Perception is Everything?

‘They’ say perception is everything. I’m not sure if it’s actually everything or not but it certainly plays a major role in how we each individually work within the world. If your perceptions on something change then your whole world can change instantly.

Perception: noun

  1. the act or faculty of perceiving, or apprehending by means of the senses or of the mind; cognition; understanding.
  2. immediate or intuitive recognition or appreciation, as of moral, psychological, or aesthetic qualities; insight; intuition; discernment: an artist of rare perception.

The other day I went to work out and had my perceptions completely altered. Let me preface this by sharing a thought I have never understood. That is the thought of why people carry notebooks with them in the gym. I have never been much into fitness so keeping stats seemed weird to me. The designer in me would think maybe they wanted to do some type of info graphic like I had to do while studying abroad but I don’t truly think that was why. Not that it bothered me at all, I just have never seen the need. This, as it turns out, has been proven false as I try to recall what fitness I have done when. Perhaps a notebook is the way to go. I find a side note added in my planner works just as well. But I digress (shocker).

A couple of nights ago I was heading into the center to workout. Right before slamming the door of my car shut I decided to grab my notepad. This is the notepad I’ve taken to keeping in my purse because I never know when I’ll want to jot down some notes on a random prompt or do some other writing. I went in and cahnged; grabbed my headphones, notepad and pen; and then made my way to the treadmills. I was all situated, started my workout, and then flipped open my notepad. As of late I have found that my mind starts to wander as my legs start to move. I was hoping to harness some of that wandering time to get some writing done.


Yes, this is how one prompt began. Quite messy, but ended up just fine. (Image links to entry)

Have you ever tried writing while moving? It is not the easiest task (as you can see to the left, it’s quite sloppy). I dropped the note pad once and was lucky not to biff. Anyway I didn’t get a lot written but I did get a lot thought out so I guess it works out. I started feeling high maintenance about half way through and decided to focus on the faux hills I was traversing. As I jogged a tangent popped into my head. What if other people are doing what I do? What if they aren’t recording their stats of how much they benched or how far they ran? What if they are taking down the random little details that pop into your head when your body is otherwise engaged? Perhaps I’ve been wrong my entire life. No, that certainly can’t be it. I’m sure most of them were keeping notes, but I doubt I’ll ever be able to think about people carrying notepads around the center the same. My perceptions have been permanently altered.

A different example that starts with the fact that I’ve taken to I forget that I have been out of school for nearly five years. In that time I have become more efficient and able to take on a work load bigger than those who have only been out for one year. This makes sense when you think it through, but it was made apparent last week. I was talking to my coworker and commented how I had gotten my tasks down to nine more things to work on. I had intended this to be a happy thing, I had started the day with a lot more and had worked to cut it down to an easy rest of the day. She however thought something else. This was obvious in her, “Oh, I’m sorry” response. Perception. If I was still in my first or second year out and had that many tasks I would feel swamped. Now I’ve learned a bit more how to handle the ‘stress’ and work in general. Funny thing time. It works without you realizing it. It’s good to be reminded that people operate on different levels and to play on those. Divide and conqueror so to speak. Which we do, quite often.

As I write about these things I’m reminded of some lyrics in the Musical Wicked:

“A man’s called a traitor – or liberator
A rich man’s a thief – or philanthropist
Is one a crusader – or ruthless invader?
It’s all in which label is able to persist

I hope I am able to remember these type of things in the future. Especially if I happen to be at odds with someone. The above examples it didn’t matter that my perceptions were different then other people, but if I can just remember that everyone else is coming from a different place then i can do my best to see it from that place too. True, I might not succeed, but maybe my footing will change to somewhere that is at least even with the other.

Until next time
~ Q

On the journey…the traveler is hit by a cold front and decides to see how others weather the storm.

So the ‘problem’ with starting a diet in the fall is that it gets colder in the fall. As the temperature drops so does my desire to do anything. Who wants to go for a jog outside with toes so cold they feel like they’ll fall off? Waking up early to go to the gym gets harder and harder as the temperature difference between my bed and my room gets higher and higher. The dreaded sensation of bare toes hitting cold floor is enough to make me snuggle down and hit snooze ad nauseam. What does that mean for me? I need to hurry up and embrace my winter lifestyle.

This year has been an odd one, each time I start to acclimate to the cooling temperatures there have been a stretch of ‘hot’ days. Now, at the end of October, I think that juxtaposition has come to an end. After this crazy week of adjusting to that fact I think I’ll be ready to embrace Winter Jamie with open arms. It’s good for me to get use to waking up at 5:30 to workout (which I have managed to do a handful of times since I initiated it last week). Especially since once the white stuff starts to fly that’s what time I’ll need to wake up to shovel my driveway.

To remind myself to not be lazy, I decided to give myself a little jolt of reality. While searching the web I stumbled upon this little nugget:

Hint, you want to be closer to the left on this spectrum. (I'm 'rocking' a C-)

Hint, you want to be closer to the left on this spectrum (below 25 is considered a healthy weight). (I’m ‘rocking’ a C-)

These are scans of what people look like the more weight they carry. There are several others you can check out that also shows the effects it has on your organs and overall health. The long and the short of it is that it’s not good to have so much yellow (fat). So any (healthy) way you can whittle that off you is good. For instance, a good weight range for my 5’7″ (or 8″ on a good day) frame would be between 121 and 153. My goal of 135 is a nice midpoint I think. Not to small but not too close to overweight either. Also, that way if I fall short of my goal I’ll still be in a healthy range. See? Always thinking ahead.

