Fave Reads Friday #16 – Summer Reading in Full Swing

Today is the first day of the Summer Reading Program at our local library. They’re doing a big kickoff party tomorrow that we’re going to, but today is the “OFFICIAL” start date. My kids got out of school last week though, so we’ve already been reading. They’re working on the Mensa for Kids’ Excellence in Reading List for K-3rd grade as it encompasses their current reading levels and ages. I’m working my way through the list of books I’ve “saved for later” at the library.

So far I’ve finished three books since I finished teaching for the semester…..

Continue reading “Fave Reads Friday #16 – Summer Reading in Full Swing”

Fave Reads Friday #15 – Devoured

Things I write about from time to time are the food that I eat and the books that I read and occasionally books about about food. Back in March and April when I was traveling a ton for NETA I was able to get some serious reading done. One book I completely destroyed in a single weekend was Devoured: How What We Eat Defines Who We Are by Sophie Egan.

 

Continue reading “Fave Reads Friday #15 – Devoured”

Fave Reads Friday #14 – May I Be Happy

The last time I wrote a Fave Reads Friday post was in August 2018…..it’s been awhile. And now I just finished reading a book (another one about happiness, but oddly not Gretchen Rubin). This time the book was called May I Be Happy: A Memoir of Love, Yoga and Changing My Mind by Cyndi Lee who also wrote Yoga Body, Buddha Mind (something else I think I might want to read).

In the book there is a story of Buddha. The story talks of Buddha’s ascetic practices and how he eventually learns that

…torturing the body wasn’t the way to relieve suffering, after all. (p.63)

Continue reading “Fave Reads Friday #14 – May I Be Happy”

Fave Reads Friday #14 – Fiction, Comedy, and a Bit of Reality

Do you ever forget to hit the publish button on your blog? That’s what happened to me on Wednesday, but I’m not letting hit happen today! It’s been over two months since I last posted a Fave Reads Friday; and almost as long since I wrote about what I was reading. There’s been a few different directions my reading has taken me, so let’s jump right in to the list! Continue reading “Fave Reads Friday #14 – Fiction, Comedy, and a Bit of Reality”

Fave Reads Friday #13 – Defining Yourself

I’m reading a lot this summer. I find it easier to encourage the kids to complete their summer reading if I’m also doing my own. One book that I needed to read this summer was Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin. If you’ve read my blog over the last few years you’ve probably heard all about many of her books by now (just click her tag at the bottom of this post), but reading Happier at Home was like a refresher from The Happiness Project.

The big take-away for me in this summer of turmoil is that I need to just be me to be happy. It’s okay that I’m different from a lot of my friends and definitely my family. I have to stop letting the way others label me define how I feel about myself. I need to just go back to doing my thing in order to be my best me. Continue reading “Fave Reads Friday #13 – Defining Yourself”

Work as Play

I’ve started reading through the information on the Playing/Working dimension on the Wellness Inventory….have no clue as to what I’m talking about? Read here.

And I started to think about how grateful I am that my work is play to me. My work with students, with my children, with teaching in all aspects is enjoyable to me. When I workout I always feel like I’m doing something fun….or else I just don’t do it. Not everyone is that lucky in life to have chosen a career or a job that allows them to do something they find to be play each day.

Our snowman on day two

The new semester is starting for me tomorrow and I did spend a little time this week complaining about all of the “set up” for classes. But that’s because I’m sooooo excited to get to the “doing” part. I’m also ready for this miniscule amount of snow to be gone so that the whole town is no longer shut down!

This past week we went outside and played in the snow. I did notice that I had forgotten what to do with such little amounts of snow….I threw a few snowballs, attempted to make a small snowman, helped my kids make snow angels, watched my hubby pull the kids on the boogie board (we don’t have a sled here), and pretty much enjoyed watching them be kids. Play for kids is different than play for adults.

I just finished reading a great book by Robin Hemley called Do-Over! Instead of writing a Fave Reads Friday post about it at this time, I’m just going to tell you two things:

  1. Read it! I totally had LOL moments while reading this book…
  2. And, the main take away (for me at least) is that it’s okay to make mistakes in life and that being an “Adult” is a very fluid idea.

For me, a lot of my work is play. For me play is working out and reading and writing and interacting with others. It doesn’t always involve jump ropes and swings and games of tag, but sometimes it does. It doesn’t always mean sleeping in and eating cookies (although I did my fair share of that over the last few weeks). I think I have the hardest time with Play/Work balance because I enjoy the work I do so much and because I view it as play. How about you?

What is the hardest part of Play/Work balance for you? How do you view your work? How do you view exercise?

Want a little more on the subject? Check out these articles from Fit is a Feminist Issue:

Walking Dogs and Rewards for Writing

New strategy: Using activity and workouts as a reward

Fave Reads Friday #12 – Health, Happiness, and Habits

It’s FRIDAY! Although my Friday is not going as originally planned, I’m just sticking with it and seeing what happens. I keep ticking off things on my list and that’s what’s going to get me through the day. That’s part of my work on my HABITS.

One of the things on my list today was to read through an IDEA Fitness Journal because I’ve started to accumulate a pile of them again. I grabbed the top one which happened to be October 2017 and started to flip through. Things I highlighted for today:

And, more pointedly, should we think of exercise as a weight loss drug?

