Finances – Back to Basics for the Shopaholic

It feels like every time it is my turn to blog about ‘finances’, I’m in the middle of my own little financial crisis.

My husband and I are excitedly preparing for the arrival of a baby, and we all know having children is not cheap. Yet, frivolous as it sounds, I’ve spied with my little eye, a lovely item at the mall, calling out my name. Maybe something beginning with the letter S- shoes. Every husband’s nightmare.

This time, they are boots. My husband’s specific nightmare. Though they aren’t super expensive (I rationalise, yes, but I have friends to back me up *ahem* and I have been thinking about them since April… surely those are all valid points, anyone?) but they also aren’t totally necessary (I know, I know).

Of course, this is after I survive last week’s financial hurdle of avoiding a highly tempting sale- SALE (I think my favourite letter is ‘s’ for ‘shop’, ‘sale’, and ‘sweet’). The sale info came in one of those evil email-outs letting you know there was a one-day sale of lovely homeware and furniture items from a local distributor a few of my friends and I really like… I mean prices started at $5! How could you resist?

Well, I’m pround to announce that I refrained (after forwarding the email to other hopefully-not-as-weak-willed ladies) and decided not to go anywhere near smelling distance of that place. That night I told my husband of my achievement and it was nice getting a proud smile and high-five from my beloved, but c’mon, how about about a bit of cash as a reward, honey?

This made me think… what would I write about this week? Truth is I love saving, but really all my saving is in light of spending! I’m filled with a bit of guilt that often my ‘finance’ blog posts are about saving money while spending… useful yes but still involves spending!

In conclusion, today’s point is a simple reminder:

First and foremost, SAY NO. Some days you just gotta say no. Self-control. Will-power. Simple as that. NO. NO NO NO.

(And I need this advice as much as you do. I will admit I am struggling to say NO to those boots. I’m still dreaming up ways I can get them… )

So  maybe for weak ones like me, strategy number two is WAIT. Wait and keep putting it off until what you want is out of stock, out of season, simply no longer available. Then you just can’t have it. Sure, doesn’t quite deal with the core issue but least you didn’t spend the money?

Ok not the most profound financial advice. Hope at least that made you laugh.

Shopaholic Sarah signing off for today.

 

Fitness – Tips on Getting Fit & Losing Weight

A lot of people come in to the gym wanting to get fitter and lose some weight.  These are great goals and usually go hand in hand.  Here are a few tips to help you lose weight and increase your fitness.

Diet

What you eat and how much you eat are pivotal parts of a weight loss plan.  I am not talking about dieting, but having a healthy diet that you can maintain throughout your life.  Eating a well balanced nutritional diet will give your body all the energy and nutrients it needs to keep you going all day and help you sleep well at night.  Check out this link for some great nutrition advice.

Metabolism

Your metabolic rate is how much energy your body uses to keep you going.  As we age our metabolic rate slows down so we don’t need as much energy.  If you stay active you will raise your metabolic rate and burn more energy.  So staying active is the key.  If you are just starting out then start slow and build up your activities as you go. Walking is a great exercise to start with.  It is low impact  and can be done by almost anyone.  If you can, try and walk for at least half an hour. Our bodies do not burn fat right away so you need to keep active for a longer amount of time to get the optimum fat burning.

Fitness vs Fat Loss

Can you have one without the other?  Yes and no.  In order to increase you fitness level you need to challenge your body.  Walking is great for losing weight if you are unfit because it is low impact, but it will not greatly increase your fitness levels.  If you want to increase your fitness and burn fat try using interval training.  This involves combining a short high intensity exercise with a longer low intensity recovery one.  Here is some more info on setting up an interval workout

Including resistance exercise in your workout will also help raise your metabolic rate.  The more muscle you have the more efficient you body will be at burning energy.

Fitness and weight loss can seem complicated and confusing at times.  There are a million different opinions about these topics and a lot of them are great.  There is, however, some misinformation out there, so let me know if you have any questions or would like some help implementing some of these ideas.  Here at Fit 4 Life we want to be a fitness centre that helps you reach your goals in a safe and fun way.

Jason – Fit 4 Life Staff

Friendship – A lifetime of friends

(This is a blog post from my personal blog, but fit right with this week’s theme.)

With my personality, people are so important to me, but funnily enough friendships were hard for me when I was a kid and teenager. Despite my desire to have close friends and be a good friend, somehow it didn’t always work out the way I had hoped.

I had lots of friends, but struggled to find that “bestie”. I watched other girls with their best friends and my heart hurt, because I wanted to be like them.

I met my husband when I was 15 and we’ve been together ever since. He became my “bestie” which is the way it should be in marriage, but because of that I didn’t develop close friendships with other girls as much. I also had a super amazing friendship with my mom so I think I thought I was sorted in the friend department.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I had lots of people who’s friendships I enjoyed….I am really talking about those heart friendships that develop through time and energy being spent in sharing ones’ lives together. I didn’t have those relationships and moving into parenthood that became even more obvious as I was now at home and didn’t have anyone to do anything with other than my mom. I had friends, but they either didn’t have kids or the relationships were changing.

Then, God brought a young woman into my life who was 5 or 6 years younger than myself. I learned a lot about being a friend from her. I learned to share my life more openly, to reveal some of my “stuff” and to feel safe. That door opened wider in 2005 when another young woman came into my life…she was a lot younger than me, but for some reason God just melded our hearts and I opened my heart even more. Around the same time, I had a group of uni students I was spending time with and those girls became super precious to me. Even though I was their “leader”, I learned so much from them and they made me feel like I finally had “girlfriends”. Finally in my late 30’s I had girlfriends. I had women that I could feel safe to share my heart with, to reveal more about myself, who loved me for who I was. WOW!!!

Tammy and I

Now in my 40’s I finally have a really close friend who is my own age….it’s only taken me 30 years. HA!!. She is a treasure. She listens to me and let’s me ramble and shares her life with me. I love it!!!! I actually feel like I have a sister for the first time in my life. YAY!!

I’ve learned a lot about friendship – to have friends, you need to be one. To invite confidences you need to confide and be trustworthy. You need to have fun together and have shared experiences and memories. I have learned so much from these wonderful ladies in my life….and from my super amazing mom and I am very thankful!

Being a girl, I don’t really know how friendships work with guys, but I would venture a guess that there are some similarities, so if you’re a guy reading this, apply what you can! 🙂 And just a reminder to all of us to continue to work on our friendships with others as those are the relationships that make all the difference – having people to hang out with, support us in times of need, have a laugh with and just being there.

Christy – Fit 4 Life Staff