Wednesday, July 15, 2009

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Monday, May 25, 2009

At Least I'm Trying

I found myself close to Red Rocks again today so I went up to do the stairs again.

I even jogged a little bit. I have to start slow so even if I look like a wuss, I just have to do it.

First I stepped up the seats - leading with the right leg... then back down to the bottom to go up again leading with the left leg. Wow gee, my left leg is really weak.
I feel like a total out-of-shape Biggest Loser contestant plodding along while other people sprint around at high altitude breathing like it isn't even work!

But, I'm out there trying.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Yay Me!

Wow. I just cannot get my act together to get exercise in.

Today, I went to meet someone for a hike at Red Rocks. I got there early and walked the bleachers twice. (Good for the glutes and quads) More athletic people run the bleachers for exercise - but between my extreme out-of-shape-itude, the altitude and my asthma - I went for the toning - not the cardio.

Blows you away though to watch a perfect phyisical specimen of a 20 year old male just jet up the bleachers in like - 5 seconds. Holy cow! - and if I were 20 years younger!

Then I hiked the trails around Red Rocks for maybe 2 miles. It was great exercise and really beautiful.

The highlight was watching some bridal party with their photographer stop by for a group photo with the rocks as a backdrop. The bridemaids had turquoise blue dresses and I can just imagine how great that picture is going to look against the rusty red rocks!!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Feel the Burn

All it took was a little shopping (encountering mirrors) and excitedly getting out my spring clothes only to realize that none of my pants button... to get me out the door and exercising.

I did a little yoga at home with a DVD. Then popped into a free class on Sunday.

Then Thursday after work, I boogied on over to the park to roller blade! It was gorgeous out - and I did three loops around the park (one big one, two small ones) for about 5-6 miles.

Wanna know how out of shape I am? I didn't even get a quarter of a mile and I could feel the burn in my glutes and thighs. This worried me as I still had 2 more miles to go before I got back to the car! But once I warmed up I was fine. But I am still feeling my glutes three days later.

I managed to find excuses not to go blading for the past three days... and tomorrow there is supposed to be snow on the ground again! Bah!

Monday, March 16, 2009


Well, I finally got off my butt today.

I'm loving the time change! The sun is still up when I get home from work.
So I laced up my shoes, and did a few laps around the walking path in the park which is just a block away. I know. What excuse do I have?

I brought my little 6 pound weight ball on the walk, to work my arm muscles a bit. I like to pass it around my torso like you would in Basketball practice... and hold my arms out straight with the ball in my palm for resistance. Then also alternate arm curls. It's not much but it's a nice little addition to an ordinary walk. When I'm more ambitious I use it for crunches... or lying flat on my back and tossing it in the air... Actually I have an 8 pound ball for that. Makes a good chest press.

I do not run. I don't really have a desire to run. Except for the fact that so many people seem to enjoy it - and it's something it seems like my body should be able to do.

The park next door has a little man- made hill... with a ramp up one side (for dirt bicycles I think) and rugged rocky terrain down the other side.
So to push myself, I thought I would run up the ramp, and navigate the foot path down the other side a few times. I ran up an down about four times... and then took three laps walking around the park catch my breath. I was seriously winded!

In fact, I got the little wheezy sound in my throat that calls for my asthma inhaler - so I promptly went home and took a hit!

TRS Accountability: One pathetic walk with weight ball.

Sunday, March 08, 2009


I still suck.

Maybe this week.


Ronni - you're already kicking my butt. good for you!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Weigh In

Okay, so I did my weigh-in Wednesday: -4.9. I'm almost to my goal for the quarter (5 pounds lost), and I still have a month to go!

Ronnica accountability: 22 laps in the pool (40 minutes)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Just Lousy

I've been just terrible.

My unlimited month of Yoga classes ran out after I was sick for a week - and completely fatigued for the week after that! Unfair.

I'm also dealing with some emotional stuff - but I'm recommitting to my exercise resolution for Lent.

Keep me honest here.

