Monday, February 28, 2011

Oscars!

I am nerdily excited about the Oscars this year.  We saw many of the movies nominated, which might add to the excitement...

But anyway - I'm typing this post as I watch the show - so here's a little glimpse into my head!  (Side note - I have no idea if this post will be interesting to you guys or not...)

General Thoughts About the Red Carpet Pre-Show...
-The green room for the presenting actors looks pretty swank.
-So many "vintage" dresses - and it's wild how relevant a lot of them look to today's fashion.

-Oh hello there, Colin Firth.
-Jennifer Hudson is so skinny!!  Weight Watchers is clearly working for her.
-Natalie Portman's maternity dresses have been so cute for all these awards shows.  (But man - those earrings are pretty awful.)
-I've said this a lot, but I'm pretty sure Gweneth Palthrow and I would be friends if we knew each other.
-Tim Gunn is freaking adorable.

The Show Itself...
-Anne and James' opening video montage was hysterical!
-I think they're really nervous to be hosting.  But they're both so stinking cute, it'll be alright.
-I don't think we need Kirk Douglass to give any awards tonight.
-Anne has such a pretty singing voice.
-I love the song mash-ups with each film!  "Does he own a shirt?"  "He's too sexy for a shirt."
-That Bob Hope thing was a little weird.
-Anne has changed her outfit and hair ~20 times.
-Does Jennifer Hudson have a tough time reading?  Suuuuper awkward.
-Yay!  Natalie won - she got the triple crown this year.
-Yay! Colin won!  Another triple crown.  Wait - what's that, Colin?  You want to take me out to dinner?  You want to celebrate your win with me?  But I'm a married woman...

General Thoughts
It was a good show overall.  I enjoyed the music/singing that was interwoven throughout.  Anne and James were fine - not great, not awful - totally acceptable.  Some of the flashback montages might have been a little unnecessary, but it was a fresh, new way to do the show, so I like that.

And as far as the winners...  Well, I liked all the movies I saw.  I'm glad they all won a couple awards apiece.  I loved The King's Speech, so I'm certainly not unhappy it won best picture - I sort of think, though, that The Social Network might embody the present (on an epic level) more.  But that's ok. 

It was a good year for movies...here's to another!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Fitness Friday

I had a pretty good week fitness-wise.  I worked out six days: two of just yoga, one of just walking, and three of walking and yoga.  It all felt pretty good, except that my knee still bothers me after I've speed-walked for awhile on it.  And also, after 4 days of yoga in a row, I was feeling a little tender in my lower back.  So I took a two day break (one of no exercise).

Last Friday I did a pretty cool thing.  So I knew work would be a slow and that my boss was going to be out, so I brought my yoga clothes and walked to my studio's downtown location for the 12-1 class.  It was awesome doing a hard class in the middle of the afternoon.  I had been slightly concerned about sweating, but I found that my body was able to cool off during shavasana, so when I put my work clothes back on, I was sweat free.
______________

A couple nights ago, I brought up with Jonathan that I'm somewhat interested in doing Weight Watchers.  Right now I weigh what I weighed when I got married.  I feel great about it - I really do.  But there's this little voice in the back of my head saying, "but how awesome would it be if you could just lose 5-10 pounds??"  And I think the new Weight Watchers plan sounds awesome because you can eat all fruits and not have to count them in your calorie log. All fruit - even bananas - zero points!  That's sounds so easy!

The idea popped into my head when one of the bloggers I read, Stephanie Klein, wrote about how she's been on WW for 3 weeks and has lost 12 pounds.  And she wasn't really fat to begin with, she's maybe just put on a little extra weight of late.  Her ultimate goal is to lose 25, which sort of puts her size in perspective.

But in the end, I probably don't need to lose weight.  I'm happy with where I am.  I like not counting calories and constantly keeping my phone with me at meal times so I can log food.

But just 5-10 pounds would be so awesome....

Anyway - happy weekend!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Pour Some Sugar On Me...

