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Why Tuesday?

The Girlfriend's Guide to Health will be updated every Tuesday.... Stay tuned dear readers and let me rock your world.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


Yes my girlfriends, I am indeed on holidays. Strike up the band, cue music.... do what you gotta do. I am officially not going to work. Not today, not tomorrow, hell not on Thursday or the Friday after that.

Relax, it's only a week but MAN (or woman, mother or child) does it feel good. If I want to spend the day in my pajamas, so be it. If I want to put on an Oscar de la Renta dress and go to high tea at the Fairmont.... so be it. (Why Oscar, you ask? Nothing says high tea like Oscar, my sisters).

If I want to see a movie at 1 in the afternoon, I will. For the next seven days, I am officially one of those  people that you see on your way to work or over your lunch hour who looks as though they do not have a care in the world. In short I am a bastard. (that is indeed what you call them when you see them, no?)

And so apologies that today's posting was a bit late. I had to go for a swim at Kits pool and then have a nap.

The swim was glorious as it always is. But it was indeed laced with that extra calm that comes with the knowledge that I had nowhere to be after it was done. Indeed, I got on my bike, wet hair and all and cycled around UBC for as long as I liked. This was followed by scrambled eggs made at home, taking my own sweet time.

And then at 1pm.... I had a nap. I layed down on my patio couch and with the smell of the ocean and the city below... I had a nap that lasted well over an hour.

It was glorious and yes, I am bragging. I am blatantly unapologetic and I am indeed a bastard.

My holiday is scheduled for 10 days. When I announced to the world that I was going on holidays, many people asked,
"Where are you going?"
"Nowhere," I replied, "I'm staying in Vancouver."
"What are you going to do?"

Good question.

I should say that I am NOT a very god sit on your ass kind of holiday girl. My last three holidays involved writing a book, cycling across Canada and climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. Sitting on a beach for a week, drinking margaritas is wonderful for some, but for me- it's a fresh hell.

And so I set out some goals for this holiday. Sure, I'd relax (notice the nap reference) but I would also make sure that I had an agenda. Yes, my sisters- I realize having an agenda for a Staycation is a bit pathological, however, all too often the days get away with us and I like to play like I like to live- with purpose.

My list of holiday do's include:
A daily bike ride
A daily swim in Kits pool
A daily nap (after said ride and swim)
Watch everything in my DVR over the course of the week
See a NETFLIX series from start to finish - because this seems to be the thing to do.
Read James Mitchner's Hawaii.
Re-organize my closet
Cuddle with my dogs daily.

I am 3 days into my holiday. I've clocked 150km on my bike, have been for a run around the sea wall twice and have managed to swim over 3 km in Kits pool. I'm napping for Canada. Yes, I have seen the entire season of  ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK on Netflix. It was indeed very satisfying to watch 13 episode of television without a care in the world. I am indeed sure that this kind of indulgent television behaviour is bad for me- but hopefully the swim, bike run cancels out the damage.

My closet is on tomorrow's agenda and yes, I'm 75 pages into Mitchner's masterpiece.... only 850 pages to go.

That, and my dogs are getting serious love.

yes, that is an agenda for the holidays and yes I realize its a bit fucked up. But, she who is without neuroses should cast the first strappy sandal.

As someone who already gets 8 hours of sleep in a day, I wondered about the effect of extra holiday sleep on my already restful body? Could I indeed be getting too much of a good thing? Was there a concept of "catching up"?

A fascinating study published in the Journal of Pediatrics in 2009, looked at the effects of holiday sleep patterns on children in Hong Kong.

The study examined the sleep patterns of 5159 children in Hong Kong ages 8-11 and the effects it had on their weight. During the school year the kids slept 9 hours daily. This increased to 10.5 hours on average daily during weekends and holidays.

It has long been established that decreased sleep indeed correlates to an increased risk of obesity both in children and adults. The question is whether or not compensating for a decrease in sleep on weekends and holidays will indeed correct for this?

The study followed these children for a period of two years and looked at their weight gain and its correlate to sleep patterns and compensation of sleep deprivation on weekends and holidays.

IN this study children who slept less than 8 hours a night and did not compensate for this sleep deficit with 2.6 times more likely to be obese than children who indeed slept more than 9-10 hours a night and 2.2 times more likely to be obese than those children who slept 8 hours a night during the week but compensated with 10 hours  a night on weekends and holidays.

Although the study is purely observational and with definite deficits, it brings up an interesting point for further study.... perhaps compensation of sleep when we can does have a bit of a restorative effect?

What's the take home message really? No, my sisters- we should not be sleeping 5 hour a night and then making it up on holidays and weekends- This would be like saving all seasonal shopping for end of season sales... no-one wants to buy that fabulous white suit 3 weeks before Labour Day, do they? Instead, I think the message is to try one's best with sleep during the year and take a little extra time to nap on holidays.... More sleep is indeed helpful and not a hindrance.

And yes, I can nap with science on my side.

SO happy Tuesdays, my girlfriends, a very happy one indeed. I'm off to read, nap and frolic. Rest assured, I'll report back soon.... well rested, closet cleaned..


  1. Oh my - your Staycation sounds absolutely perfect. . . . I am so very jealous! So very very jealous. Enjoy it! You deserve every moment of it!

  2. That all sounds just so fantastic!!! Enjoy enjoy enjoy!!!