Breath, Body and Tracy Anderson Method

Okay.

So after decades of giving Miss Tracy Anderson the ultimate side eye, I dragged my tail into a multi-task bands class at the request of Amazing Human and Habibi Ambassador DaLette Anderson…

And I never left.

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Here’s the thing. Bands KICKED MY ASS. Like, for real had me sitting down and questioning my life choices. What I didn’t realize was, there was more to come. So after I got my weight up (so to speak), I ventured into atTAin.

What in the Sam Hell…

Y’all. LISTEN.

Attain is a warmup, a light arm workout, and the most intense precision mat training for legs you have ever come across. I swear that Tracy is straight trolling us sometimes like “I wonder if they are really going to do this?” Insanity. Most of the moves come from the core. That means, less sit-ups than you ever thought you needed. And although Miss Tracy has been caught on camera talking shit about yoga and Pilates (the internet is forever y’all), I spot a LOT of both yoga and Pilates in the moves. Which might also explain why my body embraces them. Now, in her defense, the video I saw was from years ago, and if Tracy doesn’t do anything else, she learns and she grows. That is an admirable quality. Because anytime you can go from being called all kinds of crooks and liars (Indiana is all: ‘The North Remembers ‘) to being celebrated as THE GO TO PERSON for a life and body change… I’m just saying.

She’s good. She pays attention, she’s not arrogant about the moves (she’s known to modify them if they don’t work precisely the way they are supposed to), and she’ll get results. I lost three inches the first couple of weeks. And then when I realized I was paying an arm an a leg to ‘drop in’ to classes, I joined. Screw it.

Make no mistake, this is the most money I’ve paid for ANY KIND OF ANYTHING per month, and I take yoga for free! Insanity. But it’s strengthened my yoga practice, my Pilates practice, and my sleep (and y’all know how much I value my sleep. Maybe you don’t. But yeah, it’s a thing). Overall I just perform better. Oh, and those little annoying last few pounds just fell off… never to be seen again. Everything is tight and toned and my flexibility kicked up right nicely. And I’m no spring chicken, so when I tell you that my 43 looks 25… I’m not playing. Because clearly Tracy ain’t playing with me.

Did I mention that we work out in a heated room with springs on the floor, surrounded by humidifiers? Yeah. That too. Thank goodness I teach at Corepower, where heat and humidity are the order of the day. Otherwise, there would be some serious misunderstandings around here.

I’ve taken several Master Classes with Tracy herself, and I find her to be giggly and engaging and extremely positive. She talks to everyone, jokes, laughs off missteps and is overall a hyper-energetic and positive human being. I get measured every month, get tips on eating and moving and doing what’s best for MY body (not anyone else’s). Tracy long-time right-hand Maria Kelling takes excellent care of me, reprimands me lovingly when she catches me sitting on my ass drinking water and staring hatefully at the trainer and pushes me to get my cardio in to handle this body. Ashanti (best manager ever) makes sure I’m taking care of myself when I travel and gives me tips to keep going. It’s been 4 months, and I feel amazing. The environment is positive (we all smile and encourage each other… because Lord knows the workout is hard enough without having to also deal with someone’s attitude). I’ve become a better yoga practitioner, a better teacher, and a better listener of my body. Tracy is not for everyone. You have to be willing to do the work, and not expect a quick fix. It will challenge you to go further than you think you can, and do ONE.MORE.REP. The trainers do everything (and more) than we do, and they are a testament to untapped resources of strength and determination. I have a lot of love for those women (who are all in the above video. Truly amazing human beings). They bust their tails, and encourage us to get out there, smile and do the same.

So yeah, that’s what I’ve been doing since year got kicking. Like I said, it’s not for everyone. But I can say in this moment that it’s definitely for me.

So about these Vegan Happenings…

A little more than 5 weeks ago I DID NOT decide to become a vegan.

And yet, here I am.

When something is real, it just is.

There is no swimming upstream about it, no angst, no justification, no actual emotion…

It just is.

I started a blog about it.

