• Are you an emotional eater?

    I used to be an emotional eater. I used to be a whole lot more emotional, really, back when teenage life was just one looooong neverending drama. And to cope, I turned to one of my biggest loves (I don’t know whether food can beat out books, but I suppose given I need one to continue physically existing, it has the edge).emotional eating

    No, these days I’ve become someone completely different. Someone I would probably hate, actually. When I’m super on edge, I’ll do two things: start writing a ranty blog post in my head, then start itching for a run. Yes, a RUN. As in physical exercise, lace on your shoes, foot in front of the other, sweating it out.

    While I can’t intellectually understand eating disorders (I mean, I understand psychologically it’s about control, but I cannot imagine ever purposely depriving myself of food. Ever) I can actually imagine becoming somewhat addicted to exercise. The endorphin high really is something. And it feels good after, unlike when you’ve stuffed yourself silly with Tim Tams and feel like making sad whale sounds while curled up on the couch. I often finish up a run feeling I could have gone on for longer, wanting to go on for longer. When I take too long a break between runs, I find myself wondering “Why didn’t I do this before?!” in the first minute after leaving the house. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

    That said, I don’t know if I can really call myself much of a runner. I run. But the reality is … Twice a week, if I’m good. More than half an hour, if I’m good. Close to an hour, if I’m REALLY good. Lots of the time I just do a few blocks. I’ve done a couple of 10k races and done well, and I’m sure I have it in me to do longer runs – but as much as I’d like to say I’d done a full or half marathon, I don’t really want to. Proper long distances and me aren’t on super buddy buddy terms. I sometimes rather stay indoors and stretch properly while using my flex belt.

    I try to mix it up and incorporate a sprint into most runs. As T says, I’m kind of fit now that I run regularly. But it’s a fun thing for me; I don’t push myself, because I don’t really want to and I don’t see the need to. I’m keeping it light and enjoyable. Is that such a bad thing? Do you push yourself physically, or do you take exercise pretty casually as well?

    But back to food. I still eat for pleasure, but I no longer use it as a comforter or a crutch (though I kind of wanted to this weekend). Over time, I’ve also stopped stuffing myself at dinner time and learned to eat more slowly. It’s a strange feeling, not being uncomfortably full at night (and sometimes I underdo it and find myself hungry again before bed). But it enables me to actually DO things after dinner, rather than being so drained of energy and motivation that I just want to veg out with a book or New Girl before rolling my ass into bed.

    Do you have a healthy relationship with food? What did it take for you to get there? And, what’s your exercise style?

  • Link love (Powered by sugar cookies and new faces)

    It’s slightly strange being on the opposite side of the fence from everyone in the northern hemisphere. You’ve all just switched your clocks around – we changed ours over a month ago (while we were on our road trip, actually. I wasn’t sure when it was all happening, but when we arrived in Queenstown and walked into the centre, the town clock displayed one time on side and another time on the other, so we figured it was all on from that night forward).

    I have to say, I’m loving the long daylight hours. I went for a post-work run the other day for the first time in months (it’s dark by the time I get home through winter). I’ve blogged before about running being the one thing I do. Getting back to it was painful, but it always is.

    And in another boost to my exercise/fitness routine, I’m finally back in the game. T only recently went back to work – a story for another post – and was off for weeks after returning from our trip. Weekday mornings, therefore, were for long lazy cuddles, rather than stretches and situps. Now, he’s gone by the time I wake up.

    This week’s links:

    Ashley has turned A Story of Debt into an e-book. Hurrah!

    Budget and the Beach guest posts at Making Sense of Cents about how being in a rush costs you money.

    The Joy of Caking has some ideas on making gifts to give.

    Athena writes about what it’s really like working for a nonprofit.

    A sappy but excellent post about blogging by Stephany.

    Musings of an Inappropriate Woman sums up things I didn’t even know I felt about writing in the first person professionally, vs writing in the first person on my blog.

    Finally, thanks to Marissa for hosting the latest carnival of personal finance and including my post on dealing with the rising cost of living.

    Happy weekends!

  • Finding your healthy balance

    I don’t drink coffee, and I don’t smoke. I rarely drink alcohol, energy drinks or fizzy drinks; I don’t eat lollies, and I’m not big on meat.

    Fresh vegetables are important components of a...

    Image via Wikipedia

    That said, I’m a fiend for sugar in most other forms (baked goods and anything chocolate), carbs and many fried foods. And I’ll confess to a weakness for Yum Yum shrimp-flavoured noodles. .

