Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Moving on and Moving out

Much to my horror, the last post I wrote was back in February. Sigh.  Not intentional I promise.  I'm fresh off shutting down my other blog, so that lifts a weight off as far as an obligation to write there.

One thing that I have been wanting to blog about for a while now is a big change I made.  People who have been reading this blog for a while are no stranger to the conversations/clashes that I've had with my mother.  So many commenters cried out "Why don't you move out of home?!", which sounds like a pretty simple fix.  However.  Harder said than done.  A lot of people my age are living at home due to rental/house prices in Auckland, combined with the income disparity that comes with it.  Add, in my case the cultural stigma with being unmarried (or not even in a relationship) and moving out... yeah it was kind of a big deal for my family.  A lot of people opt to move cities to be able to move out, but I did not want to leave Auckland. *Especially* after becoming an instructor, I know other cities the world over would not be as accepting as Auckland when it comes to having a plus sized fitness instructor.

In short, as much as I needed to get away, to that same extent, I needed to stay.  There were several false starts where I began to move out, but got pulled back in due to various sob stories by my mother.

It was a comment I made to my father off the cuff which made him sit up and  take notice.  I told him that I would drive off and have coffee in the mall by myself just to get away, and he was startled by that.  It was him that found a rental which was too good to walk away from.  The previous places I'd been to did not have 1) parking, 2) self contained laundry, 3) self contained kitchen.  I needed all three if I were to keep on making the cakes, and to keep on instructing.  Of course I needed to do these, as instructing and cake making would help me to pay the rent and the bills.

When my Dad found a 1 bedroom flat with off street parking, a self contained laundry and kitchen, as well as reasonable rent, I had to jump on it.  My Mum couldn't look at me for days when this all was set in motion.  She would say things like "I will never be able to sleep at night again, I'm going to be crying every day, I won't eat, all I'm going to do is worry and pray and cry my eyes out."

When I type those words out, it reads like she's being a drama queen.  You know what, maybe she was being a drama queen.  But I'll be damned if it wasn't hard to hear.

With my Dad onside however, I finally got the strength to move out.  I'll be honest, I actually expected to have a moment where I would be overwhelmed and it would dawn on me how much responsibility I had to deal with... but that moment hasn't come yet.  I honestly love doing everything on my own - even being able to vacuum while listening to music (something I got in trouble for at home), fold the washing while watching TV (something again, I got into trouble for at home)... all of that I haven't minded at all.

Yeah there's bills and everything else which I'm taking full responsibility for, though that financial price is minor compared to the emotional captivity I felt.

I love how much control I have and how much freedom I have.  I can choose not to make the bed if I want to.  I can leave out all of my cake decorating equipment if I'm going to work on a cake in the morning after being up with it all night.  But most importantly, I love that I have the freedom to look after myself.

It's still a hard pill for my mother to swallow - she's kept my room pretty much the same and still tells people I live with them so it's not considered 'shameful'.  All I can do is eyeroll at that, but at the end of the day, I can make my way back to my home in peace.

One of my goals for 2014 was to give time to myself.  This by far was the biggest step to achieving that goal.  Now I have so much more time to give to myself, and good grief, I don't think I realised how much I needed it.  Hopefully now I can build upon that and give myself all of the time I need to do all of the healing that I can. :)

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Nagging Voice

As many of you know, I haven't been focusing on weight loss for a long time now.  I focused so much on my fitness and on eating low fat, low calorie foods that I was missing out on life.  I can honestly say that I am living more, and enjoying it.

In general, the majority of things that I want to do, I can do.  Sure, I have less choice in clothing, but whatever, I have plenty of options.  I even became a fitness instructor.  In general, the assholery was from other instructors, not from participants.  But, if they weren't commenting about my size, they probably would be commenting about other things (this is what a lot of instructors seem to do - it's competitive, so they size up their competition in every way possible).

Yet when it comes to progressing my group fitness career, I'll admit to having been stalled by my appearance.  For the most part, I've been accepting of that.  Going 'Ehhhh... what did I expect. *shrugs shoulders*.'

My focus has been to inspire health, and to encourage achievable changes in ones lifestyle to achieve that.  I've had several people say to me that when they see me on the bike, I look like someone who will understand their struggle. Maybe I'm not articulating that particularly well, but I hope you get what I mean.

There is nagging voice in me that I want to put to rest.  To do that, I have to be honest with myself, and with you all.

