Saturday, January 7, 2012

What do I do???

I had someone ask me the other day which would be better to do if you can only do one, Yoga or Crossfit? This got me to thinking, what would be better? Why do we even have to choose!!! Because stuff is expensive and time is precious. So how do you decide?? I think the easy answer is.........

IT DEPENDS!!! Things to consider -

1) What is your goal?
2) Where is most of your experience?
3) How much do you have to spend?

Here are some different "types" of working out, pros and cons -

Globo Gym
By globo gym, I just mean your normal gym. It has a cardio area, a weight area, classes, possibly a pool, lots of different things.


  • variety
  • atmosphere is controlled (heat or air)
  • access to a pool
  • people to help guide you
  • If you want yoga, these classes are typically pretty bad
  • it's hard to do circuit training/crossfit style stuff because you cannot hold a treadmill and/or piece of equipment
  • lots and lots of people, especially at the beginning of the year

Crossfit Gym
Unless you live in a remote place that is completely unpopulated, you probably have access to a crossfit gym. If we have them in SC, you got 'em anywhere

  • I say this is the best type of exercise - it varies, it's short and it includes strength, aerobic and anaerobic activity all in one day with a little bow on top
  • It's specialized and it's the closest thing to get to a personal trainer without paying for a personal trainer
  • It can be costly - $100 and up per month per person - eesssshhhhh
  • I am not always convinced that everyone that opens a box knows what they're doing - do your research - form in olympic lifting is THE MOST IMPORTANT THING - NOT THE WEIGHT- YOUR FFFFFFOOOOOOORRRRRRMMMMMMM


Now if the ONLY THING I could do at all and never could do anything else, I would do yoga. I believe that it is the perfect combination of stretching, strength, calming, centering activity I can do. For me, I'd rather run outside, work out at home and then pay for yoga because I can do that and I value yoga over anything. The only downside I see for others is if they have a different goal in mind and don't have access to any other types of exercise. 

Common misconceptions about yoga
- it's just stretchy stretchy
- your heart rate never elevates
- it's only for granola people

If you have the right teacher and are doing the poses correctly, this is as strengthening as anything else. I have definitely gotten my butt beaten in yoga class!!! Even if the studio is not hot, I have still gotten an elevated heart rate AND while I am probably a bit granola, it's open to all :)

How to choose for you?? 

My recommendation is this - pay for what you don't know a whole lot about and do the rest on your own. For me, I did crossfit for 2 years and studied form by reading books, etc. I understand how to do the olympic lifts, I know how to read the main site, and I've got the equipment to build a home gym. I don't feel the need to go to a xfit gym and in fact, I prefer not to because I like following the main site and not doing what the guys have prescribed that day - I have more confidence in the programming of the website people over what's available in the boxes. I can run outside, and I can bike outside so those are covered. That leaves me with yoga. and while I'm in yoga teacher training, I still have so much to learn and I love Karen's classes at Yoganize. 


You don't have to choose if you look carefully. You can usually find free or community classes in your city. There are always new teachers trying to learn so they offer $5 classes. We have a church here that has a free class on Tuesdays. If you are new to yoga - I WOULD HIGHLY RECOMMEND SOME BEGINNER CLASSES - that way, you can learn the poses and make sure you are doing them correctly. Once you feel fairly confident in your basic knowledge, you can try some videos online. 

Some great resources - 

*You Tube!! They have lots of yoga videos FFFRREEEEEEEE
*Yoga Download - there are free 20 minute videos, classes you can buy for $2-$10 and you can just get a weekly/monthly or yearly subscription that is pretty cheap. They usually include some type of sheet to help with poses when you download a class
*Sean Ecorn??? - I saved this to my computer to look at one, but have never done it.

I assume there are many more.

Hopefully that helps - there are so many different options and it's important to find what fits your schedule and your lifestyle AND YOUR GOAL!!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Fun Fact Friday

So now that I am into my full fledge fundraising, I am going to start


I don't know if I'll be able to do that every time because that was a lot. Anyways, on Fun Fact Friday, I'm going to start discussing why I'm going to Africa. I don't want everyone to think I'd just like to travel and have you pay for it, there is a specific reason for my trip. The main reason is I simply feel called to go there. Sometimes, when I talk about it, I cry, which I know is kind of crazy, but what I'm saying is that I feel a very special calling to go there and help and who knows why or where it will take me, but I feel like it's something I must do. The cost is fairly significant but I believe that if I do the right action, God will take care of the rest so I'm just trusting that it will all work out. 

