The Big Food Collection

Friday and Saturday were the two food collection days in Sevilla. It’s an organization which asks people to donate food to people who are in need. The organization get people to sign up teams to help them in several supermarkets on these days. The teams stand by the entrance of the store and gives out bags for all customers entering and ask them to buy some food and put in the bag and then give it back to the team, which collects all the food and sends it over to Sevilla’s food bank.

It’s a very easy idea and it does so much good! This year’s goal was to collect 750.000kg of food, which would be a world record, if I remember it right from what I heard on the radio the other day.

And of course I helped out. I do it every year. They especially want groceries that are canned, dry legumes, baby food, oil and milk. And how much did it cost me? A few euros, but for the ones in need this might mean a months food, or at least two weeks.

The football club in Seville that I support usually have something similar once a year. You have to donate 10 kg of food and they give you a free ticket. The second picture (under) is from their collection in March. I had a project at that time photographing a picture of something that made you happy every day for 100 days.

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More info (Spanish): http://www.bancodealimentosdesevilla.org/portal/web/guest/gran-recogida-de-alimentos-2012

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The first time is a temptation, the second a habit

Have you ever tried to get rid of a habit? Or start a new one? It’s difficult, although starting a new bad habit is a bit easier… You have something sweet instead of lunch. The first time it’s okay, it’s a temptation and one time is no time, right? But then you do it again, a second time, and it’s already developing into a habit. You have a beer with your dinner because you worked so hard that day, next day you worked hard again and deserved a beer again, and the following day you know you’ve already had beer with your dinner and you kind of liked it, so why not today again? It’s a bad habit that we should try to resist.

And getting into a good habit is more difficult… I’ve been thinking a lot about habits lately, so I sat down and looked into it.

I heard for many many years ago that making a new habit takes 18 days. I liked that number, even but uneven, and it seemed fair. Now when I searched it on the Internet I found more numbers and they all differed from 18-245 days. The old myth is that it takes 21 days and this was stated by Dr Maxwell Maltz, who during the 1960s made a study on amputated limbs and how long it would take for the amputee to adjust to the loss of the limb. And yes, that might be true for those cases and for those people, but I think creating a habit is a bit more complex than this and that it varies between people.

I found another study by Lallet et al. (2009) where they had recruited 96 people to run 15 minutes a day and eat a fruit with their lunch every day. They focused on when the action was made automatically every day without thinking about “having to do it”. The average of the participants did the daily routines automatically after 66 days, but in this study the numbers differed from 18 to 245 days.

66 days

But of course it’s possible to develop a new good habit earlier. I’ve been going to the gym for two months now and it is a part of my lifestyle now. It has been it for a while, maybe even after only a few weeks, but it might have been my mental knowledge of a habit being created in 18 days that affected me. I have another friend who started go running with her brother not long ago. Last week they went every day, but on Friday she got a swollen achilles and couldn’t do anything over the weekend, not even on Monday morning. She told on Monday that she felt weird not doing any exercise and that she missed doing it. And that was only one (1) week!

What are your habits? Do you have any bad habits that you want to get rid of? Do you have any habits that you would want to get?

How sports influence me

I love sports! I love seeing people fighting a fair game, the joy, the tactics, the audience, the team spirit and sometimes also their grief.

I love watching the Olympics, not because my country is extraordinary good at it, we have some really good athletes but they are few, but I like watching it because all of the athletes are competing for their country and it’s their physical ability that took them there, not because they are rich, have the right contacts or anything. In competitions  where they compete by nation also brings the athletes together, even the individual sports. They all have their team that is either on the field/track/hall with them or they are among the audience cheering. I have been to many sports events and I love it when they all go together to cheer for their companions.

In national events I don’t care if my country win, because, as I said, we don’t have many top athletes, but of course, IF we win I go nuts! But also just seeing the one that won, see their happiness and how they can’t believe it themselves makes me very emotional. In a good way.