I am pretty sorted as far as my activity levels go (probably have been doing too much exercise, I'm starting to incorporate at least one full rest day per week), have made massive improvements with my eating, am working on my sleep, and acknowledge that there needs to be some emotional healing.  The question that the nagging voice in my head is saying is...

Is there anything I've missed out?

I am (now) very much against calories in calories out as a means of achieving health through nutrition - it might generate weight loss 'to a point', though a health and wellness leader once said (I think it was Diane Sanfilippo that said it), "There are a million ways to lose weight, but only a handful of ways to become truly healthy."  I'm not bothered if that's something that someone else wants to subscribe to, though as far as I'm concerned, that's a path I don't wish to go down any further.

When I think about what I want to address, I've got:

  • Nutritional Intake - favouring whole, homemade foods
  • Exercise Level - ensuring regular resistance training is a part of my routine
  • Regularity of Sleep - moving towards 6-8 hours nightly
  • Caffeine Intake - cutting down from one cup per day to match to the days I weight train
  • Dairy Intake - removing cows milk from my intake as much as possible
  • Emotional Self Love - healing emotional wounds and building a positive outlook
Now.  For the last few years I've been like "Yep, that's all aspects accounted for."  But is it?

Conventional doctors certainly haven't picked up on anything.  Blood levels are fine (sugar and pressure on the low side), no sign of any thyroid issues... yet still, there's that nagging voice with that nagging question.

It's been in recent weeks that I'm starting to think "... maybe it isn't."  I'm not saying that once I find out what I've missed out on that I'll suddenly drop a shitload of weight and will live happily ever after in my castle surrounded by unicorns (although HOLY FUCK THAT SOUNDS GOOD)... I'm saying, if there is an area of my health that I haven't thought about and need to think about... it's time to find out what it is, and start thinking about it.

I won't lie.  I wouldn't protest if I did find that missing piece of the puzzle and have it all fit into place.  It would mean, like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, that I would be able to progress further with my group fitness instructing.  If it doesn't, it doesn't.  I'm already 95% certain that it won't.  It's that 5% uncertainty that I want gone, either by disproving the 95% or by becoming added to it.

I've been making steps to try to discover what that is.  I'll continue to blog about it as I go through.  I might write some strange shit over the next however long to find this out.  However long it takes, I will find it, resolve it, and tell the nagging voice to shut it.  Then, I will truly find peace.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Disconnecting from Technology

Anyone who knows me well, or even knows me-ish will acknowledge that I'm pretty connected to technology.  I work for an IT company for a day job, and the majority of my friendships have had some sort of digital aspect to them.  I've been teased by people since when friends have put a status on Facebook, I'm always liking said status within seconds. #notashamed

So one day I made a grand declaration.  That I was going to leave my phone, my connection to technology, at home for the day.

As you can see by the timestamp, when I came back to after posting the status, it was 11 hours away from my phone.  Unheard of when it comes to me.

The feedback on it was pretty resounding.

The 'day trip with the fam fam' (I promise you, I don't normally talk like that...) was just about an 1 and a half hours north of Auckland, in the very beautiful Mangawhai Heads.

Normally, during a long drive with the parentals like that, I would be on my phone, looking through the Facebook newsfeed, messaging one or multiple people at once, not really interacting with everyone around me... pausing only because I was concerned about whether my battery would last.

This time, I talked to my Dad a lot.  Probably nattered his ear off too much.  That being said though... one of the first things that was said when the family realised I didn't have my phone was "Argh, why didn't you bring it?  We were going to use your Google Maps."

I can say, it was quite liberating being away from my phone, having my hands completely free and empty.  I could be completely present in the experience and not have my attention focused anywhere else.

The one thing, however, that I sorely missed was my phone's *camera*.  There was so much beauty in that area that I was kicking myself for not having something to capture it with.  For the most part though, it meant I took my time when it came to absorbing the beauty of everything around me.  There were some things I found beautiful today that I hadn't even taken the time to notice before - it's not exactly like today was the first time I'd walked on a beach before.

In particular, I recall one moment where there was a stretch of beach that had both white sand, black sand, and wet sand all in the same area.  The white sand was on the dunes and when a gust of wind blew over the dunes, the white sand would fan out over the rest of the black and wet sand with long, wispy fingers.  It looked quite surreal and ethereal.  Seconds later though, I'd have sand in my eyes because I was standing there watching the sand blowing.

