My Experience: Meditate Your Weight

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Yesterday I completed the final day’s meditation and journaling for the three-week journey that Tiffany Cruikshank offers in Meditate Your Weight. She’s a doctor who has been using this course with her own patients for years, helping them lose weight, and so she decided to publish it.

Around January, I’d become frustrated with the 5-10 pounds I’d gained over the past couple of years and I didn’t know what to do about it. I eat super healthy (or at least 80/20) and usually worked out 5 times a week. I thought I’d give a go at examining the mental side of things and see if that was my issue, as I suspected it was (because I’m really hard on myself mentally, about most things).

I love reading books like this – and one of Gabby Bernstein’s books that’s a 40 day mental work-out – because it gives me something to look forward to doing every morning. I really enjoyed checking the box of, ‘Yup, done!’ I also, and I HATE to admit this, loved the freedom from my Vedic meditation practice for three weeks. I think I just needed a break. I don’t know why, but I did. Don’t judge me.

Anyways, it’s a 3 week process to go through and unpack your mental baggage that you have about yourself as a person and the image of yourself; to discover what makes you feel good and what gifts you have to offer the world. It sounds cheesy, but it was helpful. The best day is probably day 18, which is the visualization meditation. Where you visualize (duh) yourself at your healthiest. It’s powerful. I felt really good after. I also really enjoyed the daily mantra one day of “My inner glow makes me radiant.” I might get that printed on a bracelet.  Stop it, I know it’s cheesy.

Did I lose any weight, you might be wondering. I lost a couple of pounds, but her message overall is to find your healthiest SELF, not your healthiest weight. She actually recommends throwing your scale out.

So, two thumbs up for this book. It’s good to work on your health mentally just as it is to work on it physically. I celebrated finishing it with a 5k and an iced coffee at my favorite coffee shop. #winning

Tiny Wins

Today was most people’s first day back to work after a most likely stupidly long break for the holidays and such. I still have a week until yoga teacher training starts though, so I slept stupidly late today (for me, which is 9:40am) because Playbill wouldn’t stop meowing around 7am. Anyways, I had a series of small wins today and I wanted to log them here and hope it inspires you guys to log your own tiny wins:

AM Pilates Session: Last week I used Perkville points to book a 30 minute private pilates session and today was the day. It was my first time using pilates equipment and it was pretty interesting. I still like yoga better but I think I need to incorporate pilates at least once a week into my regimen. 

Sushi Lunch: Is sushi healthy? I caught up with an old work friend that I hadn’t seen in a month or more. We’re not super close, but it was good to see her. We went to Sushi Yusaka on 72nd street and it was really good. You know it’s going to be good when they haven’t opened the doors yet and there are already 20 people outside waiting to get in. I didn’t get any tempura rolls, so that’s a win for healthy eating right there.

To Do Lists: I combined my two different to-do list apps into one. And added a bunch of additional things “to do.”

Dairy Free: Another day dairy free! Note: I was not meat-free. Just giving myself a week off from consuming dairy. Second note: I’ve been way less bloated since Sunday!

Meditated Twice: Morning meditations are easy. I get up, I pee, I meditate. It’s the afternoon ones that I’ve been struggling to remember to do (mostly because it was the holidays, but whatever), but today I managed to sit for a second time.

Cooked: I made some kind of risotto and I’m about to make a big bowl of tabouli. I’ll also spiralize a bunch of vegetables to have on hand.  

Cleaned Up: I went through a couple of boxes that’ve been hiding under my bed and filed or threw away a big pile of papers. #declutteringFTW

Emails: In a moment of What’s Next panic last night, I sent a bunch of emails to a few recruiters that I know and a few contacts in the entertainment industry about any possible jobs. I received responses from all of my entertainment industry peeps and that made me feel really good. I made a couple of appointments with two recruiters this week, just so I’m at a good place when training is over, should I decide to take on a FT role again (as opposed to working several different part-time gigs, etc.).

Reading: I finished Breaking Vegan after only 2 days. It’s super inspiring and I truly believe that Jordan Younger is an actually fantastic person (this is just an assumption as I’ve not met her in person!). I’m not vegan, and never plan on being vegan, but this was a great read regardless. Next up: Better Than Before, by Gretchen Rubin. I’ve read her other two books so I’m looking forward to reading this one, too.

