Sunday, October 20, 2013

Complain Less - Celebrate More

I came across a post by Joshua Becker from his blog, Becoming Minimalist, titled How to Complain Less. 

In it, he mentions that we all have the knowledge that life is not perfect. Despite this knowledge, we continue to complain about life's imperfections. He tells us more about why complaining is bad and some steps on how to complain less. He talks about:

  • Considering the importance of adopting change
  • Embracing the recognition of an imperfect world
  • Understanding the difference between helpful criticism and complaint
  • Being mindful of the audience
  • Not starting conversations with complaints 
  • Not complaining for the sake of validation ("I'm soooo busy" sound familiar?)
  • Noticing triggers that lead to complaints
  • Embracing the idea of experimentation (Rather than setting a goal of never complaining again, experiment by designating a short period of time to be more mindful and take baby steps to improve)
On top of this, I'd like to offer some additional thoughts. Joshua opens his article with a quote that I really liked and instantly shared on my facebook wall. 
"You can complain because roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because thorns have roses." - Tom Wilson 
It made me think of what my husband use to force me to do. Right before we went to sleep, he'd roll over and ask "what three good things happened today". At first it was very annoying - him trying to make me think right when I wanted to sleep. But then you start to pick out the positive, little things which actually mean something to you and you realise that no matter how bad you felt your day was, there was always some positive in it. Perhaps it was a particularly good cup of coffee. Perhaps you got a text from a friend that made you smile or laugh out loud. Maybe, it was just that you got to watch TV with your significant other or read the new issue of a magazine you've been waiting for. 

We don't do this anymore, but there are days I return from work, brain dead, tired, just wanting to crash on the couch and all I want to say when my husband asks how my day was is "It was sooooooo busy". But more often than not, I now try to be much more positive. I try to respond with something like, "It was productive" and then tell him something funny that someone said or did at work. Or something amazing that I saw, or an interesting article that I had read. In Sydney at this time of year, the jacarandas bloom and sometimes that's the best story I have from the day - "I was walking home and there was a jacaranda tree in full bloom. A splash of purple in the sea of all those green trees." Maybe it's just be but that makes me smile because it is such a beautiful sight. 

I'm definitely guilty of complaining and my husband's response of "and what are you doing about it?" usually makes me take a step back. Don't complain for the sake of complaining. Do something. And if there is nothing that you or anyone else can do, accept it and move along. 

I'm choosing to celebrate roses, which make the thorns so appealing. And I will set up the experiment of trying to be more mindful about complaining and focus on minimizing it. 

xoxo me

Thursday, October 17, 2013

[12wbt] Drunkorexia?

Saw this article in The Age this morning titled: "Are you a drunkorexic? The dangers of dieting to drink".

The article discusses the dangers what some people put themselves through - skip a meal to keep the calories for alcohol instead. The issue with this is that people open themselves up to alcohol-related disease or injury and also miss out on all the goodies (proteins, carbs, nutrients, vitamins) that comes with eating a proper meal. 

I don't do this, I don't condone it, but I must say that I am guilty of saving my snack calories so that I can have a sneaky something something (Arnott's Full 'O Fruit, Oreos, Ice Cream etc) as a snack after dinner. However, I have been starting to wonder how this will affect eating habits once you move off a plan like the 12wbt. For me, and I'm making an assumption that this would be the same for most folks, it's about doing the plan and creating new lifestyle habits to sustain for the years to come. Things like portion control and eating good "clean" food. I don't starve myself during the day so that I can eat a bunch of snack/junk foods after dinner but I do try to keep the snacking to a minimum. And at the end of the day, if I come under 1200 calories, I top it up with sweet/salty junk food "goodness". 

As a result, I do wonder about developing the habit of always having a snack after dinner. It seems harmless enough if it's only a small treat, and perhaps a good thing in helping one keep on track during the week and not having an "unscheduled blowout" (by that I mean a treat meal other than the one specified on the Saturday after you've done a long workout). I guess it's a matter of keeping the serving sizes to a small snack serve and being disciplined (!!) enough to say no to more food. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Singapore Day!

A few years ago when I was still living in Melbourne, I was walking home and kept seeing people walking away from the Botanical Gardens with papers bags which said "I <3 SG" (stylised in the "I heart NY fashion"). Being Singaporean, my curiosity peaked and a quick google search told me that there had been a "Singapore Day" held in Melbourne. 

Further investigation lead me to discover that Singapore Day is a Singaporean and family only event hosted by the Overseas Singaporean Unit. It is a way of bringing the familiarity of Singapore to those who are living and working overseas. It is a completely free event and the best part is that they fly up Singapore "Hawkers" to whichever city is hosting Singapore Day each year - and the food in completely free! 

This year, Singapore Day was held in Sydney! Still being Singaporean, I register for myself and Hubby to attend. We make our way to The Domain where the event is being held and then proceed to consume our weight in food. We didn't get everything that was up for grabs but we did manage to score some Singapore Chilli Crab, which ran out two hours after the event commenced! The curry puff, chilli crab, nasi lemak and satay pictured below were just a handful of the goodies on offer. We also managed to get some hainanese chicken rice and kway chap. Unfortunately, we were way too full to eat anything else and missed out on things like Indian Rojak, Hokkien Mee and BBQ Stingray. Mmmm.... Definitely looking forward to my trip back to Singapore at the end of the year! 

Catch up

Oh dear. It seems like it's been a while longer since my last post than I realised. 

Well, a bit has happened, most importantly that it was a long weekend here in Sydney! It was exciting as hubby and I had booked into a little b&b called Broomelea in the Blue Mountains. We stayed there in April this year, our first visit to the Blue Mountains, and we loved it so much that we booked another stay. 

I tried to get my weekly long run out on Friday morning and that was a disaster. I couldn't run the whole time and ended up run/walking for the allotted time which really annoyed me. I know I hadn't been consistent but I was going at a slow pace and just trying to run for time. 

That annoyed me for most of the day but come Friday afternoon, it was time to brush it off and head for the Mountains! We stopped in Katoomba for a pub meal for dinner and then onwards to Leura. We spent the evening planning our walks for the weekend. It started with a 5 hr, moderate track in Blackheath, starting at the Govett's Leap lookout. We arrived at Govett's Leap, I stepped out of the car and walked towards the lookout point. I was immediately breathless - I had forgotten how beautiful the Blue Mountains are. After making our way through the bush, it's dinner at the local Leura Pub, the Alexandra Hotel. 

The next day, it was a short walk after breakfast and then high tea for lunch (woot!) before a drive to the Jenolan Caves. I was told the caves were amazing, and it was not a lie. We managed to get onto the last Lucas Cave tour of the day - the largest cave at Jenolan. For dinner we swing into a place called the "Yellow Deli" in Katoomba for an early dinner. Now - we were told that it was run by a religious sect / cult-esque group. Perhaps that's true, but the food was great! We split a chicken burger and a pumpkin soup - delish!

The next morning, it was a breezy drive back to Sydney, but not before we squeeze in a final walk. A short 1hr walk, which awkwardly took us through the Leura Golf Course, to a couple of less visited but equally rewarding lookout points