Category Archives: Primal Journey

Hiatus

As the new year is beginning, I’ve come to realize that there just isn’t a whole lot more that I can share on this blog that isn’t already covered in about 100 other blogs. This blog was a way for me to track my health journey, and I’ve learned a lot while using it.

At this point in time, I have finally found what is working for me, the problem is sticking to it. Life, as always, gets in the way of things and messes me up, but I’ve been learning and practicing techniques to help me stick to my plan more readily and with less grief!

Due to the fact that I have written much on this blog already about what I have learned, I will leave it up for anyone who wants to look at my reviews of Focus T25 or any of my health tips. However, I will not be posting on this blog regularly anymore.

I want to thank everyone who chimed in or showed their support as I have gone through this journey! If I find out something particularly pertinent, I will write a post about it and share the knowledge!

Thanks again, and stay healthy friends!

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21DSD – Last Week, and FLO Living!

So, we’re entering the last week of the 21 Day Sugar Detox (21DSD), and I’m starting to feel really good! Last week was really rough though. It’s very difficult for me to get carbs in when I can’t eat grains or potatoes (it’s very easy to forget), so I have to make a really conscious effort to provide my body with fuel. Because I wasn’t paying attention, I had a major carb crash on Thursday, and ended up over indulging as a result. Earlier day, I got an email from FLO living (which I signed up for months ago, but never really looked into) offering a quiz for hormone issues as well as a 4 day reset plan. After taking the quiz, I purchased the book she wrote (Woman’s Code), and noted that I had problems in all 4 zones: blood sugar, adrenals, elimination, and estrogen. Adrenals and elimination were the worst. My adrenal problems were responsible for my anxiety, hypothyroidism, and general fatigue, and my elimination problems were causing acne, food sensitivities, and indigestion.

I poured over the information in the book, and noted that in order to fix these problems, I didn’t really need to change what I was eating (since I was already eating really well), but when. I simply needed to add about 20g of carbs at lunch, and then add a nutritious snack in the afternoon (keep breakfast and dinner relatively low carb like I usually do). That would resolve my blood sugar and help me keep cravings at bay. For my adrenals, I just need to do gentle workouts in the morning (which is a struggle since I tend to be nauseous in the mornings), try to go on walks, and temporarily avoid stress in my life (as best I can). For my elimination, I just need to keep eating lots of fiber, drinking water, taking baths, and bouncing a little more on my medicine ball at work (which is REALLY fun, btw!). After I get these three things in order, I can begin work on syncing up my cycle (which is already pretty much in sync). Above all else, though, I plan to focus on listening to what my body has to say, and what I’m craving at the time.

I started implementing the food related and elimination related changes last Friday, and hoped that maybe I would start to notice some positive changes after a couple of weeks. That Friday, I felt pretty good, enjoyed my carbs for lunch, and REALLY enjoyed my snack of a green apple and some nuts. The best thing about this plan is that I can start it even though I’m in the middle of the 21DSD, and really, it can be applied to pretty much any healthy diet (vegan, vegetarian, paleo, pescatarian). It would be harder to start if you are starting from ground zero of eating poorly, but since I was already eating well, the switch was pretty easy 🙂

I planned to go work out first thing Saturday morning, but didn’t really feel up to it yet. I allowed myself to have breakfast and wake up a bit before going to the gym around 10AM. The workout she recommends at first is very gentle, with cardio consisting of 8 cycles of 2 min walking and 30 seconds of light jogging (20 min total) and strength consisting of 20 min of light weight compound movements. I did the strength workout on Saturday and felt like I could keep going, which is the idea. I continued to eat well on Saturday, and went to bed a little early since I was tired.

On Sunday, something miraculous happened: I woke up, and felt like I had energy to go to the gym first thing. I drank a little water before going, and did the gentle cardio workout with only the slightest twinge of nausea toward the end. I was so proud of myself! The only problem I had at the end of the day was that I had dinner a little late, so I was pretty hungry by then. Still, I had a taco salad and that was incredibly satisfying.

