What I have learned so far…

Here are some of the lessons I have learned since I started my journey just five and a half months ago….

-I can eat whatever I want. This is one of the most important things I have learned and it is the concept I base my diet around. The idea is this; you can eat whatever you want, in whatever quantity, whenever you want. However, in order to do this you have to learn what your body wants. Eating is much more than taste. It provides us with the fuel we need to keep us energized and the nutrients we need to keep us healthy and strong. Typically, what we eat, and what we crave, is based off of taste but if we take the time to recognize how our body feels after we eat we will soon learn what we need and when we need it. It takes time and a conscious effort in order to reprogram your mind to ‘crave’ the things you actually need/want. Basically for me, no matter what I ate, I made sure to think about how I felt after. Did I have energy or did I feel sluggish? Did it give me an upset stomach or did I feel great? Did I feel stuffed to the point where I felt uncomfortable or did I feel satisfied and comfortable? After spending time recognizing these feelings I found my cravings changed to the foods that made me feel good and I would try to avoid those that didn’t. Where before all I wanted to eat were chips, burgers, fries, pizza now my body longs for fresh fruit and veggies, lean protein (grilled not fried) and Greek yogurt. These changes occurred not because I am losing weight or because it’s what I should eat but because when I eat this way I feel fabulous- it is what my body wants. This doesn’t mean that I don’t ever eat pizza or burgers, I still do but not very often and when I do I make sure I balance out my meal with some good carbs or swap out red meat for turkey or a veggie burger. As the saying goes; ‘eat to live, not live to eat’.

-Water is my friend, my bestest friend in the whole wide world. So, do you remember Monday’s post and how I had said my weight had jumped up from 236.8 to 239.2 after my time back home? Do you remember me saying how I would spend Monday drinking lots of water to see if it was true weight gain or just water retention? Well, I stepped on to the scale Tuesday morning and I was down to 237, just 0.2 pounds more than when I left. So I feel it is safe to say that most of that weight was from water retention and I am so glad to be rid of it. If you ever see a big, somewhat unjustified, jump on the scale you should think back to your eating habits from the previous day/week. Have you been eating lost of processed foods, eating out, or consuming anything high in sodium, more than you normally do? Well then, it is time to flush your system. Oddly enough you need to drink water to stop your body from retaining water. I try to drink at least 3-4L a day (recommended minimum is 64 oz, approx. 2L) and when I do I feel great. I should warn you though, if you drink that much water you will need to pee pretty frequently 😉

-I need to do what makes me happy. I wish I could say do only what makes you happy but if that were true my house would never be clean and the yard would be filled with dog poop. However, when it comes to how I spend my free time I make sure I do things that make me happy. This is especially true in regards to my workouts. I like walking but only outside and since San Antonio has turned into the third circle of hell I have decided to limit my outdoor walking time. I don’t like walking on the treadmill so I don’t do that anymore. I used to only care about my calorie burn and heart rate and it was a good habit to have starting off but now I am not concerned about those things. I do what feels good, what makes me happy. On Monday’s I take a Poi Spinning class. I doubt it even raises my heart rate and I probably don’t burn many calories but I love it, it keeps me moving and I have so much fun doing it. Isn’t that what really matters; increasing activity? I am lucky that I can afford to have memberships at multiple places and am able to take all of these classes that I have grown to love. *Side note: I was able to negotiate stepping up to a monthly membership, which affords me unlimited classes, at the Synergy Studio in exchange for Paul getting a kegorator- win-win. I do not take my circumstances for granted. Again, I cannot stress enough to those of you out there, especially those near big cities, take advantage of sites like Groupon and Living Social. Maybe you cannot afford a full price gym/yoga studio/boxing studio membership but an 8 or 10 class pass or a monthly pass discounted 50%+ could be in your budget. Another great tool is DVDs. I also won in the great kegerator negotiation of 2011 the rights to convert the spare bedroom into my Zen space which allows me a place to meditate as well as do Yoga, Qigong, and even Nia at home. For me, once I found things that I loved doing my life became so much better.

