Tag Archives: Water

Yoga Challenge: The Make-up Days

Pose of the Day: Tree pose

Last week, man, I just fizzled out. What a horrible way to “finish” a challenge I felt I’d so successful at. I was… I don’t even know what I was. Fibromyalgia-y. In the midst of a flare, you’re picking and choosing what you can and can’t do, and your body whittles down that list even more until you find that biggest accomplishment of the day was brushing your hair. I slept a lot. A lot. I slept for twelve hours one night, took naps almost three hours long, couldn’t move much, felt nauseated, barely ate or ate too much. No yoga for a whole week. And I felt awful without it.

I’ve come to look forward to the evenings I practice yoga. I make tea, set up my mat, listen to some smooth music that helps me relax, do my 15-20 minutes, and then lay in bed to watch tv, or read, or even just something like a blog post or a to do list. I wouldn’t say yoga has made me more focused, necessarily, but it’s given me a sort of routine in the evenings that I looked forward to, and I felt like I was accomplishing something. Even if my body still has some rolls that I thought would be–at the very least–more subtle than when I started, and even if I’m still wearing the same size I was wearing at the beginning of the challenge, I still felt change. To not have that, even for a week, especially for a whole week, I really felt like I lost something. It was partly guilt over my challenge, but, like I said, it was something I looked forward to.

I felt better last night, and got right back into it. Twenty minutes, good music, every move felt amazing. I realized that, after a whole month, I can actually touch my heels to the floor in Downward Dog now! It’s an amazing feeling to realize that your muscles have extended themselves to make new things possible within the confines of your body. I also got back into drinking plenty water. I had a superbad sick day on Sunday, replete with vomiting, body aches, fever, general grossness. And all I wanted was water. (Mainly, it was most of what of what I was able to consume without throwing up.) I’ve noticed that I am hyperaware of when my body starts needing water now. Before I know it, I’ll have drunk a full water bottle. It turns out I can curb many headaches by doing this. I’ve had far fewer (as in, not every single day) headaches since hydrating.

I could say that yesterday and today were my new Days 29 & 30, but it just doesn’t feel right. I feel like I’m not finished. And to be honest, I’m not sure I want to be finished. It seems to me that that would give me the perfect excuse not to keep going with it. Yoga’s become one of those friends I have to check in with several times a week just to make sure that everything’s okay, it’s not in my head, that it’s real, that it’s something I still look forward to and don’t feel as happy without.


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Yoga Challenge: Days 15 & 16

Pose of the Day: Cat-Cow

Yeah, I took off Day 16. No real excuse, I just never got around to it. BUt I take it as one of my two days off every week and I don’t feel guilty. Really, this post is about Day 15 and I did pretty good that day. I haven’t been sleeping well at all. Thank god for yoga. I’m able to take a nap afterwards if I do it in the morning or in the early evening. I think it relaxes me more through the breathing and soothes my muscles enough that they’re not so seized up when I’m laying down.

My favorite pose for today is Cat-Cow. This is always kind of near the top of the list for PotD. Since my back and shoulders are such an issue for me, this pose is perfect. An arch of the back with your head facing downwards and then reversing the arch into a sway while looking up. It stretches it all for me. I’ve also noticed that Downward Dog is becoming more bearable. That’s amazing. I even held a Plank for ten seconds!…ish. I’m very proud of me.

I noticed today that the eating changes I’ve been making, albeit unconsciously, have really affected me. I’ve been making my breakfasts at home lately to both save money and not rely on McDonald’s McCalories. I’ve been preparing my own breakfast sandwiches and adding mushrooms and caramelized onions. It takes about as long as it did to drive to McD’s anyway. So, this morning I decided I deserved some fat-laden yumminess. Big mistake. It doesn’t even taste the same. I was hardcore into them too. You can have my McDouble when you pry it from my cold, dead, heart-attacked hands, but for pre-yoga breakfast, I’m sticking with my homemade McMuffins and fresh smoothies. I feel so much more ready to tackle a workout when I know I’ve treated my body right with my first meal of the day.

