Monday, March 27, 2017

2017: Fitness and Focus

3 months of 2017 have already gone by, and this post has been lying in my drafts much too long. Much too late for a resolution, but no harm in aiming at April for a fresh start right ;)?

Last year was my year of #fitbyforty and it felt like I got so much closer to my goal of getting fitter. 2017.. well, not so good so far. Too many small niggles with health and a lack of motivation. Every time I have a slip-up or a gap with working out like this, I can feel the stamina getting lower and it doesn't feel good.

We saw an elderly person in a motorized wheelchair the other day, and I had the following conversation with my 8-year-old athlete:

S: Amma, would you like to use one of those when you get old (he thought it would be like a cool new toy I suppose)
Me: (slightly aghast) No darling! I hope I can be walking around all by myself even when I'm quite old.
S: Oh ok (considering this new light thrown on his simple question)

S: So when you're a 100..
Me: 100?! I don't think I want to live that long baby!
S: Of course you must!
Me: But then you'll end up spending all your time looking after me!
S: That's ok. I'll just tell my teammates that I can only run important races, and will spend the rest of my time looking after you.

Me: (Reminding him that he'll be close to 70 by then, but he is sure he'll still be "racing" around then)

I can feel that as I enter my forties, I am having to work a lot harder to retain a decent level of fitness. I know that strength training is even more important now for bone health after this age. While weight has never been a major issue, there are definitely certain fat deposits that I would like to get rid of. I KNOW all this in my head, so I need do-able workout plans for the rest of this year which will help me be consistent.

This is it. I can feel it. My turning point. My Now or Never. If I don't get my act together and make it happen now, the downslide will begin. Bad knees, joints and other aches and pains will take over. I absolutely do not want to go there, and that will have to be motivation enough.

"Focus" is something I am beginning to think of as my Word of the Year. It definitely doesn't feel like "my" word yet, but it needs to be at least by the time the year ends ;). Not just in fitness, but in so many other parts of life too.

  1. For fitness, I'm going to start small. Aim at doing some form of exercise everyday - It maybe even just a 15 min walk on some days, but I need to set that schedule again and then build on it further. 
  2. Daily planning with the Bullet Journal is something that I have been trying for a while, but have not been consistent with. I even tried using the nicest of planners for motivation, but then I didn't have the heart to write in it too much ;). I am beginning to feel that a weekly format will work better for me, though some details might still need to be on a daily level. I am going to restart with this in April and see where it takes me. Maybe that elusive menu planning will finally make it into my life at last ;).
  3. Life just seems to get really busy with regular weekday and weekend activities and I need a reminder to take time out and explore more around Singapore, and of course as always - take more photos as well! Hoping to set a reminder and do something once a month at the very least , and ideally as a family. With school holidays coming up, there's no better time than April to start. Putting it down here is also good for accountability, so let's see how it goes.

Thanks for reading this far! If you have any fitness or planning tips for me based on your experience, do let me know in the comments.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Math: Friend or Foe?

Humour has become a big part of my parenting style, I swear it is the only reason I manage to not lose my temper about 20 times a day. I can manage to turn around most situations - with a joke or anecdote or just a quip - on D(11) and S(8) and avoid tantrums - theirs and mine ;).

When it comes to teaching especially, I have a tough time holding on to my patience but again with most subjects, we manage without too many explosions. I also made sure to inculcate self-study in both the kids, all the better to avoid teaching situations and let me stay in my calm bubble. The odd instance though, definitely comes up from time to time, and Math has lately become our nemesis. Weirdly enough, both the spouse and I used to love the subject when at school, but now D has got it into her head that "she's bad at Math" and nothing I say will get her out of that mode - especially when she's finding a particular topic tough.

The latest? Algebra! Don't kill me, but I actually find it fascinating, at least at the simple levels when I can actually teach it pretty well. But our early learning sessions went like this:

We are reading questions and trying to construct the equations -
D: 3 consecutive even numbers add up to 36. Find the numbers.
Me: Ok, can you tell me the equation for this now? What is the first number?
D: x
Me: Great, so what are the 2nd and 3rd numbers.
D: ... I think the numbers are 10 and...
Me: Why are you going to the answers? Tell me the equation first.
D: I don't know how.
Me: If the first number is x, what is the next. The point of algebra is to start from the equation, not to just guess at the numbers and try to find them!
D: I don't know.
Me: It's the next even number. Think.
D: I don't like Math.
Me: Try! You know this!
D: I'm bad at Math.

...A meltdown and 2 hours later, we finally go back to it, find the equation and the numbers.

And this is why I make weird faces when someone asks me why I didn't think of moving to teaching as a profession ;).

Plan for 2017: I am determined to get D proficient at Algebra, at least so that she can teach S in a couple of years and I don't have to go through a repeat of this.