0 Miles per Month

Get it? GET IT…?! Because I ran zero miles for the month of July! I probably could have, but I was already slowing down with my running schedule as it was. Prior to hopping on the Bikram band wagon cult, I was completely and totally lethargic. The longer I got into yoga and making sure I went each and every day, the more I did not want to run in fear that it would exhaust my body. I tend to forget that I have lupus and cannot push myself like others can- doing both at that frequency seemed like a poor life choice. The longer I went without a daily run, the longer I missed running.

Truthfully, I was fearful that I would no longer be able to run and that my body would have to retrain itself. I was hoping 105 degrees of torture would help to prepare me. Not only do I feel physically stronger than I was, but mentally I was continuously challenging myself to push through and each day I did. My new attitude: If I could do it, I can do it.

Following my 30 days of Bikram, I did give myself one day off from working out entirely, but I was pumped to lace up my sneakers and hit the boardwalk. It was actually a craving- I know, hard to imagine, I usually crave ice cream, not running, but I needed my fix. Day 2 post Bikram and I was ready for a change. I rode my bike west, met John for a 2 mile run on the beach, and rode home, totaling 11 miles on my bike. I felt alive again. I woke up this morning charged to go- making sure to take a gratuitous ring next to my sneakers photo.

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dirt and sparkles = love

Taking to my beloved boardwalk I ran, blasting oldies but goodies- yup, I’m talking about you Tricky…

And it felt freeing. Not easy, but freeing. Running, I love you and I missed you. I will never leave you for that long again! Today, I finished 4 miles in 40 minutes, not too shabby for a month hiatus. The muscles and brain do not forget, so maybe it has been a while since you last had a good workout, but it’s better to start sooner rather than later. Because, why not?! That’s the best logic I have for you.

That time John did Bikram

I love, love, love having a friend by my side for a workout. I don’t know what the scientific reason for this is…OK, well, I just googled this and there are many reasons, but whatevs, I love it. Having a friend by your side is immediate camaraderie and emotional support. In fact, when I began going to yoga in 2013, Jess was right by my side throughout it all. When I started to run, John jumped on board and started running too. The sad thing is, I struggle to get Jess to run and John to do yoga. One of the few times Jess did a 5k with me she damaged her foot and struggled to walk comfortably on it for some time. John just hates the idea of yoga entirely.

I want to accept that not everyone I adore has to adore the things I adore, but, why not?!

Well, I’m proud to say that I got my fiance to come to a Bikram class. I think in part because I didn’t bully him like I normally would to get my way. Instead, I was casual about it- at least that’s how I remember it going down, though it is possible that there were threats involved. I do not recall. I do recall telling him the following things:

  1. It is the worst heat you will ever experience.
  2. You can watch the sweat form on your body as it’s happening.
  3. The smell. The smell is like a garbage can and a diaper had a baby with a foot.
  4. It’s physical torture and you might faint.

His initial thoughts? Wait, why am I doing this again? And so naturally I explained my inclination to want to give him the worst possible aspects of Bikram yoga so that there are zero surprises or expectations. Actually, your expectations are now so horrible that you might be pleasantly surprised by what you do experience during class. Somehow, he still wanted to come.

As soon as we got to the studio I saw a few men pass us by so I leaned over to John, oh so casually, and said, “hey babe, look, guys are here. Something I love about yoga is that people of all ages, races, genders, shapes and sizes come together to practice.”

He shot me a glance like, you have to be joking, and said “yeah, I don’t care- it’s not a big deal.”

Alrighty then, buckaroo. 

In some ways this was the best class ever, and in some ways in was the worst class.

Best class? I had Jess and John both with me on my halfway through my thirty day challenge day. It just felt like emotional support overload (yeah, yeah, Jess had to be there because she is doing it too, but it was still exciting). I also loved that I could share my practice with the person I’m spending my life with and that he was willing to give it a shot for me.

Worst class? I sat on my mat in terror envisioning worst case scenario- because that’s what I do. I imaged him getting up and leaving, throwing up on the mat, shooting death stares my way, the list goes on. Because I was so concerned he was miserable during class, I found myself falling out of everything. It didn’t help that I was perpetually checking on him to make sure he was breathing and doing alright. Or trying to catch his eye to give him a “hang in there, champ!” sort of smile.

What I really needed to do was focus on myself because- he did everything. Was he drenched in sweat? Hot? Tired? Yes. Yes. and Yes. But so is everyone at the end of class. We walked out and he said, “that was fine. It’s not my thing, but it was cool.”

And that is the end of my fifteenth day.