Last night, I slept pretty poorly. After having the bed all to myself all weekend, my boyfriend returned home from his hunting trip and wasn’t feeling that great to boot. I woke up in the middle of the night a few times and had some difficulty going back to sleep (probably due to being a little dehydrated – I always get dehydrated when I go out for the day since I tend to talk more and drink less).

Despite a poor night’s sleep, I had enough energy in the morning to work out before work.

That. has. never. happened. twice. in. a. row!

So far, things have been going absolutely wonderfully, so I’m definitely going to stick to the protocol and see how it goes. I’ve already noticed body composition differences and that my mood tends to be a lot better, so I’m hoping after another couple of weeks on the protocol, I will be well on my way to recovery!

If you are a woman struggling with any kind of hormonal issue (seriously, sign up for the free quiz on the FLO living website – there are some signs you may not think are hormonal!), I highly suggest giving this protocol a shot. Listen to the author, Alisa Vitti, speak – she has been there too!

Thanks for reading, and stay healthy, friends!

 

21 Day Sugar Detox – Going well!

I’m not sure, if it is the supplements, the diet, the gratitude journal, or what, but today I’m feeling pretty good. My sleep is still a little off, but I’m noticing that I’m losing some swelling, and my cravings are low. I’ve tried several of the recipes from the 21 Day Sugar Detox Cookbook, and for the most part, they are all good (though you have to go into the dessert recipes knowing that they won’t be sweet). Yesterday, Sylvia came over and we batch prepped and cooked all of this week’s meals, which will take a lot of the stress off.

I want to try to narrow my eating window this week to between 9AM and 6PM, so I will see if that boosts my results. I’ve noticed in the past that if I eat poorly and then skip dinner, I wake up with significantly less swelling and gut pain. I think allowing my gut to heal is going to be key going forward.

Now that I’m more fat-burning adapted, I’m not nearly as hungry first thing in the morning. I think that will help significantly with my more narrow eating window. It may prove to be difficult, but I hope that it helps my healing!

Thanks for reading, and I will keep you posted next week! Stay healthy friends!

21DSD – Day 3 – Emotional Roller Coaster

This past week has been a roller coaster of emotions. Somewhere over the past few months, I fell out of the habit of gratefulness. For a while, I would write 3 things I was grateful for every day, and I think that helped me be happier. But time got in the way and work was too busy, so I forgot.

I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but my bestie Sylvia and I are embarking on a sugar free journey with the 21 Day Sugar Detox (or 21DSD). We started on Monday, and I am expecting to have my anti-candida supplements arrive today to begin that regimen. I will be doing 30 days of Para Cleanse by Nature’s Sunshine (10 days on, 10 days off, 10 days on again), as well as 14 days of Candida Clear by Nature’s Sunshine. So, including all of my supplements, here is what I am doing:

  • 14 Days Candida Clear (this will probably suck because I know my Candida is really bad right now)
  • 30 days Para Cleanse
  • Enzymes with Meal
  • Stomach Acid with Meal
  • 1/2 – 3/4 tsp Fermented Cod Liver Oil
  • EFA Supplement
  • Vitamin C Supplement
  • Multivitamin
  • Calcium, Magnesium, and Zinc supplement
  • 21DSD extremely low sugar diet

The way I see it, If this doesn’t kick whatever parasites and candida I’m harboring, I don’t know what will!!

Detoxing has been going okay, though my emotions have been all over the place. I flip flop between ‘everything is cool’ and ‘the world is ending’ and it is really exhausting. What I hope will help is by doing the following daily:

  1. Write a sentence for 3 things I’m grateful for
  2. Pick one thing and elaborate on why I’m grateful for it, so that I get most of the details and I get a chance to relive a happy memory
  3. Exercise daily – I would say a minimum of 30 min total of walking
  4. Meditation – I don’t meditate well, but walking is very meditative for me
  5. Perform a Random Act of Kindness – And then write it down – give yourself a written pat on the back!
  6. Write down two things I’m looking forward to! – One caveat is that they must be something that I know when it is going to happen. For example, I can’t say that I look forward to the day my candida is gone, since I don’t know when it will be over. But, I can say that I’m looking forward to the end of the cleanse, since I know what day it will happen.

