Saturday, September 4, 2010

Moving On

As you may have noticed, I haven't been posting on here much anymore.  It seems my comments have been hijacked by spammers and I am disappointed by all this.  I know that Blogger now offers a spam detection but I am closing this blog.  I created a new place on Blogger and ask that you join me over at Mindful Moments as well as my inspirational blog, Chasing My Bliss.  I look forward to sharing this journey forward with all of you.  Thank you.


Friday, August 6, 2010

My intent for today is to remember to breathe as I release old habits and practice positive ones.

My inspiration came from an innocent conversation that Mikey and I had this morning about cereal.  Max and Alex can eat their cereal whether it be dry or soggy and enjoy it in any form; whereas Mikey and myself will only eat it while it is slightly moist.  Afterwards, I sat and reflected on this silly conversation which made me broaden my thoughts to the rest of my life.  What in my life do I do by habit, and how are these habits serving me?  I realized then that this was my intent for today, to change my perspective of the  soggy cereal at the bottom of the bowl.

I shared a Zen Story on Chasing My Bliss.   Would be curious to know what others understand from it.  It seems that this one has been interpreted two different ways.  I will keep my interpretation to myself so that I don't waver anyone's opinion. 

My morning yoga session was The Dancing Sun Sequence from Namaste Yoga.  This sequence combined standing poses with focus on Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II), Extended Triangle (Utthita Trikonasana), Revolved Triangle (Parivrtta Trikonasana) and Warrior 1 (Virabhadrasana I) to stimulate energy flow.

I practiced Kundalini Yoga Meditation this afternoon focusing on the Fifth Chakra (Vishuddha) which is located in the throat.  The core need of the Throat Chakra is to find your voice and speak your truth.  I thought it would benefit today's intent to locate my truth about my habits and help me find more creative ways to engage in more positive ones.

Love and Light.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

My intent for today is to close my eyes, breathe deeply and think positive, loving thoughts.

My inspiration came from the Four Sublime Abodes, Loving-kindness (metta), Compassion (karuna), Sympathetic Joy (mudita) and Equanimity (upekkha). These four attitudes are the ideal way of conduct towards all living beings (sattesu samma patipatti). They provide the answer to all situations arising from social contact. They are the great removers of tension, the great peace-makers in social conflict, and the great healers of wounds suffered in the struggle of existence.

I posted the Universal Love Prayer from the Metta Sutta on Chasing My Bliss in the spirit of the Four Sublime Abodes.

My morning yoga session was from Namaste Yoga and focused on Crane Pose (Bakasana); which although challenging, happens to be one of my favorites. The sequence that was put together leading up to and out of Crane was beautiful. After I completed the session, I played it over to just watch the "dance."

Today I meditated for 30 minutes on Loving Kindness (Metta) an unconditional, inclusive love, a love with wisdom. It has no conditions; it does not depend on whether one "deserves" it or not; it is not restricted to friends and family; it extends out to include all living being with no expectations of anything in return.

I began with loving myself (without a measure of this unconditional love and acceptance for ones self, it is difficult to extend it to others), then I included those who are special to me and finished with all living things. This meditation session has uplifted my spirits and has kept me journaling all day.

It has been a wonderful day filled with love and light. Namaste.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My intent for today is to honor my Nana's birthday by keeping her memories alive.

My inspiration for today came from the memories of my Nana. My Nana was an old soul, a kindred spirit, very in tune with the earth and very wise about the world. She taught me about life by showing me how to embrace nature. Today, would have been her 93rd birthday. I shared a few stories about how I know her spirit is still with me at Chasing My Bliss. She truly was an amazing woman who inspired all that she met.


Today to honor my Nana, I meditated for 20 minutes on Love. I started the meditation focusing on unconditional universal love, then visualized a fountain of love within my heart, pouring forth healing waters to nurture and support myself on this day of remembrance. Then I focused on self love and forgiveness of myself and others for all pains caused so I can heal. Finally I sent love to all those that I appreciate and reflected on the significance and meaning of love; in its origin, its expression, its qualities and its goal.

Happy Birthday, Nana. I miss you with all of my being with love and light until we meet again.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

My intent for today is to choose love, joy and freedom, open my heart and allow wonderful things to flow into my life.

My inspiration came from the Divine Mother Prayer Dance. When praying to Divine Mother, this prayer dance is a powerful expression of devotion. You are using your body, mind, breath and heart; all in a harmony of celebration. Every aspect of that is a gift from Divine Mother, and when you show Her this prayer dance, She receives not only the gift of your prayer, but the understanding that you value these wonderful gifts. I posted it on Chasing My Bliss.

My morning yoga session was from Namaste Yoga and focused on the Warrior Poses. The three warrior poses commemorate the ideal that we as practitioners are the “spiritual warrior,” who bravely battle with the universal enemy, self-ignorance (avidya), the ultimate source of all our suffering. Behind each asana is a story, the story behind warrior pose can be found here.

My afternoon meditation was a traditional sit-down style to Delerium's Lumenis; a beautiful piece that worked perfectly to keep me focused while my children played in the other room. This song can be listened to here. Isabel Bayrakdarian has a beautiful voice that captures the moment and helps settle you into the right frame of mind.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I meant to make a post 2 days ago, when I completed Day 15 of the shred but life sometimes doesn't leave us time.

