Yoga Challenge – done and done

Dancers pose

 <—– that’s not me.. I wish. but, this is one of my favourite poses from yoga.

I’m all wrapped up with the 30 day yoga challenge and I have a few thoughts but before that, I’d like to say thanks for the encouragement from everyone. I needed it.

I wasn’t able to get online and blog everyday, in week one I quickly realized that this is going to take over what little free time I do have, on a daily basis.  So, I kept a little booklet in my car and jotted down a thought or two before or after class.  I went through a cycle of emotions, giving up, getting back into it and even boredom.

Here’s a few highlights:

Day 4: I’m so excited and feeling great. yoga has changed my life.

Day 7: one week down. That wasn’t so hard. I’m waiting… waiting. waiting for the challenge to sink in. like it’s going to sneak up on me and test me to give up. 

Day 9:  I feel FAT. all this extra weight on my body. I’m so angry at myself, and still so sad. I want to feel strong and confident but all I feel is hopelessness. Why isn’t it easier to get rid of the weight. I teared up in the middle of class. probably due to the fact that I’m exhausted, stressed and starting to feel sick (cold). but mostly, I just feel FAT.

Day 10: still feeling fat.

Day 12: officially sick. I have an awful sore throat and a bit of a fever. Going to power through today and hope it doesn’t get worse.

Day 13: Took the day off work, staying in bed. no yoga today. I have resolved that it’s OKAY to take a couple of days off, and will make up the classes I miss by doing double duty for a few days when I’m feeling better.

Day 16: Thought about yoga. didn’t go.

Day 20: Feeling better and back to it, doing Yin and Hot yoga tonight.

Day 21: Did 2 classes tonight. I’m exhausted.

Day 23: I’m so sick of yoga. I don’t feel like I’m there when I’m there. I am thinking about everything else. the exciting and the mundane tasks of life.

Day 24: Hatha

Day 25: went through the motions again tonight. I want to love it, but I’m not sure it’s for me. I love the benefits, I love some parts of it, but I usually end up wishing I was outside in the fresh air. Going hiking tomorrow morning.

Day 26: Yoga…. again? really? what does this challenge even mean to me. is it a challenge that I’m completing because it will bring me some kind of new feeling, some feeling of accomplishment? of reaching a goal? but, at the moment. i feel resentful towards the challenge I gave myself. That’s messed up.

Day 27:  I went hiking this morning at my favourite spot and felt that rush of accomplishing a challenge. the fresh air, racing against my own time, feeling my heart pumping and looking out over a gorgeous view of the ocean and mountains. THAT is what’s missing from yoga.  I will try to put the same enthusiasm in tonight at my class.

Day 30: Final day. Did I do it… sure. good enough. got sick. missed a few classes but over all, all I really came to realize what that even though I like yoga… I love outdoor fitness WAY more. There is something more appealing to me about being out in the open air, in nature, in solitude, pushing myself to get to the top. ___________

 Conclusion

That about sums it all up. My final conclusion is about what you would expect. Yoga is a great choice for fitness but not entirely for me. I don’t LOVE it like I do hiking and running or just being outside. Yoga is also VERY expensive. Why??? i don’t know. it’s just not in my budget for the long-term especially compared to FREE outdoor activities or even my community gym. The results of doing yoga were incredible, I lost 3 inches off my lower abdomen. there is no doubt that yoga is a great exercise with fantastic results.  I’m fitting in to my jeans WAY better. I do feel more toned and fit from doing yoga so much. I’m going to continue a version of what I learned on my own, especially the core toning poses and stretching for running. But, I am so glad to be done with the challenge. I thought it would never end. Now, finally onto my new challenge……… 10 week half marathon training.

🙂

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on the 4th day of yoga/veg month my stomach said to me…….

