January 2010 Recap

starting right now, on the last day of every month i am going to do a recap post. rather than keep a written calender of my exercise efforts, i am going to record them here. it’s mainly for my personal reference… probably not very interesting to anybody else. i try to cycle at least every other day, and once i get better at Yoga and learn more of the poses, i will begin recording that on here as well. so, here we are…

January 2010

1- X

2- 30 minutes of cycling

3- 30 minutes of cycling

4– X

5- 30 minutes of cycling

6– X

7– X

8– 30 minutes of cycling

9– X

10– 30 minutes of cycling

11– X

12– 30 minutes of cycling

13– X

14– 30 minutes of cycling

15– X

16– X

17– 30 minutes of cycling

18– X

19– 30 minutes of cycling

20– 30 minutes of cycling

21– X

22– 30 minutes of cycling

23– 30 minutes of cycling

24– X

25– X

26– 30 minutes of cycling

27– 30 minutes of cycling

28– Yoga Class, 1 hour 20 minutes

29– 30 minutes of cycling

30– 30 minutes of cycling

31– X

Advertisements

Class Exercise

i finally did it. i got off my lazy butt, and dragged myself to the Y for my first Yoga class.

i was pretty nervous at first. i had actually planned on going to last week’s class, but didn’t. then i thought about going to a Saturday Pi-Yo class, but didn’t make it to that either. i just don’t like group exercising. if i’m going to grunt and sweat and melt the fat off my body, i want to do it alone. i want to turn up my music, and lose myself in a wave of angry shouting and strong beats. i want to put my body on auto pilot while my mind wanders and tries desperately to forget that it’s burning and sweating.

i can’t put my body on auto pilot when i’m exercising with someone else. “someone else” always expects me to talk to them. they want me to sweat with them, and find camaraderie in our exercise… but i just don’t like it. i don’t want to talk to someone while i’m exercising- it’s hard enough for me to breathe without shoving speech into the equation. when there’s someone else huffing and puffing and sweating next to me i have a hard time finding my “zone”, and because of that i can’t put my body on autopilot. my workout ends up being ten times more unpleasant and harder to do.

group exercising is is worse, because there are so many people there to compare myself to. i usually don’t know a soul in the room, and with the typical drill-sargeant for an instructor, i just don’t find exercise classes fun.

BUT, my husband is paying for our membership at the Y. the classes there are free with membership, and i desperately need some sort of upper body strength and flexibility training to counteract my cycling cardio. i can feel my body wanting to seize up, stiff as a stone after cycling…. if i don’t start doing a more rigorous stretch, i’m going to end up stiff as a board in my old age.

the Yoga class fits in perfectly with my life. i take my son to school in the morning, then head straight to the Y with plenty of time to get my daughter checked into daycare and my stuff stored in a locker. it’s only once a week, so it gives me 7 whole days for my sore muscles to recover.

the class is an hour and twenty minutes long.

that may seem like a really long time to exercise, but Yoga is more than just exercise. it is meditating, and stretching. it is relaxing and holding poses until you find your core. the class i attended was pretty full, but not over-packed. i was afraid that i would be the worst in the bunch, or just not fit in, but i was pleasantly surprised.

there were people there of all skill levels. there were people there of all shapes, sizes and nationalities. every adult age and gender attended. it was, in fact, the most diverse bunch of people i’ve ever seen in one room. i thought it was great, because in such a diverse bunch of people, nobody fits in. by having nobody fit in, everybody fits in. i still felt slightly paranoid and uncomfortable, but not nearly as much as i expected to.

the instructor did a very good job leading us through a series of stretches and poses, ranging from easy, to difficult, and back to easy over the hour+ that we were there. in the most difficult poses, she gave us several variations on different skill levels to do. throughout the class, there were some people who chose to do the most difficult, some people who chose the simplest, and some people who didn’t do it at all.

i fell in comfortably at the middle of the class. i wasn’t the worst or the best, the skinniest or fattest. i wasn’t the oldest, although i probably made a good effort towards being the youngest- about half the women there were either as young or close in age to me. (there was 1 man)

over all, it was a positive experience. the instructor was very helpful and didn’t push anybody past their skill limit. there weren’t any obvious cliques, and i wasn’t the only person who had never been to that class before.

i’m going to try and make that same class every week, while still following the Namaste Yoga program on television. as i worked my way through class, i realized that the television program gave me a good base knowledge of Yoga poses and what to expect. having guidance in the form of a real-life instructor was better than the tv program, but i was definitely better off for having that base knowledge.

this morning, though, i think i’ll pass on the Yoga training. my shoulders, pecs, outer thighs, and outer ab muscles are pleasantly KILLING me. i’ll do my regular cycling and stretching to avoid getting too stiff, but that’s about it. πŸ™‚

Namaste!

