Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Listening To The Universe

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not religious in the least. I do not believe in God. I believe in religion even less. However, I do believe in “The Force.” That is, I believe in an energy which connects every living thing across time and space. Further, I think that this force speaks to us, guides us and protects us.
It was pointed out to me this evening that I am extraordinarily stubborn. Much to my chagrin, I have to admit that this is a fairly accurate statement. I have been injured in one way or another for quite some time now.  At best, I have ignored these injuries and at worst, I have complained about them bitterly. I supposed it’s not surprising then that these injuries, which started out somewhat mild, have progressed to the point where I have to choice but to address them.

I think that the Universe has been trying to tell me to slow down and take care of myself and my body. I think it started out as a whisper and I ignored it. After all, I am pretty stubborn.  Now that whisper is more like a bad 80’s hair band playing in my living room.  I have no choice but to listen.

So, I’m listening. I am going to start looking at my injuries differently. That is, not as the bane of my existence, but as an opportunity to take care of myself and start healing my body. After my last post, I took 30 minutes to stretch and I’m surprised at how much better it made me feel. Not only did it make my body feel better, but it calmed my mind too. Considering that my stress level has been rising at a break neck speed, as evidenced by what feels like rocks in my back, I need to relax.  Big time.

I’m not any good at this. I don’t know how to relax. I don’t know how to slow down. I’ve never been able to meditate and any time I start a stretching or yoga program I do it for a day, two at most, and revert to my old ways.  At this point, this kind of behavior is no longer an option. I hurt all over. My left foot, my right ankle, my right knee, my hips, my lower back, my mid back, my upper back, both of my shoulders, and my neck hurt. I can’t live like this.

What, exactly, am I going to do about it? First and foremost I’m going to take better care of my body. I’m going to look for a decent yoga class to go to once, but ideally twice a week. Once upon a time, I did have one I liked to go to, and it did wonders for my body and mind. I’m going to stretch on my own for 60-90 minutes a day. Yes, that’s a long time, but right now I have that kind of time and no excuse not to do it. I will also continue to, or rather be more consistent about icing, massaging, and stretching my left foot. Second, I’m going to clean up my diet. My diet is not all that bad right now, but it could be better. Wheat bloats me to no end and makes me feel puffy and soft. Wheat is out. I often try to avoid it, but have been backsliding a lot lately. Also, my alcohol consumption has been slowly but surely increasing over the course of the last 3 weeks.  I tend to drink less when I’m exercising regularly and since I haven’t been doing that I’ve been drinking more. This has got to stop. I make the worst decisions about what to eat when I’ve been drinking. So, I’m going back to my old stand-by rule for alcohol: no more than 2 in a night an no more than 4 in a week. Finally, I haven’t been drinking nearly enough water – back to 2-3 liters a day.

I could probably use to do more, but this is enough for now and a darn good start. I just hope the Universe agrees.

Puddle of Misery

I haven’t posted in a long time. This is why.

I am working on various projects around the house – all in various stages of completion, but none of them far enough along to post about. I’m hoping that a few of them will come together soon so that I can share what I’ve been working on. Seems like even the smallest projects take forever to complete.

In other news, I’m rather depressed. I missed going to my chiropractor last week because I was in all day workshops in Florence last week. I thought that keeping off of my feet would help the plantar fasciitis, but it is worse this week, even though I wear my new tennis shoes with special insoles religiously. I’m really frustrated with it. I haven’t had a workout in over 3 weeks! I feel like if my stupid foot is going to hurt like this I might as well be high on some exercise endorphins. See, I’ve recently come off of one of the two anti-depressants that I was on, Zoloft. Exercising really helps with the depression and not being able to work out is making me pretty miserable. Not to mention flabby. And as if that wasn’t enough, my right knee is starting to hurt from trying to keep my weight off of my left leg. I feel like my body is just breaking down on me! I’m only 37 years old. WTH?? I don’t know how much more of this I can take. I know that being on my feet working on my house is probably what is making my foot worse, but I can’t just lie around! It would probably be in my best interest to just go into work every day and sit at my desk 10 hours a day. But summer II starts in 2.5 weeks and once that happens I know I won’t have any time to work on the house at all.

So, that’s it. I’m a puddle of misery today. Most days I don’t feel quite so bad, but seems like today I’m having myself a little pity party. It happens to the best of us, right?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Upstairs Bedroom Makeover - Progress

This is what the upstairs bedroom looked like before I started working on it. None of this furniture is mine, these are photos from when the previous owner still occupied the house.

Yikes, right? Obviously, the mural had to go. The bedroom is medium sized, but has low ceilings and is oddly shaped. I wanted to open it up and at the same time give it some personality and impact. The blue paint, even though it's light, does not open up the room the way you'd hope. And the low, angled ceilings make it look dark and gloomy. Just in case you missed the glow-in-the-dark stars stuck to the ceiling, here is a close up.

Of the two upstairs bedrooms, this one has the least amount of closet space. Since closet space is scarce in this house, I decided that this room should be the guest bedroom. I live near Myrtle Beach, so I expect to (more like would like to) have multiple guests in the future and I thought it would be nice to be able to sleep more than one person in this room. Lucky for me, the previous owners conveniently left two twin beds when they moved out.

