The way we look at exercise

I’ve basically already said this, but I was getting my hair done last night and I heard it again. 1) “I hate running, but I do it to loose weight” 2) “what diet did you do that you lost so much weight?”  3)”I gained all the weight back after that diet, so that diet doesn’t work”.  I kept my mouth shut (amazingly), but I was thinking, omg, these people don’t get it!

1) If you hate something you are doing it, you are going to be inclined to skip it, you are going to most likely hurt yourself, and you are less likely to stick with it

2) If you cut something out, or drink only shakes, you are going to lose weight, doesn’t matter what diet it is, but if you think diets are hard, try living the rest of your life on it.  That’s not living.  You need to find a “diet” that works for you, that you can live with forever.  I found that by cutting my sugar intake, and keeping it below 30 grams a day I could lose 2 pounds a week.  By keeping it at 40 grams I could maintain my weight.  Does this mean I have to cut down on what I eat?  Yes.  Does it mean I can’t have cheesecake?  No, I just can’t have the whole piece, and I need to watch out for hidden sugars for the rest of the day.  Just like money, I budget my sugar.

3)Of course a diet isn’t going to work, you have to change how you eat and live.  If you go back to eating they way you were when you were fat, you are going to get fat again.

I so wanted to tell those women that they were going about it all wrong, that they shouldn’t be punishing themselves into shape.  You are even less likely to lose weight and burn the calories if you aren’t enjoying what you are doing.  It’s our body’s way of rebeling against authority.  Think about it.

Adult ADD

We all joke that we have it, but while researching meditation rooms (yes I made one in my house) I came across a bunch of books that made me really sad for our society.  One was “8 minute meditation” and another talked about how we need to practice silence.  How do we expect ourselves to focus on our lives if we are so busy we need a book to tell us to practice silence, or we need to be told how to focus for 8 minutes!  Take it one step further, and do we even have time to read about how to do that, or do people just buy the books, thinking it’s a good idea and then never make time to do it.

This lack of ability to make time for anything is another reason it’s so hard to find time to exercise.  We can’t even take 8 minutes to breathe!  I found that if I block out my day, I actually had a lot more time than I thought.  If I go through my day just keeping up, I end the day with nothing accomplished and a messy house, yet I’m exhausted.  Part of my meditation in the morning (which helps me keep from thinking about this stuff) is I list what I want to get done, then I put the items in order.  Sometimes I just do it mentally, sometimes I write the list down.  After that I feel like I can take 20- 30 minutes to just sit and breathe.

If I’m not in the mood to meditate while sitting, I’ll run.  I know all the books say you have to sit in a quiet spot and think about one mantra, but in my opinion you can meditate anytime.  Running forces you to concentrate on breathing, and depending on where you are running you can just let your mind wander through the trail you are going along.  How is this different than the mental trail or ocean walk they reccommend you go on while meditating?

I find running is like a real life meditation that the apps and books tell you to go on.  But really, you can do this with any work out you enjoy, which is why it’s so important to enjoy your workout!

Changing your life/ loving your workout

The key to keeping the weight off is not only giving my body the food it needs, but enjoying life as well.  If I crave something I’m more likely to binge on it, so if I get a sugar tooth, I will eat something sweet, I try to first douse the urge with fruit or something low in sugar, but if I want cheesecake, you better believe I’m gonna get a slice.  Usually, after a bite or two, I realize the urge has passed and I give it to my kids.  The idea is to stop the craving at the urge stage before it becomes an obsession where you will inhale the entire cheesecake.

Why I called this “Cheesecake for the body and soul”

When I think of cheesecake the following comes to mind, “creamy, sweet, graham cracker crust”.  A work out should have the same kind of feel to it.

I often see people choose “hard” work outs for their first workouts thinking the more they sweat and the more sore they are, the quicker they will lose the weight.  This is not only inaccurate, it’s dangerous.  It is very important to remember that a workout is a treat for your body, not a punishment for being out of shape or overweight.  During every work out you should be enjoying yourself.  If you find yourself holding your breath or hating it, then back off.  That is your mind telling your body it’s not ready for that physical excursion.

This is a belief that is familiar to anyone who does yoga, but sadly, has not transcended to the mainstream work outs.  I see these ads for boot camps, and other intense work outs.  I hear about the god awful diets that trainers have people on and all I can think is how sad it is that the person I’m talking to is punishing themselves instead of treating themselves.

A workout should always feel “sweet” the pain or difficulty of the exercise should always feel good.  Afterwards, you should feel “creamy” that way you know you pushed yourself enough, but not too much.   The graham cracker crust comes in when you have to push to do something, but it’s still sweet.

You should never leave a workout feeling like you hated it, it should always be a feeling of wanting to do that again.

