Going From Flab To Fab While Being Over Forty Part One
Such is life, you get older, your children are grown and sometimes if you are not careful you GAIN weight! I have always had to keep an eye out for my weight and yes I have been a yo-yo dieter for the majority of my life. The only time I lost weight in the blink of eye was when I was in my twenties and also with my first prescription for phentermine which for me was magic in a bottle! All I had to do was pop a pill in the morning and go go go, then for dinner I usually had a glass of Metamucil. Seriously! I dropped from a size 12 to a size 8. Was I in heaven! However I had many side effects caused by this type of dieting let’s see…
Not be able to sleep
Constipation (hence the Metamucil)
Rapid heart beat
Just some of the side effects, but hey I LOOKED good! There is no way in this world that this type of crash dieting can be maintained. So I stopped taking the diet pills and at no time did I ever exercise unless you count dancing and walking Lola Belle, but nothing strenuous or calorie burning. So little by little the pounds came creeping back on. And yes they will!
Also being married may have had something to do with my somewhat laissez faire attitude towards my weight. After all I was comfortable. Those were the late thirties. I would yo-yo between 135-165 pounds. Then unfortunately I hurt both of my knees, so that was a good 6-8 months of recovery. Can you see where we are going? After my knees got better I was still okay but could not exercise at all.
This is where the story starts to become sketchy because I cannot tell you when it started not to really matter what I weighed? Stopped counting carbs, stopped worrying about calories and pretty much just ate what I wanted. Plus I had a terrible experience with Splenda (Sucarlose) which landed me in the hospital, so no more sugar free products for me.
Now we can fast forward to right now, today! OUT of control weight! And guess what, when you get past forty you cannot just not eat for a week and drop weight, this weight is STUBBORN! Have you ever not looked at yourself from the side? Only from the front? Oh and forget about taking pictures. Yet even with all of this going on inside of my head I did nothing. I knew there was a problem I had just not “bottomed out” yet.
Enter Claudia Balfe-Taylor! Let me back up and explain what I do, write and cover events in Las Vegas, coordinate Special Events, marketing and Public Relations. Going to shows and events is wonderful, BUT there is a catch, yummy fried delicious food at many events! Very hard to say no to fried mac n’ cheese and open bar. So yes enter Claudia, she worked for a prominent Public Relations firm in town and was now following her passion, opening/marketing a Yoga studio. Well Claudia you are going to read this and all I can say is THANK YOU!! I pitched her the story of “Going From Flab To Fab While Being Over Forty.” This story would chronicle my journey of change. Little did I know what a change it was going to be. After a few false starts, Claudia suggested that I start off with the Tru Yin which is a TruFusion Yoga signature class: “This music-filled, 90-minute, heated yin class is great for all levels, improves flexibility and provides an opportunity to create stillness of mind as it eases students into the hot room without an intense cardiovascular experience. It is a great first step into hot yoga but is also a perfect injury-recovery class or option for students who would like to work on their flexibility in order to take their overall practice to the next level.” This class is taught by her husband Mark Balfe-Taylor and he is fantastic! The patience of YODA!
Back to the class, my first session what did I do wrong? Let’s see…
1. Did not take out my contacts
2. Came from an event where we ate (little bites but still) and drank champagne
3. My towel was two small and I only had one!
4. Forgot my flip flops
So enter first time Hot yoga student Carole! WOW first of all please do not eat a good 3-4 hours before you go! Second of all I literally felt every potato chip, fry, taco; you name it oozing out of my pores. The stinging sensation of dripping sweat literally blinding you cannot be explained. Plus the fact that I had never been a fan of exercising and to top it off in a room heated to 105°F (≈ 40.6°C) with a humidity of 40%. Well let’s just say that my first session was a challenge, because I had neglected my body for so long it had forgotten me also. What I am trying to say that if you lose touch with your body it forgets what it is capable of. A healthy body has certain flexibility and a range of movement. In today’s world with computers, television, mobile devices I think that a huge majority of us forget how important it is to keep in touch with your body. Starting off with Hot Yoga was the perfect avenue for me to begin with, in the heat your muscles heat up and you are more flexible.
So yes the first class was a challenge but I have never ever backed down from a challenge and I went for the full 90 minutes. Was it hard yes, did I ache yes. And as Mark teaches it is good to ache it is not good to feel pain. What also struck me right behind the eyes with the force of a 2X4 is you cannot hide in a Hot Yoga class, meaning there is a mirror and you cannot wear much clothing to cover up. Other than yoga pants and a loose top all of my years of excess were right in front of my eyes. That was a hard sight, but something that I am thankful that with Claudia and Mark’s generosity and their belief in this story that I finally had the courage to face.
When I left my first class I was exhausted but elated! I HAD done it! I had lasted through the entire class albeit with little breaks but I had done it! The second class was another milestone, I MADE it again. And yes there are women and men in our class of all shapes and sizes and ages. If you are self-conscious like I am please believe me; you will not have time to concentrate on anything other than how your body is feeling and how your body is reacting to the different poses. Last Thursday was my third class and after Tuesday’s class we had requested neck and shoulders. Silly me I had approximately 5 hours of sleep the night before but I thought how hard can neck and shoulders be? TRUST ME…HARD! It was my most challenging class so far and I felt like quitting, but once started on this journey I could not quit. So I just took some extra time-outs and cleared my mind and kept my breathing even and finished.
Two other very important aspects to yoga; it clears your mind. In our world today we are expected to wear multiple hats and to accomplish multiple tasks and sometimes it can be overwhelming. When our minds are clouded like this I believe that this affects our judgment regarding exercise and food choices and how this affects our bodies. Yes it is easier to grab a burger than think of eating healthy, because it is convenient. Hot Yoga has cleared my mind and now I am able to look at food as nourishment not as a past time. The only way to a healthy you is with diet and exercise and it has taken me over forty years to get to this point.
I am on the path to healthy living and to healthy choices. This coming Tuesday 8/13 will be my fourth class. Already I am feeling lighter and I can feel the changes in my body and in my mind. What I need to remember is that it did not take me a month or even two months to get to the shape that I am in but with hard work and determination I can be the me I have always wanted to be. Do I still go to events and eat; yes I just eat smaller portions and make better choices.
I sincerely hope that you will be come back and read more about the process and next time I will be writing about the various poses and how they feel and of course I will always have hot yoga tips. If you would like a stronger and healthier body try a class!
7520 West Washington Ave. Suite 150, Las Vegas, NV 89128