Workin’ It Out

I haven’t posted my exercise regiments for the last week or two because with my vacation, but I had a good run this week. I actually made it to 5k! I realized that I just have to slow way down when I run. J runs too fast for me, so I’ll have to slow him down when we run a 5K in early November.

I ran in Riverside Park and, as usual, I missed every entrance to the path along the Hudson, but what can you do? 

I’ve been to yoga twice this week and I’ll probably run again tonight, rest tomorrow, and yoga on Saturday. My FitBit alarm didn’t go off on Monday or Tuesday, so I didn’t go to the gym in the morning and I was totally lazy the last two mornings. I need more core work though. Any suggestions?  

Last Week’s Workouts

I was going to start a completely separate blog to write about this stuff, but I decided against it because I don’t want to have 7 million blogs on the internet. So, click the “read more” link to hold me accountable and see how I did.

My plan was:

Monday: Ashtanga/Iyengar Yoga
Tuesday: Running + sit ups
Wednesday: Running + sit ups + Ashtanga/Iyengar yoga
Thursday: Running + sit ups
Friday: Rest?
Saturday: Vinyasa
Sunday: Rest or Run?

It turned out like this:

Monday: Ashtanga/Iyengar Yoga (75 minutes)
Tuesday: Running (22 minutes) + abs + hand weights
Wednesday: Running (20 minutes)
Thursday: Pilates (60 minutes) + abs
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Vinyasa (95 minutes)
Sunday: Running (20 minutes or 2 miles) – this killed because we started with running up a hill. 

I’ve been doing pretty good with eating. I’m really trying to limit my snack and eat as many vegetables as possible. I realized that eating chopped veggies and guac instead of tortilla chips leaves me feeling a lot better. Duh. 

How were your workouts last week?

Week 1 (or What My Exercise Schedule Actually Looked Like)

I wrote last week about mixing up my work out schedule and including a rest day or two because those might actually be important. Here’s what I’d anticipated it might look like:

Monday: Ashtanga/Iyengar Yoga
Tuesday: Running + sit ups
Wednesday: Running + sit ups + Ashtanga/Iyengar yoga
Thursday: Running + sit ups
Friday: Rest?
Saturday: Vinyasa
Sunday: Rest or Run?

But here’s what it actually ended up looking like:

Monday: Yoga (85 minutes)
Tuesday: 50 sit-ups, running (22 minutes)
Wednesday: 50 sit-ups, arm weight exercises, yoga (85 minutes)
Thursday: Running (20 minutes)
Friday: Yoga (65 minutes)
Saturday: Unintentional rest day
Sunday: Yoga (30 minutes)

With trips out to Long Island and Westchester this weekend, I ate tons of food so now I’m going to try to get back to health eating. Today I think I’m going to yoga and then I’m going to also run. Now where’s my Inspiralized cookbook…

Working out too much or just the wrong way?

I’ve been thinking lately that there’s a possibility that I’ve been working out too much. Or working out the wrong way. When I lost a whole bunch of weight from 2011-2012, I was mainly doing yoga and running (a mile here, a mile there). 

Now I’ve added the elliptical and weights. Then I did shit ton of sit ups for a while. My torso looked great.

With primarily yoga (half vinyasa, half ashtanga/iyengar), very minimal hand weights, and the elliptical, I’m not sure I’m such a fan of how I’m looking, or rather, how I’m feeling.

I decided to run on the treadmill on Friday night instead of doing the elliptical because I wanted to run and it was too hot to run outside. I ran for about 24 minutes; a little over 2 miles. I felt great afterward. Running on the treadmill is the worst but I watched a very old episode of SVU, so I was kept entertained. On Saturday morning I went to my hardest vinyasa class and lost half my body weight in sweat. It was awesome.

Which brings me now to the topic of yoga: I used to do primarily vinyasa classes, which I only do once a week now. I could do them more but they seem so boring (save for my Saturday morning class with one of my favorite teachers). I’m rediscovering my love for ashtanga and iyengar, and not just going for updog as fast as possible, and as many times as possible.