I have gotten ½ mile into my normal 4-6 mile run and stopped because I wasn’t enjoying myself.  I’ve also started out thinking I’m  just going to run a mile so I don’t feel guilty, and ended up running 5 because after a mile I felt like I wanted more.  Whatever work out you are choosing to do, make sure you are listening to your body.  If you are taking a class, make sure it’s the level you want.  If it’s too easy ask for variations, if it’s too hard, back off.  Everyday your body is different, so every day your workout will be a little different.

My work outs of choice (I phrase it like that because I’m seriously addicted to all three) are running, Yoga and Pole Fitness.  All three speak to my soul and bring me balance like nothing else.  If I’m in a funk, or sad or even just blah, I know I can do any of the three and find my center again.  You may find me refering to things in a Yoga-ish way.  I find that Yoga is not only an type of work out, but it’s something you have in you.  I have been doing yoga in one form or another since I was 4, so naturally, after 30 years of something, it’s a part of you.  I find yoga in my rning and my pole fitness.  Hopefully this way of looking at the world speaks to you the way it does to me.  I find through the yoga philosophy the world seems brighter and funnier.  Mostly because in order to do yoga in the first place, you can’t take yourself to seriouse.  30 years of experience and I still fall sometimes, or look awkward.  They key ingrediant to life, is to laugh at yourself, yoga teaches this to you, which you can then bring to any sport you choose.

work out ideas

My 3 loves (my kids) but also Running, Pole Fitness and Yoga.  Without all of them in my life I get sad and depressed.

Running lets me think and basically meditate.  Because my mind is allowed to wander and be random.  This also allows me to enjoy my run.  I never “train” for a 5k or half marathon, since I run for me.  I actually don’t enjoy races.  I am a VERY competitive person by nature so races make me run out of my comfort level, and not in a good way.  I’m all for pushing oneself, but you should also listen to your body the whole time, and not likeing it is one way for your body to tell you to back off.  You get me in a race or competition situation and my body gets totally ignored…..

Pole Fitness lets me feel sexy and have girl time and play all at the same time!  I go to Pole Fitness in Federal Way WA.  She has an amazing schedule that fits almost anyone’s schedule.  I was scared to go at first, so I brought a friend, but I immediately saw that it was a truly non judgemental workout area.  The focus is 1) having fun 2) feeling good about yourself 3) building strength at your own pace.  Beginner classes are just that, more advanced people are moved up so that no one is intimidated or feels stupid.  It is a fun way to feel sexy and learn to laugh at yourself because everyone does something stupid in the class.  I HIGHLY recommend trying it out.  You can google Pole Fitness for her full class schedule.

Yoga is my last love as well as my longest love.  This is why this blog sounds so yoga-y.  I started doing Yoga through gymnastics when I was 4 and haven’t stopped.  Yoga is in me and always will be.  Recently I have decided to deepen my understanding of the philosophy and self healing side of it.  I did a yoga retreat at the Yoga Lodge on Whidbey Island and it was the  BEST thing I could ever have done for myself.  It totally helped my depression/ anxiety/ needyness.  The only thing the retreat lacked was a pole to play on.  But once I’m a yoga teacher I plan to change that.

My new journey is to try to combine my 2 loves of Pole and Yoga for a Pole Yoga class.  This would take the strength quotent out of Pole, and the balance portion out of Yoga and help people in a Yin Yoga type of way, by letting them relax into poses by using the Pole to hold them up.  It would also let them get the feel of using a Pole as a work out, and take the taboo feeling out of it.  I’m hoping that it will help advance this awesome sport of Pole, and allow me to get into the teaching of Yoga and the philosophy behind it, where People are taught Asanas, not teaching Asanas to People.  To get Yoga fully, you need to be able to breathe in and out and understand the meaning behind the poses.  The Pole will help concentrate on the breathing and pose without falling to the floor.  lol

The beginning

Cheesecake for your body and soul

Since losing 65 pounds, I have been repeatedly asked how I did it, what diet did I use, what work out did I do.  My answer is always the same.  I changed my way of life and how I looked at it.  I basically got tired of being fat and feeling ugly and gross.  I joined a gym, rediscovered my love of yoga and pushed myself to get out of my comfort zone.  I worked out religiously for a year and lost 5 pounds.  To say I was discouraged is an understatement.

While I was discouraged, I kept going because, let’s face it, as a stay at home mom, it was the only way I was going to be able to get some alone time.  During one of my classes, my instructor was talking about this program she was trying where she hooked her heart rate monitor up to this website that counted calories.  Sounds amazing right?  Well it was, and it was $500 for the program and the watch.  I decided that that was insane, so I went home and Googled “calorie counter”.