Doing this takes about ten minutes a day, so I’m going to see if this generally helps me feel happier 🙂

I will be doing this cleanse over Thanksgiving, and that’s going to be nuts, and I will be continuing to to this until I’m done with the Para Cleanse. I know that this cleanse is going to get worse before it gets better, but at the moment, things are okay!

Thanks for reading, and feel free to join me! So far, the recipes in the 21DSD cookbook are pretty good!

Whole 30 – This Seems Impossible

Welp. I’ve already blown my latest whole 30 Challenge.

For some reason, this time around, it was impossible for me to stick to my typical low carb diet. I don’t think my candida fighting supplements were helping me, and I was just completely overrun by candida (my whole tongue is covered in thrush every morning, and I have really bad sugar cravings all of the time). I haven’t experienced cravings this strong in a really long time.

So, I have a new game plan. Unfortunately, this means that I am going to have to go in a more extreme direction.

I’ve talked it over with Sylvia and she has agreed to start a 21 Day Sugar Detox challenge with me next Thursday (21 days before Thanksgiving). At her recommendation, I have ordered the 21 day sugar Detox Cookbook, since it covers the basic program but has more enticing recipes. It should be here in a couple of days, so I hope to use the full week to figure out which recipes I want to try and which ones I want to skip. Going into this challenge, I’d like to have at least a full week’s worth of food cooked and either frozen or canned, so when I’m in the worst of my cravings, I’m not tempted to cheat to avoid cooking (which is my typical reason for cheating).

On top of doing a Sugar detox (which, when done right, really helps kill the candida), I am going to be doing a combination of two herbal cleanses (both by Nature’s Sunshine): Para Cleanse (for yeast and parasites), and Candida Clear. Para cleanse is a three step cleanse: 10 days on, 10 days off, 10 days on again. Candida Clear is just 14 days on. In addition to these supplements, I will be taking a probiotic (at least 50 billion CFU/day), my herbal enzyme formula, and my stomach acid supplement. So, technically, because the Para Cleanse is a 30 day program, my 21 day sugar detox will be more like a 30 day sugar detox. At this point though, I cannot allow myself even a little bit of what I would potentially binge on (*ahem* potato chips). For the purposes of this program, potatoes are poison to me.

It’s terrible, but I feel like as we enter the thanksgiving/holiday season, I will feel more free with a more strict diet. I’m hoping that the combination of this diet and the herbal supplements will finally bring my candida in check and free me. It is so frustrating to get so close and fail, over and over again. But I don’t want to give up. If being free from these cravings will allow me to feel as good as I once did again, then it is worth it to give this challenge my all!

This week, I will be getting all of my ducks in a row for next week, but I plan to spend pretty much every evening this week getting food ready for the challenge. I’ll check back in next week before the challenge begins! Wish me luck!

Thanks for reading, and stay healthy, friends!

Whole 30 – Round 2, Day 9

A really mysterious thing happened yesterday: I was instantly done with detoxing.

Let me back up a bit.

I am a 90 year old in a young persons body. I wake up early, I go to bed early. If I stay up too late, say, past midnight, I get cranky and literally get a hangover.

At the same time, last Saturday, I went to a haunted house with a few friends and had a BLAST! We stayed up late, and I was exhausted and cranky by the time I rolled into my apartment around 2:30 AM.

I woke up the next day feeling really ill. I had a headache, I was still tired, I was nauseous and achy and bloated and gross. I did my due diligence and made some homemade soup, and tried to eat well (when I’m sick, I eat ALL of the potato chips, which I did this time too… whoops). I ended up eating so many potato chips that I fasted for the rest of the day after around 2pm, just drinking lots of water and skipping dinner. I went to bed early and was OUT.

Then, I woke up. And I’d lost 3 pounds overnight and felt great!

What the heck? Not that I’m complaining!

It just goes to show how important a good nights sleep is! The fasting didn’t hurt either!

Both yesterday and today are supposed to be ‘my pants are tighter‘ days, but I’m counting myself lucky that I hit that phase a couple of days early. If I had to guess, I’m in the ‘hardest days’ phase. Despite my recent indulgence in potato chips, the fact of the matter is that I’m hosting for my monthly visitor and FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY CHOCOLATE PLEASE. Probably not the best timing, starting my Whole 30 so that I’d be dealing with cravings right when I’m at the hardest part of Whole 30. But at the same time, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel now. If I can make it for the next couple of days, I should be golden!!

