So…life has been…

In limbo.

When I last stepped in to say hello I had purchased PiYo and was gradually making my way back onto that bumpy path of tracking well on a healthy lifestyle and feeling good. I literally got two workouts in and then everything around me went a little bonkers.

See, my husband applied for a promotion in a gorgeous little town here in Colorado that’s six hours away. Six. After waiting for two months to even get an interview he went through two over the course of three and a half weeks. Driving a total of 12 hours in two days to attend one interview, but then having to do it twice less than three weeks later, jeez. If he gets this job it would be a huge step for him and I’m so excited for him and the possibilities of us moving somewhere new and starting another chapter. He said the first interview went really well but that the second was pretty damn awesome and he feels extremely confident that he’s going to get this job. eeeEEEE!!!

With that came prepping for a possible move. The dreams of redoing our main bathroom or finally tackling the kitchen countertop and backsplash came to a hault. It’s been all about sprucing up what we have, and not plunking major money on makeovers that, if by chance we don’t end up moving the projects are facelifts we’d have loved anyway, but if we do have to move then the projects are to brighten and refresh the place for prospective buyers.

Then came the onslaught of stress of waiting to hear about a job, possibly selling the house, moving six hours away with most likely no help to get heavy furniture out of the house, and me leaving a stable, decent paying with good benefits job for one in a much smaller (but cuter) town and not sure what I’ll find. Oh and then there’s trying to find an “in-between” place to live until we can find a house, that takes pets (can’t forget my little Chester!), and won’t cost more than the mortgage we have now. We’d have to do most of this from living six hours away. And maybe even buying a house, and all that goes with it, while living six hours away. Can you tell I’m freaking out a little?! Oh, and we still don’t know if we’re moving but in these cases you have to plan like you are and have Plan A, Plan B, and even a Plan C just in case.

Things have been a whirlwind, and the house has been a mess, but also exciting as long as I stay centered and not worry myself to pieces. Thankfully all I have to do is tell my husband I’m feeling overwhelmed and he brings me back to a calm status instead of basketcase.

And like usual I let everything fall to the back burner in terms of healthy foods and exercise. When in the hell will I learn? I don’t get it. But it’s been three weeks since his final interview and we’re still waiting to hear. It’s not unusual for his place of employment to take until the end of time to make a final decision, get letters signed (and approved) before someone is finally hired–but this waiting is about to give me a panic attack or something along those lines. It’s driving me batty!

In an effort to prepare for a possible move and adjusting to a much smaller city town for job possibilities, I put in for a job as well. It was a case of “here’s hoping”. Here’s hoping that things worked out just right and play the proactive card. Well I made it through the pool of hopefuls and two weeks ago I had my first interview (yup, drove the six hours). After waiting a week I found out last Friday that I made it through to the final interview phase! I was so happy but also relieved because that was the hardest interview I’ve ever had to go through so far in my life. But damn, I was hoping we’d have word on the husband’s job, or possibly already moved down there, before I had to go for another interview. The kicker, if he happens to not get the job then I have to pull my name from the pool because we can’t live on just my income in that very small, but very expensive housing market town, and we’d have to just stay put. I’m calling at 8:15 for a time and date on my interview, guessing it’ll be next week, so here’s hoping the husband hears something so my 12 hour total drive and grueling interview aren’t a pathetic “vacation” from work…..

and that the puzzle pieces fall into place.

PiYo at Home!

For a little while now I’ve successfully been better at what I’m eating. I haven’t had fast food, candy, or overall junk—and my body, but especially my stomach, thanks me. I used to feel so bloated, full, weighed down, tired, even a little queasy sometimes. All of those feelings at once made for an awful afternoon Monday through Friday once I was done with lunch. I would curse myself later asking why I ate what I did. I was a mess.

Then, if you follow along, my uncle passed away suddenly after a massive heart attack (so we assume due to what we know but for whatever reason the coroner in the tiny Mississippi town didn’t feel an autopsy was necessary–I disagree, but whatever) at the age of 50.