So since this is the first FFF, let's start with some basic information about the trip and where I'm going. I have mentioned this before so I don't want to beat a dead horse, but I am going to Rwanda. 

The Organization - 

This is not a mission trip. My goal to go here is to specifically help the people of Africa and while there are plenty of mission trips that do that, I wanted the only focus to be providing my service to an established organization and help with what they need. 

Global Volunteer Network is an organization that matches the potential volunteer with the organization in need. The organization that I've been matched up with is Faith Victory Assocation. They are building a community centre outside of Kigali (just outside) that will include an orphanage, staff houses, a school, a medical centre, a vocational college, etc. It's even an eco-friendly village!!! 

I will be volunteering in the orphanage and from what I understand, it's mainly helping with playing with the kids, cooking food, cleaning etc. Here is an excerpt from the website - 

The after effects of the genocide led to thousands upon thousands of children becoming homeless. A high percentage of children have also lost their parents to HIV/Aids. It is estimated that approximately 150,000 people are living with AIDS in Rwanda, with 19,000 children under the age of 14. With this in mind we will build an Orphanage that will be different from others in Rwanda. There will be three 2 story Apartment Blocks each with four homes; these will accommodate 8 children and 2 caretakers – creating a family style environment. Each home will consist of 3 bedrooms, one bedroom for the careers with en suite facilities and two for the children with shared toilet & shower room, a sitting/dining room and a kitchen with store room. It’s our vision that every facility have solar energy provided, with rainwater harvesting during the wet season, this will be used in the gardens and homes on the project. Provision will be made for homes at ground level for children with Disabilities and those who have Special Needs.
We teach children to hope"

I CANNOT EXPRESS HOW EXCITED I AM TO BE HELPING IN THIS VILLAGE. It just feels so right and I am so happy GVN put me with these guys!! I am planning to book my flights next month, and then I need to research the vaccinations I need. Bleh! 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Mindful Eating

I was reading an article the other day in my Yoga Journal magazine. It was about this very topic!! (imagine that). It had some awesome rules to live by when eating, but really, when doing anything. One of my goals this year has been to sssssssssllllllllllllloooooooooowwwwwww down so that I can enjoy what I'm doing. This kind of discusses how to do that.

I think I've talked about this before but I really struggle with 1) saying no and 2) purposefully staying busy so I don't have to deal with whatever is going on in my life. I remember a time when someone mentioned a retreat where people would go and there would be no television, no music, no nothing. You just sat in silence. The idea of that cause me MAJOR ANXIETY - i'm going to be honest, it still kind of does. Why is it that we don't want to be with ourselves? What are we trying to avoid? I think that's the key. Through a regular yoga practice which includes all of the above, I am becoming more comfortable with the idea of being alone and being okay.

p.s. when i say alone, I don't mean, alone at home watching tv or cleaning. I mean, sitting in silence, no distractions - no book, no music, no tv, no activities. 

One of the things the article said to do was to chew your food fully. The Ayurvedic way says to chew your food 32 times before swallowing. Benefits are better digestion, you become full quicker and you actually enjoy the taste of your food. The author said that when you chew your food 32 times (each bite), processed food is not as easy to eat because you realize, it just doesn't taste good.

my attempt at this - It's actually REALLY REALLY hard to chew my food that long. I want to swallow immediately. It's not the taste or anything, it's just simply how I've eaten my whole life and now trying to do something different is SO weird. Also, the things that taste the best when doing this - fruit and veggies. Meat tastes pretty good, but not quite as good as the others. Granola bars do NOT taste as good when doing this.

The article also said that in ayurvedic style of eating, you don't eat until you're full. You eat until you are satisfied. They are very specific saying that you're tummy is 1/3 full of food, 1/3 full of liquid and 1/3 empty. I think the goal is not overeat.

my attempt - if I chew everything up that much, I can tell when I'm full. BUT I will be hungry again in 30 minutes to an hour so I have to make sure I have plenty of food around me at work. At homes, it's no biggie, at work, I need to be prepared.

