Thursday, December 31, 2015

Becoming an early morning exerciser...part two

The hardest part is over once you get out of the house...and I did it!  Yep that's right, I got to the gym just before 7am (I'm going to work on getting that to an earlier time, but you've got to start somewhere).  Monday-Tuesday at the gym, and Wednesday I tried out a yoga class at Ultimate Pilates in Glendora.  Thursday, I opted out but still got up early...but my muscles were super sore so I took a day of rest.  

The benefits of being an early riser/exerciser have yet to be determined on my part.  I have yet to notice a boost in energy or productivity.  While I do seem to make better food choices throughout the day I still struggle with the late night binge.  I'm going to keep it up though because I know it takes time to adjust.  Here are a couple of links to check out:

Now let me tell you about my yoga class.  I signed up online with the Mind Body app.  For me it's super beneficial that I book a class ahead of time.  If it's booked I have to be there.  Ultimate Pilates had a deal where you could purchase an unlimited week of classes for $25.  Yoga, Wednesday morning with Lucas was awesome.  There were a total of four students (so lots of individual attention and adjustments were available).  He was a fun yoga teacher too...picture a funny Disney Jungle Cruise operator but nice. The class ran 75 minutes and let me tell you I can feel the difference an extra 15 minutes makes.  My legs and thighs, arms and shoulders are very sore today (but it's that good sore...accomplished sore).  Next up is Booty Barre Flex and Flow (again love that I am already booked for a Saturday morning excuses).

Happy New Year to you, cheers to this being a great year for all of us! Have a safe and happy new year's eve and I'll see ya next year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Out with old and in with the new

Dear 2015,
You were not my year.  You did teach me some lessons though, and for that I thank you.  I spent much too much of this year in tears, too much time was wasted on frustration/anger and the sadness that accompanies those feelings.  There were good times too and in the years to come I'll just try to remember those. 
Sincerely...good bye and good riddance.

Dear 2016, 
Be kind to me.  Please help me to find work that is worthwhile and that I feel good about at the end of the day.  Help me to keep in mind that my health should be a priority as I tend to forget when I pass sugary temptations...and can become much too comfy on the couch when I know I should be doing something (anything really).  Find ways for me to be comfortable in my own skin, allow me to be happy with who I am without comparing myself to others (but a good version of myself...the healthy, go getter version if you please).  Lastly (for now) make sure that I take plenty of time for those that I care about so that there is never any doubt about much I love them.  
Thanks in advance!

Cheers to 2016, ready set go. 

& You my dear readers? Anything you'd like to put out here in our little universe?

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Becoming an early morning exerciser...step one

I got on a Pinterest kick the other night and took multiple clicks all over the Internet world reading all about how to be motivated to get up early and workout.  Tips and tricks abounded to get up and about first thing in the AM.  

I went ahead and grabbed my gym bag...threw a towel in, considered what else to put in but planned on coming home to take a shower after so nothing else seemed essential. Tossed a gym outfit on top of it and got my shoes laid out.  Next up: alarm.  Set my alarm for 6 am and put it on top of the gym clothes so that I would need to physically get up to turn off the alarm.  I even added a note to the alarm of "Turn on a light" because some articles said that it would wake me up more.  

I went to bed all prepped for my morning workout.  When I woke up it was closer to 9 am...I hadn't actually turned on the alarm.  This was right before Christmas and I had wanted to get the last minute stuff done, so I just up and showered and got on with the day.  My stuff is still sitting there waiting to go.  

I'm going to start my week off fresh tomorrow.  So tomorrow begins my step two: actually going to the gym (early...aiming for 6:15ish).  I felt like maybe I should blog it out, just so I can be accountable.  Wish me luck!   

Step one in review: 

  1. Prep your gym stuff the night before (clothes, sports bra, socks, shoes, towel, and anything else you may need)
  2. Set your alarm (and turn it ON)
  3. Turn on a light when you first get up (supposed to help with like circadian rhythm or some such thing)

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Winter...even in southern Calfornia

Ok, I get that compared to other parts of the world I shouldn't really be complaining about the weather and I'm not really. My complaint is with my skin...somehow despite my best efforts to take care of it I've ended up with an obnoxious little red irritated patch of dry skin in the center of my face!  

Not sure if it's the combo of cooler air outside and warm dry air inside, if I'm not staying hydrated enough or if one of my little samples was just not right for me.  The hardest part of skin care has to be patience when something goes wrong.

