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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Hooper girl!

Thought I would take the time to write a quick update.  This weekend was Memorial Day weekend, meaning an extra day off from work!  I am very proud of how well I did in terms of my diet and exercise for those three days, especially considering the gym was closed on Monday AND people brought lots of junk food to my house.  I spent several hours on Saturday hula hooping with my friend Katie who is apparently an amazing hooper.  She can just stand there and not even think about the hoop and it will stay up and twirling steadily around her waist.  Me, I still have to give it my full focus to keep it up, but at least now I can keep it going for probably longer than 60 seconds.  I think I need to start timing myself, to see how long I can actually keep the hoop going.  Losing weight is going to help a lot, because my not-flat belly sometimes throws the hoop out of whack.  A flat middle would make the hoop go around much easier and smoother.  Good thing I'm well on my way already! ;)

So after I hooped for many hours on Saturday, I honestly felt like I had improved quite a bit with my hooping  by the end of it.  Then yesterday, my cousins who are in an amazing bluegrass band came over and played their awesome music, and I had to bust out my hoop again and hoop while they were playing.  I was really pleased with my progress and I want to keep trying to improve my hooping every day.

I just had a random thought.  I should start practicing my hooping while I am watching TV or movies sometimes.  That's extra time in my day I could be using to not only catch up on True Blood or Game of Thrones but also practice my hoop!

Also I took a short bike ride yesterday on my new bicycle.  I got a new seat for it because the other one was severely hurting my ass bones lol.  So the new seat is much more comfortable, and I rode over to my Papaw's house and back.  I was seriously sweating by the time I got home!

I did eat fried chicken, macaroni salad, brownies, and 3 beers yesterday.  All in all I went over my budget by 1,000 calories for the day.  But I'm very proud of myself for logging everything instead of saying 'meh, I'll start again tomorrow' like I usually would.   Also proud of myself for trying to burn some of it off through hooping and bike riding.

Tonight I'm back at the gym for another five days in a row.  Power yoga tonight.  Can't wait.  I seriously need some planks and downward dogs in my life :)

Friday, May 24, 2013

Progress pics so far.

So here are my progress pics so far.  I'm bummed that the progress from April to May is not nearly as obvious as the progress from March to April, but I guess that might be because I had just started the gym in February, and the initial progress happened faster.  I have started taking my measurements, too.  From March to April, I lost overall about 15", but from April to May I only lost about 6".  However, I'll take it.  Progress is progress.  And I'm still working hard, going to the gym 5 days a week, and carefully calculating my calorie intake.  So I just have to stay consistent.  

Anyway, here's the pic:

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Hula Hooping & Enlightenment.

As I age, I'm getting this feeling that everything is connected.  Not just the whole hippie dippie "we are one" philosophy (although I, being a long-haired flower-wearing San-Francisco-loving kind of chick, do subscribe to that), but also that every action I take affects all aspects of my life.  And that I might learn valuable lessons while learning to hula hoop that could help me in my love life, or my career, or my relationship with my mom.

So I decided a few weeks ago that I would take up hula hooping.  There are several reasons why, the main one being that it's one hell of a workout.  It requires you to hold your core in tight and move your torso forward and backwards at a pretty quick pace.  I get out of breath pretty quickly, but I try to practice at least for a few minutes every day (usually when I get home from the gym while I'm still all revved up).  Other reasons why I'm drawn to the hoop: it's a very inexpensive new hobby, it can be very creative since I make my own hoops (learned how to do that from a DIY video on Youtube), and it's something I can do practically anywhere!  I plan to take my hoop with me to parties, festivals, concerts, etc.  You can get hula hoop tape online in a wide array of colors and designs.  My favorites are the glittery ones, the tye-dyed ones (of course lol) and the glow-in-the-dark stuff.

