Obsessed: YOGA STUFF!

I have been obsessed with yoga since my sophomore year in college when I took my first Vinyasa yoga class.

Now, I go to Power Yoga at the YMCA at least once a week.

My obsession with yoga hasn’t traveled much outside the realm of the practice and the poses. I didn’t much care about the mat I used or the clothing I wore…

…but then I saw these babies featured on Diets In Review. (They featured black. I hunted down the pink pair. This chick loves pink. Remember the Adidas shoes?)

Nike Studio Wrap
Photo courtesy Nike, Inc.

These are Nike Studio Wrap shoes. Five-in-one shoes designed for the barefoot, in-studio workout… without the barefoot part.

I. Am. Obsessed.

According to Nike, Inc., the bare foot can slip and slide, and I’ve experienced this during Downward Dog pose where my legs and arms both slowly move farther away from each other on the mat I’ve soaked in sweat. The Nike Studio Wrap acts like a toe shoe without the shoe, and Nike claims that it will be less bunchy than a yoga sock.

Let’s count the pros…

1) My feet aren’t completely bare in public at the YMCA where small children get pink eye.

2) The little sticky bobbers on the soles of the non-shoe will prevent sliding on the mat.

Cons?

It’s still a shoe, and shoes are awful, and I don’t understand the ribbon part. Is that for decoration? Ankle support? I don’t get it.

The Nike Studio Wrap shoes are supposed to have a starting price of $110, which I find ridiculous. I paid $100 for my Brooks running shoes (worth it)! The Nike Studio Wrap is half a shoe so they should be half the price.

I like my logic. I don’t think Nike would appreciate it, though.

The wrap shoes seem like they might make a functional addition to my yoga practice, but I have no intention of purchasing a pair until I’ve read extensive reviews and seen them in action.

I have to wait until Spring.

Dang it.

Do you use a yoga shoe or sock? What luck have you had? What price tag have you paid? (I’m so stingy.)

Recovering from another injury

I am always recovering from some sort of injury.

For example, after I ran in the Run4NYC 5K, I hurt the top of my foot.

Running. I hurt the top of my foot. I didn’t even know that was possible. I am going to have  to learn how to tie my shoes properly.

For about a week after the run, I could not flex my foot or put pressure on the top of my foot because it hurt so badly. However, I could walk on it just fine.

Weirdest. Foot pain. Ever.

I’m not sure how I could have avoided that bizarre foot injury, but I know I can avoid future injuries and everyday pains and extreme soreness by making it a priority to take care of my body before, during and after a workout.

Two fitness bloggers explain how to fix the most common workout mistakes on The Greatist, a health and fitness website. Here are a two of the mistakes I make, and how I plan to fix them.

Workout Mistake: No workout order.

When I go to the gym, if I am not going to a class, I usually just jump on the treadmill or hit the weight room without a real plan… or at least without a really good plan.

The Greatist article recommends finding a program to follow, and, while no program is perfect, it is best to find a program that works for you. So you might have to try a few, but the article also recommends avoiding program hopping…

Maybe they mean to find a plan you like, and then stick to it even if you don’t see results right away, which was another workout mistake.

Several health and fitness websites put together workout programs for all types of programs: from spinning to gym-free. Fitness bloggers across the web also share their favorite workouts.

Here are a few of my favorite places to find workout programs:

Workout Mistake: Doing cardio before weight training.

I always run before I weight train. Always.

Apparently, I am wrong.

According to the article, cardio before weight training will tax the body so it cannot perform high-intensity weight lifting properly.

Oops.

These are not the only workout mistakes I make. I also fail to perform a proper warm-up and cool down, and I am a notoriously terrible stretcher.

I have a lot of work to do when I get back to the gym, which might not be for a while…

I hurt myself again after my foot healed. However, my most recent injury was not caused by an exercise of any kind; it was caused by my own extreme clumsiness.

I fell down the stairs, landed on my hip and pinched a nerve in my butt.

Yeah. I am awesome.

How to avoid weight gain during the holiday season

My waistline was lucky on Thanksgiving.

We did not celebrate with food.

I do not think I will be as lucky on Christmas because, knowing my family, I might have a few Christmas celebrations to attend and a few merry meals to munch.

Oh. I’m getting poet-y.

I do not want to gain more weight during the holiday season. In fact, I am currently trying to lose the weight I gained when I started my desk job. I know I do not need to overeat for my holiday merriment so I’m going to practice a few techniques I found around the web to avoid the holiday weight gain that is so inevitable for us Americans.

