Friday, June 29, 2012

The 30 Day Yoga Challenge - Day 29

One more day to go. Barring any natural disasters, I will complete the challenge, finishing exactly 1 class per day for 30 days.

The yoga studio is having a little party tomorrow and will be drawing the winner of the prize at that time.

I will have my impressions in a post up in a few days.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Resolutions - Day 161 - Week 23

Down to 203 pounds. Lost one pound last week.

I am a bit surprised. This is the first full week that I did not do any cardio or weights. I have been doing yoga every day. I thought I would gain a few pounds, since I cheated a lot this week, eating pizza and even a few chips.

Is yoga enough of a workout to ensure I can still lose weight?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The 30 Day Yoga Challenge - Day 24

Less than a week to go until the end of the challenge.

I have kept up with the one class per day rule, and I have not found it too difficult. I have overheard some of the participants complaining of soreness or stiffness, but mine has been minimal. I think I am in better shape than I was a few months ago, plus some have been doing more than one class per day in order to build up and bit of flexibility it they go away for a weekend. To me, this does not really meet the purpose of the challenge. The idea is to see what effect doing yoga everyday has on your body. It needs to be done once per 24 hours. Doing 30 yoga classes in 15 days is not an accurate impression of the effect of 30 days of yoga.

I have noticed an improvement in my flexibility. I find it easier to stretch and it takes me less time to to get more out of the stretch. While I still wake up with slight back pain, it seems to be a bit less and goes away faster in the morning. I think my posture is sometimes poor and yoga has helped to make me more aware of it, and strengthened my back and abs so I can better maintain it. 

I am less happy with my mood or ability to remain centered. I am usually good for the few hours immediately following a yoga class, but I have still lost my sense of calm on occasion with K in the afternoon or evening. Five year olds can be very trying, and K is a lot like me, so is more trying than is normal. I don't know if yoga is able to "cure" this. However, I am more aware of it, so maybe I can work on it more.

I am a bit sad to see the end of this challenge. I might keep it going by continuing to attend a class every day.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Even Jesus Had His Haters

By following back a traffic source, I came across this gem of a site. It seems users post the most awful link of the day, and someone came across my little piece of the net and nominated me. It was three years ago, so I guess I did not win, as I failed to receive my notification in the mail or cash prize. Here is how my nominator described this site:

I went looking for the left-wing analogue of I did not find that. (I suppose it may have been that at one time.) There is nothing here about politics, just one stay-at-home dad's self-pity and little-varnished desire to kill his disabled daughter.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Portrayal of Fathers in the Media Changing?

This is an interesting article about the changing portrayal of Fathers in TV and movies.

Six year ago, when the Wife was expecting twins, we were in our local mall and there was a stay a home mothers group set up with a table. As we walked by, she checked it out and, noticing that she was pregnant, they started giving her information about the group. At the end, she asked if men could join as well, as her husband would be staying home with the kids. They laughed at her, as in a sort of "Your husband staying home, that's a good joke." You should have seen the looks on their face as they realized she wasn't joking. They looked over at me with this sort of stunned look as I gave them a little smile. I never did join the group, but I noticed some time later that they had changed their name from stay at home mothers to stay at home parents.

This was in 2006. Twenty years after the movie Mr. Mom at least opened us up to the possibility, a stay at home Dad was like siting an alien. I remember the Politically Correct early 1990's where every was supposed to be able to do anything, regardless of gender. Ten to fifteen years after that women can be anything they want but men, not so much.

Advertisers and Hollywood better wise up. I am not going to buy any product or watch a movie that stereotypes me as an incompetent, clumsy boob.

Except if it is funny.

Further reading: Stay at home Dad's double over last decade

Monday, June 18, 2012

Resolutions - Day 154 - Week 22

Down to 204 pound this week. Lost 2 pounds.

This is another record for me.I am closing in on the 200 pound mark. It is a bit surprising to me that an am still losing 1-2 pounds per week. While I have been following the diet, I have been breaking it is small ways. I usually cheat by having a few crackers, maybe a piece of bread and a bit of ice cream each day. Still this is significantly less than I had previously ( I love carbs). So far, the most significant thing I have learned is that a moderate reduction in carbs, combined with a small amount of exercise, and maintained for a number of months, can make a big difference. I have been following this diet for almost 6 months and have lost 24 pounds. This weight loss is probably a lifestyle change for me. I will always have to watch my carb.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The 30 Day Yoga Challange - Day Fourteen

I have been bit frustrated with this challenge the last few days.

I have kept up with the challenge, taking a class every day, but I had not seen much change in my flexibility until today. My hamstrings seemed to be more loose at the start of class. 

I may have turned a corner.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Resolutions - Day 147 - Week 21

207 pounds this week. Gained one. 

I have decided to complete a challenge put on by the yoga studio where I take yoga. The challenge is to do attend a class once a day for 30 days. I may miss some of my cardio/strength workouts during this time.

I am curious to see how it affects my weight loss.

Friday, June 08, 2012

The 30 Day Yoga Challenge - Day Eight

I had a horrible class today.

