Wednesday, May 31, 2017

the good, the bad, and finding a balance

Oooo, Abby was bad. *hangs my head* I went a week without working out. I could feel my back start hurting again, felt it in my body, but still didn't. But... I had two incredible brainstorms - the Hallow's End trilogy, which I've got outlined and bubbling about in my head, and the working title Seduced by His Song - about a singer/actor (think Justin Timberlake) who sleeps with a bartender (Sean and Jessica have slowly built up a sort of relationship over five years) who is caught in his hotel room the next morning - because he raved about his 'incredible night' on a radio program after he'd checked out. (Yup, inspired by Orlando Bloom's encounter). This is seriously the most flowing story I've done since Model Fantasy, which I wrote in the week between Christmas and New Year's.

Soooo - June is going to be all about finding balance in everything. What will help is being able to take 2 1/2 weeks of vacation from the day job and I can focus on writing and not juggling everything about real life. It's really what I'd like to do every day of my life and is my dream.

This is the plan (subject as always to the voices in my head!) - I'll get up at the usual work time - about 6am. Put on the workout clothes as soon as my feet hit the floor, take care of the cats, have a half cup of coffee while doing that, and do a workout - the workouts are going to be mostly Denise Austin's DVDs and some yoga thrown in. Which means by 8am, 830 at the latest, I should be at the computer ready to write. Writing until the stomach says 'yo, we're a bit empty down here', take a short break, and back to writing. Now, I've found that sometimes I need an exercise break, so I might pull on the sneakers and hit the treadmill for 15 minutes or so. And write all afternoon.

When the voices let up or the back screams 'enough!', I'll stop for the evening, do some sun salutations to stretch out (closely supervised by my cat yogis, mais oui), and relax a bit.

Now, this current inspiration - Sam Claflin is the model for the hero - Sean Livingston. No 'star' for the heroine - I have a perfume ad of a brunette up on the wall. Sean is a superstar - his ex-wife says he has three redeeming qualities - situational awareness of when to keep his mouth shut isn't one of them though. Jessica has worked in the super ritzy London hotel since she was eighteen, working her way from dining room waitress to assistant bartender/private room manager in five years. She has a few secrets that trickle out! Jess is one of the few Sean trusts - he knows she's figured a few things out about him, but has never said a word to the tabloids. When his foot-in-mouth moment lands her in trouble, Sean sweeps her off to a Caribbean island and a few other places. (I'm talking super steamy just about everywhere when these two are in the same room!) Oh, I've also got a few pics of couples horizontal on the beach and am playing Chris Isaacs' Wicked Games quite a bit!

Now, off to the day job, while the voices keep going...

Sunday, May 21, 2017

making progress day by day

Three weeks in and I'm rather proud of myself. I'm doing bellydance five days a week - Tuesdays and Thursdays are my early days in to the day-job so if I hit the snooze button I don't beat myself up about it. I keep a pair of sneakers and socks at the office and make sure I get in at least a 20 minute walk at lunch. The other five days, I do at least two DVDs, so an hour or so of dance on those days. I'm watching my portions, trying to cut out the sweets (that's a continuing battle!), and drinking water like a fish.

I've noticed a few things. As I mentioned on facebook, my hips and lower back aren't hurting as much. Bellydancing has really helped there. I didn't start out going full-tilt with the shimmies and hip circles, but gave my body a week or so to adjust and loosen up. And it's paying off. Before starting, I was in what I call constant awareness of pain in my back. Constantly going to the doctor... well, I don't have time for that, or the money. I am extremely reluctant to take pain meds of any sort. (I take a Claritin and my brain is fuzzy for hours, as if wrapped in cotton.) Yoga has helped in the past but I think I've found something that really works for me. Even if I don't lose any weight or inches, the decreasing pain and discomfort more than makes up for it.

Now, I am hoping I lose some weight and inches, of course. I took my measurements on May 1 and will take them again on the first day of summer. I'll post them so that accountability is helping me stick to it. 😃  No pictures though. I'm not that bold.

I've been going through drawers and the closet - lingerie, socks and workout clothes were done last week. Work/casual clothes the week before. It's so lovely to open up doors and drawers and know that what I'm looking at fits, is ready to wear and are things I want to wear. I'm still a bit amazed that I had so many socks that were that worn down in the heels, or how much I had that had elastic that was so stretched out. Those things alone were taking up so much room!