I know if I hadn't taken the moment to watch what the sand looked like as it was blown over, all I would've done was feel the sand in my face and get irritated by it.  There were too many moments like that that happened today that simply wouldn't have happened if my mind was attached to what was going on in the digital space.

Then it turns out, my Mum had brought her digital camera.  When I saw her holding it, I was like GIMME DAT. NAO.

For a while, I got so involved with capturing the beauty, that I spent less time actually enjoying the beauty.

What was interesting was taking the photos off the camera later and comparing my shots with the ones that my Mum took.

My photos were of scenes like this...

... this...

Meanwhile, my Mum took photos like this...

and this.

Heh, the expression of my brother in this one makes me Lawl.

My Mum took mainly photos of us.  I, took photos of things.

And other things.

And more other things.

Interesting, no?

As you look through these photo, there may be one question in particular that's on your mind.

Yes that's all good Rai Rai... but... 


That ah... is something that I need to work through.  It's not the focus of this post in particular, but maybe I will blog about it later.

I know that my fears of disconnecting from technology have been because I didn't want to 'miss out on things I should know.'

When I came back to my desk, I excitedly opened up my Facebook thinking, "Oh man, so many things I've missed out on all day!  I can't wait to get caught up.  I bet I'm going to have a bajillion new notifications, hundreds of new messages and at least a few friend requests!"

... not quite.

It took me a manner of minutes to catch up on the Facebook happenings of the day.  I sat there slightly exasperated, like, "... you mean that's it?! I was away THE WHOLE DAMN DAY and THAT'S IT??!?!!?"

Today was quite an interesting exercise.  My eyes opened to appreciate the beauty of the day, but also analyse what I perceive to be beautiful.  Why do my photos only capture inanimate objects?

... Well, there was one moment that I captured with my family that was rather precious.

We stopped for ice-cream on the way home to Auckland in this little village, and sat here by the creek to eat it.  I don't know how clearly you can see them, but there are a whole lot of ducks all sitting around where my Mum and Dad were eating, and all of them were sleeping.  It was super cute.

... the next photo I took however was this.

Heh. Guess some things remain constant.

I know I learnt way more today than which Mean Girls Character my friends are most like, and what 17 Celebrity Instagrams I Need To See This Week.  

The very first thing being that the digital world can WAIT. The real world is happening to you right this very second, and those notifications will still be there waiting for you at the end of the day.  The checking of the notifications takes more time than actually viewing the content of the notifications themselves.  

The real world is out there and you don't need a notification to be told to appreciate it.

I know I'll be doing this again in a different setting.  I'm looking forward to seeing what I learn next time.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Pump Iron, Get Coffee - Revisited

I set a goal in 2013 to manage my spending - particularly on coffee, as I believe it's the little things that add up.

However, the cafe near my work had a loyalty system running for the mayor on FourSquare, where whoever had checked in the most number of times received a free coffee each day.  I became the mayor in 2013, so didn't need to pay for one coffee per day.  I was spending less AND drinking coffee.  Nice.

I always did think though, that 1) someone else could overtake my number of check ins and become mayor, or 2) the cafe could pull the mayor special.  After all, giving away one free coffee per day is incredibly generous on their part.

As it happens, a variant of the above took place.  It wasn't the cafe that pulled the mayor special, but rather, FourSquare that discontinued it on the app.  The owner of the cafe tweeted me to let me know this, and that was when I knew it was time to bring this goal back.

I've also been reading Accidentally Overweight (I feel anyone who is interested in their health should read this, even if they are not overweight - it was titled as such just to generate sales), listening to the Balanced Bites podcast, and towards the end of January, I attended a talk that Dr. Libby gave in Auckland.  All three highlight the impact that alcohol and caffeine have on loading the liver and compromising its ability to process backlogged toxins in the body.  Basically... how can you expect your liver to process long standing toxicity if you keep giving it new toxins to deal with?

In fact, I think I received the tweet from the cafe owner the day after I went to Dr. Libby's talk where she spoke about the same things I'd been reading and listening to regarding coffee and the liver.  I honestly don't drink much alcohol, so that's not an issue.  The regular coffee consumption definitely is.

I know that the coffee every day is more ritualistic than a need for caffeine - I love having that pause in between my workout and my workday - though still, I an consuming caffeine.  Now that the cafe can't offer me the mayor special (I still love them, it's amazing that they did that), it's a perfect time to test out what happens when I reduce my caffeine intake.