    I walk to and from work every day (20 minutes each way). I usually run twice a week (anywhere from one to 15km at a time) although this month I’ve been replacing one run with Zumba – one of my good friends is teaching free classes at Rocket Park in Mt Albert every Wednesday from 6.30pm if you’re keen. A lot of people have asked that same question so many times in the light of their hopes to finally get rid of their OCD for good. Nature Made Cures are something really coveted as it offers natural ways to cure OCD and that would entail without having any side-effects. Fortunately for you, you came into the right place here. In this article, you are going to be able to read through accounts of other OCD patients on how they were able to deal with their OCDs using natural methods that came from not-so-known medicine therapies. In this article as well you will be able to uncover ways to deal with OCD without ever having to get out from your house. Just by simply following the instructions straight and right, you will be able to get rid of your OCD in no time. Unless you have a decent tolerance to the stacks, there is no reason to increase them. Always remember that muscle mass are not more important than your life. If you have any idea about SARMs, then you should probably know that they are not equal in terms of potency, or their effectiveness in your body. Each SARM is capable of building a great physique in any way, but each of them is beneficial for a particular workout. For example, LGD4033 (Ligandrol) is very much effective in bulking whereas GW501516 (Cardarine) is regarded as the best best sarms stack for cutting. Hence, this article is divided into three different stacks that depend mainly on the results you are searching for.

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    As with most things in life, I could do more. I could exercise every day. I could give up meat entirely or go vegan. (In theory. I love cheese and yoghurt too much to seriously contemplate the latter.) Finally give blood, as it has been my goal for so long. I love detox drinks too which I am passionate about a lot. You can read this amazing guide on detox drinks for weed at 420highstreet.org .

    But I’m happy.

    What’s right for me and my body may not be right for anybody else.

    I’m one of those hateful thin people who can eat whatever she wants, so weight loss has never been a tangible motivator for me. (Apparently it’s okay for people to yell backhanded compliments at me while I’m out pounding the pavement.) I’m still yet to achieve my goal of giving blood because of my weight. So it’s got to be all me, all internally driven.

    I run to tone up and because somewhere along the way, I realised that between the panting, air-sucking and burning in my lungs, sweating it out physically felt good. I’m not saying it’s easy. But it’s worth it.

    Maybe I’m not a serious runner in some eyes because I can wear $20 Warehouse trainers and get away with it, and sometimes I only head out for a 15-minute jog. I’m okay with that – with admitting I really have no motivation to get my sweat on more often.

    I eat dessert almost every single day. And I usually have home-baked something or other for a snack at work. I still, more often than not, fail to make 5+ a day. I don’t like very many fruits and I prefer my vegetables cooked – and I need my carbs in order to keep my ridiculously fast metabolism up so I’m not scrounging around for more food every half hour. I’ve learned to like greens about 1000 times more than I did two years ago, but plant matter alone inevitably leaves me feeling hollow before long.

    Right now, this is my life. This is what my balance looks like.

  • How do you fit in exercise?

    The Tulip Stairs and lantern at the Queen's Ho...

    Stairs are your friend! Image via Wikipedia

    It’s easy to slack off in winter. Now that it’s not pitch black when I leave work, I’m hopeful soon I can start jogging home a couple of times a week. I’m not sure how much higher my odds are of being a victim of crime in the dark…but I just don’t like the dark, full stop. Nor the cold.

    It was definitely easier finding time to run when I didn’t work 9-5. Here are three ways I’m trying to get more movement into my life”

    At home: I used to do crunches religiously in high school at one point while watching TV. Nowadays I’m more likely to lounge in bed while watching movies or Bones, cuddling with T. Really, I could be using *some* of that time to practice either finger exercises or doing situps. I’ve also started doing them first thing in the morning, mainly to warm myself up in the chilly air (a flatter stomach will just be a bonus).

    At work: At first it annoyed me how far away my desk is from the kitchen and bathroom. Now I see it as a pro. Also, there are stairs in between. Do you have stairs? Take them! Faster! (Okay, it’s probably easier if you’re a child at heart and like to leap up them; it’s also hard to take three steps at a time if you’re in heels). I’m also really restless, so if you’re a fidgeter too, perhaps it’s not a bad thing – even if it annoys everybody else.

    In between: I walk to work when I can, and go out for walks at lunch sometimes. Not everyday, sadly.

    How about you? Any sneaky tips?

  • Running: My method of choice

    Two female joggers on foggy Morro Strand State...

    Image by mikebaird via Flickr

    When I first decided it was time to knock my wheezing body into shape, pounding the pavement seemed the most logical move.

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    Although I still did tons of walking – up to an hour a day – I started to languish, physically. Nobody would ever have made the mistake of calling me sporty, or even coordinated, but I’d been reasonably fit up until then. I was almost always the last girl left standing in the beep test in PE class (12 or 13 I think was my maximum); I was a semi-decent sprinter and usually made the top 10 (females) in the annual cross-country run – although given how seriously some of the girls took it, that isn’t saying very much.