I’m feeling a little worse for the wear today compared to yesterday, but that is mostly because I tried a new yoga studio last night and aggravated my back a bit. I’m seeing my chiropractor today, so hopefully he will be able to tell me that I just used my muscles in a weird way, and there isn’t something wrong with my spine. The muscle soreness had been getting a lot better over the weekend, so I have a feeling that I just twinged it in my sleep initially and it’s taking a little while to heal.

Other than my back, though, I slept great and got a lot done yesterday! *pats back and feels accomplished*

Thanks for reading everyone, and good luck with your Whole 30 challenge!

Whole 30 – Round 2, Day 4

According to the schedule, I have made it past the ‘Hangover’ phase and am now in the ‘Kill all of the things’ phase.

But, I really don’t feel like killing all of the things, which is good 🙂

Today, I’m finally starting to feel like myself again. On day 2, I felt like I was hit by a truck. On day 3, I LOOKED like I was hit by a truck. But today, I feel and look a lot better!

My only problem is some back pain that I am experiencing, and the source of the pain is a mystery. It started the morning of day 2, was the same yesterday, but got about twice as bad this morning. I did move some heavy things around yesterday, and played racketball, which could have aggravated it, but I didn’t do anything to originate it on day 1 or night 1.

The only thing I can think of that started it was maybe I slept on my back funny that night and pinched a nerve or pulled a muscle. It feels like a muscle ache right above both butt cheeks, but it could be something more. I am going to try to get an appointment with my chiropractor today to have it checked out, but if I can’t get in, I know that I have an appointment already scheduled with him on Tuesday. In the meantime, I’m managing the pain by:

  • Standing at my desk – I’ve noticed it mostly hurts when I’m sitting
  • Practicing good posture – lining up my hips over my knees and ankles, and untucking my hips.
  • Taking frequent walking breaks
  • Using a microwave heating pad
  • Drinking lots and lots of fluids – on the off chance that this is something kidney related
  • Eating healthy food
  • I also plan on going for a nice long walk when I get home to get some blood pumping and my muscles moving!

Though I did ‘kinda’ cheat a little last night by having dried cherries and candied walnuts on my salad at a restaurant I went to with my dad, I’m feeling really good today. I’m going to monitor how I feel tomorrow to see if I get a hangover again for that small cheat.

I’m excited going into this weekend! Tonight and tomorrow, I’m going to get the apartment spick and span (I always feel so accomplished when I clean!), and then I’m going to go over to my best friend’s house for board games and then a haunted house!! I’m going to cook a bunch of protein and the like up tonight so that I can bring food with me and will be less tempted to eat junk food (my bestie, Sylvia, as you know, is also a health food nut, but her new husband is a little slower to get on the bandwagon). Then, on Sunday, I have some time to relax and get some gardening done (pulling up my carrots and getting rid of my dead tomato plants). And, hopefully, I will have some time to spend with my boyfriend on sunday too 😀

I’m hoping this back pain isn’t something serious, and it probably isn’t, but it is important to note that seeing a health professional when you notice something weird is very important!!

Thanks for reading everyone! I hope the hardest part of the Whole 30 challenge is behind me (fortunately I ate well for the most part when I wasn’t whole 30 so I didn’t have AS MUCH cleaning up to do  as I would if I’d been eating a lot of junk!). Stay healthy, friends, and give the Whole 30 challenge a try with me!

Whole 30 – Round 2, Day 2

I’m not sure if this round of the Whole 30 challenge is easier or harder than the first one. The good news it that my body hasn’t been completely broken by a week’s worth of drunken, potato-chippen tirades. That being said, last weekend, my boyfriend and I went to a bed and breakfast for a romantic weekend away in which I ate 3 things I don’t normally eat: dairy (LOTS of cheese, butter, cream), alcohol (3 glasses of wine in total), and SUGAR (creme brulee, so good).

