Thursday, August 26, 2010

NO time to write but...'s my hair for Burning Man this year! We leave on Sunday and are back after Labor Day. I am excited...and look forward to some rest after all the pre-trip work, setting up, etc. I am 10 lbs. heavier than I was last year at this time. Not happy about it, but that's the truth. At least all my tutus still fit. ;-)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Crazy busy time of year

We are now in the "my sister and her family from NYC are spending the two weeks before Burning Man at our house" period of the summer. In addition to that, the other paralegal in our department (my former assistant who I trained to do the stuff I hate...and has been doing it for the past 15 years) just had twins two weeks ago so I am stuck doing both her and my jobs for the foreseeable future. The result of this is very little to no time for blogging. :-( I do so appreciate your all still checking in with me nudges me to try to write at least a little bit about what is going on.

I am doing better with exercise. I have been taking long hard beach walks and still doing my yoga practice at home to the point of next-day-(good)-soreness. I feel good that I have gotten back on that wagon even a little bit. It will be dodgy the next couple of weeks with the NYC family in town and with pre-BM prep, but I will keep trying...just like I said in my last post.

The result of the increased exercise is that the lbs are coming off...very slowly, but surely. It is a relief to see that happening again. I won't be at my low weight before we leave for BM (on August 29), but at least I won't be as heavy as I was a few weeks ago. And maybe my favorite tutu/crinoline will still fit! ;-)

My NYC family is sensitive to my food issues so they don't offer me the vacationy carbs that they have lying around the house and that is great! :-) It's really fun to have them with us...even though I can't take any days off work while they are here. My niece is now a full 2 inches taller than me at 13! She is beautiful, sweet, smart, artistic and, to use her favorite word, AMAZING. ;-) My nephew (8) is hilariously funny and clever, adorably cuddly and just a total sweetheart. It totally sucks that I see them a max of two times a year.

We have SO MUCH to get done's not as bad as the past years because we have a system and most of our reusable supplies...but it will still be hectic next week (the NYC Fam is leaving for 4 days to another part of Cali and we will use those days to get ready!).

Tomorrow night DB is playing drums with a band at a bar in our 'hood (on the beach)...I have actually never seen him play out like this so I am very excited! Then, on Thursday, our neighborhood is having an "art crawl" (lots of "pop-up" galleries and events within walking distance). One of our friends is opening his huge loft on the boardwalk as a gallery and DB will be playing a new instrument that is kind of a drum/bell thingee for that. This is all after he and my brother-in-law rocked out in the studio last night...a big music week! :-)

So, anyway, I am doing better. And the sun has even been out the past two mornings when I walked down the beach to get my coffee early! Ahhhhh...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Exercise and The Weight

Vickie's comment nudged me to write this post that has been percolating for a few (maybe several) days. Like many of Us, I find it hard to write when I am struggling...putting words to what is going on can be painful. Of course, I know that from pain comes growth...

I've been doing badly with The Weight. I have gained back quite a bit of what I lost last year pre-St. John vacation...I still am about 9 pounds below where I started last year and 19 below THN (The Horrible Number), but what I see on the scale each day is NOT GOOD.

I still weigh every matter how bad it is. And that probably has kept me from completely going off the deep end. I have many excuses, but there is, I think, one big reason and one small reason for why this has happened:

Small reason: Not eating perfectly on plan. No perfect days anymore although most are very good.

BIG REASON: No real exercise since ski season stopped for us in May.

For some reason, once I let the exercise slack off, it is extremely hard for me to get back in that good rut. I do take a small walk each morning to get coffee (about a mile round trip) but, while that is a very good habit, it is not enough.

I have been beating myself up about this for several weeks...and this week I finally really made an effort to DO something about it.

Monday night, DB and I took a very long beach walk (probably about 3+ miles). Beach walking is hard on my knees so I always am concerned. This has made our recent beach walks (we still have done one or two a week through this HORRIBLY GRAY summer) slower than they should be for real exercise. We stroll. Monday we didn't stroll...we walked hard enough to break a sweat. This meant no's easier to really stride when you are not physically connected. We could use more of our bodies (arms) while we walked. We walked a lot farther than we have in a long time. And it felt good. My knees were fine. The next day I felt a teeny bit sore in my legs and butt and that was good.

Tuesday night I had resolved to do yoga. I miss yoga. My thumb/wrist has been better enough for at least a few weeks to have gone. But I still am struggling with the studio...the vibe there is just, I don't know, TOO MUCH. The teacher/owner is so very peppy and everyone is so chatty before and after class and the studio is too small to really get away from all that SCATTERED energy.

I spent most of Tuesday thinking about what to do off-and-on. I was determined to practice my yoga...checked out a website that does streaming on demand classes, but it seemed to be all ashtanga/power yoga. NOT what I need. Thought about The Studio. Even e-mailed the teacher and told her I might be back. But something kept me from totally committing to this. I thought about practicing at home, but I have never been truly successful with a home practice...never push myself enough...never get really peaceful...monkey-mind working overtime...never able to just feel what I need and do it.

On the drive home from work, I was still undecided. I put some bhajans into the cd player and chanted. It became clear to me that The Studio was not going to make me least not that day. I reminded myself that I know yoga very very well and that after all these years of study I certainly should be able to put what I know into practice. MY PERSONAL PRACTICE. The final sign was a guy about 3 blocks from my home that I saw wearing a hoodie that said "guru". Yes, I said to myself, you are your own guru...remember that.

So I went home. Got DB to agree to leave the living room/kitchen area to me for an hour (he was happy to) because the ceiling upstairs in my office is not high enough for me to really stretch UP. I got all my props downstairs, got my "yoga" playlist going on my iTunes on the computer, lit incense, turned off most of the lights and sat down on my bolster to begin.

I took my time. I really waited to begin asana until my breath was calmer. I did alternate nostril breathing to balance. I cleared my head. Even sitting on the bolster hurt my hips...I am so out of yoga-shape.

When I started to move (still seated on the bolster), I moved slowly and with intention. I paid attention to the parts of me that felt sore. I moved instinctively into more asana from there...

I warmed up my body with variations on sun salutations and standing poses. I saved my favorites (trikonasana and half moon) for last as a treat. My body remembers the poses...even if it can't do them the way it used to. It felt good. I held poses for just as long as I should...if I felt too much physical discomfort or pain, I moved on to the next. (None of this is possible for me in a class...there is always some point where you are doing what the teacher says, not what your body does.)

After the standing poses, I worked my way down and did some intense ab work, bridge and bow. Then stretches, twists, headstand and shoulder stand. I finished off in my favorite way with fish pose, then savasana. I took my time with savasana...I've never been able to do that before in home practice.

Throughout the practice when the spirit moved me I chanted along with the music...and when I sat up after savasana, I chanted while I sat and thanked the universe for a truly spectacular home practice...I thanked ME.

I felt so great and empowered by this practice the other night. I can't wait to try again tonight (last night we had to do shopping for Grandbaby's belated birthday celebration on Friday).

My body is still sore in a good way today. And a few pounds have come off this week.

I will keep trying.