19 April 2013

Friday's Top Five: Favourite Old-Country Artists

Hey faithful readers of five,

Let's face it. It's been a shit week. Boston. Texas. I've got nothing to say that hasn't been said a thousand times before. I'm sad. I'm depressed at the state of the world right now. I need hope. I need comfort.

When I was young, when things (or life) was shit, I would go to my room, shut the door, turn on an old country radio station, and listen to the sweet comforts of old-school country music. Country music, the music that speaks of life. The music that speaks to life. 

Although this topic was planned in advance with Joanne (click to see her list), it's timely that this week, when I need an escape, I once again turn to country music for comfort. Here is my list of top five favourite old-country artists...

5) Kenny Rogers
Song attached: Coward of the County

Kenny Rogers was a huge part of my childhood. Fast forward 30+ years, and I meet a man who is a huge fan of the guy. In fact, it was a Kenny Rogers song that made my husband realize he loved & missed me while he was on vacation. (Awww!). 

Funny story: at our wedding, we had put She Believe in Me on our must play list. The DJ entered the wrong code, and Coward of the County came on. We still laugh about it, and thus this song now has a place in my heart. As does Kenny.

4) Willie Nelson
Song attached: The City of New Orleans

I have always like Willie's free-spirt. He is a refreshing voice, and personality, in the country music genre. Joanne put this song on our road-trip CD when we first went to the US on our epic road trip along the eastern seaboard.

3) Conway Twitty
Song attached: Hello Darlin'

"Ladies & gentlement, Mr. Conway Twitty." Fans of Family Guy will get why I chose him. Conway has the second most amount of #1 top-40 hits in country music ever. Impressive.

2) Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Song attached: Face on the Cutting Room Floor

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band are probably most famous for songs like Cadillac Ranch and Fishing in The Dark (if you have ever been to a bar or wedding, you have danced to these songs, rest assured).

However, they actually have an impressive body of work and fabulous songs. Back when I was in grade 5, I went to Jasper with my grandparents, aunts and uncles. My aunt had a portable radio and a NGDB cassette tape. We played the tapes over, and over, and over, and over again. We even "bathed" to this music (if you call a sponge-bath in the Pocahontas campground bathrooms "bathing").

They remain to this day one of my favourite bands of all time.

1) Ronnie Milsap
Song attached: Smoky Mountain Rain

I mad-love the music of Ronnie Milsap. He is easily one of my favourite country artists, period. Ronnie Milsap grew up with his grandma after his single-mother left him, not able to deal with a child who is blind.

He went on to be one of the biggest and most influential country star in the 1970s & 1980s, and even enjoyed cross-over success in the pop genre. This surprised me, but he has the third-most amount of #1 top-40 hits. Who knew?

My husband and I both enjoy his music. In fact, we actually have his music DVD of greatest hits currently in our car. 

Bonus: Honourable mention - George Strait
Song selected: Run

George is my absolute favourite if I am honest. He has the most #1 top-40 hits of any country artist. Even though he could technically be considered old-school (given his longevity in the industry), I have chosen not to count him as old-school. Why? Because he's still churning out great #1 hits. Booyah!

Question: which old-school country artists would fall in your top-five list? Leave comments!

12 April 2013

Friday's Top Five - Fitness Goals for 2013 & Beyond!

This is my truth!

Hello faithful readers of five,

It's spring-time the late stages of winter up her in the hinterland. Winter has been harsh, both weather-wise, and on my ass. I have improved on creating safe spaces. I have improved on establishing food-related routines. I have started tracking regularly. I am eating better. I am doing all the right things. I am seeing results of those changes. However, when it comes to excercize, I am lazy. Sloths are more active than me. If there is an excuse-train running, I'm hitching a ride.