In the unlucky column goes the framing around the windows. All three windows are in this condition. It makes me want to rip my hair out. Even though I love fixing this place up, I hate the part where I have to go back and fix all the stupid shit other people have done to it.  After much debate, I decide to just leave the molding alone and reframe the windows at a later date, i.e. when I have the money to do it.

Now, for the fun part! Seeing some progress! I agonized over what color to paint this room and finally settled on "Tranquility" by Valspar. I like this color so much, I'm going to use it in the master bedroom, too. I think that it makes the room look like a little jewel box and I love it. I'm really happy about the decision to take the wall color all the way up the angled portion of the ceiling. I think it makes room appear taller and less crowded.

Although you can't see it in these pictures (which is probably a good thing, because it's not done yet, shhhh!), I painted the ceiling in Valspar's "Botanical Bath," which is a very pale green. I've never painted a ceiling before and I really like the effect. I'll post pictures that show the ceiling when I get around to replacing the flush mount light. Until then, you'll just have to trust me that it looks great. The trim color is Olympic's "Delicate White." I used the same color on the dresser and I'm going to use it throughout the entire house.  It's slightly shy of pure white - just enough to take the glare off.

The best part is that all of the furniture in this room was free! The beds were left by the previous owners (I just updated the bedding) and the dresser, too.  The bedside table was a gift from a friend's move. Both the dresser and bedside table were updated by yours truly.  You can read about the Bedside Table Makeover here and the Dresser Project here (I'll put a link in when it's finished).

It's not perfect, but it is definitely progress! Here is what is left on the to do list for this room:
  • Rip down the old molding around the windows, replace it with new wood and paint it.
  • Window treatments! I'm thinking roman bamboo shades and airy white curtains.
  • Trade out the old sockets (they've been painted over!) and light switch for new ones.
  • Replace the outlet covers with new ones that have a satin nickel finish, which goes really well with the new paint color.
  • Finish painting the ceiling! I really wanted to get it all done before I moved in the furniture, but things don't always happen the way that you want them to.
  • Replace the yellow lamp with one that has a glass base and a white shade.
  • Hang some art or a mirror on the walls. Really, my only big complaint about the room now is that it is a wee bit stark.
  • Strip the doors of their old paint and repaint them to match the trim. This, actually, is going to be another project all on it's own, which I'll get to (hopefully) before the summer is over.
  • Replace the ceiling light! I'm thinking of something like this to finish off the jewel box feel I'm going for.
The room is a long way from finished (is anything ever finished?), but I feel like it's come a long way from where it started. 

    Friday, June 3, 2011

    Sexy Back & Shoulders

    Vertical Push/Pull

    Super Set - 5 sets, 5 reps, 311 tempo, 90 seconds rest
    A1. Parallel Grip Pull Ups: BWx3, -40x5, -25x5, -25x5, -25x5
    A2. Seated Dumbbell Presses: 25x5, 30x5, 30x5, 30x5, 30x5

    Super Set - 3 sets, 8 reps, 301 tempo, 60 seconds rest
    B1. Pull Downs: 90x8, 90x7, 80x8
    B2. Seated Arnold Presses: 20x8, 20x8, 20x8

    Body Rock Style: 4 minutes, 6 rounds of 30:10 intervals
    C. Side Crunch
        Right Side: 14, 14, 14
        Left Side: 13, 14, 14

    Thursday, June 2, 2011

    Weight Workouts Are EASY!

    These are the first weight workouts that I've done in over 2 months. I held back a little the first day because I didn't want killer DOMS. Turns out I didn't get sore at all from it. Looks like the Body Rock workouts have kept me in excellent shape for traditional weight lifting workouts.

    Tuesday, May 31st - Horizontal Push/Pull

    Super Set - 5 sets, 5 reps, 311 temp, 90 seconds rest
    A1. T-Bar Rowns: 30x5, 35x5, 35x5, 35x5, 35x5
    A2. Flat Dumb Bell Press: 25x5, 30x5, 30x5, 30x5, 30x5

    Super Set - 3 sets, 8 reps, 301 tempo, 60 seconds rest
    B1. Cable Row: 60x8, 70x8, 80x8
    B2. Incline Dumb Bell Press: 20x8, 20x8, 25x8

    3 sets, 12 reps, 321 tempo, 60 seconds rest
    C. Buso Ball Crunches: 12x12, 12x12, 12x12

    Wednesday, June 1st - Light Legs/Arms

    Super Set - 3 sets, 10 reps, 301 tempo, 60 seconds rest
    A1. Leg Extensions: 50x8, 70x8, 70x8
    A2. Lying Hamstring Curls: 40x8, 45x8, 50x8

    Superset - 5 sets, 5 reps, 311 tempo, 90 seconds rest
    B1. Seated Dumbbell Curls: 20x5, 25x5, 25x5, 25x5, 25x5
    B2. Dips: BWx5, BWx5, BWx5, BWx5, BWx5

    Superset - 3 sets, 8 reps, 301 tempo, 60 seconds rest
    C1. EZ-Bar Curls: 26x8, 26x8, 36x8
    C2. EZ-Bar Lying Tricep Extensions: 26x8, 26x8, 36x8

    My back and chest didn't get sore at all, but my arms are pretty shot from yesterday. These workouts feel super easy after Body Rock. I'll have to push harder next time.