Posts Tagged ‘exercise’

Yoga Power!

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

I’m currently in an exercising up-swing and feeling pretty good about it. I don’t exactly like working out but I don’t dislike it enough to quit doing it entirely, so I’m feeling Healthy and Strong and Inspired To Eat Better and all that other stuff healthy living experts are always shouting about. I’ve been going to Stroller Strides and not looking for excuses to slack off anytime there is any running involved (“Do you need a snack honey? Or a drink? Or potty? Do you want to go to the potty again? Oh no, you dropped your toy, let me take 5 minutes picking it up!”) but there are a lot of classes we can’t make it to because of nap times/gymnastics/distance. So to meet my 5-days a week exercise goals I’ve been doing a DVD at home.

Image from Amazon

I got this when I attended a class from Bob Harper himself (NAME DROP) at BlogHer last year in San Diego, but I didn’t try it until a couple months ago. I took yoga as an elective in college (one of the perks of a degree in underwater basket-weaving) and for a few months before my wedding but haven’t done much since. The prenatal yoga DVD I half-heartedly rolled my eyes through a few times was mostly hippy-dippy connect to the sooooul insiiiiide you stuff and barely counted as being AWAKE, let alone working out. But I like yoga and I like Bob so I thought I’d give it a shot.

And it’s good! It’s not easy, deep breathing yoga but it’s not impossible either. I’m still doing some of the easier modifications and there is NO WAY I’m ever going to be able to do some of the stretchy stuff because I am just not that flexible but I’ve been doing it regularly and I’m getting better. There is no jumping around, which is a big plus for me because I always feel foolish jumping around in my living room (Oddly, I don’t feel foolish trying to wrap myself up in a pretzel, even though I am sure I look ridiculous). Bob is very encouraging and I have no desire to mute him – unlike some OTHER popular Biggest Loser trainers on their DVDs. And although I immediately resented the girls in the video for being impossibly thin and good-looking, it’s nice that they struggle through some of the poses. I’ve decided not to hate them.

I would say if you’ve never done yoga, this isn’t a good place to start. There isn’t much explanation of the postures and correct forms and it would be easy to spend half the video twisted around trying to watch the screen. Personally, I spend a lot of time twisting around to watch the count-down clock in the corner. The cover says there are “2 sweat-making workouts!” but really there is one hour-long yoga routine and one 15 minute ab-work routine. There’s about 40 minutes of hard stuff, 5 minutes of abs and 15 minutes of stretching in the 60-minute workout, so in my head I’m counting towards the 45 minute mark as soon as it starts. But I am Making An Effort and Being Healthy and blah blah blah so this is a nice-but-challenging at-home option.

(Not-a-disclosure-disclosure: I got the DVD for free at BlogHer as a reward for getting up at 6:30 am for a yoga class but no one asked me/told me/encouraged me/paid me to review it in any way – unless you count getting to meet Bob in person which wasn’t exactly a hardship.)

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My Roadblock is Made of Cheese

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

So. My resolutions-goals-plans-whatever get a resounding “meh” right now.

My two big setbacks last week were discovering my BMI still puts me firmly in the “overweight” category and trying to order a dress online that required me to take my measurements, after which I promptly declared my tape measure defective and cried into a bag of candy.

I don’t know why the BMI thing made me so upset. BMI is stupid. I don’t even BELIEVE in BMI as a scale of health. I bet you $100 that when I get to the doctor on Thursday I am declared insanely healthy and my weight isn’t even mentioned. And yet when I saw a link on some website to calculate my BMI I clicked through and did it. Now I feel like all the weight I’ve lost up until this point doesn’t even count because I’m still OVERWEIGHT.

But then there’s the trouble with taking my measurements. I can’t say I don’t believe in inches. It’s one thing to know what size pants I wear and quite another to know how wide around I am in concrete numbers. I can scoff at arbitrary, meaningless clothing sizes easily – I’m swimming in my only pair of dress pants but an old sundress in the SAME SIZE won’t even zip halfway – but an inch is an inch is an inch. (Of course, then I compare the number showing on the tape measure to the ones on the size chart online and oh look, that website thinks I’m a fatty too. Congrats, Chubby, here are the ugly tunics and mom-jeans we’ve decided are the only things we approve for you. Go sit in a corner and feel shamed.)

The truth is no matter how unhappy these stupid numbers make me I have almost reached my deprivation-capacity. I am willing to snack on grapes instead of chips. I am not willing to eat lettuce without any dressing. I am willing to switch to low-fat cheese. I am not willing to give up all dairy. I am willing to watch my portions. I am not willing to feel hungry all the time. I am willing to work out more days a week if it means I can have a burger on the weekends. I am not willing to get up at 4 am to do The 30 Day Shred and STILL skip the burgers.

I consider it a quality of life issue. You know that saying “Nothing tastes as good as thing feels?” Whoever made that up had never eaten REALLY GOOD FOOD.