I’m making on of my favourite quick skillet meals. I used extra firm, pressed organic tofu, heated up with 1 Tbsp of sesame oil until it’s a little crispy. Add whatever favourite veggies are in the fridge and presto. I’m starving tonight. This routine of work-all-day followed by straight-to-yoga is taking up my entire evenings, getting home anywhere between 9 and 10:45pm. In one way, it’s helping me be entirely focused on healthy eating and preventing me from getting bored which begets mindless munching at home, but, I’m so tired by the time I get home that I have a quick bite and go straight to bed. My lunch meals aren’t prepped properly and I seem to be opting for veggies and dip or hummus instead of a balanced meal. So, heading into week 2, I’m going to try to set aside a half hour each day dedicated to getting organized in meal prep. That might mean that one day I plan the meals and make a shopping list, the next day I might cook a big meal, another day I might spend making my lunch meals, but how ever it works out, by the end of the week I will feel more in control and prepared.

nom nom…. Dinner time.

Stackofpennies – posted on the go with wordpress for BB.


Ready! Set! OM! – Mountain Pose

Building Foundation:

As this month is entirely inspired by the practice of yoga, I’m going to journal my way through it, to try to make that connection between mind, body and “spirit”. Spirit is a hard one for me. Concepts of things I can do, see, or feel (emotionally)  are easy for me to grasp and process, to adapt to even, but the “OM” and the “breathing out stress” ? It’s all so…. so wishy-washy, and yet, from the outside looking in it seems so peaceful. It makes me wish I could make that connection but it’s just not there for me (as of yet). Anyways, I’m not concerned about that right now. On day one of my challenge I decided to focus on “foundation”, rooting down, feeling strong, standing strong, finding the even balance in my toes, my legs, my lower back, shoulders, neck to the crown of my head. As I stood in Mountain pose and concentrated on how I felt, I just felt heavy. I felt fat, I felt the weight my body is trying to lug around and I wished it just wasn’t there. Not like I was hating myself, just much more aware of the situation. Feeling every inch of what I don’t want to carry, and imagining a life with out it.  I made a mental list of things that I’m really not happy with and only things that CAN be changed, the areas where the inches CAN be lost.

Tummy, hips, arms, sideboobs (you know, where your boobs kind of sag into your armpits).

I still feel strong, I still feel focused and overall balanced, but what would it feel like without these 40lbs hanging on my body. How would running 10km feel? how will it feel to slip into my favourite pair of jeans and not have to suck in that last breath to do up the button? how will it make me feel to wear a tank top with out covering up my arms?

So, as I stand in mountain pose, I feel my foundation, I stand a little taller and a little stronger. This is my starting point and from here I move into the next step.


What are you eating?

In lieu of starting my 30 day challege today, I’m having a vegetarian burrito. I have tried a few of the Amy’s brand products, when in a pinch for something hot a tasty and really don ‘t feel like making anything.

Thumbs up. Although it’s not you regular cheapo burrito, it’s woth the extra dollars. Amy’s always uses mostly organic products and makes vegetarian meals taste yummy.

I’m glad I had this in the freezer to grab on my way out but it’s still not home made which I would prefer. Tonight I plan on making some kind of stirfry and pack some lunches for the week.

Stackofpennies – posted on the go with wordpress for BB.


Best month ever.

Glancing at my giant dry erase calendar, it hit me just how busy and productive this month was. I found and fell in love with Yoga, passed my road test and got my license, lost 5 lbs, got into the Interior Design course , and topped it off with buying my first car last night. It all just sort of fell into place at the right time.

Now, heading into March, I have no big life changing choices to make and can go back to my rather mundane routine. My goal for March? Well, since it’s the last free month I have before my schedule get’s all turend upside down with fulltime work and part time classes in the evening, I want to make this month ideal. I want to challenege my self, health wise like I never have before. Not in a way that feels like I’m being hard on myself. Quite the opposite. I want to challenge myself for 1 month to be the healthiest I have ever been. I’ve signed up for a yoga challenge. The challenge is basically to do 1 yoga class every day in march. On top of that, I also want to try to follow a fully vegetarian diet, full of fresh foods and no processed foods. Except for things like tofu and salad dressing ( I mean, common, let’s be realistic). I have 1 night free pass when the vancouver hiking girls get together for a big fancy dinner to celebrate our success so far. I’m actually really excited about my personalized march challenge since it will be a real challenge to accomplish. It’s going to push me to plan my days more carefully, pay more attention to every meal and snack. My weight goal is less of a focus since I think that it will be an added bonus, but,I’m aiming to lose 5lbs and finally get out of the 180. 🙂 wouldn’t that be awesome.