The thoughts started rolling in…

What if I was only on this earth another 18 years?
What if I leave my husband a widow because I didn’t take care of myself?
What if we have a child and I leave them without a mother?
What if I continue to believe in “I Can’t” and miss out on a healthy life that I day dream about?

And all of those thoughts made me extremely upset and depressed and absolutely down in the dumps.

Little by little I’m keeping my food choices, and incorporating movement into my days (instead of lounging), more and more and I feel better. How is it I forget this when I slide into a funk and stop working out or go for the fast food burger with fries and a large drink? It’s like I suffer from a form of amnesia or something and I totally forget! Do you ever feel this way? Not until I start eating better and moving more do I remember, finally, that this is what “healthy” felt like and I should have kept it up all along.

I have yet to workout cardio wise (or strength training much even) since the first of the year. My feet are still just not in it to win it. And then I saw somewhere online/Facebook/Instagram about a new program coming out called PiYo.

piyo

I had never heard of it. I’m also not up with the latest news on workout DVDs for at home since I have a gym membership. All of my workout DVDs, except for a few Jillian Michaels DVDs, are from the days of VHS and Kathy Smith, MTV Grind Hip Hop, and there might be one Tae Bo in there I’m not sure.

I was vaguely familiar with Beachbody due to the infomercials for T25, P90X, and Turbo Fire. While I always thought it would be nice to try some of those, I knew my knees (at this stage of my journey) couldn’t take it, and possibly even my ankles. More importantly now, my feet.

And that’s when I found out that this program specifically targets those who want:

  • No jumping
  • No weights
  • Low impact
  • High intensity
  • Combination of yoga/Pilates with upbeat music
  • Strength & Stretch

The program was started by Chalene Johnson, the creator of Turbo Jam, Turbo Fire and ChaLEAN Extreme. This woman knows what she’s doing so I gave it a further look.

 

I was sold. Looks like fun, something new to try, and it seems like it would be great for my needs! Thankfully I only had to wait one day to get my order in because the program released the following afternoon. I decided to go with the deluxe box set to get some extras that would benefit me no matter if it’s for the program or not. Here’s a copy/paste list of what’s coming to me in my PiYo Deluxe Package (with free shipping, thank goodness):

8 WORKOUTS

  • Align: The Fundamentals (40 min.): This workout breaks down the most important and effective moves in the program to help you perfect your form and get the best results possible.
  • Define: Lower Body (25 min.): Get your sleekest and leanest legs ever as you lengthen and strengthen your entire lower body—from your glutes and hamstrings to your calves.
  • Define: Upper Body (20 min.): Use this incredibly effective workout to start chiseling away at your upper body to help shape your arms, carve out your triceps, and define sexy shoulders.
  • Sweat (35 min.): A traditional PiYo workout that incorporates effective dynamic conditioning, fast-paced cardio yoga-flows, and bodyweight resistance strength training to help sculpt your entire body.
  • Core (30 min.): This ab-centric workout hits your powerhouse from every angle to build a strong core, flat, sculpted abs and obliques, as well as a strong and sexy back.
  • Strength Intervals (25 min.): Twenty-five minutes is all you need of this nonstop body-carving, calorie-incinerating workout that uses no weights, no equipment, and gives you no bulk!
  • Drench (45 min.): This endurance workout maximizes fat burning while it works every muscle in your body. It will not only leave you drenched—it will kick-start your metabolism as you scorch away the fat.
  • Sculpt (30 min.): This workout uses varying tempos to keep your muscles under tension for different periods of time. This generates muscular endurance and metabolic changes that will totally transform your figure.

PLUS, 2 ACCELERATED WORKOUTS

  • Full Body Blast (30 min.): A total-body workout that uses the Beachbody Strength Slides to push your fat-burning potential into overdrive in just 30 minutes.
  • Strong Legs (30 min.): Use the Beachbody Strength Slides to lunge, squat, and stretch your way to amazing quads, glutes, and hamstrings for your strongest, leanest, and most defined legs ever.