TRS Exercise Accountability: Ya gotta be kiddin' me!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Not Off the Wagon

I've been rather absentee around here, but know that it's not because I've stopped exercising. I've been keeping it up (though probably not eating like I should), just forgetting to check in. I did complete my exercises for the last two weeks, and have already put in exercise #1 for this week.

Last week's weigh in was at -3.7, gaining half a pound. I did forget to weigh myself this morning, which I had hoped to include in this post. Look for that tomorrow (I'll only way myself in the morning, and sans clothing).

Ronnica accountability: 21 laps in the pool (35 minutes)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Another Week, Another Weigh-In

It's Tuesday again, so time for another weigh-in. This is the second week this year that I did all my exercises (and one extra), so I was hoping to be encouraged by the number on the scale. If not, I know exactly what was to blame: Valentine's candy (though I've tried to eat only moderate amounts).

I was definitely encouraged...I'm down 2 whole pounds from last week, to -4.2! Woo hoo!

Ronnica accountability: 19 laps in the pool (35 minutes; Monday), 20 laps in the pool (35 minutes; Tuesday)

Congratulations Ronnica!

I've been slacking off due to my cold. First it was the horrible symptoms. Now it's the extreme fatigue. But I plan to be back at yoga before the weekend - if my respitory system cooperates.

TRS Accountability: Zip, Zero, Nada

Monday, February 09, 2009

I Love Warm Weather

Oh, this weather is great. It really encourages you to be active when it's 60 or 70 degrees in the wintertime. This weekend I was able to go on a walk both Saturday and Sunday (in short sleeves!) as well as do my strength-building exercises. That makes 4 workouts this week! I'm really thinking about going to the pool 3 (maybe 4???) times this week. I'm pumped!

Ronnica accountability: 20 minutes walking and 20 minutes strength-building (Saturday); 25 minutes walking (Sunday)

Friday, February 06, 2009

This Week at the Pool

Nothing much to say, other than I did my lap swimming and my water exercises this week. I think I'm going to push myself next week to go swimming another time, so I get 3 cardio workouts.

Ronnica accountability: Swam 18 laps (30 minutes, Tuesday); 1 hour water aerobics (Thursday)

Thursday, February 05, 2009


I'm sick.

Just the other day I realized all my friends and their children were battling colds. I thought to myself: "I haven't been sick in a while... how lucky."

And I swear I wasn't cocky about it. It got me anyway.

I just got the cold yesterday - so that doesn't excuse that I've only been to yoga two times in the past two weeks.

And today, I stayed home for the morning, intending to do what work I could from home - but went into work to do the things I have to do there. I think I'll do the same tomorrow - except I have to do the homework. Or I can tell my co-worker that I can't, and she will do it. We'll see.

Thing is, I'm 'on-call'/ 'freelance' which means I don't get benefits. So I figured half a day's pay was better than none. Pppplllbtt.

My boss is out sick too.

My temperature is 101. Not alarming I know, but still very uncomfortable.
I really require sympathy when I am sick - so I called my mom. Her sympathy was half-hearted. Hard to really work up the pity when your daughter says. "I'm thick." It's too funny.

I called three friends for sympathy and none of them answered. None of them called back. Took every fiber of my being not to call Mr. Burns.

I know.

... and I'm also a drama queen.
Lil' bit.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Weekly Weigh-In

Now a month into the year, I'm proud to say I lost a total of 2.2 pounds in January (lost an additional 0.3 pounds this week). I'm not making huge progress, but to me, it's more important not to see weight gain during this beginning phase as I'm still working on getting the right habits into place.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Weekend Update

And no, I'm not talking about SNL.

So, I FINALLY did it. This week for the first time this year I actually worked out 3 times. I had the opportunity of making it four, but I decided to actually use an evening at home as it had been a while. I'm hoping that my weigh-in on Tuesday will reflect this, but I'm afraid I haven't been as good with the eating...

Ronnica accountability: 25 minutes strength exercises Saturday

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Water Aerobics

Last night I went to my first organized exercise class last night: water aerobics. Even the one sport I played in high school (for one year...and I wasn't the second to lowest spot) was a solitary sport: tennis. It was a fun...and harder than I expected. It was a good workout, and at several points I longed for the slower, calmer rhythm of swimming laps.

