Thursday, June 23, 2011
I went on a mini-vacay to OC, MD. During which I gave myself full permission to enjoy any food (sugared, dairy, or not) I desired. It started off well enough with typical beach and boardwalk foods (hot dogs, mozzarella sticks, cheese fries, pizza, crab cakes, some drank, lemonade, coca-cola :), taffy, and a tub of caramel corn). I thoroughly enjoyed it all and left with no regrets. But then I came home late Sunday and felt horrible. It was on a strange level too. I had pardoned all my food choices mentally, but I had not expected so much backlash from my body physically. I wasn't sick to my stomach but my body did not feel happy.
I resumed healthy eating Monday but it was a slow recovery. And I had a small relapse Tuesday night when a friend suggested we check out a new Caribbean Vegan restaurant. I had BBQ 'ribs' cabbage and mac n' 'cheese'. I don't know if it was the sugar laden homemade BBQ sauce or the mac pasta but I felt my body in revolt again. It also didn't help that later that night when in an uncomfortable conversation I reached for a few pieces chocolate and too many kettle chips. I wasn't even sure why I did that. It was like I thought 'well I feel like crap already so a little more junk can't hurt at this point.' Oh but it did. The best way to describe this type of "sickness" is exhausted, dizzy, feverish, unfocused, and not good. I couldn't wait to hit the sack so that I could feel like the reset button was pressed the next morning.
So, this week's episode has proven that my current 'healthy' regiment is good for me and thus bad choices are poison and to be avoided at all costs, right? Not really. Remember, up above I was trying to explain how my doubt has begun to stir?... So, really this week has taught me that maybe I should slowly start incorporating "normal" foods into my diet within reason. For instance, a serving of brown rice, wheat bread, or whole grain pasta a few times a week. Now, I know for fact that dairy negatively affects my digestion; so maybe I will continue to strictly avoid (but not completely rule out) milk products like yogurt, cheese, and cream. And to be honest, I have found perfectly satisfying non-dairy replacements for all of these things anyways. This way, I will not be completely thrown off my sanity every time I indulge.
I think it is most important that I keep in mind that every body is unique in their needs and what makes them feel best. And just because a certain lifestyle appears helpful at first doesn't mean that I have to prescribe rigidly to that set of rules forever. I should be open to some healthy tweaks and variations where my body deems necessary (note to self: 'necessary' does not include late night milk chocolate and chips binges every night, no fun at all).
I guess this post is steering my usual ramblings into the land of dietary advice. But really it's about food discovery for myself. It's very hard to prescribe what will work for others when you can only attempt to understand what works for you and your own well being. (Ooo, deep) Maybe I will work on reflecting on foods that make me feel well, balanced, and sound of mind. It's starting to sound all holistic and hippie-dippie, but what is so wrong with taking the time to shut-up your thoughts and emotions to better hear what your body is saying. Meh, it's worth a try.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Over the last month I have visited several health blogs that suggest different approaches to preparing oatmeal. Before this day I only knew of plain instant with my own toppings (usually copius amounts of cinnamon and splenda) added. Today, my first day reacquainted with my lost love, I dabbled with the method known as overnight oats.
I always knew "old fashioned oats" were better for me than instant packets; and steel cut oats were superior to both of those. Although, I never tried either healthier option for fear that they would make for messy preparation. Well, the bloggersphere answered my aversion to
My toppings this morning: Half scoop of Jay Robb vanilla, a splash more of almond milk, packet of truvia, and tons of cinnamon (mmmm).
Maybe for my next attempt I will add cocoa powder or peanut butter and heat it up to make a warm fudgy oatmeal...Possibilities.
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
From day one of embarking to eat dairy free, grain free, sugar free, fruit free, and starchy veggies free I was met with resistance from every angle. Day one, a coworker brought a bag of bagels and cream cheese (all contraband in my new life style) and it was torture to see the uneaten remnants trashed a few days later. Perhaps those were the bagels I would have eaten in a regular ole week.
