Saturday, September 29, 2012

1/2 Back on the Wagon

I managed to get up early on Wednesday and went for a walk. It was quite nice. Then, I came down with a cold/flu bug on Thursday night. I still managed to get a decent walk in on Friday afternoon though.

Now that it's dark in the morning, I don't feel okay with riding my bike on the road --- even if I had lights and was covered in reflective tape. I just don't trust drivers around here that much. However, walking works because I'm on the sidewalk. So, my plan is to continue with that, and even amp it up a bit and start the Couch-to-5-K plan (I even downloaded an app for my iPhone that will give me sound cues on when to change between walking/running). 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Morning Makeover: Off the Wagon

I completely fell off the wagon this week. I didn't wake up early once to exercise. The most I did was buy an exercise DVD and yoga mat. 

I have a lot of excuses why I didn't do anything - but no good reason, really. It came down to wanting to sleep longer. 

I realize that it would have been easier to start this kind of thing in the spring when the mornings are getting lighter and warmer, not the other way around. I did find that I missed it though - I like getting the fresh air and just being with myself. So, that's a positive, right?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Breakfast Boredom

I generally have the same thing for breakfast every morning - especially during the work week: toast with peanut butter and honey, a piece of cheese, and a piece of fruit. I might sometimes do a fruit smoothie or fruit salad with yogurt instead.

I'm bored of all of this though - so, any great, fast, ideas for breakfast? Two limitations: no  straight-up milk or eggs.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Morning Makeover Check In (3)

Monday: missed
Tuesday: 30 minute bike ride
Wednesday: 30 minute bike ride
Friday: missed 
Saturday: 30 minute bike ride

This week was a bit hectic at home and work. I think the first time I took a breath was at 3:15pm on Friday afternoon. Thankfully, I did get in my three workouts, just not when I was supposed too.

I missed Monday's workout because I felt awful the night before with terrible allergies (which I rarely have) and a middle-of-the-night headache. I made up for it on Tuesday morning. Friday I missed because I had Evan in the bed with me after a rather rough night. I made up for this one on Saturday morning.

It works, though! I'm still finding it very easy to motivate myself in the morning...much easier than in the evening. For example, I was going to make up the Monday morning missed workout in the evening, but I couldn't convince myself when the time came --- but Tuesday morning was no problem.

Tuesday and Saturday morning were cool enough that I needed to wear gloves. I'm also getting a bit bored going on a bike ride each time. So, definitely need to find some other options for weather and other reasons.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Bayer (Maxidol) Response

Last week, I posted about the Maxidol commercial that was offending women across the nation. I emailed Bayer, and heard back from them today. This is what they had to say:

Dear Alyssa,

Thank you for sharing your concerns about our advertisement for Maxidol®. 

Over the past few weeks, we have heard from a small group of concerned consumers, such as yourself, and have taken this feedback to heart. After closely reviewing the matter, we have decided to withdraw our advertisement. This decision will take full effect by September 14, 2012.

At Bayer, we’re proud to help women live healthier, more empowered lives and sincerely regret if our advertisement suggested otherwise. We value the loyalty and opinions of our customers and hope that our actions demonstrate this commitment.


Amanda C. RN*
Bayer HealthCare
Consumer Care

Well, shit --- taking a stand does work sometimes! Kudos to Bayer for knowing when to own up to a screw up and actually fixing it. Hopefully I never see that ad again.

*Last name shortened for privacy.

Monday, September 10, 2012

NHL Boycott

With the NHL season looming, DH and I have made the decision that we'll be boycotting the league this year (although they might be doing it themselves if things don't get straightened out).

It's a tough decision - we used to love watching hockey. But, in the last couple of seasons we've found it has really gone downhill with the lack of consistency with penalties (especially those involving headshots and unnecessary violence) and the "old boy" feel of the game commentary (calling players girls/pussies/gay because they don't fight, etc.). Raising a little boy has really made us become more aware of how bad it is, and we don't want that around him.

Even after a Calgary ruling to increase the age at which hockey players are allowed to bodycheck, junior leagues across the country are still allowing children as young as 11-12 years old to do it during a game (source: Winnipeg Free Press). This is even after a study came out that found hockey players younger than 13 were 3 times more likely to suffer concussions or major injuries if bodychecking was part of the game.

It's now well-known that concussions are incredibly serious injuries. They are cumulative over a lifetime and can have troubling long-term effects:
There are an increasing number of retired athletes who have been diagnosed posthumously with a degenerative disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).  Researchers at several centers around the country are studying this disease, its cause and progression.  The Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy in Boston states that CTE is the only preventable form of dementia.  Ninety percent of confirmed cases have been in retired athletes. Athletes who have a history of multiple concussions have a higher incidence of dementia and dementia-related diseases later in life.
(source - emphasis is mine). In addition, it seems that concussions are much more harmful to a teenage brain, when it's still deep in development mode.

