What’s up, Wednesday?

VROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM.

There, that’s better. I just vacuumed up the spider webs and dust from the Double Chin Diary for your viewing pleasure. Oh man, seriously. I’ve been away from the blog for two weeks! April has also been away. Hopefully we’ll get back to a regular schedule soon. Unfortunately, I was away for a sad reason, as I lost a very special family member two weeks ago to cancer. I was in my hometown in Northern California for almost two weeks.  I’ll share more when I feel ready, but I can say that grief has a powerful effect on eating. For some people it causes them to lose their appetite, and for others, it makes them want to eat everything in sight.  This time around, I was the latter. But now I’m back home and back into the routine, having logged a good workout and healthy meals like 15-bean soup. Gotta get back on track! Since I’ve been away for so long I figured I’d just ramble on about a couple different things. Yup!

1) This isn’t my first rodeo with trying to lose weight, but one thing’s for sure: activity is good. It doesn’t have to be an hour long sweat sesh for me to feel the benefits of exercise on my body. I took some long walks (one was 5.36 miles — working my way up to 60 miles for the 3-Day!) while I was away, and all of those walks left me feeling better. My body gets awfully tense and creaky when I’m not keeping it in motion. A good reminder for the future. (Also, how cute is my Katie K. Active  top? Score 15% off and free shipping with code ALYSSA15 — more formal review to come!)

Strolling through Schollenberger Park in Petaluma

Strolling through Schollenberger Park in Petaluma

2) I’m a telecommuter, and I gotta say, dogs make good coworkers. Can you guys help convince my landlord that I need a dog now?! This is Sadie, my inlaw’s beautiful retriever. Apparently she likes lemons.

golden retriever lemons

Pucker up, Sadie!

3) I’m super happy that Summer is almost here! Summer is my favorite season (followed by Fall, then Spring, then Winter). I got to spend the first part of Memorial Day weekend hanging around my friend Susie’s beautiful pool. I’ve gotten a lot more serious now about sunscreen, thanks to a pre-cancerous mole I had to have sheared off not once, but twice. WEAR SUNSCREEN, people! That’s your PSA for the day. Hence my stylish Havana Hat and shades. But beyond sunscreen, summer means that FITBLOGGIN is right around the corner! I’ll be headin’ to Savannah at the end of June, and I can’t wait. Any must-sees in Savannah?

Cover up in the sun!

Cover up in the sun!

4) Being back in Northern California meant I got to spend some time with my awesome boss and coworker who also live in the bay. I stopped on my way home from lunch with them to stretch my legs at Vista Point, a beautiful scenic overlook at the Golden Gate Bridge. How amazing is this? I live in such a beautiful place.

IMG_0096

Vista Point, San Francisco

5) Lastly, I’m thinking about cancelling my Total Woman gym membership. I’ve been doing a ton of walk training lately, and I’m not happy with Total Woman’s super packed classes. They tried to set up a system where you sign in for a class before it starts and that will determine maximum capacity, but tonight was one time to many where I arrived 20 minutes early for a class and it was already past capacity. Then, the classes I do manage to get into are so packed you can’t comfortably move around. Is this a problem I just need to get used to, or does anyone have any other gym suggestions? I want to check out LA Fitness, 24 Hour Fitness, Curves, and my local YMCA. Let me know if you have any suggestions! The most important thing to me are flexible hours and a variety of classes.

That’s all I got. What’s happenin’ with you? 🙂

 

Don’t Sweat It

I sweat. A lot. Like to the point of “Hey now, heard there’s a water shortage in Southern California. Want some sweat?” Let’s get right to the point. Here’s a picture of me last night after an hour of boxing. We did these awesome drills called “suicides” where you take turns with your sparring partner and beat the bag in minute-long sessions – first uppercuts, then jabs, then hooks. It was badass.

After 55 minutes of pure cardio - I sweat!

See that dark smudge on my shirt? That’s sweat. See how my hair looks brown? That’s sweat. See how my face is shiny and red and blotchy? That’s sweat. See that smile? That’s confidence. See this picture? That’s proof.

