Everybody, rock yo body [body movement update]

November 18, 2014 § Leave a comment

It’s been 29 days since I started my 30 day yoga challenge, and I can’t believe how fast that flew!I have to be completely up front with you though, originally I began with Erin Motz’s 30 day challenge, and I loved her videos- they were the perfect way to kickstart some habitual daily yoga. But I needed a little bit more than her 10-15 minute videos. Some days more, some days less depending on the day. So at about day 15 I just started either doing my own freestyle routine, or finding some videos on YouTube that fit my mood accordingly each day.

I’ll address the burning question right up front- Did I skip any days? Intentionally- No. But life does have a way of being so filled with work and friends and fun that there were a couple days, three I think to be exact, that I just completely forgot until I was tucked so snugly warm in bed. I did kick myself a bit when I realized it, for not jumping out of bed and onto my mat. But then I realized that if I did that, it would turn into more of a chore than a relaxing practice. And that’s not at all what this challenge was about.

So what have I noticed since incorporating yoga into my every day routine? Well for one, I notice my flexibility improving; not too drastically yet, but it’s definitely better than before!

I feel much happier throughout the day. This obviously varies from day to day- and of course when the weather here is gross all I want to do is crawl into bed and hide under the covers with loads of baked potatoes- BUT, just taking 15-30 minutes a day to breath and move my body has seriously done some magic in my brain.

I am also sleeping better! I tend to do my yoga before bed, so I am so relaxed and at ease when I curl up. My mattress has been bothering my back and hips lately, but the yoga is helping work that out, and by default, helping me sleep through the night. In fact, I’ve been getting about 9 hours a night, and I could probably sleep longer if my days allowed for it! I don’t know if this is my body’s way of telling me it’s releasing toxins and tension, or if it’s for some other reason; but I’d like to believe the former!

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Resting post-treadmill. Don’t judge my awkward legs<3

 

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably know that I also started doing Couch to 5k this past week. For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, it’s an app that helps you work your way up to running a 5k. It’s pretty simple too; just three times a week, thirty minutes each time. So I’ve been doing that in combination with daily yoga, and I feel so stinkin’ good.

I’ve never been very consistent with exercise, mainly because I didn’t grow up in a family that placed a high amount of importance on physical fitness. But that’s no excuse! I typically get into jogging for about two months at a time then completely let it fall by the wayside. I’m determined to break that habit though and seriously make it a part of my weekly body movement- even in this nasty snowy winter weather!

I’ve noticed my digestion is much better in just the past week after starting to jog again.  I don’t feel as full for as long, which is sort of bitter sweet, but I suppose that means my metabolism is on fire! And I don’t feel quite as achey all the time. I attributed my achey back to my mattress being too soft before, and to be honest I do think that’s still part of the issue; but I think a bigger part of it was that I just wasn’t moving my muscles enough.

So that’s what I’ve been up to! I will need all the support I can get to keep consistent, but I really want to keep it going. I think the difference is that right now I’m not really focussed on weight-loss. I’m focussed on getting fit and being the healthiest I can possibly be. And if I lose weight somewhere down the line, that’s great. I’m not going to stress about it. I think that constantly stressing about losing weight is actually what inhibits a lot of people from doing just that; their bodies are under so much mental [and often physical] stress, that they’re not ready to let go of the extra few pounds.

Water, sunshine, fresh air, sleep, good food, and a positive attitude are key!

Have a beautiful week, lovelies. ❤

November goals, Alcohol & SBS Startup- Am I Joining in?

November 2, 2014 § Leave a comment

Halloween came and went so quickly it seems, this year. In previous years I spent the majority of my Halloween celebrations bingeing on candy, pumpkin seeds, and booze. That’s not to say I didn’t go out this year with friends. Yes I did partake in the typical college rituals that the holiday entails, but this year was a bit more tame. And I did a bit more self reflection following my Halloween transgressions.

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Drinking the leftover wine my friend had brought over the night before for pumpkin carving, left me in pretty rare form. Once I got home and crawled into bed, the alcohol hit me and I was done for. I spent the next hour or so in the bathroom trying to reverse what I had done to myself; e.i. sitting in the shower till I ran out of hot water. And all of Saturday was spent nursing myself back to the vibrant human I typically feel like.

It’s been a long time since I indulged that deeply in the pool of wine & spirits, and every time I drink myself into oblivion it makes me less and less keen on drinking at all.

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I’ve grown up with a family that drinks. While most of my family members drink “socially,” I do have a few very close family members who’ve struggled with alcoholism their entire lives, one of them being my father. I didn’t start drinking until the last half of my freshman year at college, for fear of walking down the same path as my dad. He started drinking at age 12 (possibly even younger) and didn’t quit until he was 46 years old. I am so happy to say he’s been sober now for five years, and have complete confidence that he won’t return to that lifestyle. Now that I do drink, I don’t fear falling victim to alcoholism, but it does make me question why I drink at all.

One reason I suppose is for social reasons; I’ll admit it, I do feel a bit out of place being the only one of my friends at a social gathering without a drink in hand. I am working on changing that, but right now while I am still in college, having a drink in hand makes me feel a bit less anxious/ socially awkward.

Another reason is because I have worked in the beer industry since day one of my first ever job. And I love it. I think craft beer is awesome. I think it’s an art. I think it tastes wonderful (for the most part). I think beer brings people together. And everyone I’ve ever met who works in this industry are just awesome people. I realize not all beer is vegan, but there is a vast majority of [especially craft] breweries that don’t use animal products in their beer. It just takes a bit of researching to figure out which brands are safe.

