A Check on "Improvement" Efforts

Thursday, 15 August 2013
A few weeks ago I blogged about starting an "Improve" program that I designed for myself. I've given up meat and alcohol for three months. Full disclosure: I will eat some fish. I will have one random glass of red wine for special occasions or if I'm about to lose my mind to stress. Overall, however, I've kept up the new program and I've been doing yoga almost every day. I can even do the modified tree pose which looks something like this:

From www.examiner.com (This is not me obviously.)

So how am I feeling? At first, I felt nothing new at all. I was still really tired in the morning and my joints creaked a bit. I'm only 34 years old but let's face it... 30s is no longer 20s etc. I still felt stressed out with the pressures of life (don't we all!?) and didn't see much of a change in my weight or body. 

Hold the phone. 

Today is Day 15 of the new regiment and I've noticed a few changes. I have abs again! I might not be able to see them very well but they're there and they are strong. My breathing is also different. Because of yoga (you learn a lot about breathing) I've learned to breathe through difficult situations and expand the rib cage during deep breathing. This helps with anxiety. 

Cutting out alcohol has been fantastic. I cannot believe how much I was drinking every week (this is all relative I realize). Even a few beers a few times a week really ads up in calories. Now I drink water with a full lime and lemon squeezed in, unsweetened ice tea with fresh mint from my herb garden and of course green tea, coffee and occasionally fruit juice watered down. My clothes are starting to feel looser (I hope this isn't just in my head) and I'm able to get out of bed early in the morning to study without feeling fuzzy. 

With all of that said, I don't recommend cutting out alcohol and meat to anyone. It isn't easy but I would try adding yoga to your life. During the sessions I feel so peaceful and strong while holding various poses. Your muscles really burn and surprisingly the heart rate does go up. You can also do it for free in the privacy of your own home by logging onto YouTube and searching "beginner yoga." 

Here's a video I particularly enjoy (remember to just do what's comfortable for you):

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