-It’s only about me; I can’t compare myself to others. This is a hard lesson to learn and I try to remember it every time the green-eyed monster shows his face. I think being a Weight Watchers member makes it harder because at every meeting you are celebrating someone’s success and there are always people who have lost more, faster, look better than me, and make it look so easy. It is hard not to compare myself and my progress against other people especially when they are around my size and weight. It is hard not to look at someone and think she looks so much better than me even though we weigh the same and then I start to think about myself in a negative light. I hate my stomach area, why can’t it look like hers or she has such great arms and still after all the boxing and weights mine are flabby nastiness. Usually at this point I go to one of my sisters in arms begging for a reality check. Their advice helps put everything back into perspective. Sometimes you just need someone to remind you that this is your journey, it is only about you, and you cannot compare yourself to anyone else. You have to keep your focus on you; what you like about yourself, all of your successes (both on and off the scale) and the goals and vision you set for yourself. Yes, there are still times now when that jealousy starts to creep back up but now I know how to combat it and move on.

-It’s all about the scale; it’s not about the scale at all. I weigh myself daily because I want to know and because my weight gain/loss is a sign of how my body is reacting to what I am eating/doing. Some people prefer to weigh themselves weekly, monthly or not at all and I am not here to say which way is right. It really is personal preference. I think I will probably always weigh myself daily because that is just the type of person I am. However, what took time for me to realize is that it isn’t only about the number on the scale. This is another downside of Weight Watchers (although you can track your progress in inches versus pounds if you prefer) and it is hard to break out of that tunnel-vision. My weight, albeit an important measurement, isn’t the only thing that matters and learning to recognize other non-scale achievements was necessary for my self-confidence. For me this journey started off all about my weight and trying to get it under control so of course all of my focus was on that scale. Now, my journey has become so much more than that; it is riddled with personal triumphs and it is important to recognize those as well. Since February I have; started boxing as well as taken Bikram yoga classes (some things I thought would be impossible for a fat person to do) , I have walked 8 miles at one time and came in second in my age group at a 5K, I have tried a variety of classes I had never even heard of- Nia, Qigong, Poi Spinning, Journey Dance, HoopDance, and most importantly I started this blog which has brought me so much happiness and allowed me to make some amazing friendships. So no, it’s not always about the scale but sometimes it still is. Today I weighed in at 234.8. Do you know what that means? 51.2 pounds lost! Woo hoo! 🙂

-I can do so much more than I ever thought I could. You can see this from the list of non-scale victories listed above. Although this is something I have learned about me I know it is true for you as well. I think we all tend to underestimate our abilities and sometimes we let fear dictate our choices- I know I am guilty of this. However, if I can box and do Bikram while being 130+ pounds overweight I strongly believe that anyone can. Was it hard? Yes. Is it still hard? Yes. Should you let that stop you? Absolutely not. I strongly encourage all of you to try something new, something you might not think you can do, test the limits a little. I think you will be surprised to find out you can do so much more than you realize.

-I want so much more from my life. This short, 5 ½ month journey (which is ongoing) has taught me so many things but this is really important and encompasses so much. I want more from my life, plain and simple. I don’t want to sit around and watch my life pass me by day by day, week by week, year by year, because before I know it, it will be over. I want to truly live my life and for the first time in a very long time I believe I am doing it. All of these decisions I have made; to eat better, become more active, to try new things, they have all led me to enjoy my life so much more. I think what I expect from my life and how to get it is an ever evolving ideal but the most important thing is to keep changing for the better. Try to find your path in life because once you are on it so many opportunities will present themselves to you. Seize them. Don’t let any more pass you by. You deserve this. I deserve this. We all deserve happiness. Please don’t ever forget that.

Thanks for reading!

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August 10, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Fitness, Life, Weight Loss. 8 comments.

Weight Watchers Weekly Update

I am happy to report that even through all of the chaos this past week I was still able to pull off a loss on the scale and it was a big one – 5.2 pounds to be exact. It was my biggest weekly loss so far and I was pretty darn happy about it. This brings me down to 242.8 (getting close to saying goodbye to the 240’s) for a total loss of 37.2 pounds since joining Weight Watchers. Woo hoo! During the meeting I was awarded a 5 pound sticker (which everyone gets every time they hit another five pounds lost) and I was given a sixteen week charm (a gold pair of hands clapping with the number 16 etched in) to put on my Weight Watchers key ring that I received when I lost 10% of my initial body weight.  You receive this after you have attended 16 meetings. This past Saturday was #17 for me but they forgot to give it to me last week. After the class, Sally, my WW group leader gave me a second 5K charm for completing the 5K last week. She told me for each one I complete she will give me another charm so I can celebrate each race individually. It’s pretty cool to have these tokens to help remind me of my progress.

