Sunday, August 30, 2009

Know What Your Time Is Worth

I now exercise about 6.5 hours a week. An hour each weekday morning, plus an hour walk with a friend and another 30 minute walk with another friend. We all have 24 hours in a day, and I believe we should use them to our benefit. So, for your enjoyment, things I am happy to skip in order to exercise:

1. Watching TV
2. Surfing the Internet
3. Checking Twitter
4. Stressing out about stuff
5. Talking on the phone
6. Sleeping late
7. Fancy and elaborate outfits/make-up application
8. Hanging out at happy hour/drinking beers for hours.
9. Hanging out at coffee shops for hours.

How about you? Is there something you can give up in order to get moving?

I promise you that it will be worth it.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Know Your Goal

Yesterday, I met with my trainer, Kara Carlson, of Northwest Personal Training for the 2nd (official) time. I'd been working hard for the last 4 weeks, even when I was in pain (non-exercise related). My clothes were getting too big, I could both feel and see myself getting smaller, so I was not at all concerned when the scale showed no weight difference from last month. Kara did the measurements of my body, and reported that I had lost from 1/2 to 1 inch everywhere she measured (and she measures lots of places). That I had reduced my body fat by 2%, and that my blood pressure and pulse rate had all gone down. All good news.

I think she worried that I would be discouraged that I hadn't met my goal weight for the month, but I was not. My true goal is to make exercise a daily habit, and in that arena I have succeeded with flying colors. Even when I wasn't feeling well, I made myself get up and exercise. It's become addictive, it's become a craving. It is part of me now and I never want to let it go.

So today, per Kara's suggestions I increased my outdoor walking routine from 30 minutes to a full 60. As I hit my second loop of the hill, my glutes were burning, my heart was pounding and I thought to myself. "This is really fucking hard."

But for that hour I felt strong, I felt energized and I felt alive.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Laugh At The Labels

The business world is full of acronyms and phrases and lots of them make no sense. Years ago, I thought an elevator speech was called an elevator speech because the networking group I was in made you stand up when you did it.

When I heard about a SCRUM, my first thought went to rugby. Not a bad guess, since that is exactly where the term is "stolen" from.

And until recently, I misunderstood the phrase (about motivation): carrot and stick. I pictured a carrot tied to the stick, and placed just out of reach of the person, in order to urge them to move ahead. When it fact, it means to reward the good behavior (yum! carrot!) and punish (fwap! ouch!) the bad.

I think I misunderstood the carrot and stick idiom because I believe that if you praise the good behavior, offer helpful comments, have a clear vision for your team, and work hard, the punishment phase is not needed.

So, go ahead and laugh at all the labels that have been created to help our companies (the consultants and authors that keep making them up sure are. all the way to the bank in fact.) Just remember to treat others the way that you want to be treated. Nothing else really matters.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Consider Your Entire Environment

A few weeks back, I had to head in to Portland, OR at night to attend Green Drinks (a green networking event). Normally I try to group my Portland visits together, but in this case I only had one event to go to. I had a few options on how to get to Portland. I could drive my compact car a mere 15 minutes, park outside Ecotrust (look Spencer, it's one word!) and then drive home after the event. Or I could drive 5 minutes to the MAX (subway) station, take a 30 minute trip to downtown Portland, then take the Portland Streetcar another 20 minutes to the stop near Ecotrust.

Now granted, I'd love to not put another car on the road, but Vancouver, Portland, you are not making this easy for me! In fact, you are actually making it harder for me to take public transportation. And since I am currently reading Fight Back: Arm Yourself with Mental and Physical Self-Defense by Dominick DiVito, I was also very aware of another environment: my physical one.

If I parked at the park and ride at the MAX station, because of the time, I would probably have to park at the overflow parking lot. And while lit, it is across a busy street from the MAX station and is not patrolled. Not really a place I want to be by myself at 9pm at night.

So I drove in to Portland. And felt with every thread of my being that yes, I did the best thing possible for the environment.

Friday, August 14, 2009

See It Through To The End

A few summers ago, Martin and I decided to watch Richard Wagner's The Ring Cycle (Der Ring des Nibelungen). Our library had the complete set of the Metropolitan Opera's performance. So we watched it. All 7 discs. All 14 1/2 hours of it. (Not all at once of course.)