Like ta hear it…? here it go…

VEGAN HAPPENED

Yo…

… still one more class to go before my CorePower Extensions training is done, and I’m already working like I’ve been doing this for the longest time. WTH man…

crunch

Yesterday I got a call from a friend, wanting to know if I could come audition within a couple of hours to teach yoga? What? Okay. So I pack up my ‘yoga gear’, throw on a few malas and stride into Crunch Fitness preparing to do my best namaste. It didn’t work. The woman who hired me (yes, I got the job) is more interested in what I can DO, not what I say. Oooookay.

So I launch into my best Warrior 3… and HOLD…

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… and hold…

And she blurts out “I like you. You got the job.”

Alrighty then.

Then a whole bunch of other stuff happens. There’s legalities (no touching/adjusting the students!), paperwork (are you a legal resident… what is your mother’s cousin’s firstborn’s second cousin’s name?), and a handshake.

So  here’s the deal:

Twice a week, I’m all about Power Yoga at Crunch Fitness in Northridge.

October 19th, I’m teaming up with Lorna Jane for a (free) Flow in Sherman Oaks. See my Facebook Page for more details.

I’m training to be a ‘Pilates Body’ (more on that later).

I’m booked for private sessions through November.

Habibi Bath & Body is headed to Finland (not me… just some products), and we picked up a new account in Northern California.

Life has changed… things have changed… I have changed.

Here’s to new Adventures!!!!!

Detox

So, I found out that this horrid round of breakouts (my skin is being STRAIGHT DISRESPECTFUL right now), has little to do with my mat and lots more to do with all the ‘wringing out’ I’ve been doing. Our yoga practice includes a lot of twisting movements and poses, and the effect is a literal detox of your entire body. Mine has just decided to manifest on my face. Yayy.

I’m still doing due diligence with my tea tree oil (never leave home without it) and face wipes. Makeup is sitting by the wayside for the moment because I really just want my skin to breathe and stay as clear as possible in this horrid heat (90 degrees today).

I’ve gone back to my Eve Lom Rescue Mask because it is so necessary. It’s such a ‘break glass in case of emergency’ item. I used it last night, and this horrible cystic thing on my right cheek is finally starting to look like it’s going down. Sheesh.

I also added an additional sauna (infrared) to my weekly routine. It’s helping a LOT. I know that laying in a hot little box and sweating profusely for an hour might seem like torture (especially during summer) but believe it or not, it’s actually cooling after the fact. The summer heat feels regulated,and my skin is flushed and healthy looking. I’ve been booking a session before bedtime; I find that I sleep a lot better right after the sweat.And I upped the ante on Kombucha tea. Someone told me that it helps with the detox. Now, either it’s going to make me break out MORE, or I’m going to have the cleanest system on the planet. Or both. I haven’t decided yet.

Here’s hoping what ever is inside my body gets the hell out… SOON. Breakouts are not cute, and I honestly thought I’d closed this chapter on my skin care concerns. I haven’t been peeling this year because the worst is absolutely over. But I’m not up for any cystic pimples showing up either. This madness needs to end.

Adventures In… Ingesting Flax Seed

This post comes with a bit of TMI. You have been warned.

My most recent ultrasonic treatment came with a conversation about digestion. I think that Gisell and I are getting to know each other a little better, so ‘oversharing’ kind of comes with the territory. After my haphazard introduction to ultrasonic, my body absolutely refused to shed a thing. Since I’m a pretty ‘regular’ girl, this sent me into a bit of a tizzy… and nearly made me swear off ultrasonic treatments altogether.

Gisell thinks I wasn’t getting enough fiber.

What? Moi? I’m the fiber QUEEN. How could I not be getting enough fiber? She suggested Flax Seed.

M’kay, this ain’t my first time to the colon cleansing rodeo. I know all about flax seed. Or do I? I’ve been taking flax seed oil (in a capsule) on and off for years. Never really noticed any difference. I basically took it to maintain joint health, but certainly not for digestion. Giselle thinks maybe I should give the whole seeds a go, so I take her advice and go exploring.