Lets start with the progress:

Weight: (Day 1) 130 lbs (Day 15) 126 lbs

Waist: (Day 1) 30 inches (Day 15) 27.75 inches

Hips: (Day 1) 35 inches (Day 15) 34.5 inches

Thighs : (Day 1) 21 inches (Day 15) 20.5 inches

Bust: (Day 1) 36 inches (Day 15) 32 inches

I am seeing a lot of progress with the shred and I am happy that I have stayed with it. At times it is difficult, especially on the knees and joints but with enough persistence you do see results. I am looking forward to seeing what others changes come during the last 15 days.

I also want to point out how amazing it is to see my body transform. Growing up, I never had a waist. I was built like a green bean, tiny and straight. Since having kids, I never realized the figure it has given me. My waist is now tiny with fuller hips and an hour glass figure that I can't wait to see at its best. I really need to thank my boys, they changed my body for the better!!

During the first week, I continued to eat like I normally do but I was tracking my intake on and seeing where my troubles came in. During the second week, I started correcting some of the problem areas with my eating style. I seem to have a hard time getting enough protein, fiber, iron and calcium. I am still adjusting and looking for ways to increase them. I also had to raise my calorie intake from 1200-1550 up to 1490-1840 to adjust with the calories I am burning. Not an easy feat when I don't usually consume many calories. One good thing is that it is forcing me to now eat breakfast. A meal I usually skip.

I did injure my ankle on Day 14 doing jumping jacks and pushed through Day 15. The following day I did take a break from the shred to give my ankle time to heal. Yesterday I started back up and although I thought my ankle was healed, the jumping jacks once again triggered the pain in my ankle. I will be modifying the rest of the shred to avoid more injury to my ankle.

I have also added some more to my workout days.

7 minutes of Tai Chi in the morning to stretch through the sore muscles and relax my body, mind and spirit.

30 minutes of Yoga with my boys to help teach them the practice.

20 minutes of Pilates to stretch my body and help tone my muscles.

and of course the 27 minutes of The Shred followed by a longer Stretch.

I will update again in 4 days when I move over to Level 3.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.”

I turned 30 last May and found myself in a depression coma from March of last year. It was a strong battle of growing up and noting that I didn't achieve as much as I wanted and/or planned before I turned 30. I thought the depression would dissipate after the big 3-0 came and although it did, I started slacking on my health. I figured, I had 3 kids, so what did it matter what I looked like? This worked for me.

Then in February I received the results to my physical and was told I had high cholesterol. Well if that didn't put me in enough of a funk, realizing that my 30 year young self had issues with cholesterol, what else could go wrong? So I started thinking about working out. Yup, thinking about it. I even became motivated enough to WATCH fitness videos and root for the women breaking a sweat, while I sat comfy on my couch, reading and pigging out.

I let my body fall apart, taking my emotional well being with it... up until 12 days ago when I looked in the mirror and said, "Mandy, what the hell are you doing to yourself?" What message am I sending my children??

So, I took out the scale and measuring tape and recorded what I was embarrassed to share with anyone.

My weight: 130 lbs (Still safe BMI for my 5'3 stature, but kind of
round in the belly area of my tiny frame)
Waist: 30 inches
Hips: 35 inches (Boy, you might as well roll me with my hips and waist
being so close)
Thighs: 20 inches
Bust: 36 inches

Just looking at those numbers made me nauseous. I needed to do something, quick!!

So, I started Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred on March 28, 2010.

The Shred is 30 days of circuit training divided by 3 levels. Each level is done for 10 days.

The first night on the shred, my kids started acting up when I was 15 minutes into it and panting like I was near death. I paused it to tell them to go back to bed and could not turn it back on. I felt sick to my
stomach and felt like the life was beaten out of me.

The next day, I ached!! I ached so much and went searching for information on how the shred works. (I didn't know then that this was a mini boot camp) I wanted to give up -- ON DAY 2!!! But, I sucked it
up and did my workout,
this time completing all the way through. It became easier every day and I started looking forward to it and the 27 minutes of sweat. I started adding in Tai Chi and Yoga, as well as some walks with the kids to help loosen my sore muscles and gain more fitness minutes.
I did take a break from the workout the two days before Easter since I had to prepare but I didn't stop working out. I refused to become inactive. I still tracked plenty of fitness minutes and calories burned to make up for the missing shred exercise.

Last night, April 6 2010, I completed Day 10 of Level 1. I have already noticed decent results not only in measurements but in sleep quality as well as all over mental health.

I have not checked my weight since but I have checked my measurements.

My waist is NOW: 28 inches (lost 2 inches!!)
My hips are NOW: 34 inches (lost 1 inch!)
My thighs are NOW: 19-3/4 inch (1/4 of an inch...but still improvement)
My bust is NOW: 34 inches (back to normal!!)

I'm getting there and all this in 12 days...Technically, 10 days of the shred. I'm sure to hit my goals by the end of 30 days.

Now it's time to start, Level 2
. Right after, I put my boys to bed. Night All!!