Then last week, things came to a semi-screeching halt - BRAINSTORM! The images, the voices, the characters - they took over and last Saturday I wrote. This week, if I was home, I wrote. I still got my dance in, and took care of the cats, but that's it. Writing Annie and Charlie's story was an obsession. Last Saturday I beat my personal record for daily word count - 11k in 33 pages. I'm absolutely loving this story - triplets, a mysterious town with a magical history, witches and ghosts, murder and sex. The hero is a NYC cop who moves to Hallow's End to escape his pain and the heroine is a triplet who comes into her magical inheritance. It's part of a series and the other two in the triplets are getting their stories ready.

Have a lovely week!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Reflection of the week

You know the saying 'attitude determines altitude'? Well, the words you use really influence your attitude altitude. That hit home in a big way this week. I was determined to fit in my workouts, at least one 30 minute session each day. The first couple days, I was like 'Ugh! I have to do my workouts. I have to get up earlier. I'm tired after work and I still have to do my workout.' By Tuesday night, I was worried that I wouldn't get through the first week, let alone to summer.
So, I started telling myself - I get to get up and dance. I get to go home and dance. 

Wednesday, I rolled over, ready to hit the snooze button and told myself 'get up to dance.'
Thursday night (I had to go in early), on the bus, I kept telling myself - you get to go home and dance.' Saying that, instead of 'workout', well, it worked.

Some people love workouts and have no problem calling them that. A sister-in-law is one of those people. She loves doing her workouts no matter what the time of day. I have to trick myself. That's okay. I got the workouts dances in and felt better both physically and mentally. Calling it dance changed how I looked at it.

Now, if it can just change my waistline by a couple inches...

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Self Spring Cleaning

I've cleaned and cleaned, scrubbed the walls, sprayed at stains on the carpets, shaken cat hair out of blankets and curtains and washed them, and ... time to spring clean ME. I decided to do this over the weekend, laying out my plan - diet, exercise, clothes. Little bits at a time so by summer in SIX weeks, a happier, calmer, maybe a few pounds lighter Abby can greet the warmer weather.

First up - food and drink - the first thing to go was my glass of wine in the evening. Empty calories add up and I've no room for that! I pulled out (most) of the junk food, keeping a little for treats and putting them in inconvenient places - ice cream buried in the freezer and cookies way up on a top cabinet shelf (I'm short and getting to them will be a pain). Next came really thinking and planning out my weekly meals - I spent an hour or so on Sunday chopping, grating and dicing peppers, mushrooms and veggies while cooking mini ears of corn, a bag of brown rice and baking chicken breasts. I love a bit of salmon mixed in my scrambled eggs so I chopped that as well, plus spinach. Now - no excuses for not eating good-for-me food. I'm drinking water like crazy - at least 8 oz every hour. I'm looking at the frequent bathroom breaks as adding steps to my daily total. :)

Second was exercise. I'll be honest here - I get bored REALLY easily when it comes to exercise. All those long programs by the fitness experts? Yeah, they're great, but by the second or third week (I've managed to get that far a couple times) I'm bored and thinking 'what's next?' Especially the ones that repeat the same routine every day - really? BORING! I flipped through the binders (yes, multiple) of the exercise DVDs I have and decided to focus on bellydance for at least six weeks - I have the BellyTwins and Rania Bossonis. Through in some yoga and maybe some walking (Leslie Sansone's Punch up your Walk - four miles is a fave), and I figured there would be enough variety to keep even my hop-skipping brain engaged. Soooo - I started Monday with Rania's Hip Hop Hip Drop. That was enough to make me realize I needed to do this slowly or my back would go 'nope, no good. We're outta here.' I walked 20 minutes at work on Tuesday and this morning I did the BellyTwins' Basic Moves and then Hip Drop. Much better. I'm going to do those this week to get the body 'warmed up and ready' and hopefully not let enthusiasm get the best of me.

Third - clothes - sigh. And shoes. Double sigh. But  really, I don't need or wear stuff from five years ago? It's in the way and I can't get to (or see) what I really want to wear. Or can. (I've still got a bit of winter poundage to lose.) The plan - every time I see something in the wardrobe or drawers that I haven't worn in a couple years, can't wear or am 90% sure I won't wear, it goes in a blue plastic bag. Same for shoes. Right now, I have a bag full of shoes and a half-full bag of clothes. Goodwill will love me in a couple weeks!

So, would you like to join me? Let's Spring Clean ourselves and get ready for summer!