60 Classes in 60 Days: Two more weeks!

I can’t believe that I’ve got two more weeks to go on my 60 day challenge!  I’m even crazy enough to think about extending it to 90 days now.  I know!

Last week, I did doubles on Friday and Saturday because I got behind on classes with the bad storms that went through.  I got stuck in traffic two times and totally missed class.  On Saturday, the owner of the studio surprised us with popsicles after class, since we are halfway done with the 30 day challenge (well, everyone but me).  I thought it was such a nice gesture and it encouraged people to stick around and talk after class.  I wasn’t going to eat one after the first class since I had 30 minutes before my next one, but I really needed to cool off and fast.  The humidity from the storms really made the room hot!

Jackie, one of the new instructors, was teaching that morning.  I am really starting to get into the groove of her dialogue style.  She’s definitely a little more crunchy than the rest of the instructors and likes to tell people it’s okay and sit down.  For someone doing back to back classes, it’s good to hear this (even though you know you can sit down whenever anyway).  I sat out of four postures (2 in the standing and two on the floor) during the second class and I’m glad for it.  After the second class, I had ANOTHER popsicle!  It was delicious.

I have had some people ask me how the bikini quest is going.  I think I’m getting there!  I haven’t lost but a few pounds, but I know I’m getting smaller.  I know for sure that I’ve got a zillion more muscles in my legs too.

I’m so pleased, in fact, that I’m even willing to put up a progress photo.  Be kind, my interweb friends!

bikini1

Embrace the curves, ladies!

So as you can see, I am wearing a bikini in my shower.  It’s the only place in the house I can get a good pic that is sort of full-length body.

As you know, I have serious body dysmorphia problems, so it’s hard to tell (for me at least) how I’m doing.  Sometimes I look at this and think, yeah I’m getting there.  Other times, I think, oh this is bad.

Realistically, I look at this right now and think that I’m doing well.  I don’t want to be super skinny so I’m not obsessing over being x inches smaller on my waist or whatever.  I look at this and I’m glad that I’m curvy.  It’s clear that I’m slimming down in places and I just need to keep up with my good efforts.  I eat well, drink my veggie juices almost 5 days a week, and I’m pushing myself at the studio.

Sure, I could be doing cardio too, which would probably help.  But right now I’m just happy to be on my strengthening kick and my heart is getting a good workout for several hours a week in the studio.  Seriously, if you haven’t done hot yoga before, you can’t understand how much your heart works.  Many of the postures in the Bikram series are actually designed to make your heart and lungs work, so that is good.  If I can get through the summer without hurting myself, I may start adding in cardio in the fall.

So there you go.  A declaration of a possible 90 day challenge and a bikini pic.  I’m proud of what I’ve done and where I know I’m going.

 

 

60 Classes in 60 days: #31-36

Instead of posting a lot about the challenge, I seem to be posting once a week.  Hope you don’t mind!  It’s not like anything life-shattering is happening.

A few interesting things in the past week on the mat/studio:

  1. New instructor, Erin.  Just took the 530am class with her this morning.  She is awesome!!!  She used to own her own dance and tumbling studio but came to Bikram because she knew she was ripping her joints up with the gymnastics.  I can tell she has these two backgrounds.  She is lean, graceful, but incredibly powerful in her postures.  I took a class last week where she was near me and her postures are amazing.  Actually, her entire muscular structure is amazing.  Today, I found her dialogue to be very reflective of her background.  She is firm, attentive, and clear with instructions.  It reminded me of being in a dance studio with the tone of her voice, which I liked.  She pretty much stayed with the script, so it will be interesting to see how her personality emerges as we all get to know her better.
  2. Discovering I really like the 530am classes on MWF.  There are about 8 people that come in and it’s nice to have some space. Getting up at 430 is not that much fun but it’s worth it, especially on days where I know I need to do a double and I can’t wrap my brain around back to back evening classes.
  3. Realizing that I still have a lot of work to do on my own neuromuscular issues.  A great example of this is the floor bow pose.  I just can’t make any type of mental connection to my legs when they say to kick up and back.  The pose is supposed to look like this:Beautiful-Woman-Doing-Floor-Bow-Pose-1The posture begins with you laying flat on your stomach, then reaching back for your feet.  I have zero problem with that part, or raising up my torso. The part I can’t seem to make work is lifting my legs up.  I think, go up.  Lift up.  Kick back.  But nothing happens.  I end up more like this:

Easy-bow-pose-Saral-dhanurasana1

 

It is very frustrating (like deja vu all over again) to try to get your body to do something that seems perfectly reasonable and then nothing happens.  It’s been my mission this month in class to just get my legs to lift up, even if it’s for a second. I have found rolling my weight forward sort of helps with this, since I have such a broad rib cage this works.  But then, just when I think I’m getting there, I can’t get up.  It may also be an issue with my lower back being weak.  This is the last posture in the spine-strengthening series.

In other news, Kevin had a gig last weekend!  After two years in the garage, his drum set finally saw the light of day.  It was a pleasant evening in terms of weather and we had a TON of people come out for the band.  Not a lot of photos taken once they started playing, but Cori, Megan, and I managed a quick pick outside beforehand.

1000055_664967216862633_903939634_n

 

I absolutely ADORE these ladies!!  Kevin always says it looks like sisters when we are out.  I would be proud to call them my sisters any day!

 

 

60 Day Challenge Stats:

  • Classes #31-36
  • Classes to go: 24
  • Days left: 18 (doubles this week and next!!!)

60 Classes in 60 days: #27- #30

I’m feeling inspired this morning….

Whooah, I’m half way there
Livin on a prayer
Take my mat and I’ll make it – I swear
Ohhh oh!  Living on a prayer!

That’s right, people.  At 5:30 this morning, I checked in for my 30th class.  I’m halfway done!!!!

Becka took my photo after class by the board so we could commemorate.  She was so excited.  I was super sweaty!  Now you can see how I look after 90 minutes in a room that is between 103-105 degrees.

30 days

I’ve got a lot of doubles this week to catch up from my mom having surgery last week.

60 Day Challenge Stats:

  • Classes #28-30
  • Classes to go: 30
  • Days left: 25

 

60 classes in 60 days: #25-27

I can’t believe it’s already June!  It seems like we went straight from winter to summer.

I’m also at the *almost* halfway point in my challenge.  I’m a few days behind so I’ve got to get my butt in the studio this week for some doubles to catch up.  I’m definitely going to double up on Friday and Saturday.

They put up the challenge board in the studio last weekend, so we all put our names on it (probably a couple dozen of us) and put our stickers up for the first class that day.  Becka, the owner, asked me to front load all of my stickers so people could see what I was doing with my own personal challenge.  I made sure to write next to my name that I was doing 60 classes in 60 days so they would know why there was 27 stickers up there already for a 30 day challenge.  I’m starting to talk to people more outside of class in the halls and out front, telling them what I’m up to, and getting lots of support and encouragement.

The last few classes have been really hot.  Saturday morning, I ended up going in the shower fully clothed again between classes to get my body temp down.  I don’t even care if I’m already wet.  I just stayed in the same clothes.  Wore just the sports bra and shorts again.  So sweaty in the second class that I bent over, squeezed the front of my bra, and a TON of sweat came out.  Gross. First class was sweaty, but this was above and beyond. I think my body must enter into another phase of detoxing when I go to back to back classes.  It’s like the sweat is just POURING out of me and I really start to smell funky.  All I can think is that it’s a good thing.

Finally found my go-to snack in between classes on double days.  Cliff Energy Chews.  They are all natural (not corn syrup like the Gatorade crap) and have a little caffeine in them.  I’m perfecting my water intake too on these days: one coconut water during the first class, then fill it up with water from the fountain to drink during the break.  Regular 16 ounce water bottle during the second class, then refill it twice and drink both before leaving the studio.