Secondly, there is an extremely decadent and hip food truck (as gourmet as a truck can get) that I recently found prior to starting these lifestyle changes. I've tried their Sliders with Bacon Bling, a "new york" style falafel in pita, and a Chai Brownie (not all at once, of course) from them. There were so many more things that I wanted to try. Like say for instance the mac n' cheese cone, a red velvet waffle, or a fish taco. But now those aspirations shall have to wait, until labor day, ie final oppurtunity for swimwear. Until then, I find myself trekking with coworkers to this forbidden truck every Thursday this Spring that they inadvertently "forget" their lunches, RIGHT! But I'm just a spectator, I swear!
Lastly, and more recently (This past Memorial weekend Sunday evening), I attended a wedding with a catered buffet. I was really hoping it would be a buffet so that I could exercise freedom of choice. And although, there weren't many choices for my lifestyle, I did find three things extremely satisfying and therefore gorgeworthy in the merriment. Fresh strawberries, mushroom caps with italian sausage, and Grilled Beef Fillet with Chimichurri Sauce (Oil, vinegar, and other spices). Okay, so I probably overdid the Fillet because a) I was hungry b) Two vodka sodas reduced my inhibitions or c)It was ridiculously good. Answer: All of the above. I will consider this a minor oversight thusly corrected with complete abstention from the dessert, cupcakes. Yea, I did it! [Takes bow] -_-
I'm trying my best with this lifestyle swap, but it gets increasingly more difficult on the weekend blowouts with family and friends. Because I want to relieve my conscience I will leave you with a short list of my indiscretions so far in phase two.
1.I had a beer pre-Hangover II opening night. Self Explanatory.
2.I had a little pineapple at the wedding. I forgot they were amoung the no-no high sugar fruits.
3. I had one fruity concoction signature drink at the wedding. It was brought to me and I couldn't say "no I'll be having none of your delicious drink" and it was :)
4. There were empanadas on the fruit table, yea still talking wedding, I took one, broke it open, ate the meat inside, and just took a tiny sample of the shell, just to see what it was like ;-)
5. At a special lunch this weekend my salad had bleu cheese and fried onion straws. I did my best to avoid them, but, you know...it is what it is
6. Soy milk is just so often more convenient than other non-dairy options...
All in all, I am very proud with my ability to avoid the obvious villains: Bread, Pasta, Rice, and Sugary treats. It hasn't been easy but it's getting easier. And although I haven't officially tried any recipes yet, I have been receiving special inspiration from this blog. This young lady is not sugar free but she just has a way of making decadent (yes, DECADENT) desserts seem possible for the health conscious. Check it out!
Monday, May 23, 2011
So here we are two weeks later and I have been doing some things differently. I took the suggestions of this blog pretty seriously, at least for the last two weeks. I have completed the two week no white stuff-no fruit phase. I can sum up my experience with this graph:
Now, the graph looks horrible in blogger. So I can sum it up by saying there is a light the end of the sugar craving roller coaster. Mainly, I have successfully resisted sheet cake and free sandwiches and I am all the more excited to add back some fruit this week. Fruit has now become my most indulgent friend.
Although, I have come out of phase 1 fairly successful, I did have a couple flubs. Here are my confessions:
1. I have been drinking coffee mainly with almond milk, and occasionally (when almond was not an option) with soy milk. I think soy products are no-no's, so oops.
2. There was one instance when I had depleted my truvia stash and settled for a little splenda, only once, it was necessary.
3. Peppers are fruits. But I ate them frequently anyways. Dipping them raw in hummus and salsa or chopped in omelets.
4. I wasn't supposed to eat fruit until today. But I was feeling deprived Friday night and ate my first ever Larabar (peanut butter cookie). And it was surprisingly better than I could have imagined. I expected a dry mash of nuts but I received a moist nutty brownie. Nom.