Moral of the story: Worry about yourself. Everyone will be alright on their own.

Lucky Thirteen

Today was day 13 and I have had a revelation.

If I treat going to bikram like it’s a chore, it becomes my chore. And let’s be honest, no one likes chores unless they are accompanied by a nice little allowance. And unfortunately, I’m paying to attend these classes so it’s not like an allowance circa 1997 at all. Not that I was hating my life for 90 straight minutes or anything today- just kidding, of course I was.

People will try to convince you that once you get into the groove of working out that it wont feel like a chore anymore. I went so far as to google this and came across a reddit page dedicated entirely to the question: How long was it before the gym went from chore to fun for you? (read if you care) The writer of the post said it took him/her longer than a year because they were really just “dicking around.” Other responses include:

  1. “the gym is my sanctuary. The place where I stop being Husband & Dad. Just that guy with the headphones and the Don’t “F” with me face”
  2. “I always finish a full 1.5 hour workout but I had to stop on monday cause I started to get bladder problems and feel like I have to piss all the time. Probably the A/C that is blasting in my small ass gym caused it.”
  3. “Y’all think most people should/would enjoy working out. That’s honestly silly.”

Ya’ll, I agree with person number three. I might be a tid-bit of a Debbie Downer right now, but I don’t think there has been a time in the two years that I have consistently worked out that I was like,

working out is my religion.

Which, spoiler alert, is what someone of Reddit wrote.

My revelation is this: Working out may never be what gets my blood pumpin’ (I wrote this not realizing the irony in the statement until I re-read what I wrote. Let’s leave it.), but it is a part of my life that I refuse to abandon. What it comes down to is that I need to change my own outlook on challenging workouts- I need to have the perspective that going to bikram is more than a chore. To do that, I have to identify why I’m going and what keeps me going back for more.

Maybe a little of this too:

Today after class I spent the day with my family on the beach where I fake laughed for a significant amount of time with my two year old niece. We dug up animals, we built shoddy sand castles, we jumped in the waves. We had a blast and not once did I think to myself: I really regret taking that ridiculously hot class with minimal breathable air where everyone smells and that woman literally farted in your face. She farted- in. your. face. Now that I’m reflecting on class today it’s amazing that I didn’t think about that even once until this moment. It’s because that 90 minute class is not the be all end all and when it’s over, it is over.

Tomorrow is day 14 and if I find myself cursing off the teacher inside of my head (for reasons that are not their fault- what a bitch, this room is too hot! Yes, you signed up for this class, you moron.) I will come back to my own mental list of why I’m doing this in the first place.

To rock a pair of jeans better than no other For my health. My mental happiness.

And to rock a pair of jeans better than no other. 

Boring People.

I call myself lazy all of the time- this is usually as I’m sprawled out on the couch, phone by my side, iPad on lap, TV blaring Shahs of Sunset, or some other garbage Emmy Award deserving show that I’m not so secretly obsessed with. I’m not actually a lazy person by nature, but sometimes, in these moments, I feel like I could exist on a downward spiral of Bravo forever and be perfectly content. In other moments I’m zipping around the house, restless: Where are we going? What are we doing? I’m bored. I’m bored. I’m bored!

Please, universe, do not give me a child like myself.

I’m probably not too alone in the conundrum of the do everything and the do nothing person- but it’s exhausting. Can’t I just be balanced? It’s when an entire day has passed me by and someone says: “So what’s new?!” And suddenly, I feel like the most boring human in the world as I stare at them blankly as though the only words I can muster are “well, I’m finishing Orange is the New Black Season 3.”  Which is true, and I think it’s alright. Not as good as season 1, but what really is?

But there is a lot to share!

Today I finished day 12 of my challenge. The room was hot, beads of sweat burned my eyes, I took two breaks, but I finished. I want to tell you that it gets easier, but it doesn’t. Some days are easier (the days I take the “shorter” class, the 60 minute classes) some days are harder for no rhyme or reason. I have spoken to veterans of the practice that will tell you the exact same thing- maybe it’s what I ate before I went? Because I haven’t eaten in too long? I had too much water? Too little water? The time of the day? The humidity outside? The variables are extensive and have a great deal to do with your practice that day.

At the same time, there are constants.

I love hearing my heart beating in my ear and feeling my breath slow down as I’m practicing being mindful of my breathing. I love the exhaustion felt as my chest and stomach rises and falls in each savasana. I love reciting “namaste” to my teacher followed by the last savasana as the once brightly lit room has been dimmed and I can lay with zero thoughts, something I struggle with on a daily basis. I love when my practice is over and I stagger a bit out of the hot room to feel the sensation of the air conditioned studio. It is one of the best feelings I have ever experienced- 105 degrees to room temperature? Sign me up. This transition is a taste of heaven and it’s a reminder that you are a survivor of Bikram. And you do more than just watch hours of television.

