Eating, Reading, Listening, Loving

Hi All,

Welcome to another edition of ERLL! Let’s jump right in, shall we?

Eating: Since two of my kids have moved out in the last six months, how we eat dinner has changed. I used to fix a big family meal most nights which required planning and thawing and cooking and cleaning up and putting away, but now since there are only three of us (and one of us is picky and typically makes her own dinner) dinner is a much more laid-back low-ley affair. A lot of times, we’ll just have sandwiches for dinner, or a quick pasta dish, or a salad, and if my husband isn’t home, sometimes the youngest and I will just have cereal for dinner. It’s such a difference from just less than a year ago, but it’s nice not constantly having that “what am I going to cook for dinner” worry.

Reading: I just finished The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg. I LOVED this book. It’s a quick read that covers all the emotions, but mostly it’s just a sweet story. This is one of my book club picks, and since it was such an easy read, I still have time to read it again, which is something I always say I’d like to do but never seem to find time. This time I think I’ll actually be able to do it before our next meeting. (Side note: do you read on an e-reader or do you prefer actual physical books? Since my tablet bit the dust, I’ve been getting my books from the library because I don’t like reading books on my phone, and I have found that I actually enjoy that more. I’d still like a new Kindle though – maybe for Christmas. 🙂 )

Listening: Another podcast for you: Criminal. I look forward to this podcast every week because the host’s voice is just so soothing to me. Phoebe Judge has a distinctive way of speaking and as soon as I hear that velvety lilt, I exhale and sink in to the story. I also love the different views they take on what it means to be a “criminal” – sometimes it’s exactly what you think when you hear that word but other times, it’s more subtle – and it’s always interesting to me.

Loving: Yoga. I’ve been trying to do a little bit of yoga every morning because it just feels good to stretch my body and I’m also building a little bit of strength at the same time. I’ve been following SarahBeth yoga on the Youtubes and I love that she says “your daily practice is your best practice” – no matter how little time you have, even just five minutes of yoga every day is good. When I’m pressed for time, I try to do at least ten minutes, but I always end up wishing I had time for more. But something is better than nothing, right?

backlit beach dawn dusk
Photo by Cedric Lim on Pexels.com

What are you eating, reading, listening, and loving this week? Share below ’cause I wanna know!

A Yoga Site for Regular Folks

I’ve dabbled with yoga for a long time, but have not been consistent in my practice enough to feel anything other than a beginner each time I unroll my mat. I’ve come to accept that this is perfectly fine – and I would also love to spend more time in yoga and make it actual practice instead of an occasional activity. I love yoga for the way it makes me feel – centered & strong – and it’s so good for both my head and my body.

So I was excited when I received an email from Sebastian at So Much Yoga offering an infographic about how yoga helps with stress-relief and fat loss. This website just started a few months ago, but it is full of great articles and reviews of all things yoga. And the best part is, it’s for regular folk like you and me. You don’t have to be a super bendy yogi to appreciate it. Go check out the website and let them know how you like it – tell them you came from Sassypear! Here’s a few words and a fun infograph from Sebastian:

Why yoga can help you shed some pounds this year [Infographic]

It is usually this time of year, shortly after Christmas and the New Year Eve festivities, when stress begins to creep into my daily life. I love the holidays because it’s a time when my family comes together and we cook, bake, and binge eat all of the delicious dishes we made.

However, in January the mix of new year resolutions and the 5 additional pounds of cake and turkey I gained usually leaves me a bit frustrated.This year has been different though. It’s been 6 months since I started yoga and I have to say I have never felt better!Not just because I lost a few pounds, but because of how yoga has helped me see myself and define my weight loss goals.

I enjoy eating healthier food after a yoga session because it just doesn’t feel right to binge on junk food. It has gotten easier for me to resist cravings (and everyone who knows me also knows how much I love a good triple chocolate cheesecake brownie), but most of all I feel better about myself because every day I take time to focus on myself.

Even if it is just a 10 minute yin yoga session, the fact that I am doing something good for myself while becoming more mindful of what makes me feel good, and what does more harm than good, has helped me to make better decisions.

There is actually a lot of  research that supports my experience, so if you want to learn more about how yoga can help you lose weight check out my longer article on somuchyoga.com.

For a short,visual version just check out my little infographic below.

Namaste!