Especially for the ones who love food. Like me. I feel your pain.

The first trick I found was “eat like a king, eat like a prince, eat like a peasant.” I should consume the most amount of my calories in the morning for breakfast. For lunch and dinner, I should eat like a prince (less than a king) and like a peasant (the least amount of calories), respectively.

No 100-calorie yogurt cups with granola for breakfast. I need to prepare a healthy, more than 300-calorie breakfast for myself every morning: eggs, fruit, toast and coffee.

And my peasant dinner will most likely be the Christmas dinner that will tempt me to overeat, but NOT if I’m still full of breakfast.

The second trick I found was to bring my own food. For every holiday celebration I attend, I will bring my own healthy dish! I will make enough of said healthy dish to eat it the most but also have some left for others to enjoy.

What about spaghetti squash salad with feta? I’ll go easy on the butter and salt, and I’ll eat ALL OF IT. Looks so delicious.

 

The third trick is something I have tried in the past: DO NOT HAVE SECONDS. And by “tried in the past,” I mean “failed to succeed in the past.”

I have never been able to resist the tempting pull of seconds. My father-in-law is a ridiculously good cook and so are my family members: my mother, my Papa and my grandma. AND I live with my husband who is a much better cook than I am so I’m always eating everything (double that) he puts in front of me.

Guh.

My goals for the holiday season:

1) Eat a crazy healthy and equally crazy big breakfast every morning.

2) Bring a healthy dish that’s low in the usual holiday guilt (butter and salt).

3) Do not have seconds at any holiday meal I attend this season. Do not.

The only goal that sounds tough is #3!

How do you avoid holiday weight gain? What changes do you make in your diet or fitness regimen to make up for the calories you eat for holiday meals?

 

Projects for a DIY Home: Idea #1

Husband and I are FINALLY moved in to the new house.

There isn’t one room that is completely finished, and we have a lot of work to do on our 90-year-old house, but we have all boxes unpacked and home for everything.

That’s moved in to me!

I have a lot of ideas to make our house more of a home, and most of them involve power tools and paint.

YAY!

Idea #1: New desk

Husband’s desk is a simple, particle board desk, and it’s a beat-up hot mess. I have ideas for something a little more creative.

I love this framing wood corner desk by A Beautiful Mess, but I’m not sure it will look so great in my office. We have a large blank wall where Husband’s desk currently sits, and our other walls have huge windows. The corner where this type of desk would sit would bump right against window sill.

Another option is this fabulous pallet desk.

 

I have been pretty obsessed with pallet projects lately. I might have to try them all.

Husband’s desk could also be a lovely manly rustic wood and iron table like this one featured on Picklee. It would look great on that long wall in my office.

The desk is the first of many projects I want to start for our new house. I’ll feature more and my finished products when I get to them.

Here’s hoping I actually get to them.

I’m going to be a busy, busy little homeowner.

Any advice for putting together pallet furniture? Where is the best place to get pallets?

I’m going on a running streak… starting December 1

I am going on a running streak with Runner’s World.

Last year, Runner’s World hosted the first Holiday Running Streak, which has runners pledge to run one mile every day from Thanksgiving Day to New Year’s Day.

As you know, I have high hopes of turning from “unprofessional runner” into “hard-core athlete.”

As you also know, I have commitment issue with fitness, and I walk out on our relationship almost every other day. Exercise is real irritating. Diet? Don’t even get me started.

I truly want to be fit, but I desperately need someone to tell me what to do, which is why I’m joining Runner’s World readers and runners across the country to pledge to run one mile every day.

But I’m starting December 1.

Why? I’ll tell you.

I signed up to run the one-mile race for the Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis on December 1.

(If you’re feeling giving, donate to the cause here. My goal is to raise $100.)

I am not much of a go-getter when it comes to races, and I do not feel the need to pay nor do I have the means to fund myself to run in a real race, so I just race for charity now. Yay!

Wait. Why am I starting on December 1? Right. I was telling you.

First, it is currently already after Thanksgiving.

Second, I like starting things on a 1st. You know… like the first of the month, first of the year, first of the week…

Third, I believe running one mile every day for 31 days is a good goal for me. It sounds less hard when I say it that way.

Finally, I don’t have a time to beat! I don’t have a PR! I plan to use the December 1 run/walk to set my PR. I think someone will be there with a timer-thingy.

I’m shooting for a 12-minute mile. (I know, I know. But I’m out of shape, and haven’t run a 9-minute mile since high school. I know my limit.)

