Friday, March 12, 2010

Turning up the Heat

     This morning at 4:30 a.m. I woke up, put on my lightest workout gear, picked up my awesome friend Hannah and headed to Bikram Yoga.  We entered a room that was 105 degrees with 40% humidity (and a little bit smelly) and I spread out my yoga mat, a little nervous and a little nauseous.  This was my first time.  Hannah had tried to drag me there several times and I finally took the opportunity to go with her.  She whispered "the class is 90 minutes, by the way".   "WHAT?!" I asked, but was interrupted by the instructor who commanded me to stand and then went on to speak like an auctioneer in a polite, but quick and very punctuated manner for the next...yep, 90 minutes.  She literally walked us through every move with her words and descriptions of how to strike each pose.  What an incredible workout, bending, stretching and stopping in between poses to rest in the "corpse position".  I think I reached nearly every single muscle and all the nooks and crannies.  According to this Bikram Yoga calorie calculator  I burned a whopping 1191 calories!  Now that's some bang for the buck.  Strangely, I'm not a big sweat hog (I NEVER sweat) but I could actually feel a drip running down my back (That is progress! ) and I was shocked to see how others in the class were dripping wet.  Besides the obvious physical benefits of releasing toxins, stretching and building lean muscle, I felt emotionally cleansed and ready to face my day head on.  Of course, I popped a couple Tylenol to keep the soreness in check but besides that, I feel ENERGIZED for once!

Do you practice Bikram Yoga?  Has it aided in your weight loss?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Mommyhood is hard.


    Mommyhood has gotten the best of me.  Never feeling like I've had enough sleep, stress, body aches, crying and all over fatigue is what I feel each morning and it all hits me again at 3 pm.  I got focused this week on trying to feel GOOD, to calm myself, to take things easy and treat my body and mind right.  Although I've started counting Weight Watchers Points again, my concern over weight loss has to take a back seat to getting through the day with a smile.

     I spent some time at Yogaworks where I took a Therapeutics 2 class.  I wasn't sure this was the right class for me since I'm not suffering from any specific injury, just stress and all over body pain.  But I'm really glad I went.  I found the moves to be gentle but they help me align myself and feel stronger.  We used a chair, a bolster, blankets and bands to stretch and pull and bend my body back into alignment. It felt really good.  I followed that up with lunch at the Veggie Grill - a salad full of plant based protein that tastes amazing.

     I took Yogaworks' Yoga Blend I class on Tuesday which is fairly gentle as well but man, it works and my body felt so much stronger and leaner the morning after the class.  I followed that up the next day with a trip to the gym.  I eased into my cardio session with 10 minutes on the bike and jumped on the treadmill.  Even though I had NO energy I was determined to run my heart out.  "I HAVE to feel better, I have to get endorphins pumping and get my body moving, something has to work" is all I thought as I slowly walked to the treadmill.  I completed a mile in 12 minutes and 19 seconds (down from a lousy 17 minutes) and then walked for the other 18.  It sounds like I'm lazy but that's giving it my all.  My body is just too tired to function as it should.

     I got the babysitter to help me for an extra day last week and this week and it made a big difference in how overwhelmed I felt.  I called in recruits, my family and friends who don't have kids but enjoy being with mine and we booked "dates" for them to spend time together so I could catch a break.  My girlfriends and I are planning to meet up to talk and to do some yoga together.  It's truly amazing how much your mental health can affect your physical health and vice versa.  Today I got a massage at Just Massage, an inexpensive remedy to easing body pain.   This all sounds very frivolous, I know,  and I feel a lot of guilt about that.  I can't believe I need to do half of this stuff to feel good - it's shocking to me because I used to run myself ragged traveling for business and pleasure and going out at night.  Times have changed.  I have to look at things like I'm the foundation of the family and if I can't function, then I can't take care of anyone else.  I have to think of these tactics as having medicinal values.

     For all of you coping with stress whether it's family or work or kids -- what do you do to calm yourself to make yourself feel better?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


This might be good news ladies!  Could it be true? Could wine actually make you lose weight?  Or am I dreaming?

Check it out...