It's time for me to set some fitness-related goals. I know from the experience of the last two years of being on Weight Watchers™ (plus a side-stint in the Weight Wise Clinic™) that when it comes to goal-setting, I need to be SMART:

For my fitness objectives, I asked myself these questions:
  1. What excuse do I have that would prevent me from acheiving my goal?
  2. What specific, measureable, attainable, relevent and time-bound technique will I use to achieve this goal?
  3. What potential barrier exists that could potentially derail my efforts?
  4. What is the hidden reward (the unintendend postive consequence) that could come out of my efforts?
  5. What do I ultimately hope to achieve (long-term) by setting this goal?
Ahem. Truth.

 Here are my fitness goals for 2013 and beyond!

5) Find activities that I enjoy.
  • Excuses: activity is boring; I've hurt myself trying some activities; it's too hard.
  • SMART Goal: sign-up/try-out the variety of classes offered at the YMCA/larger community.
  • Potential Barrier: cost or conflicts with schedule may limit the kinds of activity I could try; the potential for actual injury by doing something more advanced than my ability.
  • Hidden Reward: enjoying my activity makes it effortless; easier to plan my week around activity if I know there is *something* I can do.
  • Ultimate Goal: that activity becomes exciting, enjoyable, and a regular routine of my life.
4) Track my activity accurately (& honestly reflect my effort).

Body Fit Media™
  • Excuses: activity doesn't make a difference anways in "the big scheme of things"; it's not worth the effort (litte reward); the little bit I do counts (it all adds up).
  • SMART goal: to use my BoydFit Media™ armband to count my caloric burn, and track my activity honestly in my Weight Watchers™ tracker.
  • Potential barrier: coulda fall into a trap of "eating because I earned it" mentality to justify bad food choices.
  • Hidden reward: become a better tracker of what I consume & burn; a greater self-awareness of my choices; accelerate my weight-loss efforts.
  • Ultimate goal: that tracking become second nature, like brushing my teeth or riding my bike.
We've all been there. The circle of dishonesty....

3) Plan daily/weekly/monthly/vaction-time/yearly activity...and commit to those plans.
  • Excuses: I don't have time to write everything; I can't plan for the unexpected (weather/illness..); I have to plan around other people's schedule (husband/family); activity comflicts with family time.
  • SMART goal: schedule 3-4 activity times for two-weeks at a time (to coordinate around husband schedule/other events/14-day weather forcasts). Plan vacations to incorporate some activity (walking, swimming, hiking). Sign-up for a charity event that involves activity (walk for the ___).
  • Potential barrier: there is never a "good time"; I use external reasons as a crutch for not doing something; I plan but don't follow through; vacations don't provide activity opportunities.
  • Hidden reward: feeling of accomplishment by meeting goals; improving goal-setting techniques.
  • Ultimate goal: that activity becomes a priority like other events/people.
2) Keep working hard, every day, and don't give up.

  • Excuses: I am not seeing results so why am I trying?; this is too much work; success happens to others but never to me; I am not worthy of success.
  • SMART goal: create a non-food reward system for recognizing my accomplishments, goals, and milestones.
  • Potential barrier: loss of motivation (especially if results don't reflect effort); my mental doesn't match my physical changes; reward system is not meaningful.
  • Hidden reward: the growth in self-esteem; success in my athleticism & weightloss efforts; personal growth; new wardrobe!
  • Ultimate goal: to feel successful, & have that reflect in my exterior and interior -self.
1) Don't let self-doubt be a barrier to the journey towards my authentic self. Go easy on myself when I fall, and let the process unfold. Don't put-up obstacles out of fear. Stop all-or-nothing thinking.

  • Excuses: I can't do this; I am not capable of doing this activity; my fear of _____ prevents me from pushing harder; I fell off the wagon, so I my as well stop being active this week.
  • SMART goal: take monthly pictures showing my progress; use other ways of recording progress (such as measuring inches, clothing size, activity progression, etc...). Blog my journey, recording my emotions and progress, so I have something tangible to reflect back about.
  • Potential barrier: all-or-nothing thinking.
  • Hidden reward: Everything I dreamed of being comes true.
  • Ultimate goal:  Living the life I want to live and know I am capable of living. Being an "athlete."

Well, I got to head out to the gym. Check Joanne's blog for her five fitness goals.