One of the best things about eating a paleo diet, and forming these good eating habits is that maintaining my weight is effortless. So, once I know that I’ve gained 5 pounds, I know exactly what I need to do to get back to my maintenance weight and stay there (as long as temptations don’t abound). I’d been pushing off my second round of Whole 30 for a few weeks longer than anticipated, so after this past weekend, the gig was up.

Today, on Day 2, I am experiencing:

  • Horrible nights sleep
  • Exhaustion
  • Headaches
  • “Fat Face” – Even though my face doesn’t look fatter, I feel like my face is swollen
  • Extreme Body Odor
  • Lower Back pain (probably due to poor nights sleep)
  • Tooth Pain – either from sugar/alcohol secreting through my teeth with the dentin (yep, that happens), or from clenching my jaw due to stress

Pretty much par for the course. Still, it sucks.

According to this handy Whole 30 Timeline, I’m in the ‘Hangover’ phase, and it only is going to get better from here (note my sarcasm). I think what really sucks the most is that it only takes eating poorly here or there, probably only 20% of the time, to make me feel THIS crappy. I mean, when I ate like that all of the time, I didn’t feel ‘great’, and I had a lot of excess weight, but I didn’t have constant ‘hangover’ like feelings of unwellness and torture. I suppose this is just part of becoming an adult, and my body not being able to handle the stress it could when I was 20, but it pretty much blows.

This time, though, I’m going to kick my whole 30 up a notch! And by kicking it up a notch, I mean taking my salt DOWN several notches. I am a salt kid. I love salt. I salt the crap out of everything. I wouldn’t be surprised if I consume upwards of 6-8000 mg of sodium a day, and despite that being not ideal in general, I noticed an interesting phenomena:

Salt makes you eat more.

Take for example pistachios. The so salty your lips start to crack variety. They taste so good to me that I would regularly eat a full cup (in two half cup servings) of them on top of my lunch at work.

On a whim, I purchased the 50% less salt kind and brought them to work. I poured myself a half cup serving, and started cracking away. At the end of the half cup, I noticed that I DIDN’T want another half cup of those nuts. By reducing sodium by half, I reduced what I ate by half.

I don’t want to go hyper low sodium, don’t get me wrong, but I want to start by not salting my meats. I SALT them when I salt them, like can barely taste the meat anymore. So, by cutting out any salting that I would do of my meats, I am cutting my salt intake in half right about there!

As a scientist at heart, I had to do an experiment on this, to see if salt was what was holding back from breaking my fat loss plateau.

I’m making plans to reduce my sodium intake, and here are some places where I hope to reduce sodium:

  • Don’t salt meats
  • Keep eating raw foods
  • Purchase lower sodium or salt free nuts/seeds
  • Avoid high salt foods, like potato chips and restaurant fare

Exceptions to the rule:

  • I must put some salt in my homemade soups – otherwise they are super bland and virtually inedible to me. It is worth the slight bump in sodium in order to get all of the goodness of homemade bone broth soup
  • I also must salt my homemade pasta sauces a little. I will keep the sauce low salt, but pasta sauce is what I use when I really need a bump in flavor.
  • I will use commercially made salsa (as long as there are no artificial ingredients or sugar) and taco seasoning. Taco salad is my go-to healthy comfort food. I need something to fall back on if I am just hating the Whole 30 plan.

This is going to be really hard for me, but I appreciate anyone who takes the time to read this! Thanks for reading, and stay healthy everyone!

Doctor’s Visit after 1 year Paleo!

Last week, I went to the doctors for the first time since seriously going paleo and since beginning visits with my naturopath to sort out my digestion issues. I have to say that I was blown away with my progress! I’ve got a spreadsheet with all of my bloodwork highlights for over the last 5 years, and it is wonderful to see how much better things have gotten. I’m going to cover these highlighted stats (comparing to two years ago when I was still following the SAD diet), and then share with you my naturopath’s takeaway from my new bloodwork! I will also try to explain what little I’ve learned over the years about how to read bloodwork, though bear in mind that I am not a doctor!