5. I was having a particularly low Sunday evening in yesterday. So, in order to not hurl myself on a box of cookies I opted to make a super light pumpkin pudding with Libby's pumpkin, almond milk, cinnamon and **gasp** a packet of Jello's sugar free vanilla pudding mix. Yea, I know aspartame is another no-no, but it did it's job lowering me off the sugar ledge.
6. Once or
twice thrice I ate processed deli meat, pepperoni, or jerky. For the record their sugar counts were resoundingly nil and I reasoned that having passed up sheet cakes and bagels (from eagerly distributing members) I perhaps earned the right to some kind of flavorful indulgence (within a semblance of the rules).
I think those are all my missteps for phase one.
Now on to phase two, where I will continue to avoid the white stuff and add back some choice fruits to keep me sane.
Friday, May 6, 2011
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Wow, that's like rewiring my entire go-to grocery list (milk, bread, cheese, yogurt check check check check). This list has allowed me to eat week to week while maintaining a minimalist approach to actual meal planning. In other words it supports my laziness. So then I started wondering how hard this transition might actually be... I forsee two road blocks: 1) What do I do with the existing bread, sugar, and dairy that I already own? I hate to throw that stuff out because its wasteful but I can't keep it because it would be too easy to fall off the "plan" and 2) How can I function with friends and family without 1) offending any pushy chef-like types and 2) appearing to have a vain eating disorder. It all just sounds so daunting. Ideally, May 9th-29th would be the easiest in terms of JW being gone and needing a project to occupy my freetime. But what happens when I go visit SN (at her parentals' home with her broken leg and a dad who should open his own restaurant). I can already see the astonished and dismayed faces as I reject homemade fried rice and spring rolls. Ackkkkk. Those are the tough times I am never really prepared for.
In conclusion, the live-it diet blog post I found has given me alot to think about (in terms of how bread and dairy will likely be the death of me) but I'm just not sure if such a drastic approach is worth trying.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Funky Schlump oddly reminds me of Shake you wanny fanny funky song! Nobody else watched that episode of Sabrina?
You are welcome
Friday, April 29, 2011
Do you see that roll of paper on my desk right now? That's a chocolate covered french crueller. Actually, its one of my favorite donuts (due to its half baked doughy center...yummmm). Anyways, I dub thee yonder post self deprecation due to the shame that has lead me to this wrapped confection on my desk. You see, today, my office had a box of donuts (12) for about 6 people. Most of which would never dare eat more than one. Can you see the conundrum. I floated into the office today on a cloud of sparkly fairytale dust after watching the royale wedding way too late for work. Greeted by the box of donuts and on a spectacular high I partook of two (neither of which were crullers, because there were none in there at the time, or so I thought) donuts. Come 3:30pm and there are still two donuts staring back at me in said box. Clearly, my favorite donut must have been hiding at the bottom of this deep box of awesomeness because now I see what was not visible before. I decided that in lieu of my donut heavy breakfast I should pack it for later. And here we find my shame laden donut for later.
But don't worry, I don't beat myself up AFTER eating awesomeness (that's just a cruel waste). I just do it up until the moment I get to experience the culinary awesomeness. Please don't be confused by my GBLA. It was the bread's fault not mine!
Sorry I cannot proofread or spell check this confession because it is time to close up shop.
Thank you for listening.
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Let me demonstrate the power GOOD bread has over me.
This past Sunday I did my groceries with a standard list. (Milk, Eggs, Meat, Yogurt, Cheese, etc Bread) As I perused the bread aisle something possessed me to stand head-on with and stare at GOOD bread. In the past I have made a general practice of walking past GOOD bread straight to MEH bread. I usually buy MEH bread because its healthier and its mediocre flavor (and texture) limit its usage to sandwiches ONLY because that's the only way MEH bread can be deemed acceptable. Oh, and also, in this fashion MEH bread can last (as a meal option in my fridge) for up to 2 weeks. But Sunday, I had the misfortune of forgetting the "game plan" and gazed too long upon GOOD bread. I didn't stand a chance.