I'll probably be going to these classes about once a week, which will be a good break from my swimming laps.

Ronnica accountability: 1 hour water aerobics
TRS accountability: nada. at work late tonight

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

This Past Weekend

Okay my 3rd attempt at getting 3 workouts in a week was also a failure, but this time it was because of the snow. Always something, isn't it?

I did get in 20 minutes of strength exercises on Saturday, so that was good.

So far this week, I've already been to the pool once and will be going again tonight, this time to water aerobics with my roommate. My schedule just opened up a little bit, so now I may be able to go to the pool for a 3rd time this week!

Today is also weigh-in day. I'm at -1.9, which is just ever-so-slightly less than last week...but I'm happy I didn't go up! I've really been working on making the right food choices. Though I certainly don't do it all the time, I'm improving.

In other news, I also have additional motivation to lose soon-to-be sister-in-law asked me to be her maid-of-honor in her wedding next January!

Ronnica accountability: Saturday - 20 minutes strength exercises
Monday - 30 minutes swimming (17 laps)

TRS Accountability: Tuesday one hour yoga

Sunday, January 25, 2009


TRS Accountability: Friday -zip, nada;
Saturday 1 hour yoga,
Sunday 1 hour yoga.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


I snuck out of work during a slow period today - to go to an afternoon yoga class so that I wouldn't have wait until 7:15.

The schedule indicated it was a yoga sculpt class.

When I got there, got changed and made it to my mat - I noticed the room was really warm. I turned to someone and asked if it was a 'Hot' class. Yep.

Oh no.

I still had to go back to work so I didn't want to be all sweaty. But mostly I was concerned because it's hard enough for me to breathe as it is. In a hot room, it'll be excruciating. And they were going to use weights too!

I was right. This was a class I needed to work up to.
Half way through class (a half hour) I had to pick up my mat and leave!

I took a quick shower before I headed back to work - but I only got a half hour in!


TRS Accountability: 1/2 hour yoga. Grrr.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Yep, it's Tuesday. This last week I've not been as good at the eating as I would like, and obviously I didn't make my exercise quota, either. I was nervous to step on the scale, but hey, it's just a number right?

I'm at -1.8. That's a half pound more than last week's -2.3, but still less than ground zero. Yes! Because of the snow, I won't be going to the pool this evening like I planned (Raleigh drivers are maniacs on the snow/ice), so that'll throw off my plans to go to the pool two times this week. I do plan on sticking to my goal of 3 exercise sessions this week, though!

TRS accountability - zip. frustrated because tomorrow may be too busy to get to class, but I had an HOA meeting after work tonight. bah

Monday, January 19, 2009

Mostly Excuses

So, because of sickness last week, this was the first week where I was able to attempt my 3 workouts/week goal. I didn't quite get there, but I have good excuses, okay?

Saturday I did go on a walk with the roomie, so that was workout 2, but workout 3 didn't quite come together. I had thought I would go on a walk again Sunday afternoon, but then I ate a big lunch was worn out from the kiddies in the morning and wanted to rest up for the kiddies in the evening.

So yeah, that's a lame excuse. I had an above-average active Sunday, but no workout or anything that would actually resemble a workout (since I don't think y'all would by the "well, I WATCHED the kids run around, does that count?" thing).

I'm going to work on going to the pool at least 2 times during the week, so I don't postpone my workouts to the weekend, when I'm lazier and less schedule-driven. This week, I think my schedule will allow it!

Ronnica accountability: 1 20-minute walk Saturday

TRS Accountability: Sunday 1 hour yoga - Monday, all hopes of exercise dashed by epic laziness.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Yoga Hair

I suppose it's sort of dull checking in to see - 1 hour yoga - over and over. But that's really the best I can do right now.

It is the ideal way for me to build muscle again since I have to do it slowly due to my medical condition. The stretching is so good for me, and I'm noticing a difference since my chiropractic adjustment. This is me getting myself back into decent condition.

