Add Something

Add Something

Does anyone remember in July when I confidently announced that I had set a goal not to eat out for the entire month? No? Well, that makes sense because that goal was wildly unsuccessful and, naturally, I never spoke of it again. And why was it unsuccessful? Because let me tell you, y’all.. What I needed to do was add something.

What Do You Mean “Add Something”?

I know. It sounds simple but vague at the same time. Let me explain.

What you probably do remember is when I made my goal to walk for 30 minutes a day for 30 days straight. I wrote this post about it. It was so successful that I extended it to 100 days and, while I’m not posting about it, I am walking consistently for my mental and physical health.

So why couldn’t I abstain from eating out for a month for my physical and financial health?

It’s just that. “Abstain”. I was trying not to do something which is so much harder than trying to do something. And why is that?

Willpower!

Ugh, willpower. What an unpleasant, complicated concept. It makes me think of 90s diet culture and mean girls who will jump at any opportunity to tell you that they are better than you because they have willpower, they know how to deprive themselves. Come on. We all had that “friend” at some point in our lives…

On the flip side, willpower also makes me think about all those mid-200s think pieces about how willpower is a finite resource. How ego depletion is all too real and if we force ourselves to be “good” for too long, we’ll just snap and swing too far in the other direction, wildly indulging all our short-term impulses.

Recently, there has been some discussion debunking the ego depletion theory. This discussion suggests, instead, that we are exhausted by tasks that do not interest us and we should use our lack of willpower as a decision making-tool. 

Personally, I kind of feel like all of the discussion around willpower can be toxic, regardless of the approach you take. If you’re not careful, I mean. In July, every time I had to pick up a meal because I hadn’t thought I’d be out for dinner and didn’t think to bring food (or even simply chose to order food while out for drinks with friends), I beat myself up a bit. For not having any willpower, for not being able to stick to my goal. 

And That’s Where “Add Something” Comes In

So, we can’t rely on “willpower” to just not do something. It may or may not exist and, either way, every time you “give in”, you’re going to be hard on yourself. Because we are. Hard on ourselves, I mean, when we feel like we aren’t working towards our goals. After all, this goal is something we have identified as something we want. Something we feel like will be good for us.

Instead, give yourself something to do. Add something. Something you can strive towards and actually achieve. Like instead of saying “I will stop drinking pop”, saying “I will drink 3 litres of water a day”… how much room are you going to have for pop after drinking all that water?

Or another example – my “no eating out” goal. I might have been more successful if I had said “I want to try a new recipe every week this month” or “I want to hang out with my friends in parks instead of restaurants” or “I want to create a homemade version of (my favourite snack)” or “I want to create a really great stash of backup options in my office/car”. And so on – all I needed to do was determine why exactly I didn’t want to eat out, what exactly was getting in my way in July, and which exactly of these little additions was going to work for me.

In Summary

Even once I explain it, I think the idea of “Add Something” sounds very simple. But it works for me. I used to describe myself on dating profiles as “relentlessly positive” and… yeah. That’s what this is all about. I would much rather add something to my day and feel enriched than simply take something away and miss it.

So, along those lines… this November, I want to spend less money outside of my house. So instead of going to restaurants to write during NaNoWriMo, I want to try writing in one new coffee shop a week. That isn’t going to leave me a lot of time for restaurants… money saved!

What new thing do you want to add this month?

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Getting Organized for Fall – lolol

getting organized for fall

I know. This is a wellness post and it’s not Wednesday, just like my fitness post that didn’t drop on a Friday. My days are all over the place right now and it’s part of why I very much need to write this particular post. About getting organized for fall (hahaha). 

Sometime in mid-August, for no reason whatsoever, I announced on Academy Vs Audience that people should read my blog because we were getting organized for fall. Lol, what? 

In a not at all shocking turn of events, I proceeded to do nothing. In part because I had no idea where that announcement came from, but in part because I immediately started going through it. You know what it’s like. When everything just happens all at once and you absolutely cannot be alone with your thoughts because there are too many of them to reorganize into helpful patterns so why not buy a $17 cocktail and read a book somewhere loud and crowded so that the overstimulation can override said too many thoughts? 

And, honestly, sometimes that is kind of helpful too.

But things are slowing down now and I’m entering a new season of my life both literally and symbolically so… here we are, y’all. Come on with me… we’re getting organized for fall.

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Moveology

Moveology Front Entrance

Two days late, not on a Friday, but I am so excited to write a few words that I never thought I’d say again a year and a half ago. 

I’m working at the front desk at a fitness studio! 

Since May 14, I’ve been spending my Saturday mornings at Moveology, housed in the gorgeous historic building that once was Barre Body Studio’s home. I’ve been creating training documents, strengthening my core in Pilates classes, and trying to figure out how to put into words how excited I am to be back home. If you follow my instagram stories, you may have picked up on the fact that my last couple of weeks have been very… full and complicated, to put it kindly. It’s been a lot. And through that “a lot”, I’ve also been spending a ton of time at Moveology, training new karma staff, which has absolutely given me a place to ground myself. Moveology brands itself as “not your average gym” and that is completely on point.

