2017 Goal

I don’t really do resolutions, but for 2017 I’ve decided to try it. With one goal. Just one.

My problems with resolutions are that

  1. Why does it have to be at the beginning of the year? Have you ever heard someone say in that there’s no point in starting to eat healthier or start exercising in December? Start your “new life” whenever. No need to wait for the New Year. But this year, by the same logic, I will start my resolution/goal today.
  2. I can never keep track. So along with my goal this year, I will set up a plan that will help me keep track of my goal.

I only have one actual resolution, I have plenty of other goals, like reading 60 books, and other bookish resolutions, as well as keeping track of movies and episodes. However, I want to really focus on this ONE goal, so here we go:

  • Walk 1 km each day. I used to take long walks and in 2014 I walked more than 600 km, so I want to back into the habit, and 1 km is totally doable, even in terrible weather and if I’m sick. It doesn’t mean I can’t take a long walk, I just want to get outside EVERY day, and walk a little bit.

Thoughts on My Fitness Plan for Autumn 2016

Life always gets in the way of my fitness plan. There’s no time. I’m too tired. There are plenty of excuses for not working out. There are also plenty of reasons, why you actually want to workout. But I have been feeling slightly less motivated since the beginning of August. I think it was partially due to the heat, and I need a change in my workout plan. Due to a sore throat and a stiff neck I didn’t workout for a couple of weeks. Instead I did some thinking, both about my goals and about the means by which I’ll reach those goals.

I’ve been working out about three times a week, since the beginning of Summer, and I can already see a difference, especially in my leg and glute area. Yay! Exactly what I wanted, but I seem to be bloated all the time. In July three different people asked me if I was pregnant (granted they were all men, but still). So while I’ve been focusing on my glutes and my shoulders until now, and while the bloat has gone down a bit, I think it’s time to do more ab exercises, and try to work out, if something in my diet is causing the bloat.

Fitness plan for september-november 2016

  • Hit the gym a minimum of 10 times each month reach for 3 times a week so I can do a full rotation of my workouts – each month I reach 15 times, I can spend a set amount of money on workout clothes
  • Create a new workout routine – focus areas: (lower) abs, glutes (I’m almost there)
  • Eat out no more than once a week (this is also in line with my goal to get my savings account back in shape)
  • September: cut out sugar one day a week
  • October: cut out sugar two days a week
  • November: cut out sugar three days a week
  • Keep a food journal (I’ll have a hard time with this one, I can say that already)

I think that will do for now. I know I will just get overwhelmed if I add more, and right now I just need to a have small challenge I can succeed at. I have some major workstuff planned for the next few months so I don’t want to set myself up for failure.

My butt and leg routine: July/ August 2016

Workout share 08 16

My main focus this summer is my butt and my lower back, so I’ve made a program with 7 different exercises. The first three are mostly for my butt and lower back, and let me tell you my lower back are really feeling it when I’m done with those three exercises. The last four exercises are mainly butt and legs, I would usually alternate the exercises so I didn’t work on the same muscle group two exercises in a row, but to be honest I just want to hang up the mat I use for the first three, and move on to just using dumbbells.

I always start with an at least 10 minute warm-up. But mostly it ends up being between 10 and 20 minutes. For leg/butt day, I will typically do 10 minutes on the elliptical machine and the the rest on the bike. My main goal is to make sure my muscles are warm and ready to work. But you could also use any other cardio to warm up.

After my warm-up I do a quick stretch session of my legs because I tend to get cramps when I start working with the weights.

Lower back and butt exercises

Bridges
At the moment I do 30 reps and 3 sets.
Lay on your back, legs bend, arms by your side. Slowly raise your butt to create a bridge. Rest on your shoulders not your neck. Squeeze your butt and lower it again.
See the form
If you want to make this exercise harder, elevate your feet on a step or such, or rest a smaller weight plate/barbell on your hips.

