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Posts Tagged ‘serenity’

Saturday+Smiles

There’s nothing like waking up really early on a Saturday morning and being outside in the backyard with Sofi. Today is going to be HOT, so I enjoyed the simple pleasure of watering my garden. It’s one of the most peaceful things I do: it gives me time to think, time to live in the moment, and time to nurture my green thumb. I love the way it smells in the backyard after everything is watered, when it’s still shady.

Speaking of the heat, in an effort to try to beat it, Sofi and I have been heading out really early (think 7:15am) to get in a good walk. Thursday I needed to mail a letter, so we hit the pavement and walked to the post office. And since my parents live near there, we decided to pay them an early morning visit and get a quick water break. Then we took the long way home. All told, we walked for 65 minutes and about 3 miles. Today we did another winding, early morning walk. This time it was just meandering around the neighborhood, walking for about 40 minutes, taking the long route around. It’s quiet so early in the morning, and I love being with Sofi as we’re exploring our little piece of the world.

Yesterday I had my post-op appointment (more on that later), and it felt good to hear such good news. One of the best parts was that my blood pressure continues to be normal. Yesterday it was 123/77. I know some charts would show this as above normal, but for me, it’s a great number. I love going to the doctor and not being worried about stepping on the scale or having my blood pressure read.

Dexter-final-season-key-artYou guys know what a TV junkie I am, and one of the things I’m most excited about for this weekend is the season premiere of Dexter. This is going to be the final season, and I can’t wait to see what kind of Big Bad they have in store for us this year.

Today my mom and I are hitting the mall to escape the heat, but also to go shopping. Nothing especially glamorous, but after 56+ lbs, I’m in desperate need of some new panties. And I wouldn’t say no to a couple of new sleeveless tops to take me through this part of the summer. Yesterday I bought a few new sports bras at Target, because I have to double up on my current ones just to get a little bit of support. Retail therapy is so much more fun when I’m finding myself with more options.

Finally, the thing that’s making me smile the most lately is that I’m fitting into tons of smaller clothes! As a girl who loves fashion, and always tried to look my best, no matter what my size, it is fantastic that I’m moving on down the rack. At my heaviest, I was wearing pants in size 28 and tops in size 26. Now I’m wearing size 22 pants and tops in size 18/20. The scale might not be moving quite as quickly as I would hope, but I’m thrilled with the way clothes are looking on me. And the inches are just as important. Here’s a sample of some photos I’ve been posting on IG lately:

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Top: Size 3 from Torrid. I bought this and could never wear it because it was too tight around my hips. Now it flows over them nicely.
Pants: Size 22 Se7ens from Lane Bryant

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I bought this tshirt from SkinnyEmmie.com over a year ago, and it was skin tight. Actually, past that. Now it fits really well, especially after a few alterations. (I had to cut it so it was shorter, I cut the neckline because I don’t really like crew necks, and I cut off the sleeves.

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I bought that blinged-out Giants tank from Bling Circus (Etsy), and it was way too tight just a few months ago. Now it’s form-fitting, but nicely hugs my curves.

I hope you have a wonderful day, full of things that put a smile on your face.

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This evening LC and I tried a whole new type of yoga – Restorative Yoga.  We’d both had full weekends and I thought it would be nice to do something that sounded so rejuvenating.  I was thinking it was more along the lines of Gentle Yoga, but it was actually quite different.

What is Restorative Yoga? I really like the way Restorative Yoga is defined here.  In a nutshell:

The antidote to stress is relaxation. Restorative yoga focuses on relaxation, renewal, effortlessness and ease. Blankets, bolsters, straps, and other props safely support the body in various postures which allows the body to move towards a state of balance. This practice soothes your nervous system, helps you quiet your mind and invites you to release deeply held tension.”

Or, as the yoga instructor put it, “guided napping.”  LOL.

It was actually a really spiritual experience for me.  I’m not very religious, but I found it really calming and a nice way to end the weekend to be reminded that “we are all part of something more than ourselves.”  That, “we are all divine – no one is better than another.  We should not criticize ourselves harshly, nor should we judge others harshly, either.”  LC told me on the car ride home that those beliefs are the basic tenets of yoga.  I had no idea, because they’d never been mentioned in any class I’ve ever taken.  I am going to try to remind myself of these ideas throughout the week, because I am both ultra-critical of myself as well as overly critical of others too much of the time.

The teacher gave us an invocation (my word) to repeat internally throughout the class:

Yoga is the unity of consciousness and the heart.”

That was such a calming thought, and I have to say that I’ve never felt my mind become quieter than I did today. Throughout the class we were giving a guided meditation which was really relaxing and renewing.  I wasn’t worried about a million little things – I just concentrated on my breathing and the image the instructor was creating, and let everything else go.  It was amazing.

There are a series of five poses that we got into throughout the 90-minute class.  We held each pose for at least 10 minutes, which some of them held up to 20 minutes.  These aren’t exactly what we did, but they’re fairly close.

I’ve been having really severe pain in the form of a pulled muscle in my back.  So bad that it hurts when I breathe deeply.  (And yes, I plan to contact the doctor tomorrow about the muscle pain, because it’s gone on far too long).  Tonight during class was the first time in a month that I was pain free for an hour and a half and it was wonderful. I’m going to use some of the poses (like the reclining pose) when I go to sleep, because it just felt so good.

While I don’t think I burned many calories, although a couple of websites said that a 200-pound person could burn 238 calories in an hour of restorative yoga.  Since the class was 90-minutes and I’m about 90 lbs over that example, I logged 238 calories burned into LoseIt, just to be safe.

All in all, it wasn’t at all what I expected, but Restorative Yoga was exactly what I needed.  I don’t know that I’ll go back to a class, but I will try to practice a form of it from time to time at home.  Maybe even with LC.

If you get a chance to give it a try (even by using an audio or a DVD), I’d highly recommend it at least once. You’ll feel relaxed and refreshed, and let’s face it, we lead such hectic, stressful lives that we could all use a little mental and physical stillness every now and then.

Namaste!

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Breathe.  Let go.  And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.”  ~ Oprah Winfrey

This quote from Oprah is a great reminder that when I’m struggling with something in my life, all I need to do is nothing.  Just breathe.  Just take a second to myself and see how it all plays out.  I’m a very “take charge” kind of person, and I like being in control, so letting go isn’t easy for me.  But I have found that in my times of greatest stress, letting go is the way to calm down.

This week off is like one long, exhaled breath.  I get time to myself without too many plans, so that I can center myself.  My plan is to refocus myself.  I want to remember how much I enjoy working out and exercising and being active.  I sort of lost that “fun factor” for a little while, and I’m excited to get it back.

I’ve slowly come to a few huge realizations about myself and this weight loss journey, which I will share with you in time.  I’m still working through them and figuring out how it all fits. I find that in the moments when I give myself a break, I find the most clarity. I’m hoping that’s true this week, as well.

The photo I chose above is so serene and peaceful and really makes me want to do some yoga this week.  So I’m going to.  I may end up doing a DVD at home, but I’m hoping to make it to the yoga studio to do some Bikram, because I still have a few sessions worth of credit there.  I may even go today.

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