I can't remember if the article said this or if I just think it, but sitting at the table. This actually seems like an easy thing that we should already be doing but we typically eat in front of the TV. Our old dining room was full of crap and it really wasn't super comfortable to sit in. Now that we have a dining room, it's off the of the kitchen, we actually eat there and enjoy it. I can talk to my husband about his day, I can talk to the girls, when we have them, about their school, etc. It's something I never realized I would enjoy as much as I do. It also makes me pay attention to my food!! How many times have you just mindlessly ate while doing something else and then you're like, oh... whoops, I just ate a whole sleeve of Ritz. (actual example).

I even ate lunch by myself at the dinner table the other day and came up with some pretty good ideas, if I do say so myself. So I think there's something to this being present when doing things.

A good book to read if you struggle with eating issues that discusses mindful eating is "Women, Food and God" by Geneen Roth. It's amazing and really put me on this mindful eating journey. She has some simple food rules to follow when eating. Check out the current issue of Yoga Journal as well!!

Wishy Washy McGee

So I am now rethinking my half marathon race in the April timeframe. I'm not sure that I'm interested in doing that kind of training right now. But I NEED a race to use as a goal to raise money for Africa. Is a 10k enough? I know some people read my blog, but I'd really love some feedback on this one -

1) have you ever raised money for a race?
2) have they always been an endurance event?
3) have you ever raised money for an event like a 10K?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday

I haven't done this in a while so I thought what a great time for

I always enjoy reading Jamie's blog, and following her on Pinterest!!! Thank you for an awesome blog hop!

I am loving all of my finds on Pinterest!!! I am so addicted because it has so many great ideas for style, home decor, DIY, etc. Here are some of my favs!!

I am going to grow my hair out to this - it's like this now but way shorter

I love this look! 

I just straight up want a maxi skirt - so cute

aren't these yarn wreaths cute? 

love and am making this 

I'm using this as a guide for our bedroom - the color palette

some pretty yoga pics

and my guide for speaking - I need to laminate this and carry it in my pocket

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Gym Part II

Okay, so here are some pics. Remember that we still have to set it up and the garage is a mess, so this is just a beginning.

Here is our bench and rack plus our bar, dumbbells, etc. 

in the back, you can see our punching bag and part of our speed bag

that was my 1 rep max back squat - kind of weak compared to what I used to do!!! 

someone wanted to join us

he likes working out too

 Before I dive into this crossfit endurance training plan, I need to get an idea of my 1 rep max in different olympic lifts. Back in my crossfit days my 1RM were - 

Press - 105 lbs
Back Squat - 220 lbs
Deadlift - 265 lbs
Bench - 145 lbs

Today, I did the press and the back squat -

press - 95 with bad form, 90 with good form
BS - 145!! Oh how the mighty have fallen 

Just kidding. I don't mind. I really am going to take this time to build on good form and get stronger the right way. I think it's better to do excellent form, full range of motion with less weight, then the other and risk injury. 

One thing I am reminded of, I LOVE lifting weights. You can't really compete in it like running a 5k, but it's something I'm good at, I'm fairly strong for a girl, and something I can do where I don't feel like I'm constantly defeated. I love the feeling I get from running, but I'm constantly reminded how slow am I as a runner, how unnatural it is for me to do, and it can be a little defeating. So it's nice to be back doing something I like and trying to figure out how to combine it with running. 

Like I said, they don't have like, regional weight lifting competitions so it's not like I can use one of those to raise money. basically, the only thing I can do is run a race. So that's where we are. 

Crossfit Endurance, here I come. 

New Gym!!!

I am SUPER excited because we got new gym equipment. I told you earlier that we were building a "garage" gym and it looks like we're closer than I originally thought we would be. The cost of building a home gym can be pretty expensive. We looked at a couple of places that sell "crossfit" style gym equipment and it was out of this world. So... I was thinking it wouldn't happen for a while.