It isn’t easy. If it was easy everyone would do it. And remember, only boring people are bored!

Now, off to the city to watch my little brother do improv- now that’s brave!

Listless with Lupus

The title says it all and it reads like the saddest dating tag on match.com that you have ever seen.

I just feel like letting it all hang out. In the writing sense. Does that exist in this world anymore? A place where one can shout as loud as they want without worry of judgement?

Why listless with lupus? I have a theory that it’s that smack-dab in the middle of summer blues that is getting to me. My zest for life that started this blog was recently traded in for a brand new model: fear. I swing between thrilled about living and listless. What if I can’t? 

So, I realized I needed to get an effin grip and grow the eff up. That’s why I’m not using curses, I’m a grown up now, people!

That being said, I was determined to get back into a healthier lifestyle, one in which I was conscientious about taking my medicine, going to doctors appointments, and listening to my body. Because I am an adult. I repeat, I am an adult.

And that’s where I found myself at a crossroads: a thirty day Bikram yoga challenge!

Q: But what happened to running?

A: Quite frankly bored with running. Here we go again, one leg goes in front of the other leg at a faster pace than when I was walking. I’m not saying I am done with running, we are just taking a break. 

Back to the new fad I’m seeing: Bikram. 105 degree room, 26 poses, and sweating from places you didn’t know could sweat. I kid you not, you can watch beads of sweat forming. Bring a towel, you will need one.

It will be a good idea they said, try it they said. I love a good competition- against myself, friends, enemies, my dog, I don’t care. If you give me a challenge and I accept it, game on.

Q: How is this challenge going?

A: … 

Day 1: Walk in to the studio and I learn they have shorter classes than they used to. Instead of 90 minutes of hell, you can go for 60! Wonderful! To be honest the 60 minutes was exactly what I needed and while I didn’t complete every posture, I walked out feeling confident in the next day. 

Day 2: Go big or go home. 90 minutes it is, I want the experience (I tell myself.) I don’t necessarily regret the experience, but I accept that 60 minutes is completely acceptable. I even decide if those are the only classes I am able to attend I can’t beat myself up over it. 

Day 3: Before I leave for class I have John take my picture because you best believe I have every intention in monitoring my progress. I refuse to weigh myself, but damn straight I want to see those love handles melt away and six-pack abs replace my “she is an adorable pregnant girl” belly. 

Day 4: I got this

Day 5: I got this

Day 6: I got this so much I am going to take a picture and send it to my mom! I am actually at a point where I have filled out an entire first line on the challenge card. Only four to go. I try convincing myself that’s the wrong way to look at things but the Debbie Downer in me wants no part in any of my excitement. Additionally, as I’m walking in to this 60 minute class a girl goes, “I usually only do the 90 minutes…but…” and I feel like a failure. The class goes well, but I bolt out of the door because I have a wedding to be at in one hour. 

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Day 7: I got this.

Day 8: I cannot explain enough that this was the worst class. At the end of class my friend told me she got through class by imagining ways to make me laugh. The first thing she said to me was actually, “so wasn’t that the best class yet?” We cannot pinpoint why it was such a bad class, but it was. 

Day 9: I’m enjoying class and then I feel this pinch. I spend the rest of the night into today hobbling around like a little old lady with sciatica, which I’m pretty sure is exactly what I am right now.

Day 10: Here I am. Drinking water and debating my next move. Do I give up? Do I push myself? Is this lupus or sciatica? Am I just crazy (side note: yes, but it’s unrelated) Can I just lay on the mat for 90 minutes? More to come my friends. More. To. Come.

Sincerely,

Listless with Lupus

Life of a Mogwai

I hate showering.

TMI?

Well that’s what blogs are for: Too much information for the good of humanity. How else would you find out that other people hate cleaning themselves as much as you do? Don’t worry. You’re normal. Says the person that hates showering… And apparently this piece of work too:

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If you’re wondering to yourself who is that you’re a better person than I am. Kudos.

Anywho!

Despite my aversion to water that’s comparable to a mogwai, I always manage to bathe myself after a workout. Mostly because I believe in overcoming obstacles in life. It makes you a better person.

Wednesday I had a choice to:

A) blog about my kickass workout

or

B) shower

Good for me, I chose the latter. So, three days later and I’m finding some time to indulge you in my progress in life. Here we go!

