Streeeeeetch Yourself

yogi nora

I love Yoga and stretching but I’m absolutely terrible about making time for it. I’d rather lift or do sprints every time. Even though I know if I take the time to stretch, my body will be grateful and perform even better the next time I want to do life or sprint.

So I’m working on being better. Like all things I know I’m lacking, I try and make an effort to improve (even if it’s minimal at first).

I’m making time once a week to do an online Yoga video (there are so so so so many on YouTube for free!). I discovered this one by a lady named Yogi Nora. She smiles a lot. Which is good. Because her deep stretches are very painful so I’m cursing a lot while doing them. So we basically balance each other out.

We did approximately 6 stretches in 30 minutes and I was nearly sobbing from the pain in each one. And I was sore for three days after the stretching because it pushed my body in a way I haven’t been pushed in a very long time.

And now I’m making time weekly to have this smiling yoga teacher put me through self-inflicted torture so I can get healthier. Maybe someday I’ll even stretch twice a week. Maybe someday I’ll even have a thriving yoga practice. Maybe someday I won’t start crying because it hurts so badly to move into a certain position because it’s so tight and I never take the time to stretch it.

Maybe. Or maybe somebody can shoot me now and put me out of my misery!

Advertisements

Body Balance

I try and be good to my body. I try and exercise regularly and watch what I eat. i-love-healthy-eating

But there are times that my schedule gets out of control. Times when I don’t keep lots of nutritious food in the fridge. Times when I don’t have the budget to go get all the healthy items I want that I know my body will appreciate. Times when I have rice for breakfast, beans and cheese for lunch, and rice and beans for dinner.

I know this is because I’m choosing to focus my very limited resources on creative projects, so so I’m ok with this.

For now.

But I need to make sure to stay balanced. Because our bodies are forgiving, but they can only take so much abuse.

If I workout regularly, my body will crave nutrients. It will want the colorful veggies and fruits that will replenish it and give it more energy. And, as I’ve mentioned before, I have a weird palette  that naturally loves healthy foods. I’m lucky in that way. But don’t really have the financial resources right now to make sure that’s always a reality.

Luckily, we can go through periods of feast and famine and our body will forgive us. Thanks to years of evolution where food wasn’t as readily available, we can adjust easily to whatever out external environment.

But I do hope some of this changes soon. Because I love my fruits and veggies. And I would love to have them more regularly. And give them to my body as a little “Thank you” for all that it does for me.

Until then, it’s all about the rehydrated beans and rice.

Instagram Fitness

Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 7.32.24 PMI started following some fitness people on Instagram. My friend showed me a good fitness motivation (@motivationforsquats) and I decided to follow them. I can use some fitness motivation. I’m a sucker for a good quote and inspiring picture. So I figured, “Why not?”

It’s a little much for me. I’m used to using Instagram just to follow a few friends and people who post cute pictures of dogs. I’m still adjusting to the fact that when I check my feed at 10 am, I’m going to see tons of pictures muscly people wearing very little clothing.

It’s too early to say whether or not it’s helping or hurting. Maybe it’ll make me feel bad and get my butt to the gym to kill it like those guys. Maybe it’ll make me want to eat more food so I don’t turn into the level of crazy those fitness people are. I don’t know yet.

They do a lot of promotion within their own world for other people and accounts to follow. So if you’re easily annoyed by long descriptions and repetition (verdict is still out for me on this one), maybe it’s not for you. But if you don’t mind and just like the pictures and inspiration, then maybe it is.

I do know that a couple days after I started following some of these accounts, I definitely felt more motivated and killed it at the gym. I also know the next day I slept in and ate a large brownie. Then again, maybe that’s just my personality. Who knows.

I’ll keep you updated.

Strange Taste

I have a weird palette. Aside from my sweet tooth, I actually really like healthy foods. Usually more than their less healthy counter parts.

I prefer steel cut oats with a little agave to Quaker Oats with sugary flavoring and maple syrup. I prefer two poached eggs with a little garlic to buttery fried eggs with tons of cheese. I prefer a tuna to pasta. I prefer salads to sandwiches.

I love juices and smoothies. I don’t like fast food. I don’t like hash browns but I love baked yams. I love the taste of wheatgrass. I sip it like a nice martini instead of taking it like a shot.