Ok - so most women I know crave sugar.  They love it.  They find chocolate comforting and necessary when their hormones are getting the best of them.  They're likely to reach for a cookie or cupcake in a time of need.

But strangely, I've never been like that.  For me, it's always been salty.  Mmm.  Whenever I feel any sort of craving, it's for something deliciously salty/savory: chips/french fries, sharp cheese, ketchup, etc.  It's not that I don't like sweets - I absolutely do - but when it comes to a craving, I'm much more likely to crave something salty/savory vs. something sweet.

But then I gave up caffeine and alcohol and the weirdest thing happened.  I started to feel my body crave sugar!  This totally foreign feeling.  I'm sitting at work stressing out about something and my body screams "KIT KAT BAR!"  I get home from work and look for a snack, and my eyes hone in on NUTELLA.  I'm sitting around the house not doing anything on Saturday and I feel this strong desire to go to YOLO!  My morning oatmeal doesn't feel sweet enough, BETTER PUT SOME HONEY ON IT.

I think it could be one of those situations that was sort of a slippery slope.  So, maybe I had a little extra sugar when I first quit the caff/booze just because I wanted a "treat," but then my body got used to it and now it's craving it.

But regardless - I don't want to eat so much sugar!  So I really need to cut back.  I need to eat grapes or some other sweet fruit when I'm in intense craving mode.  I need to have one dark chocolate Hershey's kiss after dinner and then brush my teeth for the night.  I need to LAY OFF the Nutella.

But it's so good...

(Actually, yesterday I tried hard to not eat so much and did pretty well - even when I ran to Walgreens after lunch and was thisclose to purchasing candy and/or a diet root beer.  I'm going to try again today.  Maybe if I can lay off for a few days, my body will go back to its normal ways.)

Do you guys crave anything?  Does it tend to be sugary or salty/savory?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

About the Caffeine/Alcohol Detox

So it's now officially been two weeks since I gave up caffeine and alcohol.  I thought I'd check in and give you guys a two-week recap.

Alcohol

As predicted, this has been the easier of the two to give up.  I haven't wanted alcohol in a desire or craving sort of way.  It's more like the past two Fridays I thought to myself, "it would be nice to have a beer - but whatev."  I've been to a party (the wine tasting wedding shower I mentioned) and to my book club - both events where I would typically drink.  And they were fine.  Fortunately the "wine tasting" wasn't a formal thing, it was more like, "take what you want to drink, as we all stand around and chit chat."

And at book club, I didn't care that I wasn't drinking, it was more like I was dreading the question "are you pregnant."  Since I know the girls relatively well, I knew they would a) notice I wasn't drinking, and b) feel comfortable enough to ask why.  Oddly, no one did.  And I guess for the most part we don't drink a ton at book club - maybe just a glass or two of wine - so it wasn't absolutely bizarre or anything to see me without a glass in hand.

Caffeine

This hasn't been quite so easy.  I think when I initially wrote the blog post I was going to cut back.  Well, I decided Wednesday to give it up altogether.  So on Saturday of last weekend (3 days after I totally cut it [cold turkey, mind you]) I was having a tough time.  I had an awful headache.  And I had warm cheeks and a slight fever-y feeling (sort of that feeling you get when your face is wind-burned).  I did some google research and learned that 2-3 days after you quit is usually the worst of your symptoms.  Symptoms, it also said, that can last up to 12 days.

To be 100% honest, I was having headaches everyday (getting more mild as the days went on) until about last Thursday (8 days after I quit).  EIGHT DAYS!  That's insane!  I can't believe I let my body become so dependent on it.

But it's not something I'm craving anymore.  I mean, I still smell coffee and think it smells delicious.  And I still miss the delicious taste - but definitely not enough to cheat and have a little or anything like that.  The tea is NOT as delicious as coffee (even though I got a nice fruity green tea) - but that's ok.  I'll live, for sure.