So, cheers to a fantastic February, and the beginning of a new season.

Stackofpennies – posted on the go with wordpress for BB.


finally! a loss

Down 1.8 today. I know this is nothing to sneeze at but, it really is more profound than just -1.8. Something clicked for me this week. instead of focusing so much on working a program, I made one for myself. In the words of early 90’s hip hop, I “got real”. Instead of focusing directly on the WW points program, I focused on every meal and every activity and tried to make it meaningful. We can all thank my nw found love of yoga that inspired this “mindfulness” and “intention”. I’m also loving my new Spark People tracker app for blackberry. I love it. Right there on my phone, with me at all times to track every calorie of every bite. It also tracks activity, weigh ins and water. This little tool helps me stick to the fundamental rule to weightloss; calories in vs calories out. On a side note: Did you know that 2 cups of peas has 222 calories?
And my last great new tool, a new scale. I broke down and finally picked a higherend scale that calcs BMIN body fat %, water weight. It’s perfectly accurate on the first try. No more guessing or inconsistent numbers to freak me out. I know EXACTLY how I’m doing on any given day.

All of this brings me to 185. I’m back to where I left off last summer before I hit the plateau. It’s all new from this point on and for the first time since then, I really believe I’m on the right track and reaching my goal this year is totally possible.

Now the really hard part starts…. This fat isn’t going to shed it’s self, those muscles aren’t going to come from now where.

Stackofpennies – posted on the go with wordpress for BB.


Yoga

If  you have met or known me with in the last 10 years, you would know that I am not big on forced sentiment. I don’t like to be told what to feel, how or when I should feel that way, especially through carefully manipulated “Moments”. The soft music playing in the back ground, lights turned down low, everybody’s eyes are closed and heads are bowed, breathing deeply and just…. Sitting there. While everyone else is “Feeling”, I am usually wondering if anyone else can smell that. My patients to concentrate inwardly lasts mere seconds before I starting thinking about the ongoing list of things that need to get done, where I’m going next, who I need to call, what I need to buy. It’s not that I don’t care about feelings and emotions but, just like the Amish, I believe that words are fleeting and the real testament to one’s truest heart is by DOING. (And, No, I’m not Amish. I just finished a documentary last night and found that applicable)

I went to my first yoga class thinking about the “doing” side of it. The fitness, the work out, the bending and the stretch.  I wanted to give this a real attempt to work for me. I wanted to do it right. So, I went along with the “OM” thing, and the pointy finger thing and then, the work out began. The instructor started to talk about feeling like we HAVE to do things in life. He simply said, “Let what you HAVE to do be what you WANT to do. Let what you WANT to do be what you LOVE to do. That those things you feel you HAVE to do are simply because you LOVE them so much that you want to see them to completion.”  With in 15 minutes, I was hooked.  After some kind of boat pose, and a standing warrior, and grabbing my ankle and sticking legs up in the air and sweating it out, I felt amazing. There was this kind of inward focus that has lasted for the last 4 days, feeling confident in my own abilities and the direction my life is heading, and feeling lots of love. Allowing Love to guide what I do, and still staying pretty practical in the end. I love eating healthy because of the way it makes my body feel, I love drinking blueberry green tea because it is so yummy, I love making the time for family and friends because they are precious, I love the way my body feels after a good workout, I love challenging myself to be better in all areas, and now… I love yoga.  (even if I do think the “om’s” are a little weird but what ever. 

So…. Thumbs UP on yoga.  After 4 days doing regular yoga and trying  a variety of classes and forms, I feel stronger, more bendy, more relaxed, my skin looks beautiful, I am smiling more, laughing more, and simply enjoying little moments more.

This will be a regular part of my life from now on, even if it does cost half a fortune, it feels worth it. 

My schedule will now incorporate half marathon training WITH gym and yoga, at least until April when my classes start. I will be mixing up my fitness, going from a regular rountine of only running, to incorporate new movements and strength building (not with weights because of the injury to my elbow). Every day will be something different from the day before so that my body doesn’t have time to adjust to one way of working out and get used to it.  Some would call it “shocking” the system. But, I dunno, I just love to do and to learn new ways of doing things.