And neither did the GOOD bread in my fridge. It was gone in three days compared to the 14 days MEH bread lasts. Sorry love-handles, I have failed you with my poor decision making on that fateful Sunday.
Due to my addiction to GOOD bread I was forced to make a midweek grocery run for a new bag of bread, MEH bread of course. And now I am in a self imposed GBLA state until my next encounter with the enemy. But damn, why are things that are so good usually so bad for you?
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
I'll drag my behind back tomorrow, as the shame has almost subsided.
Monday, April 25, 2011
This week I encountered another fateful food item off of my subconciously banned food list. Cottage cheese. Now, there must be an even bigger population of folks that can agree that cottage cheese sounds weird and therefore is weird, right? Probably. So, when I found out that a relative was praising the stuff I was perplexed to say the least. I knew cottage cheese is somehow related to weightloss. My thought on that: I will never want to lose weight THAT BAD! So anyways, the power of a family testimonial overcame my aversion to foods that (in my mind) innapropriately incorporate "cheese". My (low) expectations were that it would be like lumpy yogurt. Long story short, its just a bland crumbled cheese (yes, the lumpiness is the consistency of actual cheese that actually requires chewing, unlike yogurt) similar to maybe soft mexican cheese (no not shredded cheddar blends used on tacos) blocks sold in packages of 3. But with even less flavor, not even a sour yogurty taste. So my findings are that cottage cheese is not repulsive nor is it delicious. It's just sort of a blank slate that requires modification to suit the tastes of the diner, muuuuuch like tofu (actually almost exactly like tofu, minus the veggies add dairy).
I bought a 4-pack of Breakstone's Lowfat with mango. They are some tiny containers (4 oz!) with a teensy bit of mango. I thought it would be like mango yogurt but it was more like mango cheese (yucky sounding I know). It wasn't too bad, but I think I will experiment with more salty combinations after I finish this 4-pack. Oh, and I know why it is recommended for weightloss. That itty bitty serving kept me full for nearly 3 hours yesterday afternoon. Which is a tremendous feat for the hours usually designated for snack-binges. For a perpetual snacker it was almost a miracle :)
Breakstone's Cottage Doubles Apple Cinnamon is disgustingly good. That is all.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Yesterday, started like any other day, with work and dinner plans. I showed up to my dinner a full 30 minutes early and had the fortune of stumbling on the best Spring Welcoming setup imaginable. It was warm out (70s), sunny (but not stiflingly humid), and there was a breeze enhancing the setup. Yet my ritual wouldn't have been complete without sitting under one of these...
Which, I did while reading a book and simulteneously going camera-happy.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
On a completely unrelated note, thank you Spring for finally joining us this last week. All I need to make this transition complete is to visit GTCC and get the April special Thin Mint cupcake with one of my favorite people. :-)
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Tonight, take two of trying to get to yoga.
Monday, April 4, 2011
1. Attempt to purchase outside food once a week: Fail, I treated my family to Panera.
2. Limit lattes to weekends only. Ok, this weekend I had, one latte, one iced caramel machiatto, and one skim coffee frap. Meh. It was the weekend. And I'm happy to report that I have prepared my own coffee this morning, twice. I may have a problem...
3. Buy groceries each week with a plan for meal options. Well, technically I went to Target and bought instant oatmeal, 5 lean cuisines, and 5 packets of tuna.
4. Go home and cook said groceries into several meals. See 3.
5. Arrange said meals for convenient access throughout the week. See 3.
6. Eat aforementioned meals daily. Ok I will.
So not too shabby of a preparation weekend, aside from the familial splurge. As far as activity, I'll be at yoga tonight. And if the weather hold up I'll have some runs this weekend.
