Sunday, March 31, 2013

Plank-A-Day April!


Welcome, April.  Month four of my year-long project of monthly mini-resolutions.

Yoga-A-Day March didn't work out so well for me.  I started strong but didn't end that way.  I can see the value in yoga; however I think I really need to attend a class to stay interested in it.  I'm too rushed.  Which is probably all the more reason why I NEED it in my life.  But I do feel that rowing burns more energy off and that's what I need to process all the things going on right now.  So rowing: sticking with it.  Yoga: revisiting it later.

For April, my plans are two-fold.  First, I want to do a plank a day.  Right now my easy-to-do plank time is just over a minute.  I want to beat 2 minutes by the end of April.  Probably pretty easy as long as I improve by a second or two each day.  Maybe I'll even surprise myself and get to 3 minutes.  :)

The second thing I want to do is eliminate smoothies from my diet.  I really enjoy them, but I've been wondering why I haven't been able to shed more of my belly fat.  It's just resistant in ways that it hasn't been before.  Knowing that sugar turns into fat, I looked up the sugar content of my smoothies, and found that they are more than twice the amount of sugar I should be consuming in a day.  YOW.  Bye bye smoothies.  Even though I make them with healthy ingredients - frozen fruit, 100% orange juice, and fat-free yogurt - there must be just too much sugar in them.  So, back to cereal and almond milk.  Fruit only in its raw form and lots of veggies for lunch.

Sorry new blender, time for a little rest.

I think my new juicer will be taking its place on the counter sometime soon.

Who's planking with me every day, hmm?  Let me know and let's progress together!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Plans for April

Did you know you can find anything on the internet?

The other day I was scrolling through Instagram and came across a picture of a gal I follow doing a plank.  She posted that her time was 2m 43s.  This made my core tremble.  A 2:43 plank?!  Seriously?!  And she looked like a badass pro doing it too.

So I got to thinkin'.  You know, I'D really like to improve MY plank time too.  On top of that, improving my plank means improving my core.  So I headed on over to the InterWebz and started doing some searching on how to improve my plank time.

Honestly though, I never would have thought - who cares enough about planks that they want to find a regimen to help improve their times?  Apparently I'm not the only one with this fab idea.  And thank goodness too, because otherwise I would just do one every day blindly without a goal.

Speaking of goals:  April is now hereby declared Plank-A-Day April.  I've already recruited my co-worker to do them with me.  Whoop.  :)

The goal is to beat 2 minutes by the end of April.  But I've already gotten some feedback that I might be able to beat 3 minutes by the end of April.  Which makes my core tremble.

I'm not sure what will happen, but let's find out.  :)

For the future - also researching "intuitive eating", "clean eating", and other various methodologies about "eating" so that I can shed all my fat.  Expect another deprivation month coming up.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

March Update

Hey, guess what.  You know those Oreos I mentioned in this post?

They're gone, as of tonight.

Hey, guess what else.

I only ate, in total over the past several weeks, not even a full row's worth of them.  :)  My husband actually ate a whole package all by himself, and started into the second package.  I got a hold of them a couple weeks ago and had a few, and I just finished the last five.

This week has been bad though.  I've been a bad, bad girl.  I've been careless with a delicate man....  Oh, my bad.  This isn't a Fiona Apple track?  Ooops.

Anyway.  I've been bad.  It started last week when I went to Seattle.  I went to visit one of my best friends to celebrate our birthdays (hers is the 9th, mine is the 11th).  The night before I flew out there, I washed my hair and piled it on top of my head in a towel to dry a little.  As per my usual routine, I bent over to unwrap the towel, and jerked my head and hair back upwards and tweaked something in my right shoulder.  This shoulder has been my problem shoulder for about a year now, since I hurt it in rowing.  It was something between my neck and shoulder and I had a hard time turning my head and everything.  Therefore, I skipped yoga the next day.  It probably would have felt better had I done it, but I was in some serious pain.

The next day, Thursday, I flew to Seattle.  On a plane, 6 hours straight, 3 hours back in time, landed and ate dinner and got back to my friend's house and seriously crashed.  Friday, I did do my yoga.  My shoulder did feel better.  Friday I also shot a bunch of guns!  Saturday I skipped yoga though because we were late getting out of the house for our hike (or, what we right-coasters would call 'mountain climbing'), and figured eh no big deal, I'm going to burn like 10,000,000,000 calories doing that anyway.

Sunday.... ouch.  Sunday hurt.  Who knew mountain climbing was so tough?  Pfft.  Again, yoga probably would have helped me, but I skipped it.  Also skipped it Monday, as I was out of the house before dawn for my flight home; home by dinner time; and exhausted.

Then I only rowed one day this week, and daylight savings time, and I've been exhausted, and eating poorly, and just.... ugh.  What a sucky health week.

But hey, I think we can all get off track once in a while, eh?  This week though, I'm back on track.  I've got a healthy menu on tap this week, I've got bucket-o-lettuce lunches on tap, tons of fruit, and I'm rowing three times this week.  And doing yoga every morning.  Getting up at 5 and just friggin' doing it for Pete's sake.  I'm gonna finish this month strong!!

School is back in session.  But it's my last two classes.  Last.  Two.  Classes.  Wish I could say it flew by but uh, it totally didn't.  Please, nobody let me go back for my Master's, mmk?  I am REALLY looking forward to not having anything pressing to do on the weekends.  I am actually longing for the weekends where all I have to do is chores and errands.  Ah, what a relief.