280/242.8/150

As you know, we are getting ready to move this week. Paul is going to sign the lease for our house on post this upcoming Wednesday and that is when the fun times officially begin. We couldn’t be happier to be moving. Almost every day we think of another reason why life will be better living on post most of which, for me, revolve around proximity to the Synergy Studio. Sometime in the next few weeks I will be joining as a monthly member (instead of buying packs of 8 or 20 classes at a time) which will allow me to take unlimited classes. I will still be doing boxing at the Club KO and Bikram Yoga (until my Groupon runs out) at Bikram Yoga San Antonio but by now I am sure you have realized that I am in love with the classes, and people, at Synergy and becoming a monthly member means I don’t have to pick one class over the other, instead I can take whatever I can fit into my schedule. This makes me extremely happy.

You will be happy to know that I did finally break down and help with the packing. Yesterday, I packed up a very large amount of the kitchen items which was no small feat. I know Paul was probably happy for the help since his ribs are still bothering him and any lifting or bending he does just irritates his injury more. Poor guy. He is pretty great though, he doesn’t really complain about the pain or the fact that I am not pitching in as much as
I should. I told him that I think subconsciously my mind feels it is ok to skip packing in order to go to classes because I had to do all of the packing for the move from Philly to San Antonio by myself and now it’s his turn ;)Seriously though, I am just so afraid of taking a week or so off and losing what little endurance I have. I may work out a lot and have definitely become far more active than I was just 5 months ago but the fact of the matter is I am still 90+ pounds overweight and a week off will make a huge impact on my physical abilities. So, I keep going to class and Paul understands why. I think it’s one thing if I skip packing, or cleaning, in order to exercise – that’s ok with him. However, if I just wanted to sit around and watch TV while he was working that would not be acceptable. I am definitely lucky to have such an understanding husband when it comes to these types of things.

Oh, and did I tell you he is training to do a half marathon in the fall? Well if I did, I lied. He is actually training to do a full marathon as part of the Army team which will be running in the Rock and Roll Marathon in San Antonio. I think that’s just crazy. I don’t know how people can run that far, for that long. It seems exhausting. I am literally getting exhausted talking about it. For all of you out there reading this who have done marathons-you are amazing! I have nothing but respect for anyone who can endure something like that. But I also think you are probably slightly mad for doing it 😉

For me, I am on a hiatus from my half marathon training. After I missed three short walks and one long walk over the past two weeks I decided I would take the next two weeks off and decide whether or not this is something I seriously want to train for. I am losing motivation to do it because outdoor walks are becoming next to impossible in this heat and I hate walking on a treadmill. It takes up so much of my time and there are so many other things (like boxing, tai chi, nia) I would rather be doing. I love walking and hiking and enjoy being outside but I am just not sure I can want to even want to continue training. It’s a tough call because on one hand I want to test my limits, to see if I could physically do it, but on the other hand I am starting to dread my walking workouts which is just no fun. So, stay tuned. In a couple of weeks I will decide what I want to do and let you know.

Well, I am off to Poi Spinning in a few minutes so I have to get going. I need to mentally prepare for what I am about to do to my body. Hopefully no more poi to the throat again 😉

Thanks for reading!

July 25, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Exercise, Fitness, Weight Watchers. 5 comments.

Catching Up…Part 1

OK, so I just wrote a post on everything that I have been up to this week and when I hit ‘Save Draft’ it freaking disappeared. This happened on Monday when I was writing up the post from the 5K. I had to start from scratch. WTF WordPress! Why??? Why when I have no free time would you keep eating my posts??? I used to type them up on a Word document and then copy paste but for reasons unknown when I do that now it copies over weird and I spend a half hour playing with the formatting. Blerg! Both options suck! Crap. I lost my momentum. Here is a very abbreviated version- I don’t have time to write it all up again. Will post more later.

Walked 6 miles on Sunday with new friend. Saw pretty flowers.

 

 

 

Broke treadmill at apartment complex gym. Got in less than one mile of a three-mile walk. Awesome. This is the second time this has happened. See post from Feb. 23. I don’t dare link- I may anger the WordPress gods.

