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Posts Tagged ‘gratitiude’

bilbl_superThis morning I woke up in just enough time to head to the spin class I’d been planning to attend for more than a week.  Actually, today’s spin class has been years in the making.  I’ve wanted to try spinning forever, but was extremely intimidated by the proximity of the bikes to each other.  When I was over 300 pounds, I was worried that I’d spill over into my neighbor’s personal space.  Not a great feeling.

There was the time, back in August 2011, when I went into the empty spin room and spent 5 minutes on the bike.  I know I didn’t even get “out of the saddle”/stand up on the bike, because I had no idea what I was doing.   I also didn’t change the tension at all.  I do remember that I felt the pain in the pubic bone that comes with spinning.

So I prepared for that pain by buying some padded spin pants that had a skirt overlay.  I’d first seen them on Emmie’s blog, and because I was convinced I was eventually going to try spinning, I decided the investment was worth it.  I remember in August 2011 that I was embarrassed to wear them in public because of how tight they were.  The skirt was almost indecent because my big booty was causing it to ride way up in the back, barely covering. Here’s the post from December 2011 where the pants showed up again.  This time, I actually missed the spin class because I was fooling around with the fit of the pants, trying to camouflage how tight they were on me.

I haven’t tried spinning in all this time, but today was the day.  My gym offers lots of spin classes Monday-Thursday: at 5:45am, 9am, and 6pm.  I figured the 5:45am class would be packed, as would the 6pm, and since I was off, 9am seemed like the ticket.  Because I’d heard all the horror stories about how much the spin seat hurts the pubic bone, I decided to wear the padded, skirted pants even though they were way too big.  Like at least 3 sizes too large! Let’s compare the fit, shall we?

Left - 12/2011 Right - today, 2/2014

Left – 12/2011  Right – today, 2/2014
The difference in these two photos is really striking, especially because I’m sucking in my stomach in both shots. Dramatic difference!!

I don't know if you can tell, but the skirt was way, way longer today.  Less of a booty keeping it up!

I don’t know if you can tell, but the skirt was way, way longer today. Less of a booty keeping it up!

And here’s a front view picture, just for good measure.

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So many of my workout clothes are just way, way too big. This top is supposed to be one of those snug, dry-weave tanks, but you can see that it’s super loose on me. I’ve gotta hit an activewear sale soon.

Anyway, back to the class.  I got there about 10 minutes early, just to make sure that I had time to chat with the teacher and make sure I had the bike all set up.  I found out that the seat should be set so that it’s in the middle of my hip when I’m standing up next to it.  I also made sure that when I sat on the bike my legs were still slightly bent, not completely straight.  The teacher showed me how to change the tension, and told me that I could stay a “half step behind” if I wanted to; meaning I could take it a bit easier than the rest of the class since it was my first time.  You guys know that there was no way I was going to take it easy, right?!

The class itself was so great!  The teacher started off the class with Pharrell’s “Happy,” which couldn’t have been more perfect! In fact, take 4 minutes right now and listen to it.  It’s guaranteed to make you feel fantastic!

The teacher immediately turned off the lights in the room.  I’m not really sure why – maybe so that we wouldn’t focus on how we looked in that room which was surrounded by mirrors?  At one point during the class, I caught a glimpse of a girl in the mirror across the room and my first thought was how good she looked on the bike, how confident she seemed as she pedaled.  Only, she didn’t look like any of the women in the class.  I went one by one trying to figure out which one she was, until I realized – SHE WAS ME!  I can’t tell you how amazing that felt.  That I thought that I looked great during an exercise class is a new first.  That and the fact that I wasn’t the biggest girl in the room.  And I wasn’t worried at all about being too big for the bike – there was plenty of room on either side of me today.  NSVs abounded!

I felt empowered by how strong my legs were, and how well I kept up, even when we were “climbing.”  Climbing is when you slowly increase the tension in the bike higher and higher to mimic climbing a hill or mountain.  Sometimes these climbs were done “in saddle” (sitting down) and other times the climbs were done while standing the entire time. She also had us go on “mixed climbs” where we alternated between sitting and standing as we increased the tension.  I really enjoyed how the teacher used the music to help us get through the tough parts of the workout, and I can see that a really great playlist can make all the difference.