Firstly, I will only drink coffee after I've done resistance training - the Pump Iron, Get Coffee goal that I set in 2013, I'm bringing it back.  Once I've achieved that, I'll look at reducing it out even further - probably swapping it for green tea, then peppermint tea.

The change in the ritual is going to be a hard one.  I'll make it work somehow.  I know if I can take control of these little things, they will define the clarity of the big picture.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Blogging and Negative Energy

I fell behind with reading blogs when Google decommissioned Google Reader.  I tried setting up Feedly but had some issues with it and went 'Puh!', and it was easier to just leave that behind.  After all, most blogs had Facebook pages anyway, and I could see when they had posted via a new updated on Facebook.

The issue comes when Facebook starts hiding posts from pages you're interested in.  I haven't seen a Facebook post from Shauna Reid's blog for as long as I can remember and yet there she is, updating away like an updating thing.  When I realised I went "WHAT!", and that was when I decided to make Feedly work.

After I got it up and running, I saw that good lord, I used to read a *lot* of weight loss blogs.  This blog, after all, started off as that, so it made sense that I looked for people blogging on a similar topic.

When I say a lot, I mean hundreds.  Hundreds! Ahhhh, to be at University again, so many blogs, so many time (but so little dollahs, good grief...).

The first thing I thought I'd do was clean out the feed reader.  Most of these blogs weren't even operational anymore - if they weren't abandoned, they'd been deleted altogether and the feed no longer existed.  Some blogs hadn't been updated for over 2,000 days.  So... in over 5 years. Holy crap.  Back then, it was easy to write content on the internet without associating your real life identity to it - it's harder now, especially now that blogging platforms often integrate with social media accounts.  I suspect a lot of people would have simply shifted off their blog and onto Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, so forth.  Most of them though, I wouldn't have known their name and I wonder... what happened to them?

The other thing that startled me was the manner of the language that filled these blogs.  I'm not talking about swearing - heck, I do my fair share of that on here. [sidenote] I just had a flashback of a woman who asked me to stop swearing on my blog because she had young children running around while she was reading it and didn't want them to be influenced. I bet those same children are twerking now. [/sidenote]

It was more how negative everything sounded.  The blog titles were all degrading, and the content was mainly about people abusing themselves over how they had no will power, how they were failures, and how they didn't understand why all of their hard work was amounting to nothing.  On New Years Day there'd be an influx of posts of "Oh that's right I have a blog, what a great place to declare my newfound motivation and announce unrealistic expectations for the year.", but these would quickly drop off over time as these bloggers inevitably found stumbling blocks.

When it came to removing the blogs that 1) were inactive or 2) had such negative energy surrounding them that reading them would serve me no purpose... I was startled by how few blogs were left in my feed reader.

It makes me wonder about how much negative energy I was surrounding myself with back all those years ago (... I need to stop saying 'all those years ago', it makes me feel old.)

What it also makes me wonder, is how much negative energy was I contributing?

Not only is it a rather sucky existence if you are surrounding yourself with, and creating, negative energy, though I have no doubt that there is a physical response that your body has to this energy - it probably manifests in the over production of stress hormones (cortisol, namingly).  I'm not saying 'reading weight loss blogs makes you fat', oh hell no.  For a lot of people weight loss blogs have been successful, honest, endearing and welcoming places.  Those blogs I still read now - not all of them are still blogging about weight, but if they are, they blog from a place that generates positive energy.  What I am saying is that perhaps, *perhaps* the hundreds of blogs that used to be out there and the negativity that was present in them were a piece of the puzzle, a link in the chain.

I'd like to ask you all (whoever is still reading this thing), What does the title of this blog mean to you?  Does it contribute to the negative energy in the blosophere that I'm talking about?  I am contemplating changing it over to something that is more meaningful with regards to where I am now.

I would love your thoughts on this - let me know in the comments.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Long Black is the new Latte - Week 1

Don't worry, I'm not going to be doing this every week, I can't imagine anything more 'thrilling' than 52 posts about some mofo drinking coffee :-/ Though I think the first week after deciding to do something like this would be good to talk about.