I officially hate Wednesday evening Bikram classes. They are always too full. Yesterday there were 37 plus the instructor. Not more than two inches between mats. Too crowded! Going to that studio (Bikram Yoga San Antonio) only on the weekends until my Groupon is used up.

Paul fell in the shower and hurt his rib cage. Then last night he dropped eye dropper in his eye. Not a great week for him.

Can’t wait to move. Six days until we sign the lease. Did I tell you the house has a fenced in yard? Great for the doggies especially this goofball.

 

 

Maggie is laying next to, practically under, our bed while right behind her is her doggie bed. Silly dog!

Can’t wait to move out of the ghetto. They tore up our parking lot yesterday to get to a water leak. Three or four parking spots were ripped up. It’s pretty dangerous and of course no one should be walking or parking there. They needed to put up caution tape.

 

And of course what better way is there to secure caution tape than by wrapping it around two upside-down computer monitors and an upside-down shopping cart- everyone knows that. Where did that stuff even come from? So ridiculous.

Finished ‘Catching Fire’ yesterday and then proceeded to start ‘Mockingjay’ which is the last of the three books in the ‘Hunger Games’ trilogy. Loving my Kindle. Can’t wait to see how it ends. The first two books were great and I highly recommend them to anyone who hasn’t read the series.

Work is great. Actually doing real work now on my own. Ate in the cafeteria today. They have a sweet salad bar- it has edamame. I am in love. No more packing my lunch! Yay!

Life is good. Really happy lately. Think I might have a good weigh-in this week, maybe. We’ll see. I am ok with whatever the outcome is. I am starting to come to terms with the whole process. I feel good which is the most important thing.

Think that’s all for now.

Thanks for reading!

July 21, 2011. Tags: , , , . Exercise, Fitness, San Antonio, Walking, Weight Watchers. 10 comments.

Weight Watchers Update and Weekly Goals

Happy Sunday everyone! I hope you had a great weekend. Glad you are here visiting my blog in order to read about my Weight Watchers weigh-in and weekly goals. Unfortunately I don’t have any exciting news in the weigh-in department- this week my weight stayed the same. Which isn’t a bad thing per se; it’s just not earth-shattering exciting either. I am happy though that I didn’t gain, I am happy to still be sub-250 (woo hoo) and I am happy that I took not one, not two, but three Bikram yoga classes last week and lived to tell the story. All in all last week was a great week filled with celebrations (new job, 4th of July, farewell parties) and lots and lots of activities. Although I definitely indulged this past week I still made sure to keep active and even managed to get in two work outs every day I was off over the long weekend. I am guessing they cancelled each other out resulting in no change on the scale but it was totally worth it! 🙂

280/249.4/150

Before I get into my review of last week’s and this week’s goals I want to take a minute and talk to you about something that has been on my mind this weekend. As you know, most days I am pretty positive about my weight loss progress so far. However, this weekend I had a few moments of anger and frustration and I wanted to share them with you. It sucks that I still have 100 pounds to lose just to get to the upper limit of the healthy weight range for my height. Yes, technically it is 99.6 pounds but you know what I mean. It sucks that I work so hard ALL THE TIME and I am still fat. Really, really fat. Not kind of fat, or a little bit fat but really, really fat. I know I have lost weight because the scale tells me so and so did my clothes that have since been replaced but still don’t see it and that sucks. It sucks that I have to work so hard to lose a pound, or an ounce even, and there are people out there who do nothing but change their eating habits and they lose weight. I worked out for twelve and a half hours last week and didn’t lose a single freaking ounce. Yes, I did use all my weekly WW points and a few activity points but I never exceeded my total available point allowance. Basically, for all the non-WW people reading- I followed the WW guidelines and never went off plan and still nothing. Do you know how shitty that feels? It makes me want to break things. It makes me yell at my husband and it makes me cry. It makes me want to sit on the couch and eat a bag of chips and say fuck it to this whole process. But I don’t quit even if my mind is trying to convince me otherwise. What I do is turn to people I know will talk me down off the ledge. I vent. I cry. I feel bad for myself and wallow in it for a little while. I do NOT eat chips or even sit on the couch (although who could blame me if I did?) but instead I push myself to continue on knowing that it’s just me. That’s just the way my body is, losing weight has always been extremely difficult for me, and some weeks I just am not going to lose weight, just like some weeks I will gain weight even when I do everything right. That’s just the way it is. I accept that it will be hard and that I will probably get frustrated/depressed/angry/sad/resentful many, many more times but it will be worth it. Nothing worth having ever comes easy. So I start this week fresh, with a clean slate, looking forward to where it will lead me on this journey.

