Post-Holiday Haze

January 6, 2014 at 11:38 am

Hi again, blog. And hi, 2014.

I’ve been pretty neglectful of my little corner of the Internet. Whoops. I’ve been in a bit of a holiday haze since Thanksgiving.

I have a somewhat good reason though. I finally took the GMAT! I’ve been studying for the test on and off for about six months and finally decided in October that it was time to take it. I booked it for December 23rd (pretty much the last possible date I could take it before the holidays) and started studying a lot – which is also why I was trying to do more morning workouts in November and December. I got a score that I’m happy with, and now I’m really relieved to be done with it. And now I feel like I have so much free time!

the-sound-of-music-maria

So what am I going to do with that free time? I would not be me if I said anything other than work out, of course.

To be specific, lots of Refine Method! I signed up for their $25 Class Program in August when it was being offered and committed to 27 classes in three months. It got me to go regularly and I really fell in love with the method. In November, they announced a new pricing structure. It was the last month they’d be offering an unlimited monthly membership for $285, so I jumped on that opportunity and committed for three months (the maximum). I took 13 classes in December and am hoping to top that in January!

Refine Method owner and resident evil genius Brynn Jinnett

Refine Method owner and resident evil genius Brynn Jinnett
Credit: Refine Method

Speaking of Refine, Laura (who I finally met on Friday!) wrote this really excellent post about Refine and how it’s become her “thing.” I actually had a similar post planned for this week, but she sums up what I want to say perfectly (and in funnier words), so just go read her post for pretty much exactly why I love Refine.

In other news, I made a big spontaneous decision on Saturday. I got bangs!

Bangs!

Bangs!

I’d been thinking about getting them for two days – which I know is probably not considered spontaneous by most people’s standards, but is very spontaneous by my standards. Usually I think any kind of life decision (yes, bangs count as a life decision) through for a few weeks before going through with it. Also, I actually ended up finding and going to a hair salon that specializes in Asian hair (#asianhairproblems) before I was 100% sure that I wanted bangs. I never ever make an appointment without being sure of what I want (even though it’s usually just a two-inch trim). When I told my sister this, she was completely shocked. My wild life, people.

Anyway, it felt a little weird at first – like I was wearing a wig, kind of? But this morning, I styled them myself and I feel good about them! I actually think they might turn out to be lower maintenance than both my stylist and I thought – which is a huge bonus in my book.

Anyway, here’s where my bangs and I will be working out this week:
Monday: Refine Method
Tuesday: Uplift
Wednesday: TRX at Flex Studios or Rest
Thursday: Yoga Vida and maybe Refine Method
Friday: Refine Method or Rest
Saturday: Refine Method and maybe Yoga Vida
Sunday: The Fhitting Room and maybe Yoga Vida

Oh, did I say lots of Refine Method? Because I really meant a shit ton of Refine Method.

My happy place

My happy place
Credit: Refine Method

Rest(ed) Development & Weekly Workout Plan

November 12, 2013 at 6:13 pm

Earlier this year when I amped up my workouts, I started worrying about making sure I was getting enough rest every week. In the past few months, I’ve averaged about 8-10 workouts a week.

In the past three or four weeks, that’s dropped down a lot. Last week, I only worked out four times. Two weeks before that, I only worked out three times! I think that’s the first time that’s happened for at least a year or so.

So why have I been working out less? I’m used to working out in the evening after work, but lately, there have been a few things getting in the way of that:
1. I’ve been busier in the evening hours at work recently. I have a new projects that usually has an early evening meeting (think between 5 and 6 pm) at least twice a week.
2. I started physical therapy for my hip (flexor this time, not popping) about three weeks ago. Last week, my physical therapist suggested I start going twice a week starting this week.
3. Last month, I started volunteering as an SAT tutor – a commitment that runs through the end of April 2014. My group holds sessions every Wednesday night for two hours.