60 Day Challenge Stats:

  • Classes #25-27
  • Classes to go: 33
  • Days left: 28

60 classes in 60 days: #20-24

It’s been a crazy week, people.  Actually, just a crazy last 8 days.

When I checked in with you last, I was having some real bad classes.  I’ve sort of come to the conclusion that once a month I’m having a stretch of 4 or 5 classes in a row where I’m really terrible.  It’s like I’m pushing my body to a point of fatigue or something and then bam!  All of a sudden, I’m back in the groove of things like nothing ever happened.

I was so worn out that I took off last Friday.  My body hurt.  I was over it.  I thought the day off would help me get back into my routine mentally.

I came into the studio Saturday morning and was really ready to work.  I planned to do back to back classes and Jacqueline was teaching.  My first class wasn’t spectacular and I had to do halves of postures or sit down a lot.  Pong and Aimee were behind me and when I set up for the second class, Pong gave me a thumbs up.  I really am having a hard time getting into the rhythm of Jackie’s new dialogue style.  She is a very quiet speaker and she has a different cadence to her dialogue.  My mind was wandering around and I had ZERO neuromuscular action going on.  It was just irritating.  But, I got through it and headed home.

Saturday afternoon, Kevin and I met up with our friends, John and Annette, to go to Busch Gardens.  We just figured out that we’ve known each other for 10 years.  Crazy!  We love them dearly.  Such craziness always ensues when we are together.  Our trip didn’t disappoint and we wandered around for hours, being belligerent and acting a fool. I rewarded myself with some maple fudge at the exit on our way out while others enjoyed ice cream and cake.  Kevin’s birthday was earlier in the week and we had a little celebration right then and there.

Sunday was nuts!  Knowing that we had Monday off for Memorial Day, we enjoyed the day with our dear friends, Cori, Megan, and Tyler on the water.  I got to meet one of Cori’s friends, Carrie, from home which was fun, as well as spend some time with Cori’s sister and brother-in law.   We headed to the boat docks late morning and on our way, we were surprised to get a call from John and Annette saying they were heading our same way!  I was happy to have the opportunity to introduce them to the whole group and we even tied up on the water and people mingled and made new connections.  It was very impromptu and made for a lot of fun.

We ended up staying out on the water for several hours, only retreating when the sun started to go down!  I was grateful that I’d worn yoga pants and a tshirt when the weather turned colder, but I sort of wished I had worn a swimsuit.  Maybe next time.  I’m still not mentally ready to put on a suit.

After Tyler dropped us off, we headed back to Cori’s for a post-party bonfire in her back yard.  She and sister build the cutest fire pit ever and Kevin, Cori, Carrie, and I sat and talked for a little before heading home.  I slept like a rock!

I had intended to go to yoga the next morning but I had drank very little water the prior day and knew that I was dehydrated.  That would have been no bueno at the studio.  So Kevin and I enjoyed a day in and ran some errrands.  We had lunch with my mom and lounged around.

My mom had surgery yesterday and I spent all day in Richmond on Tuesday with her for pre-op appointments.  I barely missed the 7pm class that evening and sulked around the house that night. I really didn’t want to go three days in between yoga sessions. I was falling behind on my days.

Wednesday, I headed to the studio with extreme amounts of enthusiasm and had another terrible class.  It was boiling hot in the studio (more than usual it seemed) and I just couldn’t connect with the postures.  Aimee was behind me in class and she got up and left halfway through.  We were all struggling.  I must have looked especially snarky after class because Pong pulled me aside (she was waiting to teach the next class) and gave me a little pep talk.  She emphasized the need to not beat yourself up during a self-induced challenge and reminded me that I needed to take it easy on myself.  I must have really, really looked mad!  LOL

I came home crabby, grumbling, and cursing Mr. Bikram for ever inventing this yoga!

To make matters even worse, I had to get up early for my mom’s surgery.  It was a long, long day yesterday but she did great!  We got home around 3:30 and I was exhausted but determined to go to the 5pm class with Aimee.  I took a little nap and headed out.

