Trying to stay healthy in the month of crazy

Well, we have been launched into a month of crazy. Yup, it’s December 1.

And that means parties, stress, overeating, gatherings, over drinking, standing in long line, baking, cooking, shopping, mailing …

During this month of nuts-O we need to remind ourselves to take a breath and relax (when we can).

It’s important to try to keep our healthy lifestyles this month. And that can be challenging and difficult.

Healthy choices: So for GFG’s December Monthly Challenge make ONE healthy choice every single day this month.

If you can do a whole day of healthy I say go for it.

And of you fail one day, one week or the whole month don’t be so hard on yourself. You can always give it another go.

I took a Restorative Yoga workshop yesterday with one of my favorite people and teachers. I believe Restorative Yoga is important for all of us to take the time to slow down, rest and take care of ourselves.

Vickie gave us a 31-day challenge (for the month of December) to commit to 15 minutes of Savasana each day, which can be easily described as conscious relaxation.

Supported Savasana is even yummier. It’s nice … Continue reading

Getting grateful this month

Wow, we are now entering November. Can you believe how quickly this year has gone by?

Since it is November (and Halloween has passed) it means we are thrown into the holiday season.

I love the holidays.

But there is also a part of me that is glad when the holidays are over. This time can be so stressful and overwhelming.

And then there are all the temptations of overeating, so much sugar, lots of alcohol, parties, potlucks, etc.

At the beginning of this year I started a the jar project challenge for myself and shared it with all of you.

I did OK with adding slips of paper in the jar until sometime in April. Though I sometimes felt like I was playing catch up.

I went on vacation and never picked it up again.

We should be grateful all year around of what we have (instead of focusing on what we don’t).

But since it is November and the month most of us celebrate Thanksgiving, let’s do the jar project for the month of November as part of the GFG! Monthly Challenge.

Throughout the month let’s plan to fill the mason jar (or whatever you use) with little pieces of paper … Continue reading

The gift of yoga

I recently wrote a post about being frustrated with yoga. Frustrated with how I had learned things and how the more I learn I am finding more than one way to do something.

That bothered me for a few days and, of course, I wrote about it.

Soon after I started feeling better about my frustrations and discoveries and realized that this is actually a gift and I started to embrace it.

As my friend Nicole so eloquently put it: Isn’t that the gift of yoga – that we get to work through all that junk. (Junk being life, yoga poses, breathing, tough situations, daily activities, work, home life, getting to yoga class on time or at all, etc.)

I recently started practicing yoga with another teacher who is also part of the teacher training program. For years I have known about his reputation as a yoga teacher. I just hadn’t studied with him yet.

Until now.

I am seeing things so differently studying with Richard. It’s amazing.

And don’t get me wrong, my teachers are amazing and awesome and I love yoga so much because of them. But sometimes hearing a different teacher say the same thing in a … Continue reading

Taking an inward journey

On Saturday in my all-day teacher training class we focused on meditation.

I think meditation is an important part of yoga practice and frankly, life. But I don’t have a regular mediation practice on my own. I can barely get in my 30-minute home yoga practice five times a week.

Mary, who taught class on Saturday, told us that meditation is an inward dark journey. A regular meditation practice is about showing inner kindness to ourselves. It gives us an opportunity to listen to what our body needs and wants.

One of our assignments was to pair up with a  classmate and schedule 10 days where we meditate on the same day. On Day 5 we check in. And after Day 10 we answer a few questions.

If I remember correctly we are asked to meditate 20-30 minutes each day. My eyes nearly fell out of my head. I was like, how am I gonna fit that in, too???

My buddy and I scheduled a time when I will be on my work winter break. But part of that time I will also be out of town. So that will be a challenge to get my meditation in and my … Continue reading

Keeping the calm this December

Almost every December I sign myself up for too much and get completely overwhelmed.

I have decided to cut back on a few things this year.

Between a crazy time at work and school and the usual December craziness I had to make some decisions for me.

I love sending out holiday cards. So that is still happening. (In fact, I got most of them labeled, stamped and stuffed over Thanksgiving weekend.)

We pretty much stopped doing Christmas gifts a few years ago. (We do charity gifts instead.) But I like to send cards to the kids in our lives and let them know what charity we chose. I decided for my own sanity to not do cards this year.

I usually make some sort of tiny gift to include with cards to family and co-workers. Like last year’s knitted Santa hat (pictured to the left). Nope, not doing anything like that this year either.

My good friend Monica has a cocktail competition party every year around Christmastime. I will brag and tell you all that I won in 2010 and tied in 2011. Damn that Alexi and her 2012 win! 🙂

This year I decided not to participate. Not … Continue reading

Keeping calm, simple for Monthly Challenge

I asked my readers for ideas for the November Monthly Challenge. I got a lot of great ideas and used them.

