OhSoVane

Foodie, fumbler and lover writing it all down

A Dark Truth, in Numbers

When I was fat, (yea I said it) I would avoid numbers like the plague. Clearly the most avoided number was always the number on the scale. Alongside that was the number on my jeans indicating the size, the number of calories in the meal I just had, the number of promises to myself to make a change I had broken and the list goes on. My life was basically a game of numbers, or avoiding them. 

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Now, 60 or 70lbs later I find myself in a similar dark place. At least a year ago when I was avoiding numbers it was out of sight and out of mind. Now, I obsess over all kinds of numbers! How many calories/carbs/protein were in that meal I just had? How much did I do on my deadlift/squat/barbell curl last week in comparison to this week? How many miles did I run/not run? What’s my body fat percentage like these days? How many inches have I lost? I find that at times I have made myself crazy over these numbers, but then I STOP.

I force myself to collect my thoughts; I breathe in the positive and let go of the negative. Or better said, the anxiety of numbers that overwhelms me. 

This method of breathing in the good shit and breathing out the bullshit is a constant struggle, much like keeping up a healthy lifestyle is. I’ve posted before about moderation, trying and being happy with small accomplishments and I believe that in my heart of hearts but sometimes that voice in the back of my mind is so loud I cannot silence it. 

I debated whether or not to share this part of the “journey” but I have to share my truths. If there’s a chance others feel this way too there’s no reason not to put it out there. We should all know that this can happen, that it’s ok and that you can get over and keep on going.

I’m done feeling sorry for myself (yet again). I’m getting over this hump and I know, if you find yourself on it, you can too. 

I’ll file this under the first world problems category and go kill my next workout. xo

“Something to Try on Tuesday”

It’s just, something to try on Tuesday, she says. She being the yoga instructor at my local gym. During her Tuesday evening practice she always adds in a bit of a challenging move and encourages us to give it a try. Try getting one toe off the ground in crow position or try an elbow supported arm stand in peacock pose; her words challenge us to reach within and conquer a fear no matter how small it may seem to be at the time. 

I try to carry this advice with me outside the studio and today I conquered a little fear I had been battling for a while now. I took a new class! I know it’s really silly to say out loud, but this class always looked really hard and I never had anyone to go in with me so I avoided it – until today! I’m so happy I finally went! The class was challenging, engaging, fun and I finished standing up! So take a new step towards your goal, don’t get stuck in a routine rutt and don’t be afraid of something new! 

I am so happy I tried something new on Tuesday and I hope you will too! 

New Year, New You! Tackle Gym Anxiety in 2014!

 

You thought the hard part was over after you signed your new gym membership contract. You eagerly packed your gym bag and made your way to the land of free weights and cardio after a long days’ work but just when you thought you were ready to tackle your fitness resolution for 2014, you walk into THIS!

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You immediately feel like this… 

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How am I supposed to get a workout in? How long am I going to have to be here? What are all these people doing? All these questions come into your mind and you immediately want to run back into your car and go home where your couch and pjs are waiting for you.

Before you go home, destined to trash another New Year’s resolution, read these tips for managing the mayhem! 

1. Avoid peak times

While I know most of us cannot avoid working out after work, if you can avoid it you should. If you’re gym is nearby try working out during lunch. If you’re a morning person, try working out before your day starts. 

2. Avoid the most popular areas of the gym

I am talking to all you treadmill and elliptical lovers! Make this time at the gym more about improving yourself and less about committing to a number of minutes on any given machine. This is not 30 minutes of punishment for eating all those Christmas cookies. Check the class schedule at your gym and pick something challenging or have someone at the gym show you around the weight area. Gym employees are there to help you navigate the intimidating waters. 

3. Create your own space

I don’t know about you but for me gym anxiety always stemmed around the idea that people were looking at me. I got over this by building my confidence about my workout in my own little corner of the gym. Grab a few free weights and a stepper or yoga mat and you’ve got all you need for a great workout. 

Sites like POPSugar and Bodybuilding.com have TONS of workouts at your fingertips like this one, 
http://www.fitsugar.com/Full-Body-Circuit-Workout-Dumbbells-2825394#opening-slide

If you’re just getting into weight lifting don’t be afraid to start off lite, but don’t stick to those for too long! 

4. Take your watch off

Your workout isn’t done at 6 or 2 or 12, your workout is done when you’ve completed all the exercises you’ve set out to! If you’re going to beat gym anxiety you’re going to have to spend more time there! 

5.  Don’t get discouraged! 

Whether you’re worried about the crowds or your first day back has muscles aching you didn’t even know you had, keep at it! Let’s be honest, you didn’t gain all this weight overnight and you’re not going to lose it that way either. Be patient with yourself! 

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2014: The Year of Trying

I wasn’t planning on a New Year’s Eve blog post and I wasn’t going to post a best of 2013 anything, but my Statigram changed that a bit.

After seeing a few clips from 2013 I realized all I needed to do in 2014 was keep trying. 

So my advice and wishes to you my friends and followers is to make 2014 the year you try! 

