Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Living abundantly- Flexing your risk muscle

     I Like this quote I dislike this quote
"Everyone has a 'risk muscle.'  You keep in in shape by trying new things. If you don't, it atrophies.  Make a point of using it at least once a day."  Roger Ban Oech

My friend Lisa Conley decided to celebrate her 40thbirthday year by “living abundantly” and trying something new each month. Inspired by her beautiful spirit and zest for life, I too have started doing new things, and thanks to Groupon I can try stuff pretty inexpensively. That’s how I ended up at Foot Joy foot spa.

According to their website, Foot Joy “offers a range of reflexology therapy services. They tailor their works to meet each individual’s needs.” I had no idea what to expect when I went entered the dimly lit room full of reclining chairs for my “60 minute acupressure foot massage”. I WILL tell you that what my masseuse thought my “needs” were certainly did not live up to what I thought my “needs” were.

I was expecting a breezy foot rub, and I did get that. The first thirty minutes were a sweet mixture of pleasure, pressure and pain. They washed my feet, massaged each foot and lower leg, found a few pressure points that made me squirm and ultimately kept me in at the fine line between asleep and awake. Nice! Completely worth the $20.00 I paid.

That’s when things got weird, and the masseuse turned all ninja on me.

He reclined the chair straight back, had me lie on my stomach, jacked my shirt up, and began working on my back right there in the middle of the salon. “You muscles too tight” he told me- and the massage turned into a wrestling match as he caught me with a bionic elbow drop between my shoulder blades that literally knocked me breathless. I was “fist dropped”, “chopped”and for the finale received a “double axe handle”.

“Ok- you done.” He said, pulling my shirt down and patting my back. Owe! What the hell just happened here? I scrambled blindly in the bright outside light to my car and sat for a while to gather myself. Was it horrible? No. Would I go again? No.

I stopped to eat at a Chinese BBQ place on the way home (another first) and although they had roasted ducks that winked at me, I decided to stick to Beef and Broccoli.

My next adventures include paddling boarding with my work girls, indoor rock climbing with my kids, and trying exotic fried foods at the fair. Stay tuned- it’s going to be a fun ride.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Eating without guilt- or "man, those are good muffins!"

“Eat, drink, and be merry. For tomorrow we die.”- American Proverb

I am in love…with the pumpkin cream cheese muffins at Starbucks.  They are sweet little cakes with cream filled centers  topped with salty pumpkin seeds.  They not only taste divine,  but instantly invoke the good feelings fall- my favorite season.

I take small nibbles around the edges, sipping warm coffee in between bites- saving the gooey center for last.  Almost immediately however, a sense of guilt creeps in and I start calculating: 340 calories, 13 grams of fat and 28 grams of sugar.

My food issues go back to a time when I was about 25 pounds heavier than I am now and recovering from an on and off and on and off and on and off again relationship.  In an effort to find myself again I started exercising and eating healthier.  The weight came off quickly. 
Soon after, I became a runner and learned  that “food is fuel”.   I knew that meant I could be leaner, faster and more “bad ass” if I cut back on the Swiss Cake rolls and ate more kale.  And of course for me anything worth doing is worth doing to the extreme.  Let’s just say that my family likes what they get to eat when I go out of town. 

But this morning as I sat in the coffee shop and tasted the muffin  (instead of scarfing it down on the car ride home), that muffin spoke to me.  It said (I heard it):  “Enjoy, be thankful, and move on with your day.” 

And you know what?  I did….as I scribbled the notes down for this blog on the back of my 2000m swim plan for this evening.