May 30: Physical and mental #2

Woke up with the worst hhhhh…ayfever (you thought I was going to write hangover, huh?), so spent a few miserable hours in bed feeling sorry for myself and waiting for the tablet to kick in.

It wasn’t all a waste of time – I listened to more episodes of a thoroughly intriguing podcast called Serial. Being behind the times is a recurring theme in my life – this non-fiction story/series, about a Baltimore journalist trying to find out if a convicted killer is in fact innocent – was released to great acclaim in October last year and I’m only just getting around to checking it out. Highly recommended when your eyes are so puffy from hayfever that you can’t read a book! Or when you’re doing the dusting, or knitting etc, or can’t sleep at night and don’t want to turn a light on. I can’t wait to find out what happens! This definitely ticks the mentally fit box!

Once I was ready to venture outdoors, we put up the tent near the pool with help from Liliane’s friends Fritz and Lotte. Now all we need is clean water (once it’s warmed up a bit more).

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Many hands make light work

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An action shot from the working bee after-party!

I also mowed a small section of lawn that couldn’t be accessed last week because of a parked car, and then whipper-snippered further down the hill in that area. I don’t like mowing there because the mower gets quite a lean-on, on the edge of the forest, so I had to clean up the edges a bit. It was important to do it today, so it’s nice for when Rene comes home from hospital tomorrow – his operation went so well, he’s allowed to leave earlier than expected. Good news! (Hope I haven’t jinxed it now.)

And in other ‘good news’, here are some articles I’ve enjoyed this week:

My blogging friend Freda (am I allowed to say that, Freda?!) from livesimplysimplylive recently posted this ballet-influenced exercise routine which I’m looking forward to trying. Her blog has many interesting and inspiring musings and themes, and many calming photos.

Improved flexibility and balance have been high on my list of “wants” for 2015 and this article reinforces the need to bend and stretch, reach for the stars

Despite the disturbing headline, this is a wonderful, heart-warming story of true love and having to go to odd lengths for the same rights. I hope countries around the world soon follow Ireland’s lead.

Ariana from paris-to-go has completed one month of washing her hair just with water. See the results and read her thoughts about being chemical free here. Very inspiring!

And presto! The reason for the holes in Swiss cheese has been discovered!

Wishing you a wonderful day.

April 23: Tough ab workout and flexibility

For today’s exercise, I thought I’d search for something different from somewhere different, but I knew it had to be stomach-centric. When I plank, I’m gobsmacked at the pudding that hangs from that area! When the fitness instructors plank, their bellies stay flat and taught. How is it so?! I can’t even ‘blame’ having kids on this excess! So that’s a new goal for the end of fitfor15in15 – to plank without the pudding.

Thanks to the Internet, ask and you generally shall receive. I liked the name of this – Get Fit Fast Ab Workout – 15 minutes of pain – and ignoring the physique of the totally ripped bloke without a shirt, thought I was up for it.

Ahh, no … nowhere near up for it. Apart from it feeling a bit militarised, with the host, Adam Harper, barking at his buddies, “Don’t you give up on me!” *cringe* it would be a brilliant workout for someone who has the fitness levels of, say, Adam Harper and his buddies.

Wowsers it was tough. I couldn’t do any of the exercises properly, or for the entire duration, apart from the side plank hip lower one. I’ve learnt some new exercises though and will try adding them into any homemade routines. The last one, touching your ankles through bent, spread legs, may become a regular. (I really had to giggle at the end of the show, when the host plugs his company’s t-shirts. If they’re so good, shouldn’t he be wearing one?!)

A lot of the raised-leg exercises hurt my lower back, so I did them with bent knees. I realise this made them much easier, but I’m not an advocate of pushing through the pain, yo. Especially when it’s yo back, yo. Overall, I’m not proud of my efforts in that workout, but it’s something to do again and refer back to, in order to keep improving. It’s motivation to plank without the pudding! Plank without the pudding! (A new mantra?!)

One thing I am proud of today is the realisation I’m becoming more flexible. Yesterday and this morning, I was able to touch my nose to my knees for the first time, albeit briefly, but that is a massive improvement from January. Sure it can be contributed to four months of moving, but I also think yoga is making a big difference. I’ve done two yoga classes, here and here, in the past week and I really think my hips are loosening up, which means I can bend further forward. Morning stretches, as part of my morning routine, will have also played a role.

Have you been doing something regularly and noticing an improvement? It’s such a nice boost, isn’t it?! Please, tell me about your successes.

  • Physically Fit: Get Fit Fast Ab Workout
  • Mentally Fit: Sitting in the sun for 10 minutes
  • Nutritionally Fit: Fourth day of fasting on the 5:2 Diet – 500 calories
  • Minimalism: Nothing today – other than minimal calorie intake 🙂

Wishing you a wonderful day. Here are some photos from my walk home yesterday evening after meeting Iva.

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The long way home

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The sun was a huge ball and created a wonderful sunset glow

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The sun sets on another day in Tulip Military School