What I noticed today, is that even after a few days of seeing improvement - today I was really weak. I could barely hold any of the poses I'm good at. But then a few of the poses that are hard, were a bit easier today. It's interesting to see the ebb and flow.

My tummy is another focus point. I'm a bit flabby there and it's embarrassing to me.
I've never been good at crunches and such - but at class today a different instructor came up with a new one. There's enough going on that I'm distracted from the basic crunch so I thought I would share it here.

Lying on your back, raise your legs straight in the air. Place a yoga block between your legs right at your pelvic area. (if you don't have a yoga block - block of Styrofoam would do, or something the size of a box of Mac & Cheese or box of baking soda)

Now, with your hands behind your head, elbows out - on an exhale, lift your shoulders off the floor then lift your hips off the floor while squeezing the block. Inhale as you release back to the floor.

Ahhhh? Plenty of distraction. That's good for me!

I also thought I would share my yoga hair.
My hair is long for the first time in years - and a ponytail doesn't work for yoga because I don't like the bump on my head when lying on the floor. So I started with pigtails - but they are long enough that they keep hitting my head or my face on inverted poses.

A modification was in order. Princess Lea Buns! First I make pigtails - then I fold the pigtail back on itself and wrap elastics around it again for little knobby buns.
Maybe they look ridiculous - but they're effective and I think they're sort of cute!
TRS Accountability: Friday... Nada.
Saturday: one hour yoga.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Making Time for It

I've been staying late at work almost every night for the past two weeks just to make the 7:15 yoga class.

It's a little ridiculous.
The yoga studio is just a few blocks from work and I don't want to make a second car trip from home back to the same area. That means I don't get home until at least 8:30 each night - then I don't feel like doing any jobs around the house.

My job is deadline oriented and Thursday's are the big day. One advantage about Thursday's schedule is that I have to wait for someone else to complete part of the job before I can take over and do my part. And, I have limited hours I can work (can't go over 39 hours) so while she was working on that part, I left and went to yoga at 2:00!!!

Awesome. It was less crowded and the studio had the kiss of sunlight streaming in. Very nice!

TRS accountability: One hour yoga

Checkin' In

I've had a church conference everyday since I've been sick, so this was the first day that I've been able to go to the pool this week. How in the world did I get so busy when I dropped the most time-consuming thing on my schedule? Anyway, it was good to be in the pool for a second time, and it was much easier and more enjoyable than the first time. I look forward to the days when I just can't wait to get back into the pool, but those will still be a few weeks (and many trips to the pool) away.

Ronnica accountability: 30 minutes (16 laps) swimming

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Wednesdays are my hell day at work. The culmination of the entire week is in the balance on Wednesday. If I'm behind on Wednesday there is no way to catch up - so I couldn't possibly make it to yoga today.

Instead, I started my work day late because I visited my chiropractor this morning.
Oh how I love her!

I feel so. much. better.
Still much improvement neccessary but such a relief to have some relief you know?

Even better because my chiropractor and I are the same personality type so we really enjoy our visits. (too bad I have to pay for them then huh?) She even rejoiced in my news of obtaining a job - and I don't think it was because I can now afford to see her!!
She even told me that she was baffled at my previous discussions of the struggle of looking for work because she sees me as a very sharp person, and people should be begging to hire me. Funny how it doesn't work that way!

TRS accountability: Tuesday, January 13 one hour yoga
TRS accountability: Wednesday, January 14 chiropractic treatment - praise God!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My Second Official Weigh-In

Still haven't exercised since the last time we "spoke," but did want to give the world an update on my second weigh-in.

I had expected to break even between only exercising once and being sick. Not so. I lost 2.3 pounds! That means I'm at -2.3. It's encouraging to have some weight loss, even though I know that it's primarily because of the sickness...

Monday, January 12, 2009

Getting More People on the Bandwagon

After missing 3 days of yoga in a row - I went in and bought my first month of unlimited visits. Better make the most of it. Of course, being the Queen of Justification, I tell myself that the cost of yoga is comparable to the cost of chiropractic and massages that I need without it.

