Green Mountain at Fox Run » Blog http://www.fitwoman.com Women's Weight Loss Spa Retreat for Healthy Living Tue, 16 Sep 2014 15:22:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 7 Steps for Starting a Yoga Practice http://www.fitwoman.com/blog/2014/09/16/7-steps-starting-yoga-practice/ http://www.fitwoman.com/blog/2014/09/16/7-steps-starting-yoga-practice/#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 13:00:37 +0000 http://www.fitwoman.com/?p=28095 The first time my friend, Marianne, dragged me to a yoga class, I had pretty low expectations about getting anything out of the class. Personally, I had preferred a more intense type of workout that was going to make me sweat, for example like spinning or BodyPump. Arriving At Yoga Class For The First Time When I arrived for the class, […] Read more »

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beginning yogaThe first time my friend, Marianne, dragged me to a yoga class, I had pretty low expectations about getting anything out of the class. Personally, I had preferred a more intense type of workout that was going to make me sweat, for example like spinning or BodyPump.

Arriving At Yoga Class For The First Time

When I arrived for the class, I quickly noticed the other students with thin yoga sticky mats, hoping no one would notice the thick, puffy workout mat that I had brought.  I pretended to rummage through my purse as I watched trepidaciously out of the corner of my eye as everyone removed their shoes and placed their mats in the room.  It was a large room with about 25 students so I chose a spot in the back, hoping not to humiliate myself.

During the class all the postures were unfamiliar to me, with the exception of Child’s Pose, Downward Facing Dog, and Warrior II.  I spent much of my time looking at the teacher and other students.  I remember feeling embarrassed that I couldn’t touch my toes and that many of the postures were uncomfortable, especially the twists.  My arms felt short and my stomach felt big.

Trying To Think Of Nothing During Meditation

But then, something happened at the end of the class.  Savasana:  the meditation portion of the class.  Students were given the instructions to lie down and think of nothing.


“Nothing?  You mean no anticipation of what’s going to happen next?  No multi-tasking?  No worrying about what people might be thinking about my not-really-a-yoga-mat or that my poses looked awkward and uncomfortable?  You mean my job for the next 5 minutes is to JUST BE?”

I savored the first 20 or 30 seconds of quiet mind bliss.

Read This Related Article:
The Changes Mindfulness Meditation Brings
And then I heard some sort of siren outside.  I began to wonder about my kids.  “Were they ok?  Was that ambulance for them?  How much longer did I have to lie here and think about nothing?  Am I the only one who can’t stop thinking?”

I opened my eyes and discretely looked about the room.  Everyone else was just lying there, being still.  I heard someone lightly snoring.

I closed my eyes and thought about my breath like the teacher had instructed if we were distracted.  “Ahhh….yes.  Focused breathing.  I can do this…”  And I did…for about 30 more seconds.

And then the thoughts came back.  “How are other people able to keep their thoughts from happening?  I think my nose is itchy.  Should I scratch it or just let it drive me crazy?”  And so on….

Five minutes later the teacher rang some sort of chime, indicating class was over.  I shot right up, thankful to be released from meditation, but also noticing a calmer presence about myself.

Driving home I realized that I was relaxed, but peacefully energized – not the usual feeling of being tired and worn down following an exercise class.  And so that’s how my yoga journey began.

Tips For Those Considering A Beginning A Yoga Practice

  1. Find out what type of yoga class it is.  Look for a hatha, Iyengar or a class specifically labeled as a beginner class.
  2. Find out if you need to bring your own yoga mat or if they have some available.  Some places will charge a rental fee to use their mats.
  3. Try to eat no less than two hours before class and limit water intake right before class.
  4. Use the restroom before class.
  5. Wear comfortable clothing that can stretch.  Bring a sweatshirt to layer.
  6. Arrive early to talk to the teacher before class and let her know if you have any orthopedic issues or medical concerns so she can supply you with modifications if necessary.
  7. And most importantly -

Let go of expectations, self-judgments, and be present in the moment.


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Mindful Eating When Dining Out: Enjoy! http://www.fitwoman.com/blog/2014/09/11/mindful-eating-dining-out/ http://www.fitwoman.com/blog/2014/09/11/mindful-eating-dining-out/#comments Thu, 11 Sep 2014 13:00:59 +0000 http://www.fitwoman.com/?p=28072 If there’s one thing that strikes fear in the hearts of many of the women who come to Green Mountain, it’s eating in restaurants. That is, until they’ve gone through a week or two of our program. Then it’s a whole different experience. Change Your Dining Out Experience With A Mindful Approach After a weekend spent enjoying the delights of Vermont, […] Read more »

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If there’s one thing that strikes fear in the hearts of many of the women who come to Green Mountain, it’s eating in restaurants. That is, until they’ve gone through a week or two of our program. Then it’s a whole different experience.