Last Week’s Goals

– try to control my indulgences over the long weekend. Hmmmm….I don’t think I did too great with this one. However, I do think I made some good choices over the weekend too. They weren’t all bad. I would say it could have been better and it could have been worse. If this were graded I would give myself a C.

– go someplace new. I went to two new parks, a new yoga studio, and a new restaurant. Success!

– register for the Women’s 5K on July 16th and the 8-week Qigong seminar. I did register for the 5K but I decided I would not be taking up the Qigong seminar so I didn’t register for it. Between all of the my other memberships, training for the half marathon, trying to use up my Groupon for Bikram before it expires, and starting a new job without knowing my work hours it just seemed like a bad idea to commit to something else right now.

– try to be better every day. I don’t know how to judge this but I will say that I am trying to continually meet this goal.

This Week’s Goals

– love myself more. I think I am too hard on myself and I definitely need to start focusing on what I like about myself instead of always focusing on what I don’t. Yes, I think it is good to know what needs improvement but I think you need to focus on the good stuff in order to build self-esteem

– help with packing. Yep, it’s that time. Paul has already begun packing stuff up around the apartment in anticipation of our upcoming move (date still TBD, that’s how it goes with military housing) and I haven’t done anything. This week I will try to help out with the packing

– be courageous. This is mainly referring to my new job. I am hoping to be brave enough to make some new work friends and not hide at my desk all week. I need this to help force me to meet some new people.

– eat right, exercise, drink lots of water and be happy. Maybe this should be my new mantra. LOL! I think if I do these four things I will become the person I hope to be. I just need to practice patience 😉

I hope you have a wonderful week! Thanks for reading!

July 10, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Exercise, Fitness, Weight Watchers. 10 comments.

Goodbye’s Suck!

Today is the last day at my current job and I was greeted with mixed emotions. Happy to be starting something new, excited to meet all of my new co-workers and start my new job, nervous as to how I will fit in and how my new work schedule will mesh with my classes/workouts, sad to leave some great co-workers /friends behind and anxious to leave someplace where I feel so comfortable and head into an unknown situation. I know all of this is normal and thankfully it’s not nearly as traumatic as when I left my job in Philly. That was devastating. Multiple going away parties, lots of tears, and I still miss that place even to this day.  But that is life. Here’s to new beginnings!

When I started this blog over four months ago one of the things I wanted to fix in my life was my career situation. I didn’t talk about my job too much, other than venting about it every now and again, but it was clear to me then that I felt like my career had stalled. Actually I felt like I had taken three steps back on my career path and that had made me feel kind of crappy.  I had different expectations as to where I should be at this point in my life and to not be there, especially after progressing nicely prior to moving to TX, was such a disappointment.  I wanted to change jobs, I wanted to feel better about my career and its progression again, but I was only willing to leave this job for something better. Luckily a friend of mine found a job posting that was in my field and passed it on to me and here I am today, looking forward to starting that job on Monday. It will be great. It’s a pay increase which I am not going to lie, is much-needed, but it is also the type of job that will challenge me and allow me to grow within the company and I am most happy about that.  Just like all the other aspects of our lives, it is important that we step outside of our comfort zone in order to allow ourselves to grow.

Speaking of stepping outside of my comfort zone, I went to my second Bikram class last night and I am so glad that I did. The second time around was so much better, still hard as hell, but better. Paul liked it so much more because of the instructor. This instructor started off the class by telling the group that he hated Bikram and most days he had to force himself to do it. However, it was because of Bikram that he was able to do all of the other activities in his life that he loves to do, like wakeboarding. He said that Bikram helped him through a surfing injury, one that should have required surgery, and now he is stronger than ever and able to do so many more things than he ever could prior to Bikram. He told us to treat Bikram like it is our medicine, 90 minutes of medication, and we should just suck it up, take the medicine, and then go on with our lives. I think that speech brought some perspective to both Paul and I. After that we both viewed the class a little differently. I also think knowing what to expect made the second class much easier to get through. For me, I like to know when I am in the home stretch- it helps keep me going- and since we cannot wear watches and there are no clocks in the room the only way to know it is when it is close to over is through the poses which are done in the same order every time. Once we hit rabbit pose I knew it was almost over and I started singing my happy song,  in my head of course.