But… Then we have the teams that influence me in a bad way. I always get very emotional, always nervous during a game, and then happy or sad. I’m watching a lot of football (soccer) and my teams are Malmö FF from Sweden and Sevilla FC from Spain. Malmö FF is a very good team in Sweden, they won the national league two years in a row now and this year they qualified for Champions League, and this is huge! It was the first Swedish team in 14 years that managed to get into Champions League. Sweden isn’t a football nation so making it into the big international leagues is quite difficult. We have to play some qualifications rounds before getting there, and this year we made it! I even went to one of the games and I had big expectations on Malmö FF. Unfortunately it seems like we’ve come to an end… They lost yesterdays game and we’re out of Champions League and there’s only one small opportunity for us to actually get through to Europa League, which is Champions League’s little brother. And this fact, because I don’t believe we will make it through, makes me very sad. This is not the only case, also when Sevilla FC plays and if they lose, I’m getting very sad. Sometimes it lasts for hours and sometimes a whole day.

But new games, new victories! I’m a fan even if they lose.

1979984_10152209426333941_694630730_oEstadio de Sánchez Pizjuan, Sevilla FC

Santa is coming…

It’s November 26th and my Christmas spirit is coming. We are already planning Christmas at the academy and I already have three events booked in December. Yesterday I started to wrap boxes to use for Christmas decoration at work.

I have a lot to do this weekend, I have to get a whole lot more gifts for my roommates. I have a advent calendar every year for my roomies where they receive a gift every day. It’s really cute, 24 small stockings hanging on a string, but it takes a lot of imagination and time to figure out what to put in every stocking and wrap it. Last year I had three roommates, but luckily I only have two this year.

IMG_6758Last year’s advent calendar

No sleep, no rest

Sunday night!

And here I am, wide awake. My alarm is set on less than seven hours from now and I know I should try to get some sleep because tomorrow is a new week and I need energy for my work. But can I sleep? No.

It isn’t because I slept all day long. No, I actually only slept for four hours, or maybe three? I just have too many things in my head and nighttime is my time of the day. I’m more creative, relaxed, I enjoy the silence in the building, and my bed is just so comfy to sit on. In Spain they don’t have the “usual” Ikea pillows, they have long pillows that stretches all the way over the bed. I have two of those. One full sized and one smaller (that still covers more than half of the bed) and on top of that I have three large cushions to bulk up with.

I have a friend leaving Spain this upcoming week and we have had goodbye parties the whole weekend and will have dinner during the week. I am always the one that organizes gifts whenever someone in our group has his/her birthday, are leaving, coming back etc. I like doing it, but sometimes it is a bit tiring because I end up staying up late most of my nights, and those eight hours of sleep that you should get every night, are lacking…

IMG_6937Here’s a picture of what my creativeness might look like. It was a photo album that I designed myself, using scissors and glue, for a friend who had been living in Spain for a few months last year.

Drink instead of working out?

AMPK-infographic-page

I just read an article about Nestle investigating and producing a new drink that will contain enzymes that helps the body to burn fat and that stimulates the metabolism. It’s also supposed to be a good complement for people with diabetes.

They do however point out that this drink is not meant to replace all physical exercise but that it might be helpful for people who have difficulties to remain active, for example of old age, diseases or disability. The drink should be taken while doing some exercise, a fast walk for example.

I started doing a lot of exercise just a few months ago and I cannot imagine a life without movement. I am afraid that people might see this drink as a way to “escape” physical activity, but it is important to remember that movement isn’t just about burning fat, it does so much more to you, like making you happier, improving concentration, loses energy and gives you energy, make you sweat, stimulates the muscles etc.

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More info on: http://www.nestle.com/media/newsandfeatures/ampk-metabolic-master-switch

Where’s home?

I often get the question these days if I’m going to go home for Christmas. Yes and no. I am staying here, in what I consider my home, and I’m not going back to my old house in Sweden, which I don’t consider as home anymore.

It’s funny how you all have different perspectives. Many of my friends say that they will always consider their birth-town as their home and it will never change. I don’t think I’m as homebound as many others, I like my freedom of living alone, of taking care of myself and knowing what my abilities are. Of course this has nothing to do with calling my parents house my home, but I still think this affects me and my way of thinking.

I moved out from my parents house when I was twenty and since then I have done many things, especially since I moved to Spain. Moving out of your own country teaches you a lot about life, I think. All of a sudden you’re alone. If there is a problem you won’t be able to call your parents and they’ll come over and fix it for you. No, you have to deal with it yourself. You might be able to get advice, but it’s not the same as having physical help just within a few miles.

What I’ve learned since I moved out of my parents house is to be very dependant. I feel more prepared for whatever might come and I know that nothing is impossible or worth getting upset with. Of course I’ve always had my parents around or other family members to help me and I appreciate it a lot.

So where is home? Is it where you live or is it where you are from?