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Little by little

Little by little

My first “long run” after I decided to do the EQT 10 Miler was a mere 3 miles.  I struggled every step of it.  By the end I was gasping and exhausted.  My legs and back hurt for days afterward.  My body wasn’t used to exertion, and who would have thought a half hour of exercise could hurt so bad.  Today, about 2 months later, I went out for a 5 mile run and felt good afterward. Even energized.  I’ve gotten over that awful hump of pain and exhaustion when you first start exercising.  Not every day is perfect, but a lot of days I can focus on challenging myself instead of just surviving.

Running has been helping with losing weight (still slow, but there’s at least some movement), and as I lose weight I’m motivated to do more running.  When I run now, with the extra weight I’m carrying, it’s like I’m running with a massive heavy backpack full of textbooks on me.  I am excited to keep running to shed that weight and make the impact easier on my bodies and especially my knees.

After a years worth of teeny, tiny changes, I see how Weight Watchers has helped me change my life toward the healthier.  I still snack plenty, but my first thought when I’m hungry is “apple” or “celery” or “grapes”…not “granola bar! granola bar! granola bar!”  For the first time in my life, I bought a pint of ice cream, and actually ate a half cup serving.  And I didn’t spend the rest of the night ruminating on the ice cream. I was actually satisfied with just that half cup.  I have literally never done that before.  Take out meals are lasting 2 or 3 meals, instead of me just scarfing them down in one sitting. All of this is astounding to me because with all these changes, I’m not feeling pained and deprived…instead these are the choices I’m making of my own free will. I’m both proud and surprised that I’ve been making better choices and been happy about those better choices.

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Five Things I Am Loving Right Now

Good Morning, yinz! I hope your weekend is off to a lovely start! Ours certainly is! We had family movie night last night (I really wanted to go to the WYEP Summer Music Fest, but it had rained all afternoon and the possibility of more rain persisted into the evening, so we opted for the movies instead), and tonight, weather permitting, we’re looking forward to dancing in the street at Summer Jam on Walnut.

So what things have been making your life easier or happier lately? With the weather shifting to blazing hot, all the winter things have been hidden away, and all things summer are out in full force.  These things have been totally making my life for the last several weeks:

spraysunblockHOW parents handled sunblocking their kids before spray on, I will never know  Spray sunblock means that I can get her skin safe, despite her usual non-cooperative nature.

city poolsPittsburgh city pools! I picked up our pool tag, and despite her total lack of swimming skill, Baby Beez LOVES the pool.  There is a pool only a couple blocks from our house, and not only do they have generous weekend hours, they are also open until 7:45 pm on weekdays. That means that we can swim after work! LOVE IT.

Yoplait-Greek-Frozen-Yogurt-Bars-Image-CouponI am an ice cream FIEND. Have you had these yet? They are AWESOME. And don’t destroy my WW points for the day.

monsters-university-poster-1Monsters University totally blasted our expectations out of the water. It was hilarious. I’m talking several times where I was laughing out loud. And Baby Beez was so engaged that she sat still for the WHOLE movie (that says a lot, to keep a 2.5 year old in a chair for nearly 2 hours). It’s appropriate for all ages, and also funny for all ages.

hardboiled eggsAfter 3 weeks of stupid early 5am workouts, I’m still working out the kinks.  One thing I’ve learned is that I need to eat breakfast AS SOON AS I am done with my workout. Or BAD things happen. My go to breakfast has been a toasted english muffin with a couple sprays of margarine and topped with a sliced hard boiled egg and a cup of coffee.  It’s about 5 WW+ points, and is a great balance of protein and carbs to get my day started.  Once I get to work a couple hours later, I follow it up with a mid-morning snack of oatmeal.  I’ve found this combo fuels me perfectly for lasting energy throughout the day.

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New Exercise Experience: Aerial Yoga

Tyrannosaurus arms here took the plunge and tried out an Aerial Yoga class at Verve 360 yesterday.