Donkey kicks
I do 10 reps on each leg, 3 sets.
Rest on your hands and knees, straighten your back, I like to look at the floor while doing these and kickbacks as my neck gets sore otherwise. While keeping your knees bend, kick back towards the ceiling, and squeeze your butt, lower leg to start position.
See the form

Kickbacks with crossover
This exercise is a killer, especially after donkey kicks, so I do 10 reps on each legs, 3 sets, but if you are starting from scratch try 6-8 at first and see how you feel.
Rest on your hands and feet like with donkey kicks. Instead of keeping you knee bend, straighten one leg behind you and rest lightly on the toes. Kick up, and touch down on the other side of your resting leg, kick straight up again, and lower straight down.
See the form

Leg and butt exercises

Squats
I do 10 reps with 2 kg dumbbells, 3 sets.
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. I keep my arms bend with my hands at my shoulders, if you need to, hold arms straight in front of you to help with your balance. Slowly sit down as if to sit on a chair, I like to use a mirror to make sure my knees dont reach in front of my toes as this can cause injury. I also check that I’m keeping my back straight. Use your legs and but to stand back up, squeeze your butt as you finish the rep.
See the form
Add dumbbells or a barbell to make it more challenging. You can also add a sidekick when you stand up

Latteral Lunges
I do 10 reps on each leg, with a 2 kg dumbbell, 3 sets.
Stand with you legs together. Step to one side, and sit down into a squat/lunge, if you are stepping to the left use your right hand to reach for your left foot as you “sit” down. Again make sure your knee stays behind your toes, this one is hard for me so I can’t sit all the way down yet.
See the form
Another killer exercise, make it harder by adding weight and a leg lift and shift.

Sumo squat
I do 10 reps, with a 2 kg dumbbell in each hand, 3 sets.
Stand with your feet wide apart, I like them a little more than shoulder width apart, turn you toes out, in a 45 degree angle, I keep my arms right straight down in front of me, but if you need extra balance hold them out in front of you, but just don’t use weights then. Sit down, as in squats and lateral lunges, and watch your back and knees.
See the form
I love this squat, and if you have problems keeping your balance when you squat this is great. You can make it even better by adding a rotation.

Lunges
I do 10 reps on each leg, 3 sets.
Stand with your feet together, take a step forward, far enough that when you slowly lower your body the angle of your front knee will be about 90 degrees. Use you front leg to push yourself back up.
See the form
If you want to make it easier, don’t gather your legs, just straighten your legs and lower yourself until you get the hang of it.

When I have extra time I will go to the leg press and do 10 reps and 3 sets, with the first two sets being “easy” and the last set (or at least the last five reps) being with a heavier weight.

After my workout I will typically stretch again, but to be honest when I’m really pressed for time I will typically skip this part – which I regret the next day when everything hurts.

 

Disclaimer: I’m not telling you what to do with your body, and I’m not telling you that this will definitely work for you. I’ve been inspired by so many people, and put together a program that matches my fitness level and my goals, I suggest you do the same. So feel free to try the exercises described below, but swap out exercises if they are not for you. To me that’s what’s fun about working out – trying new things and creating programs that work for ME.

Favourite Books and Movies from 2015

I read 67 books in 2015 including graphicnovels, and since I started counting my movies in August I have watched 26 movies when not counting rewatches.

For 2016 I hope to read 100 books and watch 50 movies.

Books

I haven’t had the greatest year of reading, I read a lot of books I really didn’t care about, and I hope to change that in 2016. But I have chosen 5 novels and 4 graphics that I really enjoyed.

Novels

  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  • Kissing the Witch by Emma Donoghue
  • The Yellow Wall-Paper
  • Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
  • Burial Rites

Graphics

  • Locke & Key vol. 1-5
  • Gotham Academy vol. 1
  • Primates
  • Ms. Marvel

Movies

I have 3 movies that really stood out to me along with 4 animated movies.

  • Magic in the Moonlight
  • One Day
  • Man Up
  • Inside Out
  • Ponyo
  • WALL-E
  • Song of the Sea

My Q1 2016 Fitness Plan

I have always considered myself an active person, but I must admit that the last six months haven’t been that good for me (I could probably stretch that to the last year), but now I am determined to make an effort and get back into the habit of biking to work, running and going to the gym.

My overall goal for this first quarter of the year is to improve my fitness, and make sure I don’t end up skinny fat.

Biking

At the end of December one of my goals for January was to bike 100 km. But now on the 10th it isn’t looking like I will do that. I’m just too lazy to bike eight km through the flat meadows that covers the southern part of Amager. It’s all very beautiful and lovely in the summertime, but in the winter it’s just windy (like it doesn’t matter how hard your working, you still isn’t going anywhere) and cold. This year started very cold and very windy, so when that changes I will bike whenever I can.

Running

It won’t be my first go at running, I’ve run regularly before but stopped for various reasons, but as I wrote earlier this week I’ve signed up for a couple of races in the late spring/early summer. I’m kind of feeling the same about running as about biking at the moment. I’m just not ready to start running again while it is absolutely freezing outside, I need to find a lot of motivation to make that happen. But I will make it happen, but it might take me a month, and I’m okay with that.