The answer to the last question, according to Yoni Freedhoff, MD, is no. “Exercise is not a weight loss drug, and so long as we continue to push exercise primarily (and sadly sometimes exclusively) in the name of preventing or treating adult or childhood obesity, we’ll also continue to shortchange the public about the genuinely incredible health benefits of exercise, and simultaneously, misinform them about the realities of long-term weight management.”

~ Beyond weight loss: The many benefits of exercise by Tom Richards

SO TRUE! I am tired of hearing about exercise for weight-loss. I only want to teach people about all of the other great reasons to get up and move!

What does a 19-year-old have in common with a 60-year-old? Both achieve about the same amount of weekly activity, according to new research.

~ Lifetime Physical Activity Trends; Making News by Ryan Halvorson

I stress this so often to my students right now….we’re not thinking long term. Why are we not moving now and later? I keep kicking my kids out of the house to get more movement. I encourage my college-aged students to move around more. I am moving as much as I ever have….why? Because I don’t want to lose the ability to do that and to be independent when I’m older! It’s not just a now or then thing….it’s an always.

Perishable edibles such as dairy, vegetables and fruits are tossed at particularly high rates, leading to significant losses of underconsumed nutrients.

~Time to Eat Your Compost; Food for Thought

This is not the case at our house currently. Although we get the occasional bag of whole carrots that will go bad before we can get to them….I’ve noticed that our compost bin is containing less and less wasted foods now that we’re eating less processed foods, less animal products, and (because I have less time to make them) less baked goods.

And finally, there was an article on Why Modern Diets are Lacking (a fitness handout provided by IDEA) that noted

First of all, remember there are no superfoods, but there are staple foods high in nutrients…

Focus on getting a variety of foods…..

I’m not all about diets and weight-loss…I’m all about moving and feeling great; fueling my body; and living the best life I can. With all of that in mind, my habits are keeping me on track for this. And if you need some ideas for easy ways to make yourself happier, check out my favorite read from Amanda’s TOLT link-up this week:

How to (Quickly) Become Happier in 10 Aspects of Life

 

What’s the best thing you read this week?

Fave Reads Friday #11 – Better Than Before

This is by no means my last post on the subject of habits. I have found this topic of Gretchen Rubin’s much easier to embrace than the idea of a Happiness Project…..it probably has to do a lot with my personality.

She ends this book with a story of how her youngest daughter wrote a sequel to a novel that Rubin enjoys. She titled it Every Day Life in Utopia (also the last chapter title in Rubin’s book). This is my ideal as well. I want to live the life I want to live and to be happier and more efficient in it.

The last section of Better Than Before talks about Clarity, Identity, and Other People and brought up a lot of great questions for me. Like, Is a habit important because everyone else thinks it is or because I think it is? This was a hard one for me because, as a Fitness Professional, there’s a lot of things that I promote for others to do. Where does this information come from? The heads of my industry. But, I also tell people all of the time that they need to find what works for them….find clarity.

Also on the topic of clarity, can I choose to do something that’s right for me, but also meets the needs of others? Super hard for me to do because I’m an Obliger and this means that I always want to do what’s best for others before I worry about doing what’s best for me. It ties into identity in that I identify as a giver, a mother, a planner, an organizer, etc, etc, etc.

Rubin writes about finding clarity on both the habit (good or bad) and the problem with committing to it. What value does it serve? Values are a big part of identity as well. Three quotes from this section that solidify that sentiment:

Our habits reflect our identity. p. 242

We can build our habits only on the foundation of our own nature. p.257

No simple, universal solutions exist. p. 258

Values are a big thing for me…..I feel like fundamental values of who you are don’t change much over time, but the way that you express them may. For instance, I’ve always been a feminist….my whole life! I remember hating the word “chicks” because women are not little, yellow, fluffy birds. It rubbed me the wrong way for so long when I was a teenager. I wore a Rosie the Riveter t-shirt with pride. I thought that those were the definitions of being a feminist.

Today I take a different approach. I still feel that women are equal to men, but my view on how to create equality is different. From a yoga perspective I try to find inclusivity for all instead of “fighting” for women. I work hard at what I do, support efforts of change, and teach my children that no one group is inferior because they are that group. My value hasn’t changed, my habits have.

Phrasing is also a topic on clarity that Rubin writes about. Fit is a Feminist Issue wrote recently about the phrase “Let me see what you can do”. I have been looking for an opportunity to use that in my classes, but haven’t incorporated it yet. In defining the problem with commitment to a habit, the value of the habit, and the habit itself she considers the words chosen. In personal training we tell people to consider not just what is being said, but also how it is being said (body language, tone, and the care put into the words chosen). In trying to adopt or adapt a habit phrasing can make or break you just as not being specific can sink a SMART goal.

This all leads to more questions of identity….

…..make sure that my life reflects my values. p. 256

My eternal question (and one I will continue to revisit as a part of my yoga practice of Svadhyaya) is WHO AM I? How are others affecting me and my habits? How am I and my habits affecting others? This is a big one when it comes to my children. They are developing their identity based on the world around them just as I did mine. I remember my one uncle always referring to my family as “The Loud Family” and that has definitely carried over into my life today. But, how else do I define myself and how do those definitions affect my habits?

Going forward (and trying to keep with some of the habits I’m working on) I plan to blog on Thursdays about habits and how they’re working for me or working against me. I would greatly encourage you to pick up this book from the library or bookstore and give it a read. I would love (as an Obliger) for you to comment here or on any of the other HABITS posts and join me in this discussion of habit formation.

Have a great weekend and I’ll see you on Monday for Meditation Monday!