me!

The quick run down on the exam.  It is 150 questions total.  Some of the questions are not actually counted but they are just “testing” them out to see if they’d like to include them on future exams.  So that is really frustrating to have to stress over questions that don’t matter!  And apparently some questions are weighed more heavily into your score than others.  But of course you have no idea which questions are the more important ones.  So really, it’s impossible to guess whether you are doing well or not.

The most frequent questions were:

  • business models/legal questions
  • first aid
  • interpreting health questionnaire data and classifying clients into the proper risk factor
  • using metabolic equations (the metabolic equations are given, but none of the conversions are provided)
  • determining calorie burn for specific exercise/time
  • health coaching questions

The test was hard.  It started off with tons of business questions, which worried me a lot.  I’m not good at management and budgeting terms.  I can create and follow a budget, mission statement, marketing plan, etc. but for some reason the terms for these items just don’t stay in my brain.  However, I can keep terms like sphygmomanometer in my brain and bring them out at the drop of a dime (fancy word for blood pressure cuff!).

Finally the questions got more scientific and exercised based, which started to calm me down.  By the end of the test I was feeling pretty good.  I  did check all my answers to make sure I didn’t misread anything.  I changed just a few I was doubting.  I always allow myself a few changes, but most answers need to stay at that first instinct.  First instinct is usually the right one!

I did change one that even today with a clear head I still have trouble digesting.  It was a question about exercising without properly hydrating and one of the selections was a decreased time to fatigue.  That is just such an odd way of putting something, that it takes me a while to process.  A decreased time in exercise usually means good in my mind – you ran that mile faster than before!  So a decreased time to fatigue at first glance seems like a good thing.  But really, it’s not.  It is a weird way of saying you get tired quicker than normal.  So they definitely had questions that seemed to try to trip you up a bit!

But I’m excited to say I completed and passed my exam yesterday morning!  Yay!  I am now an ACSM Health and Fitness Specialist.  And I’m giving myself a break from studying or reading scientific fitness materials for a while.  I will be back on that train soon enough (gotta get CEU’s) but the brain need some time to rest and recover!

Have you ever taken a certification exam?

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Food, glorious food

There are people who love food, then there are people who love food!  I have gone through different phases in my life, but right now I am in a passionate affair with food.  I’m trying my best to decrease the amount of bad and increase the amount of good in my diet (and life in general), but it doesn’t always go as planned.  Such is the life of a true food lover!

Today’s 10 Day You Challenge is 5 foods.  It will be hard to limit it to just 5, but I’ll give it a go.

1. Blueberry muffins.  I’m sure this doesn’t top many people’s food lists, but I have had a tried and true relationship with blueberry muffins since I was a kid.  If you give me a blueberry muffin, it will be consumed within 5 minutes.  I adore them!

I eat muffins in a strategic manner too.  First, I eat just the brown baked goodness of the top.  Not the whole muffin top – just the very outer edge of the muffin top, the covering if you will.  I love the stickiness of it.  It’s one of the weirdest things I do when eating, but I can’t help it.

Next, comes the rest of the muffin top – the inner goodness.  Many times I will just pop off the top of the muffin to get a handful of the moist, airy and blueberry-rific inner yumminess and eat that.

Finally, the bottom.  I love the bottom of the muffin as well.  It is great in its own right.  I find if you have a bad muffin bottom, you just have a bad muffin.  You should enjoy every part for its glory and tastiness!

2. Chocolate Chip Cookies.  This is a popular one I’m sure.  I can’t go a week without having an intense chocolate chip cookie craving.  I prefer the soft and chewy kind, but I am also a fan of the crispy as well.  I’ve had bad chocolate chip cookies in my life, but they are few and far between.

3. Macaroni & Cheese.  You can make this as healthy or as unhealthy as you like, which I love!  But I’m a fan of the true baked macaroni and cheese.  There’s nothing better!

4. Bananas.  Odd, considering the first 3 choices right.  But I always have bananas in the house and I eat one daily.  There is something comforting to me about the taste of bananas.  And I love them cold out of the fridge!

5. Chips and/or Crackers.  I’m a salty girl!  I crave salt and have a soft spot for chips and crackers.  With crackers, my absolute favorite is Wheat Thins.  So much so that I never buy them because I can’t stop eating them!  But I also enjoy a good Triscuit (thin crisps – yum!) or Saltine (I try to get these from Whole Foods so they are a little less bad for me).  But really, almost any cracker will do.

