Monday, July 29, 2013

Boo Boo.

Well, it's about that time for me to have some kind of accident considering I'm terribly clumsy just like my mother.  This time around I managed to carelessly cut my finger right open.  It was bad enough to require an ER visit and several stitches.

Needless to say, I'm not going to be able to continue with the Yoga challenge until the throbbing and pain kinda subside in my hand.  No downward dogs for me. :(  Good luck to all those ladies still participating for the surprise at the end!!  I'll get back into the groove as soon as I'm on the mend.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Wed Weigh In and Flow Yoga Revew

Well it's that time again!  The first Wednesday weigh in during the yoga challenge!  I'm proud to say that I'm just shy of losing a pound already :)  I'm in no hurry and I'm doing a much better job listening to my body this time around.  I give it what it wants but I ask of things in return.  It seems to be going great so far!

My weird cravings for healthy food are still going strong.  I'm taking 2.5 cups of chopped veggies with fat free ranch to work every day as well as half a sandwich on TOP of having either soup or a salad for breakfast (lunch for normal people that don't work nights) and then a usually semi healthy smaller portioned dinner.  The snacks and the smaller meals just kinda happened.  I realized that I was making myself sick with my dinners because they were just too much so I cut back and in doing so, it triggered my NEEDS VEGGIES switch inside me.  All in all I'm very pleased so far.  I go to bed happy and I don't wake up starving anymore.

And now.  For the newest attempt at a yoga dvd.  First off, let me explain how I went about buying all my dvds.  Heather from The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans wrote an article about yoga poses and I asked for recommendations of dvds.  So I started searching for the ones she suggested, and I started sifting through all the reviews I could find.  Then I branched out by looking at the "we also recommend" section Amazon loves to put on each page to entice you to buy more.  I was looking for beginner stuff since... ya know... it's been like 9 years since I last did yoga!

What I came across was a light smattering of different difficulties and routines for different purposes.  Once I decided on what types of routines I wanted, then I read most if not all of the reviews for each dvd.  The majority of all the reviews seemed to be positive and there were some in super depth about the different moves and how they liked the flow of it, etc.

Today's review is on a Hatha and Flow for beginners dvd.

In reading the reviews written for this particular dvd, I was skeptical to get it.  Everyone raves at how good this guy is.  (He's got at least 4 dvds with this company)  But about every 3rd or 4th review, I'd come across THIS DVD IS NOT FOR BEGINNERS!  I just brushed them off like, pfft, you don't know, maybe you're just too lazy for some of the moves!  How wrong I was.

I tried out the Flow segment this evening.  This routine is designed for building muscle, weight loss, strength, etc.  It started out pretty easy, he was very explanatory with the moves, almost step by step what to do with each arm or leg.  This was very helpful!  Then he starts getting into the downward dogs and the chaturangas and the cobras.

Here's where it starts to hit ya.... that you've made a huge mistake.  He's very big on repetitive moves to teach your muscles what to do.  The problem with this is he moves WAY too fast.  You're up then you're down, and up and down.

Then, the harder moves happen.  I didn't mind the warrior poses.  I actually prefer to do those in a nice flowing motion instead of holding it for too long.  After this, it turns into a full blown upside down ab-fest.  My balance isn't there yet.... I can't be on two appendages while throwing the others in the air and then crunching over and over and over fairly quickly.

I had to stop the dvd at 19 mins in when he FINALLY did his first child's pose.  The quick and difficult moves were painful and nauseating. I finished up my 30 mins doing movements from the AM PM dvd to calm myself and relax!

This dvd is NOT for beginners and that's a shame.  I'll probably end up WATCHING the Hatha routine instead of doing it just to see the difficulty level.  This will be a dvd I will need to progress up to but once I get here, I'll have killer abs!

Hope everyone else is going strong on whatever challenge they're participating it, whether it be with Shrinking Jeans or with themselves :)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

PM Yoga Review

What better time to try out a PM yoga routine than after a 12 hour day at work?  I decided that I wanted to see how relaxing the second routine on this dvd actually was.

I must say that it was way more relaxing than I anticipated.  It was very low key.  Focusing on breathing and flexibility most of the time.  It's designed to open your body up and let out the stress from your day and for the most part it did its job.

Here's my problem this time around.  Breathing.  Man oh man, it takes so much concentration and control that I end up straining myself rather than relaxing through the breaths in and out.  I find myself only using my lungs instead of breathing deep in my belly and that restricts my air and strains my lungs.  I know this is something that comes with practice, but right now, it's all I'm noticing rather than the good that's coming from the yoga.

One thing I did learn a while back that helps in the final minutes of a routine is about breathing in pilates.  We were taught how to breathe into our problem areas, sore spots, tight spots, etc.  This comes in handy in most of the more relaxing yoga positions.  Utilizing that breath can make all the difference.

Hope others are still going strong in this challenge and I can't wait to try out another new dvd to see how the styles differ.

