Posts in May 2008

Can one person make a difference?

on May 27th, 2008 by

For the past week, I have had a one line phrase repeating in my head whenever I get into my routine duties like washing dishes, laundry, and cleaning the cat box:

“Can one person make a difference?”

It all started with a conversation I had with my dad. My dad, my husband, and I were out in front of our house having our spring yard sale. The Orkin man visited our neighbor’s house and he told us to give him a call if we ever need his services. We said thanks and I turned to my dad and husband and asked, “I wonder if they have a non-toxic chemical option”. My dad asked why and I talked about the pesticides going into the ground and then into the ground water. We are on city water, but it still just doesn’t seem right since the water eventually makes it to the streams and bay. And then my dad said something like “but you are just one person”. I can’t remember now if I said something or I just didn’t know what to say. I know that he meant nothing mean to me by it, it is just how so many people feel when we live in a system where is seems as if one person has no impact on anything.

As this phrase has been repeated over and over in my head, I have thought about it a whole lot. I first started to think about the positive ways someone can make a difference, but my mind soon turned to how one person can make a difference in a negative way – a horrible co-worker who can turn the whole office into a “toxic soup” with their negativity and pessimism, a driver who decides to drive drunk and hits someone who was innocently driving their vehicle and not harming anyone, an assassin who kills a leader of a country. These negative people show that one person can really make a difference. Negative impacts are always easier to find since they tend to be dramatic and immediate. But this is not the direction of a difference that I ever want to consider. I want to know how one person can make a difference positively.

I learned in high school to Think Globally, Act Locally. This means that what you want to happen on a global level, you need to do in your own life – locally – in your home, community, and and other places that you have impact. When more people catch on and start to participate, the group will get larger, and an impact will be seen. It really does start with one person – one person joining another person which forms a group.

I finally started thinking about how much in the last 3 years my husband and I have acted locally in a way we would like to see a global change and it has already changed our lives for the better…

  • Choosing healthier personal care and cleaning products so our bodies aren’t absorbing stuff that can make us sick now or years later… I don’t get sick anymore after I clean.
  • Choosing to replace a gas lawnmower with a rotary mower (soon to get an electric lawnmower) to reduce our carbon footprint and our pollution level… My husband no longer coughs all day and sometimes longer after he cuts the grass.
  • Choosing organic food and textiles when possible so that we are not ingesting or absorbing pesticides that can make us sick… I used to be stuffed up all of the time and I feel this is one of the changes that has made the most difference in my better breathing.
  • Choosing to shop at stores that treat their employees ethically and give back to their community… I feel better knowing that the employees I interact with are happier at the places I shop.

In addition to making our lives better, we are making others’ lives better too. By purchasing organic food and textiles, we are putting our money toward businesses where their employees aren’t exposed to pesticides that can make them sick.

Choices done by individuals everyday, for example through purchases, show companies what you want – that we want healthier choices – so each individual “one person” really is making a difference.

The environmentally friendly and organic movements didn’t happen overnight, they have been years in the making. Each aspect started with one person with a want for something different and the ideas grew.

P90X: Thoughts on another off week

on May 26th, 2008 by

Matt is showing signs of progress on his healing from the muscle strain. We don’t want to chance it and have him re-injured, so we are taking another week off. This week, I am hoping I can do one of the exercises on one or two days to get back into it. It has been nice to not have to go right into exercising in the evening and putting off dinner, but exercise makes you stronger and healthier, so I will continue to make time for it.

One thing I forgot to mention during the first week of this exercise program. Don’t eat a lot of protein before a workout. If you must eat before a workout, eat carbohydrates and not too much. The body will burn it faster and won’t give you muscle cramps like protein will. We found this out the hard way. One day we were really hungry before working out and had a protein shake and half of a protein bar each. It didn’t seem like a lot of food, but about half an hour into the workout, we were so tired and I had a stomach cramp. We had to wait it out and return to our exercise about half an hour later. We were still tired but made it through. No more protein before working out.

So, a continual recovery of the muscle is what we are hoping for this week. The ability to get back to our exercise routine and see more results but watch our limits so that there is no more getting hurt is our goal.

P90X: Thoughts on Week 3

on May 18th, 2008 by

This week was a little rough. We think my husband strained a muscle during one of the exercises, so by Thursday, Yoga was a no-go. We did the muscle workout on Friday. Saturday we had a yard sale for about 6 hours which left us exhausted, so we skipped the exercise on Saturday and Sunday for recuperation on many levels. Wanting to make sure that Matt heals completely, we decided to take a week off, so we will be back next week with our Week 4 “Recovery” phase of the workout. See you soon P90X.

The Neuton

on May 13th, 2008 by

My husband’s, step mother’s mom just bought a new electric lawnmower and absolutely loves it. It is so quiet that she says, “the only thing you hear from it are the blades spinning”. Now that is what a lawnmower should be like – no fumes, no sound, just cut grass so you can walk on your lawn without thinking you are in the woods. It is called the Neuton and currently (May 2008) they are having a 6-month risk free trial for residential customers. I know we are going to consider it, but it is quite a big purchase.

