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Day 3 #NHBPM: Finding Out About… Pilates? November 3, 2012

Filed under: 30in30,exercise,health,healthy challenge,struggle,writing,yoga — Susan @ 6:05 pm

#NHBPM Challenge Day 3 – Saturday, Nov. 3

Prompts: “I don’t know about this, but I’d like to.” OR A post about a conversation with your doctor

I think I already posted about my most recent conversation with my doctor. So I have to mull this one over. What don’t I know about that I’d like to?

I think I’m going to say Pilates. Gulp.

I have had even more intense negative feelings about Pilates as I’ve had about yoga. I think both of those things make me feel really inadequate. I feel like I am bad at them, because I am super inflexible, and getting more so as the years go on.

Which is probably why I need them.

I took a couple of Pilates classes a few years ago and ended up in tears. I hated every single minute of those classes. EVERY. They were uncomfortable and made me feel just like a big huge failure. I swore to never go back. Plus, the word “Pilates” sounds like the word “Pilate” to me, which is all about betrayal, right?

But recently, I’ve been having more hip and back pain due to super tight, and I mean SUPER TIGHT muscles. I can’t sit upright with my legs extended. I can’t touch my legs below my knees, let alone my toes. I know that I need professional help when it comes to increasing my flexibility. It’s one of those catch-22 types of things. I am inflexible because I don’t do things like yoga, but I don’t do things like yoga because I am inflexible.

Recently I have been thinking about finding a one-on-one Pilates teacher and working on those machine things. I think I have this notion that I need to get stretched out, like on a medieval stretching machine (drawn and quartered?) and I need HELP to do so. This recent yoga challenge was a real eye opener. Part of me wanted to run for the hills and swear (once again) that I would never EVER do such a thing again, but then part of me knows how much I need it. If I keep going like this I’m going to be shaped like a chair for the rest of my life.

So. Gulp. That’s my new goal for… umm… sometime before the end of 2012. I will investigate and find a private Pilates instructor, someone who can help me, maybe, one day touch my toes.

This post is day 3 of the National Health Blog Post Month challenge. Join me!

 

Workout Clothes? For meeee??? (and you!) October 24, 2012

When I was at Fitbloggin’ I got to meet the cool people at PVbody. They were giving away some pretty nifty fitness duds, including this top which looked kinda silly on me…especially over my pajama top.

me and the best, goofiest roomie ever

but pretty awesome on Junior.

that’s my girl

Anyway, they have a great deal going, which reminds me of getting a weekly delivery of CSA veggies-in-a-box. You never know what you’re going to get, but it’s pretty awesome to be surprised. Instead, they send a beautifully wrapped package of workout clothes each month, for not much $$. You know how expensive workout duds can get, right?

I got my first box yesterday. I was jumping up and down. All pretty, wrapped in tissue paper, like a present.

Is it my birthday?

I open it up and it’s a beautiful top! And some pants that looked, possibly, frighteningly too small. Oh well, it’s free returns/exchanges. These are seriously high-quality workout duds.

The V-neck top is made by ALO (Air Land Ocean) and is super comfy and flattering.

I love the cut of this top.

The bottoms are made by Nux. They are all scrunchy at the bottom (ruching?) and I feel a little dubious.

scrunchie-bottomed pants

But I put them on, and …. woweee! They fit!

I like the scrunchies!

O boy! I like these clothes.

Mr. McBody came through after I tried them on and said, “O boy! What are you wearing?!?” Needless to say, he approved. :-)

They are comfy. They are nifty. I’m all excited! And I get another box next month??

So, this is the deal. You, too, can get a box of awesome workout clothes every month. I can vouch for the super high quality. They are worth about $150 per box, but you pay less than $40. ANNNNNND… as a friend/blog reader of yours truly, you can get an extra 20% off. How cool is that. You fill out a little quiz where you indicate your size, the kind of sport(s) you like to do (running/yoga/cycle etc), your favorite colors and styles. Then voila, they put together a box for you, and when it arrives at your house it’s like your birthday. But every month. If something doesn’t fit, it gets returned super easy and free. I was sure those pants were not going to fit me, but I was wrong.

Click here for the special Foodie McBody deal!

