New Year, New Yoga, New Mindset

Today was the first yoga class of the new year. I had decided as one of my New Years goals was to push myself a little harder, try to do the smallest thing a bit better and truly appreciate what my body was doing and is capable of doing during class. It’s still so difficult for me to see how much progress I have made. I know that sounds silly. It’s not me fishing for compliments either. It’s just me being honest about the way my mind works sometimes. I think we all have a tendency sometimes to be overly critical of ourselves and focus on the flaws instead of the progress. So I’m making a conscience effort this year to do this as the part of the year of me! 🙂

By the way, every time I think of that phrase, I think of Seinfeld and the “Summer of George”. It cracks me.

So with today’s yoga practice with my new mat, new yoga pants and my renewed determination, I set out to push a little farther. Hold my pose a little deeper, stretch myself juuuuuuuuust a bit more. And I’m thrilled to say I did just that. Through the entire practice, I was able to push myself and bring my leg all the way through without touching the ground. Vast improvement in my book! And even though my arms still tremble during side plank, I rocked that baby on both sides the whole entire time, even when we flipped over, top leg behind and arm reaching for the sky. I refused to fall or come out of the pose before instructed. Again, major progress in my book. Beautiful wonderful progress.

Yoga is such a personal journey. It’s graceful, delicate, but strong, determined and focused. I think each of us exhibits those features every day. Some days we show one side more than others. Some days we have to. But it’s always there. Finding something that shows all of those characteristics in for splendid hour is a Godsend.

So while the year is still new, resolutions or goals are still fresh in our minds, try to find that something that is yours. Something that can bring focus and clarity and challenge and renewal to your mind, body and spirit. Because no matter what it is you achieve, it’s yours. No one can take that away from you.

Namaste.

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Another goal….accomplished!

So this morning I hit another milestone in my weight loss journey. I had hit a dreaded plateau where I was stuck for a few weeks. I hadn’t altered my diet, and in fact, I had added my twice weekly barre class thinking I would see even faster results. Instead, I was just maintaining. It was frustrating but I persevered.

This morning I jumped on the scale and there it was! I have officially lost 60 pounds! (60.5 to be exact!) Wooo hoooo!!!!I was so excited I wanted to shout it from the rooftops and tell everyone I saw! Instead, I enjoyed the moment to myself. I slipped on my workout clothes and headed to barre with determination and a little extra joy in my heart.

Doing barre this morning was KILLER! I was a sweaty, shaky, oh-my-God-I-don’t-think-I-can-do-one-more-rep mess. My face was red. My muscles were quivering uncontrollably. There wasn’t enough water my Venti size Starbucks water glass by a long shot. Thank God they provide towels or I might have had to use toilet paper to sop up the streams running down my face. But I did it!!

Now, the old me would seriously consider celebrating this moment with food. I know. Sabotage and counter-productive, but I still would’ve done it. A nice plate of nachos anyone? At the very least some chocolate. I was thinking about that as I was drip drying on my drive home. And how it honestly, honestly, HONESTLY just doesn’t even sound appealing to me in the least. I’ve come to that place in my journey where food doesn’t have to be the comforter, the consoler, the celebration, the momentary fix. I have become hyper-aware of what I put in my body. I log EVERYTHING! One M&M gets logged. Really. It keeps me focused and accountable to no one but myself.

And that, I think, is one of the biggest lessons learned and I believe I’ve blogged about it before, is that this is for ME! No one would know if I did eat a candy bar. But **I** would know. And as the pounds came on, I could lie to myself very easily. My family still loved me, my friends still loved me, my kids, my dog, it didn’t matter what the scale said. But I didn’t love me enough to see what I was doing to myself. Not to anyone else. I wasn’t hurting anyone with my extra large Blizzard. But I was hurting ME. I didn’t like being the fat friend, the fat wife, the fat mom. Call me what you will. But I didn’t like it. And who could fix that? No one but me.

So with the help, encouragement, support and endless praise, that same husband, children, friends and my dog (hee hee!) I was able to start this process. And look where I am today! Woooo flipping hoooooo!!!!! I have gone from “obese” to “normal” on the BMI chart. Well into normal. (Me?? Normal?? Never!!) I know a lot can be said about all those charts and graphs, both positive and negative, but it was still nice to see.

So what did I do instead of coming home to food? I cut the grass in the sweltering midday heat. I drank more water. I showered. And now, I’m going to plot out my next set of goals and have a homemade recovery smoothie. Because THAT, I deserve!

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Getting there

Today I hit a major milestone. A journey of a few years that started slowly but has picked up in pace and payoff. And lessons! Oh boy, the lessons I’ve learned along the way. 

Today marks the day I have officially lost 50 pounds. FIFTY. That’s such a huge number! I’m not even sure I could lift fifty pounds and to think I was carrying that weight around with me daily. It’s almost hard to describe the feeling. Almost. But you know I’m not one that’s for a loss of words for long. 

(And now for my red carpet Emmy speech. Please don’t start the wrap up music yet!) 