With one exception.  I decided just to wear my yoga shorts and a black sports bra this time.  No, I don’t have abs like my beloved Cori but I was desperate.  I didn’t want another roasting class and I know that I need to desensitize myself to seeing my skin in public. I stood in front of the mirror in the bathroom, doing my usual critique, but decided it wasn’t so bad.  I grabbed my water and headed out.

The room was so much cooler yesterday and I was happy that it was a smaller class.  I had an awesome class!  I have no idea what happened but all of a sudden, I was doing all of the postures, not sitting down, totally in the zone with Aimee.  Being practically naked was an extreme distraction for me and I mentally spanked myself in class for wearing the little top.  A girl next to me had on practically the same outfit and I think I spent a good 15 minutes comparing her 10% body fat physique to my own curvy one.  Realizing the nasty road I was going down, I refocused on my postures and was happy to be cooler.  This is going to be a long journey for me though and I know I need to do more work on my issues.

I felt so great after class, I could have stayed for another!  Sadly, I know my limits and decided that I was too sleep deprived and really needed to go home.  Kevin called and asked if I felt like a salad from Moe’s, which I happily agreed to!

This morning, I was up super early for another class with Aimee at 5:30.  I decided to wear a regular tank this time around and had another great class.  I don’t know what I going on with my body, but I must be on the up-swing again!  I even balanced on my one leg during the entire standing series without breaking posture (standing head to knee, bow pulling pose, and the one where you bend over with your arms pointing at the mirror, standing on one leg and the other leg pointing back).  I hurried home, showered really quick and ended up making it to work (although with wet hair) only 10 minutes late!  I may try this more on Fridays.

My plan is to do another class tonight with Pong.  I made some of my beet/carrot juice last night so I’m drinking that this morning to make sure I am really hydrated well.

Tomorrow, Aimee is teaching two classes back to back so I’ll do those as well.  I’m almost caught up with the classes I missed this month.  I can’t believe I’m almost halfway there!

60 Day Challenge Stats:

  • Classes #20-24
  • Classes to go: 36
  • Days left: 31

60 classes in 60 days: #17-19

Lesson learned tonight:  it is not a good idea to do back to back classes after work!!!  I was already tired but determined to do a double, back to back evening.  I was completely determined, but my poor little body wasn’t very cooperative.  The first class was great (new instructor Jacquelyn was teaching) but it was really humid and hot in the studio from the rainy weather.  I was so thirsty after that, but I didn’t want to fill up my belly with water.  I drank a coconut water after class and relaxed out in the front lobby to cool off.  As soon as the second class started (again with Jacquelyn), I knew it was going to be bad.  I could feel my neuromuscular connection literally shutting down.  I ended up sitting out of 5 postures in the standing series and she must have known I was frustrated with myself because she kept making comments about how what’s happening right now is all that is important and to do the best you can right now.  I was so frustrated- it was like my brain was saying “yes, let’s do this!” but my body was like, “do what?”.

Perhaps it went like this:

  • Mind:  We are awesome!  Let’s do this back to back class!
  • Body:  You are WHACKED.  We are hungry and we want to go home.
  • Mind:  There’s no reason why you can’t do this.  We’ve done this before two times already and you were just fine.
  • Body:  Whatevs.  I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do.  Hmph.
  • Mind:  Come on, just try.
  • Body:  I can’t heeeeear youuuuuuuu
  • Mind:  Okay, we’ll just sit down and regroup here.
  • Body:  Lay down in savasana, whaaaaaat?
  • Mind:  Hello?  Hello?
  • (crickets)

I’m pretty sure that’s how it went down.  But it’s done and over.  Lesson learned.  Doubles only in the morning.

In other news, I am going to get my teeth cleaned tomorrow morning.  I LOVE getting my teeth cleaned.  I’d do it once a month if they would let me!

60 Day Challenge Stats:

  • Classes #17-19
  • Classes to go: 41
  • Days left: 38

 

60 classes in 60 days: #11-16

I’m starting to get my rhythm of going to class every day!

