GFG! BIG announcement

In the past 10 months or so I have been doing a lot of thinking, exploring, reflecting and starting to make changes in my life.

I am excited and nervous about the opportunity I am about to take on.

Starting next week I will begin a 10-month yoga teacher training program at Piedmont Yoga Studio.

Going through this program is something I have been thinking about since last October/November.

Everything is lining up for me in my life with signs showing me that this is the right time and the right opportunity to take it on.

My life has been transforming and becoming more focused on health and fitness, including really focusing on Go Fit Girl! and how the blog helps me and my readers.

Two of my favorite teachers, Baxter Bell and Vickie Russell Bell, studied at Piedmont and they are teachers under the Deep Yoga program I will be attending.

The timing is just right as this program only starts in September. And I can still fit in my full-time job and most personal things in my life.

If you are familiar with the yoga world you have heard of Rodney Yee. According … Continue reading

Comment Contest Tuesday: Starr wants to hear stories

We haven’t had a Comment Contest Tuesday in some time.

So I think it is time for one, don’t you.

Let’s do something a little fun this time.

My name is Ann. But when I was a kid (and still now) most of my family did and still calls me Annie. There was also Annie Roonie. Annie Go Get Your Guns.

But I didn’t like my name (and nothing against my parents but it is a pretty boring name). There were twin girls who lived in our neighborhood who were older than me. And I just thought they were super cool. One was named Star.

So I decided when I turned 18 I was legally changing my name to Starr Chihak.

Obviously, and thankfully, that didn’t happen.

In my department at work we all have nicknames. I was able to get Starr as mine for fun. We had a recent offsite where we honored our fellow team member Perry who recently died.

Perry  wanted to start a bowling league at work. So we all got bowling shirts with our nicknames and went bowling. It was pretty awesome.

Here are my questions for you: What was or is your nickname? When … Continue reading

No excuses … Week 2

This past week was Week 2 back to healthy living.

It was a challenging week at work. I didn’t just work long hours, they were also intense hours.

I kept my gym bag packed and ready to go in the trunk every day.

Monday and Tuesday I worked long hours but was still able to muster enough energy to exercise on my own at the gym.

By the time Wednesday hit I didn’t get home until 8 and Thursday I was just spent.

I decided to listen to my body and take a break.

I still tried to maintain my healthy eating habits with a few cheats here and there.

But as we all know life happens and some things are beyond our control.

I did take yoga with Vickie this morning, which was what I needed physically and mentally.

But my dear friends and readers, Go Fit Girl! is still here. Just know that the posts may be minimal but I will back to normal soon. I have all sorts of ideas. I hope to share them with you soon.

Stay tuned.

Continue reading

No excuses

Monday was my day to get back on the healthy living wagon.

No excuses.

The cafe at work always has healthy options for breakfast and lunch.

(Curt and I were out of town over the weekend so I didn’t have a chance to get to the grocery store.)

Having the work cafe means I have lots of good options to choose from as well as deliciously bad ones, which I successfully avoided.

I have packed my gym bag every day and kept it in my trunk. This means if I get back too late to take a regular class whether at the gym or yoga studio I have exercise clothes with me and I can do a workout on my own at the gym.

(I would rather take a class, but that doesn’t always work out.)

Even on a hectic and stressful day like today I kept pretty good with my food intake. I did have an excuse for not exercising: I worked a 12-hour day and didn’t get home (after more than an hour commute) until 9 p.m.

And I will hit yoga tomorrow.

I really wanted a drink when I got home tonight. But I decided to keep … Continue reading

Back to healthy, clean living

Oh man. I feel like I have been writing these posts too often lately.

I have been allowing myself to get out of my routine way too much recently.

Yup, I usually have a good reason or “excuse.”

And we all fall off the wagon and experience life.

And sometimes I give myself permission to get “off plan.”

Today I told myself that I had to get back to my routine, which includes healthy eating and exercise.

Last week I had plenty of excuses to do neither. Such as the BART strike, hectic and busy time at work, which also included staying later than normal.

In a little less than four weeks I am going on a beach vacation, where I plan to pig out and drink a lot.

But I would like to start out the vacation back to my healthy self, enjoy my week and get right back into a healthy living routine.

The BART strike is over (at least for 30 days), work is still busy and hectic. But today I got back to healthy eating.

I stayed at work later than normal tonight, which meant I missed my regular 5:30 p.m. body conditioning class.

But I … Continue reading

I need my routine!

The lack of posts have to do with many things going on in my life. Nothing major. Don’t freak out. It’s just life.