My favorite chips is the plain old Baked Lays.  I also enjoy Baked Ruffles.  From time to time I will indulge in a regular potato chip or even a flavored one, but I never crave those like I do Baked Lays.

So there we go, 5 foods!  Although I could have also included guacamole, pancakes, turkey sandwiches, peanut butter (with or without jelly), yogurt, brownies, strawberry shortcake…oh I should stop myself now!

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Project Me: 4 Questions

As promised, here is a summary of the work I did last week.  In part of my Project Me (aka finding my self), I did some research and then made myself answer some questions.  Some of them were tough, and others were easy.

Part 1 of Project Me was figuring out exactly who I wanted to be as a whole person.  This was pretty easy and I actually had to stop myself from writing!  I did it by answering this question:

What personality traits do I admire in others and try to emulate in my own behaviors/self?

I just thought of some amazing people, both people I know and people I don’t, and wrote down what I love about them.  It was easy to get carried away, but some of the traits I admire and want to have myself are:

  • self-confident
  • fearless
  • well-balanced
  • optimistic
  • open
  • giving

Basically just being a generally cool, confident and wonderful person in every aspect of life!  We all want to be perfect though, so focus on what really is the most important for you.  You may admire someone for their intelligence, but maybe compassion is more important for you.  So try to narrow it down to give you the best idea on what you really want to strive for.

What do I value in a friend?

If you are having difficulty narrowing down the qualities that mean the most to you, this one will definitely help you out!  You may find that being a generous person is a quality you value very much in friendship, but athleticism is not.

The next part wasn’t as fun.  It was  focused on what you want to change.  And to find that, you have to dig deep and get a little dirty.  Start by answering these questions.

What do you consider your weaknesses?

And we are not looking for the interview answer of “I care too much about my job.”  This is about what you view as your weaknesses.  Here are a few of mine, to help you get started.

  • lack of self-confidence
  • fear of failure
  • being quiet
  • having anxiety

Some people may not consider being quiet a weakness, but in my mind I do see it that way.  This is very much a deep exercise really getting to the root of your perceptions of yourself.

What are your fears?

And I guess bears would work, but try to really dig deep into everyday fears.  Here are some of mine:

  • being alone and unloved
  • failure/looking like a fool
  • wasting my life

What are your dislikes in your life right now?

Do you hate your job, your home, your relationship status?  What would you change if you could in your life?

I don’t like that in my life right now I’m bored (and feel like I’m a boring person), do not have a defined purpose or passion, and feel like I’m wasting away time.

What are your disappointments in your life right now or in the past?

Are you upset you didn’t take a job offer? didn’t finish school? settled for less than you deserved?  Think broad and big.  Some of mine are:

  • running away when things get rough (many examples of this)
  • not being close to my family (outside of a few members)

After you have finished answering those questions you probably will need a break to ruminate.  I know I did.  I had to just get away for a while because of all the negativity I was writing about really brought me down.  So I distracted myself with other things, and came back to it the next day ready to tackle the issues at hand.

So when you are ready, from your answers to the above questions, ask yourself the following questions.

Why do you think you exhibit some of these characteristics that you are not happy with?

A lot of this is usually do to past/learned habits that sometimes we are not even aware of.  Like for me, I was the baby (by many years) of the family, so I learned at an early age that no one was going to listen to the 7 year olds’ ideas/wants.   I just needed to go along with what my older brother and parents wanted to do.  I “learned” the behavior of not voicing my opinions, not making decisions and in general I stopped having opinions and forgot how to make decisions.  Of course I recognize this was not my families fault, it was just a byproduct of being so much younger than everyone else.  And now I need to relearn how to do these things, which brings me to the next question.

What can you do to change the habits/characteristics you are not happy with?

How can you overcome your fears, conquer your weakness, change things in your life you dislike and avoid (to your best ability) future disappointments?

This can be a pretty big question to answer.  And it’s best to start small.  If you want to become more self-confident, you can’t just wake up one day and be more confident.  It’s a process.  So think of the small steps you can take, like starting an exercise program or taking a course/class to better your knowledge, that will help you develop your self-image and self-confidence.

With these answers, you can develop a plan of action.  You may want to pick one or two areas to focus on first, and perhaps when you work on those other things will just fall in line (or at least you’ll be more prepared to tackle other areas).  Remember to start small, give yourself achievable tasks with deadlines, and trust the process.

I’m working on my plan of action this week.  So stay tuned next week for my examples.  Prediction: a lot of challenges will be developed from my action plan!