TOOLS FOR SUCCESS

  • Quick Start Guide. Everything you need to know to get started including valuable insider tips to get your best results possible! Plus, discover how each powerful workout is strategically designed to transform your body.
  • PiYo 60-Day Workout Calendar. Chalene arranged the workouts to make sure you’re progressing each week as you build up your strength, flexibility, and stamina. On the front, you’ll find the schedule for the base workouts. On the back, you’ll find the PiYo Strength Accelerated Calendar, which incorporates the PiYo Strength workouts to enhance your results.
  • Beachbody Strength Slides with Booties. Increase the intensity of your workout as your body works harder to stabilize and control your movements. You’ll engage your core, stimulate your glutes, and activate muscles you never even knew you had. And, the versatile booties were designed exclusively for use with the Beachbody Strength Slides. Slip them on so you can use the slides on smooth surfaces throughout your home.

PLUS, 4 FREE GIFTS!

  • Get Lean Eating Plan. A simplified approach to clean and lean eating designed to fit your lifestyle and your taste buds! Learn how to eat a variety of delicious, nutritious foods that keep you properly fueled, satiated, and nourished—and help you define your best body.
  • Buns (25 min.): Focused on the glutes, this workout is designed to lift, redefine, and tighten the entire backside of your body for the perfect tight and round butt.
  • Tape Measure. Track your progress as you melt the fat away faster than you ever imagined.
  • 24/7 Online Support. Get motivated anytime of day with access to proven fitness, nutrition, and motivation tips. You’ll even get exclusive invitations to live video chats with Chalene Johnson. You’ll find unlimited peer support here, and you can even join a PiYo Challenge Group.

EXCLUSIVE BONUS!

  • Yoga Mat. This mat is ideal for PiYo! It has a textured surface to promote better body alignment and footing, while the closed-cell, soft vinyl is lead- and latex-free to give you peace of mind. It provides nonslip traction and it’s luxuriously thick to ensure comfort, control, and cushion for every PiYo move you make.

 

I love getting packages in the mail and this will be like Christmas morning! Count that up that’s 11 DVD workouts I get, slides, a yoga mat, a workout calendar, and eating plan (which I usually only get ideas from and don’t follow entirely). If you care to see the goodies, stay tuned on my Facebook page or Instagram feed for pics, quick reviews, and possible grunt posts about how hard this program is kicking my butt! If you don’t already follow me, I’d love to have you!

But I still had a gym membership every month and with the cost of the kit that was a lot to cough up for the month. So I took the leap and decided to put my gym membership on hold. I’m kicking myself I didn’t do it sooner. I kept saying I would get back, that I’d go to a class the next evening, you know the drill. At $66/month, that’s not a cheap thing to let go for six months and that’s exactly what I’ve done. So instead I’ll plunk down $10/month instead until I decide if I’m going to entirely get rid of the membership.

Which if life events play out how my husband and I hope they will….I will have to cancel my membership because we’ll be moving six hours away and there isn’t a Lifetime Fitness gym anywhere nearby, for like hundreds of miles! HA! But more news on that when it’s available.

My box full of PiYo goodies, according to the USPS website, is sitting on my front porch and I can’t wait to rip into it tonight!

Have you heard of PiYo?

This is not an ad for PiYo or Beachbody and I don't sell the product as a Beachbody Coach...just me excited about a new workout possibility in the comfort of my own home.

Death Makes You Reevaluate

Two weeks ago a classmate of mine lost his life to the struggle of diabetes. Last Friday I came home, and after my husband asked me to sit down, he told me my uncle died earlier in the day from a massive heart attack—went in his sleep as he took a nap on the couch. He was only 50. He was warned years ago if he didn’t lose a good 70 pounds or so and stop smoking that he’d be dead before he was 50. Then I found out another classmate passed away just today after experiencing a massive stroke yesterday…the family elected to remove him from the ventilator, apparently the stroke left them really no choice.

