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Switching gears, re-prioritizing yoga, odds, and ends

Monday, April 15, 2013

Time for my customary once-in-a-blue moon update. :)

I've done a whole bunch of gear-switching! I have achieved relative balance in weight-maintaining mode (knock on wood). A lot of other things changed at around the same time I went into maintenance mode, which helped the process along a LOT.

Before I hit my GW, I was on a more strict exercise routine with regular running. In general, however, I did not take a huge number of steps per day—just under the recommended 10,000/day because I was job hunting, which involved a lot of sitting at a computer.

Around the time I hit my GW, I also got a new job! A very active new job. I have to run all around a 4-story science center, lift boxes full of science-y stuff, energetically run demonstrations, shows, experiments, workshops, etc, etc, etc. The first few weeks of adjustment were hard—I barely had time for workouts! I only managed a few per week, and one week I didn't have any planned workouts at all. But I still maintained (or lost) each of those weeks, because at work I was very active—at least 15,000-20,000 steps per day without even trying.

So—balance. I've brought "workouts" back, but I do less of them, and I'm less strict about sticking to them. Towards the end of my weight-loss mode, my yoga practice had been falling to the wayside. Last week, one of the yogis who taught my yoga teacher trainings wrote an excellent newsletter about yoga coexisting with other movement disciplines. This made me rethink my priorities. He approached the "issue" from many different perspectives, but one point stuck with me the most: Choosing one movement discipline as your priority, focus, or otherwise "main" discipline can provide clarity in one's overall movement practice.

In weight loss mode, I had prioritized running, mostly because the cardio was so useful for weight loss. (I also had other reasons—for example, in high school, running the mile was such a torturous experience that I wanted to reclaim running as a positive practice in my life.) What, however, did it mean to me after hitting my goal weight? I took stock of what I feel about running NOW, and what it accomplishes for me:
-I run because I have an image of running as the "ultimate" discipline—it's just me and my body. Humans are also designed for long-distance running, so it's cool to me from an evolutionary biology perspective as well. :)
-Running = a skinnier me! But wait; things aren't that simple. This is an association I have in the back of my mind that isn't useful or entirely true.
-I've come to like running a lot more than I used to (yes, I conquered my high school dread), but it still isn't very fun or enjoyable to me.
-Am I a runner? Yes...I guess. Do I feel like a runner? Not entirely. Do I consider running an important part of my identity? Um, not really. Maybe a little.

What about yoga, though? Why do I practice yoga? (Or rather, why did I, since it's unfortunately fallen by the wayside?)
-I do yoga because it makes my body feel amazing. It removes aches and pains in my body that I have never been able to remove by any other means.
-I do yoga because it calms my mind. It makes me feel content, happy, relaxed, powerful, centered, and generally at peace with the universe. It makes me a more pleasant person to live as and a more pleasant person to be around.
-I do yoga because it feeds my spiritual side.
-I unequivocally love yoga.
-Am I a yogi? Yes, I have no doubt about that. Do I feel like a yogi? Always. Do I consider yoga an important part of my identity? Absolutely.

I came to the conclusion that yoga should be the focus of my movement practice. It just makes so much sense. Although I do want to run a 5k sometime, running is on the back burner. I will settle for slow progress with my running, because yoga is more important to me.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GORDONFREECHMAN 4/16/2013 7:52AM

    Hi Kelly!

I am so glad that reading my own experiences were helpful to you. I hope you find a great balance with your movement as well. :)

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KELLY122581 4/16/2013 5:40AM

    This blog is so inspirational to me! I feel like you are writing from my perspective and coming to conclusions that I should be coming to. I pay a monthly membership fee at my yoga studio and therefore get unlimited yoga classes, and yet I go fewer than once a week. My back is killing me this week and I know that it is yoga that I need. I think I'll head to the class today!!! I still value running, but I need to make yoga a bigger priority. I think balance is key.

Thanks so much for making me think about these things in my own life!! All the best to you!