Since part of the advantage of doing the yoga challenge is being able to attend any class at no extra cost, I have been trying out various different classes. Today was Yin and Yang Yoga. I am not sure what that is, but it seems to be about stretching (ha ha), but allowing you to relax into the stretch. In other words, holding the stretch for so long that all the muscles relax and no effort is put into the stretch. You don't have to hold it.

Talk about ego destroying, I was horrible at it.

Firstly, my focus was very off today. Usually my focus is pretty good, but today my mind was all over the place and I had trouble keeping it in class. And, we did some stretches that focused on the hamstrings/quads. This was good for me, as mine are very tight, but some of the stuff I could barely get started on. The worst thing is that I don't think I understood the philosophy behind the practice. I think you are not supposed to force or reach for the stretches. Just about everything I did was reaching and forcing.

I will definitely have to do that one again.

Wisdom of a Five Year Old - When to have Babies

K: "I can't wait until I am old enough to go to high school."

Me: "Why is that?"

K: "Then I can have babies."

Me: "Daddy would prefer it if you waited until after you finished high school to have babies."

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

The 30 Day Yoga Challenge - Day Six

So today is day six. So far I have been following the plan, one class a day. It hasn't been too hard, as the Wife has been supportive.

I am beginning to see some benefits. My mood is definitely better. I had a few run ins with K this week, and I was able to keep my cool. Particularly the other night, where she was being a smart ass while in time out. The kid is like her mother: stubborn. I extended her time out five times before she finally cracked.

I have not seen much improvement in my flexibility. I think that my poor flexibility in one area really hampers stretching another area. There is one stretch where we are supposed to be stretching our hamstrings, but my back is so tight that I am only stretching that. I can't get down far enough to stretch the hamstrings. In other words, I am so bad in one area that it is holding me back in all other areas. I think that might be the reason I am slow to improve. I was told most people see improvement in flexibility after a week of every day yoga. If my body is holding me back, it might take me longer to see improvement in my flexibility. My instructor does say that she sees improvement in me since I started a few months ago. While I agree with her, I want that improvement to last longer than just until the end of class.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Resolutions - Day 140 - Week 20

206 pounds this week. This is the lowest I weight I have been on this diet and it takes me comfortably above the 20 pounds loss total.

This is a bit of a milestone, although an unscheduled one. 

I am well behind on my weight loss goals. The baby has thrown everything off. The plan was to be at 200 pounds by week 14. I am 6 pounds shy of that at week 20. At week 21, which is next week, I planned to be at 180 pounds. That is not going to happen. That goal was a bit unrealistic anyway. The last time I was 180 pounds was somewhere around age 15 I think. It was the under 200 pounds goal that I was really focusing on. Anything after that was gravy and I would be happy to stabilize somewhere between 195 and 195 pounds. My goals are the same, it's just the timing might be off by 4-6 weeks, due to the baby.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

The 30 Day Yoga Challenge

The Yoga studio I attend is having a 30 day Yoga Challenge. Participants have to complete at least one class per day for thirty days. I decided to give it a try. By participating I hope to gain:

Increased flexibility. The flexibility in my legs is very poor. Growing up, my sports were soccer and running. Runners are not known for having good flexibility. Since those days, I also have a sore back and a bad knee. In fact, my hamstrings are so tight that if a stand up for moderate periods of time, they were start to ache and I will have to sit down. I am not ready to give in to aches and pain like some 80 year old man.

More centered/Improved mood. I have not been happy with my mood for the past year, and I am sure the Wife has not either. I have been short with her and the kids lately. This last year I have felt useless. I spend my day ferrying people around or cleaning up something that is immediately undone. I don't know what it is like to be a woman and how women can survive as a homemaker, but a man needs something visible that he can look and and say, "Look what I have done". I haven't had anything like that for the past year.

I have always been interested in Eastern philosophy. I subscribe to the idea of "mind over matter". I have seen or experienced times when I have felt "one with the universe" (or closer to that state) and I believe that meditation can help to keep a person more centered. I hope that this challenge will improve my mood and  make me better able to deal with K.

Increased core strength. Why not throw it in. From what I can see, improving core strength in yoga means situps. I hate situps (doesn't everyone?). But I could use some (ok, a lot) of improvement in that area. Not really a key thing, more of a nice bonus. If I can build a nice six-pack, maybe the Wife will find me attractive again.

Since I started Yoga a few months ago, I have been seeing some benefits. However, they don't seem to carry on long enough to make a huge difference. My mood is good for only a few hours after a class and my flexibility seems to back to normal by the next class. I have being doing Yoga 1-2 times a week for the last few months. I want to know if I can improve beyond that and build on that improvement. Will doing Yoga every day achieve that goal?

I will blog about my progress at different times throughout the month.

A Month of No Nagging

An interesting article about nagging and trying to stop.

I think this relates to the Wife and I, but our issues are not nagging. A lesson in here for all married couples?

Friday, June 01, 2012

Wisdom of a Five Year Old - Getting Married

K: "Daddy, when I get older I want to marry you."

Me: "But I am already married to Mommy."

K: "I will marry you after she dies."

Me: .....