Stay tuned for pictures from Seattle.  Included: my goofy post-gunshot face, my ecstatic mountain-summiting face, and my pissed off mountain-summiting face.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Congratulations Ryan & Jolie!

Recently, my brother Ryan and his fantastic lady Jolie got engaged.  I was honored to be picked for their engagement shoot!  We went hiking through all kinds of wilderness to get some interesting shots, and I'm pretty pleased with how they've turned out.  I had lots of fun with them and laughed a lot and I'm hoping maybe one day I can do a maternity shoot with them.  ::wink wink:: ::nudge nudge::

Some of my favorites are below.

(Note: My brother Ryan is a goofball, so, if you look at any of these and think hmm, that's weird... well that's why.  But he's the coolest goofball I know.)

Yep, here's your first goofy one.  My brother has a thing for dinosaurs.  Rawr.

I think their kids will probably love these pictures someday.

Now there's a memorable Save-The-Date picture....

So adorable!

Congratulations, Ryan and Jolie!!  xoxoxoxox

Day 3: Yoga-A-Day March

So it's day 3 of Yoga-A-Day March.  So far, so good.  I've done both routines all three days, and it's just over 30 minutes.

Something surprising?  I had no idea how much WORK yoga is.  Or how much it makes you sweat.  I am far from graceful, or flexible, or good at keeping my balance, but it's going pretty well.  I like it.

Something awesome?  My awesome daughter has done yoga with me the past two mornings.  :)  I really like that.  This morning she came down the stairs and said "Mommy, can I eckersize wif you again?"  I love that that was the first thing she said to me when she saw me.  I'm planting good habits.  :)

I don't see any difference in my appearance yet - not that I expected to - but I do feel it.  I kind of feel it everywhere.  And I don't know if yoga is supposed to help you sleep better but I came home from being out all day yesterday and c-r-a-s-h-e-d.  I went to bed at 9 and woke up at 7 this morning.  I never sleep that much.  I almost felt like I was drugged.

I should have thought to take a before / after picture for this month.  But I'd be so embarrassed to post the before picture.  So I think I'll just post an after picture and hope that the 3.4 people who read this blog take my word for it.  ;)  IF this month is worthy of an after-picture, that is.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Bye-Bye Candy-Free February; Hellloooooo Yoga-A-Day March!

I have a lot of things going on right now.

I'm going to Seattle in a week.
My birthday is next weekend.
Lots of family birthdays this month, actually.
I'm heading into the last semester of school in 10 days.
Work is absolutely ridiculously infuriating.

But today.... none of that matters.

Do you know why?

Because today.....


Candy-Free February was THE WORST.  It was really really tough.  So today, and especially today since I'm going rowing and have about 700-800 extra calories to burn, I am going to HAVE SOME CANDY.  Last weekend at the store I picked up some Rolos and Reese's PB Cups.  And I've been staring at them all week.  And I'm going to tear into them momentarily.

Yes, for breakfast.  Shut up.

But guess what else I'm excited about, folks.  Today starts Yoga-A-Day March.  I am very excited about this because though I row several times a week, and it burns tons of calories, I feel as though it bulks me up and makes me look kind of like a quarterback.  My arms and shoulders are large -- muscular, but large.  My thighs are hefty.  But muscular.  So what I'm hoping is that practicing yoga will help to slenderize me.  Several of my friends have done yoga and have raved about it, so I am very excited.

I did a little bit of research to find a manageable routine that I could do daily.  If you'd like to follow along with me, you can find them below.  I also found a routine that specifically targets abdominals, because I need to get this pooch off of my body.  It's been 3 years since I had a baby, I don't think I can legitimately use that as an excuse anymore.  Maybe by the end of the month, I will be leaner!  If not, maybe I will at least be calmer.  And happier.

Who knows what this month could bring?

March is my favorite month.  It's my birthday month.  Plus it's also the month when I know for sure winter is over and spring is on its way.  Maybe this March will be a March of new beginnings for me in more ways than one.

Enough with the ambiguous philosophical talk, Cristin.  On with the yoga routine.

Okay, so here it is.

First:  I found this routine on Pinterest (where I find about 99% of things I want to do / see / remember / read / eat / etc these days).  This routine specifically targets "back bulge", though in the first picture the girl is grabbing what I would think are her love handles.  Regardless, when I started rowing I had 2 rolls on my back and since I lost my first round of weight, I'm now down to 1 roll.  The one I find is pretty gosh darn stubborn.  So, I will be doing this routine daily:  Yoga Poses to Get Rid of Back Bulge.

Second:  I found this routine last night while looking for yoga routines that target abdominals.  I'm unsure yet if I'll be doing both routines daily, or if I'll start by doing one routine one day and the other routine the next.  I think I can build to doing both routines in one day pretty easily, but yoga seems to require grace, which I have damn near none of, so I am thinking it might be a good idea to start with one and incorporate the other. Besides, this routine looks like it's going to kill my stomach.  Which will eventually be a good thing.  Here:  Yoga for Flat Abs.

I figured both routines could take me about 30-45 minutes.  This is pretty manageable.  I'm not sure yet if I'll do them in the morning or the evening, I suppose I will have to find out as I make my way through the month.  But for now, I'm going to go start, because I have to sign in to work in about a half hour.  Wish me luck!  I hope you follow along with me this month.  Let's get lean together!


UPDATE:  I just finished a 30 minute yoga routine (I did both routines today, whew!) in my freezing cold basement, and holy crap.  Yoga makes you SWEAT.