Summer Goals

I have a weird theory about my fitness practices. When I was in college I was taking a full course load and working 19 hours a week. That’s it. And a full course load for a film student meant watching a few movies a week and writing about them, two of my favorite things to do (yes, I’m weird and like to write, not good I admit, analytical papers on film and novels). So I wasn’t that stressed out.

At least, not as stressed out as adult me was about to become.

Now I work 40-70 hours/week in an extremely high stress, fast paced environment and have a cat daughter at home who is on 3 medications for various illnesses.

Back in college I would work out 2-3 hours a day no problem. Lifting weights, high-intensity interval cardio, Zumba, and 45 minutes of yoga. I liked the wide varieties of workouts and the fast paced ones especially.

Now, however, not so much. Even just 20 minutes of interval training gives me anxiety. So I recently switched over to solely doing yoga and let me tell you I am loving it.

I’m also only 3 days in and hindered because I was selling my dining room table yesterday and had to carry it down 3 flights of stairs by myself, and in the process either strained or sprained my back. Either way it hurts like hell and I can barely bend over when I am used to being able to place my hands flat on the floor. But by staying active, lots of ibuprofen, heat, and the healing power of yoga I’m sure I’ll be good as new in no time.

Which brings me to the point of my post. My health goals for the summer are to practice yoga for at least an hour daily, and really listen to my body and what it needs. For the next few weeks that’ll probably be more restorative yoga than strengthening for my back, but I’m excited to heal and get into the really yummy stuff like arm balances and also balancing out my mind. I also want to focus more on eating a super clean diet, which won’t be too difficult because I’ve been doing it for about a week now and already my body rejects junk food. I decided to celebrate yesterday being my (un)anniversary and bought a mocha and sweet bread which my body promptly rejected.

I am excited to see where I am at the end of the summer! At the very least maybe my back won’t hurt anymore 😉

 

New Fitness Goals

If you watched one of last week’s vlogs you’ll know I was thinking of quitting my gym.

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The staff is pretty nice, but some things have been broken since I signed up in December with new things added since then, plus I have been approached by multiple guys, older guys. The young ones have figured out to leave me alone, or at least have some manners. The older ones are always telling me I’m doing my moves wrong. “Let me correct your form.” “I’m impressed, you’re in here every day. Good for you.” Dude, leave me alone, I’m trying to lift. So I haven’t been in about 2 weeks now. It’s not really a gym and I don’t feel comfortable there. I just feel them watching me. No, seriously, they stare, and I’m not being paranoid.

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Last week I started doing home workouts. I found this guy on YouTube  and his workouts are fantastic. The ones I’ve been doing are HIIT based, and from what I’ve looked at of his strength ones they follow the same formula. I just need more weights than my dinky old 5 pound dumbbells from high school. And I started the 30 day Yoga Camp series from Yoga with Adrienne but I missed the weekend because of work and errands, so I’m 2 days behind but am gonna pick it up again tonight after work. I injured my knee and my hip on a run last Tuesday, which was just a sign that I need to do more yoga. I always injure them even with stretches and warmups, but for some reason when I was doing yoga regularly I never hurt them. Probably because I was creating space in my body regularly along with being more in tune with it.

Once Crush Fit comes out with their totally home-based workout I’m buying it and jumping in, but until then I’m just doing HIIT 30-60 minutes (sometimes 90) a day along with the yoga videos. I’ve got a lot of extra fat to lose, anyway, so I need to be focusing on that. And I’m also thinking of training for a marathon because I’ve never done one and it sounds like hell but also fun.

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Basically, I’m quitting the gym because I’m uncomfortable there and it would save me some money, and focusing on more cardio based fitness and yoga. I love lifting, and I look forward to the day I can get back to it, but I also lost sight of other things I love to do, like yoga and running and dancing. There are other gyms in town but I can’t afford any of them right now. I’m a little sad, but I’m having a lot of fun putting on my Zumba music and doing HIIT in my living room every day. It’s just so convenient, and when I get heavier weights with the money I save from not going to the gym it’ll be a lot more challenging. Not that I’m not dripping with sweat at the end of my workouts.

Sometimes the gym isn’t for everyone and there are plenty of good alternatives, especially with YouTube in existence now.

Exercises at Work

Today definitely feels like a Monday. I had a doctors appointment that I thought might overlap with Luna’s vet appointment and she did not like her carrier which prompted a little accident, so I had to give her a bath and wash everything and then rush to work. Basically, I had no time to work out today and I still have more cleaning to do when I get home tonight so the gym is out.

I missed yesterday, too. I didn’t even have an excuse for yesterday. I don’t like my gym, though, so I hardly ever want to go anymore.

Anyway, I am standing at work doing random exercises in between cleaning, stocking, and serving. These are good things you can do no matter what your job is. Just stand up, ignore the states you think you’re getting and move around!

  • calf raises, as many sets of 12 as you can do throughout the day.
  • Leg raises
  • standing crunches
  • hip circles
  • counter push ups
  • march around or in place

And anything else you can think of. And make sure you’re drinking lots of water! These are all good things to do even on days you did work out. Too much sitting for prolonged periods of time (30 minutes or more) can cause some serious health problems even when you work out.

