So a couple of weeks ago I went to my first yoga class with one of my friends. She had made an open invitation on social media asking if anyone wanted to join with her on Wednesday night at the gym. Thinking that this would be a cool experience to have with other yoga students, I accepted her offer. Right away I was excited, while at the same time didn't know what to expect in class that evening.
I have had some yoga experience. Well, very little experience. Years ago I had bought a yoga DVD that catered toward weight loss and gave it a whirl. I have done about 20 minutes of the DVD and felt myself having become so drained. I had been discouraged about the DVD because most of the poses/stretching were done from a chair, rather than on a mat. I had not given it a chance since then. That is, until this year. While on a crochet date with another friend at the bookstore, I had bought a 5-minute yoga book that offered several sequences that were to help in a variety of things, including weight loss and focus. I had done some of the sequences in the book while playing some soft music in the background to give the vibe of peace and relaxation.
Back to the yoga class with my friend. I got to the gym about a half hour before class started and met with my friend, who was with one of her friends also going to the yoga class. I was nervous about taking the class at that point because I knew that there would be students who probably had practiced yoga for a long time, but my friend reassured me that I would like the class and that I didn't have to be perfect with the poses. We go into the classroom and the lights are already dimmed down and the music was playing, giving that ambiance of peace and tranquility. The instructor explained yoga to the class and reiterated the importance of listening to our bodies: if we felt discomfort, modify the pose. We had our mats ready and began the class.
Some things that I realized as I was going through the class:
1. I am not flexible. I was very thankful for the ability to modify poses, but I knew one day that I wanted to master the poses exactly.
2. I am a very tense person. Even as the instructor was telling the class to relax, I found it a challenge to do. This is probably because I feel that I have to be "alert" at all times. I realized that this was something that I needed to work on.
I enjoyed the class so much that I have decided to make it a routine in addition to my diet and exercise (cardio). I'm really excited about it!
One thing that I notice about health and wellness enthusiasts is that they display themselves as the "final product" to those who want to get a little bit healthier. They never present the "human" side of the process: the slip ups, the cheat days, none of that. What I always hope to do as a health and wellness enthusiast is to show the process, not just the final product. I am human just like any other person. I have my days where I go over my calorie limit, miss a workout day, or just slip up. With that said, I began my wellness journey again today.
The photo depicted is from Easter Sunday, but it reflects my current weight. You may not want to believe it, but my current weight is 240 pounds. I have your usual trouble spots, such as belly fat, jelly arms, and the double chin. I think it is so important that I share this fact because it brings out the authenticity of the wellness journey.
My first goal is to reach 200 pounds by the end of November, as I will be going on a cruise. I am starting this journey through healthy eating and exercise, nothing more. This time, I want to take you along on my journey. Because I am only human...
Progress will come soon!
A common product that has been increasing used recently is the Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar, or ACV. It has been used in a variety of ways over the years, but a common use is in weight loss and management. Having had experience working in grocery retail where I have often stocked the Bragg's ACV onto the shelf, I have had customers tell me how it has helped them lose weight. Initially, I was a skeptic about how could one product such as ACV help in losing weight. I always felt that making changes to eating habits and proper exercise was the way to becoming healthier, and that other methods (e.g., diet pills, lose-weight-quick schemes, etc.) may bring you temporary results but not overall effective. It was after I had a conversation with my health and wellness mentor that I decided to research more about the benefits of ACV:
ACV can help with:
1. Upset Stomach
3. Sore Throat
6. Stuffy Nose
7. Weight Loss
10. Increased Energy
11. Nighttime Leg Cramps
12. Bad Breath
13. Whiten Teeth
14. Fades Bruises
15. Lower Blood Sugar (Reader's Digest Editors, 2017)
In my research about ACV, for these benefits to work the ACV has to be unfiltered and "from the Mother". As it relates to weight loss, a tablespoon of ACV is mixed with 16oz of warm water and is taken once or twice a day.
Because I am a member of the health and wellness community and that I have been asked about the benefits of ACV (more so the question, "Does it really work?"), I chose to add it to my healthy lifestyle journey a year ago. I continued with healthy eating, exercise, and proper water intake, but incorporated a glass of water mixed with ACV. I did this for two weeks and I ended up losing three pounds. However, I could not get past the taste to continue the routine, so I had returned to just healthy eating and exercise. I ended up losing just about the same amount of weight in four days than I did while drinking the ACV with water.
Drinking ACV is not for everyone, but if you do decide that you want to try it, remember to always mix it with water. ACV is very acidic and therefore should not be taken by itself for it can burn your esophagus.
Reader's Digest Editors. (2017). 13+ Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar. Retrieved from http://www.rd.com/health/wellness/apple-cider-vinegar-benefits/