As the class was coming to an end the instructor said something to us, something he was told by another yogi, and I wanted to share it with you. He said for us ‘to be fearless, not reckless’ which is applicable to our yoga practice and really life in general.  So, I will leave you with that thought for the day.  Come Monday, I will try to be fearless and I hope you can do the same when faced with difficult situations.

Thanks for reading!

P.S. I got called away when I was writing the last line of this post. Several co-workers had a card and a gift they wanted to give me as a farewell present.  They bought me a Kindle! Isn’t that crazy? That was such a sweet thought and it meant so much more because they said it was so I could have my own and won’t have to keep stealing Paul’s. They know me so well J

July 8, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , . Career, Life, Yoga. 14 comments.

Bikram Yoga = Surface-of-the-Sun HOT!!!

 

Do you watch ‘The Office’? Do you remember the episode where Michael comes back from his Jamaican vacation, steel drum in tow, and spends the entire episode singing  ‘feeling hot hot hot’ again and again? Ummm, yeah. That is all I could think of last night at my first Bikram class. Nothing, not even living in Texas and spending hours walking in the heat, can prepare you for what it feels like in that room. The heat is just stifling.  I am pretty sure that it felt even hotter for me because I have a thick layer of insulation (re:fat) around my body comparable to a bear getting ready for hibernation 😉 I am sure you already knew that the heat would have been the hardest part of the class – I mean the room is kept at 105 degrees and a balmy 40% humidity level which in and of itself is crazy. Then add to that 90 minutes of yoga and it makes for one of the most difficult things I have ever done. Ever. In my entire life. No joking.

They say that if you can just make it through the entire 90 minute class without leaving the room you should consider it a success and now I understand why. It is hard to handle physical activity in that environment and the thought of running out that door into the A/C definitely crossed my mind a few times. They repeatedly tell you that if you feel dizzy, light-headed, or nauseous to lay down and it is ok if you need to sit out on a posture, which I did. There were times where I felt light-headed from coming out of a position too quickly so I would lay down and there were times were I couldn’t complete the pose so I would lay down and there were times where I felt overwhelmed from the heat so I would lay down. Overall I probably laid down somewhere between 4-6 times and I am ok with that. There was about a quarter of the class that was also laying down so I didn’t feel awkward or embarrassed that I needed to take breaks.

On days that you take a class you are encouraged to stay hydrated. They recommend you drink 1-2 liters of water throughout the day as well as making sure you have water for the class. I drank a ton of water yesterday, easily doubled the recommended amount, and then brought with me a 2.2 liter water bottle of which I drank close to 2/3 of during the class. I proceeded to finish the rest of the 2.2 liters immediately after and then drank 3 – 16 oz. glasses of water with dinner. Holy thirstiness, Batman! After the class all I wanted to do was drink water; Paul wanted to eat. He came out of the class starving and I couldn’t even fathom the idea of eating and what ended up happening was me eating dinner at 8p. Not really a great time to be eating however I still didn’t have much of an appetite so it wasn’t a big meal. The Bikram studio encourages you to take your second class within 24 hours of the first so Paul and I decided we should probably get back there today for class number 2. So, again I am drinking, drinking, drinking as much as I can to help prepare. I don’t think I would have lasted the whole time if I hadn’t.

So, you probably would like to hear about the actual yoga part too, right? Well the class is set up like this; warm-up breathing exercises, yoga routine consisting of 26 poses each done twice (check out images of each here: Bikram Yoga Postures) , and a cool-down breathing routine. I was seriously exhausted after just the warm-up routine and questioned if I would be able to make it through but I took it one pose at a time, with breaks as needed, and when our instructor said ‘let’s give a hand to all the first-timers’ I nearly cried I was so happy to have made it through.  Most of the poses were difficult for me for many reasons. Some of them I couldn’t do because I don’t have the balance to sustain the pose, some my fat belly prohibited me from bending further,  and some I struggled with because I was so sweaty I kept losing my grip. Although I did take breaks I was still able to attempt each individual pose since we do them twice. If I missed the first sequence I would just jump back in for the second. It seemed to me that the order of the poses is set up in a way that the more difficult ones were in the first half so towards the end I was having an easier time maintaining the poses. Paul and I were separated and it was really hard to look at anyone other than the instructor and myself and still keep up but there were a few times where I was able to sneak a glance and saw he was dong quite well with the poses. Bastard! 😉