We all miss the gym sometimes. Just as long as we keep moving and eat healthy we’ll be fine.

Take Care of Yourself

Eating healthy is very important. Exercising is very important. Like I said in my last Fitness Monday post, they’re probably the most important things you could ever do with your life.

But I failed to stress another aspect of health that you also need to focus on: your mental health.

I don’t know how many people out there can have healthy relationships with food versus people who can’t (like me), and this is more directed towards that latter of those groups, but it also applies to the former.

We can get so caught up in focusing on our exercise and our diets that we can forget about our minds. We can become obsessed with being as healthy as possible and before we know it we’re burnt out.

Some people have cheat days where they just get to eat whatever they want. I don’t because I tend to focus on them and count down until my next cheat day, which makes the other 6 days seem like torture. I always recommend a rest day, though, where you maybe skip the gym and go for a walk instead.

And always have a little “me time” that has nothing to do with the gym or your diet. Read a book, watch a couple episodes on Netflix, take a bubble bath, etc. We focus so much on finding time in our day to go to the gym but forget to find time in our day to be with ourselves and really take care of ourselves.

I’ve been feeling pretty ragged these last few days and been taking a lot of time to take care of my mental health. It is very easy for me to get obsessed with the diet and exercise part of health and ignore the mental part. It’s something I’m working on.

We’re all human. No one is perfect, but if we spend our lives trying our best to take care of ourselves that’s all we can ask for. That’s all that matters. That’s what’s important. Not being the #1 athlete in the world, but being the healthiest you in all aspects of your life. And “healthiest” doesn’t mean “perfect”.

 

Fitness Matters

When I was gasping for breath this morning in the gym in between sets I had a thought:

Our ability to move our bodies is all that matters.

Well, not all that matters. The things that matter are good, perhaps loving, relationships with people and being able to move our bodies. That’s about it.

Because at the end of the day those desk jobs aren’t real. Money is something we made up. Jobs are things we made up. Sitting at a desk and crunching numbers isn’t real. Exchanging paper for food isn’t real.

When it comes down to it in the end, having our body be able to do what we want it to do is the most important thing. We can’t go to work if our bodies don’t work. We can’t hang out with friends and loved ones if we’re tired or unable to walk. We can’t do the things we enjoy if our body isn’t in good shape.

There are many things in life that make it worth living, for sure, but so many of those things are shut off to us when our bodies are in poor health and fitness levels. And I’m talking about all aspects. I’m talking about eating a clean diet, getting exercise, and taking care of mental health.

There is just so much to do in life, so much to see, so much to live for, it just doesn’t make sense to treat the vessel you’re going to do all that in poorly.

Kick Monday’s Butt

We all hate Monday’s right? It’s the start of a new week. Several long days are stretched out in front of us. After a (hopefully) relaxing weekend it can be hard to get back into the swing of things.

But why? Why don’t we look at Monday’s the same way we look at New Year’s Eve? It’s a chance to start over fresh and reach f or our goals.

I did hit snooze a few times this morning. I got up an hour after I had hoped to get  up and even then it was just because Luna was prancing around the bed and squishing my chest meowing her adorable little head off. I ate breakfast, watched an episode of The Fosters (such a good show!) and then walked to the gym for leg day. I really had to fight the urge to just sit at home and binge watch Netflix all morning before work but getting to the gym really raised my energy and my mood. Especially because the sun is out today.

Mondays are hard but only if we allow them to be. It’s best to treat Monday like any other day of the week. There are 52 of them in a year. Do you really want to hate 52 days out of the year? How many days is that in your lifetime that you hated? What a waste of energy!

if you haven’t already, lace up your shoes, plug in those headphones, and go kick Monday’s butt! You are no longer it’s slave.

Treat Yo Self

After a fun Valentine’s Day, I passed out in my bed for a few hours only to wake up before dawn, go to the gym, and then go to work. Thank goodness I work in a coffee shop because I was exhausted.

And then my best friend brought me doughnuts from Voodoo Doughnuts in Portland because she spent the weekend down there.

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I’ve been having a hard time lately with my body image, so I found a post I wrote on my tumblr in a moment of clarity and good body image.

It’s just not in my genetics for me to have a six pack without some ridiculously intense dieting. And I’m not about to do that. With my past history with anorexia it just wouldn’t be smart for me to diet down to something as superficial as a lot of ab definition. All that being said, I still want to inspire people on their fitness journey. I’ve got a lot working against me. I don’t fit the media’s portrayal of fit people. I’m short. I carry some extra fat. I’m a Hispanic woman. I’m not gonna be on the cover of a magazine in leggings and a sports bra with a million watt smile. If anything one day I’ll be on the cover of a magazine wearing baggy running shorts and a hoodie holding a vegan donut covered in crushed Oreos. I’m gonna tell you to go after your dreams. I’m gonna give you support and tips but I’m not gonna look like some unattainable goal because that goal is unattainable for me and that’s ok. What matters in the long run is that we are all healthy and happy.

This is just a part of it.

It’s important to remember that you are not a fitness model on Instagram and that it’s important to treat yourself once in a while. You are you. Strive to be the best you. And remember that you are awesome and you deserve a treat once in a while.