I went to class tonight and found more stiff spots. Sheesh! I think it's time to get some help from my chiropractor - there's no way I can loosen that stuff up on my own. I'm hoping she can get the tough stuff and then I can go from there.

Also, it's funny how you can feel progress one day - then suddenly it's hard again - but something that was hard last week is now doable. The body is a funny, fickle thing.

There is an adorable older lady at my job who told me she is interested in trying yoga. She's in her 50s or 60s and recently bought a yoga DVD, but hasn't tried it yet. I advised her to use the modifications if the full pose is too hard. And don't feel like you have to hold it for as long as the instructor. You gotta work your way up sometimes.
Then I suggested that she go to the free classes (the studio is very close to work) so that the instructors can correct her form, and she can ask questions so that she's more comfortable with the DVD at home. She's so cute - I offered to go to her first class with her and she said, "Oh please do!" She's a little bummed that she has to buy yoga clothes and a mat. But she doesn't want to expose herself during Down Dog either! Nothing is cheap she says. (there I advised her to go to TJMaxx or Ross and get all she needs for under $50)

I'm going to hook her up with a week of free classes. Plus, by sending new people to the studio - I get bonus credit on my account there.
AND... another woman at work caught me changing into yoga clothes - and wants to start going again - so we'll have a whole crew there eventually! (maybe we can get the corporate discount going!!)

TRS accountability: One hour yoga and excessive moaning.


TRS accountability: Does power shopping and walking downtown in high heels count?

Thursday, January 08, 2009

It Expands and Contracts

One day off from yoga, I was back tonight.

After feeling so good, I am now starting to notice some muscles that just don't want to yield. Yet. I need my chiropractor. I need deep tissue massage. Like every day of my life!

Breathing seems to be harder too. I just can't get enough air in. Maybe I'm congested.

When the instructor tells us to... "breathe deep, filling your belly." I am reminded that I never could do that. I can rarely get enough air to fill past my esophagus - much less all the way down to my belly. I would have to take another breathe before I could finish.
Mental note to share this with my allergy doctor.

When we moved into one stretch, the muscles in my back would not loosen up. They pulled against the direction I was pulling and I made a squeak before I even knew it!

The rest of the time I just wanted to peel my workout clothes off. It's just so hot in there. And I'm not going to the hot yoga class. I tried to think of what fabric, and what length would make the ideal yoga pant!

After class, I apologized to the guy next to me for disturbing him with my squeak.

We chatted for a little while as we rolled up our mats then parted to find our shoes and coats. He found me again at the front of the studio/shop where I was feeling the weight of the yoga pants they had for sale. He inquired and I told him I was looking for something lightweight, and sort of joked that I really only wanted to wear a swimsuit in there it's so hot!
I said that I noticed everyone else was in yoga pants, would it be okay to wear shorts? He described a pair of 'boy shorts' that he saw another girl wearing, suggesting they would be cool enough.
"Hmm." I thought aloud. "I have a pair of those but I need to get my legs firmer before I would wear them in public. "
To which he responded. "Man. You're such a girl!"

The lesson here is - we as women can be so self-conscious about things other people - especially men - don't even notice. Men are much more forgiving of our bodies than we are.
Lighten up on yourself. That's my lesson for the day.

TRS Accountability: One hour yoga

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Instant Results

Okay, okay. So I've been to the pool once; it's not yet time to talk about what a difference it's made in my life. But it has (though the twice daily stretching could also be the cause, or both). I have regained movement that I have lost when I injured my back in September.

In the interest of full disclosure, I figured this out when I went to wipe my butt just now. (DID I JUST ADMIT THAT FOR THE WORLD TO SEE???) It's been a difficult move with stiffness in my lower back, but just now it was much easier. I thought back to several other everyday tasks I've done today, and they too have been easier than they have been for some time.