I found a free one, obviously aimed at senior citizens with diabetes, but whatever, it did what I wanted it to do at the right cost.  So what if I had to create my own work outs because the only work out it had listed was chair yoga.  At least it had a create your own workout function where you could tabulate the calories you burned, therefore allowing you more calories in a day.

What the calorie counter showed me, was that my caloric intake was on track for losing 2 pounds a week.  Well if that was the case, why had I only lost 5 pound in a year?  I looked further into the breakdown and realized that while my caloric intake was fine, my sugar intake was 2-3 times what it should be.  I wasn’t eating candy and I was eating healthy so I was SHOCKED!

I realized then, that in order to obtain my goal of not being “fat” I needed to redesign my meal plans and how I was pairing items.  Instead of cereal for breakfast, which tends to have sugar, and then you add the milk that has at least 6 grams per serving, I would have toast.  Instead of a banana for a snack, I’d have carrots, and so on.  If I wanted cereal, I’d have that, but make sure none of the other foods I was eating that day were high in sugar.  My goal for sugar was to be under 30 grams a day.  The key was looking the food up, BEFORE I ate it to see how many grams each food had.

Once I cut sugar out I realized my energy levels were higher, and I was losing weight like crazy.  Suddenly I was having to buy new clothes and I was being told I looked like a new woman, it was AWESOME!

Now that the weight is off, I get people asking me how I keep it off.  The answer is simple.  I keep watching what I eat, I don’t diet, and I don’t deny myself food, I am just aware of the combinations of food I eat.

The problem with diets is they are unrealistic.  There is no way you are going to only drink 2 shakes and eat one meal for the rest of your life, so of course, once you hit your “goal” and go off the diet you are going to gain the weight back.  You didn’t learn anything on the diet, you just did a quick fix.

The key to keeping the weight off is not only giving my body the food it needs, but enjoying life as well.  If I crave something I’m more likely to binge on it, so if I get a sugar tooth, I will eat something sweet, I try to first douse the urge with fruit or something low in sugar, but if I want cheesecake, you better believe I’m gonna get a slice.  Usually, after a bite or two, I realize the urge has passed and I give it to my kids.  The idea is to stop the craving at the urge stage before it becomes an obsession where you will inhale the entire cheesecake.

Why I called this “Cheesecake for the body and soul”

When I think of cheesecake the following comes to mind, “creamy, sweet, graham cracker crust”.  A work out should have the same kind of feel to it.

I often see people choose “hard” work outs for their first workouts thinking the more they sweat and the more sore they are, the quicker they will lose the weight.  This is not only inaccurate, it’s dangerous.  It is very important to remember that a workout is a treat for your body, not a punishment for being out of shape or overweight.  During every work out you should be enjoying yourself.  If you find yourself holding your breath or hating it, then back off.  That is your mind telling your body it’s not ready for that physical excursion.

This is a belief that is familiar to anyone who does yoga, but sadly, has not transcended to the mainstream work outs.  I see these ads for boot camps, and other intense work outs.  I hear about the god awful diets that trainers have people on and all I can think is how sad it is that the person I’m talking to is punishing themselves instead of treating themselves.

A workout should always feel “sweet” the pain or difficulty of the exercise should always feel good.  Afterwards, you should feel “creamy” that way you know you pushed yourself enough, but not too much.   The graham cracker crust comes in when you have to push to do something, but it’s still sweet.

You should never leave a workout feeling like you hated it, it should always be a feeling of wanting to do that again.

I have gotten ½ mile into my normal 4-6 mile run and stopped because I wasn’t enjoying myself.  I’ve also started out thinking I’m  just going to run a mile so I don’t feel guilty, and ended up running 5 because after a mile I felt like I wanted more.  Whatever work out you are choosing to do, make sure you are listening to your body.  If you are taking a class, make sure it’s the level you want.  If it’s too easy ask for variations, if it’s too hard, back off.  Everyday your body is different, so every day your workout will be a little different.

My work outs of choice (I phrase it like that because I’m seriously addicted to all three) are running, Yoga and Pole Fitness.  All three speak to my soul and bring me balance like nothing else.  If I’m in a funk, or sad or even just blah, I know I can do any of the three and find my center again.  You may find me refering to things in a Yoga-ish way.  I find that Yoga is not only an type of work out, but it’s something you have in you.  I have been doing yoga in one form or another since I was 4, so naturally, after 30 years of something, it’s a part of you.  I find yoga in my rning and my pole fitness.  Hopefully this way of looking at the world speaks to you the way it does to me.  I find through the yoga philosophy the world seems brighter and funnier.  Mostly because in order to do yoga in the first place, you can’t take yourself to seriouse.  30 years of experience and I still fall sometimes, or look awkward.  They key ingrediant to life, is to laugh at yourself, yoga teaches this to you, which you can then bring to any sport you choose.