Thursday, November 22, 2012

30 Days of Yog: Day 2

30 Day Yoga Challenge.

Anyone who knows me could tell you that I can be pretty... headstrong....sometimes.

Like, in that kind of gross, bossy, controlling kind of way that's really not much fun for anyone, including myself, believe it or not.

Sometimes I see myself in the 3rd person acting that way and it really freaks me out, because I'm not sure why I do it-- I don't even know what makes me tick. I don't enjoy controlling things, and I really don't believe your ideas are better than mine: I don't think I'm better or smarter than you, I just feel the need to control my own situations all the time, and you just happen to fall into that situation. It's not pretty and it's something that I am always trying to work on... or at least I'm thinking really hard about trying to work on it.

Anyway, I'm too type A for yoga.

Along with my delightful bossy notes and condescending undertones, I'm also a bit compulsive, which is how I ended up in a really hot yoga studio about a month ago.

I'd been pretty lax about going to the gym, and sometimes when I went, I'd spend half an hour on the treadmill or do like 30 crunches and peace out. Needless to say, I wasn't really getting results. A girl friend of mine was doing yoga at this local studio for a while and told me she loved it; she also was staying in pretty decent shape [She's pretty hot & single if anyone's interested ; )]

So, with my loyal and adventurous friend Gretchen, we set off to sign up for our first two weeks of yoga. The first class we took was 90 minutes long and hot. It started off hotter than you'd ever want your house to be, but not deadly, and peaked at way-to-friggin'-hot-to-breathe-right (or at least it felt like that.) I was sweaty and clumsy, and not very flexible.

I've never had the best balance, so there wasn't much meditation going on-- I just spent most of the class trying not to fall and break something. Towards the end of class, Allie, the wonderful non-hippy instructor, brings the heat back down to a reasonable temperature and you can start to wind down and appreciate the fact that you finished an hour an a half work out in hell.

Driving home from that first class, I felt so calm and relaxed that it almost felt that the previous torture was worth it. I went back about 5 more times after that during my first two week trial; I really started to enjoy myself. It didn't take too much convincing to get me to the studio, and I even managed to drag my mom and Brian out once. When my two weeks were up, I went back to the gym a few times (because I was paying for my membership still) and stopped in the yoga a few times, more sparingly, because it is a little bit of a hike from my house and it does get a little costly, especially when you're already paying for a gym membership.

Tuesday (2 days ago) I felt conflicted all day. I had some choices to make, and I was feeling guilty about maybe making the wrong choice, an everything else that comes along with it.. playing Devil's advocate with myself, justification, etc. (Needless to say, I could have been more productive at work.) I went to yoga that night with the intention of getting in a good work out to prep for Thanksgiving (and the food coma to come.) When I got there, I was having more trouble than usual getting into the flow of things; some positions that I could normally do were throwing me way off balance and I was getting really frustrated about everything.

During one of the quieter moments towards the end of class, Allie was talking about something... I don't even really remember what...something about upcoming Thanksgiving and being thankful and then my decision was made. The thing that had been bothering me all day suddenly seemed so stupid, and the answer so obvious that I really should have never been considering otherwise. I felt clear and decisive, and I wasn't sure if it was all the blood rushing to my head from so much downward dog, or if --perhaps-- I had quieted all of my rambling thoughts long enough to have some kind of epiphany.

At the end of class, Allie announced her 30 day challenge: Go to yoga for 30 days IN A ROW and get your next month free. Monetarily, this was awesome because I'm broke and yoga isn't cheap, but I did feel like it was a challenge.

I'm always so go-go-go. I'm planning my next move before I finish my first 3, so committing to driving half an hour everyday for the next month to go to hot yoga was rough. I debated for the next 24 hours then I decided I had to do it. It's not convenient and it won't b easy, but last night I completed day one of my 30 day challenge. I'm about to leave my house now to go to a class at 9:30 am and do yoga and think about how lucky I am to be able to physically do it and afford it and just be.

It's pretty awesome.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Christmas in July

Alright people, these blog posts are not chronological-- or timely for that matter.

