I haven’t written in a while. I’ve had a lot of computer problems and am currently without one at the moment. I was working on a book and my computer problems have put me far behind on that as well. So I am sorry to my loyal readers.

In the last couple of months of 2013 I had a bout of anxiety and fell in to a bad cycle of sleeping until nearly noon, getting up, going to work, staying up too late…. Until October I was doing quite a bit of yoga and had done well to maintain my weight. Since then I’ve gained a lot of weight and have fallen out of shape. It is a hard thing to write to all of you. Anxiety is a powerful force.

I started a new blog where I’ll write more about that struggle and how I’m overcoming it. That blog is called “Confronting Giants” (http://confrontinggiants.wordpress.com).

I’ve started my yoga practice back up and I’ve also started running. Yesterday was the first day of Couch to 5k for me. This will be the third, and hopefully last, time I’ve done couch to 5k.

So this is where I’m at. It feels good to be back. 2014 will be a much better year for me and I’m excited to blog about it here.

Femme Fitale™ Fit Club Blog

I remember watching Oprah and she having a segment on her show with Dr. Oz about inspecting our poop.  I also remember reading articles in Essence and Ebony about human excrement and how to read your waste.  I read this infographic and thought it would be great to share with you all so you can know how to read and listen to your body and most importantly, detect when something is not quite right so you can consult your physician.

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is in EVERYTHING!  I mean everything.  Even things you wouldn’t think of like yogurt, bread, jelly, ice cream, peanut butter, cookies, crackers, candy and juice drinks.   It has become the cheap and fast way to sweeten foods since we seem to be a country hooked on sweets.  Read more about this “wonderful” thing called HFCS.

[Source:  Nutriliving Blog – http://www.nutriliving.com/infographics/fructose-overload]


Femme Fitale Fit Club

Motivating you to…

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This summer has been a blast.  As an adult, summers will never be the same as when I was a kid but I’d say this summer was probably the most fun I’ve had in the past 10 years.  Unfortunately, this summer was full of really bad eating and weight gain.  Yes, I kept up with my yoga practice but it was hindered by my poor diet.

My kids have been in school for two weeks now and I’ve started to change things in my life.  I’ve started working on learning a couple of new programming languages, I have more time for yoga and I’ve decided to really shake things up a bit.  More on that in a minute.

When school got out, my wife and I thought of some things we could do to make the summer fun for the girls.  We had a trip to Michigan planned and this time we drove.  We plotted out a lot of fun roadside attractions to look at along the way.  There was a lot of fast food one the road as well.  Once we got to my parent’s house in Michigan there were cookouts and we went out to eat at some of our favorite restaurants as well.  Yes, it was bad.  I figured it wouldn’t be so bad but upon getting home, the scale confirmed that it was so bad.

Throughout the summer work was busy as well.  When we get very busy at work there is catered food.  When there is catered food, there usually isn’t any weight loss.  The good news is it was all my choice to eat those foods.  Yes, I know that sounds funny but if I was forced to eat it then I probably would be forced to continue to eat it.  I’m now choosing to not eat those foods.

Last week was a pretty good week.  I lost 2 pounds and am taking steps to do more.  I am starting the Insanity workout this week.  I know that goes against everything I preach on my Minimalist Workout but I want a challenge and a change for a while.  I’ve gained a lot of strength and want to put it to good use to help me lose some quick weight.  I’m going back to disciplined eating and daily workouts.

I haven’t slept well lately and I know it is because of my added weight.  I plan on being back under 200 by winter.  I think the Insanity will help my yoga practice in the long run as well.  I’d also like to point out that I have NO desire to become a “Beach Body Coach” and make my blog about selling you DVDs.  If you want to buy them, just head over to your favorite search engine and do a search for it.

I will blog my progress, however, because that’s what I do.  I plan to write more in the fall and hope you enjoy following my progress.  I also will be working more on my book that I’ve been talking about for the past year.  Maybe I can get it out by Christmas.

Until next time!  Cheers!

Benefits of Yoga

I’ve been doing yoga for a couple of months now.  78 days to be exact (I have a counter on my phone).  I’ve been doing short video as well as my own practice for the most part.  Today I finally got the cable company to figure out why my internet was so slow.  You see, I do most of my yoga through my Blu Ray player and with my internet running so slow I was unable to watch long videos.  This has restricted me to short videos and shorter yoga work outs.

Today, with the internet speed fixed, I pulled up an hour-long ashtanga yoga video.  I decided I would go as long as I could as it is a pretty intense workout.  Yes, for you non yoga practitioners, yoga can be pretty hard.  Much to my surprise, I was able to finish the full house.  Yes, there were two or three times where I had to stop for a minute to rest.  My arms became tired after doing chataranga so many time. In the end, I was able to hang in there and finish strong.

So what did I learn from this?  Well, for one, I learned that I could do an hour of yoga.  Second, I realized that I know enough about yoga to keep up with a class or video.  I’ve avoided the thought of going to an actual class because I wasn’t sure I could keep up.  Now it is something I would consider.  I would still like to get more time in with the video before doing so but I’ve moved a step forward in my practice.  All of this is on top of the half hour of yoga I did earlier today.

After my practice I took a cold shower and cooled off.  I feel really good.  I may be a little sore or tired tomorrow but I’m drinking plenty of water and will have some protein and do some light stretching later.  I can’t wait to do this video again.

I have reached the end of my 30 day yoga challenge.  I’ve done a supported headstand every day for 30 days straight.  This was a great challenge and I feel I’ve reached a great mile stone.  To do anything 30 days in a row is quite an accomplishment.  So what did I learn?

