Weekly Weigh In and I'm Blending Like Crazy

Weight on 11/4/2013: 153 lbs
Weight on 11/11/2013: 153 lbs
Weight loss: 0!!!

UGH! I am really mad that I didn't lose ANY weight this week, but I can pinpoint the exact combination of things I did wrong:
1. I ate WAY too much artificial sugar, mainly in the form of dessert left over from the Divali party we hosted last weekend. This problem has since been fixed: I threw all the dessert in the trash. (If you're curious Divali/Diwali/Deepavali are all the same thing)
2. I didn't work out enough. I normally work out 5x a week, and this week I only did 4 workouts. Zumba, Strength Training, Barre, and a workout DVD. While not bad, I didn't work out at ALL this weekend, which certainly didn't help with..
3. Alcohol. This is my downfall. This Friday we were are at a going-away party, which ended up with late night Taco Bell (I know, I know…) and Saturday, we were at Matt's #GiveMe30 Birthday party. Champers and pudding shots. Tabitha is a pudding shot genius, and unfortunately, I had too many.

So, lessons learned.

On the plus side, I made a life-changing new purchase: a reconditioned Vitamix!! If you're not familiar with the Vitamix, where have you been? Its the absolute gold standard for blenders, and is seriously amazing. It blends everything so so smooth, and can even make soup!! Tonight I made a broccoli-cheddar soup for dinner, but adapted the recipe to make it lower calorie!

1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup 1% organic milk
1/2 cup sharp cheddar
1 head broccoli (from Fresh Fork)
1/4 leftover cauliflower
salt + pepper to taste
And ALL I had to do was blend it!! It made 3 huge cups of soup, so I have lunch for tomorrow too!! I also made a beet and apple smoothie this week, but I loathe beets (they taste like mud) so I just sucked it up and chugged it for the nutrients.

Anyway,  I am committed to doing better as far as food + exercise go this week. I need to lose these 3 lbs ASAP! I am missing out on some really awesome sales!!!

Things I LURVE: my yoga tote

Earlier this week, I mentioned my 15-minutes a day yoga goal, which I'm averaging about 3 times a week. Not terrible, but far from goal. Besides the daily yoga, I also have a goal of making it to a yoga class at least once a week. Allison and I are big fans of Saturday morning Hot Yoga at Inner Bliss, despite the fact that I'm really lacking in flexibility and can't get into half the poses! Nonetheless, I really enjoy the studio and the sweatiness, and so I keep going.

Normally, I just roll my mat up under my arm and take it in, but then I'm also carrying my wallet, and my towel (v. sweaty) and keys, and phone, and trying not to drop anything. With this renewed commitment to yoga for 2013, I decided to bite the bullet and just buy a bag for my mat. I looked a few bags on etsy and amazon, and as you can imagine, there are many options at many price points. I also decided to look into the "gold standard" for yoga apparel and accessories, and naturally, lululemon emerged the clear winner in my hunt for a yoga tote.

At $48, its not exactly inexpensive, but hello?!?!! Look at it!!! Chevron with a bright blue--- how adorable is it?! I'm motivated to go to class just so I can carry it!!

Beyond the obvious aesthetic appeal, the bag is big enough to include an extra long, extra thick mat (which is what I have) AND yoga mat towel which is an absolute necessity (see prior sweaty comments). There is an exterior pocket and a nice-sized interior pocket (room for small wallet/credit cards and phone), and its waterproof!

A perfect yoga accessory. Now if I could only get into a handstand....


Couple of quick things: (1) If you haven't entered to win a $50 gift card to Beachwood Place, you should totally do it here! Contest ends at noon on Thursday. If you did enter, remember to check back tomorrow evening to see if you won! (2) If you would like to try spinning, this Friday is a great opportunity to start, and support dogs while you're at it. There are only TWO spots left, but even if you do get wait listed, feel free to show up- there's usually a couple of no-shows on a Friday. If you did sign up, but aren't going to make it, please make sure you cancel so others can take your spot! 