I, Talia Timberlake* am the heaviest I have ever been in my whole entire life. Maybe it’s because part of my resolution this year was to have no resolutions. Screw the man! Maybe it’s because Maslow had it so right when he wrote about the significance of food. Maybe it’s because Meghan Trainor sang an inspiring song about having all the right curves in all the right places.

And I may or may not have sent this gem out to a few people on New Year’s Eve:

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Ugh, I’m such a jerk! Granted, there are a lot of topics of conversation that could come up when looking at that picture again. For instance, I’m wearing a romper. Normally, rompers are a welcome addition into my clothing family- not on a night where bathrooms are sparse and the streets are flooded with drunken humans. The romper on New Years Eve was single handedly my worst decision of 2014.

So after I came home from a fabulous vacation in Key West, help take me back! I weighed myself and had a life sized (literally) reality check. Remember that one time I wrote a whole post dedicated to my hatred of the scale (see here). As much as I hate the scale sometimes it’s necessary to reflect. Especially when you’re consistently opting for stretch pants because unbuttoning the top button on your jeans all of the time is looking increasingly obvious under your now tight shirt. Then again, you can always just buy a moo moo.

It hurts to see a number you have never seen before. I swore that working out was not about weight loss- until I gained weight. And it doesn’t matter what size you wear, it isn’t fun. I have many opinions on my current insecurities, for example, shut up, you’re being so annoying right now. But whatever, on a rainy day I’ll blog about how photoshop, magazines, and the porn industry have destroyed us all. So back to my recent destiny: As groupon would have it, a local cycling studio was offering up a deal, and I’m a sucker for deals so I bought into it with a few friends, thus scoring our workout classes for $5 a pop. Unheard of!

That was in December.

I procrastinated going. I got sick. I was tired. I had a really long day at work. I had a longer than usual week at work. Oh yeah, and I was afraid!

There it was! The root in my procrastination. I was terrified of going because the last time I cycled I swear I saw Jesus through beads of sweat blinding my eyeballs- and I’m Jewish. But that was over one year ago, before I realized that it’s ok to feel like death may be closer to 30 than you imagined- because it’s not. Because you’re going to walk out of your workout feeling like … Things that release endorphins. Which p.s., feels sensational.

So I took a class with my girl, Sarah, which always makes going to workout easier. Forget the fact that you won’t even be close to each other or recognize the other person exists once the workout begins, the sheer accountability is the perk. We signed up for the one hour class which is the longest class they offer. My immediate thought was: fuck. The class was also the one that incorporates weights so naturally my second thought was: why didn’t I read the description of the classes before I blindly signed up. Damn you, Sarah!

Since I have a tendency to vacillate between diligence and laziness, clearly I chose the one pound weights over the two pound weights. Like I said, I love challenging myself. Actually I always feel ashamed in weight classes because without fail I will choose the lowest weight option. One pounders are less challenging to hold than a baby rattle. Literally, a baby could lift this with ease. I don’t care. It make me happy.

My fears aside, the class was wonderful, the instructor was helpful, and I got a great workout in. I love looking around a room and seeing people of all ages, genders, abilities, sizes- it’s a beautiful thing. If you are a near the Long Beach area check out Ocean Ride. The first “ride” (they call it that, aw, so cute) is free. My intention is to go once a week minimum as a supplement to running. And maybe to fit into my pants again. Dream big, folks, dream big.

*name changed for privacy. And because Justin asked me to take his name. I know, I know, I’m a feminist… I should have hyphenated.

Facts of Life

A few revelations that I’ve come to in the past two days:

  • You have to save your drafts to wordpress or they will be deleted.
  • You will be seriously disappointed when you realize this.
  • My dog is better groomed than I am.
  • If you listen to Faith Hill’s Breathe long enough, you will start to breath.

In the spirit of going to the gym yesterday and running 4 miles in 40 minutes, I would like to thank the warped mirror which makes me look 10 lbs lighter. Making each and every trip to the gym feel like it’s working, damn girl, check out that butt!

In the spirit of my dedication to my last blog post that I never saved, I’m going to keep this short and sweet.

These are the…

get it?

Facts…of…life…

le sigh.

Hey, Girl, Hey

I’m still alive and here! I’ll give you a morning synopsis so you know it’s me and not my evil twin (a little Halloween spirit in the household!) I am still running. I had a rough three weeks following the extraction of my wisdom teeth- it was followed by a hardcore cold (allergies?) that lasted for weeks. The cough still hasn’t gone home ::cough:: welcome to fall/winter, body!