IT IS VERY HARD.

To be skilled in aerial yoga, you should have lots of arm strength. Lots and lots and lots of it.

I have none.

You should also not have motion sickness. 

I have lots and lots and lots of motion sickness.

All that being said, it was not a disaster.  I did my best, and the class was extremely hard, but I got through it just fine. Aerial yoga isn’t really open to modifications like regular yoga is.  Since you always have some sort of limb suspended, you’re either doing the pose or you’re not, there isn’t much room to kind of do the pose.

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Used under Creative Commons License, Credit to @heylovedc on flickr

 Nope. Upside down did not happen.  I made it through most of the poses (sometimes in pathetic fashion, but still made it), except for one of the upside down poses. I was able to turn upside down when I got there by leaning forward, but I was not able to turn upside down when it required me leaning backward.  I don’t know if it was the unsteadiness of leaning back, or if my legs were just too tired/weak to pull up once I leaned back, but upside down wasn’t happening for me yesterday.  At least this gives me something to work toward.

I don’t know why I foolishly envisioned this class to be easy.  I imagined myself swinging on a silk like I’m on a swingset, kicking my feet all carefree. IT IS NOTHING LIKE THAT.  After the class a classmate and I quizzed the instructor on her background.  No, her background is not in skipping through the daisies.  Instead she’s a Pilates Master Instructor, Rock Climber and Aerialist.  This makes more sense to me, after yesterday’s hour of suspended torture.

Would I do aerial yoga as part of my regular exercise routine? Probably not. But it was fun and different.  I took this class with a LivingSocial coupon for a full month worth of unlimited classes at Verve, so I’m definitely going to take it a few more times during this month. Maybe by the end of the month I will be turning upside down, and I’ll gain a little strength in my tyrannosaurus arms.

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Time for some Hot Yoga

I started trial yesterday.  Trial is draining.  Even though you’re in court for a standard work day, you have to be on your toes the whole time, thinking, talking and focusing.  By the end of the day, I was wiped. 

I decided to rejuvinate with a Bikram Yoga class.  I was making it to yoga fairly regularly (about once a week) over the winter.  Then things got busier with work, and I haven’t been since the end of January.  I was worried that the lapse would mean that my body was no longer used to the heat, and I’d spend the whole class getting adjusted.  That was luckily not the case.  The heat was comfortable for me and I had a very productive workout.

BowPoseMy favorite pose of the Bikram sequence is standing bow pose.  I can’t do many of the complicated poses– a toe stand is entirely beyond my capabilities and I have no hope of successfully executing the standing head-to-knee pose anytime soon.  But I’ve got a darn good handle on standing bow.  I love the feeling of kicking my leg up, charging forward, stretching out.  I feel like a graceful and strong ballerina, even though I’m hopeless with dance. 

My standing bow pose at last night’s class was excellent.  I kicked my leg high.  I stretched my arm forward.  I felt strong. I felt accomplished.  It was a good class.

What’s your favorite pose?

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New Kicks

I’ve been pounding the pavement (well, really the treadmill, the track and the elliptical) for the last 2.5 years in my trusty Brooks.  I keep telling myself that they still look fine and work fine, so they’re still fine to use, but really it is time for new running shoes.  I think the guideline is something like 1 year/150 miles.  Well, we’re way beyond that.  Happily, I ordered a new pair of shoes yesterday!

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Mr. Beez says the 80s puked all over these, but I LOVE THEM!

I’ve had bad luck with running shoes giving me painful blisters, so I love that these come with a 15 day trial period. There’s nothing worse than picking out new running shoes, taking them out for a spin, realizing that they’re just not going to work, and not being able to return them.  That’s why I’ve never ordered running shoes online before (at least you minimize the risk by getting fitted at a specialty running store).  The trial period is an all around win for me!

And Baby Beez certainly has more shoes than she needs, but I just couldn’t help myself from sharing the bright-color fun with her too.

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