Change Your Dining Out Experience With A Mindful Approach

mindful-eating-dining-outAfter a weekend spent enjoying the delights of Vermont, including eating in some of our wonderful restaurants as well as sampling the delicacies of country stores and the like, many of our participants share with us on Monday morning what a truly different experience they had with eating. It was, they agree, the result of the different approach to eating they learned and practiced all week at Green Mountain at Fox Run.

So why is it that something that is seemingly so pleasant so scary for so many before they learn the Green Mountain approach?

Why Women Fear Eating In Restaurants

In my classes here, I talk about the fact that we as a society have been set up to fear dining out, especially if you are a woman who struggles around weight.. Everywhere you turn, you run into messages that tell you to be careful what you eat — that who knows what and how much chefs add to the dishes they serve to you. And the portion sizes! Of course, the fear is based on whether the food you eat is “fattening” or not.

Relish Dining Out With Mindful Eating

What if I were to tell you that mindfully embracing eating out, enjoying what it has to offer while staying in touch with how you feel, can lead to an experience that is more than filling — it’s fulfilling!

The bottom line is something we’ve been saying for a long time now at Green Mountain. Food is one of the greatest pleasures of life, and having someone else do the cooking and cleaning can make it even more pleasurable. Add the company of good friends and family, and you’ve got an experience that far bypasses the simple act of feeding yourself. It’s about truly feeding your self well.


7 Mindful Dining Tips for Eating Out Healthfully

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The Binge Eating Diaries: I’ve Been Having An Affair http://www.fitwoman.com/blog/2014/09/10/binge-eating-diaries-ive-affair/ http://www.fitwoman.com/blog/2014/09/10/binge-eating-diaries-ive-affair/#comments Wed, 10 Sep 2014 13:00:44 +0000 http://www.fitwoman.com/?p=28040 I’ve been having an affair. It’s sexy. It’s seductive. It makes me feel like I’m on top of the world.  Time stops when I’m with “him”. I feel desired, dangerous, and daring. But as soon as the heat of the moment has passed – I realize what I’ve done. I’ve cheated on myself… again…with Food. I binge and then I […] Read more »

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binge eating diaries affairI’ve been having an affair. It’s sexy. It’s seductive. It makes me feel like I’m on top of the world. 

Time stops when I’m with “him”. I feel desired, dangerous, and daring.

But as soon as the heat of the moment has passed – I realize what I’ve done.

I’ve cheated on myself… again…with Food.

I binge and then I crash. Everything I know melts away. Each time I feel more alone than I’ve ever felt before.   

The guilt is just too much to bear. I said I’d never go back.

I’ve ended things time… and time… and TIME again.

When will I learn my lesson?

“He” is not the answer.

“He” can’t bring me the kind of happiness I’m after…  

“He” is not worth more than my relationship – with myself. 

This is what bingeing felt like for me.

My Secret Relationship With Food

Food was my lover, my dirty little secret, my paramour.

And bingeing was my ecstasy.

I was embarrassed of my relationship with Food, so I kept it hidden – behind closed doors where no one could judge me for my cheating ways…

But one day I told someone. I revealed my “pseudo boyfriend” to my mother.

Read This Related Article:
Creating Your Support Team
I told her how much I was hurting. I cried that this time I just couldn’t go back. I admitted that the relationship had become addictive and abusive… and that I was scared that I was losing myself.

The Hidden Pain Behind Binge Eating

My weight gain was obvious, but my 24/7 obsession and failing confidence weren’t as readily available for the eye to see.

(Even on an off day, I can fake out Sherlock Holmes with my 1,000-watt smile.)

But I just couldn’t break free. I couldn’t let go. I’d never felt this way before. I loved the highs…but I could no longer stomach the lows (literally and figuratively).

My body was exhausted and my mind felt hypnotized… but even though my heart was breaking – I thought I was in love.

How could something that felt that good – be so bad?


In hindsight, I realize that our relationship had everything to do with quantity – and nothing to do with quality.

Read This Related Article:
What Are You Using Food For?
Our intimate ties were knotted with so many emotions that I couldn’t tell where one ended and another began. And something else was lacking… something that all relationships need in order to thrive – respect. I was constantly forgetting to respect myself in “his” presence.

Finally, on my own terms and in my own time, I knew that enough was enough.

So, I used all of my strength and summoned the courage to take a break from “him”.