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Yoga Challenge: Day 12-14

Pose of the Day: Pranayama

Okay, the PotD isn’t really a pose; it’s yoga breathing. Deep, in through the nose, calm, measured breathing. Realizing Friday night that I wouldn’t get around to my regularly scheduled programming, I decided to take advantage of the hot tub at the indoor waterpark where my family was enjoying themselves the night before a relative got married. (No yoga on Saturday, but I got quite the workout on the dance floor!) I spent a good 15 minutes trying to relax my body as much as possible in the lovely bubbles. The issue with pools and hot tubs is that your body tries to rise the more you relax. I found a god position that helped me stay under while taking up as little room as possible in this public arena. It felt so good. I was so relaxed. Focusing on my breathing still worked my core muscles and my arms felt heavy as I lifted them out of the water when I decided to get out and join my son and hubby in the lazy river.

I need to stop taking the weekend off. Yes, I was active on Saturday and we had a situation yesterday that required a trip to urgent care. Still, I need to stop finding excuses as to why I’m going to “do it later” or why I’m too sore/tired/etc. I’m not losing weight, may have gained some actually, and that’s another reason why I can’t tell what exactly yoga is doing for me at this point. I may have gained some muscle. My stomach feels harder… underneath the spare tire. I was hoping that after a good six weeks of water, yoga, and general betterness, I would notice at least a minor change; a better fitting shirt, a pair of pants loosening in the hips. Alas, no such luck yet.

My saving grace at this point is the fact that I feel good. Honestly, the only reason I want to lose some weight is so that I can wear some of the adorable clothes I bought around summer/fall. If I had bought them in bigger sizes, I don’t think I would care as much. I just want to be smooth around the edges, have things look the way they were intended to, no bulges or rolls, etc. I’m glad that the improvements I am experiencing are improving my mental well-being. I haven’t really been tempted to go down the depression rabbit hole since I started these challenges. I’m writing more, making lists to keep myself on task, being a more productive member of society. I’d rather have these things be my normal than a smaller waist, actually. It’s no use looking good if you can’t get out of bed, anyway.

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Yoga Challenge: Day 8

Pose of the day: Standing Forward Bend

To be honest, I was more interested in finishing Wide Sargasso Sea for my Read Harder challenge than I was in yoga yesterday. (Stay tuned for my post about this wonderful book later today on Jillie’s Bookshelf!) I did my stretches intermittently, probably getting my minimum ten minutes, but I never pulled out the actual mat. I really wanted to see what happened with my body and muscles when I did my yoga at the end of the day/before bed versus the morning. The problem, I have realized is that by the time the evening rolls around I am more interested in reading or watching tv and no longer have motivation to continue accomplishing tasks. So, I’m back to mornings.

What I have noticed is that I need to remain hydrated to be any sort of functional, yoga’ed or not. I barely drank any water yesterday and felt terrible by 3pm. Surprise, surprise as soon as I made some tea and drank a glass of water, I felt much better. I have to admit, though, that doing this challenge is very hard for me right now, what with my body not being at its best. (let’s face it though, even it’s best is pretty crappy on average.) I keep hoping I’ll feel a change like I did with my water challenge. So far, nothing. Not even reliable relief. Luckily, I’ve been able to find some poses that make me feel better. But I really didn’t start this challenge for minor maintenance; I really want to be a healthier person, or at least a more comfortable one.

Obviously, I’m going to keep it up, though. I can’t give up just because the gates of Heaven don’t open to reveal a choir of angels singing and cheering me on. The most change you can ever hope for is directly proportional to the amount of steadfastness you demonstrate, no matter the task at hand.

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Yoga Challenge: Days 4-7

Pose of the day: Eagle Pose

The thing with these challenges is that life inevitably gets in the way later in the week. Luckily, I was able to maintain my challenge, even if I wasn’t posting over the weekend. So, let’s do this by day, shall we?