Try to be more kind. 

Try to remember, the universe is a mirror and reflects to you what you reflect to it. 

Try to remember that disagreeing with someone’s views or beliefs does not mean you have to hate them or be hurtful towards them. 

Try not to sweat the small stuff. Those Facebook posts or celebrity Twitter rants mean so little in the grand scheme of your life so try to let them go by without taking up space in your mind. 

Try not to judge. 

Try something new! Be it in the kitchen, at home, or at work just try thinking outside your comfort zone. 

Try not to get discouraged! It’s so easy to throw your hands up in the air and give up but just try to keep going! 

Some of these may overlap and some may lead you to try other new and exciting (even sometimes scary) things. Just try to be open to it all. Good things are happening all around us at all times and I for one am going to make an extra effort this year to catch as much of it as I can. 

I’ll continue to try and do things that make me happy. I’ll try to spend as much time with friends and loved ones as possible. I’ll also try to remember it’s ok to say no. I’ll continue to move towards new fitness goals and I’ll try to influence those around me to join in. 

Try, try, try! Just saying it makes me want to try something new right now. 

Happy New Year to all! I leave you with this quote from Gandhi as it resonates with my theme for 2014! 

Peace and Love Always – ohsovane

“Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment. Full effort is full victory.” 
― Mahatma Gandhi

Namaste, people!

It’s a pretty well known fact that my weight loss and fitness journey has relied heavily on lifting weights and high intensity interval cardio training. I love to lift! That should be enough, right? Wrong!

Well, wrong for me at least. Reason number one being, I am a terrible stretcher. I don’t stretch very often and when I do I get distracted or I’m just too tired from my workout to give it my all. Knowing full well how important stretching is to my routine, because my hamstrings won’t let me hear the end of it, I decided to incorporate yoga.

What a life changer! No, seriously! Let’s go beyond the spiritual connection to yourself that yoga brings and go right to those endless minutes spent in positions that stretch your body to what feels like it’s outermost limits!

From the moment I hit my first downward facing dog, I knew this was for me.

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Right there before my eyes I could see how tight my hamstrings, calves and quads were. I was looking at my feet and how they could not hit the ground in the above position.

Reason number 2 why I love yoga is the balance work involved! I’ve suffered through a couple of injuries while working out. I have never been graceful and learned that my workout injuries were related to my lack of balance. If you’ve taken a yoga class you know there are a lot of balance positions involved.

Exhibit A. Eagle Poseeagle

Just picture me fumbling all over myself trying to make this pose happen. Now that you’ve had a good laugh know that week by week I am improving! This will hopefully help me avoid injuries in the future.

Now, if you want some research to back up the benefits of yoga for all types of athletes it exists!

Check out some of these links:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/392864-yoga-benefits-for-athletes/

http://life.gaiam.com/article/how-does-yoga-help-athletes

http://www.shape.com/blogs/working-it-out/why-every-athlete-should-do-yoga

So next time your muscles are feeling tight and your usual stretches are not doing it, why not try some yoga?

Here are some links to poses that help relieve achy muscles!

http://www.shape.com/fitness/workouts/top-5-yoga-poses-athletes/slide/6

http://www.fitsugar.com/Yoga-Poses-Runners-3081127

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/11/yoga-journals-21-day-yoga_n_1198627.html

Namaste!

Wordless Wednesday – Success!

Wordless Wednesday - Success!

My First Wordless Wednesday!

 

My First Wordless Wednesday!

Monday Motivation – Moderation?

Monday Motivation - Moderation?

I knew I wanted to say a little something about motivation today, what I didn’t realize was my post would hit me in the face in the form of this picture from the Real Simple blog.

So how do motivation and moderation go together? Well, I’m thinking that we should all (especially me) be motivated to focus on being more fit than not, more happy than not and better people than not. We cannot live in a world of extremes or else we will drive ourselves crazy. It’s all about balance… all things in moderation.

I forgot this last week as I sat around for 5 days with not a workout in site. I started to think all was lost and that I had fallen off the proverbial wagon.

I need to learn to be less hard on myself; that is the message I will carry with me this week.

The Difference a Year Makes

I’m having a hard time deciding which cliche to lead with on this post… Was it a light bulb that went off in my head? Was it a click like when you fall in love? Was it the idea of my own mortality? I’m not sure which fits this story, my story.

I was on vacation of all places. Isn’t vacation the last place where you’d stop and think about your weight or health? I was indulging in all-inclusive gluttony, drinking and eating, making new friends and trying new things. But that’s when it happened — like the elastic in your underwear breaking, I snapped.

It wasn’t a crazy snap where I was crying my eyes out or an angry snap that involved me throwing items from my hotel room at the wall. It was a quiet snap. A feeling of calm washed over me and I was just done being who I had been for the past two or so years. Gaining and gaining without remorse – really without even noticing. I was going to do something, I said to myself. I was going to be stronger.

Why not right? I was (still am) approaching 30 and I knew it would only get harder to lose and keep weight off as I got older so why not start the minute I landed back in the States?