But you’re not here to read about my emotions! (At least not in this post… trust me, that will be coming, in a delightfully vague yet inspiring format. Hopefully. OMG, Erin, get back on track.) You’re also not here for a professional, well organized, objective review of the studio. You go to places like Fit-City Guide for that. You come here for me to gush about things I love and hope that some of the love rubs off on you. So, without further ado, here is my non-expert wrap up on all the things that makes Moveology great – fitness from a non-fitness girl.

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The Best Gin and Tonic Recipe

The Best Gin and Tonic

My friends! I am on vacation, ready to read, write, and relax for a week straight, and it’s World Gin Day! I wasn’t planning to post today, but I am a sucker for a themed drink day… plus, after over four hours in the car, I just had to pour myself something delicious and share with you all the best gin and tonic recipe. It’s super simple, so let’s get right into it!

Seriously… it’s the BEST Gin and Tonic

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I Went on a Walk Every Day For a Month

Walk Every Day for a Month

Hello my beautiful friends! I know you’ve been wondering where I’ve been… what I’ve been doing when I’m not writing in this space… well, if you’re on my instagram, you already know. I’ve gone for a walk every day, for at least 30 minutes, for a month.

I have to give credit where credit is due – I absolutely got this idea from Kayla Nelson. She described walking for 30 minutes as the key to health and, hey, I was done my barre challenge so why not take something else on? (Sidebar: I discovered Kayla’s youtube channel just over a month ago and I’m officially obsessed. I love her realistic approach to fitness, food and wellness.)

I think we’ve all read about the cardiovascular and muscular benefits of walking, so I’m not going to belabor that here, I’m just going to do what I do best – talk about my own experiences!

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Consistency: The Other C-Word

barre headshot

I know, I know. No one is thrilled that I am writing this Fitness Friday post. I’m not even thrilled that I’m writing this Fitness Friday post. Consistency sucks. Our lives are inconsistent and nothing is worse than when things feel busy or out of control and then someone starts preaching the value of consistency in your face. You just want to shout “I’m doing the best I can!”

I know you are, babe.

But when you get into a consistent habit, it does actually feel so good. This is an anecdote that I share a lot, but several years ago I decided to prove to myself that I could build a habit… so I started making my bed every morning. And now, while parts of my morning routine will vary, making my bed is always a part of it. (Though I haven’t really taken this lesson forward to building other habits… maybe that’s a goal for this year!)

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Cipher – Vertigo Theatre

On Theatre Thursdays, I discuss topics related to theatre. I also write about local productions that I think #yyc should see. Today I’m talking about a show that I was supposed to see almost two years ago – Vertigo Theatre’s Cipher.

vertigo theatre cipher
Poster lovingly stolen from Vertigo Theatre. Credit to Tim Nguyen.

Cipher was originally set to open just a few days after what almost everyone I talk to cites as the “start” of the pandemic in Canada. (March 13, 2020, if you were wondering. Though there were cases in the time leading up to this, March 13 is when everything really came crashing down around us.) And, yes, I had tickets to opening night.

Almost two years later on January 20, I had tickets to opening night once again. And, yes, it was well worth the wait.

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What I Read: December 2021

What I Read: December 2021

I didn’t realize it until I saw everything I read together, but December was a big speculative fiction month! I also got on a crazy Seanan McGuire (also known as Mira Grant when she writes sci fi) kick. This is pretty typical – once I read one of her books, I need to just keep reading them. Thank goodness for libraries!

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My Fitness Routine (as a non-fitness girl)

Fitness Routine equipment

I have to admit that I didn’t exactly set out to brand myself as a non-fitness girl, but the more I think about it, the more accurate it seems. I’m just a girl who likes to move her body sometimes. (And always feels better when I do, as much as I don’t want to a medium percentage of the time.) And speaking of liking to move my body… I feel like a solid second Fitness Friday post is an old classic – my Fitness Routine.

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Fitness Life as a Non-Fitness Girl

talking about fitness as a non-fitness girl

Well well well, my friends. Here we are, two weeks into January, and I return to my blog, full of inspiration and 24 spam comments to delete. What else is new?

I didn’t intend to take a break after Blogmas, but it was super nice and refreshing. Plus I probably should have expected it… the first two weeks back at work after the holidays are always crazy for me and this year was extra crazy, with the Omicron of it all. No matter how hard I work before the break to get ahead, there are always things that come up that I have to deal with when I get back. And I’m somehow always a little bit surprised by it.

Joey from Friends shocked gif
Shocking.

But that’s not what this post is about. This post is about…

Fitness!

Yes. I am, like so many bloggers before me, going to do Fitness Fridays. It’s going to be a limited run for now, until the end of February, but who knows where the inspiration will take me!

It might seem like a misstep that I haven’t done this before. After all, “Fitness” is one of the five categories I picked when I first started this blog six years ago. (Oh dear… I don’t love that math.) The number of fitness posts I’ve actually written can fit on one hand, if you don’t count the one about my barre studio closing down. However, there is a very good reason for this…

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