Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Muscling through

I'm fortunate to work from home four days a week (usually), making it easier to fit in workouts. No gym bags to cart around...just a 30-second walk to my closet and then another to my yoga/bellydance room, to my basement weight room, or to the sidewalk outside.

It would be even easier if I allowed myself to work in workout clothes...but I don't (well, maybe twice a month). Why? Because I am firmly convinced that stretchy yoga pants contributed to my reaching my all-time-high body weight before I broke an ankle and gained a boatload of motivation 2 1/2 years ago.

On the one hand, you would think that wearing stretchy pants would be a visual reminder of creeping weight gain. In reality, Lycra is powerless against the sheer brute force of denial. We've been going through old photos recently, moving them from boxes into actual albums. If I had a nickel for each time the words "Oh my GOD! Burn that! No, wait, don't...I need the reminder!" crossed my lips, I could buy myself a boatload of toxic bank debt.

No, my casual home office attire of choice runs to jeans or other woven pants that button and zip and have a minimum of stretchy stuff in the fiber content (if any at all). You can't slip up too much before these pants let you know it.

I commuted into the office Friday, Monday and again today, so I've been feeling a little twitchy, with my workout time slashed and burned by my office time. I can only fit in an abbreviated dance workout in the morning, and while running errands on foot at lunch does get me out of the office and moving, it's not enough to truly qualify as a workout. I also find it harder to lift weights when I arrive home, hungry and tired, after a 45-minute bus ride (on the plus side, I do get a lot more reading done on days I commute).

I know, you're thinking, "Boo hoo, poor you!" I did suck it up yesterday, muscling through my workout even though I wanted to be doing something else, making a healthy pasta dinner, doing dishes and baking two loaves of banana bread (the six bananas were THIS close to being too ripe for even banana bread...after a week of stalling, I had no choice but to act).

I also managed to fit in one of my current favorite bellydance instructional DVDs, Autumn Ward's "Bellydance: Beautiful Technique from Step One - The Beginner's Path to Flawless Artistry." It includes an extensive movement and posture breakdown for beginners, then a practice flow series and choreography for the intermediate-advanced set. The choreography she teaches, to a song from Solace's "Iman" album, is the only choreography-on-a-DVD that I've ever wanted to actually perform in public. I love it SO much! I've included the promo video below. Unfortunately, they only show a tiny bit of the performance (one of two on the DVD) from the choreo she teaches. You'll catch a tiny bit of it from about 1:45-1:53 (she's wearing red harem pants and has red flowers in her hair).

Monday, March 23

Morning workout: "Next Level" DVD (warmup + hip layering drills)
Breakfast 1 (at home): Cafe Americano; 1/2 c. fresh pineapple; 16 oz. water.
Breakfast 2 (at work): 1/2 c. muesli + 6 oz. plain NF yogurt; Americano; banana; 16 oz. water.
Snack: Apple + 10 almonds; 16 oz. water.
Noon workout: 2-mile walk while running errands downtown.
Lunch: Ethnic Gourmet chicken biriyani; carrot sticks; pea pods; herbal tea.
Snack: Orange; green tea.
Snack: 1 tbs. peanuts; 16 oz. water.
Post-work workout: "Body Fat Solution" workout A.
Dinner: 1.5 oz. pasta (dry weight) w/ 3 oz. turkey, 1/2 orange pepper, broccoli, 1 tbs. pine nuts, 1/4 c. pesto, 1/2 oz. parmesan, 2 small tomatoes; green salad with EVO & vinegar; 4 oz. red wine; cafe Americano.
Evening workout: "Beautiful Technique" DVD (practice flow + choreography).

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