One sort of weird thing about the whole experiment (which I'm going to blog about more tomorrow), is how I've developed a new sugar craving as a result of no caffeine/alcohol...  I don't know if it's my body sort of needing to crave something, and since caffeine and alcohol are off limits, sugar is the next vice?  But I wonder if it's something more biological than that, because I've been having physical cravings for sugar - not just "oh, this might be a nice replacement for an after-dinner drink."

Stay tuned for that tomorrow...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Private!

The highlight of my day off yesterday (which, granted, didn't have that much competition, since my other activities were: cleaning the kitchen, doing laundry, and cleaning the shower) was a private yoga lesson!

I had been pondering which class to attend during the day.  There were some good options - but since I also wanted to walk on the treadmill, the 2pm-3pm class was going to be best.  It was also a "pay what you can" - so that sort of sealed the deal.

I was the first person to arrive - no big deal.  Except then....no one else arrived!  I asked the teacher Larrie (a woman - pronounced "Luh-ree") if she minded teaching to one.  She said heck no - and it would be a great class for both of us because we could focus on what I wanted, but then she could also practice with me.  Of course when she asked what I wanted to work on, I said HEADSTANDS!

So in addition to a great, challenging class, she was able to give me one-on-one attention as we did every pose.  Then when we worked on headstands, it was awesome!  We set up 7 stacked blocks against the wall.  The highest one jutted out, so when I went up into my headstand, that block hit in between my shoulder blades.  Basically it was helping me understand how to position my back so that hopefully I won't always have to use the wall.

It was a lovely highlight to an otherwise not super relaxing day.  Back to the grind today, though.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Pres. Day

Is anyone else home from work on this glorious stock market holiday?  As a repeat from MLK day, I just have to say: sometimes working for a bank is awesome...like today.

We'll have to see where the day takes me.  I'm hoping to: walk on the treadmill for awhile; go to a daytime yoga class; clean the kitchen; do the laundry; read my book; and do anything else my little heart desires!  I think the weather might be overcast/rainy, which is no fun.  But at least it's warm.

As a side note - yesterday the high in Memphis was 73, apparently.  While that's sort of awesome in its own little way, I'm worried.  I'm worried that all the plants are going to think Spring has sprung, only to shoot their Springtime blooms and have them DESTROYED by the inevitable cold weather we'll have in March.

And as another side note - I wish on my day off today I could watch more episodes of Downton Abbey!  Jonathan & I took everyone's advice and started watching it through our Netflix on Demand.  I'm so into it!  But alas - I'll wait until Jonathan's home to watch another episode.

That's about all I've got.  Hope you guys are having a great day off if you have one.  (And if you don't, I imagine you're rolling your eyes right now.)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Epic Emissions Test Triumph

Long-time readers might remember the horrendous experience I had at the Vehicle Emissions Testing Center last year.  Or you might remember that when my car didn't pass the first time, I went back a couple days later (after performing ZERO service - not even opening the hood, actually), revved the engine a few times before going in, and passed with flying colors.  (Oh Memphis and your backwards, unnecessary emissions testing.)

Well, this year I wasn't going to let that happen again.  So I dutifully monitored the webcam outside the testing center to see how long the line was at different parts of the day.  Yesterday at 3 was go-time.  I raced out of my office to my car, sped over to the testing center, and...

It was glorious!

Only two cars in front of me.  Two!  I waited for two hours the first time last year, and an additional hour the second time.  But this year?  I was literally back sitting at my desk in 25 minutes.  EPIC.

Unfortunately, I think my luck might end there.  I realized a couple days ago that I never got the registration thing in the mail from Shelby County this year.  Upon further probing, I discovered the reason was that my old address was on the title.  Also on the title, of course, is my maiden name.  So that means that in addition to the plain old registration (which is always a little questionable given some of the employees of the vehicle division of the Clerk's office), I also have to do a change of address and a name change.  Just knowing the way Memphis government works, I don't think it will be easy-as-pie, breeze in & out.