October 31Now, I am a visual person, however I also like relating to what I see. The above, being all clinical and precise, is hard to relate to. After all, that’s not what people actually look like. I’m finding that one tactic my brain likes to use as motivation is ‘If they can do it, I certainly can.’ In that vein in addition to looking at the medical motivators (see above) I’ll also searched out more human sources. I wanted to read about specific people’s weight loss experiences. As part of my binder I had a couple that were in a magazine article, but I wanted a more in-depth look. Using the Google machine it didn’t take long to find a list of “the most inspirational weight loss bloggers of last year” according to one site (too early for this year’s list).  I decided to break up the list and look at a few each week (That way I always a fresh supply of motivation). I’ll be sure to share the ones I enjoy the most (or are the most helpful).

Until next time
~ Q

Daily Reminders – Week 3

Daily Reminders – Week 3


The Journey Continues…with a 6 AM workout.

Let me tell you how much I like hearing my alarm go off at 5:10 in the morning. NOT. AT. ALL. Then again at 5:19 and again at 5:28 at which point I decided I couldn’t put off the inevitable any longer. Rolling out of bed the lights were far too far away so I decided to just fumble in the dark. I had already laid everything out the night before: workout clothes – check, post-workout bag – check. After getting dressed I grabbed a smoothie I had also made the night before and with a little toast I was out the door and on my way to the gym.

Wednesday, October 22

Today’s coincidental reminder. I CAN get up early to workout and I WILL.

I had been telling myself the entire time I was getting things situated the night before that it wasn’t going to be fun. That I would be too tired and it would hurt because my body wasn’t quite awake yet. Was I wrong? Of course I was. (Getting my mind on board to the notion will make it easier in the long run I’m guessing) Was it a cloud of rainbows and unicorns fun? Well, no, but what outside of Care Bears and Rainbow Brite is? It wasn’t bad at all. In fact, I was sad I didn’t have time for a full hour, limiting myself to just cycling. Tomorrow, dare I say it, I might get up a pinch earlier (or get out the door sooner) to ensure I have time to cycle and elliptical. My coordination wasn’t ready for the latter when I arrived at the gym this particular morning, but after the bike ‘warm-up’ it could work. We’ll certainly see. Now if my energy will hold throughout the day then I’ll have a well-made match.

Why am I doing the morning workouts? I think I need to do it before my brain has really put together what it’s doing (since it’s being slow on the healthy lifestyle uptake). If I wait until after work I have too much time to give myself reasons not to go. (I really need to start the laundry, there is a lot of detail painting left to do in the basement, I need to stay late to get a couple more projects done, etc etc). By taking the bull by the horns and just doing it I feel pretty good. It will start to feel even better as I push myself to meet my potential (despite not feeling ready in the morning). After all, I am a morning person, just need to recalibrate my days to start a pinch earlier.

Until next time
~ Q

Daily Reminders - Week 2

Daily Reminders – Week 2

Departing on a magical journey to the land of good health

Something I don’t write about is health. Probably because I’ve never been too focused or concerned about it. I’m not the healthiest person in the world, but I’m not the worse either. That being said, two years ago I started a health initiative for myself. I wanted to get healthy and stay that way. For about a year I was well on that road. Then something happened and I decided to take a break (honestly don’t remember what, I think I just got busy and allowed some of my old habits to creep back in and make me lazy). Seeing as how I started in October last time, I’m going to go ahead and do that again and lose the rest of the weight I wanted to lose back in 2012. I lost about half of my goal the first time around, so now it is beyond time to lose the other half.

All choicesWhat steps am I taking? For starters, actual steps. Working out is obviously a big key to weight loss and overall health, but as many will tell you that is only a part of the equation. Another is adopting a healthier diet, or at least one that doesn’t include eating everything in sight. Another factor, one talked about less often, is how important mental health is to overall health. The mind is the pilot, if it’s not ‘on-board’ how can it deliver the body to where it needs to be?

I gave myself a ‘soft’ start (not unlike a soft opening businesses do) last week. Weighed in, developed a plan (like any FCCLA-er would), and started implementing what I could. To conquer the physical I found some 30-day fitness challenges I could do (one for each month) as well as got my work out clothes ready (found and washed) for going to the fitness center. For the diet I organized a couple weeks of meal plans to get me started. To improve and maintain my mental state I made some cards to keep me motivated, valuable things to remember in general and made my health binder. Overkill? Perhaps, but what I’ve been doing hasn’t been working, so things needed to change.

October 15

Bi-monthly weigh-in progress

Monday was my real kick off. What does that look like? Everyday eating the right kind of foods at sensible portions, tick off one day’s worth of fitness challenge, go to the gym 3 times a week (for starters, will work my way up to the recommended 5) and keeping a good head on my shoulders. Hopefully, with some dedication and patience I’ll make my goal by my birthday. It’s a long way off (seven and a half months) but I have a long way to go.

We’ll see how this experiment goes. Maybe by writing about it/needing something to write I’ll be inspired to stay on track. Fingers crossed.

Until next time
~ Q


Daily Reminders – Week 1