So, now that I'm done with my quick notices, its onto normal business. I've been trying out some different workouts this week, in an effort to keep things interesting. Saturday was Barre, and today, I tried Zumba at Be Studios, conveniently located a stone's throw from my house. Be Studio typically offers pole dancing classes (these are REALLY challenging), and belly dancing, but started offering Zumba this week. If you're not familiar with Zumba, its effectively coordinated dancing without alcohol. Sorta like jazzercise, but with a more salsa/merengue twist, and no jazz-hands. Needless to say, it requires some coordination, something I have in short supply. Since its the first week, I had the benefit of being the only person in class, so personal Zumba training!!

The good:
1. The music is fun.
2. Not only will you get some cardio, but it also works your brain, because you have to memorize steps!!
3. You will sweat. I was not doing the arm movements (see previously mentioned coordination issues), but I got sweaty. I imagine even more sweat with arm movements.
4. Since I was the only one in class, the instructor Jeanne really broke down the movements. I expect the classes will be a little small until the end of July, so I'm sure she will continue to do this.
5. You can do this barefoot if you like.

The could-be-better:
The studio is super cute, but is in the process of an expansion, which is expected to be completed in mid-July. So, the music comes out of a little boom-box. Being a patron of pscyle, I'm used to BIG BOOMING SOUND COMING OUT OF SOME BIG-ASS SPEAKERS, so the boom box was a little underwhelming. Also, since the Zumba class is being held in a transitional space, there is only one mirror, which makes it a little difficult to see yourself and what the instructor is doing. Again, I expect these issues will be addressed with the renovation, so I'm going to give them a break here.

Since the Zumba class is introductory, Be Studios is offering a Zumba special of 8 classes for $60, including something I'm very excited about- a FREE hoop dance class!!!! Call the studio/facebook them if you're interested in details, or want to try a drop in Zumba class before you commit! And if I can do it, YOU can do it. ( I didn't say anything about doing it well, but I expect I will get better with practice!!)

PSYCLE: a new beginning

As I've mentioned before, I'm SUPER excited about the opening of the new spin studio PSYCLE in Westlake. The studio is hosting its grand opening on May 20th, between 7-9 pm with an open house. You will have the opportunity to check out the space, meet the instructors, sign up for lessons, and have a chance to win giveaways.

In preparation for the grand opening, I asked the founders Jenn, Scott, and Ed some questions on the studio and the philosophy behind the rides. So here goes:

1)      What prompted you to start PSYCLE?  
We’ve been riding for years and have literally changed our lives on a bike.  We started PSYCLE as a way to give back by creating an indoor cycling sanctuary that would help inspire others to transform their lives and manifest their dreams.  There’s nothing like PSYCLE in Cleveland and we are happy to be the first to deliver it to this market.

2)      How is PSYCLE different from spin classes offered elsewhere?
The rides at PSYCLE are so much more than just a workout.  Sure, you’ll sweat and change your body, but you do it by working from the inside out first and the physical change happens along with it.   Our instructors are taught to teach about the power of intention, how to create goals and work with focus and discipline to achieve them.  It’s about learning to take your personal power back and transform not just your body but change your whole life.

Consistency in class quality is another key difference at PSYCLE.  While all instructors will bring their individual personality, the fundamentals in the message, flow and energy will be consistent between all the instructors.

3)      Why should people try PSYCLE?
Anyone who isn’t finding total fulfillment in their life, from personal, career, family, money perspectives may benefit from PSYCLE.  Whether you’re looking to lose weight, stay in shape, get in shape, work through a difficult emotional time in your life like the loss of a loved one or a divorce, you will find a safe harbor in PSYCLE.  By taking the time for you, participating in an active mediation and learning to create the life you’ve always wanted are the fundamental reasons to share in the experience of a PSYCLE class.