DAY 4: I did a self guided workout, but I used a lot of the poses from DoYou Yoga’s Day 2 as well as Eagle Pose, one of my favorites for stretching out my angry shoulder blades. I waited until much later in the day to do my yoga because I have been very sore between my fibro-flare and the renewal of an actual physical routine. Say what you will about how short my workouts have been, but when you’ve done nothing and start doing something, there is a period of your body revolting. One thing I noticed was that it doesn’t take much to make my 10-minute minimum. I actually did over 15 without even thinking about it, something I thought I would have to work hard to do, especially being out of practice. Instead, I find myself wondering what new pose I can do or what poses I may have forgotten from years ago that I might want to do now.

DAY 5: I took the day off. I can do that. I said 5 times a week, minimum, and I was so busy all day that I just didn’t get around to my yoga. I did spend four hours grocery shopping, which involves being on my feet for extended periods of time (I go to every supermarket and shop the sales), so I did do something physical. It just didn’t count as yoga.

DAY 6: I was going to make this day, Saturday, my other day off. I have this nasty thing that happens when I get a hangover: my (once again, angry) trapezoidal muscles will go all knotty, the tension creeps up my neck, and adds to the headache I already have from over-consumption. This actually happens without drinking as well, sometimes to the point of such pain that I vomit. Nice, right? This little tendency is one of the reasons I practice yoga in the first place. At the end of the day, right before bed, I ended up spending my ten minutes stretching and doing some Warrior poses. Again, Eagle was a big help in feeling better.

DAY 7: Yup, took this day off too, because I could. I feel no need to justify this since I met my weekly and daily minimums.

As I go into Week 2, I’m considering what I to do for my workouts this week. The DVDs from the library I haven’t even perused yet? The days I missed on DoYou Yoga? Probably, a mix of both, along with my own workouts. The thing I like about guiding myself is that I get to choose my background noise. I’m loving the Swan Lake score and the Best of Sade collection. Two different moods, but that’s a far smaller number than the amount of moods I actually have. 😉

We’ll see what I come up with for my workout tomorrow!

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Gallon A Day: The Last Day!

30 days later, I am very proud of myself for accomplishing a goal I set for myself. I don’t have after pics like I had hoped. but here are the changes I’ve experienced since increasing my intake of water and non-caffeinated beverages:

  • A total of five pounds lost
  • Lighter undereye circles; it no longer looks like I’ve been punched in the face if I can’t find my concealer
  • A few less wrinkles, very few less, but still less
  • Brighter, softer skin, less gray-looking
  • More dependable happiness, and for someone with depression, that is really something!
  • Motivation
  • An increased consciousness of the other things I put into my body and how I’m treating it overall… I’m still not giving up pizza rolls and bologna. That’s just crazy talk.

I really don’t know what else to say, since I said a lot of it yesterday. I’m proud of myself. I’m looking forward to continuing to treat my water bottle as if it were an appendage. And most of all, I’m still excited to embark upon new challenges that will benefit me, be it in mind, body, or soul.

Stay tuned for when I start my Yoga Challenge next week! And, one last time, happy hydrating!!

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Gallon A Day: Day 29

Nothing particularly special to report today. With my challenge winding down (today is my final day!), I’ve basically figured out what the changes have been and what I can expect in the future as I continue to keep myself hydrated. I’m excited to start a new challenge next week. More than anything, this water challenge has taught me that I can achieve whatever I want if I can figure out the one thing that will keep me going and motivated. That has been this blog. I’ve never been one to stick with personal changes for the most part, usually falling off the wagon because of cost, inconvenience, or just plain laziness. Knowing that I had to write about it, even though it was an assignment I gave myself, made me accountable. Even if I wasn’t perfect every day, I at least tried every day. I was a ware of what I was or wasn’t doing. That’s been a big deal for me.

Tomorrow, I’ll do a final post about all the changes I’ve discovered/documented. Maybe I’ll even post check-ins every now again as well. We shall see!

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Gallon A Day: Days 24 & 25

New Year’s Eve: Wow. New Years Day: Ugh.

