Feb 04

2013 Progress Update #2

by in Courage, Culinary, Health/Fitness/Appearance, No Regrets, Professional, Self Improvement, Travel

Goal #10 Try vegetarianism for a month (happening right now)

2013-02-01 22.24.00

Day 1: apple; beans soup, tandoori paneer masala, gulab jamam, veggie burger with grilled veggies.

This is happening right now! Feburary, 2013 is THE month. Of course I would pick the shortest month in a non-leap year to try this, despite many friends telling me to pick a summer month to get better and more variety of vegetables.

I grew up eating meat or seafood as the main component of any meal, and I don’t think I have ever gone more than 3 days without either. So this is a challenge for sure. I am on day 4 right now, which means I have already broken my own personal record! So far, it’s hasn’t been that difficult. (It’s definitely easier than quitting smoking). I think it’s because for the past year or so, I have really been trying to live a healthy lifestyle, especially since I started practicing yoga regularly. It is only when I look at the menus of the restaurants in town that I really realize how difficult it is for true vegetarians to eat out here. 

2013-02-02 20.13.01

Day 2: banana; fruits & Luna bar; pad see ewe with tofu; Thai spring rolls.

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Day 3: oatmeal, veggie pizza, broccoli & tofu panang curry.

Goal #36 Achieve and maintain ideal weight

I think this is the most difficult goal of them all. Losing weight has never been easy for me. I have said that it’s more difficult than quitting smoking (which is my benchmark of doing anything difficult). If I could achieve this goal, I would rank this as the greatest accomplishment of my life.

Since 12/2012, I have lost 33 pounds, which is absolutely amazing. But I lost most of those pounds at the beginning, in the first 6 months or so. The progress was so much slower, if at all, towards the end of the year. I am still about 25 pounds off my target weight.

I figure that, like most people, I tend to have more will power, or motivation at the beginning of the year, so I must take advantage of it. The New Year yoga retreat that I went on definitely made a positive impact. It was so great to practice yoga almost 3 hrs a day and ate such healthy and yummy food (and had them prepared for you every single meal). It was the perfect kick start to this year to get this goal back on track. The yoga challenge at Orange Sky Yoga (going to at least 5 classes/week) gives me extra motivation. Not that losing weight is the reason I go to yoga. It’s just a very nice bonus.

I am hoping that this month of vegetarianism is going to help too. But all in all, I am very pleased with the progress so far. I mean, look at the 2 pics below. The photo on the left was taken on April 7, 2012, when I went to Tiffany Cruikshank’s yoga workshop in Wichita the first time. At the time, I just started going to yoga classes, for maybe 2 months. The photo on the right was taken on Feb 2, 2013, when I went to Tiffany’s workshop again. Maybe I should set the deadline of getting to my target weight by the time Tiffany visits Kansas again next year, and take another picture with her. 🙂

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April 7, 2012 vs Feb 2, 2013

Goal #42 Value chance encounters and take initiatives to get to know interesting people

Tulum

Tulum yoga retreat

Over the years, I have grown to really enjoy meeting new people, as often as possible. I think it’s partly because I was so shy as a kid and that I feel like I need to make up for lost time.

One thing I have learned this past year: I really like meeting yogis. Albeit with a small sample size, almost every yoga person I have met is kind and supportive. And I love getting to know them. For example, I went on a one-week new year yoga retreat on my own, not knowing anyone there. (That’s something the younger me would never do). I really didn’t know what to expect (which was part of the fun). I ended up meeting the most wonderful group of people there (picture gallery of the trip here). As a naturally curious person, I like to hear other people’s stories, especially stories that are unexpected or different from mine, hence this goal. And I got to hear many interesting stories there in Tulum. How often do you get to meet 19 strangers that you actually like? 

With the internet, I see no reason not to keep in touch with people nowadays. I even reconnected with my first girlfriend recently after 22 years of not knowing where each other was! But that’s another story. 🙂 The point is, I hope to keep in touch with this group of new friends and see them again in the future. Another New Year retreat would be great!

Goal #15 Become an expert in multiple disciplines – Publish articles or present at conferences in 5 different fields.

I have presented on film studies at a screenwriting conference; cultural studies at an American culture/popular culture conference. For my day job,  I have also published several articles and presented at various conferences on librarianship. So, I need to present/publish on 2 more disciplines to accomplish this goal. I am currently developing a yoga and emotions research project that could be appropriate for either sensory science or sports science/kinesiology. It’s still in an early design stage. The good news is when I mentioned the concept to several yoga teachers at the yoga retreat, they all showed interests in possibly participating in the research. I am hoping to have the design ready by summer time. I am actually very excited about this project! It’s fun to research something you’re actually interested in.

Goal #23 – Conquer the fear of doing a handstand

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Practicing at home

I definitely had a mini-break through at the yoga retreat in Tulum with Kathryn Budig, who gave us plenty of useful tips. The remaining part is of course practice, practice and practice. I am at the point where I’m getting more comfortable kicking up to handstand against the wall. Balancing is still a problem. The fear of kicking too hard and go from handstand to savasana is still very much there. The Tiffany Cruikshank inversion workshop helped, and I learned more about the mechanics of the pose. The game plan is to keep practicing close to the wall until I get the balance right.

Goal #18 Learn a new word every week and use that word 5 times that week

I have to admit, sometimes I forget. Either I forget to pick a new word for the week, or use it 5 times. That’s the difficult part about having a goal that is “on-going”. But still, I am growing my vocabulary much more than if I hadn’t set this goal. I think that’s what counts.

Here are some of the words I have learned:

Franchise – the right to vote.

Disbosom – to reveal; confess.

Potvaliancy (noun) – Brave only as a result of being drunk.

Empurple – To color or become purple or purplish.

Algid (adj.) – cold; chilly.

Compotation – an act or instance of drinking or tippling together.

Exordium – the beginning of anything.

Pseudology – Lying considered as an art.

Kibitzer – a giver of uninvited or unwanted advice.

Goal #1 Visit all 50 States.

Visited Portland on 1/24/2013. Even though I spent less than 24 hrs there, I was able to try a homemade chai soda at Blueplate Lunch Counter and Soda Fountain, grilled cheese at Byways Cafe (#60, and #61 Diners Drive-ins and Dives I visited); went to a refreshing noon-time vinyasa yoga class at Yoga Pearl, and had coffee at Prasad; walked around the Pearl District and the Alphabet District for hours. I would say it was a good, productive travel day. I didn’t get to eat at Pok Pok like I planned to, cause it was a bit too far away. Maybe next time. With Oregon crossed off the list, I now have 14 more states to visit to accomplish this goal.

2013-02-03 14.42.07

Clockwise from top left: Blueplate Lunch Counter & Soda Fountain; Byways Cafe; Yoga Pearl; Prasad.

Goal #13 Get tenure

Final tenure review is fall, 2014. I just had my 4th year reappointment interview on 1/31/2013. I should find out soon whether I will still have a job or not. Fingers crossed. 

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