Anyway, I'm actually cooped up with a cold right now. I started having symptoms after coming home from the pool last night, so I'm glad I went. It'll be a bummer not to get in my last 2 exercise times this very first week, but I hadn't planned on doing them until at least Friday anyway. I do have to be able to breathe out of my nose to swim, but assuming I'm no worse off than I am right now, I'll at least get in a walk or two.

Anyway, I know that my movement will continue to improve as I actually lose some weight and continue to gain flexibility and muscle. That's kinda my point!

Too funny! I was going to post on the same topic! Suppose I should just add to it here.
Seriously people! After only four days of just one hour of moderate yoga a day - I notice such a difference. That is very satisfying when most of us expect the results of our exercise to take months to show up!

What have I noticed, you ask?

For starters, I am a little lady with very tight muscles. The muscles in my shoulders and back have been tight for as long as I can remember. If someone offers to rub my shoulders - it is followed by an exclamation like "Holy Cow! You are full of knots!"
Combine that with the fact that I've been too poor for chiropractic visits or deep tissue massage and I assure you that I am a mess!

After just one hour of yoga on Saturday, my shoulders felt practically loose! After 4 days - I'm feeling movement in a lot of muscles. Yes, I'm a little sore, but that's preferable to a constant ache.

And since Ronnica got personal about wiping her butt - I'll get personal about my little boobies.

I am a flat-chested girl. You know what they say about a handful - well that's all there is.
In my younger years my itty bitty's were at least nice and firm and round and perky - but after 5 years of pathetic exercise efforts - let me tell you they have less substance than Jello. And I'll add, no longer round. It's embarrassing.

That was a major part of my incentive to get my muscle tone back. I'm back in the dating pool after all - and someday - God willing, I'll need those little girls to hold up a wedding gown!

Imagine my delight when after just four days of yoga - seriously, nothing else - not even a 2lb dumbbell - there is some muscle in my pectorals! Whoo hoo! What a surprise.

A real surprise to me because the last time I made a commitment to exercise, I was already a muscular girl, I was just maintaining - so I never really saw progress.
Now that I'm a pile of mush - it's easier to see progress. There is even some shape coming back!! Oh, and I spotted some shape in my arms - that dip right below my bicep. 4 days.

Now that's incentive!

TRS Accountability: zero - I missed yoga because I worked late, but I suppose I've earned 1 day off exercise.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

My Soggy Bottom

Ronnica, reporting for duty, with a soggy bottom, ma'am.

Oh my, I wonder what kinda searches could lead here with that title?

Okay, so my bottom isn't soggy; I actually change at the pool before I leave. But I went! And swam laps! And actually got exercise! And pushed through the "I'm going to die" feeling!

I've found that the first 4 laps of swimming is muy dificil, but once I push through them I really enjoy it. I went 4 laps tonight, and it was still difficult. I wasn't sure I was going to make it to 10 laps (my absolute minimum), let alone more. Fortunately, it only took 1 more lap before that feeling was gone.

I don't feel as spaghetti as I normally do after swimming, so I probably will need to push myself harder next time. How I've done it in the past, and I'll do it in the future, is each time I go I swim one more lap (capping at one mile, which is 32 laps...I've only done that once, though).

Ronnica accountability: 30 minutes swimming (15 laps)
TRS accountability: 1 hour yoga (I'm nothing if not consistent!)

Ground Zero

It's too early to report in a soggy swimsuit (as TRS suggested), but I did want to share that I weighed myself this morning. Wasn't pretty, but at least I know where I stand, weight-wise. While weight loss isn't my goal in and of itself, it's a tangible measure (a little too tangible in my case) of progress. Though I wouldn't mind looking good, I want the weight off to get healthy. I have a long weigh (hehe, sorry) to go, about 70 pounds, to be within the healthy range. I won't lose that all this year, but I'd love to see 20 pounds go before 2010.

I'm not going to publish for all the world to see my weight, but what I weigh today is going to be ground zero. Every other time I report my weight, it will be - something or other or + someting or other from this point. So I'm pleased to report that I'm at 0 (wow, look how easy it was to take off all those pounds!).

