My Year By Design

The journey to living by design.

Archive for the month “November, 2013”

5 Steps to Going to Sleep Happy Every Night

Sleep is critically important to good health. If we aren’t rested, we aren’t healthy. I usually sleep pretty well but it never hurts to improve the quality of sleep. I read 5 Steps to Going to Sleep Happy Every Night and I think these steps will really help. Going to bed happy ensures a better sleep because we are more relaxed when we are already happy. We need to relax to allow our bodies to enter REM sleep, (that wonderful time that we dream and our brains and bodies do most of their repair work.) So how is your sleep? Are you doing all you can to be well rested and healthy?

Watch pets and kids sleep. They know how it's done!

Watch pets and kids sleep. They know how it’s done!


Member Appreciation Dinner


I mentioned this is my 30 Day Challenge updates, but I wanted to take this opportunity to thank Drs. Jamie and Joel for hosting the member appreciation dinner at Kantina. Thanks also to the staff and chefs at Kantina, who made us feel welcome and served us a lovely By Design meal. I had the organic squash soup and the chicken paprikash with pave potatoes. Nick had the arugula salad with beets and the pork chop with pave potatoes. Nick and I chatted with some lovely people, ate some delicious food and went home very happy.

Week 2 – 30 Day Challenge Update

This was a difficult week for me. I won’t go into detail but I received some bad news at work. I didn’t achieve my goals as successfully as last week but rather than beat myself up, I’m going to move ahead and focus on making week three even better.

Monday – MBD – class at West London CrossFit. EBD – another wonderful healthy day. I also took some extra vitamin C as I feel like I might be fighting a bit of a cold. TBD – today was a long, tiring day so at night I’m taking some time to finish a few tasks and then read, (I’ve moved on to rereading “Ender’s Game” before I see the movie version).

Tuesday – MBD – anti-stress yoga at home. EBD – because I received bad news at work today, I allowed myself to stress eat chocolate. Bad idea. Now I feel even more crummy. I need to get back to moderation right away. TBD – I had a hard time staying positive today. Luckily, I was able to go home and talk about what happened with Nick. Not a great day, but not a write-off, either. PBD – got adjusted today. My spine is so happy!

Wednesday – MBD – Pilates at home. EBD – a better day. I still have some chocolate, but a much smaller amount (and I’m still sticking to just dark chocolate.) TBD – I still felt pretty stressed today but I focussed on work and was able to get a lot accomplished.

Thursday – MBD – cardio at the gym. EBD – back to healthy eating. TBD – I still struggled to overcome the fallout from the situation at my job. I did an alright job but I am feeling quite tired. Early to bed tonight to keep myself healthy.

Friday – MBD – more anti-stress yoga at home. EBD – had sushi for dinner so today was my grain day but I skipped dessert to try to balance it out a bit. TBD – I saw my counsellor today and we had a really good session. I feel much more together now.

Saturday – MBD – a long walk in the snow. I love the early snowfalls of winter! EBD – all good today. I will be having some dark chocolate at the movies tonight, which is much better for me than butter-soaked popcorn. TBD – I had a productive day and rewarded myself with a movie night out for Nick and I. We say “Ender’s Game.”

Sunday – MBD – I shovelled and then shovelled and then shovelled snow. I’m going to need some yoga for sore backs after that! EBD – a fairly healthy day but I cheated a bit after dinner and had a rum and eggnog. Don’t just me. It was delicious.

So, all in all, not a stellar week but I am making some progress and all I can do now is move ahead and make next week even better.

Thinking Past The Exhaustion

I was reading a great post called Thinking Past The Exhaustion today. In it the blogger mentions a number of reasons why exercising is difficult. I have made these excuses myself in the past so I though I’d address them here.

  1. Gym memberships are expensive. This is true! When money is tight, this is one of the last expenses we consider keeping. However, I have decided not to put a price on my health. If I can’t afford a gym membership, I can work out at home using DVDs from the library or online videos, (CrossFit posts workout of the day videos, for example). Whatever your financial situation, make working out affordable. Get some good videos for free, buy a second-hand bike and fix it up, or buy someone else’s workout gear or weights at a garage sale.  You don’t have to go to the gym to live by design.
  2. Working out at home is less motivating. Also true. If you can’t afford classes or a gym membership, play music that pumps you up or work out with friends who are also dedicated to getting in shape. Or train yourself to workout independently and your motivation will increase with time.
  3. I’m too tired to workout. I get this one. I have often felt like this, especially since my antidepressant makes me sleepy. The only real cure for this one is to fight through it. Eventually my body began to crave exercise as a way to defeat tiredness. What can I say? It really works, even if it feels sucky at first.

This blogger did mention setting a reward for herself to get in shape, in her case getting a tattoo. This is an excellent idea. You can choose a new tattoo, a trip where you’ll be in a bathing suit, or an event (wedding, class reunion, family party) where you want to look and feel your best. Part of living your best life is overcoming the roadblock you put up for yourself. Don’t let anything stop you from being your best self!

Week 1 – 30 Day Challege Update

MBD = Move by Design.

EBD = Eat by Design.

TBD = Think by Design.

PBD = Power by Design.

