People Can Change; Just Not When You Want Them To

Looking back on the changes I’ve made in the last 9 weeks, I’m nearly a completely different person, both mentally and physically. Since my descent into bumhood, I am the most physically and socially active that I have been in about 2 years. My clothes fit a lot better and I even got the seal of approval from the rents when they came into town this weekend. I think I have dissuaded any doubt of mental illness from their minds ;-). Not only that, but I haven’t been stressed and hiding in my room for so long that I cannot recall the last time I did. The one thing I am a little bummed about is that my morning routine has cut my “no pants” time down significantly (I can’t be outside without pants unfortunately). Bottom line is, that I’ve changed. I’ve also come to the conclusion that everyone is capable of change, but on their own timeline.

I’ll admit that I was the type to try and change people, for the better of course. You meet someone and you think, “I’ll make them my project”, or “if only I can get them to see the light”. Well, the real deal is that it’s not up to you to change others. In order for a person to change or grow, they have to want it. It’s like the saying, “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink”; the same goes for people. Good intentions aren’t good enough, it’s up to them. As for me, it was up to me to decide to make myself happy and motivate myself to make the changes to make that happen. So far, so good! I’m very excited to see what this change has in store for me next!

 

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Broadening My Horizons: A Tale of a Starbucks Junkie in Need of a Fix

Since having to give back my company car and leaving mine in California (I refuse to register my vehicle in Nevada), I am a bonafide pedestrian. Up until last week, this was a welcomed change since I was absolutely tired of driving, plus my sister lets me borrow her car if I need to go somewhere far. All of my life’s necessities are in walking distance (Starbucks is .44 miles and the dog park 2.2 roundtrip). Also, I’m fortunate to have found friends who are in total support of my bum life so they cart me around if necessary. The weather right now could not be more perfect so Abbey and I have been exploring the outdoors everyday. Things could not be more perfect until they aren’t.

As of last week both Starbucks and the dog park that Abbey and I frequent are under renovation. Like seriously, what are the odds of that happening and why is life so cruel?!! Since I live in one of the newer suburbs of Vegas, there’s not a hubhub of coffee shops around for my choosing. I was disappointed about the dog park as it was more of a work out for Abbey than myself. So instead of acting like the chick in Rumpelstiltskin and crying when shit got real, I decided to find an alternative to my usual ventures. One of the coolest things I enjoy about where I live are the paved sidewalks. It’s like a pedestrian’s dream! So instead of taking Abbey to the dog park, I just lengthened our walks. 3 miles in the morning, and about a mile nightcap before bed.

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-Tired pup after walking all over the world…err well, Vegas

As for the coffee shop dilemma, that was a little tougher. Not only did Starbucks quench my caffeine junkie soul, it’s where I get my human interaction. So not going for a week was making me a little restless for human conversation. Since I knew the next nearest Starbucks was about 5 miles away from my house, I was going to have to go with another one. I should also mention that I totally support local businesses so I figure me going to a local coffee shop would be killing two birds with one stone. Alas, after a quick Google search, I found the perfect place called Perk Up. It was 2 miles away and a straight shot from my house, so those amazingly paved sidewalks would come in handy. So today, I made the trek to the coffee shop.

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-Yay sidewalks!

Since I’m like a walking pro, it only took me 38 minutes with a heavy backpack. Once I entered the coffee shop, I knew I had come to the right place. The music was legit and the place was absolutely adorable! I loved the color scheme and decor. It definitely put out the “sit down and write” kind of vibe. I even had the barista recommend me a drink. It was called the Lunch Date which was a chocolate and strawberry iced latte. Not my kind of thing but hey, I tried something new. Image

-The Lunch Date

Perk Up has all that I look for in a coffee shop and it was a little cheaper than my beloved Starbucks. This will be my new hangout until my usually hangout is done, and who knows, maybe it’ll be added in the rotation. I’m very glad that I ventured out of my normal radius and found this place. Who knows what other shenanigans I can get into if I keep expanding my horizons. 😉

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-I absolutely love the color scheme

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-A shot from the entrance

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-View from my seat.