The whole idea of doing Bikram yoga was intimidating and to make matters worse they recommend you wear as little clothing as possible so not only did I have to battle my anxiety of not being able to physically endure this class I had to battle my insecurities of how I looked wearing teeny, tiny shorts in class. I, of course, was the heaviest person in class by far which is something I have accepted as the norm wherever I go; boxing, Nia, Hoopdance, etc, but this was even more noticeable since we were all pretty much half-naked.  The good thing about Bikram though is that it is so intense you really can’t focus on anyone other than yourself so I never felt nervous that someone was watching me. Even though I am getting better at pushing my fears and anxiety aside I still find that the first time I try anything new I get a little nervous. Now that I have finished the first class all that fear and anxiety is gone and I will go in there, head held high and I will proudly be the fat girl drenched in sweat doing yoga.

Speaking of sweat, have I mentioned how sweaty I was? I realized late last night I should have had Paul take a picture of me so you could see just how sweaty I was.  Maybe today I will remember and if I do I will post it for you to see. I was pretty gross. Everything was drenched with sweat. Everything. When we were walking to the car on our way home it felt like I had just jumped into a pool with all of my clothes on that’s how sweaty I was. You use a yoga mat and you bring a large towel to put over it and that was also soaked with sweat. The instructor told us prior to the class starting that we would sweat a lot but to just let it be, try to get used to having sweat running down your face and body because the minute you wipe it away you are sweating again. I think I did a good job at not wiping the sweat away except for this one time we were on our backs and I had sweat running into my ear and it tickled. I couldn’t handle it- that was pure torture so I had to wipe out my ear a few times.  When we got home Paul weighed himself and he had lost 3 pounds.  That is crazy! When I woke up this morning I had lost 4.6 pounds just overnight. I am sure it was from sweating so much and now that I am rehydrating again I will be back to normal weight soon but still, how crazy is it that we lost so much weight from just one class!

On the drive home we discussed the class and how we felt afterwards. I want to take more classes before I tell you my opinion on Bikram and whether or not it will be something I continue doing as I do not think my first experience will be enough to form an opinion off of. It is also hard for me being at a different yoga studio with different instructors but I think in time I will acclimate to this new studio. I will say this though; we both felt the class was aggressive, for lack of a better word. Our instructor was like a tiny yoga dictator barking at us to push further, harder and that it should hurt (really, it should hurt? That doesn’t seem right) and although I don’t think she meant to be this way, she was quite intimidating- in class. Outside of class she was very friendly and supportive and walked Paul and I through how it would work and how we should expect to feel which was comforting and put me at ease. Oh, and another drawback for me was that there were no modified pose options given, like for beginners, so for me I had to try to complete the advanced poses, not do anything, or figure out somewhere in between on my own because no other ways were shown to us. I am not sure if all Bikram is this way or if it was just this class or studio but I will find out and let you know.

I wanted to share with you some tips, taken from the Bikram Yoga San Antonio website (the studio I am taking classes at), in case you are interested in taking a Bikram Yoga class:

  • Make sure you are fully hydrated before taking a class
  • Dress in cool, comfortable clothes (like you are going to the beach)
  • Lay down if you need to but try to stay in the room the whole time
  • Take your second class within 24 hours of your first class
  • Bring a yoga mat, large towel, and water
  • Do not practice on a full stomach. It is recommended you not eat 2-3 hours prior although if you need something  fruits and veggies are your safest bet

I hope this post doesn’t discourage you from going out there and trying Bikram on your own. It is hard, don’t get me wrong, but it is worth it. I said earlier how this was the most difficult thing I have done to date but yet I feel great today. Normally after a tough workout or long walk I am sore and stiff the next day but this morning I woke up and felt better than I usually do which was pretty amazing. I had thought I would have woken up and not even been able to get out of bed.  There must be some merit to the healing power of yoga.  Overall I am so happy to have tried Bikram; I always get an intense level of satisfaction from accomplishing something well outside my comfort zone and yesterday this was how I felt. Trust me; if I can do it so can you!

Thanks for reading!