At least the weather this year is great.  Weather matters because I have to walk down to the Clerk's office from my office - not a far walk - but awful when it's super cold.  I have no idea why I chose to register my car in February (one of the coldest, grossest months of the year), when I could've done maybe March or April (when I actually would've enjoyed getting out of the office for a nice walk).

But whatev.  Wish me luck!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Spring Awakening?

I have no idea what's going on - but this is what our weather forecast looks like for the next few days.

Today: High of 67, Low of 57
Tomorrow: High of 67, Low of 61
Friday: High of 66, Low of 50

And then it keeps going on and on for all the forecastable days - highs in the 60s, lows in the 50s-60s.  What's going on? 

El Nino, maybe??

I have this to say, though: I'll take it.  Even though I complain all the time about seasonably inappropriate weather in Memphis - I don't think that discontent is applicable in Winter (especially when we're talking about 60s in February).

The warmth started on Sunday.  I spent about two hours walking around outside (utilizing the awesome "merge call" feature on the iPhone for a three-way with Katie & LB).  And it was simply glorious out there - a slight chill to the air, but perfectly warm enough for shorts.  It's unfortunate we're still in Daylight Savings Time, or I'd like to hit the afternoon trail and do a walk/jog outside.

I have no doubt, though, that temperatures will drop back down before we see the "real" Spring, especially since Memphis is notorious for March snow.  In fact, Memphis weather has been known to mess up farmer's crops because we'll have an "early Spring" and then get a snow before the true Spring.  And the cherry tree in the front yard of my old house, on more than a couple occasions, had it's beautiful blossoms destroyed by a late snow (although - during the 12 hours or so, nothing was more beautiful than the cherry blossoms dusted with snow).

Certainly the whole country is having warm weather (since the weather man doesn't predict that anything is coming our way to cool things down)?  Are you guys as warm as we are?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Taking My Luncheon

Was anyone else a Nancy Drew reader when they were younger?  Anyone?  I, personally, devoured those books when I was a kid.  Like, sit-down-and-read-an-entire-novel-in-an-afternoon devoured.  Like, we had to go to the bookstore or library every few days in the summer so I could get more.  I loved them.

This is actually completely off-topic of what I was going to write about, except to say that in my life now, I usually refer to "eating my lunch" as "taking my luncheon."  And it's all because of Nancy.  I always thought it was this adorably charming thing when Nancy, Bess, and George would call it "luncheon" not "lunch."  (The books were written in the 50s I think, so I wonder if "luncheon" was a more common term back then..?  Although I've never heard grandmothers call it that now, so who knows?)

But anyway, speaking of lunch - Jonathan and I were chatting last night about what we'd have for lunch today and he made a comment like, "I would go absolutely insane if I ate the same thing for lunch everyday like you do."  And I thought about it for a second.  And it dawned on me, "I do eat the same thing for lunch everyday.  Hmm."

I always pack spinach & mixed greens, toppings for the salad, homemade salad dressing (olive oil, vinegar, spices, mustard, and honey), and an apple.  Everyday.  And not just everyday now.  I've probably been packing this lunch consistently for at least two years.

The weird thing, though, is that I don't really tire of it.  I love salads.  Actually, I think I love salads more than the average person.  I think they are the perfect lunch food.  And they're also the perfect blank canvas for whatever I might be craving.  My toppings vary - but it's usually one or two of the following: beans, tuna, salmon, craisins, blue cheese, sunflower seeds, avocado, and fruit.

And then the apple is the perfect sidekick.  It fills me up, wards off high cholesterol, and takes some time to eat (which I think is key to not overeating).  Some days I'll bring a little peanut butter or almond butter and dip the apple.

But I have that everyday.  And don't get bored.  And now that I think about it, that's a little weird...

Do you guys pack or buy?  If you pack, do you have a go-to menu - or do you change it up each week?