As a side note, I've started eating ridiculously healthy out of nowhere.  Way more than when I was TRYING to eat healthy.  My body has been screaming for munchies and sammiches, so I appease it with half a turkey sammich with fat free ranch (since I hate mustard AND mayo).  As far as munchies go, I find myself not wanting chips or junk food as often.  I've started bringing carrots, celery, and cucumbers along with more fat free ranch as my munching food.  It is keeping me super full as my meals are slowly transforming into the smaller more frequent meals that they should be.  Here's my downside that I just CAN'T figure out.  I'm always hungry.  I know when I'm content, or even full, but my body is still telling me it wants to consume stuff.  I normally chew gum to trick my brain into thinking  I'm eating but that just hasn't been doing it lately.  Here's hoping I can figure out why there's such a major disconnect between my brain and stomach.  I'm just glad that I'm eating less junk and more healthy and it wasn't even intentional!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Day 3 of Yoga: AM for Beginners

Well, time to brush off the yoga mat and get back to it!  As mentioned before, I finally got my dvds in to try and I'll be giving a 2 part review on it since it's an AM/PM yoga for beginners.

Right off the bat it's 100 times better than the youtube video that I did two days ago.  It had a slower and more relaxed pace to it.  It was also very forgiving toward modifications if you need them.

The AM starts of with a decent warm up instead of 2-3 mins of breathing.  You go through some breathing and downward facing dog and some planks before moving on to the harder moves that take more concentration and more intentional breathing.  The cooldown was decent as well.  It doesn't end in savasana but you do sit and breathe to focus and get ready for your day.

All in all, I feel much better about this workout.  The moves felt less forced to a beginner.  I only had one struggle and that was in Warrior 3 pose.  My left leg is just not stable enough to handle it yet but it'll come.

As far as muscles go, man my arms hurt something fierce, and it's mostly from the downward dog and not the planks!  My ankle is the other part of my body most affected.  I have a weak ankle with tendonitis on the outside of my foot and yoga tends to pull my foot in rather than it pushing out.  So I may end up needing to wear my brace during the day until my ankle gets stronger or adjusts to the moves.  I can't wait to be sore tomorrow.  To feel the muscle groups that have long been dormant and to know that I'm doing it to better myself. :)

I will be trying the PM half of the dvd after work tonight to see how it helps get rid of stress and helps you find balance after after a long day.

Day 2 of Yoga

Well I must say, I felt ok when I woke up yesterday after doing yoga at 2 in the morning.  I knew I had worked muscle groups that didn't know they existed much less ME knowing they existed.  But they weren't sore yet... YET.

I woke after 3 hours of sleep yesterday and my body decided that it was pumped and ready to go for the day.  My insistence that I had to be up until 1am for work didn't dissuade it's decision.  So I got up, I cooked, I worked on my blogs, I made my FB page. And then I ran errands before I had to head out to day #9 of 10 days straight at work.  By the time I got there, I was feeling some sore muscles.

After about an hour of work, man, I was ready for some advil, a heating pad, and my bed.  I'm not sure if it's because the video I used wasn't truly for beginners or if I did EVERY move just a tad incorrectly.  I ended up having to go home early because of the excruciating pain I was in.

I must say, after a real night's sleep, it definately feels like the 2nd day out of a rigorous workout.  I'm sore and it hurts, but I'm stiff in all the right places too.  This experience, while I whine about it, is a good reminder to not push yourself too hard.  At the time, I didn't know how much I was exerting myself.  Surely it would be just like any other new workout, just a few sore muscles and I'd get back on that horse and try it again the next day.

Lessons learned:  Even though it's yoga and food is important in your diet when doing these exercises, protein is still terribly important for those muscles that are now covered in micro tears that need to be healed fast and properly.  I did not even think to mix a protein shake.  I drank some water yesterday but not nearly enough.  Water can help those aching muscles too.  And last but not least, proper rest.  I did not stay in Savasana as long as I should have because I was being trampled on by 4 different animals and I was ready for bed.  There's no point in doing a set of yoga if you're not going to take the time to enjoy it and follow each step to the best of your abilities.  Had I laid there a bit longer, I could have taken the time to breathe into the places that were the most sore and that might have helped the next day.

Patience and taking it slow are highly recommended.  I just got my new yoga dvds last night in the mail so I will be trying out one of the beginner routines after a few more hours of sleep but before work.  Hope to break up the stiffness in my muscles so that sitting in a chair all night long doesn't kill me again. :)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Day 1 of Yoga

Well, after reading some articles and doing research, I didn't feel fully prepared for my first day of yoga.  I have a few dvds on the way to test out that were recommended to me but in the mean time, I tried out a youtube sequence for beginners.

Ali Kamenova is a yoga instructor that has more than 60 different videos all pertaining to different types of yoga as well as difficulties.  I picked a beginner Hatha Vinyasa video that's just under 30 mins.

Here's the link to the video.

Now, in my reading about food and yoga I read many opinions regarding fasting before yoga or not.  I didn't quite understand.  I'm well aware that working out while food is digesting is not recommended, but man!  3 hours after eating or drinking large amounts of water was still not enough for me.  I found myself almost throwing up in some of the positions (even though they were easy) because I was bending and turning and sucking in the gut, and extending AND through all this, trying to relax.