I end up with these:

This strange vacuum sealed bag costs about 3 bucks at Trader Joes. I get home, pour a bit out onto a paper towel, and get to munching. Tastes like sunflower seeds… not gross… easy peasy. I get on with my day with no real issues…

…for about an hour.

And then… Holy Crap. And I mean CRAP in every sense of the word. What the hell do they put in those things? In between cussing and running for the bathroom every five minutes just in case the gas… WASN’T… I decide to read the back of the package.

*facepalm*

Serving size is 2 tablespoons. What the…duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuude! I’m not even going to get into how much I actually ingested, but it was more than 2 tablespoons. Damn things should come with a warning label!

I probably lost about two pounds that night. But in the morning, I felt FABULOUS. The Flax Seed acted less like a dietary aid and more like Draino… and unclogged, well, everything. The next day, I felt like I could run a marathon. I was full of energy and feeling lighter all over.

So I’m going to keep taking the flax seed in seed form… because it is way more effective than pills, meal, and anything else that I’ve been told to toss into a smoothie or bake into a muffin. But I’m going to take the RECOMMENDED DOSAGE from now on because that was not cute! I’m fairly sure I killed plant life several blocks away from my house. Just terrible.

Please pour out a little protein drink in memory of the plant life that once was.

You can find out more about whole flax seeds HERE.

The Gratitude Project: Get Shallow…

…with me for a minute and just entertain a recent experience that includes money, mayhem and the perfect way to confirm the Southern California Stereotype.

So I’m looking at myself in the mirror like “Girlfriend you wanna be lookin’ like this”…

… but better, ’cause well, only I can be the best version of ME, right? So I’m working out… eating right… and running around like little miss yogi with the full knowledge that even with all of that I’m not gonna truly be sporting an airbrushed version of myself.

I am Grateful For…

“The common sense to manage my expectations.”

But recently, Dye-Anne has been in my ear about getting Ultrasonic Treatments to smooth everything out and get rid of really old fat (that will stick around regardless of diet and exercise) that’s trapped just beneath the surface of the skin.

For the most part, I’ve been ignoring her. I’m not interested in the cost of the treatments at the place she’s suggesting (200+ for one treatment), AND you need at least 6 treatments to really see a difference. NO.

I am Grateful for:

“The good sense not to spend a small fortune on a treatment as if I’ve got Naomi Campbell’s budget to work with.”

But then, there’s a special, and it’s INSANE. The cost is a few dollars (no, really, a few) for one treatment. I figure if I’m gonna try it out, this might be the best time in the world to do it. So I sign up for four treatments for four consecutive days (that was the max for the limited amount of time on the special), and lay my butt on the massage table to see what’s what.

I am Grateful for:

“The opportunity to try something for less than $30, that I would NEVER consider at full price.”

The sweetest technician on Earth whips out this strange machine and goes to work on my belly (I figure that’s the most harmless area, and if I see some results, we’ll move on to the hard parts like the thighs and booty). She puts a warm wide wand-shaped device on me and turns it on. It makes a strange ‘sonar’ type sound and feels like a warm massage. It’s only a matter of minutes before I’m asleep.

She works on my belly for 30 minutes, and my obliques for 15 minutes each. Afterwards, she pops me in the sauna, and instructs me to seriously hydrate for the next 48 hours.

I’m laying in the sauna feeling like a million bucks… when all hell breaks loose:

The retail coordinator at the spa gets wind of the special… and she’s LIVID. Apparently there was a misunderstanding and we were NEVER supposed to get such a treatment at such a ridiculously low price. Now, file this under ‘If it’s too good to be true…”

She mentions my name.

SAY WHAT?

I’m awake now, and wondering how this is going to affect me. Text messages start flying, and I’m mentally calculating just ‘how much’ this is going to cost me. Turns out, I was worried about nothing. Phew! She honored the price for my first treatment.