To be honest, the worst part of the entire class was when we were “in saddle” because my pubic bone just killed me.  I kept squirming and moving around as I sat there, trying to get in any position that would relieve a little of the pain.  I can’t imagine what it would’ve felt like without the padding in my pants!  I’m still slightly sore right now, 8 hours later, as I write this.  Everyone says the pain goes away and you get used to it the more you do it.  Still, I’m going to have to dig out that bike seat cover that I’d bought a few years ago, because I will take any extra padding I can get.  Even with the pain, I absolutely loved the spin class!

This is the photo I posted on Instagram this morning.  See how big that smile is in both of those photos?  That’s because I felt so accomplished, so proud.  I finally did something that I’d been wanting to do forever.  And not only did I do it, but I loved it.  I was good at it.  My strong legs took me through the entire class, and while I was “glowing” within 10 minutes, I felt beautiful.

2014-02-18 10.04.51Today’s Adventure in Fitness was amazing! So much so that I’m going to start going to spin classes at least once a week. And I’m going to treat myself to a session at Soul Cycle sometime soon, to check another thing off my Fitness Bucket List.

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This month I’m participating in 30 Days of Thanks (#30DaysofThanks) by writing a blog post about 30 things I’m thankful for. To join in, go to the link above. The best part is, you don’t need to have a blog or even be on social media to take part in the project; you just need to be thankful. I can’t wait to see how my life might change by spending the 30 days in November giving thanks for things in my life — every single day.

Today I am grateful that I was able to take advantage of a fabulous Groupon offer for a much-needed mani pedi. Better still the nail salon was in my neighborhood, clean and bright, and offered excellent customer service. I’m so glad I found the shop; I’ll definitely go back.

I haven’t had a manicure or pedicure since my birthday in July, so today’s appointment was a real treat. And for $12 total (Groupon is AWESOME!), it was a fantastic deal. The only drawback was that the deal was for “express” mani pedi, so no massages. Still, my hands and toes look great, and that’s what’s most important.

I got the same color on my nails and toes, which may seem boring to some, but I like the way they turned out. It’s a vampy, dark-dark red and I had the nail tech add a glittery polish to the ring finger accent nail on both hands. Toes are all vampy red, no glitter. I’m not going to post a photo of my toes because even an over-sharer like me needs to have some limits (too many foot fetishists out there – yuck!).

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The blurry photo on the right captures the red tone of the glitter polish, which I love.

I’m thankful that I was able to treat myself, because pretty hands and toes make me smile.

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This month I’m participating in 30 Days of Thanks (#30DaysofThanks) by writing a blog post about 30 things I’m thankful for. To join in, go to the link above. The best part is, you don’t need to have a blog or even be on social media to take part in the project; you just need to be thankful. I can’t wait to see how my life might change by spending the 30 days in November giving thanks for things in my life — every single day.

Today I went to a new bikram yoga studio that is a stone’s throw from my job to take advantage of the 30 days for $40 deal they have going. The entire studio is dedicated to bikram yoga, and since that’s the type that I like best (at my current weight and ability), it is perfect. The studio has been there for years, but has recently undergone major renovations, so that it now looks as beautiful and serene as the practice makes people feel. (Before the redo, it was really run down).

This summer I’d joined a different studio, one that’s less zen and more about fitness, and my overall experience wasn’t great. I love the look of that other studio, but the atmosphere was really competitive, and I always left the classes acutely aware of what I couldn‘t do; which is really the opposite of most yogic beliefs.

This quote and photo come from the website of the new studio that I tried out today, and I think it really sums up the new experience I had. I still couldn’t get into many of the poses, but at BYSJ, I felt more encouraged to continue to try. Rather than feeling like a failure, I felt encouraged and empowered. I know I won’t be able to fit a class in every single day for the next 30 days, but I will be able to go several times a week, and I’m sure that on December 5th I’ll be much more flexible and able to get into positions that weren’t available to me today. I’m grateful to begin that journey today.