And lastly, I’ve read about working out too much and how important rest days are. As far as I’ve been concerned, at least in the past, rest days are for the weak. But maybe now I’m coming to terms with the cold hard fact that they aren’t. I need a rest day, or two. I’m thinking this could be my potential schedule:

Monday: Ashtanga/Iyengar Yoga
Tuesday: Running + sit ups
Wednesday: Running + sit ups + Ashtanga/Iyengar yoga
Thursday: Running + sit ups
Friday: Rest?
Saturday: Vinyasa 
Sunday: Rest or Run?

I’ll try it out this week and see how it works. 

First Hot Run

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I hate running in the summer. It’s miserable. The heat and humidity are unbearable so I haven’t run for a month. Yesterday, J and I ran a quick two miles (his Nike+ app said two miles, so whatever) in Riverside Park and along the Hudson River.

It was not an easy run at all for me. We walked up along the river for 20 or so blocks after we stopped running so we got a bit of a tan. We were exhausted after that. 

I can’t wait to run in fall weather.

Bait & Switch (& Switched Again)

I’m doing a free two-week pass at Yoga Shanti (the studio across the street from my office) and I went to a class that was listed as “Open” last week. I was expecting it to be Iyengar/Ashtanga with different levels of difficulty for each pose. But then I got to the class and the teacher exclaimed, “it’s restorative day!” 

And so I altered my expectations from getting a mild workout to getting no work out at all, but relaxing. I was disappointed at first, but then I reframed and thought, “you know, I had a colposcopy yesterday so maybe this is for the best!” and got excited. 

Then… it turned out to not be so restorative. Or at least not the kind of restorative class I was expecting when I hear something described as “restorative.” There were lots of inversions, which I know are restorative, but for me, they’re not really relaxing. We did the kinds where my neck is hanging in midair and makes me really stress out. 

Not exactly the kind of restorative that I was hoping for. 

But then that’s what happens when you walk into a situation with expectations. 

Weighty

I began a month or so back to give my weight a little bit of… weight in my mission to tone up for the spring, summer, fall… and for life. I talked about how I gained a few pounds over the winter and it was annoying me. To track my progress (or lack of progress), I began to weigh myself once a week on Wednesday mornings after my workout before beginning my day. I found that my weight fluctuates a lot:

  • 4/20: 159.1
  • 4/27: 158
  • 5/4: 156.6
  • 5/11: 159
  • 5/18: 156.8

Before the brutally, painfully cold winter, I was hovering between 151-154. 

What I forgot to recognize was that this weight gain could be partially from muscle gain. I do the elliptical and now use weights 3-4 times per week. Does anyone know if that could result in muscle gain? (The elliptical use, I mean, as using weights definitely causes muscle gain.) An as aside, I’m currently eating around 1300 calories/day. I know I need to up my protein and fiber intake, for sure. 

I know my weight doesn’t make me a good or bad person and it’s not even a particularly good indicator of general health if you’re in a safe range (obviously if you’re 300lbs and 5′4″, there’s an issue), but it’d be nice loose 5 or so pounds which shouldn’t be all that hard because I lost around 40 initially.

Am I about to give up peanut butter and cupcakes? No. Peanut butter is a food group to me. That’s probably why weighing 147 again will never be possible (which is what I weighed at my lowest when I first lost all of my weight, in a healthy way, in 2011-2012). And overall, I generally like how I look so I’m not willing to purge or starve myself. Please, I like food way too much to not eat it or waste it by regurgitating it. I might try to stop eating so much Italian bread though (the kind you get at restaurants). That shit is great but it’s mostly empty calories.

There probably isn’t really any advice that anyone could give because I like what I like, but i just thought I’d put it out there. 

And Just Like That

I posted last week about changing up my fitness routine and I did. I stopped doing 30 minutes of the same thing three mornings a week and it’s been awesome. 

Instead of 30 minutes on the elliptical, I’m now doing 20 minutes followed by 10 minutes of hand weights (is that what they’re called? I don’t know). I feel like the weights get my heart going faster than the elliptical. I miss out on that last 10 minutes of Morning Joe, but that’s okay. The news is crap anyways. 

I also resolved to start doing my barre DVD (at least the arms part) regularly again – meaning 2-3 times per week. I’ve re-introduced crunches (on a medicine ball) into my routine too. 

I cooked last night and have a bunch of food ready to eat so no more eating lunch at Dig Inn (because while it’s better than Schnippers, it can’t be all that good to eat regularly). 

Remember: if you want to change your routine, you can. Just like that