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Challenges for the week: Self esteem, tests and volunteering

I’m still working on my challenges of the week.

Last week my challenge was to work on finding the right path in my life.  Of course, that’s not usually something you can figure out in a week, so it will be a continuing “project”.  But that’s just fine!  (In case you are interested in the work I did do last week, I will be posting on it tomorrow.)

Today, I’m going to focus on what I want to accomplish this week.  Most of this is based on of the work I did this last week.

As part of my ongoing “project me” I am doing some work on my self-esteem.  This week, I’ve assigned myself the task of writing down my strengths, accomplishments, and all around great qualities.  A Yay me list if you will.  In a world where the negative is easily identified and the positive is often overlooked, it’s easy to have low self-esteem.  So I am challenging myself to give myself some props – and write it down!  This sounds daunting to me, a modest girl, but I hope it’ll be easier than I think!  The list is due on Thursday.

Keep on studying!  My ACSM Health and Fitness Test is only 8 days away!  And while the thought of not having to study anymore is thrilling, I’m starting to develop a little anxiety as to how prepared I am.  The way to beat that anxiety: study!  So I have to force myself to buckle down and get things done!

Saturday I have signed up for a Habitat for Humanity Project.  My challenge is to NOT back out of it.  I’m an expert at backing out of new, scary and alone experiences.  (This is a women’s only project, so I am going absolutely on my own – no hubby, no friends, nothing).  Believe it or not, the whole thing sounds overwhelming.  I have no construction skills and no one I’m comfortable with to follow around.  But I can’t back out.  I’ve backed out of too many things lately so I can’t let myself off the hook again!




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Exercise and the Heat plus Six Places

I realize I’ve been complaining about the heat negatively effecting my run for a while now.  And I know why, because it’s included in my studies for the ACSM Health and Fitness Specialist exam.  So why am I complaining and not sharing info?  I don’t know.  But that will change today!

If you live in a climate that is now summer, you may have noticed your outdoor activities have slowed down greatly.  Your morning run may now be a jog, your afternoon walk is more like a stroll, and even yard work seems more difficult.  You are working hard, but not as fast.  It is frustrating and doesn’t make sense.  You know you can run an 8 min mile, but for some reason when it’s hot out your body won’t budge past 8:45 minutes, no matter how hard you try.


This is all due to a process called heart rate drift.

When it’s hot out, what do you do – SWEAT!  Even when you are not working out in the heat, your body is trying to cool itself out through sweating.  And add some workout into the mix, and man does the sweat drip!

Sweat is good.  It’s your body’s natural way of cooling itself.  Sweat on the skin is evaporated into the air, just like a rain puddle on your driveway evaporates into the air.  When the sweat is evaporated off your skin, the temperature of your skin becomes cooler due to a process called evaporation cooling.  And thus, your body is cooled off!  Pretty cool, right?

Well, the down side of this sweating process is that it makes your heart work much harder to work.

Another part of cooling is through your blood.  And in order for your blood to help cool you, your blood needs to be close to your skin.   And in order for your veins to be close to your skin, they need to be pumped full of blood.  This is why your veins bulge in your arms when you are hot.  They are wide, full of blood, and looking for the skin so they can cool the body.

But wait – if all the blood is going to your skin to help cool you off what is your muscles and heart using to work?  Of course, the answer is still blood.  But since more of your blood is near your skin to help cool you, there is less of it for your muscles and heart.

Since there’s less blood to work with, your heart beats faster in order to get enough blood where it needs to be for your workout.

Think of a soap pump.  If a lot of soap pumps out, you only need to pump it once to get what you need to wash your hands.  But if only a little comes out, you are pumping it over and over again to get enough soap.  This is what your heart is doing – pumping over and over again to get enough blood to your muscles so they can jog, walk, garden, etc.

This increase in heart rate means your heart is working harder.  So, once you become hot and sweaty, your heart is going to work hard just to cool itself, not accounting for your exercise.  So, you may be working as hard as you would to run an 8 minute mile, but you are actually only running a 9 minute mile.  This is all due to the extra strain the heat is putting on your heart.

Your body can get acclimated to the heat.  Some bodies are better at adjusting than others.  But until then, do what you can.  If you are walking slower, but still having your heart rate in the workout zone, then continue at your pace.  Your body is still improving because your heart is pumping and calories are being burned.  Eventually you will be able to pick up the pace.  Just make sure you listen to your body – take breaks, stay hydrated, wear light clothing and try to workout in the coolest temperatures possible!


Six Places (I broke this up into 3 places I would love to visit for the first time and 3 places I would love to visit again!)