Check it out on the Neuton site if you like.

Dinners Made Easy

on May 12th, 2008 by

There is a company in Salisbury, MD where in about 2 hours you can prepare meals. Once prepared all you need to do is take the meals home, put them in the freezer, thaw when needed, cook, and dinner is done. It is a lot of fun and it actually saves time and money.

The Dinner Company is the place. Located at 810 Beaglin Park Drive, Salisbury, Maryland 21804 in the same shopping center as the Old West Steak House.

There are a range of meal options including chicken, fish, beef, and vegetarian meal ideas that change monthly. There are also serving options of 2 to 3 people or 4 to 6 people and either 6 or 12 meals. Big benefits for a small additional cost include Pick-up where they prepare your meals and then you just go pick them up at their location and Delivery where they prepare your meals and deliver them to you.

I just completed my 5th visit to them and the 4th consecutive month of getting meals, it has been a joy to prepare with the help of The Dinner Company. No planning is needed other than deciding which meal to remove from the freezer and thaw. And, when I forget to thaw the dinner, I can just add time to the cook time. The directions are on stickers that you place on the meals after preparation. No containers are needed other than the recommended laundry basket in which to carry your meals home.

Please help support a local business and save time and money in the process. Check out their site for lots more cool info, meal choices, and schedules.

Also, there are more locations of the Dinner Companies in Westminster, MD and Ocean City, MD. You can find all the information at the Dinner Company website.

P90X: Day 14

on May 11th, 2008 by

Results. That is one of the biggest motivational points of exercise. In my experience with exercise, results usually take a little while. Well, today on day 14, I saw them in the form of numbers. Here are the details:

Chest: lost 1.5 inches
Waist: lost 1.0 inch
Hips: lost 1.0 inch
Thighs: no change
Biceps: gained 0.5 inch on left, no change on right

Body Fat: lost 2.2%
Weight: gained 0.8 pounds

The numbers may seem small but it is actually a huge difference. It is not a change I can visually see but numbers speak much louder. Looking at the body fat % and weight numbers, I know that I have lost fat and gained muscle – awesome. The body fat number is astounding though in only 2 weeks! I am already a somewhat fit female, so my starting body fat is 24% which is in the normal range. I am only expecting to be into the middle or low end of normal since I am rather short and do not want to be an athlete, just fit.

Tomorrow will start Week 3 with the same routine as Weeks 1 & 2. I have more energy and am less tired and sore, so hopefully in another 2 weeks, more progress will be made, the numbers will show it, and I might even see a difference. It sure would be cool!

I wanted results and P90X gave it to me, woohoo.

Facebook

on May 10th, 2008 by

I joined my first social site today – Facebook. I don’t want it to take too much of my time. I just want to be able to stay in contact with distant friends – we will see how this goes.

P90X: Thoughts on Week 2

on May 10th, 2008 by

I was wondering how it was all going to work with having to eat 600 more calories than I normally do during this fitness program, but I have only gained a pound and I bet it is muscle. I get to check my body fat and measurements tomorrow to see what has changed, if anything, but I am pretty sure something has changed.

I want to get more fit rather than gain bulk. Bulk is unnecessary and I don’t like the look of big muscles on females. I feel it is unnatural. I just want to be stronger in a toned way. And now, I know I can get that out of this program which is wonderful.

P90X has been time consuming though, so I am really happy that my husband and I are both doing this program so we are still getting to spend time together and support each other in this process. That motivation and reinforcement keeps us going. There have been a couple of days that I have not wanted to do the exercising and wanted to do something else like play the Wii (we got Mario Kart for husband’s birthday). So, instead of skipping the exercise, we completed the exercise for the day and then played the Wii for our reward – it was great.

P90X: Day 7

on May 4th, 2008 by

It was a rough but rewarding week. For the first 3 days, I felt dead the world. I had lots of extra sleep, each day another muscle would be sore, and by the end of the week, all my muscles had a minor general soreness to them. The food has been wonderful. I am eating almost 600 more calories than I normally eat, and haven’t gained a pound due to all of the physical exercise this program consists of which is 1 to 1 1/2 hours every day of the week. I may feel sore, but I feel great. More energy is the best reward.

Some statistical changes. My weight is unchanged, however, my would bet my body fat has decreased… we will see in another week. I have decided not to do measurement comparisons until day 14.

My muscles feel stronger and I see lines of muscles I never saw before. One of my noticeable differences: Veda, our kitty, is currently 17 pounds, I used to carry her with 2 arms up the stairs and would be a little winded by the time I got to the top of the stairs. Well, yesterday, when I was carrying her upstairs, I had her in one arm and was not out of breath at all when I got to the top of the stairs – actually, I felt like I hadn’t carried her at all – it was awesome.

Go P90X!

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