(I also eat out every couple weeks with friends - so I'm not totally neurotic must-stay-in-and-have-salad or anything.  But I also definitely don't eat out enough to consider that a reasonable balance to how often I eat in [and eat identical meals.])

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Those cupcakes will be consumed approximately 3 minutes after we have our "special" Valentine's dinner tonight.  The menu is special because we're having spicy peanut noodles, and we don't really eat pasta normally.  (Oh man!  We're so crazy and spontaneous!)

But anyway - Valentines is sort of a silly day - but still somewhat fun.  I know Jonathan got me a little present because yesterday when I put our groceries in the trunk, I saw a wrapped package...and then promptly received a text that said, "PUT THE GROCERIES IN THE BACK SEAT!"  So that's fun.

On a sad note, I didn't consume ANY of those conversation heart candies, which I love.  I might need to run to Walgreens tomorrow and hit the "after-season" sale of leftovers.

Those of you with significant others, are you doing anything tonight (or did you do something this weekend) in honor of Valentine's Day?  Or do you think it's lame and not worthy of holiday status?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Fitness Friday: Apparel Edition

So is it just me, or is buying workout clothes a potentially addictive activity?  I mean, whoever does the store layout/design of Dick's Sporting Goods knows exactly how to appeal to an eye like mine, because when I walk in there, I am blown away by how much stuff I need want.  And everything is adorable.  I mean, even if you aren't into super girly-type workout clothes, everything is just awesome and bright and sweat wicking and cool.

I guess it doesn't hurt that the specific "sports" for which I'm buying apparel (running/walking, yoga, and tennis) probably make the cutest sport-specific clothes out of any other.  But seriously, I wish I had an unlimited budget when shopping for workout clothes because I'd love to do some damage at Dick's.  (Unfortunately - most of the stuff is sooooo overpriced that I either get it on sale or go somewhere like Marshalls and pick up some generic black yoga pants.)

But do you guys have any workout apparel that is an absolute must-have?  I'm always looking for the magic item of apparel that will do X or solve Y problem. 

Also - have any of you ever tried anything from Lululemon?  Lulu has the cutest stuff imaginable for working out (click around on its website if you aren't familiar) - but the prices are SO HIGH, I'm hesitant to buy something without knowing someone who has worn it.  (But does Oprah count?  She gave away some pants on her Favorite Things show this year??)

**Please note while I typed this Fitness Friday blog, an enormous handful of semisweet chocolate chips was consumed. That's not 100% representative of my whole week, but boy oh boy have I been having some food cravings (probably partially due to monthly hormones and partially due to lack of coffee).**

Happy weekend guys!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

More Snow!

We got a nice little weather system that came through Memphis yesterday afternoon dumping about 3 inches of snow (ie, enough to shut everything down).  I left the office around 12:30, which was glorious, except that I had to work from home instead of laying on the couch watching movies like I normally do when snow shuts down the office.  I'm actually really glad I left when I did, though, because I saw some awful comments on facebook about commutes taking hours.  No thanks.

I was lamenting with some of my co-workers about how awful Memphis drivers are when it snows.  But it led me to this (somewhat obvious) thought: I bet Memphians - or Southerners in general - never really learn to drive in snow when they're kids.  Because there just isn't enough snow!

It took me back to my own snow-driving lessons.  We'd had a big storm and my stepdad took me to the parking lot at my high school.  It was empty and covered with a snowy-icy mess.

Activity One: when the car is at rest, slam your foot on the accelerator.
Reaction: the car spins out and/or the wheels spin but the car doesn't move anywhere.
Lesson Learned: always ease on the accelerator when driving in snow.

Activity Two: while going at a reasonable speed, slam your foot on the brake.
Reaction: the car skids and/or spins.
Lesson Learned: use the brake gingerly, and make sure you aren't too close behind other cars.

Activity Three: really try to gain good speed, then slam the brake as hard as you can.
Reaction: the car spins and makes a "donut" in the snow.
Lesson Learned: my stepdad is cool.

Simple, yet effective.

