Don’t Hate Me Because I am Type A

“Hey Type A girl, it’s just the driveway.  You don’t need to get all of the snow off.” 

What?  But, I am shoveling the driveway and my work is a reflection of me and did you see the neighbors driveway?  How about wanting to set a good example for our son who is making money shoveling snow?  Do we want to set the bar so low that we can’t look our neighbors in the eye this spring because our son saw mommy do a crappy job on the driveway and he felt that was how it should look when he was out working for real money?  Hey, he owes us a ton of dough for hacking our xbox live account and buying all of those games.  He needs to be the best snow shoveler in town or we’ll never see that money.

Type A isn’t the problem.  Wanting to do everything with excellence should be celebrated.  Mediocrity is the problem.  Do one job poorly and the world doesn’t come to an end so you put a little less attention into the next job and then the next and all of a sudden you aren’t performing at your best at anything.  Getting it back.  That is tough.  Never getting there by refusing to settle for mediocrity.  That is much easier. 

How many people today are making a New Year’s resolution to get back something they lost? 

  • get out of debt
  • get back to the gym
  • get a new career
  • lose 10 pounds
  • quit smoking

How did it start? We let one little detail slide and all of a sudden we wake up one day in debt or with a little pouch in our belly.  We all make choices.  If you don’t want to see both lanes in the driveway.  That’s ok.  Just don’t hate me because I am Type A.

The 4 Hour Body

My friend’s enthusiasm over this book, The 4 Hour Body, interested me enough to download it the same day.  He was geeked, and rightfully so.  He attributed techniques in the book to losing double digit pounds in 14 days.  For a tall and naturally thin person this is quite a feat.  As a health conscious person, always looking for ways to improve, I was intrigued.

I downloaded the book on Audible and listened to it in it’s entirety in less than a day.  I was not hooked by all of the great tips that I couldn’t wait to put into practice.  I was hooked by the bizarreness of it.  Much like you can’t take your eyes off of a creepy movie, I listened to nearly 4 hours of weirdness.

Practices I will put into place from 4HB:

1) Start each day drinking a glass of cold water.  This one makes sense and is practical and I heard Cameron Diaz tout it is one of her beauty secrets.

Practices I will continue that were reinforced in 4HB:

1)  Don’t drink your calories.  I am much happier enjoying cheesecake at the end of a meal than hating my pillow for hurting my head after too much wine.
2)  Cheating regularly.  Not only does Berta (the 300 pound Italian girl within me) win sometimes she should. 

Practices I will ignore from this book (and recommend that you do too).

1)  Avoiding all things white.  This is too stressful (and expensive) and you should be able to enjoy the food you eat in moderation.
2)  Avoiding all fruit.  No comment necessary.
3)  Avoiding dairy.  I don’t think any of us would be too fond of osteoporosis.
4)  Eating canned beans and vegetables.  Have you checked out the sodium in these?
5)  Drink 2 glasses of red wine every night.  What happenend to not drinking your calories?

Downright ridiculous comments in the book

1)  Europeans didn’t have fruit year round and yet we exist today.  Yes, but they only lived into their 40’s and how about that scurvy?
2)  The 15 minute orgasm.  He is pretty liberal in what he considers an orgasm.  Me, I am much more specific and I bet that you are too.
3)  CEO’s don’t act like sex machines.  He obviously doesn’t watch much news.  Business leaders, politicians, clergy, there is no industry free from sex addicts.
4)  On cheat day eat until you’re sick.  Boy, that sounds like fun.  Just like the diarrhea he says you may get from this lifestyle.  I think I will pass . . . and I don’t mean pass gas. 

As for the 4 Hour Anything, hard work is and always has been the only way to get ahead. 

What is the craziest diet or exercise that you have tried?

Growing Up Italian; The Curse of Your Great Aunt

Growing up Italian had many benefits. People always asking “why are you so tan”. Having a nice dark, olive base that always turned golden brown the first day of summer was awesome.  Secretly, that was more of a result of a mom who made us play outside unless it was raining, but we loved the jealous looks.

Food, food, and more food. Growing up we didn’t know that other families didn’t cook. We also didn’t know
what amazing delicacies we were treated to on a regular basis. Homemade ravioli, two types, not just one! Artichokes stuffed with Italian cheese.  And, the amazing smells and tastes of homemade bread.  Most of these recipes were never written down so my mom and her siblings set out to create a cookbook.  Since the originals were gone, and no one spoke the language many of the recipe titles are in code, like “B word” for that awesome meat stuffed with cheese and tomato sauce and “grandma’s (fill in the blank)”.