Yoga-for-weight-loss-infographic

 

MyYogaWorks review

If you’ve been reading me for very long, you know that I love yoga. After all of last weeks physical and mental activity I decided that this week I would treat my body to some gentle early morning yoga – so far it’s been exactly what my body needed! ♥

About a month ago, I received an offer to review MyYogaWorks online yoga videos. Yoga Works is a teaching studio for yoga based in California and now they have expanded their offerings online so as to be accessible to everyone. After much begging and pleading and twisting of my arm (sarcasm font), I said YES PLEASE and I was set up with a VIP yoga subscription. I wanted to view and following along with some of the videos before I presented it to my readers, which is why it has taken me a few weeks to get this review out.

My experience with MyYogaWorks has been good so far. The videos are taught by experienced yoga instructors who make it feel as if you are in an actual yoga class. In fact, this is probably as close to an actual yoga class you can get without leaving your home. The instructors are very good at giving reminders to relax certain areas that might be clenched (jaw, neck, shoulders), or reminders about correct positioning.

There are several different types of videos to choose from – everything from basic positions, to yoga for runners, as well as yoga for the office. I even just watched a short yoga sequence for anyone who is on a long plane ride! If you have a need that can be filled with yoga, there is a good chance there is a video on MyYogaWorks that can fulfill that need.

The MyYogaWorks videos are streamed through the internet, so it’s not an app, and you do need a reliable internet connection. If you are working on a desktop computer or a laptop, it is very easy to use. I wanted to do the videos primarily on my Kindle Fire, but I have had lots of trouble getting the videos to play on the installed internet browser Silk. The support personnel said that some people are able to use the videos on Silk with no problems, but I am not so fortunate. Either the videos don’t play, or if by some miracle I get them to play, there are no controls to stop or pause the video once it starts – I just have to let it play through. You might have a different experience, so don’t be dissuaded from trying if you are so inclined.*  I can use it on my Android phone just fine, but I like a bigger screen, especially if it is a video I’m not familiar with.

I have also learned to give myself a little extra time before I begin my practice – because there are so many videos from which to choose, it can take a few minutes to find the right one, or to just decide which one to do. There are lots of different filters: you can filter with the amount of time (from 5 minutes to 90 minutes, level of activity (beginner, intermediate, advanced, or teachers), or you can choose a journey series which is a series of videos designed for a specific outcome (the runners series, surfing, for moms, just to name a few). I love that there is a variety of videos – there’s no reason anyone should get bored considering all the options!

I am disappointed that I am unable to play the videos on my Kindle Fire, however I do really like the videos I have completed so far. I especially love the Office Series – very useful for someone like myself who spends 8 hours per day sitting behind a desk!

I will continue to do the videos – most likely using my phone, or on my desktop computer at home if I can make enough room in front of my computer. And thanks to MyYogaWorks, you can try them out for a discounted price! Readers of The Sassy Pear can get their first month of MyYogaWorks for 50% off ($7.50) and they will get a two week trial before they are charged.  They just need to enter the coupon code: SASSYPEAR50 when they setup their account at MyYogaWorks.com

This is a great opportunity to try out different instructors or types of yoga for very little cost. I very much recommend giving it a shot!

Namaste,

Jill

 

*Edited to Add: Shelly from MyYogaWorks just emailed me to say that in about a month, there will be an update to the site so finding and viewing videos will be a better overall experience. 🙂

 

Disclaimer: I was given a free VIP membership to myyogaworks.com in return for my honest opinion. All opinions, good or bad, are mine and mine alone.

Quitter

Howdy! 

So hey guess what?! I hate running!! Ah, I love this time of year…it’s the season of quitting. Yes, folks more times than I can count I have emerged from a dreary winter and had aspirations of becoming a real runner, so I download a C25K program, buy new running shoes, and start running. Then approximately 6 weeks in, I realize “oh yeah!! I hate running!” and I quit. Seriously, there is very little I love about running. Oh, I wish I could love it or even like it a little, but alas, I like it about as much as I like mopping my floors, which is to say, not very much at all. 

At this weight, it’s just hard to run and it hurts and it takes me forever to get in and out of my straight-jacket heavy-duty sports bra. Yes, I know there are people who can rock a 5k at my weight and to those people I say more power to you! Run one for me because I’m happy to be in the walking pack in the back. 

