So, I finally got serious in the last two weeks with the exercise and weight loss regimen again. (It is so much easier to focus on healthy living when my days are regular and I'm off the road.)
I have been missing bread doing my low-carb diet. But I have found a wonderful alternative and a great recipe for a low-carb grilled cheese sandwich. True, it doesn't look like much, but this little sandwich makes me happy and it has only 5 net carbs.
The "bread" recipe is inspired by the muffin in a minute recipes (muffins that are made in the microwave).
1/4 cup milled flax seed
1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 of a 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp butter
Stir the dry ingredients. Then add butter and egg. Mix well. Pour in microwave safe dish (square if you can). Cook in microwave for 1 minute. Slice bread lengthwise and continue with the regular grilled cheese making steps. (Except I don't use any more butter.) I also use fat-free cheese and add chia seeds to the mix as well. I'm going to try a version with just egg white to cut down on the fat as well. Try it. It's actually pretty tasty.
I will confess: I let it all go while I was on the road for the last few weeks--heck, I let it all go for the last couple of years as I toured.
I can say that I didn't meet a plate of french fries, or a plate of pasta I didn't like since 2009. And then the workouts: well, let's just say that even though I brought that awesome foldable yoga mat with me everywhere as well as my workout wear . . . those things didn't often get used. It's a hair thing too. I like to travel with my hair straight so I don't get that bird's nest of matted curls when I'm on the plane (not to mention traveling with wet hair); and if I sweat, well then my hair isn't straight and then . . . -- well, as you can tell I had a bunch of "reasons" that I ended up packing on the pounds.
This week, I think I have broken the cycle!
1. I am officially "off the road." Whew! As much fun as it was, it was impossible to stick to a good diet and exercise regimen on my hectic travel schedule.
2. I have gone low-carb (this is day 4) and I think I can stick with it for a few months with some new additions to my diet. (E.g. Harmonized Protein Powder in iced coffee; Pasta Slim noodles; and more water than I am comfortable drinking when I am on the road if you know what I mean!)
3. I'm getting almost as intense a workout as I would working out with a trainer. I bought a timer app for my phone that allows me to do Tabata intervals. (More about that in another post.) The timer does a visual countdown, but also has a voice prompt that says "Ready?"in a really energizing way and then the bell rings for the next round. I'm getting my butt kicked by a timer voice! It's great!
So wish me luck on this journey. I'm looking at Feb. 1 as my goal weight deadline. Yup, I said it out loud: that means accountability. See you in the gym!
The month-long yoga challenge ends tomorrow and I'm not able to touch my toes. When I started the month I felt enthusiastic and thought I was dedicated to achieving my goal. I did challenge myself--my comfort level, my ability to do new poses--in those first couple of weeks. But the last two weeks, I've put in the minimum amount of time for yoga each day. That has meant sitting and breathing for ten minutes each day. The first days were a challenge: the sitting still. The last few days the challenge has been getting to the sitting. How hard could it be to schedule ten minutes of breathing each day? For me, very difficult. I've learned a lot of about my own resistance. I've learned that sitting and breathing actually feels good once I'm done. I think I may even have strengthened the muscles in my lower back--just a little. I'd like to get on track with some more power yoga sessions, but no pronouncements here. But if there are results -- I promise to report back. How did the challenge go for you?
I need a spark to get this fitness thing going. So I went back to my nutritionist today and got a shock. How did I get to weigh so much? And I've been working out and been "good." But now I am going to have to keep track. So I joined Sparkpeople. It's free --and it's a weight, food, fitness tracker. Anybody want to join me?
"Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured." ~B.K.S. Iyengar
I thought I would get to touch my toes by month's end by doing this challenge. Instead, I am learning a lesson in how to be still, and how to slow down. I don't like still and I don't like slow. But I guess these ways of being are sometimes necessary. I have been doing a ten-minute seated meditation for the last several days--not the power yoga I imagined I would. Still, I feel like I am working new muscles, and maybe changing a little bit--my back doesn't ache as much and my legs flop open just a little more. And then there is my mind--which has, at some miraculous moments, felt connected to my breath. So connected that I felt like my body was a kite and if a strong wind came I could sail through the air.
I am still doing the challenge, but not with the gusto of the first days. For the last few days, the practice has been 10-15 minutes of poses OR breathing. I noticed that I don't breathe very much while I move. Not good. I feel a little disappointed with myself in that I haven't carved out more time for the practice. Tomorrow, I plan to do some power yoga with a Brian Kest DVD. Hold me to it. And why is January such a long month. There are still 16 days to go!
I'm learning a good lesson about the power of consistency. My ideal yoga practice --what I would call "real" yoga -- is a sweaty, difficult class/DVD that tortures the practioner for at least an hour preferably more. But real yoga is actually imperfect. It is as much my ten-minute meditation practice as it is my Power Yoga DVD. Yoga is about consistency. So far so good . . .
Maybe but maybe not. The challenges keep me focused. If I do this and this and this, I will reach my goal. I like those kinds of challenges. So I will do my best to keep showing up --yoga Day 5 check; pushups Week 3, Day 1, check; situps initial test (not so good) check; still sticking to the cardio/lifting plan and the good eating regime too. And it's taking a lot of time, but it all feels worth it. (I get to watch Party of 5 DVDs while on treadmill! What could be better?)
I am motivated by these challenges. Maybe you are too. So far so good on my WoYoPracMo--I've practiced yoga four days in a row. I am on Week 3 of the Hundred Pushup Challenge again. It's going pretty well. I'm back up to 35 pushups in a row--and that's after a good workout. But now, guys, I'm about to start another challenge that I just learned about: Two Hundred Sit-Ups Challenge. Yes! I'm going to get my four-pack back by 40! Will anyone join me for this one?