Friend Makin’ Mondays: Taboo Topics

It’s been a good week.  P90X3 has been hard.  My body has felt beat up.  But I made it through to the other side.  There’s no doubt I’m getting stronger.  30 minutes, yeah, I can handle that.  It’s the 2-a-days that have been pushing me to the edge.  I haven’t given up my other training schedules.  So I’m still doing circuits, yoga and TRX.  And a crap ton of walking some days. 80 some odd days left!

Yoga was hard this week, y'all!

Yoga was hard this week, yo!

I’ve always been pretty much an open book.  I’m trying to be more transparent when it comes to health, weight loss, fitness and how I’m feeling about myself.  I’m trying to be more true to my boundaries when it comes to my relationships, things that don’t have much to do with me and my family.  But, I’ll take on this Taboo Topics list!


If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

Taboo Topics

1. Are you a registered voter? Yes, have been since I was 18.

2. Do you believe in GOD? I do.  Listen, I’m not going to pull that “I’m not religious, I’m spiritual” bullshit.  I don’t go to church, and I’m okay with that.  I live my life in accordance to my values, and that includes how I feel about God. I’m not quite agnostic, but I don’t think we really know what the plan is.  If that makes sense.

3. How has your readership changed since you first began blogging? I have some readers, not a ton.  But I do get giddy when I read comments from new people.

4.  If you could choose between a serious relationship or $100,000, which would you choose? My relationship with my husband is the most precious thing.  It has no price.

5. Have you ever changed political parties? Twice.  I was a registered Republican as soon as I could vote.  My own views became more left centric.  But, I’m from Maine, and our Republicans would make awesome Democrats anywhere else.  I switched to Independent when I moved to Georgia.  And now that I live in California, I’m an official Democrat.  I vote bipartisan.  The best person for the job gets my vote.  I put a lot of emphasis on social issues when it comes to who I vote for.

6.  If you were put in a position in which you had to be in a room with someone that you can’t stand, how would you handle the situation?  I always act professionally.  I think poise, I think grace, I treat people how I would like to be treated.

7.  Do you ever eat in secret because you don’t want anyone to see what you consume? I did, and I still do sometimes.  I try not to, but it is something that happens sometime.  It’s not great, I know that.  I know that I certainly still have issues I’m dealing with.  But, hey, honesty, right?

8.  Do you use curse words in your daily conversations? I do.  I try not to when I’m around people I don’t know well.  I REALLY try to watch my language around kids and strangers.  But my vocabulary is often “colorful”.

9.  How much do you tip when you’ve had decent service at a restaurant? Usually 20%, unless the ticket is really small, and then a $5 minimum.

10.  How do you respond when someone confronts you? I hold my own.  I don’t get super defensive and confrontational in return.  I’m a bit hotheaded, so I try and calm myself.  But I don’t let anyone walk on me, and I’d walk away if I had to.

My Thoughts About Working Out at Home

Right now I’m a part of a new Facebook Challenge Group for 90 days.  There is no requirement to do any specific kind of exercise in this group.  You get to pick but you have to be consistent!  It’s a pretty big group so as you can imagine there’s a lot of different exercises going on.

I’m doing P90X3, and I’m on week 2 and I’m really enjoying it.  I tried doing Turbo Fire in the past and honestly, I just had trouble getting in to it.  I was me, not you, Chalene Johnson – I swear.  When I fell off that wagon, after a couple of days, every time I tried, I always went back to what I knew.  The gym.  My trainers, my treadmill, what I felt comfortable with.  And honestly, that was at best working out 4 days a week.

Happy to have finished a workout!

Happy to have finished a workout!

So what’s different this time around?  I am.  My husband and I have decided to do P90X3 together and we have a standing date in the living room every morning.  The alarm goes off, we make sure both of us are getting up.  We drink our Shakeology and then we bust out our workout in 30 min.  I treat it like an appointment – it’s a non-negotiable part of the day.  I feel relief when it’s over, but I also find that it really energizes me.

Last week, one day I did a P90X3 workout, took a break, had a Kind Bar, and then went to circuit training.  It was one of the best sessions I’ve had.  I was bouncing around from station to station.  I killed 4 rounds of 2 circuits and she had to give me another mini circuit to eat up my hour!

A lot of people don’t work out at home, and I get it.  I really do.  It’s really easy to not get off the couch.  When your butt is in the car driving to the gym and there are people waiting for you – yeah, it’s more likely that you’ll end up working out.  But if you make a mental commitment to see a program through, and you have a source of accountability, whether it’s a spouse, a friend, or a Facebook group, becoming a home workout person CAN happen.

This doesn’t mean I’m cancelling my gym membership and quit my other workouts.  I’m just at the point where I can handle two-a-days sometime.  I’m getting the best of both worlds.  A consistent workout at home, going with a trusted program.  And then circuit training, yoga, and TRX with 3 experts who watch me, make sure I’m doing things right, yell at me to work harder, and generally push me further than  I think I can go.  Tony Horton on TV won’t do that, sadly.

Tales of my Fitness Past – Part 4

I’m continuing to layout the story of my life, as it pertains to fitness, body issues and happiness.  It’s really helping me process what went on.  You guys out there are actually reading this, which is awesome!  If you know me, I hope you get a kick out of all the old photos.

In my early 20’s, I had graduated college, gotten fit, acquired and left my first big job, and then, shortly after Y2K (remember that whole mess?) moved with my good friend to my state’s largest city to pursue my dreams of becoming a professional floozy.  No, not really.  We moved to the Big City because we wanted more than what our Small City had to offer.