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Update for the sake of updating

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

I freely admit that I'm really bad at keeping this blog updated. And I'm ok with that—I don't think blogging is as helpful to me as it is to others, and it doesn't really appeal to me that much.

However, I have amassed a few more followers, and my last blog post was a long time ago. (Also, it was about feeling under-the-weather, so I might as well update to say that no, I am not dead of some mysterious illness.)

Some things that have happened since that last blog post:

1. I have moved to Columbus, OH. Living with my parents after college was just too soul-sucking, so I took a chance and now I live on my friend's futon.

2. I no longer feel under-the-weather. I have been getting a few little headaches here and there, though, but nothing I'm concerned about.

3. I walk a lot more. I'm in a city where I can do that! Also, saving gas money = good.

4. I met my goal weight! As of last week I'm under 140 pounds, so my BMI is not considered overweight any more! (FYI: I'm 5'4".) I'm SUPER excited about this, but also a teensy bit anxious about the transition to maintaining. (I would not mind losing more weight/taking more inches off my waist, but I want to maintain for a while to cement good habits.) When I changed my plan to maintaining, I got more calories than I know what to do with! 2,390-2,740 a day! However, I'm really not hungry for that many Calories. I'm consuming about 2,000 kcals a day, following my hunger (and making good food choices). I see no problem with this as long as I'm not experiencing any fatigue or other bad signs. We'll see what happens at my next weigh-in, and I'll adjust if needed.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DONTGOAWAYMAD 3/6/2013 2:15PM

    Hey, good for you! Glad things are getting better.

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GORDONFREECHMAN 3/6/2013 12:31PM

    Living with my parents wasn't actually too bad—I have a great relationship with my parents compared to my friends—it was just time to move on. The friend I'm living with is actually my best friend, and she's really, really great about the whole situation. Of course, some adjustments and compromises are necessary, but we haven't fought or anything.

I have a handful of friends who live here already, but I really haven't done too much socializing with new people. I'm working on it. I'm working on the job, too—I snagged a part-time minimum wage job right away, so I'm living simply and doing that while I search for something better. (I just had a couple interviews, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed!)

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ACYCLINGMIND 3/6/2013 12:26PM

    Aha... I've lived on futons before. I know what that can be like. Hopefully your relationship remains strong with that friend, though. I'm sorry to hear you didn't get along living with your parents. Strangely, I really love living with my dad. But that's certainly not for everyone. Have you found work and friends in ohio?

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Feeling "off"

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Man, what is with the last couple days? First, I wipe out during my run. (I didn't slip on ice or anything, I just fell for no apparent reason.) And today I can only get through 10 minutes of my normally 20-35 minute workout. (I just felt "off" or "wrong"; it seemed that my feet were unusually sore/sensitive when they usually don't hurt at all; and maybe I felt a tiny bit dizzy?)

I don't think I've been overdoing anything or undereating or underhydrating. Pretty normal, average week in most respects. I hope I'm not getting sick.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GORDONFREECHMAN 3/5/2013 1:05PM

    BOPPY_-

I'm doing fine now. ;) SP blogging just isn't my thing.

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BOPPY_ 3/4/2013 6:08PM

    Sound like (a) you're diligent, but (b) showing appropriate restraint.

Hope "it" clears up. How about sleep? Any chance you have apnea?

How about a blog post to let us know how you're doing?

nosiLee emoticon



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GORDONFREECHMAN 1/27/2013 7:08PM

    LRB444- I do have allergies, but they don't ever make me feel this way.

JAMBABY0- Thanks! I'm going to see how it goes—thus far I haven't felt off except when I try to do my cardio, so I'm probably going to take it easy on that—more walking, less more high-intensity stuff. We'll see what happens.

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JAMBABY0 1/27/2013 7:02PM

    Remember to listen to your body and maybe take a day to just rest. Good luck on your journey

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LRB444 1/27/2013 6:59PM

    Could it be allergies? Sometimes my allergies make me feel off.

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