Bocce ball, pinochle, canasta… My family could play cards all night long. It was just our competitive nature.  (Yes, dear.  I come by it honestly). “One more game.”  “One more game.”  “No really, one more game……..  Has everyone else gone to bed?  I am ready for one more game.”

Growing up Italian also had its pitfalls. At dinner, you could never save the best for last because your Uncle would steal it right off of your plate. Incredulously, he wouldn’t eat it. He would just lick it and put it on his plate to torment you.

Is that a cucumber?  We always had to eat everything we put on our plate. Even if it was raw zucchini disguised as cucumber. Or, worse yet, sliced beets instead of canned cranberry sauce.  Gross!

Then, there’s kissing your Great Great Aunt goodbye. “But Mom, she’s pokey”… Little did I know speaking those words out loud placed me under an age old Italian curse. The curse of the pokies.

I found it a few years ago. There it was.

It wasn’t stray,
soft, and supple.

It was a big,
and dark,
and horrendously pokey chin hair. And, then it invited its friends to join it.  The nerve.  How maddening!

If I had a time machine I wouldn’t go back to see Elvis or Helen Keller or ask that boy out that I never had the nerve to in high school.  I would go back in time to my youth and never once complain about kissing my aunt goodbye – at least not out loud – and remove the curse.

I know, I know.  If I had a time machine I should do something more admirable like prevent a war or something, but I am just one girl who is tormented by pokies.

Tricks to Help You Stick to It

  How are you doing on your New Year’s resolution?  I don’t mean planning on next year’s already.  How are you doing with this year’s?  Yes, I know. I am the only one still talking about it in May. How unfashionable!

It’s not hopeless. You can get back on track with your fitness and nutrition goals with a little help, and a few tricks. Here are some tactics to keep you on track when that devil on your shoulder is trying to tempt you.

1.  Make a workout calendar. I have a separate Outlook calendar for my exercise plan. It puts my goals in writing, getting me one step closer to achieving them, and when you already have your workout planned you can’t lay there in bed debating “do I want to go to the gym or go for a run” until, oops, 30 minutes has gone by and it’s time to get ready for work. 

2.  Sleep in your workout clothes.  OK, this may not be for everyone.  At least get out your clothes the night before. It’s funny how the fashionista only comes out as a time staller helping us avoid getting to our workout. 
3.  Get the weather.com app and always check it the day before if you’re planning an outdoor workout. This helps immensely with tactic 2 and, if undesirable weather is coming, it’s way better to change your plan the night before than use it as an excuse in the morning. 
4.  Put your alarm clock 10 steps away from your bed. Once out of bed there’s no stopping you!  

If you exercise later in the day:

5.  Take the batteries out of you TV remote. Don’t turn it on.  Not even for a second.  Just a second to catch up turns into minutes and then hours and now it’s time for bed. 
If nutrition is a concern:
6.  Pack your lunch the night before. If you’re doing great with numbers 1-4 you might not have time to pack a healthy lunch. I find that no matter how good my intentions are I just have no will power when eating out. A little planning and preparation keeps me on track. 
7.  Don’t put it in your cart.  Oh sure.  The chips, cookies, and soda is just for the kids. You’re not going to touch it. Ah, ah, ah!  If its not in the house to tempt you then you don’t have to fight the battle. 

Keep focused.  You can do it!!!!  Change a few minor habits and you can stay on track and crush your goals!

Please Pass the Crayons

Ok.  Family dinner doesn’t happen at our house as much as it should. Between crazy work schedules, trumpet lessons, and kids who just want to play outside, we often eat on the run. When we do get everyone around the table we want to get them engaged instead of secretly texting under the table.

Making family dinner more fun than eating out is easier than you think.  You’ll still have to deal with the dirty dishes, but you’ll be chuckling over the evenings activities. Here’s a great tip I got from the book, The Secrets of Happy Families.  We tested it out and had a blast.

Buy a roll of craft paper (I got mine at Staples) to use instead of a table cloth.  When you set the table for dinner make sure to include a box of crayons.  Then, anything goes as long as everyone knows that the crayons only go on the paper.

… And then start all over again
The possibilities are endless. 

We found that every age has a blast, even older kids managed to put away the cell phones for an hour and join civilization.  It works in restaurants, why not at home?  
How do you make family dinners interesting?  
P.s.  on a scale of 1-10 I give the book a 10. 

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