I am a walker. And a yoga-doer (I don’t consider myself a yogi because that would convey that I have any sort of talent where yoga is concerned, which I do not, but I still love it). So those are the two things I am going to do for now. I might add in some other stuff here and there, but my main mode of moving my booty will be walking and bending. And if I’m feeling particularly plucky some days, I might throw in a jog during my walk, but I can guarantee it won’t last more than 30 seconds. I have my limits, people. 

Anything you want to admit to quitting? Anything you probably should quit, but haven’t yet? Spill it in the comments! 

 

 

BUI

Um, wow. Well yesterday’s post was just weird…and random. Take note, kids: never blog while under the influence. Even if it is just antihistamines. Blogging Under the Influence is bad for the planet. And it makes the angels cry. Don’t make the angels cry. Not even once. 

Lots of stuff going on in the world of The Pear. I’m still working with my amazing coach/ RD extraordinaire, Amanda – this woman deserves a medal for sticking with me this long. It’s been just over 3 months and I feel like I must be a tough nut to crack. She says I’m too hard on myself (actually lots of people tell me that now that I think of it), but when I keep repeating the same mistakes over and over, it gets a little aggravating for me. We are working on getting me OUT of those ruts, but man, it’s a long and winding road (thank you Paul McCartney). 

Okay, here’s my latest food-dilemma: for a long time, I did really well with staying away from sweets unless it was something I planned for, but lately I find myself dipping into the cookie jar again. I mean literally, I have a cookie jar and I can’t seem to stay out of it. Now, the logical advice would be to stop buying the d@mn cookies, I realize that, but I already bought them. They have already taken up residence in my house and made themselves at home. And no I’m not going to throw them away –  I’m just not. So. How do I make myself not get sucked into the lie I tell myself (oh, one cookie won’t hurt. You deserve it!!) because it NEVER ends with one cookie. It rarely ends with 4 cookies, but I digress. A couple of ideas I’ve thought of include putting a red sticker on the offending jar to remind myself to Stop Drop And Roll Away from the kitchen, or I could even tell myself that I can have the cookie but I have to do 100 jumping jacks or 25 Burpees to even it out – the idea being that since I hate doing anything remotely jump-y I’ll forego the cookie so I won’t have to jar my body. Got any other bright ideas or deterrents or magical suggestions for me?? 

In other less-whiny news, I’ve also taken up running (again) 3 days a week. I downloaded this app to my phone and now every(ish) MWF, I’m up at 5:20 IN THE MORNING  and I’m pounding it out on the treadmill. I’d like to start running outside because running on a treadmill is fourteen kinds of no fun, but it’s dark at 5:20 in the a.m. and I’m a big baby. Okay, I guess that was kind of whiny, but hey at least I’m running again. 

On Tuesdays/Thursdays I’m getting my zen on. I’ve been given a subscription to a yoga website, but I’m having some technical issues with some of the videos and I want to see if they can help before I out them. They have some great office yoga videos that I’ve been making use of and I love it! It feels so good to get in a good stretch in the middle of the day. When I can’t get into their videos, I just pull up a routine from My Pocket Yoga app on my Kindle Fire – that’s what I did this morning. It was enough to get me sweaty this morning, so I call it a win. There was a lot of downward-dogging this morning so I’ll be lucky if I can lift my arms tomorrow.

And now for something completely different: My hubs and I got a really nice complement today: we ran into an old friend today and we chatted with him for several minutes before saying our goodbyes. As we were leaving he said, “Hey! You’re still married – good job!!” and he pumped his fist in the air a couple of times. He said “it’s nice to see someone staying married for a change!!” He’s been divorced for several years, and just in the last couple of years a lot of my husband’s friends have gotten divorced as well, and I just found out today that another couple we know just got divorced. The hubs and I will celebrate 18 years of marriage this summer, and I’m SUPER HYPER AWARE that a lot of couples divorce even after 20+ years together. I know we still have a long way to go, but it was nice to have someone acknowledge that 18 years together is an accomplishment. ♥

I suppose that’s all I have to tell for now. I’m going to make a concerted effort to blog more than 3 times a month. It’s one of those things I love, yet lately I don’t make time to do it. Gotta fix that. So expect to see a little bit more of my ramblings in the coming days. Yay? 