I alternated between using Dermalogica's Barrier Repair and good old Aloe Vera.  Still took a few days to clear up, and when I felt a tiny bit more confident (and when it was getting a little flaky) I added an exfoliant to the mix (Dermalogica's Microfoliant).  At night I'd use a layer of Eminence Organic's Linden Calendula Treatment for dry/dehydrated skin and make sure my humidifier was on.  I've tried to up my tea intake as it's been too chilly for my usual large glass of iced water.  

winter skin helpers

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Just Dance
Headed out last (rainy) Saturday night to a Winter Solstice Dance Party.  It started out with some cleansing sage, writing out our intentions and lighting candles...then we danced. We danced sooo much.  This little dance party was held at Studio A Dance in Silver Lake and hosted by Melissa and Shashona who were so awesome (energetic, kind, and encouraging) and so welcoming. have not danced in too long...and I have the two left feet and spastic arms to prove it.  Somewhere in the middle I forget which is left and which is right...but it's okay.  What I've learned in taking a lot of group classes is that no body really cares...most people are focusing on either the teacher or not running into their neighbor. (Side note: during one class my teacher was my neighbor and I nearly took him down.)  If you are ever in a class and catch someone looking it's most likely that your doing something correctly (or gracefully) and that person wants to be like you.  What I truly love about these group dance class/workouts is that once every so often I catch myself feeling there is a moment where I actually get it and it's great.  These moments are fleeting but when it's over I know I did something.  

If you are reluctant to get out there and try a dance class, I get it...but believe me when I tell you that after the class you'll be a little more proud of yourself.  Be kind to yourself.  In an effort to be kind to myself, I'm going to find some dance classes I can take (that are a bit closer to me than driving out to LA...this is kind to myself because I'll spend less time in traffic).

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Relaxing and Recharging

Last week I went out to Glendale to take a Relax and Recharge workshop at the Heartbeat House.  Luisa lead us through "moving meditation, breath work, yin stretching and chakra release".  I really enjoy Luisa's classes (she also teaches Yoga Booty Ballet), she just has a great energy...very positive.  A little positivity can go a long way.

(Note/Reminder to self)
It was a very interesting 2 hour workshop...and it kind of flew by.  I like the idea of setting intentions, and appreciate reminders through out the class...because on my own it's like in one ear out the other, or um, in my mind and then not.  My intentions are like my abs...I seem to only be able to focus on them for a very short period of time.  Both things I should spend a little more time focusing on.  See handy dandy chart below for guidance on intention...I found this very helpful as I tend to focus on feelings first. 

Next up, a Winter Solstice Dance Party.  Happy to have been invited, as I mentioned this time of year can be a little rough around the edges for me.  I need to feel a little bit of the obligation (for example: meeting a friend) to get myself out of the house around the holidays.  

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

brushing up...a quick guide to dry body brushing

Brush your hair, brush your teeth, brush your skin.  Yeah, add another brushing to your to-do list. I picked up a brush off of Amazon for around five dollars a while back.  Even though I keep it in the bath room I consistently forget to use it.  When I do though, I totally notice the difference.  If I kept it up on a regular basis I would probably see even more benefits.  Mostly I notice the circulation and exfoliation.  Better to do the dry brushing before a morning shower as it really seems to wake you up and leave you a little tingly. needed: Just a body brush, stiff but still flexible. 
The basics: Starting at your feet brush upward in circular strokes (toward the heart).  Then hop in your shower.  See, it's just a quick little addition to your morning routine.  After your shower make sure to moisturize, it's ideal to do when your skin is damp and pores are open.  

Interested in learning a little more?  Here you go:

Cheers my friends and don't forget your SPF even though it's December! 

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Thai Massage round two Took myself for a massage as a post birthday treat.  Went back to Sukho Thai Healing Center in Glendora.  I really enjoy calling ahead to be at a place and having them say "see you in 10 minutes."  Hooray for semi-instant gratification! 

Lois was my therapist for this session and she twisted me up like a little pretzel.  I heard my back crack from positions I would not have thought possible, which is not something I would generally go for but I was okay with it.  Don't get me wrong I'm all for the the gentle ease of a Swedish style massage...but there is something about leaving from a Thai massage where your muscles and knots feel all wrung out of you.  It's relaxing, but also energizing....if those can be simultaneous.
Based of this little guide to benefits, I would have to agree.  This is not a regular massage with a lot of soothing strokes, you'll get some of that but there is a lot of twisting and pulling which is what I think is really helping with relieving tension.  It's almost like assisted Yoga in some positions, like a way to get deeper into the stretches.

I went for a Thai massage once before, see post  Oh my Thai for that experience. I liked my second visit a little more, maybe because I knew what I was getting myself into...but also because I really felt like my whole self more relaxed.