It was a wonderful experience. I hadn't heard that much German since my honeymoon (only this had subtitles!!!), and I finally understood what Valhala meant. I enjoyed making Martin sick by saying, "Hey! I know this music. It's from that Pork commercial! (or) It's from that Bugs Bunny sketch!" And of course, I enjoyed using the word "Fafner" in a fun new way. (Sorry, but what happens on the racquetball court, stays on the racquetball court.)

So this summer, it's Bond. James Bond. All 22 of them. It's been truly fascinating to watch Bond evolve. We've learned a lot along the way. For instance, James Bond actually gets married (albeit quite briefly). Although, I've seen enough women saying, "Oh, James" to last a lifetime, and I'm kind of sick of shark tanks, it's been a great run. Plus, I realized that the bathing suit that Daniel Craig wears in Casino Royale

Oh, sorry. Got distracted there for a minute....

Right, so the shorts that DC wears are almost identical to the ones that Sean Connery wears in Thunderball. (Sorry, couldn't find a picture.)

I'm not sure what we will do next summer, I think we are running out of outrageously long series to watch on DVD. Any suggestions?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Know Your Limit

Some might say that I like Kashi's food a little too much (but that's just because he wants more of the cookies). I can't help it if I love their TLC: Stoneground 7 Grain party crackers and their TLC: Oatmeal Dark Chocolate cookies. And the fact that they are based in La Jolla, CA, hometown of some of my family, and the town next to where I used to live, sure doesn't hurt.

But apparently I do draw a line. I went online to see if I could find coupons for Kashi and I found that Kashi has it's own online community. Um, ok. I guess I should applaud them for trying to expand their market, drawing in users, and making what really is just a series of ads, in to a social networking site. But I'm not signing up for anything just to get a few coupons.

So, Kashi community, you go ahead, spend your time answering quizzes, and learning about boosting calcium.

I'm gonna go take my cookie and sit outside.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Immerse Yourself

Ok, to be fair, if I heard that someone read 18 books on a particular subject, I might think they were a bit obsessed. But since, that someone is ME, I will say that rather than obsessed, I am a voracious researcher. (Yeah, I like that!)

So yes, I've read 18 books about sustainability consulting, eco-efficiency, green living, etc. I've learned a lot, and I'm also astounded at the number of books on the market in this genre. I keep reading them, but I keep finding more. As with most books, I get them from the library. And whatever books I request, that can't be found either at my library or through interlibrary loan, the library ends up buying. So now, the Fort Vancouver Washington Library system has quite an extensive green collection. (You are welcome.)

The problem with reading 18 books about a particular subject is that you tend to read the same thing over and over. But I soldier on (and heavily skim) because I like hearing different voices talk about the same subject. And sometimes they disagree (I like that the best!).

So, I have to go now. There are two books waiting for me on the bedside table, and 2 more being held for me at the library. Must. Continue. On.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Be An Attention Whore. (Or Not.)

As you know, I joined an online DVD swapping service called SwapADVD. Since I had some extra credits, and since I was curious, I ordered Carmen Electra's Aerobic Striptease.

I knew that the DVD had zero aerobic attributes, I wanted to see the striptease part. I find Carmen Electra intoxicating at times, and I wanted to see if I could learn anything useful from her. And by god, I did.

Five Things I Learned From Carmen Electra
Subtitled: How To Make Sure Everyone Looks At You, You, You, All the Time.

1. Hi-light your favorite body parts with your clothing.

It's hard to ignore breasts that are clothed in a white top with a black mesh top very tightly layered over.

2. Put Your Hands Where You Want People To Look

She constantly moves her hands: in her hair, along the curves of her body, constantly, constantly, almost frantically moving them.

3. Need More Attention? Make Some Noise.
She makes you slap your butt at least 3,000 times in the video. At first, I was very annoyed by this but then realized that the noise immediately draws your attention.

4. Always Have A Plan
Everything she does, is choreographed. If she gets on the floor, she has a graceful way to get up. The only problem is, that once you realize this, she starts to resemble a really boring robot.

5. Music Makes It Complete
Watching the routines without the music is excruciating, and not just because she makes you do the routines over, and over,and over. Once the music is added, it becomes much more lifelike and convincing.

While I did learn some things from the DVD (gotta make everything edu-macational), I have no interest in pursuing them. So, I put the DVD back up on SwapADvd and someone has already requested it.

So, Jennifer C., good luck. I hope that Carmen doesn't bore you as much as she did me.