Monthly Archives: May 2013

So… Bikram Yoga

Yeah. I’ve been messing around with it. Cheatin’ on my Vinyasa Yoga with Mr. Bikram Choudhury.

Bikram Yoga: 26 postures and two breathing exercises. Most postures are repeated twice in a row. The room is heated to 105┬░ F with 40% humidity. Personally, it is very difficult. I’m a little mad about it because I’m a hardcore, tough-ass dancer who is very bendy.

Every class takes a large amount of willpower and discipline on my part to even get myself to the yoga studio, one stop away on the subway from my apartment. Pathetic. It’s just ten blocks away, but every time I get ready to go, it feels like I’m preparing to Lewis-and-Clark it across Amurika.

Here are some things I’ve learned from personal experience:

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Cook Your Food, Dammit!

About to make a fierce one-egg omelet with some spinach, asparagus, mushroom, onion, and some grated cave-aged cheese. Pretty much all of the ingredients are from my local Farmers' Market. Eat local. Why? Because it's good for you and the responsible thing to do as a person.

About to make a fierce one-egg omelet with some spinach, asparagus, mushroom, onion, and some grated cave-aged cheese. Pretty much all of the ingredients are from my local Farmers’ Market. Eat local. Why? Because it’s good for you and the responsible thing to do as a person.

This is my boyfriend. He is a genius and knows so much about food. He's really good at cooking, and I am learning from his mad culinary skills. We don't diet. We cook healthy food that is so delicious, I don't want to eat out.

This is my boyfriend. He is a genius and knows so much about food. He’s really good at cooking, and I am learning from his mad culinary skills. We don’t diet. We cook healthy food that is so delicious, I don’t want to eat out.

This is a healthy, homemade pizza. The dough is a combination of semolina flour, unbleached flour, yeast, water, and honey. The pizza sauce is THE EASIEST TOMATO SAUCE RECIPE EVER. Salad on top? YES. Are those pepperonis I see? NO. Those are zucchinis pretending to be pepperonis, you fool.

This is a healthy, homemade pizza. The dough is a combination of semolina flour, unbleached flour, yeast, water, and honey. The pizza sauce is THE EASIEST TOMATO SAUCE RECIPE EVER. Salad on top? YES. Are those pepperonis I see? NO. Those are zucchinis pretending to be pepperonis, you fool.

I'll cook my dinner ahead of time and take it to work with me. I try not to eat past 9pm, but it's not something I live or die by. I will say that the cuter the tupperware, the more likely I am to use it. Shallow? Yes. Does it keep me healthy? Yes.

I’ll cook my dinner ahead of time and take it to work with me. I try not to eat past 9pm, but it’s not something I live or die by. I will say that the cuter the tupperware, the more likely I am to use it. Shallow? Yes. Does it keep me healthy? Yes.

Chopped rosemary, garlic, and chili. I grow the rosemary and the chilies from the windows of my Manhattan apartment. If I can do it, you can do it. Great way to know exactly where your food comes from. Now, this trifecta of awesomeness is going into the oven with some sweet potatoes and EVOO to make crispy rosemary potato wedges. YUM!

Chopped rosemary, garlic, and chili. I grow the rosemary and the chilies from the windows of my Manhattan apartment. If I can do it, you can do it. Great way to know exactly where your food comes from. Now, this trifecta of awesomeness is going into the oven with some sweet potatoes and EVOO to make crispy rosemary potato wedges. YUM!

 

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Circuits and Running

I’ve been stuck being a bit inactive after a quad injury from teaching Zumba last Monday. It has been absolutely frustrating. I could do arms Tuesday morning, but then found myself needing to rest for the last part of the week to heal up.

Finally, after the quad fully healed, I was able to get to the gym this Sunday with my boyfriend. We both did a separate cardio warm-up for ten minutes, then I created four circuits that we went through three times. At the end, he took me through some free-weight arm and shoulder stuff that I felt totally badass doing because I was wearing my lady gym-gloves.