I cannot tell you how freaked out this all has made me. In recent months I’ve gained all the weight back that I lost last fall. I’ve been absolutely uncomfortable in my own skin and the clothes that barely fit.

The recent deaths of those so young has left me wondering, why am I so lucky to still be on this Earth when my health is in the gutter like it is? All I know is there’s a reason and I can’t keep feeding myself the bull shit lies, and the shitty food for that matter, that has put me where I am.

We never know when our number will be called, but I sure as hell don’t want to fast pass my number to the front of line either.

Thick Chick at a Yoga Workshop

I remember my first time taking a yoga class. I had never heard of ‘yoga’ before but my friend said it was “stretching but relaxing at the same time”. I was probably a freshman in high school and the class was held at the local nature center in town. I enjoyed it but never really got into the practice. Throughout college I dabbled now and then, but again, never too serious. About two years ago I started going once a week on Sunday mornings, and I loved it. I looked forward to it all week. The class was large, the instructor was fantastic, and the class was for beginners. For two solid months I went every Sunday and I can honestly say I had never felt better. Somewhere after the two month mark my personal life took a nose dive and I stopped going to the gym altogether and I completely forgot about yoga. My poor mat sat in its bag for two years.

Two months ago I decided I wanted to try again, but I was up significantly in weight and I felt intimidated to go to even my basic class. So I waited for the Yoga 101 workshop my gym held every two months to start.

This past Saturday I attended the workshop. I was excited to go, especially since my wrist feels tremendously better lately and I knew I could at least attend and not worry my wrist would give out. I found out there were only seven of us signed for the workshop. Nice and intimate! I eagerly arrived, slipped off my shoes and socks (meanwhile trying not to think about possible foot fungus on the floor) and walked into the room. I was immediately smacked with a dry heat. I was confused for a second that I was possibly there at the wrong time and a hot yoga class was about to start. Nope, I was in the right place.

If you spend time with me then you know I don’t handle the heat well. I do not do saunas, hot tubs, afternoon sun in the middle of summer…just no.

Apparently the description for the class changed, which I was not aware of, and mentioned an introduction to hot yoga as well. The temperature of the room made me feel slightly like I was suffocating and I was super uncomfortable and almost wanted to leave. Forget hot yoga, I don’t understand how people get through a Bikram class without passing out! Thankfully the instructor came in soon after and stated she turned on the AC for the room and it would cool off momentarily. I sought out a spot under a vent and planted it.

As I sat on my mat and soaked in the room, and it’s ::ahem:: temperature, I was extremely aware of the mirrors at the front of the room since the curtains weren’t pulled. Just like any other woman who carries weight in her mid-section, when you sit down then the tire protrudes even more and you don’t want to catch a glimpse at all, which I did by accident when the instructor came to ask me a question. I was startled. I knew I had gained some weight back but holy shit, when did my stomach get so big?! I blinked back tears as I signed my name to the sign-in sheet and handed it to the instructor. Thankfully the lights were down low in the room.

I wanted to grab my mat and run.

I didn’t want to stay.

Just like any attempt to find clothes that fit well or look halfway decent, my self-confidence took a nose dive to the point of instant depression when I saw myself in the mirror and I wanted to hide. I swear there was a slight out-of-body experience that happened. I stood up, rolled up my mat quickly, apologized that I didn’t feel good all of a sudden and fled the room. But instead I sat there, legs semi-crossed, palms resting on my knees, and eyes closed. My eyes were closed so no one would see the tears about to trickle down my cheeks. If I felt like a tear would fall, I would do a slow neck roll, open my eyes and look up at the ceiling for a moment, ::blink blink:: close them again and roll my head back around until I was facing forward. Also, for the first time in a long time, I had a mental pep talk to get my shit together, to stop feeling sorry for myself, control my emotions, and just roll with it.

