Tag Archives: change

What’s Normal, Anyway?

Some people have this idea of a “normal” life. They just want to live a balanced life, loving their job, loving their spouse (or partner or roommate, whoever), maybe even aspire to buying a house in the burbs, filling it with happy golden retrievers and children’s laughter, and having enough time to go to the gym, cook a 3 course dinner for your family, and have passionate sex in the evenings.

But what if “normal” isn’t normal for everyone? Or what if your idea of normal is someone else’s idea of crazy? My fiance and I live our “normal” routine. Normal consists of him catching a flight once a week for 3-4 days at a time to whatever normal1destination his client happens to be in (lately, that’s been Frankfurt, but it changes up from time to time.) Meetings change, appointments change, so those days, inevitably, also change. Normal for me is about half a week of living la vida single – drinks with friends, going to the gym, chatting on gchat til 1 am. The irony is that I also travel for work, usually about 3-4 weeks at a time (depending on the needs of my project and how long I’ve been away from the project site.) So “normal” for me is always needing a cat sitter, always adjusting to new hours and time zones and changes in weather – i.e. never falling into a routine.

I think what most people consider to be comforting, i.e. routinized days filled with breakfast and dinner at home, lunch with colleagues, typical Tuesday, Wednesday, or Friday activities – to me sounds stressful! How can I possibly know on Monday what I will want to do on Friday? How can I tell you that in two weeks time I will be in Berlin for the weekend – what if I want to go to London instead?

I think everyone defines their own sense of normalcy and what makes them feel balanced and stable. As I’ve learned over the years, I feel most balanced and stable when everything is in motion. Monotony scares me and forward motion keeps my batteries charged, always ready for action.

What is your comfort zone like? How do you define normal?


Hi, I’m Amanda. And I’m a Sugar Addict.

This is how I feel most days.

This is how I feel most days.

One of the most difficult things I’ve tried to do is break free from my sugar addiction. It’s a daunting task I’ve attempted to undertake on a couple of occasions – and only met with limited success. A few months ago A and I agreed to cut sugar out of our diets. It was a difficult first couple of days, however once I realized how much more energy I had it was an easy habit to keep. My goal was short-term, only enough to help what I thought were some skin problems due to sugar intake and to fix my energy levels, (read, gray skies got me down,) and so after two weeks of feeling proud I had been successful, I let sugar slip its way back into my heart once again.

So here I am again, once again on the ledge of “to sugar or not to sugar” and my mind is saying, “no more sugar!” and my heart is saying, “please just one more piece of marzipan!” So which is it – tears of marzipan or a straight road to fitness?

Anyone willing to join me in a 15 day sugar challenge? What if we up that to 30? Who’s in?

Spinning for Beginners, Trying Something New!

So I finally got around to taking a Spinning class at the gym, known here as “Cycling”. It was Sunday evening, 6 PM, and after all my talk about wanting to change up my gym routine, I figured I might as well go ahead with it!

Spin Master!

I made my way to the gym closest to my house, (I have a universal pass so I can use any of the 6 gyms around Berlin whenever I feel like working out,) and got my Spin pass (popular class so you have to get there at least a half hour early.) Since I had some time to kill before the class started, I decided to hop on the treadmill and get in a quick 10 minutes to warm my body up. I was feeling good.

The class before us ended and we were able to enter the workout room and rearrange the spin-cycles. I found a perfect balance where I could see the teacher, see myself in the mirror, and stay wayyyyyy far back in the room so no one else would pay attention to me.

The teacher came in and asked if this was anyone’s first time. Unfortunately by the time I had figured out what she asked, (in German,) it was too late to awkwardly volunteer in broken German that I was a first timer. So I stuck to praying I would make it out all right, (I kid. I kid.)

The class started with some upbeat tunes and I got into a rhythm on this strange machine. It’s not like the normal bikes at the gym, it feels much more like a real bicycle and you can shift the “gears” to add more or less resistance as you see fit. I was busy watching everyone around me to make sure I was understanding the teacher ok, but for the most part I had a ton of energy.

As we went through the 50 minute routine of speeding up, slowing down, standing, sitting, etc etc etc, I felt like I was flying. I had so much energy I could still burn, and the teacher could even see it – so she kept coming over and increasing the resistance on my bike. You can’t keep me down, woman! I was a force to be reckoned with. Lookout cycling gods!

The class winded down and I have to say I felt great! Almost 5 months of running had more than adequately prepared me for 50 minutes of spinning, and I guess all the months of commuting by bike must have helped too. I really felt invigorated after the workout. I think it mostly had to do with not having to suffer the usual boredom I feel when I run on the treadmill with nothing to distract me but my own thoughts and music, (which now sounds repetitive. Note to self: make new playlist for gym!)

I will definitely incorporate Spinning into my regular gym routine as its always nice (and good for the body) to change it up a bit and train some new muscles. But I must admit, I’m afraid I had a bit of beginner’s luck and maybe the next one won’t be so easy! Will let you know how round two goes.