I saved one idea for Go Fit Girl’s December Monthly Challenge.

We’ll get to that shortly.

December is a tough month for me and for many others as well. We are so busy with the end of the year at work, with the holidays, travel, extra tasks, multiple parties, certain expectations, many pressures.

Be kind to yourself this month. Let’s not forget the post I wrote in August titled, Do you want to be happy? Make sure to take care of yourself during this hectic, stressful over the top time.

Exercise: Exercise of any kind is important all year round. But it is really important when under stress. Try to exercise at least three times a week, but more is better. Go for a walk, catch a yoga class, take Zumba. Whatever you like to do do it. Make sure to make time for yourself. You can do as little as 15 minutes. It doesn’t have to be a full exercise regime to alter your mood.

Nutrition: We can probably guarantee any diet or healthy way of eating we … Continue reading

Keeping balanced with Restorative

One of my favorite yoga teachers, Vickie, is teaching a Fall Restorative Series. It was for three Sundays. One in September, one in October and the third one was today.

After today’s workshop I felt calm and relaxed. I’m ready for this week and the holiday season.

October’s Sunday workshop was called Not for Women Only: A sequence for balancing hormones. Appropriate for all life stages (PMS, peri-menopause, menopause and even if you’re a guy). Only one brave guy attended the workshop with about 30 women.

My friend Monica has been attending the Restorative series with me. I am happy to share this with her as she is a new yogini.

Before the actual (hormone) asana Restorative practice began Vickie gave us a little background on hormones.

If we have unbalanced hormones that means our nervous system is also unbalanced.

Our adrenals feed the fight or flight. The  adrenals activate the nervous system, which is programmed to keep us safe. (Think back to the days when cavewomen and men were running from lions.) When we are under acute stress our body protects us (aka adrenaline).

The sympathetic nervous system secretes cortisol, which is a stress hormone.

When we … Continue reading

Challenge: Get those abs in while watching calories

Wow, can you believe that it is already November? Halloween is over. Do you have candy lingering? Before we know it it will be December and Christmas and then a new year. 2014!

Go Fit Girl’s November Monthly Challenge ideas come from many Go Fit Girl! readers/friends.

Nicole M. asked for something abs related and a good challenge that has to do with resisting holiday overrating! She meant to type overeating.

Others concured on the stress eating. There was a request for maintaining food diaries.

Jen C. said, I would second the holiday eating (I’m trying to plan WW-friendly stuff already) and stress eating. Maybe … take a walk or finding healthy alternative instead of stress-eating?

Let’s explore Nicole’s typo: Resist holiday overrating. The holidays are supposed to be joyful and fun and full of spirit, right?

But for so many it is a depressing, sad, unfun, stressful time. How do many of us deal with those kind of emotions? Well, I drink (usually too much) and I definitely eat like crap. Bad choices and too many bad choices. And sometimes my great exercise routine goes out the window.

I have to say when I regularly exercise and eat healthy I … Continue reading

Try something new & quit yer complanin’ in January’s Monthly Challenge

Happy New Year, my friends and my readers.

Today is the start of a new year and a new Go Fit Girl! Monthly Challenge.

I personally don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions. Now I know they exist. But how often do we make one and keep it? Yup, think about it.

For as long as I can remember I have stopped making New Year’s Resolutions. But that doesn’t mean I don’t strive to be healthy and challenge myself nutritionally or physically. I just don’t normally start that on January 1.

That being said, we are still starting a challenge today. But let’s give it a little different thought and approach.

Here are the challenges for Go Fit Girl!’s January Monthly Challenge:

Exercise: Try something new. Maybe a new class at the gym or yoga studio. A new teacher. Try a higher weight or a new machine at the gym. Try a pose during yoga class, which you have been reluctant to try. Try going for a walk once, twice or three times a week. Try pilates or Zumba or kickboxing or something else you have wanted to try.

I know some of my readers will start a New Year’s Resolution … Continue reading

Back to life, back to reality

Today our vacation ends …

Well, we still have a few more days off. But today we take off and drive back home to the Bay Area.

I have had a great time visiting family and friends. But frankly, I am looking forward to getting back into my routine … my healthy routine.

Our one day stay in Phoenix and our stay in Tucson I did well with the exercise. (I had already given up in the healthy food department.) I believe I got to the gym four days in a row. I even exercised on Christmas morning.

Once we hit San Diego I got super lazy. It doesn’t help that our hotel doesn’t have a gym. But I did bring my travel yoga mat, which never came out of the bag.

If I were a runner I could have taken off down the boardwalk with all the other runners and gotten my cardio in.

But I am not a runner and really have no desire to become one. I already tried it and it just didn’t work out. It doesn’t help that I absolutely hate running.

The longer I maintain a healthier lifestyle the harder it is for me … Continue reading