Catch ya later tater tots! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New blog layout

Do you love it? I do. This theme is called “Crafty”. I wish the little apple was a little pear, but I still like him. I think this layout fits my personality. 🙂

In other news, What the heck is going on in the universe lately? Everyone I have talked to is having a difficult time right now. My problems are nothing compared to some, yet I still feel super stressed right now. Thankfully I’m not diving into the sugar, instead I’m doing lots (LOTS) of deep breathing, drinking tea, and spending as much time as I can outside on my patio. I found a twice-a-week yoga class that I can go to as soon as I wrap up cheer season (this week, God willing) and I am pumped about adding in some yoga again.

I’ve got a football banquet to get through tonight, and one on Saturday, then I am D-O-N-E done! If you hear some maniacal laughing at around 3:30 Saturday afternoon, it’ll probably be me, crazy laughing at how giddy I’ll be to be done with cheer and all it’s trappings.

I haven’t mentioned all my cheer drama on here because, well, I just didn’t want to, but let me assure you it’s been hell. And it’s almost over. Can I get a “hallelujah”?!

Cheer Mom, out.

I did yoga and other random tidbits

Happy Tuesday E’rbody!

(source)

So I got my happy arse out of bed at 5:30 this morning and did some yoga. When it was over I remember thinking “that was definitely worth getting up for!!” I love yoga and I don’t know why I don’t do it more. Oh yeah, because I work full time and have 3 kids and a husband to deal with, that’s why. Some days I really don’t mind getting up early to work out and other days it feels like it was an idea spawned by the devil himself, but getting my workouts done early is usually the only way they get done at all,

I forgot to mention that the lovely and talented Crabby McSlacker had a “best weight loss blogger” poll a few weeks ago and guess who showed up on the “multiple votes” list? Me! Thanks to the 3 of you who nominated my little blog – I appreciate it!! 

So I had a talk with my mom and sisters about menopause and I’m pretty sure I’m falling face-first into  perimenopause. I am not currently having night sweats, but I was about a year ago when my weight was at it’s all time highest, which I’m pretty close to again. I don’t think I’ve ever had a hot flash, and I sleep pretty well at night, but the up and down of my emotions is starting to get the better of me.  My friend Amy had mentioned that she takes Amberen and I’ve also been told by another friend that it works great. I did some research and have concluded that it’s one of those things that works great for some and not at all for others. I also found that the active ingredient in Amberen is succinic acid which can be purchased at about 1/10th the cost of Amberen. Have any of you ever had any experience with either Amberen or succinic acid? These last 4 weeks of my life have been a total roller coaster and I can’t imagine living like this for the next 10 years or so while my body goes through menopause. Oh and here’s something weird – my Lady Time came a week early this month, but if you figure I was a week late last month, I actually started exactly when I was supposed to if I had started on time last month. Confused? Me too. Being a woman is hard. 

What would you all think if I threw in a few vlogs here from time to time? Do you like video blogs or you do you tend to skip over them? Some days I would love to just ramble into a camera and not worry about taking the time to write, even though writing is very cathartic for me. Just something for you all to ponder – let me know in the comments if you like this idea or not. 

Okay kids, I got work to do and you’ve got stuff to do or other blogs to read or pins to pin or something, so get to it! Enjoy your day! 

Everybody Zumba!

Zumba crowd
Image by Cimm via Flickr

Oh my gosh y’all – Zumba was so much fun last night!!! It was the first class being offered at this gym and I guarantee there were 100+ people there – it was packed!! I went by myself since my buddy T couldn’t go, and out of all those 100+ people there, I didn’t know a soul. Granted it was in a town that I don’t usually socialize in, but still that’s pretty sad. I gotta get out more. Of course I came in a couple of minutes before starting and ended up on the very end on the front row, but really I didn’t mind. It was kind of nice being anonymous and I gotta say I started getting my groove on once I got the steps down. It was a bunch of giggly, sweaty fun!! Oh, and the best part – since it was the first night – it was FREE! Woohoo!! I can’t wait to go back again next week!

Now that I’ve been going to my yoga class for a month now, I think I’m ready to do some yoga at home on my own. I really like vinyasa yoga, where the poses flow from one movement into another. My yoga instructor does not flow – we practice a pose, take a little break, then practice another pose, etc. I’m happy with this because I think it really helps with technique, but I’m ready for a little more challenge.