I am Grateful For…

“Only having to pay a few dollars for a treatment that should have cost a whole lot more.”

But I’d have to pay $200 for the regular price if I wanted to continue.

No dice.

So I cancel the rest of my appointments before the clerk gets on the phone to cancel everyone else (needless to say, they booked up immediately when everyone thought they were getting a deal), and promptly get on the internet to find out if there is another way.

There is.

I literally found Gisell in a random search. Her spa is close enough to me that I don’t feel like I’m doing the most, so I picked up the phone to ask a bunch of questions. Gisell is EXTREMELY knowledgeable about Ultrasonic Therapy.

She informed me that the technology is still fairly new in the United States (it’s been in Europe forever), and got FDA approval just about 2 years ago. All of the machines used in the United States have to actually be purchased here. She was NOT a fan of my back to back appointments for the treatments (all of the liquified fat is passed through the liver and either converted to energy or sent out as waste) because she said it can overload the liver. She told me that the body needs enough time to process the fat and utilize it, and that results are MUCH better if you let the body go through the process in its natural time (4-7 days). Each treatment builds on the last one, and the fat loss is permanent.

She also advises working on one body part at time (I was going to cover my whole body in the four treatments) to really maximize the results and get the body exactly where I want it to be. She said it’s like working out. You don’t do squats to build your upper body… so why would you spread the treatment all over the place? Just concentrate on the body part you wish to work on.

I dare say she had me at Hello.

I am Grateful For…

“Finding a knowledgeable person to walk me through this new venture.”

Gisell used to be a fitness instructor and personal trainer, and knows a whole lot more about diet and exercise than the average bear. She’s adamant about adapting the ‘lifestyle’ associated with Body Sculpting… a lifestyle to which I am already quite accustomed. She was very excited about the fact that I already eat healthy, work out, and hydrate within an inch of my life. So she asked me to come in for a consultation.

Meanwhile, because of the initial treatment at the other place, my abs are doing this…

like… FOR REAL. So definitely put me down as a believer. Since I already had a strong midsection, my abs responded overnight. And since the fat loss is permanent…. THEY STILL LOOK LIKE THAT! Hmph.

I am Grateful For:

“8-Pack Abs!”

I traipse up the freeway to see Gisell, and she gives me the full workup. I sign a stack of waivers and she measures, photographs, pinches and pulls all over my poor legs (this is what we’re working on). Then she lays me face down on the table and gets to work.

By the time she’s done, I feel like I’ve been running uphill for 6 miles. My legs are stimulated and energized. I felt amazing. I also went to the bathroom… A LOT. Okay, TMI. But still!

Gisell recommends that I work out after the treatment, to keep the body stimulated. So I’m doing heated yoga each time.

She signed me up for 6 treatments (at a fraction of the full price at the other place). I’m going back to see her next week.

In the meantime, after one treatment, I’ve lost a quarter inch off my thighs, and my booty is lookin’ a bit less like a sack of potatoes and a bit more like Miss Campbell. So… yeah.

I am Grateful For:

“Embarking on a new (albeit shallow) adventure to see what I can do with the Gift that is my Body.”

Amen.

 

 

Eat Up: Onion Salsa

Once upon a time, when I lived as a single gal in Hollywood, I used to frequent the most awesome Peruvian restaurant. They make an ‘onion salsa’ that would send my taste buds to the MOON. Last night I was craving that salsa… and without a clue on how to make it… attempted my own recipe:

1/2 red onion (thinly sliced)

4 Roma tomatoes (thinly sliced)

1 small bunch of cilantro (cut)

3 limes

3 cloves fresh garlic (pounded to a paste)

sea salt

cayenne pepper

I mixed the tomatoes, onion and garlic, then squeezed the limes over the mix. I seasoned with salt and cayenne to taste, then added the cilantro last. Within seconds… the lime juice ‘cooked’ all of the ingredients together and the salsa was ready!

It was sooooooooooooooo good, and just like I remembered! I was so proud. 😀

I prefer this mixture with rice, or alone for a tart little snack.