I set a first milestone of 1 black coffee per week. In New Zealand (and presumably other countries, not sure which ones have/don't have this), the black coffee of choice is a Long Black, which Wikipedia defines as this:
A long black is made by pouring a double-shot of espresso or ristretto over hot water (usually the water is also heated by the espresso machine). A long black is similar to an Americano, which is made by adding hot water to the espresso shot; but a long black retains the crema and is less voluminous, therefore more strongly flavoured. The order in which a long black is made (water first, espresso second) is important -- reversing the steps will destroy the crema from the espresso shot and make an Americano.
Now don't think that 'crema' means 'creamer', that's something completely different. A good article all about Crema (cited by the Wikipedia page on Espresso) is this one here, and this is how it defines it:
Crema is the initial light/tawny colored liquid that comes out during an espresso extraction. It is what causes that 'Guinness effect' that folks sometimes reference. As the lighter liquid infuses with the darker liquid that comes after, it filters up and 'settles', leaving a tan colored layer on top of the darker espresso below. The formation of crema is a blend of a few different things: As water is forced through the coffee under pressure, it emulsifies the natural fat/oil content in the bean, suspending it in tiny microbubbles of air. Additionally, after coffee is roasted, it out-gases C02 for awhile (generally for the next 24 - 72 hours post-roast) and so coffee that was more freshly roasted will also emit some C02 during extraction
Simply, a Long Black is not an Americano (because We Speak No Americano...) only because of the process, not the ingredients.

What I've done is I've created this blog post in draft, and then throughout the first week, while I'm having my daily brew, noting down my experience on my phone.  Most of these updates will be rambly, post-workout, early morning musings, and it is highly unlikely that they will make any sense. I apologise in advance.

MONDAY 20-01-2014: Long Black
Heh. When I ordered the long black, owner of my regular cafe went "OoOOooOOooOOooo".  Clearly used to me latteing it up all this time.  It arrived, very quickly. I guess an upside to not needing to steam milk etc.  It's very small though... I know it's strong, but I'll admit, it's comforting to have a large vessel to wrap your hands around.   First few mouthfuls were ergh.  Got to the end of it, but I had to brace myself for every sip.  Thank goodness I only set a goal of one of these per week, looking forward to tomorrow's latte.

TUESDAY 21-01-2014: Latte
Was so excited to order my usual brew this morning.  The latte looks so much more substantial than what I had yesterday!  Interesting though... as I drink, it feels weak.  Curiouser and curiouser.  Ugh, writing 'curiouser' just looks wrong.  As I finish it, I feel a strange sense of being unfulfilled.  What on earth was in that long black yesterday!?

WEDNESDAY 22-01-2014: Long Black
As I drove up to the cafe this morning, I actually was having an internal discussion with myself. "Latte? Or Long Black... but you've already had one for the week, you don't *need* to have another one... but... do I want one? Or do I want a latte? I SO CONFUSED."  It's the first morning the cafe's been quiet so I got to chat with the owner. Paused for a second, ordered a long black, told her I'm wanting to reduce my milk consumption.  We chatted a bit about how it's these small things that add up. First mouthful of the long black, ergh.  After that though... strangely tolerable.  Not leaning back in my chair and going "MMmmMmMMmm....", which is probably a relief to the table behind me... but tolerable.  I know I'll leave here feeling satisfied with this.

THURSDAY 23-01-2014: Long Black
Walked in and hadn't actually decided what I was going to get.  Was in a bit of a stupor so stood at the counter all like "Uhhhhhhhhh...".  Different girl serving today, she knows me, and when I finally said 'Long Black please', she went 'Oh?!?!?! *feverishly taps buttons on the POS system*.'  Oops, she must've automatically put in a latte as soon as she saw me coming, hehe.

Took a couple of photos today.

That stuff on top is the crema.  If you stir it around the coffee underneath is definitely black.

First mouthful I took was from the spoon.  Blegh. After that, drank it from the cup.  I can honestly say today I am LIKING this thing.

FRIDAY 24-01-2014: Long Black
Hilarious class this morning. Buggered though. Ordered poached eggs and mushrooms with my long black. Owner of the cafe told me that one of the staff was doing the same thing as I was, changing their regular brew - so it's not just me.

Given how the first mouthful from the spoon yesterday was heinous, today, I didn't have any from the spoon, I just drank it straight from the cup. SO much better. I think I was using the spoon by habit. The lattes have all of the foam on top which I used the spoon to scoop up, obviously I don't have to do that with the long black.