Anyway - back to the grind (at the office) today.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Farewell, Delicious Brewsky

That's right.  As of Monday, after a really fun Super Bowl party (which was also a personal farewell of sorts between me and quite a few beers), I'm booze-free.  No more brews.  No more wine.  No more late-night Frangelico.  No more "we have to drink this champagne that's been in the fridge for 6 months or it will go bad" nights.  And no more of any other kind of booze - but really, beer/wine/Frangelico are the only ones that apply to my life right now.

Same deal as caffeine, basically: alcohol doesn't need to play a part in my life right now, as I try to make my body chemical-free/functioning on it's own, natural schedule.  I definitely plan to drink again someday.  This is just a temporary hiatus for an undetermined amount of time.

And really, I don't drink that much.  I don't drink during the week (for caloric and/or general health reasons).  And on the weekends, if we aren't doing anything, I probably have one or two beers, but that's it.  Now, if we have plans (say, dinner with another couple or a party or something) I'll have more than that.  But generally speaking, we don't really "go out," and if we do, it's not like it used to be.

So I'm not worried about giving this up, per se.  But more, I'm just curious what my life will look like without alcohol.  Especially since most people know that I do drink.  What will a dinner with another couple look like if everyone is heavily imbibing and I'm not?  What will a party look like if I'm not drinking?  Will people ask me why I'm not drinking?  What will a Friday night look like without a relaxation beer?  What will, for example, the wine tasting/wedding shower I'm attending on Thursday be like without any tasting on my part?

This sounds silly, but for someone who doesn't drink, what do you do, for example, at a wine tasting?  Like, when someone asks you if you want a drink, do you say, "yes, I'd love a water?"  Is it an issue?  Like, are non-drinkers asked why they aren't drinking?  Do non-drinkers have a signature, go-to non-alcoholic drink?  What should mine be?  Should I "fake drink" (maybe a club soda with lime)?

I do think I maybe need to find some sort of substitute (but no caffeine, obv).  If we're going out to dinner with another couple and we start the night having a drink at the bar, I need to drink something other than water, I think.

So yeah - new adventure in life.  We'll see how it goes.  (Honestly, I might be a little sadder about giving up coffee - but I definitely have more questions about giving up alcohol.  It just seems like it's such a noticeable part of social interactions...  I'll keep you guys posted!)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Farewell, Old Friend

With two final cups on Sunday morning, I bid adieu to a dear, dear friend: coffee.  As of yesterday morning, I'm a green tea drinker.

There are so many good things to say about coffee.  I love its warmth.  I love its taste.  I love its smell.  I love the act of drinking coffee.  Whenever I pour a cup, I sit down and relax - even if it's only a couple of minutes; and it's the perfect departure from my otherwise busy mornings.  I love the caffeine jolt.  I love the restorative element of it; like, even if I'm having a bad/slow/groggy morning, coffee restores me.  I love the community of coffee drinkers - how everyone is in the same sort of "club" as we wait for the morning pot to brew, knowing that with the first cup, our mornings will be changed.

But alas, I bid thee farewell.

I'm hoping to get my body back to a normal, chemical-free schedule; and unfortunately, a strong stimulant doesn't necessarily fit into that plan.  A grande (16 oz) coffee from Starbucks (what we brew in my office) has 330 mgs of caffeine.  The green tea I bought has ~60 mgs for an equivalent amount.  Coffee, I've learned, has a constricting effect on your blood vessels.  Green tea opens vessels, has fewer volatile oils than coffee, and has an antioxidant benefit that coffee does not.  I'm definitely not saying that everyone should switch from coffee to green tea - I'm not that mean, nor would I wish green tea mornings on any coffee lover - but for me right now, this is the thing to do.

I'm sort of anxious to see if I have any physical signs of withdrawal.  I'm anticipating a headache.  But I wonder if there will be anything else.  Do any of you guys have experience with this?  I should make it clear that I was a pretty big coffee drinker - probably having 16 oz if not a little more everyday.  One thing I'm going to try hard to do is make the green tea time just as relaxing as the coffee time.  Nothing is to say that taking a break out of my morning to have a warm beverage needs to be exclusive to coffee.