Looking back on this time, I was actually doing pretty okay.  I got a membership at a local gym and had a couple of gym buddies.  We’d hold each other accountable.  As for training, I was pretty much going on my own.  The free personal training they offered was a JOKE, but I knew enough to be dangerous by this point.  Working out was a big part of my social life.  I made casual friends there, spent time talking out the day’s problems with my girlfriends on the elliptical.  I even dated a guy who went to the same gym, we’d have dates there, trying to beat each other on the treadmill.  The evening on September 11 when the world was going to hell?  I was on the cardio deck, watching the closed captioned news.

Yes, these photos are from house parties. But, they really show how happy I was. On one side was a former mortal enemy, on the other, a dear friend from when I was a teen.

My love of Step Aerobics was hit hard though when I took classes there.  I could keep up with classes at the other gyms I had been to, multiple instructors, but at this place, the choreography was too much.  I ended up finding a new group fitness passion.  Yoga!  I took a class at a school that tended toward the Hatha/Iyengar style and it fit me perfectly.  When I practiced yoga I felt amazing.  I was happier, more peaceful, and I called a truce with the war on my body without realizing it.  Plus, one day I went to shave my legs in the shower and felt my calves.  OMG.  Ripped!  Yoga taught me how to breathe my way out of anxiety, which came in handy for my 45 min commute on a neglected stretch of highway in a snow storm.

Professionally, I went from SUPER temp, to landing pretty much my dream job as a scientist, to being a graduate student.  I had a great group of friends.  A core part of my college group was in the Big City with me, I could count on many others to pass through a couple times a year to catch up, and I made a lot of new friends.  We walked the 3 and a half mile loop near where I lived, hiked, and we DANCED.  I was out dancing nearly every weekend.  Drinking was usually included, but everything was more controlled than it had been.  One of my favorite memories was getting ready at my place with my pack of girlfriends, parking the car in the garage across from the bar district, taking off our coats and mittens, running as fast as possible into the bars wearing little thin shirts, and boots with insane heels.

My diet was fairly decent.  When we started out, my roommate and I were the original 2 Broke Girls.  We’d frequent restaurants with “college night” specials, even if when we were out of school.  Good thing our IDs didn’t expire.  We cooked a lot at home.  I don’t think I ever drank soda, and if I ate dessert, it was usually an insanely special occasion.  We just couldn’t afford it.  I got used to cooking for 1 more often, and I learned to like eating lots of fish.  I frequented the public market for produce and even if I wasn’t “by the book” I was still more or less on “The Zone.”  I even stopped drinking entirely from Jan 1 2000-May 5 2000.  Cinco de Mayo broke my will.

OMG, this is proof I used to have a waist. We wore leis because every February I’d throw a tropical themed party to distract us from how freaking cold and miserable we were.

As for my mood?  There were ups and downs.  The breakup from my treadmill opponent boyfriend hit me pretty hard, but I threw myself in to my social life to make up for it, and started seeing a professional to work through it the right way.

Looking back, maybe I wasn’t in as ass kicking shape as I was after college, but I was in a smaller size.  Fitness and friends were the biggest part of my life.  I was professionally happy and didn’t really care about adding anything else to the equation.  And do you know what happened then?

I met my future husband.

(This isn’t the end by a long-shot.  I have a lot more to say!)

Stop. Yoga Time!

Life has been weird lately. I’ve not been on my bike, or spending any QT with the treadmill. I’ve done pool laps a few nights. My regular training has been going great, I’ve even taken to catching medicine balls with my throat. I’m getting a lot stronger. I can handle a lot more punishment.

Mixing it up, I changed today from a “rest day” to YOGA DAY. I met a friend last week who wanted to check out the Chopra Center at the La Costa Resort, which is literally, right around the corner from my house. Another friend wanted to go, and had never been to a yoga class ever. We jumped in.

The class was amazing. The instructor did a lot of talking through the poses and reminding us about our form so we could correct ourselves. It reminded me a great deal of the Yoga Center in Portland, Maine, where I started practicing a long time ago. The poses were tough, were not held ridiculous long, and had very sane flow. Lots of mind/body connecting going on. It was just fabulous. I left feeling refreshed and strong.

I always forget that yoga makes me feel like a billion bucks. I struggle with my relationship with my body on a daily basis. Yoga gives me a conduit to talk to my body unlike any other medium. It’s not about what I can do, it’s more about who I am. I need that. I need to keep yoga in my life. It may not get me through my marathon directly, but it is the missing piece in my life. I never know I have missed it until I find it again.

Human Pretzel

In the interest of cross training, to support my very inflexible husband, and because I love it, I took a yoga class yesterday.  7 years ago I practiced once a week at The Yoga Center in Portland, ME and their approach to Hatha and Iyengar made me feel strong and centered.

This class at my gym here in SoCal was listed as Hatha, but the instructor introduced herself as a substitute and warned us that she runs a really hard class.

OMG, that was true.  Within minutes I had broken a sweat.  And it didn’t stop.  There were lots of transitions, but not quite as fast as Ashtanga.  And I’m really, really bad at transitions.  Lots of people in the class were up for the hard moves.  I think she led the class in to 10 different head stand variations over the 90 min.  The most impressive one to me was a move from downward dog into a back bend.  Whoa!

I didn’t do that, of course.  I stayed in Child Pose when they were inverted.  But even Child Pose was starting to be hard on my knees by the end of the class.  I’m glad I stuck with it, even when I panicked at the realization that the class was 90 min, not 1 hour.

I literally sweated buckets.  I had to flip my mat over once because it was too slick. But I got to get in to some familiar poses and I hope to go back to another class soon.  I’d probably better pick a beginner class though.