So, for those of you wondering if going paleo will help you achieve overall health, here are the stats that made my doctor nearly speechless:

  • Weight: 173 (-27.6) (I was 200.6 lbs 2 years ago!!)
  • Blood pressure: Was 130/85, now 107/68!
  • Fasting Glucose: 72 (-8)
  • Sodium: 137 (-0)
  • Potassium: 4.5 (+0.3)
  • Chloride: 98 (-3) (A little low, but I was fasting all the way until noon, so I didn’t get my usual electrolytes with breakfast)
  • Carbon Dioxide: 23 (-4.1) (I’m less acidic!)
  • Calcium: 9.3 (+0.5)
  • Total Cholesterol: 158 (-10) (I’m actually displeased that this went down, I will explain below)
  • Triglycerides: 70 (-54) (Triglycerides are created by a sugar filled diet, so I’m not surprised that this went down by almost half!)
  • HDL: 79 (+11) (This is the ‘good’ cholesterol that cleans up excessive cholesterol – if this is above 60, it is considered excellent! That being said, even when I was eating poorly, I’ve always had great cholesterol)
  • VLDL: 14 (-11) (What they might not tell you is that this number is simply your triglycerides divided by 5. These guys become LDL when they lose their triglycerides. We want these to be less than 30)
  • LDL: 65 (-10) (Yes, my HDL and my LDL almost literally reversed! LDL is considered the ‘bad’ cholesterol, and you want your LDL and VLDL to be lower than 130)
  • Vitamin B12: 757 (+209) (This is used to determine anemia, and if it is low can be correlated to not eating enough animal products – definitely not the case here! This is the highest it’s ever been by a huuuge margin!)
  • Folate: 16.6 (-0.1) (used with B12 to determine anemia – still a very good score since it just needs to be above 3!)
  • Hemoglobin Alc: 5.2 (+0.2) (This is used to determine diabetes risk. Despite it going up over the course of 2 years, it actually did come down a bit from last year. Also I’m still under the 5.7 threshold for an increased risk of diabetes)
  • Free T4:  1.32 (+0.23) (The inactive form of thyroid hormone, I’m within the functional range of 1.0-1.5!)
  • TSH: 1.17 (-1.02) (Thyroid stimulating hormone. What they won’t tell you is that the functional range is between 1.8 and 3.0, so mine is low. My mom has a sluggish thyroid, and I’m not in the danger zone yet, but it did increase slightly from last year, and I’m keeping an eye on it!)
  • Vitamin D: 40.5 (-8.4) (The functional range is 55-80, so I was already low and am getting lower. See my naturopath’s notes.)

Overall, there was a huge improvement in my health. Though my internist is a ‘conventional’ doctor, she is smart and open minded enough to see my improvement and encourage me to stay down this path!

I showed my bloodwork to my naturopath shortly after, and she was able to sum up what I should do next in two steps:

  1. Start taking Fermented Cod Liver Oil (FCLO) daily
  2. Start taking a food based Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) supplement daily

Here’s why:

  1. FLCO is high in vitamins A and D, and because they come in a bioavailable form, I don’t have to worry about overdosing on these vitamins even though they are fat soluble (It is possible to OD on them if they don’t come from animal products). This will provide me with Vitamin D in a better form than the Vitamin D3 supplements you buy at the store.
  2. I really don’t eat enough fish, and EFAs cause a chain reaction like so:
    1. EFAs are the building blocks for cholesterol. My naturopath used to be a regular doctor working in the lab with cholesterol specifically. She has watched as the upper limit for cholesterol has gone down and down to increase prescriptions for cholesterol lowering medications. She would like for me to have cholesterol over 200 for the next reason:
    2. Little known fact: cholesterol is used to generate Vitamin D in your body! You’ve heard the phrase “Gotta get my vitamin D” when someone is sitting out in the sun, but did you know HOW your body creates Vitamin D? Cholesterol sits on the top layer of your skin, and your skin cells use sunlight to convert it to the ONLY water soluble form of Vitamin D available. This is why it is impossible to overdose on Vitamin D due to sunlight: any excess is able to be converted into something safe!
      1. This explains why even though I’ve been getting more regular sunlight than ever, my vitamin D is still low. My cholesterol is simply not high enough to be converted to enough Vitamin D!
      2. This also explains why my vitamin D values have consistently been below the functional range (never above 48): My cholesterol has never been above 180 over the last 5 years!