Today I’m thankful that I gave myself a month of being able to improve my bikram poses. I’m thankful that the new studio offers convenient classes so that I can still allow myself time to prep for all that I need to do for teaching, attend a 90-minute yoga class after school, and and get home at a decent time. I’m thankful that the deal makes it possible for me to fit yoga into my budget. I’m thankful that yoga is going to be part of my life for the next 30 days.

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This month I’m participating in 30 Days of Thanks (#30DaysofThanks) by writing a blog post about 30 things I’m thankful for. To join in, go to the link above. The best part is, you don’t need to have a blog or even be on social media to take part in the project; you just need to be thankful. I can’t wait to see how my life might change by spending the 30 days in November giving thanks for things in my life — every single day.

I cannot believe that it’s already November 4th – November is flying by!!  Last week was the l-o-n-g-e-s-t ever, and then I spent a good portion of Saturday proctoring the SAT and doing errands, so I was especially thankful for the extra hour we got today thanks to the end of daylights savings time.

I did lots of different things today: blogged, did loads of laundry, paid bills, shopped for my weekly groceries, met up with Ani and her pup for a play date.  But the best use of my extra hour was spent taking Sofi for a long walk around the neighborhood with my dad.  We strayed from our normal walking routine, weaving in and our of the different streets so that the dogs could take in the new scents and explore “uncharted territory.”  Before we knew it, we’d been gone an hour!  It felt great to get some fresh air, talk to my dad and catch up on the week’s events, and just watch Sofi and Minnie have such a good time.

Hour-long walks outside are going to become more scarce now that the time has changed and the days are shorter, but whenever I can fit in a good, long walk, I’m going to.  Since I may be getting home after dark many of the nights over the next month, I’ve decided to shift Sofi’s walks to the morning – another nice part of the time change: the mornings are lighter.  It means not hitting  the snooze button in the morning.  It also means that we’re going to keep it short and just do 20-minute walks, but if we do them daily, I think it should be enough exercise for Sofi during the week.  And I can think of no better way to start the day than with a brisk, head-clearing walk with my best buddy.

I’m definitely thankful for the extra hour I got today.

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This month I’m participating in 30 Days of Thanks (#30DaysofThanks) by writing a blog post about 30 things I’m thankful for. To join in, go to the link above. The best part is, you don’t need to have a blog or even be on social media to take part in the project; you just need to be thankful. I can’t wait to see how my life might change by spending the 30 days in November giving thanks for things in my life — every single day.

Today while I was getting up at 5;45am on a Saturday morning in order to go and proctor the SAT, I said a quick “thank you.”  Rather than cursing the fact that I had to be up so early on a weekend, I was grateful that I have a way to earn a bit of extra money.

Everyone knows that teachers don’t get paid what we deserve, and that’s even more true this year, when budget cuts have caused my district to institute Furlough Days.  Sure, having a day off here and there is nice, but not getting paid for it isn’t.  I was already fairly strapped, and the thought of making even a bit less is so disheartening.

Which is why I am so thankful that I have small opportunities to work some extra hours and get money here and there for things like proctoring the SAT.  I also get paid an extra stipend for being my school’s webmaster (or, web administrator, as I like to say).  I also get paid two stipends for teaching yearbook and journalism, because of the extra hours that those classes each take.  It makes some of those late days worth it. (Although, truth be told, I’d still love to teach the classes even without the stipend.  Shhhh!).  And the last bit of extra money I get is another stipend for having my Masters degree.  The little extras allow me to make it.

More recently, I discovered a few different websites for teachers by teachers where I can submit lessons and other instructional materials and sell them to other teachers for a few dollars each.  There’s another site that will pay me for a little bit for answering student questions online.  Those little things add up after a while.

Do I dream of someday winning the lottery?  Of course!  I’d love it if I never had to worry about making ends meet.  But the reality is, I’m so thankful that I have a job that I love, that’s secure, and that offers small opportunities to earn extra cash if I want to put in the extra effort.  There are many people who aren’t as lucky.

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