Tuesday, April 24

life experiment 2: movement and mindfulness

"Live your life as though it were an experiment." -Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

See previous Life Experiment here.

Now that my morning routine is well established, and that I've been tremendously enjoying a steady stream of poetry along with my coffee, it's time to tackle another project. This one will involve much less fluffiness and a whole lot more fierceness: yes, it's time to get in shape.

I feel there is really no need to go into a long explanation of why this is a necessary step--I'm sure you can relate. Suffice it to say that I could stand to lose a few pounds, not so much because of the way I look--though there is that--but mostly because of the way I feel. Caring for a toddler is a workout all on its own, but it doesn't provide the endorphin payoff of just bringing it on the treadmill while Madonna or Florence + The Machine are belting it out in my ears. (And, more than just occasionally, INXS. Don't judge.) Since the beginning of the year, I have let my gym membership lapse, and have really felt the effects of not showing up there. I'm all squared away now, and I'm so, so very thrilled to be back.

My routine there is twofold: one, I sneak into one of the free racquetball courts, roll out my mat, and do about 20-30 minutes of yoga, with some strong vinyasa and core strength elements. (More on that below.) Then, I hit the treadmill, fire up a C25K app on my iPhone, and go. I plan on adding a weight regime in the next few weeks. Despite the fact that I often feel anything but, working out at the gym makes me feel strong, beautiful and capable. It's a great feeling--and that great feeling is more valuable to me than any weight loss (although that would be nice, too.) Karen Walrond wrote a great post on this subject over at Babble: check it out.

I spend this past Saturday in a workshop with yogini extraordinaire Sadie Nardini, and I've started her online 14-Day Yoga Fat Burner course, which consists of doing the following 20-minute practice everyday, along with some weight loss and healthy eating tips. The sequence is challenging, but totally do-able, and safe for most people.

I'm also taking a long hard look at my eating habits. Not so much what I eat, but how. We have a pretty healthy diet at home. I do a lot of cooking, almost entirely from whole foods: lots of quinoa and kale, you know the drill. But I have a strong tendency to fall prey to emotional eating, and mindless snacking. To help me notice, identify, and change those habits, I have been reading Mindful Eating by Jan Chozen Bays. I'm only a little bit into it, but so far it's been really eye-opening.

Just setting foot on this path gives me a calm feeling of strength and possibility. I feel I have really come at a point where I am ready, physically, emotionally and intellectually, to do this. I'll keep you posted on my progress! In the meantime, I'd love to hear about YOUR life experiments, especially those relating to exercise and eating. Are you going Paleo, or sugar-free? Training for a half-marathon? Leave a comment, or a link to your own blog below.

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PS I have removed the feed for my 365 photo-a-day project from the main page of the blog; you can still see my daily images by clicking on the tab above, which will take you to my Posterous blog. I'll continue to share a couple of images on here each week, just not everyday.


  1. ok. so i was doing sugar free. i did well for two weeks and the was walloped emotionally one thing after another. so i didn't so much fall off the wagon as take a running leap off ;-) getting back on track.

    it took me longer to start working out after this pregnancy because of the csection but i'm back. trying to workout 4 mornings a week. sometimes i walk. mostly, i do yoga (yogatoday.com).

    will look into the book you mention about mindless/emotional eating. it is clearly an issue for me. and i'd rather break the habit now so my kids don't get used to the idea that it is ok.

    1. I so sympathize, Amanda. It's been all junk and candy here during the move because I just don't quite feel settled yet. HUGS!

  2. How I need to get on this bandwagon. I've been hauling my heavy garden hose around, feeling my core muscles begging to be strengthened. Alas.

  3. I need to join this party... but first I need to feel at peace and settled in my new home. I am bookmarking this post so I don't lose the vid. Thank you, thank you, for sharing.


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