WI. and a little rant

Aren’t we tired of hearing the same story over and over. “Up 4lbs, down 3, Up 1, down 1. Stayed the same” It’s always the same and nothing is new. No matter what my results, that big huge fat number 8 still sticks to my big huge fat arse.

Sure, I lost 40lbs in 5 months. Yay me!  That was 7 months ago. I am still nowhere near a healthy body weight.

The worst part about feeling “stuck”, other than the pure frustration of being stuck, is knowing that there is nothing else you can do right. I AM following a healthy diet plan, using proper measurements, counting all those calories, staying in the plan, getting 1.5-3 hours of fitness everyday. My body is just so happy being in the 180’s that it just won’t let go. I wouldn’t feel upset or frusterated if I gained weight because it was deserved (for lack of a better word). A scenario where I predominantly indulged and sat on my butt.

But this is not that kind of situation. According to every health plan I have ever researched, I am already living a healthy lifestyle. I am doing it right. Do I really need to become one of those extreme health crazed people who only eat egg whites and leafy greens, wake up at 4 am to run a half marathon before work every day and have no social life, never eat a bite of chocolate and go to bed at 8 because that’s ALL they care about. That sounds awful and no fun; No Thank You!

That still leaves me sitting here after 7 months thinking “What(the fuck) gives?”  What do I need to do? The last thing I want is another person’s advice on what I need to do or the latest diet fad. “maybe you need to eat more” “make sure you’re getting enough protein” “you need to eat carbs too”

To which I say ” NO DUH!!!”  I’ve heard it, I’ve tried, It didn’t work.

Even though this staying-the-same situation is very frustrating, I never really lose hope or stop trying to do my best. Yes, I am angry but  I still want to use these feelings to keep me moving in the right direction. Feeling frustrated is not an excuse to give up and revert back to my old “fat” lifestyle. Instead of trashing all of my hard work that got me this far, I want to use these feelings to fuel new inspiration and a new game plan. Obviously, if what I’m currently doing is not producing results, it is time to try something new.

So… My WI results this week?   Up .04lbs.  187.6

All I can come up with as far as  new game plan is mixing up my fitness schedule with new classes. A varied plan to teach my body new ways to lose weight.  I suspect that, although incredibly satisfying, running is no longer enough.  I need to tone and build more muscle that will in turn, burn more calories and get me out of this plateau.  I start yoga tomorrow and will update you all with a review next week. 🙂

Toni


wanting to binge

I just failed a test this morning (over something incredibly stupid and should not have been focused on but what ever) and I have the biggest urge to binge. It might also be the PMS taking over, perhaps a little stress and a little lack of sleep, but what ever the reasons, I just want to self medicate and soothe with greasy food. The cycle of thinking starts with wanting to feel better which triggers memories of food that gave me that high, the subtle excitement and enjoyment from eating it. Once a thought of a particular food has been focused in on, a plan to acquire desired indulgence starts to form and usually carried out.
It wasn’t until last year that I started to recognize the patterns and it’s taken try after try to reason and talk myself out of them. Now, more often than not, I do succeed and go for healthy.

Today, I wanted a bacon cheesre burger, fries, a fancy high sugar coffee drink and a treat to top it off. I was able to recognize the feelings and thoughts, the triggers, and turn it around into healthy options. Instead of all that other junk I got this

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A favourite tea and a munchie protein platter. Sure, it’s not perfect but my success is in the process of changing my mind and going for a healthier option.


what are you eating? – pizza

A delish, quick dinner to put together last minute and a personal favourite. I pre-made a batch of mini pizza crusts from scratch to keep in the freezer. Add what ever fresh toppings I can find in the fridge, bake in the toaster oven/ or regular oven for 5-7 minutes and presto…. I call it dinner. Tonight I have chicken breast, mushrooms, broccoli, hot peppers and a very light sprinkle of fresh grated parmesan.4 points per pizza: Crust – 1pnt, chicken (1/2 chicken breast) – 2 pnt, 3 tbsp fresh grated romano cheese for flavour – 1pnt

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