Thankfully it worked.

And then the workshop instructor led us through an hour-long yoga session. I didn’t think I was going to make it. At one point my right wrist was absolutely done from all the sun salutations that I stopped, sat semi-cross legged for a bit, and massaged my wrist and forearm. I didn’t care if I was with the class. Now why couldn’t I have felt that way about how I looked on the mat? Why do I care so much? Maybe it was shock. Or maybe it was shame. I don’t know, probably a little of both. But I wondered why we were going through a full yoga class when this was supposed to be a workshop to learn about yoga, it was Yoga 101 after all. If I wanted a basic yoga class, which is what we were working through, then I would have waited to attend the (included in my membership) class on Sunday morning at 11:45am!

sunsalutationfinal

The hardest part for me was the inability to do most poses correctly. My stomach got in the way for child’s pose (not part of the sun salutation) and lunge (6 & 9). Due to my stomach I couldn’t lean forward and touch the ground with my hands down by my feet and leave one foot in between my hands. Instead I’d have to adjust and thus the movement wasn’t fluid and I felt so….fat. I may not be as flexible as I used to be, but it doesn’t matter at the moment, when your body rolls get in the way there’s not a lot you can do. Lowering into knee-chest-chin (6) takes strength and instead of easing up into cobra, I quickly swing from plank (5) through to cobra (7) due to lack of strength to hover above the floor. If you look at knee-chest-chin (6) I like to call it the ‘tiny plank’, even though your butt should be a little up in the air. Doesn’t that look like a ‘tiny plank’ to you? Even at the beginning of class when I was sitting on my mat with my legs “crossed”, it was really a semi-cross because my legs are too thick to even cross them…forget about the lotus pose!

corpse pose (savasana)

About an hour into the workshop we finally laid on our mats for the corpse pose (savasana). Of course it’s the last pose of the class but it’s glorious. After twisting, bending, turning, and struggling through poses it’s very relaxing to just melt into the floor. I love it.

This is where more prep at the beginning of the workshop would have been appreciated. Covering the basics of a yoga class, what to expect, etiquette, that is what I expected in a workshop. But none of that was mentioned. After some time on the floor in savasana suddenly the instructor came over and scrubbed her hands together next to my left ear (A signal she was present?) and started massaging my head, scalp and temple. Um, okayyyy. I know in yoga that instructors will come and adjust students to help with form, but this was a little surprising. The hand scrubbing startled me and I opened one eye and looked up. Thankfully she was looking over at another student so it wasn’t an awkward eye-to-eye, “Oh, hello, why are you touching me that way?” situation.

Once she covered all seven of us with her hand scrubbing massage routine she then asked us all to sit up and sit in a circle so we could discuss the workshop. One part that was very helpful was discussing the other classes available at the gym. Yes, there are descriptions for each class but her recommendations for each of us based on need/experience was beyond what you can get from a generic class description on the roster, so that was very helpful. Several people had questions about what yoga does for the body, how it changes the body, how often you should practice, and it was all helpful. I didn’t have any questions. Well, I did, but the one question I had was about modifications for a thicker gal such as myself, and there was no way in hell I was asking in the group. I was the only one there who was obese and I was too embarrassed to speak up. Again, not usually a trait of mine to remain quiet so it was a bizarre situation I found myself in.

In all I was pleased with the workshop because of how it made me feel. I would have greatly appreciated a sun salutation worksheet so I could take it home to follow. I did pay extra for this “workshop” and all. The instructor welcomed emails with questions, comments, suggestions so I’m going to come up with some constructive comments and maybe a few suggestions that I know I would have found helpful.

I walked out of the gym feeling lighter on my feet, enriched even, and it was nice! A pleasant reminder that I need to find my way to a yoga class again on a regular basis, or even practice at home. The intimidation part I need to work on but I know I’m pressing that upon myself and it’s not imposed by others.

Do you practice yoga? Do you struggle with some of the more simple poses due to your body?