Wow... First week, I was only meant to switch one latte for a long black. Instead, the opposite happened. That's something of a revelation. What also is a revelation is how boring I am in the morning, reading over the previous day's notes has been painful :-/ But for honesty's sake, I've left each one the way it was.

I'll maybe do this again in a few months and compare the entries to see how different it feels. Do I really want to hit publish on this? Not really... But... Here goes *braces self*

Monday, January 20, 2014

2014 Goals

I've reviewed my goals from 2013 in previous posts - some of them I've achieved, others are a work in progress.  I'm not going to 'rehash' the unachieved ones and include them in this post, because that's redundant.  I'll just continue to work on those ones along with the other areas that I'm going to focus on.

I liked having three major goals and three minor goals - sometimes it turned out that the focus of the minor goals were consuming the focus that could be otherwise applied to achieving the major goals.

I started 2013 in a position where I could focus on myself with regard to my training.  Now, I start 2014 able to focus on myself in other ways.  More on that in another post.

Those 'other ways' are areas of my day to day life which in the past I haven't had control of.  In particular, I'm referring to making my own meals.  I have a plethora of recipe books from all sorts of cuisines and I need to make use of them to get varied tastes and nutrients into my meals.  So one focus of the year is going to be following the recipe.  Basically, focus on trying 3-4 new recipes per month.  These can either be for the cake business, or for my day to day eating.  Just so you know, I'll also be blogging about these recipes too, their successes, and their failures (more likely my failures).  I'm not going to turn this into a recipe blog, though I will admit that trying these new foods and techniques need to be a part of my journey.  Otherwise I'll just end up grilling everything.

With regards to training, the strength training goal is well in progress.  There is one area of this that I'd really like to get some gains in in 2014.  While I can do deadlifts, chest presses, bicep curls, all that stuff... ask me to do a push up?

Basically, bodyweight training is something I have always struggled with, for as long as I can remember. By the end of 2014, I'd like to be able to do 1 set of 8 reps of pushups (both chest/shoulder and tricep varieties), and to be able to hold a hover or plank for 1 minute.

Finally, and for those of you that know me well in person, I'm going to be trying to give more time to myself.  I find it too easy to be there for my cake business, to be there for my classes and for my friends.  The net result is I get burnt out, tired, and a bit cynical as the time investment in all of the above isn't always reciprocated. Right now, I'm making sure on the days I'm at work I give myself 30 minutes in the morning with my coffee to just sit and be there for myself.  I can do a bit more work on that - my sanity calls for it.

Three major goals for 2014.
  1. Follow The Recipe
  2. Bodyweight Training
  3. Give Time More Time to Myself
 The minor goals... I actually came up with these much quicker than the major goals.

Last year, I removed the chocolate from the coffee by switching my Mochaccino to a Latte, Latte is the new Mocha.  That removed a bit of regular refined sugar consumption from my daily intake.  This year, I'm going to try and remove a bit more of something else from my daily intake, and that is milk.  Not dairy, milk.  The coffee is my single biggest vessel of milk every day, and I'd like to see how my body responds to less of it.  I've switched the milk I drink at home to this stuff - it is divine.  I've bought some smaller glasses and when I drink milk, I drink it from those.  So I've made changes in the home.  Now it's time to make some changes outside of the home.  This year, Long Black is the new Latte.  And oh boy, that's going to be a tough one for me, I love my milky coffees.  I'm going to start with 1 long black per week, then build from that.

My second minor goal, again, like last year's one, is financial.  I need to stop buying my lunch.  I believe the Follow The Recipe major goal will help with this, give me some exciting things to look forward to with preparing food, though there have been times where I've actually left behind prepared food in the fridge when I've gone out to work.  This actually extends to breakfast too, seeing as I'm up before 5am every weekday and eat breakfast after I train.

Finally, and this one seems straightforward but I'm not doing it... chew my food properly.  From literature out there, one should chew a mouthful of food approximately 20 times before swallowing.  Some sources say less, some say more - I'm going with what Dr. Libby's suggestion is as I'm a huge fan of her work.

Three minor goals for 2014.
  1. Long Black is the new Latte
  2. Stop Buying Lunch
  3. Chew My Food
I know for most of us, the week following New Years is a good place to start with new goals.  Though for me, after New Years I took three weeks off work, which involved one week in another city attending a wedding and baking some cupcakes.  I'm back at work from this morning, which makes publishing this post at this time highly appropriate.  Day 1, bring it!