Friday, April 1, 2011
1. Attempt to purchase outside food once a week, unless someone else is paying :)
2. Limit lattes to weekends only. The workplace coffee shop is geared towards doctors and it ain't cheap.
3. Buy groceries each week with a plan for meal options.
4. Go home and cook said groceries into several meals.
5. Arrange said meals for convenient access throughout the week.
6. Eat aforementioned meals daily. You'd be surprised how hard this can be on some lazy slash overwhelming days.
1. Go to yoga every day. AKA...drink lots of water, eat healthy, maintain clean workout clothes, and drive to yoga studio everyday. It amazes me how when one of these fails this whole goal fails.
2. Dust off the running shoes with warmer weather.
Is that really all? It doesn't look so bad in one post. I will use this weekend to prepare/organize and strive for full participation by Monday (because Mondays are the best to start stuff).
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Yeah-chick: Yeah so what are your plans for next year Meekone.
Meekone: Well, I'm transferring pre-med schools so I'll be moving to That City this summer and-
Jealous-Psycho: That City!? I'm from That City, my mom still owns a complex there. I love That City, I can't wait to get back.
Meekone: This summer I plan to get my license, my parents are giving me a car and I will keep it with me in That City.
Jealous-Psycho: What are you crazy? There is no place to put a car in That City. I should know, my mom owns a complex and she charges an "arm and leg" to store her residents' cars.
Meekone: Well, I know it will be difficult but I think the convenience of getting around greatly outweighs the costs for me.
Jealous-Psycho: It's going to be really hard to pay for! Are you trying to get around the city or are you going to use it just to visit home? Because its not worth it in the city, there's no place to park! And airfare once in a while is cheaper. Plus, where are you planning to live?
Meekone: Oh, well, I've been in contact with Apartments R' Us. They are working with me to find an apartment that has utilities included and a garage. Because, you know, I don't want to be overwhelmed with such things while studying.
Jealous-Psycho: You are gonna WHAT!? Yeah-chick, are you hearing this, Meekone is actually considering using A.R.U. to settle down in That City! That's insane. You can find a perfectly acceptable place on your own and save a few bucks. And listen, Meekone, I want to tell you this from the bottom of my heart, one day you are going to be a doctor. I mean it, one day you are going to be someones doctor. Don't you think it's time to learn to pay utility bills?
Seriously, Jealous-psycho actually kept repeating the last two sentences (LOUDLY) as if it was the most clever thing she had ever come up with. As she was a public policy major, it may as well have been. But seriously, what gave her the right to berate and criticize every well-meaning decision Meekone was making? Why did she have to assume money was an issue? Hell, Meekone's parents might be loaded and providing the goods, Jealous-psycho much?
Like I said, I hate listening to undergrads. But in this one instance, upon hearing "seriously, you are going to be someones doctor one day" too many times, I had to put my phone away and stank-eye-glare at this Jealous-psycho in disgust.
Monday, March 28, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Don't be fooled by the silver wrapper!
Plan B (shown above) failed.
Friday, March 18, 2011
I bet you are wondering how this night ends? No? Too bad. So I eventually lightly drift in and out of (incomplete) sleep all night until, my alarm goes off at 5AM. What the fudgecakes?! Oh yea, I forgot to inform you. Since daylight savings time hit on Sunday morning, my iPhone has been waking me at criminal hours of the morning. I don't understand the specifics of the issue and I've been on Apple forums all week trying to fix it in vain. But it appears as though my iPhone states the correct time, but the "internal clock" (in cahoots with the alarm clock) fell back an hour instead of springing forward. So instead of my iPhone alarm sounding at 7am or even 6am, it decides 5am would be more entertaining. So instead of losing an hour of sleep, I've lost 15 (3 hours/night x 5 days). So suffices to say my sleep all week has been interupted and crappy, help!
This will be me from now on...
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Time to drink my weight in water in preparation (boo, that was one of my many excuses last night for staying home) for tonight's yoga.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Monday, March 14, 2011
Friday, March 11, 2011
Yoga tonight at 6, I may not be able to keep it together emotionally, but physically and mentally (forgetting everything exists) I plan to R.O.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Here's some math, 2 water bottle + 2 cookies = X
I wish the answer were zero, in which they would cancel each other out and I could relax at this very moment. But the answer is more likely: S.O.L. Bitch! I know sugar makes no sense, not like math.