If this first day has taught me anything, it's that my triceps are mushy as butter on a hot day.  I also managed to pull a very odd muscle somewhere around my left hip.  I don't think I found full relaxation this time around but that had a lot to do with not knowing some of the moves and trying to glance over at the screen from time to time.

I can't wait to do it again to start building the muscles that are weak and to find my center.  This journey has begun, let's keep going!

Monday, July 15, 2013

It's Time for Yoga!

Well, it's been a few days since my decision to put yoga into my life and I'm still very excited about it.  I haven't had the time to do a ton of research yet, but my work schedule goes back to normal tomorrow so by this weekend, I should be in a full blown attempt at some yoga!

As I follow and regularly read the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans, I have come to find help, motivators, and lots of support in my journey this year.  Heather wrote a post about yoga and let me know they were thinking of doing a yoga challenge and that got me even more excited!!!  Well, I didn't expect it so soon, but man it's a great motivator to get me started and I can't wait!

They're asking for 30 days of yoga, at least 3 30 min sessions a week as well as a post about it in some way, on fb, twitter, or their site.  I think this will be a game changer in my life and I am ready to get going!  So bring on the yoga!  And if you're feeling adventurous you can try too!

Here's the link to the challenge page :)

Throughout the next few weeks I will be exploring all kinds of different yoga materials and I will be all over this blog with my reviews and my own progress, so if you're interested in yoga but haven't made that leap yet, stay tuned!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Well it's Saturday.

It has been quite possibly the most stressful week I've had in months.  The company I work for just went through a huge merge and because of that, they're asking for a crap ton of overtime and they also asked for a select few to sacrifice a weekend to work 7 days of graveyards.  I was actually not picked to work this shift but my friend whom I carpool with every day was.  What did that mean for me?  We talked my supervisor into letting me do it too so we could continue to carpool.  7 days of people living in the SAME complex NOT driving together?  That's just silly.

So in all reality, they said it's 7 days straight so we were supposed to get 2 weird days off.  But because of the required overtime on top of the crazy scheduling, I'm working 10 days straight, a minimum of 10 hours a day!

These shifts have not been kind to my body, digestive system, or my sanity!  I have had no time to even think about working out this week and I don't expect to next week either.  Not until I'm done with my 10 days and am chillin' on my 3 day weekend.

So in all of this, I've re-evaluated what kind of working out I'd like to do or what I can do.  With my knees injured and my wrist tendonitis flaring up, I can't run and lifting weights is getting difficult.  A recent post from SJ about yoga poses made my brain click again.  I'd love to start doing yoga but with my schedule, even my normal one, I have no time to find a class to attend.  I don't know the first thing about yoga anymore.  The last class I attended was physical therapy mandated back in 2005!  I took a Pilates class back in 2009 and really enjoyed it but wasn't able to stick with it because it was a college class not like a normal class you'd take from a real trainer.

For any of you out there browsing my blog, do you have suggestions on how to go about doing yoga?  I'd like dvds over teaching myself, at least in the beginning so I can follow direction.  Maybe there are awesome online yoga videos that work for some?  I need to sit down next weekend and do some research to see what I can find to better my health and maybe reign in some of my sanity.  :)

Hope everyone's week went well and here's to next week!

Friday, July 5, 2013


Well it's been a slow week for me.  Even with a holiday in the middle, go figure.  I wasn't able to work out every day this week so far, but I did manage to get in 3 workouts!

Tuesday I did some calisthenics.  Some squats, side lunges, crunches, sit ups, jumping jacks, etc.  I was hoping maybe that would ease the cramping I've had in one of my quads from doing my elliptical on Monday. :(  It didn't, but at least I was up and active right?!

I didn't get any exercise in on Wed but yesterday I did!

Since we didn't have any family plans, and we didn't have access to a grill.... (I know!  A travesty!)  Me and the boyfriend biked to Buffalo Wild Wings to have ourselves some fun with boneless Thursday and happy hour with cheap appetizers for our 4th celebration!  Spent most of our day there and then biked back home. It wasn't much, about 2 miles round trip, but it was me getting up and active! :)

Hope you all got some action in this week and just remember, the week isn't over!  Get up and get moving this weekend! :)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Time Goes Quickly.

Day by day, hour by hour, my weeks and months are just disappearing.  It makes me sad that I can't dedicate the time I'd like to when it comes to health and fitness.  I don't know how women do it, juggle kids, fitness, and work all at the same time.  My working nights might have a lot to do with it though.

This morning I woke up 2 hours before I was supposed to be up and I was really stressed out.  So I decided to kill some of that time with a little exercise.  It wasn't anything fancy but it was nice to get back on the horse and do something about my body.

Unfortunately I've now put back 6 of the 10 pounds I lost, but that's not an issue.  I'm doing what I can in my day to day life to make things work even if I can't work out every day.  Eating sandwiches for lunch instead of a drive thru on my way to work.  Trying to cut down on calories, fat, and all the bad stuff.  It's a lifelong process not a race and I'm happy to keep on this journey even if I don't see results as fast as I'd like..

Here goes nothin'!