1. Costa Rica – I mentioned this before.  Costa Rica is definitely on my travel bucket list!

2. Italy – ditto on Italy.  I would love to stroll along the hills and valleys of Italy, as well as visit the beautifully historic cities.

3. Colorado – I’ve never been there, but I love the mountains, I love cities, I love hiking.  Colorado has a bit of everything which I love.

4. Maine – I’ve been to Maine once, when I was about 15 years old.  My mother and I went and I remember it just being a very calm, relaxing and fun vacation all in one.  And that says a lot with a teenager and her mother traveling together!  I would love to go back to Maine and experience the beauty and nature again.

5. San Juan, PR – This was a birthday trip for me a few years ago and I had a great time!  The city life was cool, they have historic castles to explore, rainforests to hike and gorgeous beaches!  I would love to go back to experience other parts of Puerto Rico, including the caves.  I hear they are cool!

6. Maui – This was our honeymoon and while I had a lovely time, I feel like I still was a bit keyed up from the whole wedding planning/actual wedding process so wasn’t able to enjoy it as much as I could have.  Don’t get me wrong, I had a masterful massage, the drive to Hana was AMAZING and experiencing paragliding over the Pacific Ocean was a great treat!  I’d just love to go back and not still have the post-wedding anxiety on top of me!

What are some of the places you love to visit or would love to visit?


Seven Wants

I’ve been cleaning out the fridge lately.  I had many ingredients that were close to their expiration time, so I’ve been making some random but tasty things.

I bought some buttermilk and completely forgot why and since the expiration date is looming, yesterday I made buttermilk cheddar biscuits and right now I have a buttermilk chocolate chip cake in the oven.  The biscuits are tasty, though I do wish I used mild cheddar instead of sharp.  I’m definitely a sweet girl when it comes to cheeses.  Will let you know how the cake turns out – but it’s hard to go wrong with cake!

I also bought some broccoli slaw mix to make this tasty Asian side dish (on the side of teriyaki meatballs, which were good – but not great, so they didn’t make my “make again” list).  But since it’s just me and the husband, I didn’t use the whole bag of slaw mix.  So today I made a version of one of my favorite broccoli slaws.  I left out the cranberries (I’ve never used whole cranberries – just dried), we don’t have onions in my home due to my husbands allergies, and I didn’t have an apple.  I did have half an orange, which I added, and some pineapple and had half of it as a nice side to my lunch.  The fruit is definitely the best part in my opinion and I’ll probably end up adding some more of it for my next serving.  I still have about a fourth a bag left, so I may make a different version soon.  Yum!

With all of this food, you’d think I’d be blazing through my workouts.  Food = fuel, right?  Well, the heat brings me down big time!  I’m doing great with exercise indoors – but outside, yikes!  The humidity has me feeling like I weigh 500 lbs and my legs don’t work.  So my run has definitely slowed significantly and I’m taking short breaks along the way.  But I’m doing it – average run is now 3 miles, even if it’s just below a 10 minute mile pace!  I’m running, so I’m proud.

Here’s a great article on exercising in the heat.  If you are not used to outdoor workouts in the summer, read this first!  Great tips!


Today’s 10 Day You Challenge – 7 Wants.  This is a mix of fun and deep.

  1. To live a happy and fearless life.  This is broad, I know, but really I think it’s what most of us want the most.  To be happy.  To do things without fear and full of self-confidence.  I do think this is attainable.  It’s difficult, but doable.  So it’s my biggest want and my ultimate goal.
  2. To be able to bike and swim.  I haven’t been on a bike since I was about 12 – so that’s 22 years.  Wow!  I don’t feel old enough to say I haven’t done something in 22 years!  But it’s true.  So I’m a bit fearful (there’s that ugly word) to try again.  They have a bike program around my city where you can rent a bike for 30 minutes and ride.  That’s been on my to-do list since the program started last year.  I guess I need to get a few dates down on my calendar and NOT back out (unless it’s raining).  As for swimming, I took adult swim lessons about 4 years ago and enjoyed my time in the pool.  Since then I’ve just slowly stopped swimming and pretty much forgotten (and yes, I’m afraid to just jump in the pool).  Plus I am having a ton of skin allergies/sensitivities pop up, and I’m sure a chlorine filled bath would not be good for that.  So swimming may need to stay a dream.  We’ll see.
  3. A fully decorated home.  I’ve never had this.  Even growing up, rooms were always in progress.  I love my house and would love to have a fully decorated home to my tastes and not want to change a thing!  Moving from a small condo to a house though, we are slowly decorating since we have to purchase new things (and that can get costly!)
  4. To visit too places: Italy and Costa Rica.  Very different places, but places I think I’d love.  There’s many more places on my vacation bucket list, but those two are on the top for me!