I have so many people that have helped me along my way and I wanted to take a moment to thank them because I don’t know if they realize how important they were to me. (So, yea, just bear with me as I go through my list.) First and foremost I want to thank Tammy for encouraging me to just do it. Just try. And for never ever EVER making me feel like she was annoyed or I was holding her back. Just try to run. Just try yoga. Just try. Trying to do something, even a little bit, was better than sitting on the couch not doing anything while eating Oreos. It’s so cliche (but aren’t cliches there for a reason?) but going slow is better than not going at all. Right? She has been my constant encourager, has seen me at my worst and still loves me anyway. What more can you ask for in a friend? I love you more than you’ll ever know. 

I want to thank Tracy because even though we’re miles and miles apart, we’re never farther than a phone call or a text and your example and your constant love and support over 2 decades of varying stages in my life is something that doesn’t come along often. I cherish you and our friendship and how no matter what comes out of my mouth, I’ve never shocked you into a coma. (Not yet anyway!) 

I want to thank Julie, Sandy, and Yolanda for not only making a very unbendy girl much much more bendy, but for the friendships and encouragement you have shown to me over the past one and a half years. Through my sweating, heavy breathing and modified poses, I have come to not only “doing” yoga but to truly, deeply love yoga. I feel stronger, leaner, and yes, even more bendy than I ever have in my entire life. 

Yolanda shared a story in yoga Monday that has stayed with me (yea, yea, I know it’s only Wednesday, but seriously, for something to still be in my brain after 20 minutes is something to be cheered!) about how someone asked Michelangelo how he carved David out of a solid piece. He replied that David was always in there and just needed to come out. So he chipped away what wasn’t needed. Isn’t that what we all need and strive for? To let our true selves out from whatever it is that has shrouded us? Mentally or physically. To let go of what is holding us back. Those damn inner voices that speak too loud or the past that can’t be changed or thousands of other inner problems that hold us back. 

I want to thank Julie for walking with me and going even when she didn’t feel like going. I know some days were a struggle and the fact that you set aside time for me and we had such fun walking and talking that the time and the miles flew by. There were days I didn’t feel like going, but you gently encouraged me to go and I’ve never come back regretting it. Thank you for that and being such a friend. 

My goals have now been readjusted. I have a new weight goal, but beyond that number, I want to be stronger! Fitter!! Leaner!! That’s my new focus. Because now I know that nothing can hold me back. I’ve quashed those inner voices and shushed the naysayers. I’ve had people who have known me for years and are shocked when they see me. I have to admit that’s an AWESOME feeling! To be able to go shopping and buy something off the rack and know it will fit is not a feeling I have known in a very long time. 

So am I boasting? HELL YES I AM! I have worked hard and am proud of myself. But my work is not done. I’m still chipping away. And I hope to always be chipping away because none of us is perfect. Some people like to think they are and look at others and think they are better. All of us are walking a path that contains struggle and pain. (Another cliche?) Encouraging everyone to continue that path, and maybe make a turn they wouldn’t have made, is the best kind of friendship and love I can think of. And in that regard, I am truly, humbly blessed. 

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Goal one and done!

One of my goals for this year was to make sure if I had something on my calendar, that I did it. If I can go so far as to write it down, block it off, plan for it, then I can DO it. Sometimes, despite best intentions, life can seem to get in the way and things I have written down get pushed back, or cancelled altogether. I wanted to try to change that.

So I have my yoga classes scheduled. They are on every single calendar I have marking my time off for that. I realized that I was missing more than I was attending towards the end of the year and I didn’t like it. I was sick. I had surgery. Christmas. Lots of great reasons to miss. But those misses can quickly turn to habit of NOT going. And I didn’t want that. I love my yoga class too much to just let it fade into a passing fad. 

So this morning I got up early, had my one cup of coffee (have you ever had more than one cup of coffee and then tried to do yoga? It doesn’t go well! Trust me on this point.) showered and was ready to go! Even though it was so cold and it would’ve been sooooo easy to stay in bed, or on the couch under my soft fuzzy pink blanket with a second cup of coffee. And wow am I glad I went. You want to know why? Sure ya do!

Because my many above mentioned “misses” showed up in my body and in my head! Good grief! I felt my body trembling, saw my arms quivering, and knew I was not nearly as bendy as I was before! I want my bendy back!! I tried, and I pushed, and closed my eyes and tried to picture that place of zen to stop the trembling. Listen to my yoga instructors voice. Breathe. Breathe. Listen to the music. Only one pose tripped me up completely and it was one I struggle with constantly. Even though I was disappointed in myself for completely failing that pose, I made it through class without crying or grabbing my purse and leaving!  So that’s a start, right?

It’s starting off this new year of ME right, by doing something **I** wanted to do. It’s good for my mind, spirit and body. I even hugged my yogi after class! How many people can say they do that??  

Monday is my next class and we’re supposed to get stupid cold weather (I mean, it’s going to be so cold that it’s stupid, not that the cold is stupid. Cold can’t be stupid. It’s just cold.) and snow, but as long as they is still class being held, I will be there. I am committed. I will be more bendy. I will do it for me. 

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