Monthly Archives: March 2013

Perfect day for yoga

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I went to my 3rd (out of 7) Wednesday YIN yoga class. I have been trying to blog about this new class but I haven’t had the words. But after class the other day, I needed to work through some of my feelings and thoughts about and associated with this class.Wednesday was a beautiful, sunny day…still cold and a lot tad windy but beautiful. Even the drive to class was beautiful. Every song that came on the radio was upbeat and singalongable and I didn’t hit any traffic snags. The drive relaxed me and pumped me up all at the same time.

I couldn’t wait for class.

Stevee, yoga instructor, started the class with a few questions:

Why are you here? Has your reason changed?

If you know me, you know I’m sort of loud and outgoing and upbeat. I put on a good show of confidence but I have many bouts of self doubt and insecurity. Especially around strangers. And even more especially when I am truly honest with my feelings and thoughts and emotions…in front of strangers or coworkers. I wait to hear what others say and share before I let my all out loud.

When Stevee asked these questions I was the first to volunteer. I blurted out my yoga “story” which is not much of a story but I’ll bullet point it here anyway.
*my first yoga experience was about 4 years ago. I hated it. In fact, yoga pisses me off. I didn’t know how and couldn’t turn my brain off. Plus, I had no balance. I made it thru 4 classes and that was it.
*knee and ankle surgery. Lots of physical therapy.
*last year when I had a gym membership, I tried a yoga class again. This class was intense but the instructor always repeated, “listen to your body,” “this is a judgement free zone,” and “do not compare yourself to your neighbor, eyes on your mat.” I didn’t go to many classes but but I did discover I could silence my brain chatter. I could listen to my body.
*I discovered how good downward dog felt on my poor achy calf (remember that surgeries leg). However, I discovered DWD too late because my other gym activities left me with a bummed calf.
*I rested my calf. I got lazy. I got bummed. I got downright depressed.
*I set huge goals that now scare the bejeebus out of me.
*I came across this free yoga class at my college. The instructor hooked me in from her first hello. I signed up for Stevee’s emails and within a week or so, I had an invitation to her upcoming class. I had never heard if yin yoga but the description sounded like something I would be into.
*when I started this class, I wanted to work on my mind-body connection but I wanted to work that connective tissue to continue to heal, and increase flexibility and mobility, ankle which has an incredible amount of scar tissue. I wanted help with my running, because of that big, scary goal.
*my reasons for continuing this class is the emotional attachment to that hour on the mat. I sound like a yogi My body as much as my mind as much as my soul need my hour on Wednesday. I almost cannot give you the words for how much I feel during yin.
*then Stevee asked if I was using it off the mat. And I truly believe that in this class I am learning to be mindful, on and off my mar. I still have to remind myself to listen and to trust myself but I am more mindful off my mat.

 

I know I rambled, and I didn’t get into this much detail in class but I hit the highlights. When I was finished talking, I was all choked up. I didn’t actually cry, i didn’t hold tears in I just didn’t actually cry. We went around the room and I tried to listen but I was very zoned into not own head. Not in a distracted, what’s on my to do list sorta way but in a deep thought zone. It was a weird zone-out because I was still very aware of the conversations around me as my classmates shared their yoga stories and what brought them to this class.

Class was awesome….just the right combination of poses and conversation. I am soaking in this new knowledge. Yin yoga is different than any other yoga class I have ever taken or any dvd I have ever followed along with. In Yin you hold poses for 3-5 minutes and you use props – blocks and straps and blankets to assist in the poses. The point of the poses is not to engage all your muscles while you hold a crazy pose, instead its actually the opposite. In Yin, you sort of turn to mush in the poses. Stevee likens it to acupuncture without the needles. It reminds me of that “hurt so good” feeling you get when you foam roll after a 10-miler. I am truly learning what my body likes and needs.

And I think I am falling in love with my body. And yoga.

It was the perfect day for yoga.

The ride home from class was just as beautiful, just as perfect. I can’t remember what was on the radio. I was too busy enjoying the scenery.
See for yourself….

imagejust a cell-phone picture but I needed to get a picture of those clouds over the bay at sunset.

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It was an accident

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I stopped weighing in.

I stopped stepping on the scale.

I didn’t do it on purpose.

I think I quite like it.