So goodbye, friend.  I don't think this is farewell forever.  So I'll see you on the flip side...

(Also - stay tuned tomorrow, if you dare, for another heartbreaking goodbye to one of my favorite stimulants...)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Fitness Friday

I guess I already talked about this a little bit yesterday.  But basically, this week I did nothing in terms of exercise but rest and yoga.  And it was good!  My knee feels 100% better (but is still maybe a few days away from running?).  Lesson learned: if it seems like I'm clocking too many miles, it's probably best to recognize that and stop friggin running for a day or two.

In more exciting news, though, Jonathan is back on the P90x train!  As you can see in his comment on yesterday's post, he's in quite a bit of pain.  (Actually - does anyone know what a night stick is?  I don't - but I certainly don't want to feel like I've been beaten with one.  [Unless the person beating me was one of my Ya Ya sisters, in which case, that might be alright.])  But anyway - he's doing that again, which I find both impressive and awesome (because come on - he looked good after doing it before our wedding!).  I'm hoping I can jump in and join him on a couple days of the week (particularly for weight-lifting videos, because I seriously lack that in my exercise routine).

Our eating was a little messed up this week as well because of the big birthday dinner on Sunday.  Basically, after doing so much cooking (and having so much food leftover), I didn't really want to cook for the week.  So we had mostly remnants of Sunday's dinner during the week, minus a day of fish & veggies (which I'd bought at the store that weekend, so I wasn't going to waste it by not cooking).

I've failed to mention in Fitness Fridays how committed I've stayed to not obsessing over and/or weighing myself everyday.  Additionally, I no longer log every. single. bite. into any kind of food log.  But I still try to eat healthy, real foods.  And, blah, blah, we can all see where this is going - I've actually lost a couple pounds here in the new year.  Don't you love hearing stuff like that?  Like, when the person has a personal epiphany about something (ie, not obsessing over my weight), and then the thing that was causing the original problem is actually doing what the person wants it to?  (How's that for a long, convoluted sentence??)

Anyway - I hope you guys had good fitness weeks too!  Happy weekend!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Me vs. Headstand

With my knee injury, I've pretty much avoided all exercise except yoga.  And I feel good about that.  I think a week of low impact has been awesome (even though a stationary bike and/or elliptical are technically "low impact" as well, they're definitely more physically strenuous than yoga).

The thing about yoga at a big-ish studio is that there's quite a bit of difference between the different classes.  Depending on the teacher, the type of yoga, the class size, the length of time, etc., you can find yourself in two very different classes, even if they're both called "Vinyasa, All Levels."

I went to a class Tuesday with a historically good (challenging) teacher.  And the class was good.  But it maybe wasn't as challenging for me as it was for the 3 or 4 students attending their first class ever.  When I got home that night, I told Jonathan that I need to start attending higher level classes.  Not that the lower level ones aren't good - but after yoga, I like to feel like I've both worked out and stretched - and in some of the lower level ones, I don't necessarily get that worked out feeling.

But there was a little more to that comment than on the surface: basically, I need to get over my fear of headstands, or else I won't be able to keep up in an advanced class.

Fast forward to a class I went to last night.  The class was supposed to be yoga/meditation taught by the owner of the studio.  But when I arrived, the owner was not teaching it.  Instead, Lacey (yoga goddess/incredibly fit/incredibly flexible/intense) was stepping in since the owner was out of town.

The class was awesome - it was fast-paced, really challenging, a mix of cardio & stretching - but, I came home feeling like a schmuck because during the headstand portion, I felt like a fool.  I just couldn't do it!  I even asked Yoga Goddess to help me.  And she did for a second, but there were so many people in the class, she couldn't spend all that much time.