Women Who drink wine 'less likely to gain weight' - BBC

Monday, March 8, 2010

Poppin' Bottles All Night

     Saturday night my best friends and I had a "girls night out" in Hollywood.  We rode in style in a stretch limo and for some reason whenever I get into those fancy cars it's like my license to GO FOR IT, to drink whatever I want.  It's like the calories that are consumed inside that sweet ride don't need to be counted.  I feel so safe and somewhat sophisticated in the dark with those pretty twinkling lights, all dressed up with no one watching but my closest, dearest friends who are toasting and drinking the same Red Bull and Vodkas.

     After cocktail hour in the car, we visited the STK-LA steakhouse and ordered a few items for the table: the Diver Scallops with black truffles, corn and parmesan blinis, the Jumbo Lump Crab and the Tuna Tartare.  I had just one bite of each...and it was all amazing.  As an entree, I ordered the Snapper with the Ponzu Sauce and shiitake brown butter.  Now that wouldn't be so bad, but we added in two side orders of the macaroni and cheese which was to die for.  I felt pretty good about about my choices at dinner but we followed it up with "Bottle Service" at the club next door, Coco DeVille and we received a couple complimentary glasses of champagne for my friend's birthday.  I tried to pace myself, drinking plenty of water throughout the night and spent most of the night on the dance floor, working it off.  I think I actually felt worse the next day from all of the energy drinks I consumed and the lack of sleep than from the vodka.   Plus, the next morning, I hosted a party for 20 four and five year olds and made it to church on 3 hours of sleep.  Not exactly the most relaxing day after!

   I needed that night to laugh and talk with my friends, to catch up and cut loose.  I wanted to dance and have a couple drinks and let the stress out, but my body is rundown now.  It's amazing how slowly I bounce back into shape these days.  I'm taking today to regroup and am roasting vegetables in the oven as I type.  I am back on it, planning meals for the family, setting up my workouts for the rest of the week, looking forward to a good nights sleep and focusing on feeling healthy again!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Spinning my Wheels

     Yesterday I faced one of my greatest workout fears: Spinning Class.  I tried it in the past but couldn't get through an entire hour, I found it uncomfortable.  Two years ago I bought a bike seat to ease the pain and I meant to go back.  I never did.  The Spinning room is kind of intimidating, all steamed up with super sweaty people walking out.  Yesterday I felt like a freshman in high school, unsure of where to go and how to proceed.  But I quickly met some nice folks who helped me put on my seat and set me up for success.  I was thrilled to see there were NO mirrors in the room which has deterred me from participating in classes in the past.  Seeing myself in the mirror, I compare myself to other people, which tends to be detrimental to meeting my goals.  When I get a glimpse of a skinny girl in the front row, my own goals seems so far away and I start to give up mentally.  Spinning class was devoid of the mirror --it was FUN and exhilarating with the intense music - from The Boss to Kanye and everything in between.  I made it through and burned between 800 and 900 calories!  And I felt results IMMEDIATELY in my butt, my thighs and hips.

     After my week of counting every single calorie, I was really bummed when I weighed in at Weight Watchers today and found I gained 1 pound.  Not what I was expecting.  I'm just going to keep up the good eats, continue the workouts and try to rule out the "cheat" meals.  I need to learn to eat before I enter that dreaded "Danger Zone"!

Here's the last two days of meals.  I didn't have time to figure out and write all the calories down but here's what I've got:

1 Trader Joe's Wheat Free Waffle (115)
2 eggs with spinach (150)
1/8 cup of Whole Grain Organic Brown Rice (20)
Trader Joe's Chicken-Less Strips (150)
5 Cheezits
Szechwan Eggplant
Shrimp & Broccoli
1/2 cup Brown Rice
Wine - 1 glass
Vodka - 1 glass

Balance Bar
Cheese Stick
Mixed Greens, Olives, 1/4 cucumber, 1/8 cup Feta cheese
Cindy's Rosemary and Roasted Garlic Dressing
1/2 cup Szechwan Eggplant
Organic Fusilli, onions, spinach, tomatoes, olive oil, broccoli
2 glasses wine