So what am I getting at here? Do I think I’ll ever quit drinking completely? Probably not. Like I said, I love beer and I love working in this industry. But I do want to stop treating my body so poorly by having way too much to drink in one sitting. No one wants to admit to “binge drinking.” But we’ve all done it. It’s a part of our culture. But I am not really one to follow the crowd. All of these boozy thoughts got me to thinking about my goals for the remainder of the year. With the SBS Startup starting November 1st, what better time than now to kick start some of my goals?

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Photo Credit: Tina & Jil

 

  • Drink less alcohol- while I know this will make my loving boyfriend a little sad, It’s something I really want to work on. I just feel so much better when my body is working in my favor all the time. I am going to enjoy a glass of wine with my girls over dinner every now and then, or a beer with my babe at our favorite craft beer spot with some vegan pizza. But I really want to work on enjoying alcohol for what it is- appreciating the art of it, the subtleties of each different pour, the social cohesion it fosters- rather than drinking to get drunk.
  • Eat more greens- I’ve been a pretty lazy cook lately. And I’ve also been freaking out about money a bit. As my last semester winds down, my bank account seems to dwindle respectively. I know it’s only a short matter of time before I am working again- with a big girl job [yaaaayyyy]! But I really hate asking my parents for help. So in trying to save some pennies, I’ve not been buying as much fresh produce. Still eating vegan of course (and primarily high carb), but I’ve been eating more starches than veggies. I definitely want to up my green veggie intake, ’cause that’s when I feel the best.
  • Continue yoga- I’ve fallen back in love with my practice. Taking time every day to come to my mat and find some movement and peace is really helping so much, physically, mentally, and spiritually. I guess if I had to pick a specific “yoga goal” it would be to stretch my heels down farther in my downward dog. It’s by far my favorite pose, but I’m still working out my flexibility.
Hydrating & on the mat this morning

Hydrating & on the mat this morning

  • A starchy island- Everyone seems to be doing a rice or potato island. While I never quite got through a banana Island I am curious to see how I would do with this. I’ve also been eating a bit more processed lately so I think it may help to get back to the basics. It will probably be a rice island, just because I think rice is more versatile. Although my love for potatoes continues to grow day in and day out.
  • Post at least 2 times a week– This doesn’t seem like a whole lot, but I have so many projects, papers, and finals coming up I know I’ll be pretty busy. But It is a major goal of mine to keep writing for you guys! If you have any requests I’d love for you to comment, or email me! I’ve got an awesome post coming up that I think you’ll all love! For now it’s a secret though…
  • Affirmations– In my last post I wrote about the three affirmations I made in the bathroom at a brewery here in town. Looking at myself in the mirror and appreciating the body, health, and the  love I have in my life, made me so happy. It’s my goal to make some sort of self-love affirmations on the daily.

Those are my goals for November! And yes, I want to carry them on after November ends (aside from the possible starchy island), but November is a great place to begin. I wasn’t quite sure about Tina and Jil’s SBS Startup at first. I didn’t want to partake in any “eating challenge,” and I thought it would be just for people following RawTill4. But it’s honestly just a community of kind [vegan] people looking to better themselves. There’s no crazy guidelines or challenges; just cool people looking to find a supportive vegan community. So yes, I’ll be joining in with these six goals in mind and I can’t wait to see what else this month holds!

My 30 Day Yoga Challenge

October 20, 2014 § Leave a comment

I don’t know about the rest of you, but this change in season has me all warm and fuzzy on the inside. Fall is my favorite time of year because it’s when my favorite humans are brought together most often for good food, drink, and laughs. It’s also when I tend to do most of my knitting, because let’s be honest- I really will never have enough scarves in my closet to be content. And the cooler weather means I always have an excuse to snuggle with tea and movies.

Buuuuuuut, my body is mad at me. It’s moaning and groaning and aching, increasingly day after day of moderately slim activity. I’ve never really been an exercise enthusiast, and on the spectrum of gym rat let’s just say I’m more of a gym mouse that would rather eat the [vegan] cheese at home. However, I know when I can’t touch my toes without being in complete agony- something is very, very wrong. So I’m back on my mat this week, actually as of last Friday. And even the tiny little changes that I’ve begun noticing are making a world of difference!

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I’ve gone through “yoga trips,” as I like to call them; where I visit for a few weeks or months, and then say goodbye for a while. One of my favorite people continually says to me, “Life, is the biggest four letter word you’ll ever come across.” And it’s absolutely true. Life tends to get in the way of exercise for me, and I really want to make it my mission to change that. So why not start with a practice that for me, never feels like work?

If you want to join me, I’d love all the support I can get! I’m doing Erin Motz’s 30 Day Yoga Challenge. Just go to her website, and sign up for the daily emails! No, I’m in no way being compensated for making mention of her challenge, but I really want to share it with you because it’s so simple, relaxing, and even if you’re as busy as Mr. President, you have no excuse not to make it to the mat for her 10-15 minute daily videos. Yes, they’re pretty short so on the days that I can (and feel like it) I jump from her videos into some other yoga practice, just to get my body moving even more. But on the days that I can’t, I still have no excuse not to give myself ten minutes on the mat.

Exercise shouldn’t always be about losing weight, or making gains, or sweating your bum off- it should be about learning to nurture and appreciate your body, making time to move it, acknowledging the ways it can adapt for you with time and practice, and loving it unconditionally.

 

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