Monday – MBD –  I didn’t make it to CrossFit because of the poor driving conditions, (it took me an hour to get home from work!) but I did Pilates and free weights at home. EBD – no grains, no sweets, no chocolate, gold star. TBD – Gave myself some extra reading time in the evening. I’m reading the Ashes Trilogy by Ilsa J. Bick.

Tuesday – MBD – class at West London CrossFit. EBD – no grains, no sweets, no chocolate. I’m craving chocolate but I’m fighting the craving with green tea. TBD – I played with the kitties when I got home and spent the night bumming around the house not doing much of anything. Sometimes it is so relaxing just to do nothing much.

Wednesday – MBD – class at West London CrossFit. EBD – Another day of eating healthy without grains or sweets. TBD – I posted to my blog. PBD – got adjusted today.

Thursday – MBD – Pilates. EBD – All good today. I went to the Life by Design member appreciation dinner at Kantina. It was delicious and by design! TBD – I had a lovely evening chatting with the other practice members and Drs Jamie and Joel over a nice meal.

Friday – MBD – yoga. EBD – I had some grains and a bit of chocolate today. Nick and I went to a tapas bar for our anniversary. I don’t regret this meal or the time Nick and I took for ourselves. TBD – I posted to my blog and took off to a romantic getaway at Langdon Hall with Nick.

Saturday – MBD – yoga and a walk. EBD – Exception day! Today Nick and I had our wedding menu tasting. Three courses, nine dishes and five tasting glasses of wine. Oh, my belly was so full. As anyone who has been eating by design for a while can guess, my body was not super happy with this rich meal. I came away with a bit of a headache and a bout of indigestion. Damn you delicious, delicious food! TBD – Nick and I did have a lot of fun at our tasting. This is such a fun part of wedding planning.

Sunday – MBD – A long walk with my mom. EBD – back on track after a couple of days off. TBD – I posted this update! I also went shopping with my mom and we had a great chat. My mom lives four hours away from me so our time together is very special.


10 Things You Must Tell Yourself Today

I love this post called 10 Things You Must Tell Yourself Today. I statements are a great way to take control and make ourselves feel powerful. I want to be in charge of my happiness. Are you in charge of yours?

The Benefits of Chiropractic Care

I’ve been getting some questions about being under Chiropractic care and how effective it is so I thought I’d make a post about my experiences. I go to the Chiropractor once a week and more if I have a migraine or I’m ill. I originally started going because of my migraines and it helped ease the pain, so I kept going even when I felt better. I’ve found it makes me calmer, allows me to sleep better and to think more clearly.

I’m attaching a couple of the scans my  Chiropractor did for me to show my improvements.

This is my scan for 2012.

This is my scan for 2012.

In 2012 you can see lots of red lines and those nasty black lines are my migraine trigger points. You can easily see I was out of balance and my body was struggling to stay balanced.

This is my scan from 2013.

This is my scan from 2013.

What a difference in 2013! More of my lines are in the green and my body is clearly more balanced. There are still some yucky red lines around my neck and head but I think that’s because I had a headache the day before my scan. Headaches (and anything else that stresses the body) causes subluxations.

I can see the improvements but more than that, I can feel the difference in my body. My advice is this: if you think Chiropractic care might help you, you should find a caring Chiropractor and try it out. If you live in Ontario, I can recommend someone to you. If you are outside of that, I can point you to someone who can help you find a Chiropractor in your area.

What’s Strong, Not What’s Wrong

It’s that time again! The 30 Day Challenge begins again tomorrow so I’m taking this opportunity to tidy up my habits and celebrate what I’m doing right.

30 days under chiropractic care – I go once a week and more when I have migraines or am feeling under the weather.

30 days of daily movement – I go to West London CrossFit three times a week and on the other days I do yoga, Pilates, hike, bike or swim.

30 day of >80% Eat by Design – I am getting better at this. I will explain my Eat by Design 30 day challenge below.

30 days of focussing on what’s strong, not what’s wrong – I am celebrating my successes and working with my counsellor to be stronger. I will not be calling in sick because of my anxiety and I am working smarter and taking more time for myself!

So my biggest struggle is the Eat by Design portion. I love, love, LOVE sugar (especially chocolate) and grains and although I’ve reduced my intake of both, I am using this 30 day challenge to do better. I am going to avoid processed sugar and sweets, except for dark chocolate, for the next 30 days. My exception days are Saturday November 16th, when Nick and I have our wedding dinner tasting, and Saturday December 30th, when we are having an early Christmas dinner with Nick’s mom before she heads to Florida for the winter. There is no way I am giving up my mother-in-law’s apple pie! I’ll just have a smaller piece this year. I am also going to cut grains down from two or three times a week, to once a week. I already know that these changes will make my body feel better and my skin clearer, (grains and sugar tend to give me mild acne,) so I’m excited to get started.

Are you in? How could you better your life in the next 30 days? It only takes 30 days to set a positive new habit.

The Perfect Quote

The Perfect Quote.

Perfect. Happy Friday!

Beautiful Like Me

I love this post called Beautiful Like Me. Sometimes messages like this can carry us through the day. I think I’ll make this one of my mantras. Being unique is wonderful and I’m learning not to be embarrassed of my shortness, my propensity for falling down, my quirky use of old times phrases like dag-nab it. As I’ve gotten older and (hopefully) a bit wiser, I’ve learned that letting go of embarrassment means I can just be myself.

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