Good news - we sold James's old car. He bought an old 1964 Chevy Bel-Air and rebuilt it but hadn't used it in the last couple of years. With his new business, a new wife and his 2 children, he just didn't have time. So he sold it and now we're using that cash to start our home gym.

Things we got -

*Olympic Lifting Bar
*300 # of weights - 45s, 35s, 25s, 10s, 5s and 2 1/2s
*Dumbbells - 10s, 20s, 30s, 40s
*Squat rack/bench rack
*Punching bag
*12# medicine ball (a hard one, but the soft xfit kind)
*James got a curl bar
*a large ball (like the ones you do ab work on)

I think that's all, but I can't remember for sure. We spent around $950. It's not the nicest equipment, it's used, but it's a start. As time goes on, we may have some bumper plates which are typically easier to use for xfit. We will eventually get a soft medicine ball (14#) and James is going to build me a pull up bar. He's also going to build a box to do box jumps, a 20 inch. It's not perfect, but it's a start and I'm excited because now I can workout.

Tonight, I'm going to do a Nike Training Club work out because 1) I don't think the other equipment will be set up yet, and 2) I need to ease back into weight training since I'm a soft, fluffy pillow right now :)

I'll take pics once it's set up

p.s. I did run yesterday morning, 1.75 miles. I ran 1 minute fast, walked 1:30. I'm easing myself back into running too.

Monday, January 2, 2012

What I learned about painting furniture

If you read my post about blueberry pancakes, you also noticed I was painting our China Cabinet. One thing I've noticed about furniture is that it's expensive and a lot of it kind of looks like crap. I'm not a HUGE fan of China Cabinets, especially the big ones that look fancy. Bleh. Not my style. So I've decided I'm going to paint furniture pretty colors and make my house BRIGHT!!

To review -

This is where we started. 

Lesson #1 - sanding is hard. You don't necessarily need to sand the furniture, but I went ahead and did a light sanding all over. It took me forever and was my least favorite part of it. Next time, I might just try not doing it because a lot of design bloggers say they don't (I'll mention my favs in a minute) 

Lesson #2 - if you're thinking about getting rid of your hardware and buying new hardware, KEEP IT JUST IN CASE. I couldn't find any good looking hardware so I'm so glad we ended up keeping what we have. It was wwwwaaaaayyyyyy better looking than what I found in the store. You can always paint it, although I liked the antique bronze my hardware is. 

I've read that you should try the Krylon brand spray paint but I couldn't find it, so I went with this. It didn't seem to do as well and it took us about 5 blue cans to paint the whole thing. Next time, I'll try the Krylon just to see, although this was a big piece of furniture. 

Lesson #3 - priming. My husband came home and I had used an entire can of primer on just the doors. He was like, really... an entire can... on just the doors? Evidently, I was a little heavy handed. He told me that I only need a light coating as the primer was mainly to help the color stick. So note to self. 

Lesson #4 - do this in a well ventilated area. We painted it in an open garage, with a mask and it was still a lot. 

Lesson #5 - it needs to be at least 50 degrees - we were okay with this but I just wanted to make sure I put that in here. 

The finished product was awesome. I went to World Market and bought some cute pulls. 

Lesson #6 - Don't be afraid to be eclectic. You don't have to match everything! I just make sure to be in the same color family. 

These are the pulls for the top - i love them

the bottom - they are red which pulls out the red in the top pulls and in my rug 

the finished product. It still had some wet paint, so once I get it in the kitchen with the china, I will show you. 

I'm so excited to have done our first home project (well, I did the pillows and James painted this. After the primer incident, he said he was taking over). I have found that decorating our house is so fun and it doesn't have to be super expensive!!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Lulu Video Gets a Laugh

I follow Yoga Journal on FB and they posted this video by LuluLemon. It is really funny so I had to share.

Lulu Video Gets a Laugh

2012 - My Resolution List

I was trying to think of all the things I loved about 2011. We had so many wonderful things happen like getting a new house, James's business continuing to grow, Yoga Teacher Training, lots of travel, selling a car, selling the Bel, etc etc etc. When I go back and think of things that I didn't like about 2011, it really all has to do with internal feelings. The world around me was going really well and I have received so many blessings. This is the first year my resolution list has nothing to do with work/weight/fitness goals. This is the year of the family. This is the year of treating myself well. My being healthy is going to go beyond just what I eat, but how I function in the world. Here is a little breakdown -


I'll start with the simplest thing first.