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
First, I was laying in bed and my iPhone alerted me to something. It was adding a weather emergency app on its own. I didn't prompt it to download that app, but I reasoned that maybe something so pivotal was occurring the the government sanctioned some automatic download of an emergency app to all smartphones. All very unlikely in reality, but maybe this was a future cast dream.
Anyways, when the app downloaded, I checked it to see a message like: Weather emergency warning for the following areas...St. Mary's county, Prince Georges county, MONTGOMERY COUNTY (like that, all CAPS in my dream).... The emergency called for violent storms with tornado potential. In my house was my Mom, Dad, Sister, and some other female relative with her son (probably from my dad's side, maybe even straight from El Salvador because I don't think they spoke English). But I have no idea who they were. At first I was all panicky and wanted my family to sleep in the basement. But my family suggested that the tornado was unlikely. So I looked outside and saw some curvy thin funnels moving unpredictably and snow (it was also a blizzard) in the distance. We then went to a room in the middle of the house, because my dad suggested it was safest to lie in a bathtub. I'm not even sure why there was a bathtub in the middle of this half-constructed room/how could we all even begin to fit into a tub together. Then I took another peak at my new Emergency App and realized that MONTGOMERY was in all caps, as if to suggest we were in greater danger. I took another look outside and the funnels were getting closer to my house and the snow was thicker. So I somehow convinced everyone that we should be in the basement away from windows. Everyone followed and my last memories were of rapid whirling debris and snow from the little high set basement windows. At some point I thought my house had been picked up from the ground and I was figuring out the best way to brace for impact when...a loud noise woke me up (forreal). I looked out my door and saw the lock chain swinging. My cousin had just left for her 8:30 am exam. Phew, just a dream. A scary death defying dream, I hate those.
So, remember my amazing friend from the above posting. Yesterday afternoon her amazing abilities were in the wrong place at the wrong time. She was slide tackled in a soccer class and it caused her fibula/tibia to endure a displaced comminuted fracture (basically she needs surgery to put the pieces together and I love to google medical terms). WTF? Since when do we play competitively in P.E.? And furthermore, since when is slide tackling legal, recreationally or competitively? I don't even want to get into the brilliant teacher decision that decided to play a "friendly" game of boys vs. girls. But I will. There are several reasons why in hindsight this was the wrong type of game for even a friendly P.E. game. (My outraged coworker pointed most of these out to me) 1. Boys are naturally bigger and stronger than girls. I know we hate to admit it, but they just are genetically engineered to be as such. 2. Boys and girls approach casual sports differently. Girls can play a recreational sport just for the love of the game and to feel active regardless of the score. On the other hand boys cannot engage in a sports game without some unreasonable sense of competition. Even when they are playing a casual pick-up game in the park, their manhood (which they are competing to maintain) is ALWAYS on the line. And 3. Boys do not know when to quit. Have you ever watched guys engage in a sport. Regardless of the sport, its like man to man combat and they go all out until someone is made to shrink back. I guess when they play a sport (whether girls are included or not) this can be a hard switch to turn off. I hope this gym teacher eliminates this game setup from his future teaching outlines.
Ugh, I miss my friend now. She will likely be under supervision of her parents for a few weeks which means me, home, with no dinner date lol. I hope she has a smooth and speedy recovery. Also, my faith is a little shaken today. My injured friend is one of the sturdiest, most athletic people I know. If she could get so wrecked from a rec game, what hope is there for us mere mortals to remain injury-free? I guess I will stick to non-contact activities like yoga and jogging.
