Friday, 1 November 2013

Updates: Pilates, Sugar, Exercise, Yoga

Pilates Update: After doing 3 sessions of the "Pre Pilates - The Fundamentals" I decided that I was ready to move to the next level. Some moves I still find challenging such as the roll down prep but they are in the next level as well so I can keep working on them. Now I have done one session of the "Beginners" program, which involves:
- Coccyx Curls
- Upper Abdominal Curls
- Hundreds, beginning level
- Balance Point
- Hip Up
- Rolling like a Ball
- Single Leg stretch
- Rising Swan
- Roll Down
- Bridge
- Spine Stretch Forward
- Side Kicks

I would like to really work on precision and stability when doing the exercises, especially the side kicks! Damn it is hard to stay stable in your torso when doing those.

I have been making a more conscious effort in daily life to have better posture and pull my stomach in. But...I completely forgot about doing the cat stretch everyday! Goal for this week..

Sugar Detox: Well, it's not really a sugar detox, but this week I have been trying to cut down on sugar intake. I read a book called "Big Fat Lies" which was great, it dispelled a lot of the myths about fat and cholesterol and actually explained the differences between the saturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat so now I understand that a lot better. I also know more about the functionality of LDL and HDL cholesterol. It also explained about the dangers of sugar, in particular fructose. This author believes that sugar and the introduction of industrial seed oils is behind the "obesity epidemic" and the rise in metabolic syndrome. Well, I think he is half right. But I think that the increase in starchy carbohydrate intake played a big role too. People still don't understand that wholegrains DON'T keep you "fuller for longer" - actually they massively raise your blood sugar and over time lead to insulin resistance. But let's not get sidetracked here!

Back to my point, I went pretty well this week and managed to break through a plateau in weight I had been at for a while. I still gave in to chocolate but was able to reduce sugar intake in other ways, like less fruit/dried fruit/honey/baked treats. I had a lot of salads with spinach, haloumi, bacon and cherry tomatoes doused in olive oil and a splash of apple cider vinegar. Mmmmm, mediterranean... (not sure if bacon is very mediterranean but whatever, I love it).

I don't want anyone to think I'm depriving myself, oh no. You should see how much bacon I can eat in one sitting. And I love a good couple of pieces of dark chocolate with tea. Having a juicy piece of fruit after a nice meal full of fat and protein is just so satisfying - last night it was the most delicious peach. And I love experimenting with making new baked treats with creative "paleo" ingredients. I'm just trying to make that an indulgence, not what I eat all the time. Having Hashimoto's it's especially important not to eat much sugar so that's a big motivating factor.

Exercise: Well, another thing I was reading about is that exercise really doesn't do that much to help you lose weight. It just makes you want to compensate by eating more. Sure, there are a load of other benefits to exercise so it's not like you should sit down all day doing nothing. But in a way it's nice to have that pressure off - because then you can do exercise purely for enjoyment, or for knowing that you are going to get other benefits from it. For me, I enjoy walking for getting fresh air, looking at nature, seeing my dog love it so much, and just feeling more energetic. I enjoy yoga and pilates because they are relaxing and challenging at the same time, improving my flexibility and muscle tone, strengthening my back which I really need, and I like the spiritual side of it as well.

Yoga: I received my Ashtanga yoga manual but not the Iyengar yoga book yet. I wanted to be able to have them both before I start but I think I will have a go of the Ashtanga one tonight. I've been putting it off tonight because I feel like I don't want to be alone in my thoughts right now - just because of personal family things. But maybe yoga would be good to help quiet my mind.

Okay that's enough waffling on for now!