Given my new after-work commitments, I really should be trying to work out in the mornings (even if it’s just 20 minutes of yoga at home), but lately I’ve gotten into the bad habit of lazing around in bed for around half an hour before getting up. I think it’s because I’m going to bed too late at night, but the cold weather definitely doesn’t help.

Ok, so it's not this cold yet... but I'm hibernating like it is.

Ok, so it’s not this cold yet… but I’m hibernating like it is.

They say it takes 21 days to form a new habit, so I’m calling it right here. Time for a new habit. Starting tomorrow and for the next 21 days, I will get out of bed right when I wake up – either to work out if I have a workout planned or to juice, stretch, or catch up on emails if I’m working out in the evening. No more lying around in bed and wasting time for half an hour before work.

More of this needs to be happening in the morning.

More of this needs to be happening in the morning.

My whole new habit thing probably makes it sound like I’ve been really frustrated with all of the rest I’ve been getting and the corresponding lack of workouts, but that’s actually not the case at all! Earlier this year, I wrote that it was hard for me to take rest days because I love my workouts so much. I still do and mentally, it still can be hard to rest my mind on rest days, but my body loves the rest. I used to have this irrational fear that resting once or twice a week would slow my progress and turn me into a pile of mush. Ridiculous, I know. Now it’s clear that that won’t happen. I feel good, I feel strong, and I feel healthy. Yay rest!

Cissie understands just how important rest is.

Cissie understands just how important rest is.

I haven’t shared my workout plan for a while because it’s been a lot more fluid and less planned out lately. Of course, knowing me, there is still always some sort of plan. I’m going to share it today to try and keep myself accountable for my new habit:

Monday, 11/11: PM Refine Method & yoga at home
Tuesday, 11/12: AM yoga at home & PM Pilates
Wednesday, 11/13: AM TRX
Thursday, 11/14: AM Flywheel (barre+spin double or just spin) or AM Refine
Friday, 11/15: PM Refine or Yoga
Saturday, 11/16: AM Refine & Spin
Sunday, 11/17: AM Refine & Yoga

A whole lot of Refine happening this week! I have 8 classes left in my class pack which expires in a week so I’m trying to use as many as possible. Gearing up for a super sore/sweaty week!

The Sisterhood of Lululemon’s Unraveling Pants

November 8, 2013 at 8:04 am

I’m a huge Lululemon fan. I fell in love when I first tried on some of their clothes about a year ago. Their clothes are workout-functional and super stylish. I’ve easily spent a few hundred dollars there in the past year or so and their threads take up most of the space in my workout clothes drawer. I’m definitely not alone. Step into any boutique fitness studio in NYC and you’ll find at least half of your classmates wearing clothes emblazoned with a stylized “A” in a circle, their logo.

Jen and I at Refine Method earlier this year. I'm rocking Lululemon on top and I think she is too!

Jen and I at Refine Method earlier this year. I’m rocking Lululemon on top and I think she is too!

As you may know, Lululemon ran into some trouble earlier this year and ended up recalling a number of black yoga pants for being too sheer. Now it’s being reported that Lulu has started receiving complaints about their pants again in the last few weeks. Some of the complaints were the same (pants being see-through) and some were new (pants pilling after only a few wears).

No, their pants aren’t literally unraveling (as the title of this post might suggest), but it sounds like Lululemon’s business of selling yoga pants is unraveling a bit.

When Lululemon co-founder Chip Wilson was asked on Tuesday about the company’s pants, he said:

“Frankly some women’s bodies just actually don’t work for it. They don’t work for some women’s bodies. It’s really about the rubbing through the thighs, how much pressure is there over a period of time, how much they use it.”

In short, this misogynistic imbecile is body-shaming women with his whole “well it’s your fault the pants don’t work for you!” bullshit.

Said Chip WIlson to his customers' thighs

Said Chip WIlson to his customers’ thighs

This story has already been covered all over the place so I’m not going to go into an in-depth discussion of why his comments are wrong, but my biggest problems with his comments are:

  1. It’s fair to say that there probably are people out there whose bodies aren’t made for yoga pants. Maybe they wear Lulus and maybe they don’t. Either way, it is not Chip’s place to shame anyone (much less a paying customer) into feeling embarrassed about her body.