Here’s the workout plan:

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Zumba and Quad Fail.

In the Fall of 2012, I decided that instead of paying for Zumba classes, that I’d just get certified and teach them myself. I’ve taught hundreds of dance classes over the years, this would be a snap. I’d get a workout AND get paid. Totally brilliant, right?

That's me in the green, going through some toning sumo-squats in the middle of my Zumba class. This is the point in my class where I scream, "KNEES OVER TOES, LADIES!"

That’s me in the green, going through some toning sumo-squats in the middle of my Zumba class. This is the point in my class where I scream, “KNEES OVER TOES, LADIES!”

Ok, let me just say that preparing 60 minutes choreography that you are executing AND teaching AT THE SAME TIME is hard. Even for me. It was really hard getting my lesson-plan memorized to the point I could cue steps before the steps came up, while doing another step. And, I’ll admit, the first two full Zumba classes I taught were good but not amazing.

Now, I feel like I’ve hit my stride. My classes have gone from being an acceptable 55 minutes of cardio to being really good fun and a great workout. I feel like I’ve got a good mix of toning and heavy cardio.

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Running Bad-Assery.

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On Friday, May 17th, I was feeling a little bit unmotivated. I didn’t feel like rocking out to Turbo Jam or Zumba in my living room again, and I was depressed about feeling depressed about it.

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The Plan.

I’m not going on a diet, and I’m not going to diet.

I’m just going to stop making bad choices on a regular basis. That’s my plan.

Diets do not work. After losing any bit of weight, you will eventually gain it all back plus more.

I already cook most of my food. And I’m already a vegetarian. I don’t drink sodas or other sugary crap drinks. I’m already physically active (I’m a dancer and dance teacher, dammit. I also teach Zumba.)

Then why am I 151.8 lbs?┬áBecause I’m eating and drinking and thinking and behaving like I don’t care about myself.

So what’s the plan?

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No more diets.

Today is May 15th, 2013, and I have decided to stop dieting.

No more torture.

Simple.

No, really. It will be that simple.

I’ve got to de-program my mind from being brainwashed into thinking my behavior and body fat are acceptable to me. I’ve got to de-program my brain into thinking that drinking wine most nights actually makes me feel good or has any benefit to me at all. I’ve got to de-program my brain into thinking that processed foods are what I want to eat rather than natural vegetables, fruits, and nuts.

I deserve to feel amazing about myself. Everyone does.

If a scientist were to conduct a conditioning experiment with a worm in a maze, where one direction meant running into an electric shock and the other direction meant food, you know what would happen? The worm would learn through experience that food was this way and pain was the other. The worm wouldn’t want to do something again that hurt when another choice meant survival. I’d hypothesize that most animals put through this experiment would react in a similar way. So why, as human beings, do we continue to do things that cause us harm? Is it that we just don’t learn? Is it that we are dumb? No. It’s that we fool ourselves into thinking that things will be different this time. I’ll be better on the diet this time. I’ll keep going to the gym once I join this time. I’ll only drink on the weekends this time.

We set ourselves up for failure. Then we wallow in our misery with comfort food, toxins, and inactivity.

So, I’m going to get off the ride. I’m not going to diet. I’m just going to stop making bad choices. I’m going to stop looking for a quick-fix. I’m going to stop going on crash-diets followed by weight gain. I’m going to stop feeling guilty about my life.

Every time I reach for something that is detrimental to my health and happiness, I’m going to firmly tell myself that I can do better. That I deserve better.

I’m going to have fun, and I’m going to do it the right way.

I’ll set myself up for success by not setting myself up for failure. That means if I want to have wine or make a pizza (notice I said make… as in from scratch) then I’ll do it. The guilt-free part comes from not doing it often. Keeping it special makes it a reward and indulgence rather than something I’ll feel horrible about the next day.

No diets. Just good choices with some breathing room for fun.

That’s how I’m going to lose the weight and keep it off, and I’m going to have a damn good time doing it.

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