Today I am going to talk about the BART strike, which is drastically affecting my life even though I don’t actually take BART to work.

(For those of you who don’t know, BART stands for Bay Area Rapid Transit and is our commuter subway system in the Bay Area.)

According to a story I read the other day, about 400,000 people utilize BART on a workday.

I am happy to read that there is progress in negotiations.

Now I will admit I am not fully aware of all the goings on. I know the contract was up at midnight on Sunday and BART workers wanted certain things and now there is a labor dispute. I am prounion for the most part. But I have my limits.

Since BART workers went on strike my world has gone nuts-O!

Curt and I only have one car. I drive to a shuttle and the shuttle drives me to work. Curt takes BART to work.

So we have been tag teaming. I drive him to the ferry station in Oakland. … Continue reading

Yoga pose: Child’s Pose

Earlier this week I wrote about dealing with grief and yoga.

One of the poses (Child’s Pose) is part of the mini practice I found and shared on Monday as well.

A few of my co-workers and I did a mini yoga practice yesterday. My friend Maria lead a short little meditative relaxing practice. And I lead the group through breathing; kneeling; Child’s Pose; Cow Pose; Downward Facing Dog; Cow Pose; Child Pose; back to kneeling.

There are so many amazing benefits with Child’s Pose as with all yoga poses.

The Yoga Journal website lists the benefits of this pose.

The anatomical focus according to the site is thighs. But I think it is also a gentle hip opener.

Therapeutic application: stress; overall benefits: Gently stretches the hips, thighs, and ankles and calms the brain and helps relieve stress and fatigue and relieves back and neck pain when done with head and torso supported.

This is a great beginner’s tip: We usually don’t breathe consciously and fully into the back of the torso. Balasana provides us with an excellent opportunity to do just that. Imagine that each inhalation is “doming” the back torso toward the ceiling, lengthening and widening the … Continue reading

Dealing with grief

We don’t get over our grief, we change our relationship to it.- Lyn Prashant

Life is suffering, the Buddha says, and even if you’re not given to abstractions it’s easy to see that life can be hard. The added strain of a major loss can make your world unremittingly bleak.

Over the weekend my friend/co-worker/leader Perry died.

Perry had a very short battle with an aggressive cancer. His passing is a huge loss to my team, my company, his family and friends, and frankly, the world.

Perry had a huge and amazing presence. He stuck up for his team always. He was smart and caring.

I look to my friends/co-workers for support and love. But I also look to yoga to help me in this grief.

I agree with what this Yoga Journal article, which says, It’s in precisely these situations that the wisdom of the yoga tradition can be enormously helpful. Asana, breathwork, meditation—and, especially, the perspective on loss and death taught by the ancient yogis and sages of the East—can not only mitigate pain and expedite the grief process but also transform your experience of life after loss.

I did research to find specific … Continue reading

Chihak cousins take on Austin

I spent 5-6 days in Dallas for an international trademark conference.

I allowed myself to enjoy food and drink. And boy, did I. The day I arrived and Day 2 I hit the gym at the end of the day.

And then the gym time went down hill after that. Late nights, early mornings and long days … There were days I had a few hours for a break in between meetings, sessions and dinners and I chose a nap over the gym.

I left Dallas on Thursday and headed to Austin to meet up with my cousin Alex, who used to live here. He and I have been excited about this trip for months.

So far the eating and drinking is going great–as in, I am eating a lot of delicious food and drinking a lot of beer. I even tried moonshine yesterday. Check goes on the bucket list.

I did hit the gym this morning and plan to tomorrow before I take off as well.

And Monday I will get back to my healthy lifestyle routine.

But the reason for this post is that even though Alex and I were only in Austin together for a short period … Continue reading

Training, travel and all that comes with it

As I am writing this I am sitting at a restaurant at the Oakland airport waiting for my flight to Dallas.

I am attending the International Trademark Association Annual Meeting. The past two years I have attended the Trademark Administrator’s Conference. But because they are revamping that conference/training there is not one this year. So I decided to attend the annual meeting.

This is a great learning opportunity for me along with networking. Tomorrow and Sunday I am attending all day training on international trademark law, which is something I really want to focus on and understand better.

(Have I ever mentioned my occupation? I am a patent and trademark paralegal at a biotech. Feel free to check out Onyx Pharmaceuticals. And yes, if you are confused, I did get a degree in journalism and worked in newspapers for seven years. )

There are some sessions Monday through Wednesday that interest me along with networking and meeting up with a friend or two along with lots of parties. AND I am in Texas, so you know I am gonna get some barbecue.

For the next week and a half I have given myself permission to eat and drink … Continue reading