    Costa Rica

    , Costa Rica

  5. Artistic abilities.  I’m horrible at crafts!  I can’t draw a straight line, a circle, anything.  If a project requires dexterity of hands with art, I can’t do it.  I have thrown out so many projects.  They always end up looking like a toddler completed them.  I would love the ability to be artistic.
  6. The perfect wardrobe where I’m never at a loss for what to wear.  Does this really exist though??  There are many suggestions out there on how to build a good wardrobe.  Here are a few articles I enjoyed: Back to Basics: 14 Timeless Pieces You Shouldn’t Live Without, Wardrobe Basics Checklist and The Best-Kept Secrets of the World’s Best Dressed Women
  7. To be an easy runner.  I see so many people, my husband included, who look at ease running, like it’s no big deal.  Me, I’m always struggling, huffing and puffing for air and having a mental argument with myself over whether or not I will give up.  And this is all within the first quarter-mile!  I would love to be able to have a lovely, easy run.  But having been running for years, I just don’t know that my body is built that way.

What do you want??

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Eight Fears

Next on my 10 Day You Challenge, 8 Fears.


I actually did a little work on this yesterday, not knowing that fears were coming up on this challenge, as part of my weekly challenge to figure out me.

Now, this list won’t include things like spiders or heights – which coincidentally I’m not afraid of either.  It will be more deep.

  1. Fear of Failure.  I’m constantly avoiding trying new things because I’m afraid I can’t do it.  I don’t want to look like a fool in front of other people and it drives me insane when I can’t do something!
  2. Fear of rejection.  I try to act all tough, like I don’t care what people think of me.  But I do.  The only time I don’t care is if I don’t actually like the person who is “rejecting me” as well.  Then I can explain away the reasons they don’t like me by what I consider their bad traits.  Not exactly healthy.
  3. Fear of abandonment.  Stems from my childhood.  Absent father, latchkey kid, a story many people have as well.  But I’m always scared that people I care about are going to just decide one day they don’t like me anymore and walk away.
  4. Fear of wasting my life.  I feel like everyone should have some purpose in their life – whether it is big (world leader) or small (family leader) or somewhere in between.  I don’t feel as though there is a purpose in my life right now and I’m not sure where to look for it.  It scares me that I may never find out what I should be doing or how I can make a difference.
  5. Fear of being tongue-tied.  I get tongue-tied a lot!  I’ve always been on the quiet side, and growing up I didn’t have a lot of people to talk to, so I never really learned how to chat with people.  And being the introvert that I am, I never tried to learn chit-chat since it doesn’t appeal to me.  When I meet a new person, I instantly get a little nervous due to my fear of rejection.  I don’t want to make a fool of myself and have them think I’m stupid, weird, etc.  And this fear creates a big void in my brain where conversation comes from – and I just can’t talk.  I am getting better.  Working in the customer service field for years has taught me that I can use my work skills in everyday life as well.  (I’ve always been able to chit-chat with customers – it’s work, and I can do work!)  But there are still times when I meet a person, like a co-worker of my husband’s or someone I think is “cool” and I get nervous and the words just won’t come.  I avoid social situations due to this fear.
  6. Fear of not belonging.  You can tell a lot of my fears are social ones, right??  Well, this one is probably a combination of some of my other fears – but I always am afraid to be the outcast of the group.  And being the quiet one, I’ve definitely been that more than my fair share of times!  But I hate the feeling of being invisible, or being alone even though you are surrounded by people.  That feels worse than actually being alone.  And in larger groups, it’s easy for me to fade into the background and just feel rotten about myself!
  7. Fear of crowds.  And this isn’t because of social situations.  I just hate being surrounded by people.  I’m barely over 5 feet tall so I tend to get lost in crowds.  And when people feel the need to push by you, I basically get trampled due to my size.  Being surrounded by people has always caused me a lot of anxiety and I have to get either on the edge of the group or out of the situation all together.
  8. Finally, I’ll end with a fear that’s not so deep.  Snakes.  Snakes freak me out.  I jump around and squeal like a little girl when I see a snake.  Luckily there’s not many in the neighborhood I live now, so I haven’t had to do my freaked out dance in quite a while.  I hope to keep it that way!!



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