I think about things I’d like to write about during the day when I’m busy and then by the time I stop being lazy and actually write it, it’s a long time later.

Since it’s hot as hell outside, and everyone is cursing summer and counting down to sweater wearing months, I figure it’s a good time for a taste of Christmas. In July.

This past December, my friend Gretchen and I realized that we knew very little about office gifting etiquette in our big girl jobs. We were not longer broke college girls, but we were still broke. Gretchen’s mother, who happens to be a real life Martha Stewart—the kind of lady who shops at King Arthur Flour—gave us the wonderful idea to use those adorable little mason jars to give “gourmet,” home-made hot chocolates out to our co-workers.

So we gave it a shot.

About $30 and 4 hours later, we managed to make enough hot chocolate gifts for all of our co-workers—at about $1 a pop—not too shabby! Granted, it takes more patience than Gretchen and I had, times three, because about 20 minutes in, we wanted to quit.

We made two batches:

1.       Mint hot chocolate

2.       Mexican hot chocolate with cayenne pepper and Madagascar-an vanilla sugar

The mint hot cocoa was kid friendly and the Mexican hot cocoa was a kick in the back of your throat. It took a few terrible taste tests to get it down.

Each mini mason held one regular or two small serving of hot chocolate mix, layered to look pretty, and covered with mini marshmallows.  We even bothered to dye the sugar with green and red food coloring to make it more festive. Believe me, that crap was painstaking and laborious, and afterwards our fingers were an ugly shade of red/green/brown.

Little circles of spare fabric served as lid covers, wrapped with a ribbon that tied on a tiny card cut out of card stock that informed the receiver what kind of cocoa to expect. Apparently, many of the people who were given the Mexican hot chocolate didn’t get the memo, but after the first confusing but delicious sip, they caught on.

It was our first try so they weren’t exactly Pinterest worthy, but it was a good effort, and everyone in my office appreciated them. I even got a super cute thank you card from the daughters of one of my co-workers raving about it—so Booyah! I’m still a fan of the mason jar gift—because you can put ANYTHING in it! It was an inexpensive thoughtful gift that’s handy when you have 20+ co-workers and now clue about the gift exchange process at a new job.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


I never gained the freshman 15.

I didn’t even gain any weight my sophomore year of college, but somehow in the past 2 ½ years I’ve managed to put on 30 pounds—which seems incredible.

I guess the weight just crept up while I wasn’t paying any attention—getting into a serious relationship, pulling 20 credit semesters, working full time all played their part in the fat conspiracy.

I hate to admit it, but having a wonderful boyfriend who loves me, pretty much no-matter-what, steered me into a bit of complacency when it came to staying in shape. I wouldn’t say I let myself go, but I wasn’t doing the opposite of that—if that makes sense.

In the summer, after graduation I started working FT at my now-job, and they’re pretty awesome and have a corporate membership to Tilton Fitness (the most expensive gym ever.) Luckily, corporate membership means I get a pretty great discount, so I joined the gym, signing my life and money away in a 1 year contract. I go to the gym, and I shoot for (and usually accomplish) 3 days a week, but I haven’t lost any weight. This can be attributed to the fact that after I work out, I feel that I deserve a reward, and that usually comes in food form. I know I’m not alone when I say, “As soon as I finish my workout, I am starving like I have not eaten in 5 days.”

The pounds sneak up on you—for me it started with some muffin top, then lead to “Oh my God, I’m wearing spanx under my jeans—who does that?!” Now I’m at the point where I literally have like 3 pairs of jeans that fit, and 20 pairs that don’t.

I am currently a few pounds outside of what most health websites state is my “healthy weight range” for my height—it seems a bit of a vague range, especially since it’s only based on height—not age, or abnormally large or small foot size, but let’s just pretend it’s legit. I’m not obese, but sometimes when I find myself talking about food, or flipping through Martha Stewart cooking magazines, I have fattest or fat girl thoughts. I literally think about food all day. I think I was talking about some bakery the other day when Brian said, “You sound like a crack fiend talking about cupcakes.” Awesome.

I don’t really buy into the “addiction is a disease” mindset, so at this point there are no excuses to be made.