I went away for a little while (to Green Mountain) to rediscover what I loved about life – away from my relationship.

And little by little I started to see “him” differently.

What Our Relationship Looks Like Today

Over the last few years, we’ve loosened our ties. We’re still together (Food and I)… but it’s different.

It’s no longer an affair that I’m ashamed of…it’s a partnership.

Changing the foundation of our relationship was the hardest thing I ever had to do. Pulling away and putting myself first was no easy feat.

Today, we are kinder to each other. “He” gives me what I need and that’s where it ends.

I don’t depend on “him” for every ounce of happiness in my life. I rely on “him” for nourishment and energy…and sometimes we even have a little fun together.

We go out on dates – out in public, with friends – things we were never able to do before.

We’re actually able to enjoy our time together – guilt-free.

Don’t get me wrong…there are still occasions when I crave for us to be like we used to… I miss those moments of carelessness and bliss. But those moments grow fewer and farther apart with each passing day.

And the relationship we share these days – is so much better…for me.

What we have now isn’t a fiery, unstable lust. What we have now is understanding.

We still go through rough patches here and there, but we no longer go through them alone.

I have a support system that keeps me focused, motivated, comforted, and challenged. These special people keep me feeling full – full of life, instead of Food.

Today, Food still means a lot to me. “He” was my rock for so, so long.

But when your rock stops supporting you and starts weighing you down, it’s time to break free.

Until next time,

Jace

How would you describe your relationship with food?


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Lost and Found – My Fitness Soul http://www.fitwoman.com/blog/2014/09/09/fitness-soullost-found/ http://www.fitwoman.com/blog/2014/09/09/fitness-soullost-found/#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 13:00:34 +0000 http://www.fitwoman.com/?p=28036 Where am I? Where is the rest of the team? Do they know I’m not with them? Oh, God, what am I even doing out here? These were some of the thoughts running through my mind as I attempted to run down the streets in the neighborhood behind my high school.  I’d always wanted to join a team, and the […] Read more »

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your pace is the paceWhere am I? Where is the rest of the team? Do they know I’m not with them? Oh, God, what am I even doing out here?

These were some of the thoughts running through my mind as I attempted to run down the streets in the neighborhood behind my high school.  I’d always wanted to join a team, and the open-team policy of my small school inspired me to run cross country.  I had pictured making long, graceful strides as I made my way through drills and endurance runs. Reality hit me like a ton of bricks.

I had never run a long distance before, and now I was lost and out-of-breath.

Finding My Fitness Soul

That feeling of being lost was the same way I felt when I first came to Green Mountain.  When it came to exercise, I got so caught up in fear, shame, frustration, and self-doubt that it was like a maze.  As a perfectionist, I was so afraid of failing that I didn’t even try.

As I backtracked my way back to the school, I tried to think up all the ways I could tell our coach, my favorite teacher, that I was quitting. Blinking through tears, I saw him sprinting in my direction, obviously relieved. After apologizing, making sure I was okay, and showing me the route, we walked a few blocks before I spoke.

“I’m sorry. I couldn’t keep up. I won’t hold up your practices anymore. Everybody else makes a great team.”

“What are you talking about, Cat?” he said. “You’re on this team. I won’t let you get lost next time. See you at practice, okay?”

“Okay,” I said, surprised.

My Frustration With FitBalls

Anyone who was with me at Green Mountain probably listened to me talk about my frustrations with fitballs. As silly as it sounds, I was intimidated. It’s going to pop, I’m going to fall and look stupid, I thought.  Feeling tears coming, I walked out of my first fit ball class.

I was trying to find tissues when I ran into Lynn Ann Covell, Green Mountain’s exercise specialist.“What’s wrong, Skippy?” she asked.

“I . . . can’t . . . the fitballs . . .ugh!” I managed, between sobs.

“That’s it? The fitballs? Come with me….” And as she taught me the moves (and showed me that, yes, I could use a fitball without breaking something), I couldn’t help but think about that first practice.  Being “found” in those tough moments was vital to my Green Mountain experience.  They gave me the courage to pour myself into challenges and be proud of where I was at.

Your Pace Is The Pace

Read This Related Article:
Learning to Love Exercise
When it comes to exercise, LynnAnn always says that “your pace is the pace.” Unlike my practice that was so long ago, going at your own pace won’t land you in unfamiliar territory. For me, it got me started down the long, bumpy road to loving and believing in myself again. Regardless of where you are, or at what pace you’re going, at GM, you’re not going to be lost. You’re always going to be on the team.

Have you found your fitness soul? Tell us about your exercise experiences. 


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