I don’t know if I’ve cultivated these tastes from years of watching what I eat and researching the benefits of healthy food, or if I just lucked out in the taste department and happen to prefer the stuff that’s good for my body. Either way, it serves me well.

Unless I’m hormonal. When I’m hormonal, I only want salt and vinegar potato chips and mountains of chocolate. But when I’m hormonal, I also prefer men who figure skate and talk feelings to my usual muscly caveman grunty type. So I’m not exactly myself.

Switch Up

I got some advice from a hunky personal trainer the other day. He said that people in good shape (and I include myself in that because of my frequent gym sessions) should probably change up their routine every two weeks or so to keep their body growing and guessing. He asked me how long I’ve been doing my routines at the gym. I told him, “A while.”

The truth is, I’ve been doing them since friggin’ June or July.

To be fair, the exercising I’m doing are the classics. And there are some schools that think the classics really are all you need to improve your shape. And I’ve been going up in weight and adding moves here and there. And because of my schedule, I’m not always doing the everything every time I go.

But I’ve been basically doing the same thing. And I like it. But it’s definitely time to get creative and change things up.

So this week, I did just that. I found a workout routine on my “Workout Trainer” app called “Dedicated to Muscle.” It incorporates a lot of different great movements and weights in a different order.

And it was really challenging! And I was terrible at some of the movements! It turns out I can barely do a weighted single leg squat. I mean, like… barely. And there was this move called “Pistols”… let me tell you… I couldn’t do them like at all! I was terrible at them! I mean, terrible! The couple times I tried to do a full movement, I fell on my rump. The other times, when I tried to do less of a movement, my balance was completely off and I could barely do it. Plus, my gym boyfriend was working out right next to me, so it was even more embarrassing! (But maybe made him notice me which is actually a good thing…)

It was actually really exciting to be terrible at something again. You really do get so used to certain movements. Even if you add weight to those movements, your body is already good at them. Just by trying these other movements I have a very hard time with, I can feel muscles that haven’t been working getting a good workout. I can feel my body trying to learn this new stuff and growing. I know that it takes a bit by bit to get good at something, so I’m looking forward to a couple weeks from now when I can do a full “Pistol” and a full movement on weighted single leg squat.

And once I can do those, it’ll be time to change it up again.

Gotta keep the body guessing. Just like I keep men in my life guessing as to how I feel about them and which of my many multiple personalities might show up.

I wish I were joking about that last part.

Alas and alack.

Sup wit supps?

I need to add more supplements to my diet and workout regimen.

I go hard at the gym. Especially since my time is very limited and I’m only able to go 3-5 days per week (in an ideal world, I could go daily! Or guarantee 5 days!)

I like having my protein shake afterwards. My body is shaky and craving refueling. It’s good when I can provide exactly what it wants so that it doesn’t get confused and crave weird things thinking those things will have the nutrients I’m lacking.

The other day, I had a pre-workout shake. It was meant to give you extra energy so you can get even more out of your workout. It was fantastic.

I’m on a bit of a budget right now, though, so the supplements are limited (ie lacking). So I have to try and eat healthy before and after as best I can.

But really, I need some basic supplements. Because they’re made for people like me, who take their workout and nutrition seriously. Even just some basic protein powder. I need that.

I NEEDZ IT IN ME BODY. OTHERWISE ME GETS WACKY. ME HASN’T HAD IT LATELY. SO ME GETTING WACKY.

P.S. Insider tip: Supplementwarehouse.com

Restless

When I was home last week in Indianapolis, I had a lot of trouble sleeping. Even if I went to bed early from regular exhaustion from the day’s activities, I would wake up at odd times with tons of energy.

If I had been home in LA, I would have attributed it to stress. But for a week-long vacation in Indy, I had absolutely no stress to worry about.

Many nights I couldn’t get to sleep at all, which is odd for me. The first couple nights I figured it was adjusting to the time change- I was trying to go to bed at 8 pm my time which is often only when my night starts.

I kept thinking I’d exhaust myself to the point where it would all even out, but I never quite got my sleep schedule on track there. Looking back, I think I know why.

It happens to be on occasion when I’ve had a (rare) lazy day in LA where I don’t exercise AND don’t spend the entire day and night working. I’m just restless. I get totally restless. I have too much energy my body is used to expending, and it doesn’t want to sleep until we’re done.