Last week John and I began our quest to run while most people, including ourselves, would be asleep… The dreaded 5 a.m. haul out of bed. We took Tilly on a few morning runs, the dog is a good companion! Who would have known those four little legs could carry her so well. Don’t worry PETA representatives, we know her limits. This morning we dragged ourselves up but the weather was like, no way… Don’t run out here… so we decided to hit up the gym spot. We made it to the gym only to find a pitch black building. A pitch.black.locked.shut.building. Seriously, gym! Does this mean that tonight I can say I already went to the gym?

No… It doesn’t work like that?

Since the gym wasn’t open and I made it clear that I am not diehard enough to run outside we decided to do the food shopping that we swore would happen over the weekend. We get to the supermarket, dedicated and ready to speed shop or at least get some kind of sweat on. Hopes dashed! Two workers eye me through the large glass windows as I repeatedly try to open the front door. They don’t even blink. Or laugh at my expense.

What is going on world?! At least laugh at my misfortune!

Now, at 6:20, I have enjoyed a cup of coffee (made using a napkin as a filter since filters were on the shopping list) and watched 50 cent learn about his heritage on a vh1 show about celebs revisiting their origins… Talk about racist old people, what the hell is a Mongolian Slave?! (See what I’m talking about)

On another note, things I need to purchase:

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(From here)

Simply because I’m positive that’s the exact opposite of how today is going for me right about now. I guess I’ll just go to the gym twice today. I can say that now.

Grinding

When the summer began to wind down, the last thing I felt like doing was stationing myself in front of a computer to write about life. If life is about living I wanted to make sure I was actually doing that in my fleeting hours of irresponsibility. Irresponsibility because I did not work at all this summer. And it was glorious. Side note: somewhere along the line I convinced myself that I am a workaholic and not working would be like not breathing. Impossible. That was what I believed until I didn’t work this summer. Turns out I can still breath.

So in my final few weeks I was determined to do a lot of running- I mentioned in my last post that I ran four miles. Oh, was that overshadowed by my whining that I didn’t see James Franco? Sorry. Four miles might not seem like much of anything considering in my heyday I was doing that each day. Now…times have changed. As I slept in during the long days of irresponsibility, I dreaded physical activity. I was pushing it most days with two miles runs, or I would ride my bike six miles, do a 1.5 miles beach run, ride my bike home and call it a day. Three mile days were few and far between until the past two weeks when I finally acknowledged how lazy I have become. As I mentioned before, it turns out that I’m marvelous at watching every season and episode of any Real Housewives. Indiscriminately.

I forced myself up and out, riding my bike to the gym on days it was too hot to run outside, I took my bike everywhere I needed to go, and I stopped thinking I can’t. Because I have run that much and more. And before I could put in the distance I started with the basics. No excuses. And it was one day as I was riding my bike, blasting some version of Calvin Harris / Avicii something or another that it clicked in my head- today I did not think about going for a run. I just did it. And it took one whole year, but it happened. The day has finally arrived where I workout because it’s what I do and not because I require it of myself. And it feels damn good.

And today I went back to my daily grind and into my fifth year of teaching. I went back to the mornings of fighting with John for mirror space before the sun is out. Back to the days of responsibility- in my job and for myself. And now that the days of irresponsibility are over I hope that stays true. I hope I continue to hold myself accountable and I hope I continue to remember that it always feels worth it after the workout is over. Even when you swear you are going to die and ice cream seems like the only cure in this harsh, harsh world we live in.

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Running Sucks

After my exhilarating light bulb session, I felt like I could take on the world. What better way to take on the world but to go outside for a run. Since honesty is always my policy, for better or worse, I’m going to cut to the chase.

Running outside has been very hard.

How frustrating! I tied up my new sneaks, trainers to you Brits, and felt empowered as I hit the boardwalk. It was me, the sunshine shining, my feet hitting the boardwalk, the waves crashing by my side, and then- the wind.

Wind, the red headed stepchild of weather. No offense to redheads. But wind is the worst! Go home wind, you’re drunk! I guess with all of my indoor running, it’s been easy to forget that running outside is not all it’s made out to be in a nike commercial. On the few runs I’ve done outside this season, very few have been “enjoyable.” What happened to those early days of my blogging life, when every run felt like I was jogging on a brownie. Delectable. Is it that I just need some readjustment time? Am I not used to the weather yet? Why didn’t you guys tell me running would be so challenging?!

Stats today-
2.6 miles of huffing and puffing
3 mini walks as I debated quitting at life
1 nose blow into my shirt
2 sighs of exasperation

Otherwise, I’m really digging the Asics. So there’s that.