Vitamin D is so important for total body health. Some would say that it is the most important Vitamin in your body! I’m confident that by taking supplements where I need them will help me finally get my vitamin D to functional levels!

Thanks for reading, and I hope this has been informative! I’m so pleased that my health is getting better, and I plan to do another urinalysis test to see how far I’ve come since the beginning of working with my naturopath!

Stay healthy, my friends!

First Hot Yoga Class!

Spoiler Alert: It was hot and I’ve never sweat so much in my life!

Due to the unfortunate nature of my hiatal hernia and it’s insistence on sliding back up through my diaphragm, I’ve been at a loss for workouts to do while it heals. The workouts I usually like to do, like HIIT or dancing, typically involve a lot of crunches and other ab work that tends to aggravate the problem. But I know the real problem: I’m having so much fun that I basically lose control of my movements and inevitably push myself too far. I talked with my chiropractor about giving yoga a try, and we agreed that it focuses on control and slow movements enough that it would be a good workout regimen for me to try while I heal.

The problems?

  • Though I genuinely like yoga, it is becoming more and more clear to me that unless I have to leave my apartment, there is no way I’m going to work out. It is just too easy for me to plop down in front of the TV and never get back up.
  • Yoga gyms in my area are CRAZY expensive. Like $175/month for hot yoga gyms, and $90+/month for regular yoga gyms expensive. They have incentives that you can sign up for that bring the cost down a bit, but the minimum cost per month for someone like me at a hot yoga gym would be about $141/month. It is very expensive!

While I was at a friend’s house last weekend, they had to cut our gathering short in order to go to their yoga gym, which they both clearly loved. They told me the name of it, so I looked into their studio to find that they offer an unlimited 30 day trial for $49.

Then I went back and forth as to whether I wanted to give this a try now or wait until next month.

Then I realized I was procrastinating… again.

So, the day after hearing about it, I signed up for my first class last night with my friends there!

I know it sounds obvious, but it was really hot. They say they heat the room to only 95 degrees or so, but it had to have been at least 80% humidity in there, because it felt much hotter!

Like a noob, I brought my water bottle into the studio, thinking I was going to have time to drink it – well, I didn’t.

Thoughts:

  • #1 – I’m super proud of myself for going at all! I made the conscious choice to get off of the couch and work out, which doesn’t happen often.
  • I was impressed with my ability to keep up with my friends. They’d only been coming for about 3 months, they said, but they were definitely trying some of the trickier poses. I paced myself and didn’t try those poses on my first day, but for all of the other rapid pace pose changes, I was able to keep up and with good form!
  • So much sweat. All of the sweat. Within two minutes, I was completely covered in sweat, but for the most part felt okay – no dizziness, which I was worried about.  I was really glad that I hydrated beforehand, but I clearly need to hydrate more. I ended up with a bit of a dehydration headache this morning.
  • Toward the end of the workout, I was feeling a little nauseous, but I attributed it to detoxing or my hernia more than anything, and it was never significantly bad.
  • There were parts of the workout that I couldn’t do, like crunches and inversions, but I used that time to do active rest or other poses while they inverted. I’m glad I didn’t do those, since I think I was able to keep my hernia down!
  • I need two towels!! The one I brought wasn’t big enough for my whole mat, so I mostly used it at the top of my mat so that my hands could grip the terry better than the slippery mat. Next time I will bring another smaller towel for my feet, since they were a wee bit slidy toward the end.
    • They apparently sell mat grips, but I’m going to wait to invest in one of those until I’m sure I want to stick with this for a while!
  • Despite the workout being pretty tough and me leaving drenched in sweat, I’m surprisingly not that sore today. I made an effort not to over exert myself, and that paid off!

Final thoughts:

They currently are having a 30 day challenge, where they challenge their yogis to work out 30 times over 30 days. Even though I’m coming in on day 2 of the challenge, there’s no way I could fit in some doubles to make up the time! However, I really enjoyed this experience, and I’m grateful for my friends to be there with me on my first class. While I still have unlimited access, I plan to go every day that I don’t have another workout planned though! The class was really fun and relaxing, and it felt really great to sweat the toxins out!

Thanks for reading, and try a weird workout, friends!