Logging, Blogging, and Make-up Free

Today is:

  • Day 470 of this blog,
  • Day 14 of logging all my food on MyFitnessPal
  • Day 3 of weight-lifting– whaaaat?? 

AND Day 3 of NO MAKEUP. Don’t ask me why I am not wearing makeup; it just sort of happened. Saturday was Day 1 of working out with my husband (not just ‘accompanying him to the gym and doing our own thing’ but following his routine [with about 1/3 of the weight] for arms and back workouts) and I just didn’t feel like wearing makeup to the gym. After I worked out and showered, I thought “Eh, why not” and didn’t put on my face. Then Sunday rolled around….no makeup. Now it is Monday and, despite running errands and seeing people, I didn’t put makeup on. I just didn’t want to. Is this crazy? Am crazy for thinking it’s crazy?? In any case, it feels fantastic and my face feels so fresh! What’s more, my hair is totally natural. Am I just getting lazy? Maybe, but my 14 day streak of healthy-food-lovin and my weekend of weightlifting beg to differ.

Maybe I just decided the human body is beautiful on its own and I don’t need to waste time painting on chemicals. ;)

 

YOGA TONIGHT!!! #addicted

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A Note on Processed Foods

It is no secret that I am not a fan of processed foods. I like REAL food so much, in fact, that three of the four links on my “Helpful Links Etc.” tab are mostly about- you guessed it!- real food. Readers of this blog may also know that I moved to the United Kingdom two weeks ago. Now England is practically overrun with farmers markets and fresh food stalls- it is one of the perks I was most excited to move here for. I have plenty of access to real food, but I am living in a hotel while we house-hunt. A hotel that is equipped with a mini fridge, a microwave, and a teeny tiny coffee pot. That is it. Needless to say, I have been eating out quite a bit (yet still trying to stick with the healthiest food choices).

And then there’s My Fitness Pal. A very useful calorie-counting website (so useful that I am going- right now- to add it to my Helpful Links page). I have the app and it has this ever-so-handy bar-code scanner. This is not particularly helpful if you are eating real foods without labels, but I am learning that labeled food can still be healthy.

Eating healthy in a hotel is a challenge; I mean, seriously, THE STRUGGLE IS REAL. There is only so much I (and my digestive system) can take of raw fruits and vegetables and, without any proper cooking appliances, there aren’t too many options. Yesterday, I caved- or at least that’s what I considered it. After two weeks of eating out or eating raw, I finally bought some microwave meals (aka the dreaded “TV dinners”). But here’s the truth, folks: though it may be healthier (and certainly more natural) to eat “real” foods, my diet today has been a marked improvement from days past. PLUS since all but my banana has a bar-code, I was able to quickly catalog my meals into My Fitness Pal and make sure I was keeping to my calories etc etc. Here’s what I ate:

Breakfast: Cascadian Farm (Organic) Oats & Honey granola cereal with skim milk

10 o’clock Snack: One (raw, real!) banana + iced coffee with 2% milk

Lunch: Weight Watchers Smart Ones; Santa Fe Style Rice and Beans

Disclaimer: No worries, I am not approving a highly processed diet; I am just realizing it is OK to sometimes eat food that comes out of a box and, moreover, it will likely be better for you than going out to eat!

For the first time in days, I feel satisfied; not I-just-ate-at-a-restaurant full, not I-only-ate-carrots shaky and weak, but satisfied. And that, my friends, feels really, really good.

“Yoga is like giving myself a hug…”

Monday, 7th of July: New Yoga Class

I knew the general direction of the yoga class (2nd floor), but was alerted to the particular room by the handful of women holding mats under their arms. In groups of twos and threes, they chat and gossip, waiting for the class to begin. I am once again the new girl and I am getting the “outsider” vibe. The doors open a few minutes til 6 and we file in. I walk into the large room, uncertain. Like 25 red carpets, the yoga mats unfurl onto the floor in two rows. Predictably, the front row has only a few brave souls while the rest of us cluster in the back. A girl who looks impossibly young nearly skips to the front of the room and suddenly I realize she’s the instructor. Now, I may not be the most experienced yogi, but I am noticing a trend: all yoga classes I’ve been to are led by women with wild, naturally curly hair. This girl was no different, her hair held back in a relaxed braid. She laughs with a few of the front row-ers while everyone gets settled.
Still feeling totally out of place, I unroll my mat, scooting over so a girl can squeeze in beside her friend. We exchange niceties and she looks at me curiously. Apparently I sound Australian, which I’m not, but we chat for a few moments before the we start and I am comforted in my newness that this is her first time attending the class as well.
As the music begins, I note with satisfaction that the instructor has a ring on her left hand- evidence that she is at least an adult. The chatter fades as the room fuses into a collective noise, our breathing, synced to the moves, the music, and each other. I marvel and listen to my own:

Inhale, bend, exhale, stretch, feel, breath, simply be

Our down-dogs flow into planks, into chaturangas (yoga push ups), then up-dogs. I breath, feeling strong. My inner-self objects to my confidence, reminding me of my aching tendonitis and my inabilities to stretch deeply. I remind my inner-self that it is called a yoga practice for a reason. I do yoga because it is good for me (and my tendons); it is my gift to myself. When I do yoga I feel like I am giving myself a hug saying,

“You is strong, you is beautiful, you is important, you is LOVED” **

After an hour, we relax into savasana (“corpse pose” aka my mini-nap) with the lights dimmed. My muscles are sore, but happy. As am I. Life is good, England is grand, and both are made better by new friends and a great yoga class.

 

**a purposeful misquote of “You is kind. You is Smart. You is important” from the movie The Help (if you haven’t seen it, go right now and watch it)

Excuses from an Expat

My last workout was 8 days ago (though I have been walking several kilometers a day) and it was a great one. I was in Dallas for the weekend before my flight and attended a “Yoga in the Park” class. It was slightly raining, so we spread our mats under the shelter of the pavilion and, in the lovely morning breeze, began our practice. It was arguably my favorite yoga class yet. What a great farewell to American yoga.

Soooo….I moved! I am now in England. Yup, craziness, I am in the United Kingdom. I found a yoga class that meets twice a week (M/W) so I am looking forward to that. I will certainly be walking more than I am used to. We bought a UK spec car (steering on the opposite side etc)- a little blue BMW convertible that I am IN LOVE with- and I am learning to drive on the left side of the road, but the villages are intended to be walked. Who am I to argue?

Fourth of July here was not very eventful. I heard there was an American celebration near the US military bases that are open to the public, but we were still exploring and opted to stay at our hotel. I did wear red, white, and blue, with r/w/b star earrings, AND a British cashier wished me a Happy Independence Day, so I was satisfied. Day 5 in the UK and I am already a little homesick. Still quite excited to be here though.

More to come.