Before … after … and now

For about the past year to year and a half I have been the healthiest I have ever been. Not the smallest or thinnest, but the healthiest.

I turn 42 in one month and I feel amazing. And I think I look pretty good, too. I know that’s not what it is all about. It’s about being and feeling healthy. But I’ll be honest, it feels good to look good.

I work hard at being healthy. At times it is easy. And other times it’s so so difficult.

But I haven’t always looked the way I look now.

When I was younger I was considered skinny. (I seriously hate that word and all that it implies.)

I could basically eat and drink anything I wanted and not gain weight.

Then I turned 25. I had a sedentary job. I worked second shift and ate a lot of my meals at my desk, which weren’t actually healthy and usually came in some sort of wrapper (as in fast food).

Over a seven year period I gained 30 pounds.

I hated shopping for clothes. I lacked confidence. It was difficult to go on hikes with friends.

One day a friend and co-worker asked me … Continue reading

Healthy living at 40

Right now in my life I am the healthiest I have ever been in my whole entire life.

And I’m 40.

I’m at a healthy weight. I eat pretty healthy. I drink alcohol in moderation. I rarely have soda. I exercise regularly. My stress levels are fairly low. I drink a lot of water. I practice yoga almost every day.

I teach five cycle classes a week. That means I do about an hour of cardio five times a week. I have a home yoga practice where I practice the sequence I teach four to six times a week. (I squeeze in a yoga class as a student myself occasionally. Wish it was more often.)

I am not the lightest weight ever in my adult life. (I am about 35 pounds lighter than when I first started my quest to lose weight in October 2006.)

But just because you are skinny or thin doesn’t mean you are healthy. Ever heard of skinny fat? I believe I could have been skinny fat, when I could eat and drink whatever I wanted and not gain weight.

I wrote about skinny fat in the past titled, Skinny doesn’t mean healthy.

Skinny … Continue reading

Our bodies need energy, fuel

Like a car we need to fuel our bodies.

I was talking to a friend recently telling her how I am teaching five cycle classes a week (among numerous yoga classes). Her next question was, are you in crazy great shape? (That’s not a quote. But she said something like that.)

I told her I am maintaining my weight and am content. (I like to eat and drink … in moderation, of course.)

But because I am not currently tracking my food I need to be careful and make sure that I am still eating the right things and enough even with my regular cardio workout.

When the cardio increases and/or the exercise gets intense we need to make sure our bodies have enough “fuel,” such as protein, carbohydrates, fiber, sugar, fat and even saturated fat, among many other nutrients.

I am a big believer in protein. I can tell when I haven’t had enough of it. And I know that I need a well-balanced diet.

Protein has a lot more functions than repairing and growing muscle tissue. … Protein increases satiety at meals, which can lead to overall decreased calorie consumption, according to an article in Muscle & Fitness.

According to … Continue reading

Seeing results with healthy choices

I know that there are so many things challenging about the holidays. There is stress, overeating, over drinking … etc.

But we can overcome a lot of that and stay on a healthy track.

When I quit my job a little more than two months ago I thought the weight would fall off and I would easily fall back to my goal weight rather quickly.

Well, that didn’t happen and then I went on vacation.

Once back from vacation I got back on the healthy eating and regular exercise routine with indoor cycling and yoga (both public classes and my own home practice). I was also able to control my stress levels much more at that point.

I have been at it for about six weeks and am pleased with my results.

Yes, it can be difficult to maintain healthy living during the holidays. But it is possible.

When I first started on my weight loss track eight years ago I lost weight over Thanksgiving and Christmas.

So far this year I lost weight over Thanksgiving. I made sure to get my exercise in last week while still enjoying food and wine, all in moderation.

I stuck to my plan of … Continue reading

Celebrating bumps and curves

Recently I saw stuff about Jennifer Garner and her baby bump.

Jennifer Garner admits she has a baby bump but is not pregnant on the Ellen DeGeneres show.

She’s had three kids and now there is a bump and she says it ain’t going away.

Society as a whole is so obsessed with women and their weight.

Why don’t we talk about men and their bellies? Wow, he musta put down a 6-pack last night and a bag of Doritos! How is he gonna show off his body in that bathing suit next month??!!

In the silly movie, Couples Retreat, all the women are in super amazing (dare I say, unrealistic) shape and the guy’s are a bunch of out of shape slobs. I realize our bodies can’t be perfect, but what message is that sending? This is the best picture I could find of the whole main cast.

Guess what, friends? You can have a “baby bump” and have never even had a baby.

It’s called a big meal, being bloated, stress, water retention, bad posture, a little extra weight on the tummy, etc.

Most of my life I was “skinny.” I seriously hate that word. And then … Continue reading

Experimenting in the kitchen

As I have mentioned in the past since my FUNemployment began I have a long to do list of things, including getting healthy.

And one of the many ways I am working on getting back to healthy (and hopefully lose a few pounds in the process) is by experimenting with recipes and cooking.

I will be out of town next week and the amount of blogging (and cooking for sure) will be minimal if at all.

So I thought this week I would share three recipes I have been experimenting with lately.

My friend and GFG! reader who suggested the Recipes tab told me about a soup she easily makes in the blender.

Recipe 1:

I experimented with her idea and came up with this:

  • 3 medium raw tomatoes
  • garlic
  • 1/4 onion
  • jalapeño
  • fresh basil

Throw all the ingredients into a blender. Apparently some blenders, such as the Vitamix, have a heat function. My Ninja doesn’t. If your blender has the heat function you can blend and warm your soup at the same time. I had to pour my cold soup into a pot and heat up. I guess you could also put in the microwave.

The soup was … 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

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

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