I’ve completed six more classes since I checked in with you all last.  So busy!!!!

First of all, I have had some very productive classes in the last week.  Highlights from them included:

  1. Girl behind me in one of my classes with half of her arm amputated.  She was totally ROCKING OUT these postures.  It’s hard not to stare at someone with half of an arm in Bikram because you are totally fascinated by how she is actually doing these postures.  She was amazing, inspiring, and hopefully will be in another class with me soon.
  2. Learning how to listen to the dialogue, not just follow along.  I found myself skipping ahead in the postures, but this is not good.  I found that by following along at the same time as the instructor, I am in the zone faster and my mind does not wander around. This also makes the classes go by so much faster.  Before I know it, standing series is done and the class is halfway over!
  3. New instructor at the studio practiced in class next to me.  She looks like Rhianna’s big sister, it’s uncanny.  She is gorgeous.  I hope to take one of her classes this week.
  4. Random hip pain from driving last week caused me to pause and rethink my commitment to the 60 day challenge.  Worried for a brief moment that my body was right in our little discussion and I was overdue for a stint in PT.  Then, I remembered that I am getting stronger and maybe my body just was telling me to take it easier in class.  So I let Aimee know and basically we worked through about three days of my hip pain moving around from my butt, to the front way deep in the joint, and ended up in the side.  I did some somatic exercises and stretched at the end of class.  I also avoided going into some of the hip opening postures to their full expression point and checked my ego.  It worked.  Yesterday, I have no hip pain (still some knee pain a little) and I was able to go through classes today with no problems.
  5. Completed a double class today.  Not just a normal double class where you go twice in one day (I would normally do a morning, then evening), but BACK TO BACK classes.  Yes, it’s cray cray.  I may be certifiable.  Maybe this is where that mental degradation occurs in the 60 day challenge where you think you can do ANYTHING.  However.  Becka was teaching both of the classes this morning and I told her first thing what I was up to.  Thank goodness for me, both classes had four people so it was super chill and I wasn’t distracted by a full room.  I drank half of a coconut water before the first class and a full water after class.  I felt great after the first class, so I went into the lobby and talked to her and then decided to head back into the studio with a few minutes to spare.  I also decided to keep my sweaty clothes on, rather than changing.  I figured it would be cooler to be sweaty at the get go than resweat myself.  I did change my mat towel though.  After the second class, I practically skipped out of the studio.  I was so proud of myself!!!

I realized that I am almost a third of the way there.  They are putting up the 30 day challenge board, with extra spaces so if people want to go ahead and do another 30 days afterwards there is space.  Becka said that she wants me to front-load my classes that I’ve done already.  She thinks it will inspire people.  Me, inspirational?  Bah! I’m just dragging myself in every day and following instructions.

60 Day Challenge Stats:

  • Classes #11-16
  • Classes to go: 44
  • Days left: 41

60 classes in 60 days: #7- #10

Welp, my plan to do 5 classes in 3 days was a bust yesterday when I got stuck in traffic coming back from Richmond.

I did end up doing 4 classes in 3 days, so that is still good.  I really wanted to do doubles two days in a row.  I actually got up for a 5:30am class, which surprisingly has some die hard people.  There was about 6 people in the room and I really liked that it wasn’t too crowded.  Later on that day, I went to the 7pm class and was doing pretty well, but a little sore in some postures.  I was in a car all day and my hips really felt the drive.

With my class today and tomorrow, that will make a new record for me.  An entire week of classes every day with no break.  It will also be 8 classes in 7 days!

I’m definitely going to need to do more doubles if I’m going to get through this 60 day challenge, but I don’t mind.

My body is a little sore, like I mentioned.  I can tell that I’m really working hard but at the same time, I’m trying to not overdo it.  For example, yesterday, I didn’t go into some of the postures all the way to take it easy on my knees and quads.  My arms are sore too, which is probably from the standing series.