So…(awkward segue in 3..2…1) I think I’m going through THE CHANGE (that’s what my mother always calls it –THE CHANGE) because I skipped a period this month. Shawn had a vasectomy after #3 was born, and since Brad Pitt hasn’t been in town lately, I know I’m not preggers. I never skip my periods. Ever. I’m so regular you could set your watch by my cycle. I’m not ready for the Big M! I’m not even 40 yet!!! I really hoped I would have another 10 years before this started happening, but I guess time marches on even if you lay down in the middle of road thinking it won’t possibly march over you, but then it does and it ends up leaving boot marks all over your forehead. Dammit. Stupid marching time.

Okay well that’s all I got for now. Any of you going through/gone through perimenopause or menopause yet? Anyone ever had a freakish period-skip? I’m dying to hear about your hormonal changes!! 🙂

Shoulding all over myself

This feels different.

I feel different.

I feel like taking things slow and not stressing out about what I’m not doing or what I should be doing. I’m taking things at my own pace and I like it. In my past dieting life I thought:

• I should be eating only the cleanest, most natural, most wholesome foods (rarely did I accomplish this goal)

• I should be running 3-4 days a week

• I should be strength training 2 days per week

• I should do whatever everyone else tells me I should be doing in regard to health and weight loss

Folks, I’m tired of “shoulding” all over myself. I’m sick to death of the “shoulds” in my life – I think I lived by a lot of them and stepping away from them for awhile has been liberating. Since taking a step back, I have now realized that:

• I’m going to do the best I can where food is concerned. Most of my food issues are not intellectual issues, but emotional ones. These issues take time to deal with.

• I’m also going super slow where exercise is concerned. I’ve started with one yoga class per week. In a couple of weeks I’m going to add one Zumba class, so that will make two classes per week. After a month of that I’m going to add a day of walking – that will put me at 3 days per week. After that, I’ll add something else – when the time comes I’ll decide then.

• I’m going to hold off on the running because right now, I just don’t feel like it. Running feels like rushing things – I need to start off with walking for awhile. You have no idea how freeing it is to make this decision!

Karly’s program is a 12 session course. Normally, I would push myself to do one session per week in these kinds of things, but you know what? I’m going to take my time on this 3rd session because it’s about growth, and there are some things I want to mull around a bit before I move on to the next session. And for once, I’m totally okay with “not staying on track”.

So far, I really like taking things slow. Honestly, it might take me a year to figure all this out. Heck it might take me 3 years or 5 years or 10 years. That’s okay! As long as I am growing and moving in a direction that makes me happy and healthy, I can live with that.

Slow and steady, ya know? Also it looks like this turtle is doing the up dog yoga pose!

How do you “should” all over yourself? (thanks to Karly for introducing me to this phrase!!)

VIM – I got the vision part down

I really didn’t want to post about this. I mean, I did, but it’s kind of embarrassing, so I have put it off for awhile, but Debby’s post today (go read it, I’ll wait) made me think that I need to go ahead and just do it.

A couple of weeks ago, I was doing a yoga DVD and meditating when I got this vision of myself. I wasn’t particularly trying to envision myself, it just sort of popped into my head all of a sudden, but I was really struck by what I “saw”. In my mind, I saw myself in the middle of a very lush, very green yard, standing on a yoga mat. I think I was leading a class (that part’s a little fuzzy) and I was lean and trim, very toned – my muscles were well-defined, but not big and bulging; they were just right for my frame. Here’s the shallow, vain part: I was wearing the cutest yoga outfit! Two layered tank tops, and some really form fitting yoga pants – not tight, just fit my curves well. And my hair was PERFECT! (Shut up!! It’s my vision!! I told you it was shallow and vain! 🙂 )

Anyway, what I remember most about this vision is the smile on my face:  it was HUGE – not crazy, giddy huge, but the kind of smile that comes when you are totally at peace with yourself and your surroundings. I was happy. I was content. I was peaceful.

I so so so wish I could have taken a snapshot of that woman. I would have put it on my mirror to remind me that THAT is what I’m striving for – good health and peace in my body and soul. That is one reason I’m posting about it now – to help me remember.

This is my vision for myself. Do I have the intention yet? I’m not sure, but I think I’m getting there. Being able to “see” the end result is very motivating. And yes, I have the means – oodles and oodles of means.

So is this completely crazy or does anyone else have a vision of how you want to be? Do you have a picture in your mind of how you want to live your life? And in your vision, is your hair perfect like mine? 🙂