The title of this blog post is a Mary Wollstonecraft quote that has always stuck with me, because it's both hopeful and empowering. Every day, we have the opportunity to make changes, big or small, and to start anew as many times as needed.
Being a beginner at something again has reminded me that nothing in life ever really becomes easy; we just get more proficient. Because I practice yoga asana daily, those postures and movements - while still challenging - feel much more natural to me than the strength training exercises I've just started doing. I thought I was in reasonably good shape, but my body is facing some unexpected challenges with my new training regimen. (That's P90x, in case you didn't catch it in the previous post.)
It's actually really interesting to be making these changes now, because I'm starting at a sort of 'comfortably fit' place - I'm not winning any competitions over here, but my body is healthy, pain-free, and gets me through vinyasa yoga classes with relative comfort and ease. However, I've learned that my larger muscles are really at a beginner fitness level, as the little supporting guys I've built up through yoga asana practice seem to be doing almost all of the work!
I can't do a proper chin-up, yet (which is probably not a surprise to most), but I also can't do most push-up varieties that show up in this program, especially when my chest, back and arms are already tired; my endurance is apparently lower than I expected. I've got the military style push-ups down because of all those Chaturangas! But otherwise, it's a pretty wobbly, floppy situation in the push-up department. It's okay, though; I'm just doing the best I can for now, and I know I'll build up more strength, over time.
So, this has been humbling. I used to say that yoga training was all I ever needed, but I've found that it really doesn't hurt to pick up a weight once in a while!
I'm not going hard on the fitness and nutrition areas of my life because I'm preparing for a big event or because I'm unhappy with where I currently am; I'm doing this because I'm eager for a personal challenge, and also because I want to clean up my diet and spice up my fitness regimen. I haven't decided yet what I'm going to do once these 90 days are over, but I imagine it'll be a less intense version of what I'm doing now; a mix of yoga and strength training, with a balanced vegetarian diet.
On the topic of nutrition, this is an area that I'm taking sort of slow and allowing to evolve, based on my needs. My goal is not to lose weight, rather to tone up and build muscle mass, so I'm staying closer to the higher end of the caloric scale. I'm eating mostly vegan, with the exception of a couple of eggs (organic, free range), once or twice a week. I managed to eat 85 grams of protein yesterday with a daily total of about 1,450 calories, and that was a fully vegan day. (I also ate quite a bit of fat - not afraid of it anymore.) I've been drinking a ton of water and I still feel thirsty all the time, somehow... The above photo depicts my diet on Day 1, with the exception of the honey crisp apple, Vega protein shake (with almond milk) and handful of almonds that I also ate.
I've had lots of energy so far, and I think that's mainly because I'm eating quite a bit more than I normally do. I'm considering going back to a fully vegan diet after this program, but I've decided to just stay open to everything and go with the flow.
I don't think I've mentioned yet that Cam is doing this whole thing with me, with a slightly different diet plan. I'm so grateful for his support, and his enthusiasm to go for a full overhaul, even when nothing is actually 'wrong'. Having a workout partner is a massive benefit in any fitness program, especially when they put together a full gym in your garage! (Props to Cam for always being up for anything and taking such good care of me.) We decided to be morning workout people, so we'll be getting started around 5:45am, Monday through Friday, and perhaps a little later on Saturdays.
I've been working on a Yoga for Athletes series for the Online Studio, and I think having such sore muscles all the time will make me more empathetic to the athlete's struggle! (~Keep an eye out for a new video in the next few days~)
I'm off to make some hummus (one of my fave snacks) and then I'll be getting into a hot epsom salt bath to soothe my achey body. I've got an aromatherapy blend called Deep Muscle Relief in the diffuser, and I'm also taking about 1,500mg vitamin C per day. I've also got some arnica gel, if needed, but for now I'm just taking it easy and relaxing as much as possible. These little muscles need to recover enough to be up for tomorrow's challenge!
Do you have any more tips or tricks for sore muscle relief and recovery? Leave them in the comments for me below!