Happy New Year

I joined a gym in June 2007 and have been a regular since.

When I joined Weight Watchers in October 2006 it was advised that exercise didn’t start immediately. First reduce the food portions, make healthier and more filling choices, drink more water, etc.

I can’t remember how long it was recommended that you first work on losing weight with food and then introduce exercise.

I know I took that advisement for longer than was given.

I started exercising in the mini-gym at work in March 2007. And eventually I joined a gym in June 2007. I quickly figured out that classes were better for me to keep me motivated and help me exercise harder and better than on my own.

As a teacher of yoga and cycling in gyms and at a studio I have joked with my students about New Year’s Resolutioners. There may be someone on your bike, in your yoga spot or in your spot at any other class you may take.

I’ve told my students to smile, wave and maybe make new friends with this person. Maybe they will only be around a few months. Maybe they are here for years. But we should make them … Continue reading

Getting back to my basics

As I type this post it’s raining outside and I am sipping my coffee. I just finished my home yoga practice. (I started working on this post yesterday morning.)

I won’t type long and will finish this post later as I really want to get to reading my book.

When I was a little girl I read all the time. I read so much that my vocabulary was quite advanced (much more than it is now) and I was three reading levels ahead of my grade.

In 7th grade we got to pick a book of our choice to read and write a report on it. I read Jane Eyre. I wouldn’t read that book again until college in one of my literature classes.

I still enjoy reading. It just doesn’t happen as often. But every once in a while I get into a kick and read like crazy.

I feel like I am back in that. Sometime last week after I had unloaded our books onto our book shelf I realized there were so many books I hadn’t yet read.

I grabbed a Beverly Cleary book. She wrote the Ramona books and (Ralph) The Mouse and the Motorcycle books among … Continue reading

And GFG! is back

I’m baaaack!

Years ago Curt and I were in the Philly area visiting his brother and family along with Curt’s parents and grandma. Some of the family went on a canoe outing. Our nephew James was about 4 at the time. As we got closer to the canoe spot James started to recognize it as he had been there with his dad before. We walked into the place to rent our canoes and James slams the screen door open and says, I’m baaaack!

And so is GFG!

What a whirlwind the move has been. All went well. Movers packed the truck up in three hours and were gone sooner than I had planned. Curt and I took off soon after the truck left and got a few hours on the road.

The following day, which was a Friday, we made the rest of trek to Portland.

For a few days it was like we were on a mini vacation.

The movers arrived last Tuesday. They unloaded our stuff in about three hours. Right after they left the unpacking frenzy began.

Except for pictures hanging on the walls and the books on the bookshelf we are pretty much moved in.

I love … Continue reading

Pursuing happiness

You want to know the real reason I quit my job?

I wasn’t happy.

I was also becoming a person I didn’t like.

And that definitely needed to change.

When I started my yoga teacher training about a year ago (can’t believe that was a year ago) it wasn’t my intention to quit my job and solely be a yoga teacher.

I planned to teach on the side and maybe eventually move more full time into health and wellness, which would include being a yoga teacher and blogger (and maybe a few other things I have up my sleeve), but like everything in life, things changed.

I have many things to do on my to do list. But the No. 1 item is to be happy.

I can’t be the best me if I am not happy and good to myself.

A few friends have asked me: Are you teaching full time? Where are you teaching?

No to the first question. Keep reading for an answer to the second question.

First, yoga teachers can’t possibly work 40 hours a week as a yoga teacher. Most teachers have to travel to multiple studios (or gyms) for classes, teaching can be emotionally and physically … Continue reading

Cooking and blending my way to healthy eating

During this time I am taking off from working full time I want to get back to healthy: physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and in any other way I can.

I have started eating better, drinking even more water than I was before and I am even cooking a bit. (I’ve also started back with my regular home yoga practice, regularly attending public yoga classes and getting some cardio in at my gym.)

Let’s get back to that cooking thing I mentioned above …

Even though I have two parents who are amazing cooks, I don’t like cooking. When I was a kid and my brother and I were old enough we were given the task to cook one night a week to help our mom, who was a single parent.

I absolutely hated it. I begged my mom for any other chore. So I had to vacuum the house. And to the day I still don’t mind vacuuming.

I have many goals in mind during my break. One of them is not to become a housewife–this is no offense to housewives, it is just not me.

