Yoga Discoveries

In May I was a yoga fanatic and then . . . life interrupted. Most of my summer was spent traveling back and forth from Orange County to Seattle and back to Orange County for work. I flew nearly 18,000 miles in three months repeating a sub-2000 mile roundtrip.

I missed yoga. That said, I found myself spending my limited exercise time on less-fun and less-body-friendly activities – hello dreadmill – thinking I was maximizing my calorie burn. You see, even though I felt I was getting more toned and I was losing weight practicing yoga (and in fairness, playing tennis 2+ times per week), Sparkpeople.com and similar websites told me I was burning a lowly 200 calories per hour. Less than 1/2 a Starbucks scone. So I kept skipping yoga in favor of known, but less enjoyable, calorie burners.

Finally, Monday I got it together and headed to a 10 am yoga class. I thought it would be a good toning supplement to tennis and the dreadmill. I also decided to attempt to discover the real burn of hot hatha. With my big ol Polar watch strapped to my wrist and chest strap tucked under my sports bra I headed off. I recorded the calorie burn from both my walk to/from the yoga studio (about 1 mile) and the 1-hour class. The result? . . . .wait for it . . .

A Hell yeah! inspiring 739 calories. 587 calories from the class and 152 from the one-mile speed walk to/from my office and class. This beats tennis class by more than 200 calories for the exact same amount of time.

So guess where I’m headed today?

A Week Without Sugar: What I Learned

My week without sugar challenge has finally come to an end.  I made it all the way through with only 1 tiny slip-up in the form of a total 1/2 teaspoon of honey I ate with some amazing cheese at Matt’s at the Market Friday night, before remembering that I wasn’t supposed to be eating sugar.  Woops! So I have to give myself an A- on the challenge ;) 

For anyone thinking of engaging in something similar, here’s what I learned:

  • I thought about sugar, and chocolate specifically, 40 times more than I do when sugar is not forbidden.
  • I experienced low energy the afternoon of the second day of the challenge, which was not cool.
  • I did not lose a single pound, probably because instead of satisfying my craving for a little piece of dark chocolate or a cookie, I compensated with allowed items like fruit (including dried apricots – DANGER, DANGER) and low-fat cheese.

My take-away.  I seriously doubt I’m a sugar addict since I didn’t get the DTs or any other horrifying withdrawal symptoms.  That said, forbidding any food - sugar, carbs, fat, whatever - just makes you want it more.  You’re better off satisfying your craving in moderation because if you don’t you’ll eat twice as much trying to get rid of it with something else.  The French way really is the best way: Eat good, wholesome food in moderation.

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