Crosby's concussion - a result from a hit from David Steckel during the January 2011 Winter Classic - seemed to be changing things in the minor leagues, but Steckel himself was not punished for the hit. Crosby ended up playing a few days later, even though he was injured, and suffered another headshot from Victor Hedman (also not punished). A year later, he was still not concussion symptom-free. Yet, even though it's talked about in NHL circles, nothing seems to be changing. Hell, even one of the main page features on the NHL site is about the "biggest hits" from last season.

For us, enough is enough. We'll stick with sports where unnecessary violence is taken seriously and penalized appropriately.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Morning Makeover Check-In (2)

Sunday: 30 minute bike ride
Tuesday: 30 minutes of yoga
Thursday: 30 minute bike ride
Saturday: 30 minute bike ride, in the pouring rain

This week was pretty easy, since 3 out of the 4 days I actually didn't have to wake up early. Thursday was the only day I had to set my alarm. I pressed the snooze alarm once, but woke myself up before it went off again and was out the door on time.

I don't know if I'm just more positive in the morning, or I just don't have the energy to talk myself out of things, but I've been surprised how easy it has been to motivate myself. I mean, I even went for a bike ride this morning in the rain. If you know me, that is a huge accomplishment. It would have been a perfect excuse to let it slide, but it was easy to talk myself into it.

The rain this morning is making me think about what I'll do come the time where it's too dark and cold to exercise outside. I'm contemplating buying a spin bike and/or fitness videos. My one big problem is where will I exercise? We only have one TV, which is in the living room where DH and Evan start their morning (there's no way Evan will let me workout if he's up and in the same room). So, doing exercise videos there won't work. There's no way I'm ugly-ing our living room up with exercise equipment (all the toys are bad enough). Our basement is awful...maybe the office?

Any tips or suggestions would be appreciated!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Maxidol Commercial

Last weekend, as I was enjoying an action flick on TV, I was bombarded every commercial break with the latest Maxidol commercial that made me more angry every time I watched it.

I've tried searching for it online, but have come up empty-handed so far.*  But, if you search for "maxidol time of the month commercial", you'll see I'm not the only one annoyed by it.

The commercial starts with a view of a woman's work desk, and the narrator saying something along the lines of Poor Susie - she's off work today because of cramping, bloating... --- you get the idea. As the list goes on, the commercial cuts to a scene of a woman shopping to her heart's content and leaving the store with both hands full of bags.

If you can't figure out why this ad pisses me off, here's a list of things it implies:
1. Women are unreliable when having their period
2. Even if women feel okay during their period, they'll use it as an excuse to get out of work
3. When women do skip out of work, it's to go shopping
4. Women love to shop, especially when having their period
5. Women can't stop themselves when shopping and always over-indulge

I don't know who's idea this commercial was, or who let it air, but join me in telling Maxidol (Bayer Canada is the parent company - email is contactbayer@bayer.com) that they should go to hell!** And, no, I'm not irritable because of PMS. I'm irritable because this sexist shit is apparently still acceptable.

*If anyone has a link, let me know.
**I sent them an email on Tuesday - will update if I hear anything back!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Daycare Transition

Last Friday was the final day at Evan's old daycare, Cantara. After months of the unknown, followed by more months of counting down, the daycare and associated teen pregnancy centre is now closed for good.

It was a bit sad in the last few weeks, with another child leaving every few days. By the end, there were only a handful of kids left and four staff members. It was incredibly tough to say goodbye. Evan was very close with some of the other children and staff, and they will all be missed dearly.

Today is Evan's first full day at his new daycare. He visited every morning last week, and he did progressively better each day. So, hopefully he does okay today and continues to get used to the new routines, kids, staff, toys, and everything else.

We really like the philosophy of the new daycare - it's very much child-led, inquiry-based learning. Each child has their own portfolio which outlines what they're learning and are interested in. There is also a lot of room for parents to get involved, either directly (going into the class) or indirectly (adding stories/photos/etc. to the portfolio, taking part in family events, etc.). 

We hope that it will be a good fit for our family. Though we'll always have a special place in our hearts for Cantara.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Morning Makeover Check-In

Earlier this week, I wrote about how I was inspired to take advantage of early morning hours, when I tend to be more motivated and positive about trying new things. My main goal is to re-introduce exercise into my life.

Each week, I'll update how I'm doing. This will be more for my own benefit than for my readers, because writing it down for people to see might keep my motivation up.

Week 1 goal: actually waking up early and getting my butt moving somehow.
Monday: 35 minute walk
Wednesday: 30 minute bike-ride
Friday: 30 minute walk

Yay for achieving my weekly goal! I think I'll keep this goal for the next week as well, to keep things realistic. Some thoughts on the process so far:

- It's getting darker each morning, so I need to get a jacket with reflective tape - or buy reflective tape to put on a jacket I already have.
- I need a digital watch so I don't have to bring my iPhone.
- Even if I'm feeling crappy in the morning, getting out makes me feel better (this happened on Friday morning)