x5 tips for turning busyness into activeness

Technology frees up time. But the tragedy is that we use that spare time to be even more busy. We work more instead of doing the things that bring us joy. There have been a couple of articles floating around describing society’s busyness as an epidemic. Our self-created stress. 

The crazy thing is that we sacrifice the activities that help de-stress us. Our hobbies, our down time, the time for gym, running, cycling, playing with the kids or walking the dog. Making time has become harder and harder. Notice, I said “making” and not “finding” because as my running Junkie friend Brenda always reminds me, you will never find time. You need to make it.

So in making time to be active, here are a few tips:

  1. Pack your gym bag for the whole week, not just one session. I fill my bag with x4 gym kits for the week ahead. Socks, tops, the works. This commits me to training for the entire week with no excuse that I did not have time to pack my bag.Gym
  2. Try a service such as UCook which helps take the pain of deciding what to buy & cook away. We have been testing out UCook for the last three weeks. The big win is that supper is decided a week ahead & when I get home, all I do is grab the brown paper bag full of delicious fresh groceries out of the fridge and off I go. No need to think of creative meals and defrost and prepare. All of this is done for you!img_4239
  3. Train whenever & wherever you go. I had almost cancelled a meal at my Dad last week because I had not yet completed day 4 of my training program. I realized that doing the program would be simple enough to do in his lounge, while he cooked supper. I arrived at his place, threw my gym mat on the floor and with Shadow, my favorite dog, circling me, I managed to do my x3 sets of squats and lunges (before we tucked into macaroni cheese).img_3911.jpg
  4. Monitor your steps. I’ve started to track my steps during the day to monitor when I’ve been vegging at my desk and only taken 3000 steps compared to some days when I’m able to reach a goal of 10 000 steps. On the low days, it’s easy to re-route myself and take the stairs to the staff parkade and even head out for a 20 minute walk to watch the sun set, just to ensure I’ve moved.
  5. Weekday/weekend runs are the new coffee catchups. Meeting up with a friend for a walk or run is the killing two birds with one stone philosophy. You have no idea how much chatting you do when you’re running together, but also how great you feel after the run. Skinny & loved! *jokes* There are so many opportunities to do this that have popped up too; Parkruns and CMIYC (Catch me if you can) come to mind.

Winter is coming! Seriously though, the darker morning and evenings limit the time we have to spend outdoors even more. It’s cold and every fibre of your body will beg you to stay under the covers. So that’s why I’m putting plans in place and getting into the habit now to make time for the things that matter.

Any tips you want to share that have worked for you?

My year captured in 12 pics


1. The year started with us finding out that Annie had a tumor on her adrenal gland. It was successfully removed, however the remaining gland has not been able to do the job for two glands, so Annie remains on high levels of cortisone.  2. Track sessions with the Running Junkies continued.  3. There were many races run this year, including Two Oceans half marathon. My times were not so great.  4. A few of my running buddies left SA to take on adventures overseas in Munich & Dublin. I miss them!  5. I learned that I can hit a golf ball.  6. KK ran another Comrades race. He shaved off even more time and now is determined to kickstart his 2017 training.  7. We holidayed in the beautiful Drakensburg with Dan & Linda. This photo also won me first place at camera club.  8. I ran my first trail run. Without proper gear, my feet ached for days.  9. I went back to Mari, my bio to help me with my running form. I’ve since scaled down on running such far distances & focus on 5kms and 10kms.  10. I commissioned my first rooster from a street wire artist.  11. KK ran his first Otter trail run. Again, the bug has bitten and I can’t see any other race coming close in terms of fun, views and organisation.  12. We renovated and I painted my walls blue. I absolutely love the colour! I’m so proud of myself for being brave and different!

Here’s hoping 2017 brings even more ‘firsts’ and exciting surprises!

So? How’s things going?

The last time I stopped to assess where, what and how my life was going was in March. It feels like ages ago and as Spring has arrived, I thought there is no better time to do it again.

My body: With the hope of losing 7 kgs before December, it came down to me going back to Melanie (read: saviour dietitian) in July to get me back on track with my eating. After two consultations, I have managed to lose over 1kg. It turns out that eating salads every day is not that bad, especially when I’m able to load it with my new favourite item – tomaraisins!

Plan of action: keep up the good eating routine. I have also stuck up a picture of myself on my desk. It’s a picture from 2010 when I was happy with my body and where I want to get back to.

My work: Can it get any busier? Busy is good but I do find there are some things which I am never getting to. Research, new trends, networking…  All these types of activities have pretty much taken a back seat while I struggle with what feels like mostly admin on some days.

Plan of action: Realise that the admin needs to be done but to find time for other stuff.

My home: It feels as if everything in my house needs work. The curtains need cleaning, bedroom carpets need washing, the pool needs to be fixed, the garden needs pruning, the water feature needs to be replaced. The big problem is that there is never enough time on weekends to get to most of these chores.

Plan of action: Write up a to-do list and prioritise what needs to be done. Decide on what’s really important in life.

My time: KK and I have bought bikes. For anyone in to sport, just that statement will explain everything. Riding takes up so much extra time (and money) compared to running. The problem is that even though we do most of our hobbies together, it has taken a lot of time away from some of the other things we used to do together. There is also less time for chores around the house.

Plan of action: Make time! Even if it means sitting together with a calendar and booking time out.

My running: I took a break during Winter mainly due to foot injuries, flu and … well, to be honest, I hate running in the cold. But as Spring has set in, I’ve started to run a regular 5km route on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I’ve also run two 10km races. I feels great to be back!

Plan of action: Stick with it and enjoy!

If I look at my list and review all these areas, the one major theme stands out: TIME. It’s become a real commodity lately and can truly make such a difference to my life in terms of the goals I set for myself. Thank-goodness I am still finding time to run. That’s a good thing, right!

The next time I look, it will be Christmas. *gasps*  – 119 days to go!

7 things you most probably didn’t know about me…

So the challenge came from @TanyaKovarsky’s blog www.dearmax.org to list 7 things about myself that you most probably didn’t know.

Okay, so here goes:

1. When I was growing up, I collected Pink Panthers. At one stage I had 27 of them and called them my ‘Pankies’. I still have a few in the garage that I really should donate to charity. It just breaks my heart to get rid of them. 

2. I was born a ginger, had blonde hair growing up, but now I am dark brunette.

3. I studied Information Science, which is really a fancy name for Librarianship. Yes, I like to wear my hair tied up in a bun and still remember the Dewey Decimal classification system.

4. I am an avid (closet) cross stitcher.

I really need to find time to do it. It truly is addictive and can keep me busy for hours.

5. I love documentaries. Especially about 9/11, The Kennedy’s and Man’s first flight to the Moon.

6. I never learnt to swim. I can do doggie paddle but never learnt to do crawl or backstroke or anything fancy. If I am totally honest, I am not really a water person at all.

7. Even though I have travelled to many exotic places, the Kruger Park and Namibia remain my two favourite places in the world! I was fortunate enough to spend a week quadbiking, 4X4’ing, sand boarding down the dunes in Walvis Bay and swimming with the dolphins two years ago. It’s a memory I will cherish forever!

Please share your 7 things with me! You’ll be amazed just how fascinating people find you!

I know I will….