All those super clean eating raw unprocessed juicing diets might be amazing and everyone always loses a ton of weight but they won’t work for someone who LOATHS them with every fiber of her being. Up to this point I’ve been able to balance my choices and still end up on the winning (losing) side. Having the points from Weight Watches makes it math instead of guessing and I like the structure AND the flexibility. But once I wean Caroline (and the end is near) my body isn’t going to need an extra milk-making calories and I suspect I’ll have to drop dessert AND dairy to stay under my allotted points. Bless me grilled cheesus, I am just not sure I can do it.

The silliest part of all of this is I am still losing weight. My doubts are just SPECULATION about my FUTURE weight loss and depression over the total number of pounds I have to go before I am in the “normal for my height” range. I think I need a smaller goal – teeny tiny, like ONE POUND LOST – next week and a real reward for reaching it. It just probably shouldn’t be cheese.

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20 Pounds Down

Friday, October 21st, 2011

Actually, 21 pounds down, but who doesn’t love a nice round number? It also means I’ve lost more than 10% of my total body weight and I got a fancy key chain at my Weight Watchers meeting this week. To celebrate, I treated myself to shrimp cocktail for dinner and a giant bowl of ice cream for dessert – although both of which are things I eat regularly so they weren’t really treats as much as just food I really love.

I am now at my true pre-both-pregnancies weight (not the one on my doctor’s chart at my first appointment – I gained a full 10 pounds in those first 8 weeks with Evan) which is a great milestone. Unfortunately, I’m only a third of the way back to my wedding weight, although honestly I’d be pretty content if I just lost another 20. At my wedding weight, I was eating nothing but Slim-Fast bars and spending 2 hours a day at the gym (CRAZY BRIDE ALERT) and that’s just not a feasible lifestyle with 2 kids and a husband hanging around bugging me to feed them all day.

People are always curious to know how other people lose weight (Whole grains! Whole grains? Whole grains!!) so I thought I’d share what has been working for me. Of course, my first suggestion would be to join Weight Watchers – I’ve spent the last 7 years thinking about food during every single waking moment but still watching the numbers on the scale creepy slowly (and not so slowly) upwards. Now after 16 weeks on WW I think about food only when I’m hungry and have lost 20 pounds. I know I sound like a commercial and you’re probably rolling your eyes but if you’re not the kind of person who can just “eat less and move more” without some structure then it is totally worth the investment.

One of the major changes I’ve made is the number of fruits and vegetables I eat, especially grapes, apples, bananas, and veggies like brussels sprouts, eggplant, and squash. Grapes might be the best diet food ever – you can eat them mindlessly while watching tv and ALMOST feel like you’re eating candy. The vegetables I cut into pieces, toss on a cookie sheet with a little cooking spray and lots of salt and roast. Topped with Parmesan cheese I can eat them until I am STUFFED and still loose weight consistently. I also eat salad almost every day. Salad salad salad. Tons of salad. Usually also topped with cheese and light dressing, because although I like lettuce I’m not a masochist. Who wants to give up cheese?

I drink almost nothing with calories. I stick to water, Diet Coke, Crystal Light/fake Crystal Light and coffee. I use fat free creamer at home and order skim milk and 3 Splenda at Dunkin Donuts. It’s not worth using any of my points just for a latte that’s not going to fill me up for more than 5 minutes – although the Cafe Mocha K-cups are only 2 points and a nice alternative to hot cocoa and I will admit to more skinny frappuchinos at the Target Starbucks than an average person.

Other foods I eat consistently are Egg Beaters with hot sauce in a Mission Carb Balance tortilla, bacon (seriously! it’s low in points!), chunk light tuna with herbed light mayo in a Carb Balance tortilla, low fat string cheese, Joseph’s pita bread (the kind flax & oat bran kind) with hummus, low fat Wheat Thins, seafood (shrimp, fish, mussels), taco salad (with lots of lettuce to bulk up the meat and Fritos), a scoop of ice cream over a cut up banana, peanut butter on apple slices, and al fresco chicken sausage. So it’s a pretty good mix of real whole foods and diet/low fat stuff, which is a choice I’m comfortable with so I don’t have to give up ALL the stuff I love. I could never ever stick to one of those clean eating diets – I wouldn’t make it 12 hours without breaking down and shoving a whole bag of Goldfish into my face.

Besides diet, I also started pushing myself a little harder at Stroller Strides. Jogging instead of walking, doing planks on my toes instead of knees, push-ups on the floor instead of on a bench. I am reallyreallyreally sore almost every day, but it’s a good kind of sore. I can see the changes in my arms and my abs the most – I’m not going to be wearing a bikini any time soon (any time EVER) but when I see a picture of myself I no longer think “Whoa, why do my arms look so wide?” or run away from the camera.

I know weight loss might be THE MOST BORING subject ever to read about and you’re probably thinking “Where are the cute baby pictures?! I don’t care what you eat!” and I know. I KNOW. I am the worst. But I’m feeling pretty good about my too-big jeans and needed to pat myself on the back for a few minutes. Cute baby pics tomorrow, I promise.

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