And I think that’s what happened in Indy. I didn’t exercise like I’m used to, so my muscles and body had all this extra energy it wanted to get rid of. Sure, I hadn’t slept much. Sure, my days were packed with lots of activities. But, for the most part, I still had reserves of energy my body wanted to use.

So… when I get back to LA (I’m currently at the Out of Bounds Festival in Austin) I’m gonna try and work out twice as hard to deplete some of those reserves and hopefully get back to sleeping like a rock.

Give hugs freely

Maybe it goes along with my lovey-dovey themes lately, but there is something that’s been on my mind lately and I wanna share it.

You guys…we all need to give our hugs more freely.

Why? Because you never know who could use it.

A couple weeks ago I lost a friend. She suffered for years from severe depression.  On the outside, she was extremely bubbly and full of life and loving and passionate. But she had demons. Legitimate demons. She struggled for years with them.

I don’t for a minute believe that a single hug would have made a difference. This woman was surrounded by people who truly loved her and showed it often. She had a medical condition that she battled for years. And eventually, her condition won.

I do believe that it’s good to be reminded that you’re not alone in the world. It’s good to be reminded that somebody cares about you. It’s good to be reminded that you’ve got support of people around you. It’s good to be reminded that people- though they do mean things- are inherently good.  And sometimes, it’s good to be reminded of all this without excessive wordiness. Just through a single, simple action. Like a hug.

Now, I’m not advocating you go out with open arms and hug everyone in sight. Mostly because, as a person with a self-described “stranger magnet,” I do not want to be attacked by more strangers who know I will politely accommodate to almost all their odd requests.

I’m advocating we all take a moment and recognize that the people around us are human beings with their own unique stories, problems, issues, strengths, and demons. No matter how put-together someone might seem on the inside, they could be struggling with some deep-seeded issues. And maybe- just maybe- you taking the time to truly listen to them or ask about their day  or smile or even give a hug, could make a world of difference.

Maybe it will and maybe it won’t. But I’d venture to say that if you actually take the time to do a small kindness in your day in some capacity, you’ll feel calmer and more rewarded and connected to the world as well. So really, you can only gain from the gesture.

So if you feel like the moment calls for it, give someone a hug. It’s pretty much accepted among my friends that they could at any given moment get a hug from me. And if they introduce me to someone important to them, that person’s getting a hug. Why? Because you’re important to my friend so you’re important to me. I don’t care if it makes them uncomfortable. Unless the situation is totally inappropriate (and there are some, you guys, I’m not total hippie dippie), my go-to move is the hug.

I’m a hugger, for sure. I happily give hello and goodbye hugs freely. I think people come to expect it at this point from me and I don’t mind meeting those expectations. It’s nice. It’s a reminder that I have a community of people who care. It’s a reminder of closeness. It’s a reminder of sameness. Plus, it’s healthy!

People need to be touched (appropriately). So why not be the instigator to do it?

So, you guys… open those arms and bring it in. HUG TIME!

Stairs in Pairs

My guy and I sometimes workout together.

I know- it’s so healthy and adorable it’s gross.

Yesterday, we ran stair sprints together. He typically does more anaerobic lifting with only supplemental sprints like these. And when I’m visiting him and don’t have to do a specific training run for a race, I’ll do it with him.

It’s pretty exhausting and adorable.

Our stair sprints yesterday weren’t the most difficult series of sprints we’ve done on stairs. Several months ago, he was on a stairs kick so we did a “pyramid” where we went down and up once, then rested. Then down and up twice, then rest. Building all the way up to I think 6 times, then we worked our way back down from six to 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1. THAT SUCKED.

So in comparison, yesterday wasn’t as bad. We ran down and up six flights of steps then rested 55 seconds on the top. Since I was behind him when we got to the top, I got about 5 seconds less resting up there. We did that for 20 minutes. Stairs are their own beast and I’m here to tell you that if you’re not in shape to run them, it will hurt like hell no matter what.

Plus I had gotten in a mood just before we started so I spent most of the time cussing in my head and out loud.

Calmed down afterwards. No surprise, it happens. And now my legs are sore today. Also no surprise since I pushed hard yesterday.

I guess my point is, healthy body can mean a healthy relationship. So run stairs in pairs and get angry with someone you love!