2018 Gold’s Challenge

2014 golds before after

My before & after photos from the 2014 Gold’s Gym Challenge. So Yeah, I’m a believer in this challenge.

Once again I’ve sighed up for the 2018 Gold’s Challenge. This is my 3rd time and I do love challenges. In my effort to loose my post surgery pounds, I’m off to a slow start. I feel I’ve finally righted my diet (no more eating out and no alcohol).

When it comes to losing inches, I need to jump start my exercise routine. Right now I’m more turtle than hare.

To be fair, I wanted to see the results of my 3D body scan before coming up with a plan of attack. While I want to do full body workouts, there is a part of me that wants to target my abs and thighs.

My doctor told me it would take a year for my abs to fully recover from surgery. He wasn’t kidding. It’s been a year and a half and while my abs are stronger, there’s still a lot of exercises I either can’t do (like that damn Roman chair leg raise) or am limited in how many I can do (I’m looking at you sit ups). Read More

A Little Downward Dog To Reduce Stress


Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and Stuart Mills.

Exercise is a big key to lowering my stress and anxiety (and cortisol) levels. From everything I’ve read, yoga is the magic bullet. I tried yoga about 4 years ago and really enjoyed it. However, our bank account wasn’t a big fan. Yoga studios are insanely expensive in Northern Virginia.

My first (and last) yoga studio charged me around $600 for 3 months. Why would I pay that?

After a series of injuries from trying to walk every day (pulled hamstring, IT band and Achilles tendon), my doctor told me to stop walking, lose 50 pounds (I weighed over 300 pounds), and then only do yoga.

Once I was cleared for walking, I said goodbye to the expensive studio. Instead, I did yoga by DVD for 3 times a week. That ended once started my 5k training.

I picked up yoga again via my old gym. After an hour of spin class, a little downward dog was very much welcomed.

But now I’m gym-less. I just don’t want to shell out $45 a month where I have to wait to get on the free weights.

What about going back to DVDs? I’d love to, but that can’t happen until next year. That’s when we start turning my office/exercise space (which is now storage/kitty space) into an exercise/craft room, complete with a TV and exercise DVDs.

So the search for a good, but not too expensive, yoga studio begins anew. Practically all the new studios near are big into Bikram — a.k.a, “hot yoga.” I did that once and will NEVER do it again.

Thankfully, my physical therapist gave me a couple of good leads on studios to check out. Ideally, I’d like to pay as I go. Just easier on the pocketbook.

What am I looking for in a studio? I guess I’ll know when I see it. A class geared toward stress/meditation is important. Friendly instructors would be nice. I guess if my little Grinch heart starts feeling warm and fuzzy after a class then I’ll know I’ve struck fried gold.