Rule #1 - NO DIETS. I am not going on any kind of crazy diet. I'm not eating low cal, I'm not eating low fat, I'm not eating low carb, I'm not eating Paleo, I'm not eating Vegan, I'm not eating Vegetarian. I am going to eat exactly WHAT I want. If I want a cookie, I'm going to eat it. If I want a parsnip, I'm going to eat it. And I'm not going to feel one bit of guilt for one bit of food I put in my body. Period.

Rule #2 - I love food. I love the way it tastes. So, I'm going to taste it. No more eating in front of the television. No more eating in the car. No more eating in 10 minutes or less. I want to sit down and enjoy the meal that I am eating. I am going to be present while I eat and I'm not going to zone out and mindlessly stuff food in my face.

Rule #3 - I am going to be a little more flexible with this, but I'm going to attempt to eat "whole" foods. This is something I've already been doing so it will just be a continuation. The less processed it is, the less chemically altered it is, knowing where it comes from (this applies to meat), is my goal. I won't always be perfect at this and I have to learn that in life, we have to go with the flow, BUT, my goal is to focus on home made, good, nutritious, healthy food. If I'm going to use butter, real butter. If I'm going to drink milk, organic, whole milk, although I have really cut dairy out of my diet simply because it doesn't sit well with me. But you get what I'm saying.


I'm still playing around with this. It's a little tricky. If I weren't trying to raise money for Africa, I wouldn't even THINK about running a race. 2011 was the year of the burnout. I did TOO many races for my liking and I am just so NOT interested in running right now. I think it'll change once I get back into it, but I did a whole lot of races. People that do 12 marathons in a year and all of that, I don't see how they do it. I did 3 and I was done. And didn't even train for one of them.

But, I will be training for a race because it's really the only way I can think of raising money. My goal race is the Rock'n'Roll Half Marathon in Nashville. That one works out perfectly for fundraising and it should be pretty fun. The course is hilly so I can just go ahead and do my training around gville, like usual because it's about the same.

Weights - we are building a home gym. We are using the money from selling my husband's chevy bel-air, so it's perfect. We're getting a full 300# bar set of weights - not bumper, that'll be later - a kettle bell, medicine ball, dumb bells, and possibly a pull up bar. If I can get my hands on a GHD machine, I want to do that, but we'll see. It'll be a basic version of a box gym because if there is any way I can do Crossfit Endurance for my marathon training, I'm going to.

Yoga - my goal is 2-3 yoga classes a week. I LOVE yoga. It makes my body stronger in a way that crossfit/nike training club cannot. It also helps my sanity and helps me breathe.


This is my hardest one. I struggle with my relationship with money. I want to hoard it but I can also be spendy, spendy too. My simple goal for this is to let go of my attachment to money, to let go of the security it brings me. Not that I don't want to make money or be successful, but to not be so attached to the emotions around it. It's kind of hard to explain, but if you know what I'm saying, you know what I'm saying :)


This is my biggest focus. I am one who always wants to be involved in everything. I want to try everything and be everywhere. What I have noticed is that it severely inhibits my ability to be effective in anything I do. I spread myself so thin that I I can't do anything well and I ignore the people who love so much. What I have enjoyed most about the break has been the attention I've given my house, the cooking/baking, and playing with the girls. We played basketball today and I showed them how to do a handstand. That was a lot of fun and something I'm usually not around to do.

What's going to happen though is I'm going to miss out on a lot of things. I've already seen that happen and while I peruse facebook and feel a little left out, I realize that I've only got so much time in my life as a wife, stepmother, and employee. I'd rather truly enjoy the special time I can spend with my family/close friends and give them my all, then be everyone's friend and be too tired to be anything.


I have been approved, the trip is happening, I'm going to Rwanda. I've got to book airline tickets, get some shots, and prepare something for little babies to do with me for 2 weeks. This is going to my MAIN non family focus for 2012 which is also why I'm not as concerned about races, unless it means raising money.

What are your News Years Resolutions? 
What do you want to change? 
What would you like to keep the same?