Every Wednesday morning in January and February the first thing (after the normal stretch, potty, turn coffee on routine) I did was step on the scale. I teamed up with my friend, Ann, for a good old-fashioned Shrinking Jeans challenge so there was a weekly weigh in. The week after the challenge ended, I completely lost track of days that week and didn’t realize I had even missed weigh in or that it was Wednesday until my fourth class.

Side note: did you know today is March 20th?!?

Somehow, that one missed weigh in became two and today makes three. And I think I am going to continue this streak. I don’t want the scale to be important. And it was getting to be a too important piece in my puzzle. Actually not so much the scale but weight loss (or lack of) the scale represents.

I’ve come to realize I want so much more than weight loss. I want to eat foods that make me feel good. I’m still battling some belly issues but some issues have been resolved as long as I stay away from wheat and excessive sugar, especially the two together. I want to move my body comfortably during yoga…hell, I want to be comfortable during any physical activity. I want things that have no translation into a number on the scale. I have wanted to ditch the scale, wanted to not care about the scale but never quite pulled it off. I usually convince myself I need to know that number. I need to make sure I’m doing “right” and right means losing weight.

But why do I feel this need to lose weight?!?

The thing is, I just want my clothes to fit better. Like they did prior to my injuries and surgeries. That’s it. I want to feel confident in anything I wear.

Turns out, when I am physically active I feel much more confident in myself.

This has NOTHING to do with how much I weigh.

Craziness!!

I am finding a rhythm with the gym and working out. I LOVE going to the gym and doing my thing. I love the way I feel when I am all sweaty and gross after a good gym session.

So for now, I am staying away from the scale and focusing on true measures of health and fitness.

A very happy accident!

working my workouts

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Last week, right before we lost an hour on the clock, I was convinced I HAD to start morning workouts. Have I ever told you all how much I dislike the morning and my alarm clock. Seriously, if I had my way, I would wake up on my own every day. I’m pretty sure I would wake up 7:30ish when the sun starts poking through my windows. So, last Monday when the alarm went off at 5AM I was painfully reminded of just how much I dislike mornings. Instead, I want to stay snuggled in my warm blankets with my dog and husband snoring on either side of me.  AND if it happens to be raining…well then, all bets are off!! Well, I decided Monday morning when I hit the snooze on a way too early alarm clock, if I can’t get my ass to the gym every day after school then I will have to do morning workouts. Let’s see how I did…. image   export (1)

My Polar monitor gives me weekly goals to reach, last week I shattered those goals!!! I rewarded myself with a nice bubble foot bath while watching The Vikings.

Here are my predictions for next week….

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What are your workout predictions for the week??

RRD, until the water heater springs a leak

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reasonable

realistic

doable

Or so I thought!

Last week when I set goals, my intentions were to get to the gym 3 times, yoga 3 times and blog 3 times.
I didn’t come close to reaching these goals.
I’d like to say I had some good reason. Or I was sick. I have no such excuse. AJ hurt his back and the doctor put him on muscle relaxers… so he’s been kinda useless (she says with all the love in the world)and I’ve had to pick up the slack. Then the water heater sprung a leak.
And then I had a minor freakout/meltdown.
It seems like one thing after another after another is in need of repair. Grrrr.
I may not have completed my goals last week…
But…
I did not turn to food.
I did not fall apart.
I handled what needed to be handled.
I realize, at some point last week I gave myself permission to feel whatever I was feeling. In doing so, I didn’t feel weighed down by the negativity of the situation. By not pushing to make the gym or a blog happen, I was able to focus on what needed my attention with feeling overwhelmed with doing everything.
I did what needed to be done at the time, in order of importance. I set priorities. And last week eating good for me foods and taking care of my family was the best thing for me to do.
Its weird, initially I was mad that I missed the gym. Then I felt guilty. But instead of beating myself up, I thought of the things I was happy with, the things I could be proud of or be happy about accomplishing.

This week, I am working on adding in the physical movement. I have been to the gym 3 days after school. I made it to a new yoga class. I’m still eating good for me foods. This week is about getting to the gym. I bought a 6-month membership and I must use it.
Plus, when I’m active I want to be active. When I’m active I want to eat better for me foods. When I’m active I sleep better. AND when I’m active I am more productive all around.
So the moral of my story….stay active, it does my body and soul good. But remember to slow down when life gets in the way. And most importantly, take care of me the best I can each day.
I am a work in progress for sure!

ellie, the review!

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Way back in December I posted a review about pv.body and their workout clothes. Well, there were some changes with the company. pv.body is no longer and now we have Ellie.