One of my goals (besides tackling that atrocious unorganized pantry, cleaning up my e-mail inbox, … Continue reading

Gettin’ CPR certified

In order to be able to sub/teach classes at the gym where I am a member they require you be CPR certified.

I recently took a CPR class with Safety Training Seminars (American Heart Association).

I am now CPR/AED certified.

I learned how to administer CPR to an adult, child and infant. I also learned how to use an AED (automated external defibrillation).

CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

I also learned how to help an adult, child, pregnant woman and infant if they are choking.

I took this certification class because it was a requirement for me to start subbing at my gym (and possibly other places I may teach).

But I also think this is good knowledge to have just in case. I would rather no one I know stop breathing or start choking. But if you do, I have the skills to help you.

Is the scene safe? …

Gym yoga teacher sub gig

Last night I taught my third yoga class, but my first gym yoga sub gig.

A friend of mine who I work with and lives in Alameda helped me get this sub gig. (She is also a yoga teacher.) She knew Alameda Athletic Club was going to need a yoga sub when the regular yoga teacher went on maternity leave.

A few weeks ago I attended the regular yoga teacher’s Thursday night class to get an idea of her style and meet her. After class she mentioned to me that she was going on vacation at the end of August and thought maybe I could sub those classes.

So she’s on vacation and I have three more classes of hers to teach.

In preparation for my four classes I have worked on four sequences to teach knowing that there are limited props at the gym.

Last night was a little chaotic as I had trouble finding someone who could tell me where the key was for the props locker and I started to feel unprepared for my class.

But I started the class in a seated meditation and I took the time to breathe and find my own calm … Continue reading

Use form, not momentum when weight training

If you asked me 10 years ago if I would ever regularly exercise I would probably have laughed and said no. So the thought of working the weights never occurred to me.

And even when I first started working out I wasn’t into weights. Cardio machines, especially the elliptical, were my exercise of choice. I added yoga and abs and eventually spin.

Once I worked in some weights work I was only comfortable with the machines.

Now I am comfortable working free weights in classes or on my own.

For the past couple of years I have added body conditioning into my exercise regimen, which is a mixture of cardio, weights, squats, lunges, etc.

Some of the classes I take regularly are pretty hardcore and push me to work hard.

What I know about working free weights (any weights or really any exercise) is that you should feel challenged. It shouldn’t be too easy or too hard, but just right. Momentum shouldn’t be used when lifting weights.

At the gym I notice huge dudes lifting weights while grunting and looking like they are about to kill themselves. In some of my classes I notice women lifting weights heavier than they … Continue reading

Taking the stairs

If you had the option to take four flights of stairs up or the elevator, what would you do?

For me it would depend on how I was feeling and what shoes I was wearing.

I think we all know that there is a benefit to walking up stairs. I mean, there are machines at the gym for this activity.

Is there a benefit to going down the stairs?

This New York Times blog post says, since you’ll burn less than a third as many calories going down a flight as going up, don’t count on walking down to build fitness or shed fat. Still, you use different muscles going down, and they contract differently at that, so going down does make a contribution to your legs.

The blog post also says, since every little bit of exercise is a step forward on the long road to health, walking down stairs is also a plus. But while gravity makes walking up tough, it makes walking down easy on the heart.

The article, 8 reasons to Incorporate Stairs into Your Workout, states that walking up and down stairs every day can tone your legs in no time. Click here to … Continue reading

Committing to your good health

I have been thinking a lot about priorities lately. About what is important for me and to me. And what makes me happy. (Don’t forget about Do you want to be happy?)

One of my friends/co-workers told me that something I said to her lately really hit a chord. And she suggested this be a Monthly Challenge.

I love ideas, suggestions and questions that lead to posts of any kind. So let’s try this for Go Fit Girl’s October Monthly Challenge.

What is a priority in your life? What is important? If something is really important you will make a commitment to it.

We all have excuses for why we don’t have time for something, right?

Choose a focus/commitment for the month. You, of course, can choose more than one. But don’t overwhelm yourself.

You can make a commitment to eat healthier; eat at least one fruit and one vegetable a day; get to the gym at least three times a week; do something that makes you happy (don’t forget about that theme we are working on for the rest of the year and was part of September’s Monthly Challenge); learn a new craft; get back into … Continue reading