Friday, March 4, 2011
My class was gearing up for a field trip to the Kennedy Center. I didn't know what that was but the teacher sent a note home asking parents to dress us fancy for the occasion, so I knew we must be visiting some sort of castle. So, excited to go to a castle and potentially meet a princess I convinced my mom to let me wear my most special looking dress and shoes and I went to school floating on fantasies of the day to come. I noticed it was a particularly gloomy winter day with drizzle as I rode the school bus that morning. When I got to school I looked around for our field trip shuttle bus and saw none. Maybe they were late? As I entered class, the teacher was setting up a morning assignment...What? We never do work before a field trip. And that is when she popped my dream bubble of castles and princesses. The supposed rain was unsafe for the shuttle buses so our field trip was canceled. That doesn't sound right? Drizzle stops a bus...then I shouldn't have been able to ride the school bus in. Unless school buses are magically impervious to the treachery that drizzle poses for shuttle buses. Something wasn't right. But oh well, I know I was supremely disappointed, and I can't be sure, but I likely went on an assignment strike and refused to participate the rest of the day. But I vividly remember the dissapointing feeling of having my field trip being ripped away from my reality.
So, in conclusion. As a result of this disappointment I experienced in grade school, I now make a habit of imagining every possible rainy event that could cancel out my fun. Healthy? No. Therapeutic? Still no. What is the point? I'm not sure.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
On top of the ill feelings, I am kind of sad that this is the last class of the challenge and my intro month. Now I have to take responsibility, pay for my classes and set my own personal goals. No longer will I have a sticker chart to display my progress and that of my fellow classmates. I need to figure out my own incentive model and personal expectations if I am to continue a regular yoga practice with Bikram. I hope it goes well from here.
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Last night at Bikram, I brought my roommate and it was nice to have someone to discuss class on the ride home. It was her second class and she is already pretty awesome at most of the postures. She has always been extremely athletic (soccer, b-ball, football), so I guess her fitness is just so well rounded that most postures come naturally to her. I want to be her when I grow up.
Good LMAO moment last night...
Bikram teacher to my friend:"Great job on that posture, despite being a Redskins fan."
Monday, February 28, 2011
Oh yes, the finish! So, after I recuperated from my outings I managed to attend Bikram Sat and Sun. Which means I am well on my way to finishing this challenge successful. I can't wait! On the flip side this means that my month-long intro membership is expiring Wednesday and I will have to start shoveling out big bucks to support this yoga habit. I keep trying to reason through this decision, but I'm pretty sure I'm signing up for atleast the month of March. I will reevaluate this fiscal decision on a monthy basis.
Friday, February 25, 2011
A week after my week-long trial expired I found another Bikram studio near my house with a cheap month long intro and signed up on Janurary 31st. Lucky for me the studio was about to begin a 30 day challenge from February 1st to March 2nd. It is at that moment that I made a choice to attend atleast 6 classes a week. This would work out in my favor because the terms of the studio's challenge were that all who wished to qualify for prizes must complete atleast 25 practices in 30 days. This would be completely doable, and it has been so far. 25 days into the challenge and I have gone to Bikram 20 times. If I go Sat, Sun, Mon, Tue, Wed (March 2nd) I can achieve the goal. So I really don't need to go today. I'm not debating whether or not to go because of laziness or other plans. I legitimately made some mistakes today that would make Bikram detrimental to my body and potentially my classmates. Today for lunch my office took a field trip to an Indian Buffet downtown. I generally do not eat at buffets. They don't interest me because of the excessiveness and food containers exposed to other patrons. In particular for this month of Bikram I have made a point of eating very light, nutritous lunches, in order to facilitate a better evening practice. But today I was faced with an Indian Buffet. "Indian" in this case cancelled out all the preconceived notions I had of Buffets of the past because 1)I have never eaten Indian food, 2) I looove trying new foods, and 3) This place felt more like a restaurant than a buffet. So, I found absolutely no dilemna with gently sampling almost every dish on my first plate and returning to my favorite 3 out of 10 dishes on my second plate (with bread). I even finalied with a generous bowl of rice pudding, which absolutely blew my tastebuds' expectations out of the water. So as you can see, I spent the better part of the afternoon having too much fun eating and now I fear I cannot digest fast enough to confidently perform a Bikram routine this evening without jeopardizing my reputation for not throwing up in a Bikram class. I just feel it would be reckless for me to even attempt group exercise in these circumstances. I guess I have made up my mind. But I will finish this challenge strong (Sat - Wed).