I have read many opinions on the switch but I reserved judgement while the company sorted it all out. I waited patiently for my next outfit and the wait was worth it! Take a look at the pictures of my outfit! The blue top is so brilliant and beautiful AND superduper soft. Its the softest shirt I own. The leggings are so nice with a wide waist band so the pants stay put where they belong.

With this shirt I discovered just how awesome thumbholes can be!! I am way later to  this party…which is way crazy since I love long, long sleeves. If I can pull the sleeve down into my palm, I am happy! SO, Ellie only goes up to a size Large….and I was a bit worried but as you can see from my full body picture, a Large fit me just fine. Not tight or restrictive at all! The top covered my belly and then some.

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I took one look at those leggings and thought there was no way a Large was going to be big enough.  I was very pleasantly surprised. The leggings were soft but firm; the did not roll down my belly (I know you know what I mean) and I didn’t feel like overstuffed sausage.

Ellie is constantly updating their product design – monthly, actually to meet and exceed the needs of ladies like yourself.  You can buy products off their website at retail price OR you can sign up for the Fit Fashionista Club for $49.95.  Ellie will send you an active TOP and BOTTOM from their latest collection.  The best part, you get to choose which products you receive.Ellie focused on style, fit, and cost.  They are focused on what is most important to you.   You want to feel great in your work clothes and of course, wear the hottest new styles.

If you haven’t tried the service, we highly suggest you try it!

Here is how Ellie works…You can purchase individual pieces (ranging from $39.95 to $59.95 each), OR you can join the club and get a two-piece outfit for $49.95 a month, which you can cancel at any time. Each month, a new collection of 24 pieces debut. Right now you can shop from the March lineup, called the “Little Black Collection”.

Oh and if you follow this link, you can get 20% off your first order.

Full Disclosure: Ellie reached out to me and sent my outfit free of charge. I have joined their affiliate program which means I will make a % of each sale my site brings them via  my link. All opinions expressed in the post are my own.

 

reasonable, realistic, doable

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The menu plan:

Sunday: sirloin steak, crispy potatoes & wilted spinach

Monday: chicken, broccoli & cauliflower casserole

Tuesday: skirt steak stir fry (cauli rice)

Wednesday: meaty sauce over pasta for them, veggies for me (ooh, husband is cooking)

Thursday: 40-clove garlic chicken (crockpot)

Friday: marinated tri-tip roast, roasted garlic mashed cauli/potatoes and some green veg

 

Goals:

1. 3 yoga practices

2. 3 gym sessions

3. 3 blog posts

 

My thoughts on planning and setting goals:

I don’t usually set weekly goals. I don’t do this because I usually set such lofty goals and don’t usually have the best follow through. Setting unreachable goals is sort of a specialty of mine but I’m trying to learn a better way. I realized setting goals is a lot like menu planning. When I sit down to create the weekly dinner, I have to take a few things into consideration: Q’s activities and my schedule determine what we eat and if who cooks! This week the kinks are in the form of yoga classes, guitar lessons, and color guard practice. As crazy as our schedule is this week, I know it can and will be busier in the years to come. Side note: I am not ready to have a highschooler!

We eat dinner at whatever time is convenient for us all to eat together whenever we can. Q recently started Color Guard (yep, she’s still in 8th grade but its practice for next year) and practice starts at 5 so dinner would have to be at 4:15. Its beginning, but I’m holding on to important family time!

Just like I need a reasonable approach to meals and planning said meals, I need to do the same with fitness plans. I need to be realistic…what is my schedule like this week and what do I want to accomplish this week?!? Well….

 

Why these goals:

I have not found my consistent workout groove. I want to be successful and build off that success.

3 yoga practices and 3 gym sessions.

A reasonable and realistic fitness-ey goal.

I can go to yoga classes (actually I’m starting a new yoga class on Wednesday) or I can stay at home and do my own thing! And if I can’t get my ass to the gym three times in a week, I should never have bought the 6-month membership. Time to make the most of it! 🙂 That sounds a bit harsh but its not! I’m being reasonable and practical.

Blogging is good for me! My blog is my place. To ramble, explore, learn and have fun! I don’t need to write novels ever time I blog but I enjoy journal style writing. And what harm can there be with a bit more writing?!?

I believe I am setting the time for a GREAT week!!

What about you? Are you a goal setter? A menu planner?