Friday, 20 November 2009


So I know I have been missing in action for a while now. Due mainly to the fact my home laptop seems to have died. No idea what's wrong with it, aside from taking 20 minutes to start up, it just keeps randomly closing internet sessions. It IS ancient and full of rubbish its previous owner, my brother, put onto it. I've uninstalled the bulk of his programs, but it's still deadly slow. I really should buy a new one, but I keep talking myself out of it. I figure I'm on a computer every day and really, how often do I use one at home? A little bit is the honest answer, I do all my banking online, plus a bit of shopping, and blogging/facebook/twitter of course.

Problem is, I'm soooo indecisive when it comes to things like this. Largely because I don't really care ... all I want is for it to be reliable and fast, and not cost the earth because whichever brand/model I choose will be obsolete in 12 months or less. The sales guys at Harvey Norman, JB Hi-Fi etc annoy me too, because they either think I am stoopid for not caring or knowing about all this stuff or do not even try to figure out what is the best model for me and try to sell me the most expensive one they have. AND talk over the top of me the whole time. Urgh.

Anyhoo, have finally cleared the decks somewhat at work, so here I am.

Have FIVE classes left in the Bikram challenge to be completed by next Saturday (including Saturday). I will do at least two over the weekend, considering doing two on Sunday so I only need to do two during the week to hit the target. We shall see, however, I may have to content myself with one each day on Sat/Sun and then do Mon-Wed.

The studio - thank GOD - has opened a new room and practically doubled evening classes. For me this has meant that instead of jamming myself into a class with 50 other sweaty bodies and then getting dizzy due to the lack of oxygen which everyone ELSE is hogging (plus being 5'2" doesn't help as the fresh oxygen apparently rises to the top of the room), I have been in a class with an absolute maximum of 10 other people. Plenty of space to move and air to breathe. The rooms are still heated to 40C, but I find it SO much more manageable when I am not close to faining OR have someone a foot away from me on either side dripping sweat on me.

I managed to strain my back via a combination of factors, including poor posture at work, wearing stupidly high heels at work, slipping over and jarring my back wearing thongs in the pouring rain (bizarre weather) and the usual stuff such as carrying a heavy bag on one shoulder etc. This is meant I've had to be a lot more "modest" in classes, let my ego that wants to push further into every posture go and just focus on alignment and doing the best I can, or what works for my body. Sounds like a load of rubbish I know, but it has really helped me mentally to be forced not to push myself every single class and instead be content to do what I can manage without causing injury or pain.

I have definitely gotten a lot stronger in most areas, my legs are lot more toned and my arms are looking GREAT - nicely toned, dangly bits vastly reduced and good tricep/bicep definition. Not too crazy though, I don't want to look like dear ol' Madonna. Around my shoulders is definitely a lot more toned too. The best outcome, however, has been my glowing skin. Aside from a few times when I've overdone the bad eating and booze (usually in combination too), I wake up looking much healthier with clear eyes and skin and everyone has been telling me I have a glow about me. And no, I'm not preggers.

I will definitely try to keep doing around four classes a week, but I will make time for other stuff too.

Swimming has started with CanToo Swim and this has presented a whole new challenge. While I am loving it, I do NOT love not being as fit or as good as I would like to be. My technique nees a good amount of refinement, I tend to lose it when tired and get tired at arond the 800m mark. Considering we are doing around 1.6km per session that's not good! The ocean swims are just the BEST. One of the best ways to start off the weekend, although I have managed to pick up a bit of sunburn at each session but thankfully not TOO much. Must get some better suncream though, current stuff goes white and looks horrible, plus seems to wash off very easily.

I must learn to relax in the water though. I'm just sooo tense. I'm not a very relaxed person anyway, which is why something like Bikram appeals to me - normal yoga is just far too serene for my liking. What I've tried anyway, I need the hot room. So that's what I'm working on from next week. Doing a swim session every day and just trying to relaaaax. And enjoy as much as possible. Must work on my breathing too. Although I imagine that's related to the fitness side of things. But I tend to just let it go whenever I want ... go from bilateral breathing to one-sided breathing.

Anyhoo, five Bikram sessions to go and two and a half months of swimming training. Let's see how we go!

Oh, on the man front ... that requires a whole new post. But I will just say that I've discovered, or proved the theory for myself, that the best way to get a man to want you is to break up with him. Argh.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Variety is the spice of life

This is what I have learnt on my Bikram challenge. I love Bikram, although right now I do not LOVE love it ... I really only like it. Everything is sore, I am sick of having wet clothes and a wet towel to wash after each class and my mat never seems to dry properly (obviously Sydney weather isn't helping on any of these points).

I have really learnt a lot about myself during this challenge. Some good, some bad, and some things I'm yet to determine.

The number one bad thing: I'm impatient. Not when it comes to others, but myself. I have no compassion for myself and give myself no credit - I think I should have improved X amount, so I almost try to force myself to have improved that amount. Result? Seriously strained, possibly minor torn, hamstring which resulted in bruising behind the knee. Ouch! Entirely my own fault as well, trying to force myself further into Bow Pulling pose (or whatever the real name is).

The good? I am determined and persistent. Yeah sure, stubborn too. But determination and commitment is what keeps me going to class six times a week (on good weeks!), I just need to find a way to really use that to my advantage ... or harness it better.

One that sits about midway is that I am stubborn. I refused to give up when I had the hideous sinus infection that meant I could barely breathe, also when I started my new job and there was a whole world of new stuff to learn, plus all the usual stuff going on in the background - such as being woken up at 4am by drunken neighbours playing John Farnham and other rubbish.

Exercise-wise I have learnt I need VARIETY to keep myself interested. Sure, I love a good challenge but it needs to be a bit more diverse. A few running sessions a week, a few sessions in the pool, some Pump/weights, PLUS Bikram. Not all the same thing. It was actually a really positive thing to "discover", as I found myself missing running, the gym etc. Unfortunately working 9 hours a day and doing 90 mins of Bikram almost every day doesn't leave much time for anything else.

Desperately looking forward to finishing the challenge. Determined NOT to fall short of the mark for anything!