Wellness Wednesday Series, Episode 2: Reflections after the first 7 days of my fitness challenge at JoyRide and AC Power Yoga, and how The Good Kind fueled me.
After completing the first 7 full days of my January fitness challenge, there are some important lessons I have learned through my cycle workouts at JoyRide and my Bowspring/Yin Yoga Practices at AC Power Yoga:
- Your body is so much stronger than you ever mentally give it credit for.
- Push yourself even harder than you think you can when you are in class, because you will always rise to the occasion.
- When you push yourself hard in class, you push yourself hard in life.
- It is both possible and enjoyable to exercise/ move your body 7 days a week without overdoing it.
- Food is fuel, so “don’t settle for 87, go premium unleaded” —My Shot, The Hamilton Mixtape. (I had to. #Hamilfan)
JoyRide: Mental + Physical Strength
The JoyRide January Weight Loss Challenge for me has been more of a mental challenge than anything else, because in order to get myself to the studio I have to overcome every excuse my mind wants to make for me to do other things instead of class. Once I get to class, my tough side takes over and I’m all business in that saddle from start to finish. 50 minutes fly by, and all of a sudden I’m done thinking, “look what you already accomplished before 9:30am. You can do whatever you set your mind to,” and that’s powerful. It is invigorating to test your body’s limits and find strength you didn’t think you had. Somehow I made it through 4 days of cycle classes, regardless of soreness, and I’m ready to sweat it out and get stronger in week two. My arms are back to their pre-Holiday season tone and my legs are getting stronger and leaner.
AC Power Yoga: New Awareness
Okay, I will admit it. I tried Bowspring yoga one time over a year ago and thought to myself “what the heck am I doing in here, I couldn’t look more like an awkward idiot. This is so weird.” After that day, I closed myself off to the notion of looking silly while learning something new and stuck to my Baptiste power practice. Now that I have opened my mind and my heart to practicing this new form of yoga, I am amazed by how different my body feels when I am on my mat in class, and by how much my mind works to remain aware of new alignments and muscle memory when I’m not on my mat. I am excited to be practicing a form of yoga that feels so much more natural for my build and shape. I am curvy- but after an entire life of ballet I felt ashamed of the fact that I was not a string bean. Bowspring celebrates the body’s natural curves: in your spine, in your ribs and your hips and works to improve your alignment by lengthening you out. Basically, it does the complete opposite of other athletic practices, that force you to compact your muscles and joints to build strength. My shoulder is finally opening up, my side body is opening up, and I am beginning to celebrate my hips when I look in the mirror. Just allowing myself to sway my lower back out after years of wiring my brain to tuck it under is liberating enough, and it takes tension off of my neck and shoulders. It’s amazing how small and simple movements can feel life-changing.
Food As Fuel- The Good Kind
Above mentioned lessons numbers 1-4 are a mental game. But guess what fuels your mind? Number 5: food. I basically evangelize the you are what you eat concept to any of my friends and family that will listen, because I have managed to rewire my mind and enhance both my positivity and productivity by cleaning up my diet. I’m no physician and that’s an entirely different subject for another post, but suffice it to say that food is the key to both my physical and my mental well-being. Which is why I partnered with Tim McDiarmid and The Good Kind for part of this challenge.
The Good Kind, led by Tim McDiarmid of Tim the Girl culinary company, is a new small cafe soon to open in the Pearl that specializes in grab-and-go breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack items; large and small-scale catering; and weekly meal delivery. I repeat: San Antonio now has a place that offers healthy weekly meal delivery!!
A very kind lady appeared at my front door one afternoon last week with a paper bag full of nutritious, beautiful meals and I have spent the past several days in food heaven. I either ate the meals by themselves, or I added items from my refrigerator to the meals and snacks (quick and easy) and was able to get my full balanced servings of all of my food categories in for each day. Not only were the meals fresh, but they were colorful, they tasted amazing and they made me feel energized, clean, and focused.
- Citrus Salad
- Cauliflower and Greens
- Thai Curry
- Spaghetti Squash
Until next week–
Thank you to JoyRide Texas and AC Power Yoga for sponsoring this series, and to The Good Kind for collaborating on this post.