Gym

I signed up for the gym today. Today. January is notorious for a lot of people making resolutions which result in overfilled gyms, but there is always going to be an excuse for waiting another month, and my motivation is here now. I originally planned on signing up before Christmas but then life happened. And since I had to wait until after New Years I wanted to wait until I had the evening shift so I could workout in the morning instead of in the afternoon along with the rest of the city.

My plan is to join a lot of different classes in the beginning just to get out of the door and see what I like. Then I can start training with weights etc. once I feel comfortable going to the gym.

2016 Project Life Plans

In 2015 I tried out 6×8 but quickly went back to 12×12. I tried it out because I found that a lot of times I wouldn’t have enough to tell each week to fill up 12×12, so when I returned to that size I tried just filling out the pockets as I had enough photos and stories to tell, and while I enjoyed the look of that (I used a lot of inserts), I found that I couldn’t keep up and it forced me to do it chronologically, so I eventually gave up on it.

  • I’ve decided to try out 9×12 this year, a lot of girls without children seem to have found that size suitable in 2015, and I really like the look of the spreads. Also the albums fit on my shelves easier.
  • I want to use different page protectors, as this is a new format for me, so I want to try out the different layouts.
  • I want to sit down each Sunday to plan out my spreads, I don’t know how often I will actually be able to print photos, but right now I’m not planning on printing at home, so I think I will order photos about once a month, and then work on the spreads.
  • I still get SC kits each month and I have a lot of cards from 2015 left, so I think I will keep my subscription at least for the first few months. I’ve also bought three core kits, so I won’t be needing supplies for a while. I might buy a few page protectors, but I think I can make do with the once I have, I’ll just cut some of my 12×12’s up, so they fit.
  • Each week I want my title card to include a word to represent that week, and a small explanation.
  • I also want to make sure I include a photo of myself each week.

Supplies I have:

  • Page protectors
    I have two types of 9×12 pageprotectors at the moment, 7paper 2B and 7paper 4B. I also plan on cutting down some of my 12×12 page protectors, like the Becky Higgins Design F and Design Y, that can be cut down to 9×12, but a lot of the Becky Higgins page protectors can be cut down to 6×12 and 8×12, which I can use as inserts.
  • Stamps
    I have lots and lots of SC stamps, from both the Scrapbooking kit and the Documenter kit, and as I said I still subscribe to the Documenter kit so each month I will get a new batch of supplies.
  • Cards
    I have recently bought the Everyday core kit, the High Five core kit and the Fine & Dandy core kit, so I don’t need a new kit any time soon. I already own the Midnight edition, which I bought when I first started out with project life a few years ago. So together with my monthly SC kit I will not be in need of journaling cards for the next couple of years.

I Did It! I Signed Up for My First 5K and 10K

I’ve been thinking about this for a good year or so, and now I’ve finally taken the plunge and done it. I signed up for a 5K race at the end of May, and then I started thinking about it, the race was 5 months away, and I’ve run 5 km many times before, so it won’t be a big problem.

But the reason I signed up for a race, was because I needed a challenge, and since it won’t take more than a few months to train for a 5K. So I took it a step further and signed up for a 10K race on June 18th. And that last part is the really amazing part – I’ve never ran 10K. But I have more than five months to train for it, which shouldn’t be a problem, but it is really too early to tell.

I will share a more indepth post on what my plans are for training and general exercise this Sunday, so I won’t go into any detail here, but I can say, that finding the motivation while it is literally freezing outside, is hard.

My Month of Short Stories

One month of short stories

I love the idea of short stories, I’m not sure why, but putting so much meaning into so few pages, it just fascinates me. I’ve only ever read one collection and that was Kissing the Witch by Emma Donoghue, which was amazing.

Kissing the Witch left me stunned and wanting more (which is why I bought another Emma Donoghue book, but I haven’t read it yet), so I bought short story collections, quite a few actually, I’ve just never gotten around to reading them. But now is the time.

Okay so I have seven short story collections on my shelves, so I think I will try to read a few this month. I’m aiming for four, so one each week. I’m not good at challenges that restricts me too much as I am a mood reader, so it will be nice to read the short stories in between my regular reading.

The books I have to choose from are:

I’ve marked the once that are at the top of my TBR pile and that I really hope I can read in January. Pretty much every single one of these collections are supposed to be amazing, but those are the four I’m excited about reading at the moment.