Saturday, January 21, 2012

How I drag myself to do exercise

One of my resolutions is to exercise regularly. This is a very tough resolution, because:
  1. I've been away from gym for nearly 15 years (I'm not counting my 4-5 times effort during that time in subscribing to a gym, but lasting only less than 2 weeks of exercise).
  2. My idea of heaven is reading a book in my cold bedroom while munching chips and listening to a soothing music.
  3. It's tough to slip a few hours to go to gym in my tight schedule. I had to spend minimum 4 hours in commuting to and from work. It's not rare that I have back to back calls and meetings. Lots of work to do. I could not take morning class because I to drop my princess at school. I could not go home too late, because I want to spend a good small time with my little princess, before she's going to sleep.
  4. Gym is quite costly. I could spend the money for buying milk, book and courses for my little princess.
The good thing is I actually had started this resolution about 3 months ago, when my office launched an interesting program: Bye-bye Big Challenge. This challenge was targeted for the employees who were categorized as obese and would like to lead a healthier life. I said to myself: This is the time to make the change for myself. And I signed up for the program.

Since I have this target, and I have competitors to beat (I love competition), and now I also have this resolution, I set my strategy to drag myself to start exercising regularly:
  1. Subscribe to the nearest gym from the office. Good thing is my office attached to a mall that has a gym. Actually there were 2 other gyms near the office, but I took the nearest, so there would be less reason not to go to the gym.
  2. Squeeze the time for gym. Previously, in regular weekdays, I had my lunch in my desk, while working or surfing the internet. Now I took earlier lunch around 11am while working, went to gym around 12PM and come back a little pass 1PM. I also took 5pm class on Monday and Wednesday, because my daughter had afternoon course and I would be picked up late anyway. I tried to use Personal Trainer for the first 2 months, but I found it not quite suitable to my style. I didn't like being chased for coming to gym, I felt like I hadn't paid 100million debt and being chased by debt collector. I don't like having to fit my schedule to other person's schedule. So right now, I think arranging my own schedule is the best for me. Maybe later on I will think again to hire the PT. (besides, PT cost a lot... :) )
  3. Book the schedule in my calendar. I treated gym as my other appointment and calls. I booked it in my calendar, and put the reminder 30 minutes before.
  4. Find the fun in exercising. I love dancing. But after I got married, and later wore hijab since last year, I didn't go dancing anymore. In the gym, I joined 'Body Jam' class, and I'm so happy. It was really fun, and it felt like I was back to 10-20 years ago. This is a class I will not miss. When not in class, I do the cross trainer, and I watch all the good programs in the TV while training. This may not be a very good suggestion, as you're not focusing on the exercise itself, but hey... I didn't realize it's already 45 minutes on the machine. Am thinking to bring a book to while doing static bike... I also tried Yoga classes, which I had difficulties to follow, but still excited. And beside gym, I tried to schedule bi-weekly exercise with my little princess -- it's either swimming or walking on Car Free Day.
  5. Try not to pass 2 days in a row without exercise. If I knew I would not go to gym or swimming, I will walk around my backyard for 45 minutes in the morning, after morning pray. When I'm on holiday to my in-law's village, I offered to go shopping to the local wet market, and I walked for about 1km from home to the market. I even considered my weekly grocery shopping as exercise as I would require about 90 minutes to complete. 
I think the strategy works very good for me. It's not my original, I got it from here and there, including from my mentor in the Bye-bye Big Challenge and The Happiness Project. But it works... At least now I go to gym 3-4 times a week. :)

Monday, January 16, 2012

My January Resolution: Myself!

I had decided that my first resolution for My Happiness Project is Taking Care of Myself!
I found that if I thought I looked good, I feel my mood is up. If I thought I looked like mess, then I would feel a bit low. So I made a formula:
HAPPY <= Good Mood <= Look Good <= Take Care of Myself
So, to be happy, I have to take care about myself a little bit better. :)
Frankly, I'm not a stylish person that have to have matching appearance from top to toe. It's actually the other way around. Most of the time I forgot to clean up before sleeping. I only have 1 pair of shoes and 1 nice bag for work. I do like putting make up, but a very basic one. Since this month, as my resolution is to take care of myself, I decided to put extra care for myself, my body, my health and my appearance.
So my January resolution focus is:
  • Exercise regularly, minimum of 30 minutes and no 2 days gone by without exercise.
  • Only eat when I'm hungry. Only eat inspiring food. Eat it mindfully.
  • Start a ritual before sleeping -- to clean and to care.
  • Put on my make up before I go. And... never forget to put on lipstick.
As a very wise lady said:  
Put on some make up, to cheer you up! 
*btw, that lady is my 62-years old mom, who still looked young and chic*

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Starting My Happiness Project

Two weeks ago, I found a very interesting book, The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. 

This book was accidentally found. My hubby picked me up after work, and while waiting for me, he went to the bookstore at the mall below my office. I met him there and joined him in skimming through the racks of books. 

When we're about to pay, somehow my eyes were attracted my the title of the book. The Happiness Project. It feels so familiar. When I checked on the author, I vaguely remembered that I followed her twitter account. So I checked on my twitter, and right... I had followed @gretchenrubin. Am so excited, so I just bought the book.

Later that night, I started to read... and read... and read... During the readings, I went back and forth to check on her sites, The Happiness Project and The Happiness Project Toolbox. The Happiness Project, is all about how to be a happier person. In this book, Gretchen shared about her 1-year journey of finding happiness. It took you through month by month details, on how you can set your resolution to be happier, and more importantly on how to KEEP YOUR RESOLUTION (which very difficult for me, to be honest). 

I was so excited reading this book, I could hardly put it down. You're not necessarily be a depressed person to be happier. It's a way to celebrate all the blessings that you had. I do think that I have been blessed with so many things in life by God, but in my day today life, somehow every now and then I could get grumpy and snap easily. 

This book was striking me from the moment I read it, and that night I just decided I had to start my own Happiness Project. It's a perfect time. It's January, I had not made any resolution, and I do want to be a better person in life. A person who is grateful with what she has and bring happiness to those surrounds them.

Now, am ready to start my Happiness Project! And this blog will be the witness of my journey in becoming a better, and more grateful person. 

*sitting at my dining table on the back porch, having a warm coffee on my side and my book and computer in front of me, looking at the rain pouring my green backyard. I just realized how blessed I am... And this made me happy*