Now, you’re probably wondering what I did. You may be thinking that I just went back to my terrible lifestyle when I got home, absentmindedly eating myself to morbid obesity. I didn’t! I made the first step to a change, I made better food choices starting  on day one! Second step, I joined a gym and yes, I even purchased a personal training package. It wasn’t much but my once a week sessions were building a base of stretching and strengthening exercises that my body needed in order to avoid injury and potential discouragement from working out.  I found a gym buddy and got active at home even when I was not “working out”.

Looking back at those first few months, it was hard! I was in terrible shape and had the worst case of gym anxiety this side of the pan handle! Despite all my excuses I managed to go to the gym about 3-4 times a week and bike ride at least 10 miles on the weekends. I ate better, moved better and almost immediately started to feel better.

The months went on and my discipline only grew. I was determined to do this. I was going slow but I always knew that slow and steady wins the race. I ate badly sometimes, but I was always accountable to myself in the gym. I had months where I saw ZERO progress (kill yourself, I know!) and I had months where the progress was unbelievable. I had times where I could not work out due to injury but I learned to keep my diet extra clean to keep the balance.

Balance has to be the thing I learned over and over again throughout this past year. I learned to balance home and workout life, I learned to balance what was on my plate and the activity that would complement it. I learned to balance social activities and clean eating. Balance has been the key to my success.

As I write this, I am just 2 pounds shy of my one year goal; I’m still calling it a win!

I’ve dropped 58 pounds in 12 months.

I’ve gained so much more!

August 2012 vs August 2013

Same bathing suit!
August 2012 vs August 2013

The support of my friends and family has been vital to all my success! I am the luckiest girl in the world, people!

So what’s next for me? I still have to run a 5k, I’d like to see a thigh gap in the near future, I want some more definition in my muscles and I’d like to take a whack at Crossfit!

We are our own works in progress… I am just open to what else awaits me!

What I Eat! or Food: because the word “die” is in Diet!

“How did you do it?” This is currently the most asked question in my life. “It” is lose all this weight over the past year  (actual weight loss numbers to be shared soon ;) ).  After answering this question a half-dozen times, the answer finally came down the the clear concise notion of eating!

This makes a lot of people scratch their head and look at me sideways. They think there is no way I can eat and lose weight. They all want me to be some cranky pants whining about lettuce — I’m not!

If you follow me on Instagram (shameless plug) you’ll see a lot of pictures of what I eat. Some of it is boring, like yogurt with fresh fruit in it, but some of it straight excites me! Yes, I do eat clean and find it exciting, it is possible! I attribute the attitude towards my food to a lot of my success. I get a kick out of taking a recipe apart and modifying it for my nutritional needs. I squeal with excitement when I find a new recipe with healthy mods already built into it. I live for this stuff!

You notice the missing word from this and many other posts? Yea, I don’t use the “D” word! I am not on a diet! I have made a choice to eat better, indulge when I want to and work out to make my body work better. It’s working! You know why? It’s because I follow the science not the snake oil!

It's more about food than you think!

It’s more about food than you think!

So what do I eat? It’s simple!

1. Lean protein! Things like ground turkey,  chicken breast and Greek yogurt come to mind for most people when you say this. I take it a bit farther and make sure to add tofu, beans and vegetables that are high in protein.

2. VEGETABLES! I cannot stress enough how important EATING your vegetables is! I am not talking about the fun ones like corn and potatoes. I’m talking about getting brave and eating brussel sprouts, all kinds of kale, chard, cabbage, squash, zucchini etc. etc. etc. Go to the market, pick something up you’ve never eaten before and google a recipe for it.

3. Good fats. If you’re scratching your head while reading that line I need you to know, that all fats are not created equal! This is where the quality of your calories kicks in. You choose good fats over bad fats. Good fats are those that come from things like nuts, avocado and fish. I am not talking about the fat that comes from those fries you had at lunch or that burger you got from the drive thru! Those are bad, bad fats!

4. Carbs! Don’t click away or throw your hands up in the air because you think I’m off my rocker! Read on… because the truth is you need carbs in your life! If you are working out, you need carbs! Again the difference here is making the choice to get your carbs from the right places. Fruits have carbs, veggies have carbs and starches like quinoa and brown rice have carbs. You can even have bread! Imagine that!

Sure, I make it sound soo easy right? Well, it really is once you get used to it! But I don’t do it all on my own, I have major support at home! Online I have a handy dandy app to help me track all my food intake and keep up with friends who are also getting healthy, I have Pinterest that helps me find like-minded people who are pinning recipes I benefit from, I have BodyBuilding.com which is my source for information about workouts and all things exercise. I also have 2 gym memberships so I can take advantage of different class schedules and work out with friends at their convenience. That helps me not get bored with workouts as well as keep my friends in the loop even though my presence is lacking at 9 out of 10 happy hours.

The bottom line is quality versus quantity! Make your calories count people! Your days will go better, your workouts will go better and you’ll take a nice boost in progress in the gym!

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