4)      What should a new student expect from class?
When you come into PSYCLE you will immediately notice the difference.  No judgment, all welcoming, great energy and friendly faces.  We celebrate the courage of new students beginning their journey and everyone will help you along the way.  The instructors will help you get set up on a bike and get settled.  Once the music starts, your role is simply to follow along to the rhythm.  You will get lost in the music and time will fly by.  When class ends, you should feel energized, empowered and ready to go create your day.

5)      Tell me about instruction style and differences between each of you:
We feel that consistency in the fundamentals of the classes are extremely important, but there are ways that the instructors personality will come alive in class.  Music selection is probably the most noticeable area of difference between instructors.  While the overall flow of class will be similar, the music used to create the rhythm will vary.  Some like more dance type music, others prefer popular music and some will rock it out!  We’ve made a significant investment in a dance club like sound system that will enable the riders to feel the beat (don’t worry, we provide free ear plugs for those with sensitive ears!)  We’ll even do some themed rides like 80’s or a certain artists.  Almost every single class will have a brand new playlist so you’ll never get bored hearing the same ride over and over again.

6)      Favorite song to ride to?
The founders certainly have signature songs that contain significant meaning and you’ll find each instructor has their own favorite.  Some examples include songs like Drive by Incubus and Fix You by Coldplay.  It’s not always so serious and we enjoy playing some hard driving songs from Linkin Park and cranking up the energy with some old school hip hop.
Editors note: If you ask nicely, they will even take requests. Adele is one of my favorite rides!!

7)      Details on opening and how people can reach you:
Our grand opening party will be held on Friday May 20th from 7-9pm at the studio (24945 Detroit Ave in Westlake – just off I-90 between Columbia and Clague).   People can visit www.psycletherapy.com to find details about classes, making reservations, and directions to the studio.  We also encourage people to like us on Facebook to get tuned into the dialogue among the riders and get the latest updates.

I hope you will check out the studio either on Friday or some time in the near future. It really is a fun experience, and if you end up going more frequently, you will meet a great group of people that enjoy riding together!! I hope to see you sweating on a bike real soon!!

A Balancing Act

Lately I've sucked at life. And by that I mean that I've spent most of 2011 stressed out, irritable, and frequently overwhelmed. For the most part, I only have myself to blame: I over-schedule my life and then get overwhelmed when I can't take care of stuff like laundry, or cleaning our house. Most of the time, this overwhelming feeling is all in my head, and all I need is a little perspective. In an attempt to find this perspective (on what is hopefully a more regular basis), I have restarted my yoga practice (yet again!). Seriously, I've stopped and started so many times, but as a yoga instructor told me, I'm not the only one that does that, so at least that's something, right?

Anyway, as part of my attempt to reintroduce yoga to my life, clefoodgoddess and I joined a 3-week beginners yoga class at Puma Yoga. Our 3-week series ended a couple of weeks ago, but there is another series beginning in early April, so if you think you might want to explore yoga, you should definitely try it out.

Having been to a number of studios in Cleveland, here's what I really like about Puma Yoga:

1. Its not very big, so it has a really intimate feeling. And by intimate, I mean personal, not cramped.
2. Love the orange and yellow color scheme.
3. Its a hands-on studio, so if you're not comfortable with people touching you, this may not be the right space for you. That's not to say that they will not accommodate your no-touching request, but you don't get the same impact as a hands-on adjustment.
4. Minimal chanting. Maybe one per class. I'm not big on the chanting.
5. The studio is warm but not hot. You will get sweaty, but you're not going to feel like you're going to pass out. Also, it helps you stretch deeper.
6. The studio smells really good.
7. The instructors. Here's my thing about yoga: I like it for exercise and peace of mind. I'm not big on the "the universe is sending you a message" type spirituality. And I'm not big on excessive talking (shocking! I know, but its true). I like the instruction and direction, and maybe some explanation on the how/why of a pose, but that's about it. The instructors at Puma Yoga have a really nice verbal balance, and I REALLY REALLY like that.

So if you've been stressed out and generally feeling not like yourself, give yoga a try, and let me know what you think!!!