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My birthday was awesome!  I had a party with 17 of my friends here in Iwaki.  We went to dinner at Dandelion, which is an Italian restaurant that serves really good pasta and pretty good pizza (One of 2 places in Iwaki that serves Pizza that I really like).  After dinner 12 of us went on to Kareoke for a couple of hours and that was a lot of fun! I even got presents, which I was not expecting! Including a batman pen case, and a batman mug! lol We joked about convincing the kids at school that it is a Canadian tradition to drink our coffee out of the tin pen cases! and to hold our pens in mugs. lol  I haven't tried it out yet.

The birthday stuff went on all weekend. I had dinner with Nami and her daughter on Saturday (turkey, meat pies, poutine and strawberry rubarb pie!) and then went out to lunch with Hayakawa Sensei on Sunday (it was her birthday Sunday).  Monday was also a holiday, so I stayed in and watched the new eps of Doctor Who, season 7! 

Just after my birthday the challenge over at Nerd Fitness ended (on the 17th).  It was a 6 week challenge.  I picked 3 health and fitness goals and 1 life goal.  I did well on two of my goals, and failed on the other two.  I did very well with changing my diet over to paleo/primal and with cutting back on pop to just once a week (or not at all if I ate something sweet that week).  However, I failed horribly with the excercise because I got sick from the heat and got an ifection in my foot.  I also only managed about 50% of my life goal which was to study 60 hours for the JLPT. 

That being said, I did lose 5kg, which is about 12 pounds.  I'm happy with that.  However, most of my clothes (including my dress pants for work, and my blouses and my shelf-bra tanks) are now too big for me.  Pretty soon I won't be able to wear them and I'm not quite small enough to fit into the stuff in Japanese stores! I need to go down at least another size or possibly 2 before I'll fit into the largest size they have at UniClo. So I'm not sure what to do.  As it is, I can't bend over without showing everyone my cleavage (what little there is of it lol), and that's not very professional...at all. 

The next challenge has started over at Nerd Fitness. It started on the 24th, but I just signed up today.  Fortunately I had already figured out my goals, and had started them on time :)  This challenge will end on November 5th.  My new goals are as follows.

1) Dance at least 4 times a week
2) Work on push ups. Try to add one more push up each day I do them.
3) Get at least 7 hours of sleep (8 if I can) a night.

and my life goal
4) pay off the last $600 on my credit card.

Now that it's cooled down quite a bit, I'm enjoying excercising again. I'm almost done learning the various moves for the first dane I'm working on.  Each dance is divided into 3 lessons and I'm done 2 of them now.  I review the previous lessons as my work out and then move onto learning the next section.  I hope to be able to start working on the last part next week :) It's a lot of fun. But it would be more fun if I had more room to move around. Oh well.

on a side note, I've been craving cookies for over a week.  so today I caved in and bought a small pack.  I ate 2 very small cookies and now i think I'm ok. One was chocolate, and one was pumpkin flavoured with chocolate chips.  bite size :)  yum!

Next thing I need to figure out is how to make my own honey garlic sauce for chiken wings.  I'm not into spicey, so I really miss my honey garlic, and the only stuff they have here that is garlic, is steak sauce.  Not really what I want to eat with my chicken wings.  Does anyone have any ideas on how to make a good honey garlic sauce?

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I'm on week two of my 6 week challenge over at Nerd Fitness. I'm having some success with my 3 health and fitness goals, but not doing so great with my life goal. 

My workouts are getting easier. I'm not as sore when I finish. I had to cut out the lunges, though, because they hurt my knees too much. I've had trouble with my knees for years, and the lunges are causing them to flare up again. So I've stopped the lunges and my knees are doing much better :)  My legs aren't anywhere near as sore after I finish my workouts as they were when I first started! I'm quite happy with that!  Tomorrow I'm going to get some dumbbells. I think I'll start with 3kg and work my way up from there. 

I ended up eating ice cream last weekend, so I didn't have my bottle of pop. (I'm allowed one bottle a week according to my challenge goal).  And I'm enjoying eating paleo meals :)  I've tried a few dishes with great success.

The first dish I made was Shawarma salad  and the marinade turned out great! I also discovered that I like spinach in salads.  Until now I've only ever been able to eat it in 3 cheese spinach dip.  My second dish was Taco salad. That went over great and I learned that mild salsa works great as a salad dressing! The other night I made bacony chicken with sweet potato mash and asparagus with a side salad. That was delicious!  And tonight I made Zucchini Lasagna! I HATE zucchini!! But I love this zucchini lasagna! I made enough for 3 servings! It's so good! I am so happy with it!  =D

I've been walking through the outskirts of town along the rice paddy fields and I have plotted a route that I want to use for jogging.  It takes me about 25 minutes to walk it and I can add onto it as my endurance and stamina build up.  The path I take home can go straight down to the beach and there is also a walking path there too :)  But for now I'll be sticking to the fields and mountainous area for my runs.  However, it's still too hot and humid to attempt running. I get drenched just by walking that route in this weather.  I am really looking forward to cooler weather!
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My arms are fine today! My legs...still hurt like crap.  Especially my calves.  Going up and down stairs is hell.  I had to go one step at a time and had to go down sideways. Kind of embarassing. lol  I hope my legs are good by Saturday because I'm dancing in the Iwaki Odori (parade dance) and the dance is about 6 blocks...maybe a bit more than that.  It goes from the beach to the train station, the route should take about 45 minutes to dance from start to finish and since there are so many groups, the parade should be about 2 and a half hours. I'll be dancing with the teachers from my base school.

Today I went to work and had no classes (thank you summer vacation).  Lots of kids were at school enjoying their club activities.  I spent the morning in the office with Nami talking and reading. Then after lunch Nami told me there was a nice couch in the room next to the office.  She gave me the key to the room and told me to go sit in there and open the windows.  So I did.

I sat in this beautiful comfy armed sofa chair with the windows open. I could hear the brass band practicing (they are really good) and I could hear the ocean waves crashing over the breakers and up onto the beach. I ended up dozing off a few times and I guess I dozed for about an hour.  I read some more too and just had a nice quiet, peaceful afternoon.  Then, just before 2:30pm, Nami came in and said that the Principal had said that we could leave early before the rain came. It was so dark outside that we needed to turn on lights.  So Nami drove me to the grocery store and I picked up this weeks groceries and then she took me home. I got home just before 3:30 instead of almost 5pm.

It was a good day.  Now, if only my legs would get with the program and stop hurting! lol

I've been lurking around over at Nerd Fitness and I finally joined up today and made a few posts.  I am taking my time looking through everything. I am joining a Class Guild too. I'm an Adventurer (General Fitness, Weight Loss, and haven't picked a Class yet).  I think I will eventually be either a Ranger or a Scout.  At the moment I am not sure which Class I will be most suited for. So I'm going to enjoy being an Adventurer for now.

I may even try the next 6 week challenge that comes up. I'll have to think about what to do for it though.  I'm already paying off my Visa Card ($1000/month) and should have that paid off by October, I'm making monthly payments on my student loans and putting money aside for Grad School. I don't need a challenge for that because I'm already doing it.  I guess it will be eating habbits and sticking to my workouts...which are on hold until I can at least go up and down the stairs without wanting to whimper.

I'm going to have to start working on stairs (running up and down stairs, and walking up while skipping 2 and 3 steps to get different height intervals) to better prepare myself for my next try at Fuji...1 or 2 years from now lol.  Alright, I guess that's about it for this update.

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December 2016

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