Oh, and that swimsuit that will be soggy tonight? Is sitting in my car, ready for me to go. With swimming, I can't just decide on a whim to do it. I have to make sure my legs are shaved (check) and that I have all my gear (swimsuit, towel, watch, flip flops, hairband...). No skinny dipping for me!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Learning to Breathe

Another hour of yoga for me today.
I know that I'm going to feel stronger because of it.

One of my challenges is knowing when to breathe. The first time I took yoga classes (eight years ago) the instructor would hear me squeak from the other side of the room. He knew I wasn't breathing. Over time regular class members would hear me squeak - and know that the instructor's gentle reminder, "Breathe T." was coming next. They came to expect it. So much for Namaste!

I was concentrating so hard on the pose and the stretch that I ended up holding my breath. Wrong thing to do.

Now that I'm back in yoga I'm listening carefully to the instructors. The three instructors I've experienced so far are very good about breath reminders. They tell us when to inhale, when to exhale. That's very helpful for a T like me!

I've noticed that when they remind us to take deep breaths, and then exhale - I'm ready to exhale before everyone else is done with their deep breaths. In fact, I take two inhalations/exhalations in the time everyone else takes one.

You might think that I just can't relax. That's partially true.

But this is another revelation for me as I learn about my lung capacity.

In the past 7 years, my allergy doctor and I have determined that one of the causes for anaphylaxis and hives - for me - is exercise related. We've figured out that I get hives when my muscles are sore.
You know the soreness you get when you lift weights and build lactic acid? The production of lactic acid is actually an indicator that you're building muscle. It's a good sign. For most people.

But my body doesn't like my lactic acid. When I produce significant amounts of lactic acid, I get hives. (That's why yoga is a good gentle start for me - it builds muscle s l o w l y)
Once I learned that lactic acid was a culprit for me - I learned that a person's body produces more lactic acid when it's not getting enough oxygen.
Hello Sherlock?

I think we've isolated some important information. I have to work really hard at just breathing.

Although this is an unusual condition, I'm posting this information in hope that it might be helpful to someone else with a similar problem - but doesn't have my brilliant doctor to figure it out for them.

TRS Accountability: one hour yoga

It's Ronnica!

First, TRS read my New Year's post where I gave all my lofty goals for the year (is it bad to think that they were lofty only 5 days into the new year?), and then she asked if we could be accountable to one another for our exercise goals. Next, she asked me to join this blog in order to keep track. Hmm, maybe I should really just do this.

This is day 5 of the year, but I work in weeks, so today is a sort of Day 1. That said, it was really no different than yesterday. I've got two major health goals: exercise 3x a week and eat better.

I don't diet, and never have. Instead, my plan is to make the better choice. I turn every food option into a choice: I can have a quarter pounder meal or the kid's meal. The kid's meal is better, so I'll eat that. For a snack, I could have a bowl of ice cream, or peanut butter crackers. Peanut butter crackers are better, so I'll have that. You get the idea. (And yes, it's possible to choose between two better options, but lets face it, I've got a long way to go before you could describe what I eat as "healthy.")

I have more to share, but for now I just want to say I WILL BE GOING TO THE POOL TOMORROW. Swimming laps is my exercise of choice, and I will be doing that tomorrow after work.

TRS, you'll hold me to that, won't you? I really don't think I'll do it without that.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Skinny B!tches

When I joined my first gym - I was greeted upon every visit by a darling woman with a beaming smile. Kisw(code name) worked at the front desk checking members in and distributing towels. Turned out she took the part time job because as an employee she got free use of the gym as a benefit.

She was serious about losing weight.

Kisw had a full round face, twinkling eyes, and the brightest most cheerful smile you can imagine. Like Mrs. Claus or something. But more like an elf - because she only came up to my chin (and I'm only 5'5")
When I met her, she was about a 1/3 the way through her weight loss. She once told me that at her heaviest, she was round. As wide as she was tall. I never saw proof, but took her at her word.

Over a year's time, I would see her on the treadmill when our workouts coincided - and her progress was obvious. One day I noticed a distinct definition between her chin and her neck. I stopped by to talk and told her how great she looked.