Vitamins

proper food nutrition is very important for a healthy life, but sometimes it can be hard to get the proper nutrition through food alone. for that, i rely on a good vitamin.

there is all sorts of crap out there you can take… i couldn’t even begin to recommend herbal supplements or fancy named vitamins that are guaranteed to give you more energy, increase your metabolism, or do whatever the heck it is you want them to do. quite frankly, i just don’t really care all that much. a good pre-natal vitamin is what i’ve always taken. it’s what has always been recommended to me as a woman of child-bearing age, Β even though i am no longer going to bear any children.

with my new fitness regimen, i’ve been wanting something with a little more punch, though. i’m more active now than i’ve been in over 10 years, and my body is using more of itself to function than it ever has. i’m also getting older (although i don’t really want to admit it) and when i do hit an age where my body is going to turn on me, i want to make sure i’m in prime fighting condition.

for this purpose, i’ve turned to GNC. apparently, they know a little something about sports conditioning. supposedly, they know exactly what my body needs to stay healthy while i’m exercising. if i read the back of the many little bottles they stock on the shelves, i can achieve any number of effects i want my vitamins to have (from bone health to an energy booster) but i don’t really like reading labels.

luckily, they’ve thought of people like me, and stocked the shelves with these nifty little boxes full of daily vitapacks. apparently, they have everything a person in various stages of life (menopause, prenatal vitamins, heart health, etc.) could possibly need out of a vitamin and herbal supplement.

my particular poison is “Womens Ultra Mega Active Vitapak”.

i’ve been guaranteed better health and more energy just by taking these vitamins. i don’t know if it’s true yet, as i’m only on day 3 of my 1 month supply, but my husband swears by them. he takes the Mega Men’s Sport supplement, and has felt an improvement in his over-all conditioning.

his word is good enough for me… so i’ve replaced my daily generic prenatal vitamins with the pretty purple box, and will see where i go from there. πŸ™‚

Fitness Nutrition

one very important aspect of staying fit, is eating healthy. it’s not just about a weekly exercise routine, it’s about making the right choices in food. that’s a problem for me, because i LOVE food. food makes me feel better when i’m down, and really good food gives me an instant (but brief) high that i can only compare to sex.

but why, oh why, does all the good stuff have to be so bad???

in order to keep myself healthy, while not depriving myself of all the tasty foodstuffs that i love so dearly, i’ve been practicing moderation and substitution. i’ve also found that the longer i go without eating fatty or sugary foods, the less i crave them. the first week of sugar abstinence is hell… but after that it’s a lot easier to avoid it.

i’ve eliminated “creamy” foods from my diet… my salad dressings are always vinegar and oil based. my soups are always tomato or broth based. instead of drowning myself in ice cream when a sugar craving hits, i suck on a hard candy. i don’t buy potato chips or other salty, greasy snacks for my house. i can’t resist the temptation of gorging myself, so i don’t even bother to keep them around. it’s just safer that way. unsalted saltines or wheat saltines are our munchies of choice. we make popcorn for a snack sometimes, but i air pop it myself, and add sea salt and olive oil butter, rather than use the oh-so-good-but-loaded-with-carcinogens microwave popcorn.

i’m not out to give you all sorts of tips and tricks for a healthier you. i’m not going to tell you to eat only organic, or raw, or become a vegetarian. (although i did do a stint as a pescatarian once, and i’d never felt healthier) i am trying to make myself fit and healthy for life, and if i begin a strict food elimination regimen i’d be absolutely miserable. i am a woman, and as a woman, i have to have a little bit of sugar every day. i love my carbs and my salty foods. it just makes me feel better. i cut corners where i reasonably can, but i don’t deprive myself of what i think is good. i am hoping that my exercise will make up for the fact that i’m not cutting out sugar or other tasty-but-not-healthy foods that i can’t substitute.

my motto is “moderation”. everything in moderation. exercise moderately every day. eat moderately every day. i’ve lost the weight, but now i need to maintain… hopefully, moderation really is the key.

Just For Laughs

picture courtesy of I Can Has Cheezburger

Water

WHY is water so important? okay, that’s a stupid question. water is literally the elixir of life. without it, i would die. even if i attempted to live on nothing but water, i could live for a few weeks before i succumbed to water intoxication. the recommended daily intake of water is 64 ozs, give or take a few depending on size and activity levels.

for me, getting enough fluids has always been a problem. i hate to drink. why would i want to drink to fill my belly when food is so much tastier??? as an adult, i realize that my lack of fluid intake is probably the main culprit in my constant UTIs. dehydration even ruined my wedding.

since the day i got married, i’ve learned my lesson. while i was pregnant and breastfeeding my daughter, i used to carry around a 64 oz bottle of water and force myself to drink it before the end of the day. i was so much healthier for it… but now, i’m not pregnant or breastfeeding, and the only person i am responsible for hydrating is myself. it’s so easy to say “not now” to a glass of water, then “not now” becomes “tomorrow” and so on and so forth. last night i had about 16 ozs of fluids all day, and i weighted 3 lbs more than normal this morning. oh yeah, did i mention that the more water you drink, the more water weight you lose? drinking a ton of water should be in every diet’s handbook, because it works. half the time i think it’s just because all that time i spend forcing myself to swallow water is just more time i’m not spending shoving chocolates down my throat. whatever. it works, and that’s what matters, right?

each glass in my house holds about 16 ozs of water. my goal is to drink 8 ozs before i spin, 8 ozs after i spin, 1 glass with lunch, and 1 glass with dinner. sodas, milk, coffee and juice don’t count. i don’t really drink any of that anyways.

ugh.

torture.