I’m glad for my increased hydration. While I ended up with a hangover on New Year’s Day, if it hadn’t been for this challenge, it could’ve been much worse than it was. I was very proud of myself for alternating my beverages with water. Still, a chocolate martini, like the rhythm, is gonna get you. Especially when there’s four of them. 😉

In the midst of it all, I was so glad that I’ve managed to make water palatable for myself. I didn’t have to struggle to rehydrate yesterday. Water just seemed to be the natural choice, rather than trying to find the right juice or soda that seemed like a viable option.

The only thing really bothering me now is a muscle headache, another side effect t of m fibromyalgia, which, on the whole, had been much better lately, though not perfect. See, I get a knot or four in my shoulder/back muscles and the pain will travel up my neck and into my head, causing a migraine that nauseates me and renders me basically useless. I thought it was the hangover at first, but when water, food, and time didn’t cure it, I knew something was up. And who ever heard of a 48-hour hangover, when you weren’t even that ridiculous in the first place? I was just really hoping that hydration would somehow lubricate my muscles and make them glide more smoothly or something. Today is not shaping up too well, so far.

Here is to the new year and to water and relief! (Raising my water bottle in a toast.)

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Gallon A Day: Day 23

This will be a quick post since I have a lot of writing and blogging planned for today.

I’m still doing good. My changes seem to have levelled off. I’m happy but not freakishly ecstatic like I’ve been a few times. I’m still motivated. I’ve actually gone the last few days without a nap, though more than energy, it may attributed to the sleeping I’m going since the kids don’t have to go to school.

A new thing I’m noticing, and I may totally be imagining this, but I swear the little lines around my eyes have filled in. My skin is not perfect and smooth like I had hoped, but it seems brighter. It’s just not as dull when I put my makeup on now. I still have those dark circles, but I dunno, I feel like I look better, regardless. I suppose that’s the most imnportant when doing anything that has to do with improving your body/appearance: that YOU think you look better, at least that you FEEL better. It will be interesting what my yoga challenge brings me after these 30 days are up.

As for tonight, Day 24 and New Year’s Eve, it will definitely be an experience. I’ll be hydrated and drinks are free at the party I’m attending, so I won’t be mindfully self-monitoring my $5-a-finger whiskey consumption. It’s actually the first big liquor-involved event I’ll be taking part of since I started my water challenge. Maybe I’ll actually alternate between water and alcoholic beverages like a smart woman is supposed to, and avoid a massive hangover in the process. We shall see!

Happy celebrating to all!

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Gallon A Day: Day 22

It’s still hard to get a whole gallon. I know people who sit at a desk all day who seem to have no problem, but they also have no other drinking option, and in their corporate settings they don’t have the luxury of snacking whenever they want, so I suspect the water helps them feel full between meals. (#longasssentences) I fill my water bottle and try to keep it by me. My problem seems to be that I get so wrapped up in whatever I’m doing–reading, writing, even cleaning–that I don’t consume anything. Luckily, I’ll never be one of those writers that entirely forgets to do basic things like eat dinner, yet I can still go hours feeling hungry or thirsty without reaching two feet to my left to remedy the situation.

I’ve been drinking more water with dinner. I usually hate that, but I’m getting used to it. Even if I’m drinking something else, I still have my water bottle. I’ve noticed that some of my favorite drinks from Starbucks (I’m even ordering decaf now, so I can count it, signaling both desperation and body-snatching) are much too sweet for me. I’ll order a hot chocolate or chai just to have something that isn’t water only to find myself alternating between sips of that drink and sips of water to cut the sugar overload… I still have no problem with candy, though even that I chase with water rather than my usual coffee or soda.

Speaking of soda, I’m barely drinking it anymore. I can’t count the caffeinated ones so I don’t drink them and I just don’t default to the others like I did a month ago. Sure, I still have a can of Sprite or ginger ale if I feel like it, but I mostly don’t feel like it. I’m finding my indulgences to be wine or a good beer, simply because they don’t count, so they’re like a treat to me. Consequently, the more hydrated I am, it seems, the quicker I feel the alcohol. Weird, but productive in the sense if I’m going for a softer edge at the end of a trying day, it’s accomplished much quicker.

Happy hydrating, all! Le chaim!

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