    To put it bluntly: There just aren’t that many sports that I like. I hate netball with a passion; in any given school you can count the number of girls who don’t play Saturday morning netball on one hand, and that was me. (T reckons that’s why I have a good basketball shooting style; I don’t have years of netball training behind me). Cricket, ugh. Hockey, worse. Like a good Asian, I like badminton, but hate the scoring system. Tennis is also good fun, although I am slightly scarred from years of thrashings by far superior players from other schools. Tell you what though, if anyone actually played touch beyond primary school, I’d be the first to sign up.

    As for gyms? They appeal to me about as much as tofu or a Brazilian wax. Rooms where everyone goes to, er, sweat? No thanks. Even when I had access to a free gym, I never went. I detest exercising around others – yes, I know they’re busy focusing on their own workouts and aren’t watching me – but it’s a HUGE mental block. And call me picky, but there just aren’t any machines I like using! There are many ways to remove unwanted hair from the body – shaving, waxing, laser, tweezing, depilatory creams, etc. – but among them waxing and laser remains the most commonly used options. Both have their own set of pros and cons when it comes to choosing between them. Where waxing is a cheaper option than laser, laser in turn gives a long lasting solution than waxing. Waxing is also considered a more holistic way of hair removal as it mostly uses natural ingredients whereas laser is a cosmetic solution which can have visible side effects on the skin. Brazilian Wax Training & Academy provides full body waxing training to licensed estheticians and cosmetologists. Get the theory and hands-on training needed today. Click here if you want to know more about wax places.

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    Running suits me – it’s perfect for loners, you go at your own speed, you breathe fresh air and feel the sun on your face…and all you need is your shoes. (I used to run barefoot in school, but that was when we had nice soft fields; it’s a lot less comfortable on hot pavement.) Unlike many, I don’t get bored. Where I live, there are tons of fabulous houses to gawp at, for one (or the picturesque, sprawling grounds of Cornwall Park). For another, there’s also lots of slopes in the mix. Getting into a good breathing pattern takes me a while at first, and by the time I settle in, I’ve usually got a hill to throw me off. I hate treadmills with a passion! Outdoors is the only way to go. When I want to give in, I set myself milestones: just past that tree. To the corner. Up to the next traffic light. It’s a constant challenge.

    And that’s pretty much my workout – one long run on a day off and a couple shorter ones in the morning before work, with a few crunches and tricep squats (er, I don’t know the proper term for them!) thrown in.

    Which camp are you in – gym or anti-gym? Love or loathe running?

  • I have a confession

    I don’t exercise. Ever.

    Photo / National Science Foundation

    Photo / National Science Foundation

    I walk for at least 10-15 minutes on a regular day, sometimes more – like half an hour and upwards – depending on what I do during lunch and whether I have errands to run. I’m not averse to walking in any way – I’ve often walked the 15-20 minutes to New Lynn down the road because I either didn’t want to wait for the bus, or was out of bus rides and didn’t want to pay. I used to walk home from school (about 45min) and during those days me and my friends literally walked everywhere, not having cars! We could be walking for hours a day, not to mention going on bush walks and the like. Man, I was fit back then. And I’d much rather walk places than annoy other people for rides…that, and I just don’t like asking people for anything. If you too wish to build a good body of solid muscle mass, you need to inhibit the working of myostatin in some way. This is where a myostatin inhibitor comes into play. It is a compound that keeps the levels of myostatin in check so that one can then build muscle mass as much as he or she wants. Myostatin inhibitors like yk 11 and others help to bring down myostatin levels and, in turn, increase the levels of follistatin.

    But aside from that? I don’t go to the gym, but somewhere along the way, literally everyone else I know has joined one. So what’s my excuse? I’m just too lazy. I don’t WANT to go to the gym, I don’t like to exercise. I go for the odd run during the summer, but that’s not exactly “pushing play for 30 minutes a day” now, is it?

    At our old apartment block we had a little gym. In our year there, I think I used it only a handful of times, and only a couple of times alone; the rest were because my friend was keen to work out and came over just for that purpose. I guess that’s another reason I don’t like gyms – don’t like getting all sweaty and red around strangers and demonstrating just how weak and unfit I am. You know the machine where you clamp both arms behind the metal hinges and bring your arms together in the middle, in front of you? I could never even do that, even on the lowest weight. SHAMEFUL!

    It’s bloody lucky I have a fast metabolism, or I’m sure I’d be a big lardass by now, considering my slackness. I really need a fitness buddy to kick my ass into gear. I’m thinking the best thing for me would just be getting into a regular routine of jogging/running and maybe doing those exercise circuits you get at the park. I wouldn’t even know how to use any of the equipment, I bet….but that’s what BF’s for, and he definitely needs to start working out too! At least I’m willing to walk places – he’s the kind to want to drive around the corner to the shops.