I came home seriously doubting myself.  I just didn't understand why I couldn't do it.  Am I not strong enough in the shoulders?  (Although this seems unlikely because everyone else in the class was able to do it [ie, old people, fat people, even a little kid who was there with his dad!])  Am I not flexible enough?  (That's always a question I ask myself about yoga poses.)

But when I was explaining it all to Jonathan, he answered the question for me: I am strong enough, I am flexible enough...I'm just not gutsy enough.  I'm flat-out scared of falling or hurting myself.

So we went into the (carpeted) office of our house, set up a blanket, and under intense supervision of Jonathan...

I did it!

Pretty easily, actually.  And it was awesome!  Such a feeling of accomplishment!  I went on to do about 5 more - just because I could - and because I wanted to lock all the steps in to memory.

I might just be a headstand machine, now.  I'm definitely going to try to practice at home a lot, because today my shoulders are feeling the we've-never-been-used-like-this burn today.  But seriously - I'm so happy with myself!  And so excited about attending more advanced classes!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I Would Like...

(I was initially going to title this "Things I Want" - but that doesn't quite seem right.  Because some of these things I could have, probably.  Ie, this post is much lighter than, say, "Things I'd Like To Do To Change My Life."  Make sense?)

So.  I would like...

1) A laptop of my own where I can attempt to do creative writing.
*I'll have this soon - I've been saving money!

2) A job where a good chunk of my time is spent communicating with other people.  I currently do a lot of sitting at my desk.  I'm either working on the computer or reading text - not interacting with anyone.

3) To be back on the time (is it Daylight Savings?  Or are we in that now?) where it stays lighter, later.  I know it's gradually getting there.  But while dark at 5:30 instead of 5 is better, it still isn't that great.

4) My yoga studio to offer good after-work classes on Mondays and Wednesdays.

5) My body to get back to normal function (I'm still having residual problems from discontinuing The Pill last year).

6) A puppy!

7) More sunny days than dreary ones.

8) To re-do our kitchen.  (It's something we think about - but there are a host of things to consider before we think seriously about it [ie, if it's worth it financially; if we have enough $$ to do it; if we'd coordinate it ourselves or hire a contractor; if we'd want to go big & knock down a wall, or just replace cabinets/appliances/counters, etc.].  And I'm sure everyone has ideas about this - but really - we aren't at the stage where we need any advice or discussion; if it happens, it's probably at least a year away - and trust me, I'll be giddy with explaining it to the blog.  But in the meantime, I just like to dream about having a beautiful kitchen...)

9) My blog to look spiffier.  I'm hoping if I get a Mac I can work on sprucing this guy up.

10) More of you, friends reading this, to start blogs of your own!  All I can say is that it brings me such joy to get to "see" you guys everyday in the comments.  a) I know you would love the feeling, too; and b) it's a surprisingly nice way to communicate and a socially acceptable way to be narcissistic.  (And if your first impulse response is "I don't have anything to write about" - just check some of my weekend recaps.  I don't have that much going on either.)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

More and More Southern Everyday

A good chunk of my beloved Midwest is currently hammered with snow and ice.  My mom is annoyed because her school district has to make up snow time at the end of the year, and at this rate, they'll be in school until July. 

But in Memphis?  We're coming off weekend temps in the 60s.  Saturday was absolutely gorgeous, with sunny skies and a high of 67.

And maybe - just maybe - even after all the complaining I do about the Memphis heat - maybe I can actually appreciate Southern temperatures in the middle of winter.  Because snow & ice is awesome in its own little way.  It is.  But going outside in flip flops with no coat in January?  It's pretty awesome.  Turning the heat off in the house in January?  It's pretty awesome.  Driving with windows down, sunglasses on (in January!)?  Pretty awesome.

So my midwestern friends - enjoy the snow/ice.  Play in it.  Notice how pretty it looks before cars make the nasty, grey snow mess.  Drink some cocoa.  Hopefully stay home from work and off the roads.

While I'm somewhat jealous - I'm also sort of not...