Thursday, February 24, 2011
The first time I attended a Bikram class I approached it thinking "well I've done yoga many times before, so I should have no problem with this Bikram stuff." I was mistaken from the first breathing exercise. The synchronization of arms, head, breathing, AND my elbows are supposed to touch?! I hate multitasking choreography, that's why I do yoga! If the first breathing exercise was any indication of things to come I was in a for a complicated 87 more minutes. Luckily the rest of the standing series relatively reassembled other forms of yoga I've done. Even luckier that it was my first ever Bikram class and I took to heart the instructions to first timers; breathe (difficult) and stay in the room (more difficult), everything else is optional (phew! thank god). Let me add that I absolutely abhor excessive heat, summertime and otherwise. I tend to get irritable and cranky with prolonged exposure to humid heat. I have only had one experience that could compare with the environment of Bikram. It was the summer day I rode through Sixflags Safari with JW and we were instructed to keep our windows shut because we were surrounded by potentially dangerous animals. Did I mention it was summertime and our car had no AC? We were torn between driving faster (potentially hitting another species) to get out of the hell we created for ourselves and losing the experience of leisurely enjoying the sight of exotic animals in their "natural" habitat. We opted for the latter and I basically looked exactly like I had just come out of a Bikram class (angry).
Back to the yoga. I've never been one to give up during a physical challenge, so I can say that I actively made an attempt (however absolutely wrong) at every posture of the series.
I was duped.
The two minute savasana between standing and spine strengthening series tricked my yoga intuition. In all other yoga classes I've attended savasana generally means "almost over, relaxed stretching time, ie. no more challenges." But in Bikram the two minute savasana is more like "half-time" or really "third-time" because there is still lots of effort to put forth to finish strong. Uggggh, and then the 20 second savasana in between every posture had me thinking "Okay, this is it. You can't possibly have me relax for 20 more secs and then expect me to apply full effort again." But that is exactly what happened after every innumerable sit-up and muscle engaging stretch. So needless to say, the floor series had my mind boggled until the final savasana.
My first victory, and battle scars.
Coming out of my first Bikram class I felt a bit out of sorts. Like I had just been to battle with a flamethrower. My body was soaked, hair a mess, throat dry and kind of icky. I wanted to limit my movement as much as possible for fear that another muscle burn that day. When I got home I was convinced I had a fever and my throat continued to feel funny into the next day. I just kept trying to analyze my senses to figure out what virus I had caught in that humid germ breeding studio room. What I had caught- was a load of excuses. I didn't return the next day as they recommend ("for full benefits") because I made excuses about the practice making me sick.
Curiosity brought me back.
At some point during my first class I told myself "self, congrats for getting this far, if you can finish this class decently I promise, heck, I swear on iPhone that I will never think or suggest attempting this Bikram hellhole ever again." The weekend came and I fell into a monotony of lazy weekend activities. And then the thought hit me Sunday morning. "What if I went to just one more Bikram class? I mean, just to see what all the hoopla is about returning. They did say improvements would be noticeable after just one practice...hmmm" I went back to Bikram that afternoon as a personal experiment to dispel the claims that each class improves you. At least that's what I kept telling my self. The reality is there was another layer to my thought process that day. Part of me, after the ill sensations subsided, decided that my first Bikram class was fun, intriguing, challenging, and fun (oh god, why?). From then onward I approached each class with varied intentions depending on my feelings. Usually I resolved to just engage, not expect miracles and see where it gets me. Other days I set little goals of which directions to follow better (suck in stomach, weight on heels, come up more on the toes etc).