Friday, February 22, 2013

Being Fit: The Balance of Life

Fun, Fit Friday: 

This week I've been feeling pretty tired and I don’t know what it is, but my body is trying to tell me something.

Tuesday 2/19: While working out back (muscles) I didn't feel so great. My workout buddy (Bret) pointed it out that I didn’t have good posture while I did the bent-over barbell rows. (He said I was bouncing and my back was almost flat. I guess I was either lifting too much (80 lbs.) or I was just weaker that day. The week before that I was lifting the same weight—but it was at a different gym, so I don’t know if that has anything to do with it.  
A few weeks ago I lost my workout gloves so now I wear a thick rubber band to protect my wedding band (it’s a rubber band from the broccoli bunches we buy, haha!). Starting, Low Pulley RowNot wearing gloves for a few weeks has given me calluses in the back of my middle fingers, which is not a big deal for me, but on this day they hurt so bad. I found the low pulley rows hard do; the calluses/ or the metal grip hurt my hands so much no matter how light I would go. I was supposed to do 3 sets of 10 and the last set (4th) to failure, meaning that I needed to do as many reps possible until I lost correct form. 

After training back we were scheduled for 20minutes of cardio, but I really didn’t want to do it. I was tired, but didn't want to admit it to myself. I managed to get only 10 minutes in the elliptical machine…a very slow pace. “Wanna stop at 10 minutes?” I asked Bret who was 2 machines from me. “Sure, if you want.” I just was not feeling it. 

When we got in the car I reminded him we needed kale from the farmer’s market and since we were close Native Foods, we should go eat there. :p I wasn’t particularly hungry or craving eating out too much, but we both needed to eat right away (after working out vigourously) and I really didn’t see myself cooking dinner that night.
We shared the Ensaladada Azteca...
and the Bistro 'Stake' Sandwich with potato salad.
Wednesday 2/20: After I got back home from teaching my classes in South L.A. I was so lethargic. I sat by my balcony window to catch some sunlight and read, but soon I realized I had crawled in the sofa and sleep the afternoon away. Bret got home at 3pm when he woke me up. I couldn’t believe how tired I felt. That night before bed I was so hungry that the only thing I could find was a slice of Ezekiel 4:9 bread with some agave syrup and drank a cup of soy milk. (Thank goodness I on' have peanut butter in the house!!)

Thursday 2/21: It was arms and abs and I was lifting a little less than usual. What?! (I know it was an ego thing, that’s why I was so surprised.) Hmmm? Something’s going on here, maybe it's the new machines and/or equipment at the new LA Fitness in Culver City. We finished with some ab exercises with the stability ball hitting our lower abs hard!

Honestly, I was not down with cardio again. I told Bret I was really hungry and that we should just go home and eat. Bret doesn’t particularly need cardio because he already has lower body fat and should concentrate more on building muscle—he just enjoys doing cardio to get his heart pumping extra harder. :)

We had potato tacos, potato salad, beans, veggies and salad for dinner. I intended to go with Bret to LMU to do some school work at the library, but I fell I just needed to stray home and do it. At 9pm I was starving! So I made myself a green protein smoothie. By 9:30pm I was in bed. 

Man, all this morning, Friday I felt pretty tired too. Is it really physiological or psychological??? My daily cups (2) of yerba mate and green tea didn't give me the little extra boost I always in the A.M. And I thought I might be a little dehydrated so I downed 3 cups of water 30 minutes after breakfast. 

It was not as easy to focus my mind on my school work, but I did manage to review the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) MyPlate, food groups and portion sizes for my nutrition class next week. Personally, I don’t follow the USDA guidelines. I know about the dairy, meat and poultry industries, as well as the conflict of interest between them and the USDA. You know that I am plant-based, vegan, veganist (someone who studies veganism), or whatever you wanna call me and I have a different philosophy on what my plate should look like (Power Plate), what the food groups we really are, and about being mindful when we eat, not focusing on numbers, grams or half or 2/3 cups….

Right: The Power Plate. Simple. No dairy, no meat-- based only on plants and whole food that allows the human body to thrive. Left: USDA MyPlate. Complicated, yet vague. Includes dairy and meat-- which have been proven again and again to cause disease, illness, weight gain and a plethora of emotional roller coasters.

For a hearty lunch (but not so big) today I had organic whole wheat pasta and lots of organic veggies sitting by our balcony window to catch some sun. I enjoyed each bite because I'm working on being more mindful when I eat. :) I thought my sugar level would definitely go up, get my happy vitamin D (from sunshine and the mushrooms I ate) and I’d get my energy back. But I think it zapped it more. Suddenly, I found myself crawling to the sofa again to read this time. Soon enough I realized I was beginning o dream about trying to open a red door (I can remember thinking, "I'm sleeping already, it feels SOOO good!" 

I ended up taking an hour nap! Now that I just woke up up I feel more energized, and I'm ready to continue my day. Soon Bret will be home and we'll go workout together. 

There is nothing wrong,” I keep on telling my mind and tell myself it’s in just in my head. But what I realized is that my body is trying to tell me something very important. Either I need 1) more sleep; 2) more nutritious, plant food (calories); 3) more water (gotta stay extra hydrated), or 4) just more rest during the day (naps). I am working out harder than before, reason why my body needs the things I mentioned. But wait, I have done this LiveFit Trainer program once before, how more challenging can the 2nd time be? (Well, I am lifting heavier with shorter rest periods.)

After my nap, I now feel I can handle training legs today (Day 51), but my next scheduled rest day is until Wednesday! I will probably tell Bret I need a rest day tomorrow because I need it. I am not worried about Bret  thinking that I am being lazy an not giving it my all; he is just so understanding and supportive.  

Still though, I WANT to work out tomorrow! When you are addicted—good addicted—to working out, you don’t want to stop. Blame it on the endorphins (feel good chemicals that exercise produces in our bodies)!! So it’s hard for me to listen to my body and say “take a day off!” :/

Although this week was tough on my body, I managed to get through it. You know you know happiness when you've experienced sadness...and so forth. So I value even more the days when I am super-energized and ready to go at any moment because I also have days when I feel down, tired and hungry. What I need to do is: sleep, rest/ manage-stress, eat super-plant foods, exercise like I already do, and stay hydrated. And of course give love and be open to receiving love.
Balance life <3



P.S. I wrote this blog in 3 sittings. If you want to know more about the differences in The Power Plate and the MyPlate, please leave comment and I will post a blog about it soon! :)

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