 

Challenges Can be… Challenging! October 17, 2012

I’ve been thinking a lot about a comment that was left recently, in which Karen said, “I don’t ‘do’ challenges…” and I nodded my head. She’s not that kind of person. So many people aren’t. But then I had to think. I AM the kind of person who does a challenge. As often as possible. Who almost needs a challenge in order to get ANYthing done. Left to my own devices, I’m likely to sit around and watch TV shows on Hulu all day. But given a challenge – and suddenly I am capable of things I would never consider on my own.

I am currently in a ton of challenges, some private ones just with myself, and then others that involve hundreds or more people.

  • The Writing Challenge:  I recently challenged myself to write as many consecutive days as possible on 750words.com. Blog posts do not count. I’m now on Day 3, which means I’ve earned myself a Turkey sticker. Yay me! Writing has been so important to me (so I say) and yet I do not make it as much of a priority as I’d like. So I’m just doing this on my own.
  • A running friend of mine has challenged me to run every day. Any time or distance. I am now on Day 5. Last night it was almost midnight and I hadn’t run. I put on my shoes and ran circles around my little street for 5 minutes. I’m saying that counted. But… no way would that have happened without the Running Challenge.

    on the running trail

  • The Yoga Challenge: I have done one yoga pose a day for the past 15 days. Except for today. Tomorrow I will do two. I admit that I tried today’s pose in the morning and it scared me so I backed off. I will complete it tomorrow, with picture, as well as tomorrow’s pose.
  • Creative Process Challenge: I’ve been reading this bookwhich asserts that for successful writing to occur, you must do three things. Process, product and self-care. I count the running and yoga as self-care. The product is what happens with the Writing Challenge. But now I am also challenging myself to 15 minutes of non-goal oriented creative process per day. So far I have played with pink Play-Dough and done a drawing of a pumpkin. Two days down.

    i love the smell

  • The Big Blue Test: from now until Nov 14th (National Diabetes Day) I am participating in the Big Blue Test. This very test helped me understand the link between diabetic health and exercise, and I will be forever grateful. I encourage everyone, diabetic or not, to participate, because every test done means that $5 will be donated for much-needed medical supplies.

SO those are the things I am doing right now. That’s a minimum of an hour (or more) committed to Challenges per day.  I’m finding the time where it seems there is none. But I can say if I weren’t doing the challenges, that time would be lost.

I think I am the kind of person who NEEDS challenges. Interesting.

Have you ever participated in a challenge to get yourself going? Are you doing one now? Tell me!

 

Whose Idea was This?? A Month of Yoga October 12, 2012

Actually it was GrowSoulBeautiful‘s idea. I met them at Fitbloggin’ where they had a cool yoga photo booth. But I almost totally ignored it/them, because you know, yoga just isn’t my thing. They were really cool and nice people with a nifty project, but… you know.

Then I got back from Fitbloggin’ and October started and before I knew it, everyone and their sister was doing this #YogaADay challenge on Instagram. I happen to love Instagram (look for me there under “foodiemcbody” of course). So I was seeing people popping up all over doing these challenges.

I thought about it for a minute. It seemed like, come ON, one pose a day? I can do that, right? It’s something like #couchto5k but for Yoga newbies or Yoga-phobes. Which I just might be. But it seemed like the most gradual, small way of entering. I jumped in.

The idea is that you do one pose a day, according to the chart above, and post a photo on Instagram with the tag #yogaaday. So then if you do a search for that hashtag, you see all the people doing that same pose on the same day. There are hundreds of people! Which is both good and bad. It’s inspiring and cool. People do their poses in amazing settings. And some peoples’ forms are absolutely perfect. Awe-inspiring, really.

And other people – like me – are, um, not so perfect. A lot of these poses are really, really hard for me, and I know they are just the beginning ones. (I can’t wait for the Dead Person Pose on Day 14! That one I got down!) I can usually only hold them for a microsecond before I start screaming or fall over. Then when I see the picture, especially when I post around the same time as the perfect-yoga-form people, I want to die of mortification. But it’s like, showing up, being real, not worrying about being perfect, all the stuff I learn from my good friends.

Sigh.

I’m not sure what will happen at the end of this 30 days. If it will inspire me to take a class or get a teacher and get BETTER at this, or if it will make me permanently head for the non-yoga hills. It is a very humbling experience. I can’t say it’s fun. Every day I face the pose with more than a little trepidation. But I try it. I suppose if I kept trying it I would get better. But do I want to? Is it a goal of mine?

