follow-up #2: the end of the green tea challenge

Sorry to use the same picture twice. I'm not taking any more!

Sorry to use the same picture twice. I’m not taking any more!

Was it really a challenge? Really?

I’m not sure. It was a lot like ‘try to drink 8 cups of water a day’, I guess, except I usually do that anyway. Unless I’m teaching, and then I dehydrate myself on purpose, so I use the toilet less. Long story.

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Follow-up: on drinking tons of green tea every day

I didn't even want green tea today, but I needed some to take this picture!

I didn’t even want green tea today, but I needed some to take this picture!

At Kamay’s request (and concern), I’m writing a follow-up to my earlier post about drinking green tea every day.

To recap, I said I planned to drink at least 5 cups of green tea each day I was at work, and see if the ‘drink 5 cups of green tea every day and lose weight!’ myths are true. Also, as I said, I’m not expecting to actually lose any weight, since my body seems to be quite happy where it is these days.

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making VERY slow progress

I’ve been doing yoga at home in the mornings for the past 3 weeks.

Today was the first day I could achieve balancing on one foot. I pulled of a very cautious tree pose, on BOTH sides! Granted, my left side is still somehow stronger and more balanced than my right side, but this is a major sign of progress.

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So apparently, drinking lots of green tea is beneficial

… and I live in the land of green tea, and get it free from my office.

greenRecently in the news, there have been a LOT of news articles touting the benefits of green tea:
~ it can help you lose weight
~ it boosts your metabolism
~ it’s a general antioxidant

There are plenty of reasons to drink green tea, and as it’s sitting around in the staff room, free, and it’s a decent source of (healthy) caffeine, I’m not going to NOT drink it.

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I’m technically disabled, but I always prefer to take the stairs.

On my way up, I like to think about how great my ass is going to look after a few more weeks of this.

I like to celebrate the fact that I *can* actually take the stairs each day, since my mother couldn’t. I’ve written about her before, but she was pretty disabled and couldn’t do a lot. Stairs used to take her a really long time. We could never park our van anywhere but in the handicapped spots, because she couldn’t walk much further than that. So because of her, I relish in the fact that even though I might not be 100% balanced and able to run down stairs, at least I can walk everywhere each day, and (slowly) get down the stairs.

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Fighting the ‘rice crash’



As many might guess, the Japanese diet is very different from the American or European diet. Although in recent decades Japanese people have taken to eating MUCH more meat than they did before the wars, one thing that hasn’t changed so drastically has been the everyday intake of rice.

It’s still a major staple in most meals here, and one of the primary crops that’s farmed, although bread and all things French/European grow more popular by the day. Because of this, the most common thing eaten at breakfast, lunch and dinner is rice.

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on NOT overeating.

IMG_3870A lot of my friends have commented over the last year or so (since I’ve been living in Japan) about how tiny I’ve become, how skinny, etc. While I appreciate their enthusiasm, many of our readers will know how I feel (and felt then) about it: I lost the weight because I have a disease that causes severe weight loss when it’s not kept in check. So while I definitely lost weight, I actually managed to reach a point of being smaller than I was in high school, which is pretty much the least I’ve ever weighed. To be BELOW that number was actually quite scary, and I worked pretty hard to get out of it.

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learning to breathe again

I’m not sure when I lost it, but I’ll take a guess and say it was somewhere between September 2013 and January 2014: I forgot how to breathe properly.

Somewhere in that time, after we’d moved to England and I ran out of medication, I lost the ability to crack my back, to walk unassisted, and it appears, to breathe properly. I know breathing is an automatic process and I can’t control it, but I’m talking about *really* breathing, like as in *yoga breathing*.

IMG_3992-0I hadn’t really thought about it that much, but I’ve been trying out some yoga videos online, and I noticed I was having issues during the practice. I generally have a LOT of issues that need to be worked on, but this one was the most noticeable for me. I felt like I was holding my breath, when half of the process of yoga is to breathe properly.

After a few days of the issue, and consciously trying to control it, I decided to try something new: before pressing ‘play’ on the video, I’ve been taking 5 or 10 minutes to just lay on the mat, or sit in half-lotus, and get my breathing ‘right’. Or at least, get as close to ‘in, out, in, out’ as I can, consciously.

It’s funny that I’d have to work to control my breathing just because of, or for yoga practice. Although this is somewhat isolated, it might have been leading to other issues, and I just never noticed.

So far, the extra breathing before starting yoga has helped. I think that once I start getting into longer videos (right now I’m only in the 15-minute range) it might become easier to get into a groove with the breathing. I just have to make sure not to breathe too deeply at work: a long exhale could be seen as a sigh, which could be misinterpreted by a student (and it has been), which could lead to a bad review of a lesson. But that’s another story for a different blog. For now, I’m just working on controlling myself.

Is there a ‘Square -1’? I think that’s where I’m starting from.

Hello readers,

It’s been a while. I apologize for being gone for so long. There are a million reasons, as there always seem to be. As usual, I’ll say I was busy with work, which I was, and generally not able to do much on my days off. All of my attempts at fitness flew out of the window AGAIN as I started to get busy in that nice, long break I used to have in the middle of my work days. They are non-existent now. And as of May, summer weather is definitely upon us, which means any plans I might have had to go running are now officially scrapped.

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Slow and Steady wins the race ;)
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