Day 1 was rocky to say the least.  I could get in to a headstand but not very well.  In fact, I have a camera app called Blink which takes several pictures in rapid succession.  I had my wife use this app to get a picture of me with my feet straight up and had to pick the best one to display in my Day 1 blog post.  I was only able to hold this pose for a couple of seconds before falling over.  Many times I would fall backward which resulted in me rolling over my interlocked fingers which kind of hurt.  Still I pressed on.

Day two I took a picture but did not post it here.  My legs were slightly forward.  At this point in the game it was a little tough getting in to a headstand.  I struggled with it a little.  By day 4 I definitely felt like I was making some headway not only in getting in to the pose but in balance and staying in the pose.

Somewhere around day 16 I had a bad day.  I felt like it was very difficult to get in to the pose.  I got in to the pose and felt like I couldn’t hold it.  I felt tired for some reason.  Later I figured it was that I hadn’t done any warm up and my back was stiff.  A great lesson to learn and from that day forward I had no problems at all once I was properly stretched.

So now that I’ve hit day 30, I can get in to this pose very easily and hold it for a lot longer.  I tossed my wife my phone and asked her to take a picture of me.  I don’t think she realized what was going on.  I quickly got inverted and was standing on my head for about 15 seconds before I called out to her.  She responded, picked up my phone and as she was about to take a picture someone called.  She hung up on them and went back to the camera app.  I stood straight up on my head for about 30-40 seconds total before she took this picture.

Supported Headstand Day 30

Supported Headstand Day 30

What I love about this picture is how my back is almost straight but my legs are aligned over my head and my toes are pointed up about as much as I can point them at this time.  I held pretty straight like this for a good amount of time and it is the first time I’ve seen my accomplishment since day 4.  I am celebrating this victory today and feel a real sense of accomplishment.

Interestingly enough this fit really well in to my minimalist theory.  I took less than a minute a day to learn a new pose that was quite hard in the beginning.  I really had it learned in a little over 2 weeks but continue to perfect my skill and gain strength.

Strength is something that I still have to work on.  This takes a lot of arm and back strength to hold for this long.  I will most likely keep doing my headstands almost daily.  I really enjoy doing them because they give me confidence and for the strength.

Do you have pics of you doing headstands?  What should my next 30 day challenge be?

Namaste my friends.

So I’m on day 12 of my supported headstand yoga challenge and I thought I’d write an update.  Day 1 was a bit of a challenge in itself.  I wasn’t very stable and had problems staying upright for very long.  I wasn’t able to keep my feet together without falling over and was inverted for maybe 10 seconds.

It didn’t take me long to start to gain balance.  On day 4 I felt a lot more solid and I was able to hold the position with my feet together.  Now, on day 12 I feel like I can stay inverted for a much longer period of time and keep my feet together.  This stability gives me the opportunity to focus on my breathing which isn’t easy when inverted.  I’m confident that by day 30 I will have improved a great deal more.

So I was showing my friend who is a yoga instructor and she gave me a couple of tips which I don’t think I’m ready to implement.  Quite honestly, I don’t think I have the strength in my shoulders or back at this point.  She told me that I’ll eventually want to get in to the supported headstand pose by putting my arms and head down then walking my feet toward my body.  Then, as my friend showed me, I’ll keep my legs straight and feet together as I lift.  Right now I’m lifting one leg at a time and they’re bent.  Still, I’m reaping the benefit of being inverted as well as gaining strength in my shoulders and core.  

I’m more than 1/3 of the way through my challenge and still enjoying it.

Today I did a few minutes of yoga a little later than I usually do.  I had a couple errands to run with my youngest who was wearing her new leotard/yoga outfit.  Upon arriving home I was kind of grumpy.  It’s 88 degrees today and I have no A/C in my car.  Still, after eating and few minutes of yoga my mood improved drastically.  I was sitting on the floor stretching my hips and told my wife I wrote on my blog that I was going to do a headstand every day for 30 days.  She suggested I take pictures of me doing a headstand every day so I can see how much I’m progressing.  What a brilliant idea from an amazing wife.  She’s already been taking pictures for me so I can see my posture in each position.  As someone doing yoga at home without a trainer present this is important to me.  So here is my day one supported headstand.

supported headstand yoga challenege day 1


Surprisingly I feel like my back is nice and straight.  In my warm up headstand I rolled my hips slightly forward and was able to get my legs a little more upright but I soon fell over.  Pictures are always hard to time and I did, for a moment, get my feet together.  This picture is a great representation of the overall headstand that lasted about 20 seconds.

If any of your more experienced yogis out there see anything I may be missing please comment and let me know.  If you’d like to join me in the challenge then comment and let me know as well, I’d love to hear from you.  There is strength in numbers.

I love a challenge.  Why wouldn’t I?  Since I was a young kid I’ve been challenged to keep up with my big brother, to learn how to use computers (as primitive as they were in the 80’s), to make the basketball team, to graduate high school then college, to get a job… I thrive on a challenge.

I went back in time on my personal facebook page.  Not far, I just wanted to see what day I started doing yoga.  I think it was March 1st and since it was the beginning of a new month, why not make that the date?  So I’ve been doing yoga for a month and a half.  Nearly ever day… nearly.

So I think I will challenge myself to something.  For the next 30 days I want to do a supported headstand pose.  It wont take long, just a minute or two but will help me in core strength and balance.  I also want to challenge myself to do yoga 6 days per week even if it is just a couple of poses.  I want to build and build upon this and focus on opening up my chest, gaining arm and core strength and improving hip flexibility.  At the end of 30 days I should be a lot further along than I am now and will issue myself a new challenge going forward.  Wanna start with me?  It starts tomorrow, April 15th.

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