Walking & Biking & Yoga… OH MY!

April 6th, 2013

If you had asked me 5 years ago if I would actually enjoy working out, I would have laughed so hard at you and then continue sitting on my flabby butt and play video games. :P

Nowadays (and around 30 lbs lighter), I have come to enjoy exercise! Especially yoga. I’m no pro at it and not nearly as flexible as a lot of people. I struggle the most with anything involving back bends. Considering I had a lot of health issues growing up that prevented me from pursuing anything of the physical nature, I think I’m doing pretty good! It does help that I don’t have very long limbs and so I can easily touch my toes. My legs are the short & stubby variety. :P For the first time since before I hit puberty, I can wear single digit clothing! I know, it’s just a number, but for many years, I was in the double-digit sized clothing! Sizes 12-14, depending on what it was. And wearing it all on my just-under-5’0″ frame (I am just barely under the 5′ line). I believe I maxed out at around a depressing 151 lbs. at one point in my 20’s (ugh!). It may not sound like a lot to some people, but please keep my height in mind. Weighing 150 at say 5’10” is a LOT different than at 5’0″. :\

My all-time lowest weight was 2 years ago at 109 lbs. Granted, I had gotten extremely sick (bronchitis + VIRAL pink eye… at the SAME time!) and couldn’t hold down much. I think it would have been the ideal weight for me, but my body doesn’t want to get back down that low. For a year after that all-time low, I maintained 113 lbs, but due to depression, went back up to 121. Now I’m fluctuating between 116-119. Yes, they’re just numbers, but what’s important is how I feel/felt. I felt so good about myself, being able to wear cute clothing for the FIRST time in my adult life (and I just turned 34 in March). Not sure what my husband thinks of the change since I had to replace my entire wardrobe, AND I’m a liiiiiittle more interested in shopping for new clothes these days than I was back when I was heavier. <.< Heh. I do limit myself to the clearance racks at Kohl’s or Old Navy or take advantage of sales. I’ll never pay full retail price for anything! :P I also own a bathing suit! Prior to this, I went about 10 years without owning a swimsuit!

I lost (and am maintaining) weight the “right” way. I’m not doing any weird diets. I simply cut back the amount of sodium and sugar I eat. It’s AMAZING what that can do! Have you ever truly read the labels of the processed foods you eat? It’s crazy how much sodium they contain, especially frozen meals! Yuck! We’re supposed to only have about 1200 mg of sodium/day, but an average frozen dinner has nearly 1000 mg! Even those ramen packets have a crap ton of sodium! I don’t add any salt to any of my foods and stay away from sweeteners. Sure, I add a drop of honey to my tea each morning, but very little. When you cut access salt & sugar from your diet, you can seriously taste the difference. I avoid fast food chains like the plague, as well as eat more fresh fruits & veggies. Things come off way too salty for me when I eat out and I have to sometimes specify restaurants to hold back from adding any as they prepare my food. I used to add soy sauce to just about EVERYTHING I ate, but now can barely stand the smell of the stuff! I replaced salt/soy sauce with fiery seasonings such as cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes and good ol’ SRIRACHA! That extra fiery punch to food not only revs up your metabolism, but totally takes away the bland that you’ll miss from the lack of salt! If you crave sugary stuff and miss it, dash your food with cinnamon! It has the same properties and reaction of firing up your metabolism as peppers, but it’s sweeter!

040613_oldnavyjacketAnyway, one thing that I have added to my wardrobe are workout clothes! While I was revving up to my current level of activity, I’d just slap on my normal clothes and then sweat it out. Since I wasn’t doing it as regularly as I am these days, it was fine and I didn’t mind sweating it out and wearing soggy sweat clothes made of cotton every so often. Now that I’m sweating it up more, I prefer not to wear my sweat. :P I have found some really nice stuff, but lately came across this AWESOME jacket at Old Navy! It even has thumb holes to help keep your palms warm/dry! Loving that added feature!

The only pesky thing about losing all this weight is that I have this nasty bit of extra skin around my tummy. Around 12 years ago, I had also given birth to a child, who I had adopted out, but that had put me up around 170 lbs! O_O Since I have a very short torso, there was only one way I could grow to accommodate a new life inside of me– outward. I have stretch marks galore decorating my tummy, as well as that extra flap of skin. Ask any woman who has either lost a ton of weight or given birth and didn’t “snap” back to her original body! It’s gross how it just hangs there! It’d be nice to get a tummy tuck, but they cost around $15,000.00. I don’t have that kind of money, nor do I really want to get a loan on something of that nature. I never really noticed this flap of skin while I was heavier, but now that I’ve lost a ton of my body fat… it’s rather visible. <.<

Oh well. You win some, you lose some, I guess. Either way, yoga makes me feel great inside… both physically and emotionally! It has helped a lot with dealing with my issues. Inversions feel great once you can handle the pose! I just recently managed to pull off my very first head-stand! There’s just something about hanging upside down that puts your mind and priorities in perspective. Can’t really explain it, but it’s… nice. Hopefully I’ll be able to learn how to do the more complicated hand-stands and crazy back bends such as my favorite yogi’s Kathryn Budig, Tiffany Cruikshank and Brihony Smyth do! ^^; I only practice with a DVD in my own home; still too scared and anxious to be in a studio with a bunch of other people practicing. I tried it once and had an anxiety attack. D: Wasn’t pleasant. Hopefully someday, I’ll be able to get over it and manage to take a class! It’d be nice to meet people and make friends who enjoy the same activities I do.