I can tell that I’m a lot more tired this week from all of the yoga as well.  I hope that this passes and I get more energy soon.  I’ve been eating really clean for most of the days too.  Yesterday and the day before I practically drank juice all day since I was traveling.   Last night, Kevin made some delicious turkey burgers and I ate mine with no bun and some avocado on the side.

I am also addicted to these new Vlasic pickles, called “Farmers Garden”.  I love love love dill pickles, but the ones I got in this new variety are even better.  They are a spicy garlic blend, which includes carrots, peppers, and garlic pieces.  It’s so tasty.  I’ve been having a small bowl of those on some days when I feel munchy but I don’t want to eat a lot of food.

60 Day Challenge Stats:

  • Classes #7-10
  • Classes to go: 50
  • Days left: 45

 

 

60 classes in 60 days: #6

I almost didn’t make it to class last night!  I was actually ready to go and on the way home my mom needed me to pick up a prescription immediately (per her doctor).  I high tailed it through rush hour traffic, picked up her drugs, went to her place, and hurried home.  I got to the studio about 10 minutes later than I wanted, but I was able to get my “spot” and collect myself before class started.

Aimee set up behind me and I tried not to watch her in the mirror.  I love watching the instructors when they practice with us.

It was a really, really full room but it didn’t feel like Pong had the heat kicking as much as usual.  She even opened the door a few times for the new people in the room, which she calls “doorgasms”.  I was grateful for the fresh air because I was AGAIN next to onion man.  I just love Pong.  She had on a bandeau top last night with skulls on it.  I haven’t had class with her in a while and I enjoy her dialogue pacing.  She has more of an urgent delivery and I found myself completely in the zone with her.

Back of my legs feel really tight this week.  I am pushing myself harder in triangle pose to get my legs apart and my thigh parallel to the floor and it’s really stressing my body.  I backed off on the second set and we will see how it goes tonight.  If I am going to keep this up for 60 classes, I need to take Becka’s advice and start moderating how much I push myself day after day.

Tomorrrow and Thursday, I plan to do two double class days.  This will be another first for me!

60 Day Challenge Stats:

  • Class #6
  • Classes to go: 55
  • Days left: 48

60 classes in 60 days: #3-5

Last week was another bad allergy week for me.  I only got in 4 classes, which is not good since I’ll need to double up this week to make up for it.

Talked to the owner of the studio, Becka, about the 60 day challenge.  She gave me some tips on how to avoid over-working myself.  The biggest thing is that I can’t go in every day and give 110%.  Sometimes, she said, you just need to back off and take it easy in class.

I have to drive my mom to Richmond on Wednesday and Thursday this week,  so I plan to take classes both in the morning and evening on those days. I figure after several hours in the car, it will be good to be in the studio a little more.

I’ve noticed that my butt hurt a lot yesterday.  I think I’m starting to engage more of my glutes in some of the postures, especially the floor series because my legs are getting stronger.  That’s one thing I’m enjoying about this process.  It’s always challenging me as my body is changing.

I jumped for Cori this weekend!  I’ve been practicing at home but I haven’t had a chance to show her yet.  I was really proud of myself and we had a short, hyper,  special moment.  I didn’t think that day would ever happen and I’m so grateful that she stuck with me for a year and a half in PT.  The body has the ability to heal itself, but you have to be willing to be patient.

I’m not jumping high, but I’m jumping on my gimpy leg and I’m able to do directional jumping as well.  This is a big deal because it means that I’m rebuilding my neuromuscular connections.  It’s also telling me that this Bikram yoga is worth every damn penny, every minute I spend tired and sweaty in that room. I may go back to the gym someday, but for now I’m sticking with Bikram yoga.  It’s intense and crazy, but apparently it’s making me stronger, faster.

This morning, I made my green juice for dinner in advance.  By the time I get home from my 7pm class, I’m so tired and sweaty.  I hope that having it ready will be a time-saver and I won’t be dragging after the shower.

60 Day Challenge Stats:

  • Classes #3-#5
  • Classes to go: 55
  • Days left: 49