Trying out yoga again! Downward dog was never so hard!


English: downward dog posture I took this pict...

English: downward dog posture I took this picture for use in the Anahata Yoga instruction manual. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today, I decided to go and do a yoga class. This is part of my resolve to do something different every week. I am on my never-ending journey to maintain my health.  I have been stepping up the exercise and feel a lot better than a month ago! (I am also trying to eat smartly).

I used to do yoga about 6 years ago. I’ll be honest, I never much liked it. First of all, I have a lot of weight to hold up when I’m up on all fours. Downward dog is not my favorite position to be in . (Maybe it’s because I am allergic to dogs.)  Your hands are lower than your legs, and you have to hold your behind straight up. in the air. Not ever owning a dog, I’m not sure whether dogs actually do this yoga position.

Knowing I might not make it through the class, I did the elliptical machine for 20 minutes beforehand. I put it on heart rate zone, and it got my heart-rate up to 132 which I think is a little high for a 62-year-old woman who is overweight. So, I already was sweating when I went in the yoga class.

The instructor was making the room all dark and playing exotic music. These yoga instructors are all spiritual types who weigh hardly anything. They are real flexible and can do all sorts of tricks with their bodies.  They also spout off smatterings of pithy sayings coming from Eastern philosophy. I like that part.

Anyway, I was already tired after I was sitting Indian style. It must be cause I’m so weak. My back does not want to be straight.  Then I figured out that my pants were actually too tight around the waist. Not a good beginning. If you go, make sure your pants are loose! That’s why they make yoga pants.

I was bound and determined to make it through the class . One thing I should have known from experience is it’s not smart to eat cereal and drink 2 cups of coffee before you point your head towards the floor.   I reviewed my morning breakfast during downward dog. I was glad my breakfast stayed where it was. Then, for some unknown reason my eyes and nose began running. (Downward dog?)  I was having an allergy attack while I was trying to stretch my arm around my right side while putting my left foot in front of my right foot. Then my glasses kept falling off my head. So, I kept removing them, but I couldn’t see the instructor, so I had to keep putting them on and off.

I actually wanted to leave after the first 10 minutes, but I’m proud to say I did the entire class. Not like everyone else, but I did what I could. Which wasn’t a whole lot, but the sweat was pouring off my forehead.

The instructor was very sweet, and kept giving modifications for my benefit. In yoga they usually stress doing what you can, and not worrying about what other people are doing. I’m fine with that!

One thing I do know about yoga is that stretching and breathing is a good thing. I was so happy when we got to the part where we relax. I wasn’t expecting the instructor to put a towel around my eyes.  That was a little strange. Usually they put it on your body.

The class was finally over and I said my final  Namaste. I will say I felt terrific when it was over.

I’ll try again next week.

I would recommend yoga. From past experience, it helps burn calories and gets oxygen going through you body.  You’re so happy when it’s finally over too!

Do you have an exercise you don’t enjoy, but do it because you feel better when it’s over!

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I Used to be Fat: TV Review


I Used to Be Fat

I Used to Be Fat (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sometimes, I really like to watch those weight TV shows. They seem to motivate me. I really would like to take off some pounds. Like everything else, you have to work at it.

I watched a teenage oriented show on MTV entitled I used to be Fat. The young woman on it had been fat all her life.

When we meet her parents, and family we understand why. Although I do believe some people have a tendency to put on weight, the environment plays just as big a role.

They have all the creamy bad stuff in their pantry and refrigerator. Several different types of pancake mix, creamy stuff, and generally bad. They all put it in a big sack to give to the food pantry. (I suppose it’s not okay for them, but okay for the poor.)

Anyway, this young girl has a trainer who is merciless on her. The first day she is running across the football field. When she’s done with that, she’s going up and down the stairs of the stadium. ( I think he could have just had her run back and forth across the football field on her first day.)

Her father, who is overweight himself, tried to motivate her. He obviously cares about her, and that’s a good thing. I think it’s the case of the pot calling the kettle black. I think it would really motivate her  more if he was earnestly trying to take off some of his bulk. It looks like he’s making a half hearted attempt.  Her mother seems to be out of the picture. She does take responsibility for her kids being overweight.

The trainer and father point out that losing weight is a mental exercise. She keeps saying she can’t, can’t, and can’t. Finally she starts saying, “yes, I can.” (Sound familiar).

There is one scene where she goes to a restaurant with her brother and friend. They order all that bad stuff that they serve in restaurants:  hamburgers, french fries, and fried food. They seem to enjoy taunting her with it. She orders a salad, but you know those restaurant salads, some of them are loaded with hidden calories. At least she’s trying.

Finally, she manages to run a marathon, and succeeds. She goes off to college, and after about 3 more months she’s lost 79 pounds, and looks like a different person. (She could’ve picked a more flattering outfit to show off her good points.)

Her parents at the reveal still look pretty overweight. That was a disappointment. It means she’ll go back to the same lousy food environment when she comes home.

This program reminded me that losing weight is such a mental exercise, and that negative self talk is such a defeating thing. If you can find some determination, you can change things for yourself. (Even if you’re over 60)

Even thought this show was about a teenager, I still found it full of good information. It’s things I knew, but needed to be reminded about.

 

 

How to keep off 20 pounds: Move more!


Gym

Gym (Photo credit: ivywoodavenue)

Although I go up and down in my weight, I have managed to keep off 20 pounds in the last few years. Okay, I need to lose 40 more. I have started a weight loss blog. Here is an example of one of my posts! If you want to get to it, it’s barbaralynnabel.wordpress.com. It’s called Losing the Last 40 Pounds. I may have to rename it because there’s about 40, 000 blogs with the same title!

I do talk about some of my emotional issues which has a lot to do with being overweight.

Elliptical machine: I love this machine. It’s great. You can adjust it to as hard as you want, you can keep track of your heartbeat, and there’s several workouts you can choose. I just listen to my I-Pod and let it rip.

arm and leg machines: if you belong to a gym, go to the basic machines. Put it on the lowest pounds, or where you feel comfortable, to start. Do 2 sets of 12 on arms, and 3 sets of 15 on legs. Ask the exercise guys and girls to help. That’s what they’re getting paid for. (Although they would like to personal train you.) Most gyms give you a complimentary workout to start! If you’ve got the $$, use the personal trainers. At least do it once or twice, so you really learn how to properly use the machines.

yoga classes: almost anyone can do something in yoga. They emphasize not to compete against others.

spinning: that’s a stationary bike class, and I love it. You can set the bike anywhere you want it, and they usually listen to music. One time, I watched an entire movie while spinning.

I also have a bike I bought a couple of years ago. I named it “Freedom”. I still get on it and tool around the neighborhood. It’s a good way to start the day. Sometimes I’ll go 4 or 5 miles, and sometimes less. I think I may look very entertaining going through the neighborhood.

Water aerobics has become my favorite because I’m a little older, and it can really get the heartbeat up. I think it works great. Lift those weights too. It does wonders for a lot of people. Just because it’s not torture doesn’t mean it’s not working.

I do have a tendency to get down-in-the-dumps, and exercise really nips this in the bud. Maybe, that’s why I like it so much!  I might feel crummy when I start my exercise session, but never do when I’m finished. This only takes me about an hour to feel the relief. It releases those endorphins— feel good chemicals in your brain.

Try it, you’ll like it!

Tell me some of your favorite activities.