I still haven’t decided. But I do know that this challenge is challenging more than a lot of other things I’ve done. It’s right up there with mud races and triathlons. It’s OUT of my comfort zone, that’s for sure – both physically and emotionally. I’m not quite sure why.

It’s not halfway done yet. Anyone out there want to jump in and join me? I’ve loved having company of some other folks during the first 11 days.

couldn’t get my hand to the ground…

Days 1-4 I was often either in pajamas or work clothes

my coworker/supervisor joined in at work

that’s Mike from my gym

my trainer DJ

flying in front of the bookshelves

Mr McBody managed this MUCH better than I did.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yoga KICKED MY BUTT. But I might go back… April 2, 2011

from bikram yoga

I haven’t done yoga in many, many years. In fact you might say I have had a yoga phobia. I’m not even sure why.

When I was in college (like a million years ago!) my boyfriend and I took up a home course in Bikram yoga after seeing the extremely sexy and appealing yoga-in-a-Turkish-prison scene in Midnight Express. It looked pretty irresistable. So we bought this book, and I bought a Danskin leotard (LOL) and we commenced to learn the poses along with Bikram and his cast of inflexible movie stars. (he had these hilarious pose photos – you can do it perfectly like Bikram here, but if you are a normal person with hamstrings of concrete, you may do it like … Debbie Reynolds!) But seeing the imperfect movie stars was kind of reassuring.

After that one stint of doing yoga in- what – 1978? I stopped and actually have not been back since. I’ve had a weird chip on my shoulder and I don’t even know why. At some point I came to associate yoga with sanctimonious Cafe Gratitude- type vegans AND with women who put on makeup and $150 Lululemon clothes to exercise. I mean, if you’re going to do yoga, I kind of think you ought to be doing it while wearing rags on a concrete floor. LOL. It’s supposed to be a spiritual practice, not a practice in consumerism and looking stylish.

Also, I can’t sit upright with my legs extended and since you have to do that ALL THE TIME in yoga, it makes me feel cranky and inadequate. Maybe that’s the REAL reason.

BUT… my friend who moved to New York was back in town for just a few days, and she invited me to her favorite yoga class, and said the instructor is AMAZING, and then we were going to go to the Bakesale for Japan together, and it’s really the only opportunity we had to get together, so… what the heck. I went.

First of all. This was a Level 2-3 class. Hahahaha. Second of all, it was PACKED. (popular teacher/ Saturday morning) Thirdly, I thought it was an hour class but it turned out to be 90 minutes more like 100 because he went overtime. YOW.

It started out innocuously enough. Some “getting in touch with your breath/body” stuff which segued into some very gentle neck stretches, and it had been going on forever, and I thought, not so bad.

Then it got bad.

There was a lot of downward dog and plank activity, and warrior pose stuff and even flying on one leg, but the thing that got to me was the Rabbit. (picture above) Except we not only did it like the picture, we also did it while our back quarters were still downward dogging, and one leg up in the air. We were to put all the weight of our bodies on our HAIRLINE. I mean, ow.

This yoga is no joke, people. I have had a few forays into “gentle” yoga or “restorative” yoga and this was a total kickass workout. I was shaking and trembling and sweating and really FEELING IT. It felt like it went on and on forever, but in fact it was around 95 minutes. Give or take.

When it was over, I was trembling like a scared Chihuaha for about an hour. I felt really… shaky. But then after that I felt good. Really good.

That’s my takeaway message. I’m probably going to do more yoga because it’s like good medicine. I think it’s good for me and does things that my other workouts don’t do. I’m going to start investigating different classes and see which ones might be a good fit for me. This one was pretty hardcore. At one point people were actually doing HEADSTANDS and I was like… whaaaaattttt? No way I was even going to go there. But it was good, and I do think another barrier was broken in Foodie McBody-land.

After the class we went over to the main Bakesale for Japan location. In my mind I was thinking this might be a day when I’d break my chip vow and try some sugar. Everything looked freaking AMAZING. But in the end, I decided it wasn’t worth it to me. I took a tiny nibble of something called a “sesame stick” and it was on the sweet side so I didn’t eat any more. But I also got some miso pork (made from Sendai miso, how perfect could that be?) and some farm eggs and little cheddar crisps made from cheese and black rice – wow, right? Yum.

It was a good day. And I definitely stayed on track, both exercise and sugarwise. Yay!

Tell me: what do YOU think of yoga? What kind do you do? What kind do you like?

 

 
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