A friend of mine joined my gym and we took this kickboxing class together. Afterwards she expressed her surprise at my level of  sweat by saying “You’re like.. WET!” My response to her was “That’s why I’m here!” My sweatiness is something that trips me out sometimes, because as ladies, we’re expected to be dainty, feminine and polite, and if we sweat, it should be little glistening dew drops that glimmer like diamond shimmer powder on our foreheads. Not big, rolling rivers of salty sweat that drips into our eyes and puddles onto the floor. Or at least that’s what we’re supposed to think. I now know that for me, a good workout is measured in the level of “dew” on my body – is the small of my back damp? How about the back of my neck? Do my hands feel clammy, like a 14 year old boy’s at his first school dance? When I work out, it’s not pretty. I’m not there to walk a runway. I’m there to put the WORK in working out… and I’m pretty sure hard work doesn’t always look pretty, unless you’re Heidi Klum or Alexander Skarsgard.

I joined a women’s gym because there’s a comfort level I needed to have to start working out. I sweat like a beast, and when I’m doing squats, I didn’t want to worry about Joe the Plumber staring at my butt as it rippled in agony. I wanted to wake up on Saturday mornings, as I now do, and roll out of bed with wild, frizzy squirrel hair and smudged mascara and have a hell of a workout.  I wanted to wear a tank top and not worry about my chicken wings flapping in the powerful air conditioning, and most of all, I wanted to feel like NOBODY WAS WATCHING as I began the intimate process of getting my body into shape. Because it’s my business – not theirs. (heh, the irony is not lost on me that I end up blogging about it anyways)

I’m a hot, sweaty mess after my workout and I don’t care. Actually, I do care. If I’m not sweating, I didn’t make my body work hard enough. No guts, no glory. So a little bit of wetness, perspiration, moisture or dew? Bring it on. I’m waterproof, and washable. I’m not sweatin’ it.

Yogi bear never did Yoga

Yesterday I got in touch with my inner namaste and tried out the Total Woman yoga class. It was quite a feat for me to be up and ready to stretch and strain on a Saturday morning, but I joined the winding line of middle-aged women armed with my yoga mat and towel at a staggering 10 AM. The class was packed to the gills, to the point that the woman next to me rested her arm on top of mine during a stretch. It was a little awkward, made even more awkward by the time she said “Oh! You’re so soft!” ten seconds into our little stretchin’ space problem.

The class seemed both a little too slow and a little too advanced at the same time, if that makes sense. Half the class we were doing the “supine pigeon”, while the other half we were doing some crap called the rising sun cow leg or something. Half the class was twisted like lithe, spiralled rubber bands while the other half (the half I belonged to) sat stubbornly on their mats, just looking on as legs flew in the air, chests contorted, and arms flailed. I didn’t think it was a very good workout, and was relieved when we entered the resting portion of the class, in which the teacher asked us to loosen our groins and invite the sunshine into our souls.

I've totally mastered this move!

One other thing that really bugged me about the class was that there was NO music! No pan flute, no indian chants, no weird yogi yodeling… and it was a bummer. Trying to get to a zen state while listening to “I’m every woman” blare from the cardio room next door was a little rough. All of the other yoga classes I’ve taken always have some sort of nice melodic background music, so it was a little dull hearing just the instructions… an hour of “Press your heel into the floor. Release your pelvis. Open your groin up, allowing the energy to flow through your shoulders. Pulse your pelvis. Press your heels down. Curl your toes. Allow the zen to flow through your soul.”

Surprisingly, I’m sore as feck today. My wrists are like jelly, my arms are achin’, and my buttocks feel more like pummeled hamburger meat than juicy buns. So I guess my meh work-out actually worked. The next class I’m going to be trying is Impact Kickboxing… which requires my own pair of boxing gloves and involves punching a dummy for an hour. Now THAT sounds like just the type of thing I need for zen to flow through my soul :).

Which types of workouts work for you?