Monday, November 14, 2011

It's a new week, and I am feeling fresh!

I am now on Day 14 of my "November from Hell" challenge. Yes folks, this means I have not drank any alcohol for 14 days, and I've survived two weekends - pretty snazzy, eh!!! And to be honest, thus far, it hasn't been as hard as I expected. There have been a couple times where I've went, "Damn, I wish I could have wine right now," but that's natural... the moment passed, and I feel really proud for resisting. The most positive impact I've noticed from not drinking is that my performance at the gym has definitely improved. I am now at the gym between 1.5 and 2 hours, three times a week. My routine is super fast paced, and in my opinion, it is super challenging. Yet, I feel like I've been kicking butt this month. I mean - I've gotten two high fives from John in a row! Booya.

I honestly think that my typical routine of having casual drinks on a Thursday night, then going to the gym on Friday, had a negative impact on my performance. So the good news is - by not drinking this month - not only am I saving calories, but I am also working out longer and stronger!!! YAY!!!!!!!

I also have to mention a super delicious shake that I made today, as it is definitely one of my faves. It's sort of like a Starbucks iced frappacino, but healthy! I added the shake mix to milk, one package of instant coffee (the Starbucks to-go kind), some natural mint flavoring, one teaspoon of hot chocolate, a dash of cinnamon, and a hint of natural vanilla flavour. It was soooo amazingly delicious. It's like getting your coffee and breakfast in one drink. And with all the ingredients, it's probably the same price as a fancy Starbucks, but it has so much extra healthy stuff - calcium, fiber, protein!

Also - I have to say - today was a very inspiring day for me, as I went to the Diverse Voices family violence conference at West Ed (I am there tomorrow as well), and the speakers were AMAZING!!!! I actually went and saw one speaker twice, and was tempted to go for three (each session had a slightly different theme, so materials were never repeated). Her name is Johnnetta McSwain, and she spoke about "rising above the scars" of domestic violence, sexual abuse, neglect and poverty. She was such a dynamic speaker, soooo funny, so spunky, full of life, and she really made me proud to be a woman. She demonstrated how strong women are, and what they can achieve no matter what - as we all have resiliency. Best of all, even though I have no personal experience with domestic violence, and I cannot relate to being a victim, she gave me a sense of empowerment and a sense of being worth something (even more than what I already thought - she was that good!!!). She truly made me feel like a female goddess, and reinforced my belief that each one of us is so special, so smart, and has intrinsic value. As such, if someone wants to put me down, tell me I can't succeed, try to take away my independence - I just got to remember - I am a queen baby, and ain't nobody gonna steal my sunshine!!!!!!!

If you are interested, there's a three-part documentary about Johnnetta on Youtube, and I'll attach the link to part 1. But just so you know - she's even more amazing in real life. It's hard to capture her essence in words, as her personality and delivery are truly unique!

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