5 Reasons Why I Love my Up24 Band

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A week ago I decided to take the plunge and purchase the Up24 fitness band by Jawbone. In short, it tracks how many steps you take, what you eat, and how long you sleep. I have used it for a full 7 days and I have to say, I absolutely love it, and here’s why:

1. It does most of the heavy lifting.

As someone who isn’t the best of keeping track of things, the Up24 monitors, records and analyzes my sleep, motion, and eating with little to no effort on my part. Its bluetooth capability allows for it to sync up my activity with the app on my iPhone 5s. To go into sleep mode I simply push the button on the band until the moon shows up, and when I wake up, I just switch it back. What’s even more awesome is that if I forget to put it into sleep mode, I can manually input the data in the app on my phone, no harm no foul. Every time I move, the Up24 logs it. It also calculates the calories you burn while at rest in conjunction with the calories you burn from movement. The only real “work” (besides exercise)  on my part is logging my eating habits, which brings me to my next reason.

2. Up24 syncs with other fitness apps

I use apps, Myfitnesspal and RunKeeper, so I was pleasantly surprised that Up24 syncs with multiple fitness apps. It takes my eating and workout data from the apps and syncs it with the Up24 app. For example, if I enter my lunch in Myfitnesspal, Up24 will add that to its app and calculate the data, that way I don’t have to repeat the steps, so it’s quite handy.

3. The Design

The Up24 does not take up as much wrist real-estate as other fitness bands, which is convenient. It looks more like a bracelet and isn’t an eyesore. It’s also simple to use. There’s one single button at one end which is used for a stopwatch or to switch back and forth from sleep to awake mode. The other end is the 2.5 mm plug used to charge the device. The Up24 lasts about 7 days and it only took me about 2 hours for it to fully charge. For me that’s incredibly convenient.

4. It makes being healthy fun

Since tracking my physical activity, I became aware of how important it is to remain active. They say it’s a good rule of thumb to walk 10,000 steps a day. Before, was I probably doing 7,500 or so. Now I’m between 11,000-13,000 a day and it wasn’t hard to make the change at all! In addition of tracking the data, it also marks your progress and gives you an “atta-girl” from time to time. I totally love this, I mean who doesn’t like positive reinforcement? Also I’ve been more conscious about my food habits. Not only does it count the calories, it gives you the breakdown of what you’re eating; I.E. carbs, protein, fiber, etc. I’ve literally switched up how I eat because I realized how many empty calories I’d been eating. Also, I make it a point to get at least 7 hours of sleep. On average I’d say I was getting 4-5.5 and the change has helped me significantly.

5. It’s changed my attitude toward eating healthy and exercising regularly

I’ve always found both topics to be rather tedious and time consuming. How important is it to be healthy and active anyways? Turns out it’s quite important. Being healthy is not only good for you physically but also mentally. This last week, I’ve been happier, less anxious, and my cognitive functionality has drastically improved. Did you know that eating junk religiously can make you forgetful and not focus? I didn’t until recently, and after eating “clean” for a week, I can truly notice the difference. I’m also more productive as well. I don’t see working out as a chore anymore either. Also I’ve made a more conscious effort to find healthier options while eating out with friends. Yesterday I found a phenomenal vegan store that sold the best wraps I’ve ever had, and the price was not bad at all!

So, I’m no fitness guru nor am I aspiring to be one, though I must admit since purchasing Up24, I’ve been more active than I have in quite some time and eating healthy is fun and not annoying as I had once thought. It is a bit pricey ($149) So I wouldn’t recommend getting one if you’re not going to utilize it, unless you’ve got money to burn :-). All in all, it’s a great product, and I’m happy to have it.