The Search For Myself

i am a 28 year old mother of 2 and wife of 1. over the years i’ve tried many different things to get in shape and lose weight, but ultimately nothing stuck. i went through phases where i used an elliptical regularly at home, i’ve done Tae bo, Pilates, and diets. sometimes it worked… but none of it found a permanent place in my life.

my weight has varied throughout the years, with my heaviest non-pregnancy weight being 145 lbs. through 17 months of breastfeeding my youngest child, i managed to slim down to my ideal weight. (5’7″ less than 130lbs)

my childbearing days are over, and my body is all mine here on out. my goal is to find a workout program that i can be happy with. i need a program that will help me find my center. i want to feel relaxed, and flexible. i want to live my remaining days physically healthy and strong- and to do that i need to find myself, and my inner fitness-goddess.

the problem? i hate working out. i hate sweating and panting and the feel of my heart racing.

i am the quiet type… i like to sit in big comfortable chairs, read good books, and drink hot tea and eat chocolates. sweating my tits off for the sake of an adreneline rush does not appeal to me.

for the past 7 months i’ve been riding my bicycle on a stationary trainer in the house. because of that whole “mom” thing, i only have about an hour during the day in which my youngest naps, and i am free to do something that i can’t do while i have a child to keep an eye on. because of that, i’ve beenl riding for 30 minutes every other day. by the time my 30 minute ride is up and i get a shower, the baby wakes up just as i’m running a brush through my wet hair.

cycling has done wonders for my body and my energy levels. my legs and ass are toning up like i’ve never seen them before, and i have much more energy to get things done around the house, when my legs don’t feel like jelly. when i exercise on my bicycle, it helps me control my junk food habit. after all, what’s the point in riding if i’m just going to eat a donut for dessert???

the only problem with my riding, is that while my heart is pumping, my pores are sweating, and my muscles are firming, i am also stiffening up considerably. i’ve always been very inflexible, and since i’ve begun riding it’s gotten much worse. i obviously need to fit some sort of flexibility training into my daily workout routine, but what will i do? it took me years to finally come to cycling as the perfect solution to getting my cardio in… i don’t have years to find a flexibility program that works.

i originally wanted to implement some sort of dance routine that would workout the muscle groups that my cycling is missing (mainly my abs) and help me loosen up in the process, but ultimately i’ve come to realize that i just don’t have the personality to do that. i feel like an utter moron, even when nobody’s watching, while i’m inexpertly dancing in the middle of my living room floor to some idiotic aerobics dance program. scratch the dance.

on a whim, i recorded some Yoga shows from the Fitness Channel on my television. i’ve never really considered Yoga to be a viable workout routine for myself… first of all, in the US it’s become a fad, and i absolutely hate following the crowd and doing something just because everybody else is. i don’t want to become one of those pretentious yuppies that walk around talking about their Yoga classes and their organic salads all the time. but, still i need something, and Yoga ultimately seems like the ideal choice to reach my goals… firm my muscles, while increasing flexibility. i also have issues with anxiety and stress, so if it works as meditation and helps me find my calm center, then that’s even better.

i gave the television program a chance, and i can honestly say that it changed my life. the program is called Namaste Yoga, and it was very different from all the dvds i’ve tried. the moves aren’t too complicated, yet still challenging and they flow from move to move in a manner that feels natural and comfortable. i still don’t feel comfortable doing it in front of anybody else, but my sense of inner peace when i completed the first set of poses was incredible.

i am going to try to implement at least 30 minutes of Yoga into every day after my daughter goes to bed. it won’t be easy… when my husband is home, he commands the television, and my son goes to bed a little later. i also feel a little foolish doing all the prayer postures and slow exaggerated breathing and movements, but i think that’s just something i’m going to have to get over. it’s just stupid to feel stupid.

so that’s what it is for now… cycling and yoga. there is a yoga class at my local Y on thurdays that i am going to try to make, but i don’t know what to expect. it’s an hour and fifteen minutes long, and they don’t separate the “advanced” from the “beginner”. we’re paying for the Y membership, though, so i’ll give at least one class a chance. if it doesn’t work, i can always just swim laps around the pool instead. πŸ™‚

Namaste!

Previous Older Entries