Will running one mile every day for 31 days turn me into a hard-core athlete? Totally.

OK. Maybe not. But it’s a step in the right direction.

Are you going to join the Holiday Running Streak? Check out their message board!

Avoid product hoaxes: The Ab Circle Pro and Sketchers

Have you heard?

The Ab Circle Pro is a total fraud.

Surprised?

Me neither.

The makers of the Ab Circle Pro claimed that users could lose 10 pounds in two weeks by spending three minutes a day wiggling back and forth on their makeshift skateboard-bike.

That doesn’t even sound real.

Honestly, I could make an Ab Circle Pro using a skateboard and a chair, and it would burn more calories because users would continually have to re-balance themselves so they wouldn’t fall off and crack their face.

However, the skateboard-chair method WON’T WORK EITHER. Please don’t try that at home… Please. It’s a bad idea.

The point is that the Ab Circle Pro and similar bizarre pieces of fitness equipment are complete hoaxes.

You cannot lose weight or tone your core by swinging your butt back and forth for three minutes a day. I mean, look at this woman, do you really think she looks like that because of the Ab Circle Pro?

Probs not, friends.

In addition, you cannot lose weight or tone your core by wearing an electrode belt under your shirt that stimulates your ab muscles. You cannot lose weight or tone your backside walking around in a special shoe.

There is no better piece of equipment than hard work, and there is no better way to spend your money than on making the small changes needed to change your lifestyle.

Believe me. I have love handles. I know. I used to want want want want! the quick fixes. But the “quick fix” claims do not work because fitness isn’t quick. Fitness takes hard work, commitment and a lifestyle overhaul. Three minutes a day is not an overhaul.

What experiences have you had with fitness products?

What are your thoughts on the lawsuits against the Ab Circle Pro and Sketchers?

Who do you think is next?

I ran the #Run4NYC 5K

DietsInReview.com hosted a Run4NYC 5K in Wichita this morning (Saturday, November 10) to support Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.

And I ran it.

I have not run more than two miles at a time in years, and those two miles usually occurred on a treadmill rather than an actual trail. But, today, I ran 3.1 miles over hills and under trees through Sedgwick County Park.

And I ran the whole 3.1 miles.

Mile 1: I did well. I was slow, but faster than I would be if I were sitting on a couch! My body felt good, and my cardio was great! (I love that my cardio is still pretty good.)

A man pushing a DOUBLE running stroller passed me… I became momentarily disheartened, but then I imagined that every once in a while he would jump on the back of the stroller and ride it to take a break. I became less disheartened.

Plus, I passed him later.

Mile 2: TOOK FOREVER. The second mile was a little bit harder than the first. My legs were getting tired on the way to Mile 3, but I had the energy to keep going. Cardio was still awesome.

Mile 3: Wind. Of course. I ran against the wind for one whole mile. It was awful. The last mile had the most hilly parts, too. Uphill against the wind… I called those hills and that wind a few colorful names to push myself through the hard painful parts.

My legs pretty much quit on me during the third mile. I’m surprised I actually kept going.

When I saw the parking lot, knowing that the finish line was near, I started laughing. I told my legs that I would take a BENGAY bath and dry off with SalonPas if they would just make it to the finish line.

And my legs made it. I made it.

Before I tell you about the amazing amount of money raised for Hurricane Sandy victims, I want to tell you about the amazing amount of pride I raised in myself.

Because I gained weight, because my energy levels have decreased, because I have been so down and out about fitness, I did not have a lot of self-esteem in my abilities to lose the weight I gained or to increase my fitness and health.

I feel like I got a little bit of it back today.

So thank you DietsInReview for encouraging me to run in this 5K. My first in years, and the best one I’ve ever run.

DietsInReview donated $2.50 for each runner, and then threw in another $1500 after we had finished the race. The runners raised almost $1500 in donations. The donations will go to the American Red Cross to support Sandy relief efforts.

DietsInReview might be based in Wichita, but many technical supporters and freelance writers live and work in New York. For them, the Hurricane was a little closer to home than the Midwest.

I apologize for being such a bad blogger. Work has been busy, busy, busy! When I get home, the last thing I want to do is look at another computer screen. Plus, I haven’t been very fitness-y, eating healthy-y or anything-y lately. I’m working on that. Promise!

When I got home from the race, I ate three scrambled eggs and some leftover chicken taco mix covered in hot salsa. I WAS SO HUNGRY.