The first hula hoop I got was from Wal-mart.  I was there for another reason and happened to walk by a display of hula hoops in the toy section.  They were blue and sparkly and only 5 bucks; what's a girl to do?  I couldn't resist.  So I took it back to work with me (I'd been on my lunch hour) and a couple of my co-workers gave it a few spins around their hips.  They were each able to hold it up for three or four go-arounds before it descended to the floor.  When I got home and showed the hoop to my boyfriend Cecil, he exclaimed, "Give me that!" and proceeded to start hooping like a boss! LOL.  It was awesome.  He practiced martial arts for many years in addition to lifting weights and various other work outs, so he has a lot of control over his core muscles and was able to keep that hoop up pretty much indefinitely.  I was impressed, and inspired!

So on my first try it was the same as ever other time I'd ever tried in my 31 years, even as a child: I couldn't do it.  Not even one little spin around.  I'd throw that hoop as hard as I could around my waist and momentum would send it about halfway around and then it was drop lifelessly to the floor.  But I refused to be discouraged.  So I got on the internet and read some advice for beginners and tried again.  The trick is not to move your hips in circles but forward and backward to the rhythm of the hoop.

The rhythm of the hoop--that's where the word 'enlightenment' comes in.  At the very moment when I first felt that hoop spin around my waist, the moment when I knew I'd finally done it, I felt a huge door open up in the universe, inviting me in, as if a whole new world was now mine for the taking.  It may be a similar feeling to when a surfer catches their first wave.  Or when you finally understand what Robert Frost meant in a line of poetry that's kept you stumped for years.  It was a moment of pure zen, and I won't forget it.

It is those moments that drive me, and it is why I am so passionate about always trying new things and learning as much as I can.  Because with every new insight, I climb higher, and the view is more spectacular.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Self-Awareness.

It is Monday at 4:40pm, and I have about five minutes to tap out a blog post before I need to change into my gym clothes and get my butt over to the gym!  Let me just say first of all that I am so grateful to have this gym membership, and I am so glad that I have five solid gym sessions ahead of me right now because I really need them.  I wanted to talk in this post about my observations about how my feelings and behavior change very predictably as my food choices change.  It goes something like this.

I might eat something "bad", which seems harmless in and of itself, and probably is, but each bite makes me more and more likely to eat something else bad, and if I succumb to any of that temptation, then before long, I start feeling bad about myself, and the formerly crisp, clear, strong image of a healthy, fit Linz begins blurring, and I can feel that dream drifting further and further away until reality starts to feel like all I'll ever be is a fat slob, a slave to the food addiction. HOWEVER, I also know that with each GOOD decision, the strong healthy image of myself becomes clearer again, and so I know that I am able to reel myself back to reality just so long as I don't let the bad choices go on for so long that I have completely lost all vision and hope for a better me. So this weekend I slipped up a bit, but I'm moving on, getting right back into the gym and healthy food choices today, and I know that in the long run, this will not affect my progress. 

I'm just trying to take note of my feelings and behaviors and how they affect each other.

So I am NOT going to let the horrible feelings of guilt and hopelessness take hold of me today.  Instead I will bask in how grateful I am to be a gym member, to have an awesome gym partner, to have the health and youth I need to go kick that gym's ass today and every day, and keep moving forward on my path.  

I only have about five pounds to go until I hit the goal I set for my 31st birthday, which will put me at a total of 70 pounds lost since I started this blog a couple of years ago.  I'm pleased! After I get to that goal, I will set a new goal for 20 more pounds, which will put me at a weight I have not seen since my early twenties, the last time I lost a substantial amount of weight, before I ever moved out of West Virginia.  (Around when I graduated college.)  Once I get to THAT weight, I will be feeling incredibly elated and proud of myself!  And I'll set yet another new goal, quite possibly my last weight loss goal, of 50 more pounds, which will put me in the range I've been thinking I want to stop at.  If I get there and still feel I need to drop a few more, I'll do it, but right now, it feels GREAT to know that I'm halfway to my true long-term goal.  

I haven't been weighing myself very often lately, because the constant fluctuations make me completely fucking INSANE.  So I will probably not weigh until next Saturday morning, since I'm going to be having my monthly visitor soon (which means water weight!).