P.S. Yes, that is a real pin. I received it last night after completing my first class. It’s my badge of honor! 😉

July 7, 2011. Tags: , , , . Yoga. 14 comments.

What Happened to June???

Today is June 30th, can you believe it? I can’t. June went by so quickly, I can’t belive that tomorrow is July 1st.  Since the past two weeks were so chaotic I wasn’t really thinking of my end of month weigh-in and then I woke up today and realized it was time for me to step on the scale and see if I met my goal of losing 10 pounds in June.  I weighed in on May 31st at home, using the same scale, so I figured it would be ok to use my home scale again today. On May 31st I weighed 258.8, today I weigh 250.2. So no, I didn’t reach my 10 pound goal but I did lose 8.6 pounds which is nothing to scoff at.  I have also finally reached my 10% weight loss goal, which was reaching 252 lb, and look how freaking close I am to entering the 240’s! I cannot wait to be under 250 and will be thrilled if I get there by my official WW weigh-in on Saturday but I am not holding my breath.  I want to be below 250 for two reasons; one, it means I am less than 100 pounds away from my goal weight (I realize this number is still big but in my head a double-digit loss seems easier than a triple digit loss) and two, because I would be closer to 200 than 300 hundred and that just feels great knowing that my next big milestone will bring me into the 100’s. Ahhhhhhhh (me screaming), it’s such an amazing feeling!

If you follow my post regularly or if you have peeked over at my weight loss goals page you will know that aside from my first goal, 10 pounds lost in March, I have not met a single goal by my self-imposed deadlines.  Am I disheartened? No. Should I lower my goals? I don’t think so. I mean, yes I know if I changed my goal from 10 lbs to 8 lbs per month I would reach it but then it wouldn’t be a challenge. I set up these goals as something to strive towards, as a motivational tool. If I lower my goals this time maybe I will take it easier at the gym or maybe I will snack more because I will feel I could ease up a little but then what’s to stop me from changing that 8 lbs down to 6 lbs pounds, and then to 4 lbs…you see what I mean, right? Personally (as everyone is different and challenges themselves differently) I would rather set goals that might be slightly unrealistic and work really hard trying to get there then set goals that I can easily achieve. I think it is because I don’t get mad or feel like a failure when I don’t reach them (for the most part) but instead am happy to have made significant progress every month and in turn will work harder next month to try to get those 10 pounds. So, long story short- I am sticking to my ten pound goal even if it might be slightly out of my reach.

Now that June is almost behind me it is time to look forward into July and I thought I would share with you some events I have going on this month. As I mentioned in Monday’s post, this Saturday I will be participating in the San Antonio Road Runners Monthly (free- woot!) Fun Run. This race is set up in four legs; a kids run, ½ mile, 1 mile and 3 mile lengths occurring sequentially so I will be able to participate in all of them  (minus the kids run, obviously) and in turn will get in 4.5 miles at the event and a ribbon for completing all three events.  Yay! Then in two weeks I will be walking in the SARR Women’s 5K. This should be a great event and Paul is even lined up as a volunteer which means we will both get enjoy the race. At the event they will be collecting clothing donations to be distributed to local women’s shelters as well as sneaker donations. Very awesome!

July will also begin two new things for me; tracking my measurements and Bikram Yoga. I wish I had started tracking measurements from the beginning but oh, well I can’t fix that now. I will be doing this long enough to still be able to see my progression via inches lost so it will still be a beneficial tracking method. I of course will post them on this blog as well. I mean you already know my weight what do I care if you know how big around my hips are 😉 Then on July 6th Paul and I will be trying our hands at Bikram Yoga; aka hot yoga. We purchased a 10 class pass from Groupon and will be taking two classes a week until finished. I am both nervous and excited and hopefully will find it as enjoyable as the other classes I have taken. Wish me luck!

July also brings the start of my new job (also exciting/nerve-wracking), our move into post housing (which was pushed up and may happen as early as July 15), the WNBA All-Star game which is being held here in San Antonio on July 23, the Food Truck Throw Down on July 29 and 30 at the Boardwalk on Bulverde, as well as new parks, hikes, and an endless world of possibilities that I cannot wait to share with you.  Oh, and maybe even another blog giveaway so stay tuned people!

Thanks for reading!

June 30, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Fitness, Life, San Antonio, Walking, Weight Watchers. 10 comments.