Why Nature Isn’t So Bad

My nature consists of the beach, Starbucks, and a mall. That was the only “nature” I had been interested until recently. Going outside and being in the elements was not on my list of priorities, and I certainly didn’t think that was going to change. Last week I purchased the Up24 band by Jawbone. It helps track your fitness, eating, and sleeping. I’ll be doing a review of it later. So in an effort to stop being sedentary I took up an offer to go to Red Rock Canyon last Sunday. Not only did I end up loving the outdoors, it’s really motivated me fitness-wise.

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-Shot of the beginning of the trail

My friend and I and our dogs decided on taking a moderate course. (2.5 miles). We ended up parking in the wrong lot so that added an extra mile to our trip. The pups were eager to hike the trail, us humans were slightly getting our asses handing to us by the elevation. I walk about 2-3 miles a day with Abbey but on the mild paved sidewalks in town, not a 900 ft. elevation. Trust me folks, there is a distinct difference.

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-Another gorgeous view of Red Rock

Due to the lack of signs and directions the trails have, we did end up getting a little turned around, but there were plenty of people there who were more than happy to help us “city-slickers” out. Everyone was super nice and stopped to pet the dogs. Abbey did not mind all the extra attention, I’m sure.

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-Abbey posing for the camera

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-Abbey and Nevada

I really couldn’t get over how amazing Red Rock was. The never-ending scenic views, the unbelievably great weather, and the open air in your face was such a refreshing change from my usual activities. I found such peace and tranquility up there, and that’s saying a lot for someone with an anxious-ridden brain ;-). Now we have a standing Red Rock trip every Sunday which I’m incredibly stoked about. I suppose it’s nice to get outdoors and be one with nature from time to time.

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Now that I’m a Bum…

What to do, what to do?!

Well I have a list of things I plan on accomplishing during my time as a bum.

I am so excited about all the shenanigans I’ll be able to get into.

I’m sure my fur-child Abbey will enjoy my increased presence.

To Do List

1. Get back into fitness (My ass has seen better days…)

2. Learn to take a decent photo

3. Work on my “Labor of Love

4. Travel, travel, travel!!!!

5. Enjoy life!

 

I’ll try to get in a blog post or two! 😀

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(Me in about a week)

 

Excuses, Excuses, Excuses

 

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So I was actually going to start this off by saying that the reason my blogging has been incredibly inconsistent is due to my crazy work schedule.  I realized that was an excuse. Then I was going to explain missing a few days of my 30 day challenge was due to my being tired from said crazy work schedule. Another excuse. To add the cherry on top, I was going to complain about my lack of friends in my new city (been here for a year) is because I am too busy/tired to make any. I’ve come to realize, I’ve stopped doing things and started making excuses for literally everything!

My lack of writing is not because I’m too busy, it’s from my will not to do so. My weight gain is not my work schedule’s fault, but my inability to prepare/ set aside time to work out. And, my hermit lifestyle cannot be blamed on all of the above; the plain and simple truth is that I have not made the effort. Somewhere along the line, I determined that excuses are ok. I can blame away everything and it is never my fault.  I’ve created my own personal culture of excuses. Well, it’s time to change that perception. I am taking responsibility for my actions or lack there of. I am going to regain control of my life instead of leaving it up to excuses. I will start this by taking an honest hard look at myself in the mirror (both figuratively and literally)

I tend to let my mood be easily swayed by external events/people. Thus I’m always in an emotional whirlwind. One thing I’ve come to recognize is that happiness comes from within. I cannot allow myself to be swayed like tree branches in a harsh breeze. If I want to do something, I should do it. No excuses. I’m going to change “I can’t” to “I can” I’m challenging myself to dig deep and change my perceptions. I know it won’t be easy, but guess what? I can.

 

“He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.” 
― Benjamin Franklin

“It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.” 
― George Washington

“Excuses are the nails used to build a house of failure. 

~Don Wilder and Bill Rechin

 

30 Day Fitness Challenge

Snagged this from a fellow blogger (whose blog is amazing btw: 20somethingconfessions) I’m going to take a crack at it, lord knows I could stand to lose a pound or two ;-). I’m curious to find out your health/fitness regimens. What works best for you? Here’s to good physical/mental health! Stay fit, my friends! 

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