It is a CHORE to make time and get motivated enough to eat healthy and be more active every, single day, but it’s just something that needs to be done. Consistency is the hardest thing ever, especially when it seems every single time I am super serious about eating healthy, my sister (the pastry chef) bring home an entire gourmet cheesecake, and I’m like “Are you freaking kidding me right now?” And then, I eat some.

Over the past year of so, there have been many instances where Brian would say “Do you really need that 2nd slice of cake?” That usually just made me really made, even though his intentions were never mean, it was upsetting to be confronted, especially by someone who is always in perfect shape even though he eats McDonalds and Chef Boyarde like it’s his job. He eventually got the picture that I did not want a food lecture.

Right before Christmas, my good friend Joel was home for break and we were going to go out to dinner with a group of friends for “Friends-mas.” While I was getting ready in my room, I heard my mom talking to Joel and Brian in my living room. She was saying something along the lines of, “Wow, hasn’t she gained so much weight?! She has a pot belly!” I walked in and saw both men— visibly uncomfortable on the couch looked back and forth from me to my mother. Let’s just say it was awkward and embarrassing and I was pissed. What mom does that? Mine.

Those comments really bothered me for a while, because it was an asshole thing to say to my friends and because I did gain weight, but I do not have a pot belly.

I got over it after about a week, and actually started hitting the gym harder and more often. I improved my eating from the morning and though my work day, but dinner was still not up to par—that’s when I would indulge or stress eat, etc. Brian and I started talking lots of walks on the weekends (when I refuse to go to the gym,) and he’s starting to work out too. While he lifts weights, I do the BowFlex in the basement. It’s cool, I guess.

When I go to the gym, I try to take classes, because they’re more fun than working out alone, and if it gets really hard it way too embarrassing to walk out on a class full of people. I take a great class called Body Pump with a great instructor—lots of weight lifting and lots of reps. I’ve been trying to add a little more weight each time, and it’s really nice to have a good sore the next day. Pounds have not been flying off like I’d hoped, but I’m keeping at it.

Last night, I came home a little later than expected from a doctor’s appointment, so Brian was already there waiting for me. I got ready to go out to the bookstore with him—

(Side Note: BAM is the bookstore that took the place that Border’s vacated, and it is the same exact thing—so don’t worry! We can all still have our free magazine reading date nights!)

He was doing something on the computer when he said, “I just got the longest lecture from your mom.”

(This is not an unusual occurrence, and I’m surprised he hasn’t flipped out by now, because he’s gotten lectured on everything from religion to finances.) “Well, what did she say?” I asked.

Long Story Short:

Brian had mentioned to her his new plan to gain weight, and how he bought lots of sirloin burgers and chicken from Costco that day, and she proceeded to blame him for my weight gain, and essentially told him that he should do something about it—in a long and very repetitive, drawn out fashion, I’m sure.

This poor kid.

I laughed. My mom was trying to rally Brian into some fat intervention for me. This was rich.

I love my mother, but something I think she is actually crazy, and she is no slim chicken herself.

She came home from running whatever errands she was doing just as we were walking out the door.

“Did you eat dinner, yet?” She asked. (Very obviously implying, “Eat something healthy that I’m about to suggest to you. Like lettuce.”)

“Yes.” I lied.

As I said good bye, she was pulling cheese cake out of the refrigerator, which I’m sure she ate while standing over the sink—where she has most of her healthy meals.

I got a chicken cool wrap from Chik-Fil-A for dinner. I think my semi-unhealthy choice was to be secretly spiteful of my mother.

This morning, I scrambled to put a lunch for work together, when I saw a bunch of Slim-Fast bars in the cabinet. Assuming my mother bought them for herself, I tried to be nice, and I slipped one into her purse, because she was running late.

She was nice and offered to start my car when she left, so it’d be defrosted by the time I left for work.

When I got into the big, blue Jeep, I found a Slim-Fast bar in my cup holder.

Game on.

I am now determined to get skinny, if for no other reason, than to spite my mom.

I can’t wait to go to the gym today!!!!!!