    Also I would really like to know what Chip Wilson knows about women’s clothing, women’s thighs, and how they work together, given that he has never been a woman with thighs wearing yoga pants.

  2. I can see how it could be difficult to manufacture a quality fabric for yoga pants. As Chip states in the interview, “it is almost impossible to build a quality control case for each one of those combinations.”

    Okay, so clearly Lululemon missed a quality control case here. But how about some goddamn humility instead of shifting blame to the customers? He even gets halfway there with his comment on the quality control case… but then he takes a left turn into Sexism (population: Chip Wilson, Seth McFarlane, and Rush Limbaugh) and decides to blame it on the customers and their thunder thighs instead. I just can’t.

  3. On top of Lululemon’s obvious existing attempts to body shame bigger women, I kind of just find this the last straw. For example:
    • They use a segregated stocking strategy in stores where 10 and 12 aren’t put on display and are put in a back room.
    • Their sizing is ridiculous. I’m always a size 2 or 4, but can’t wear anything smaller than sometimes a 6 and usually an 8 at Lulu – which means someone who really wears a size 8 would probably have to wear a Lulu size 10 and ask store associates for clothes in the back room. Considering the average American woman is a size 14 (which Lulu’s size chart doesn’t even cover), their size inflation just makes their clothes even more accessible to women.

I’m really disappointed by Lululemon in this whole ordeal. I won’t stop wearing the clothes I already own (that would just be wasteful), but I’m going to stop giving them my business until Chip Wilson apologizes for his offensive comments. There’s also a Change.Org petition urging Chip to apologize and de-segregate Lululemon’s stores.

And with that, I’m off to see if The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is on Netflix.

Liz Barnet’s 10-Minute Workout: The Burpee Breakdown

October 25, 2013 at 8:00 am

I haven’t been good with posting my workouts on Daily Mile lately, but if you were to take a peek at my workout calendar, you’d notice a trend. While the rest of my calendar is all over the place with different things going on every week, Tuesday’s workouts have been exactly the same every week for almost six straight months: Uplifting Strength at 6:30 pm with Liz Barnet.

Superstar Liz Barnet!Credit: Uplift Studios

Superstar Liz Barnet!
Credit: Uplift Studios

Liz is AWESOME – she easily makes my list of favorite group fitness instructors. Her class is always different, challenging, and most importantly, fun! Since she started teaching at Uplift Studios, she’s earned herself a following – the other regulars and I always joke about now needing to book her class two weeks in advance as soon as signups open (but it’s really true).

Last week, I got to interview Liz for Teacher Tuesday for Classtivity. Since she’s so creative, I also took the opportunity to find out what Liz recommends for a quick workout when you’re short on time.

Liz delivered with the Burpee Breakdown, which I’m psyched to be able to post on the blog today. We did this in class the week after she told me about it, and I can confirm that it packs a punch!

The Burpee Breakdown
2-3 sets of 10-12 reps each with medium-heavy weights (10-15 lbs):
- body weight burpees
- bicep curl to overhead press
- dead lift
- alternating renegade row (row performed in plank position)
- push up (hands on or off weights)
- squat

All of the exercises (minus burpees) combine together in order to create a super-burpee with weights. Start with an overhead press, then as you lower weights to your sides, descend into a deadlift and place weights on the floor. Step or jump your feet back into a plank, perform a row with each arm and then a pushup. Step or jump your feet forward (being sure to place them hip distance apart) and keeping a long spine, come up to stand (the “up” portion of a squat).

Try not to rest, or at least wait to rest in between sets. To progress, time yourself and try to reduce your rest time and keep your pace up. You won’t need more than 10 minutes!

Check out my full interview with Liz on the Classtivity blog and book a class with her at Uplift or SLT ASAP!