Another time, I noticed her waist making an appearance! Again, I stopped and congratulated her on her progress.

It was all so hard for me to imagine. I've never had a weight problem - but as I got older the need to maintain became evident. It's so much work just to maintain - I could never wrap my head around what it takes to lose 20 - 50 - 100 pounds.

I often told her how much I admired her and all of her hard work.
Kisw loved the praise. And apparently she heard it from a lot of people at the gym.
Those of us who saw Kisw occasionally could spot the changes in her body better than she who made daily eye contact with the mirror!

Her friends and family asked her how she could stand going to the trendy downtown gym with all those Skinny B!tches. She replied, "Because it feels AWESOME when all the Skinny B!tches come over and tell you how great you look and how well you're doing!"

To anyone out there who fears the gym or an exercise class because you feel you don't look good enough to be at the gym - don't. No one is judging you. Rather, they are impressed as hell!
If you think they're staring at your size - you're wrong - they're admiring your progress. They're rooting for you!

Accountability: one hour moderately intense yoga

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Ahh. That Felt Good

I went to a free yoga class today.
So. Good.

The pity is - I haven't done yoga in so long that my attempt today was almost pathetic.

When I lived in Omaha, my gym included yoga classes in the membership. So for something like $35 -$40 a month I had access to weights, yoga and a swimming pool among other things that I never bothered to take advantage of. (like aerobics - ick)

I was a convert. I've always had very tight muscles (shoulders, hamstrings) which led to back and hip problems. For years, everyone from my chiropractor to physical therapist to my general practitioner were giving me pamphlets demonstrating the stretches they wanted me to do. Pah. I didn't do them.

Then when I joined the gym, I thought yoga classes sounded good.
Chiropractors and Physical Therapists everywhere were ecstatic! Overjoyed! These were exactly the exercises they wanted me to do and now I was doing them! Success!

And I felt great.

I preached the yoga gospel to everyone I knew. (for the record, I concentrate on stretching yoga - not spiritual yoga so it doesn't conflict with my faith as some people have expressed concern)

So when I moved to Denver I tried a couple yoga classes but they weren't the same as Yoga Gary's class in Omaha.
Some spent half the class on breathing and reminding me to breathe out of my eyebrows.
Shut up. I just want to stretch.

In addition to that, classes charged $7-$15 per class. 3-4 days a week and that adds up when you don't make much money in the first place. So I just stopped doing yoga.
Sure. I bought some DVDs but of course I never bothered to do them.

Today, I went to a place that I found near work. They offer a free one-time class so I thought I'd check them out. Plus I have a decent job now so maybe I can join.

Oh... I was so stiff. Once I got into the positions it felt so good to work out the cobwebs. And the class went a little faster than I'd like - only because I wanted to spend more time in position - stretching to make the most of it.

After class - they offered me a card for 6 days of classes - FREE! The only catch is it's 6 consecutive days - not six classes. So I should be pretty bendy by the end of the week! Whoo hoo.

My Yoga Testimony~
As a kid I took Gymnastics and loved it.
In college, I took a gymnastics class one semester - followed by a modern dance class another semester just for the exercise. Also loved it.
In each of those practices - you warm up with various stretches to keep you limber and flexible.
When I started yoga, I realized that all the stretches were the same. Not only that, but they were the same stretches ALL of my health professionals were trying to push on me.

I also realized that various cultures have been practicing yoga (or something like it) for thousands of years - and it's still around.
Well - hit me with a pitchfork.
Suddenly it was clear.
A body MUST stretch and move to be it's best. If there is a fountain of youth - it is yoga. If you haven't tried it yet, I highly recommend it.

I feel SO good.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Mm. I put my new shoes on...

Okay. So back in November when I got word that I got a job - I went shopping!!
To celebrate.
I had been on wallet lockdown for so long - that I couldn't even wait to start the job - much less wait for the first paycheck.

I suffered from a serious longing for new shoes... so here is what I bought:

These are purple to go with a simple purple dress that I picked up on clearance at The Gap.

The next pair are black open toe shooties. LOVE them!