Hot Yoga

One of my faithful readers asked what the benefits of Hot Yoga are, so I did a bit of research on the topic even though I had a pretty good idea about it.

I love yoga.  I have never sweated so much standing in one spot.  Yoga itself has tons of benefits ranging from relaxation to flexibility.  And these benefits will carry over to doing Yoga in a warmer environment.

Hot Yoga(or Bikram) is basically Yoga in a heated room(duh?).  The whole point is to get you sweating. Obviously, if you are sweating, you are getting rid of toxins.  This is really a benefit Hot Yoga and I agree with this totally.

Another claim for a benefit is that you are actually burning more calories, which I would say I'm skeptical about because you really aren't raising your heart rate and that is a true measure of burning more calories, in my opinion.  Sure you may lose weight from the beginning to the end of the yoga session but this will be completely water weight, which will come right back once you get hydrated(and if you plan on trying this yoga, be sure to drink lots of water during and after.)

Another claim for a benefit to Hot Yoga is that it increases your flexibility.  This to me makes perfect sense.  When your muscles are warm, they are more flexible.  This is why before working out you should always walk fast or run in order to warm up you muscles before you stretch them.

There probably are some more claims of health benefits, but these were the common ones I saw while doing some research.  If you would like to read some more about Hot Yoga, here are some links:

Huffington Post Article

Elizabeth, I hope this answered your question.


Ellis turned 4 months old on Monday. To celebrate I thought I'd share this letter I wrote to him!

Dear Ellis-
You are almost 4 months old. Since you came into my life, it has been so different. I can't remember life without you and that is a good thing because life with you is so filling. I knew love before I met you, but I didn't know it as full as I do now. Raising you with your dad is so amazing. You are the best parts of both of us, which makes you pretty dang amazing. That's how the world keeps getting better; the next generation is always better. 

You are so silly. Lately you love your hands. You practically stick your whole hand in your mouth. We think you will probably be right handed because that is your favorite one. You have just started to giggle out loud and it is adorable. (You have always giggled as you fall asleep. I think you must be visiting with your ancestors and posterity on the other side. You also sleep cry sometimes and I think that is because you hate the memories of leaving your heavenly home to come to this world that has some pain and harshness and lacks all the amazing peace you know there. I promise to always try my hardest to make your earthy home here as peaceful as I possibly can. I can't save you from all the pains and hardships that life will bring but I will always be here for you and Will make it more bearable.)

You are our "chubby monkey" and we love your fat rolls. It's so hard to clean under that Ficklin chin you get from Papa. You are a little snorer and it is cute. Right now you are asleep in your car seat. I think your first snowy adventures have tired you out. 

You have a million nicknames: Bugaboo, Bugs, Mr. E, Mr. Mist, Buddy, Grumpy McGrumperson, and The Boy to name a few. 

You smile all the time and that smile makes mommy's life seem easier after a hard day at work or when things don't seem to be going well. You are pretty dang funny too and have a sense of humor already. You laugh when daddy and I make faces at you. You also love music and I make up silly songs and beats for you all the time.  Your favorite singer since you were born is Miranda Lambert. I guess her twangy country voice does it for you!! You have always liked country and have a playlist with three songs on it.  "Desperation," by Miranda Lambert, "These are Days," by Sugarland, and "You're Not Sorry," by Taylor Swift. These have almost always calmed you when you've been upset. 

You have recently found your voice and chatter and screech all the time. You are especially vocal when lying on your back. 

You are a social butterfly already and are easily upset if daddy and I leave you alone in a room.  You love to sit in your tiny chair and watch us. 

Recently, you have given up sleeping in your bed. Mommy and you would always be close with your bed next to hers but now you are a sleeping in your swing kind of a guy. Mommy misses having you so close but she is okay with you sleeping for six hours at a time too. I even have to wake you up sometimes to feed you before going to work. 

You hate having a wet diaper but think its fun to chat with daddy or me when it's "time to change your bum bum." Daddy said that in a funny high pitched voice a few weeks ago and it stuck because you still find it silly and hilarious. 

You are growing so fast. You used to look so tiny in your car seat but now are almost filling it. You sometimes hate being buckled in and especially hate the new car seat cover we have that only gives you a window to look out of. Sometimes you really like it though. I think you already are excited about getting out on adventures. Daddy and I plan on taking you to some cool places and especially look forward to teaching you how to fish. 

I like to hold you close as much as I can because each day you change so much and the saying "babies don't keep," is becoming all too real for me. 

You love baths but hate being cold. It's fun to watch you as you clinch your hands and get wide eyed as the water hits you. You sit in your little seat and just watch us clean you. After, you are always relaxed and calm. 

We think you might be teething already. You are drooly and have that hand in your mouth 24/7. You were a bink baby since you were a few days old but seemed to give it up lately. You find binks offensive. I may or may not think it has something to do with the pink binks your dad bought thinking they were red. A little too feminine for you, I think. 

You have a friend Kari who plays with you every Tuesday. For some reason, she has the magic touch and you always fall asleep in her arms and you always take a bink with her. Silly boy!!! You love her voice and always smell like her after she watches you. Her kids love you too. Her only son even let you and I come on his birthday date with his mom. Her youngest daughter has taken a million pictures of you and her oldest always is excited to see you. 

You also smell like Mama sometimes. She sure loves you and wants to steal and hold you any chance she gets. She is so gentle and sweet with you. Papa is funny with you and talks to you across the room lots. He always wants to know where that "little toad" is. You got that nickname from your cousin, Isaac who wouldn't share the name "squirt" with you. He sure does love you too and always wants to style and part your hair. His brother, Sam, and sister,Eliza, love to see you too. Sam always talks to you in a sweet little voice that is just too cute coming from such a tall guy!!! Eliza wanted to be one of the first to hold you at Thanksgiving at the cabin. She had to fight your aunts for time with you, they love you lots too. 

My sister is a pro with you. She and my mom have come to visit you twice in your short life. They came just before you were born. We were worried they might miss your birth but then you were stubborn and upside down so the csection was actually good in that way to get you here during their visit. Auntie Andi changed almost all your poopie diapers at the hospital and rocked you the first night home so mommy could sleep a little. Grandma also snoozed with you in the couch and I will always hold that memory of you nuzzled in her arms very dear! They also came to your baby blessing and enjoyed the sweet spirit of that day!  What dedication. They also spoil you with lots of clothes and the coolest diaper bag on the planet. It is a Mickey Mouse one , Aunt Andi's favorite character. 

Your dad is amazing with you. I knew he was amazing a long time ago because he treats me so well. (He also is an amazing cook)  I am amazed everyday how good he is at being a dad. He loves you so much. He is with you during the day and then works at night. He is the bath giver and bottle maker. You are lucky to have him. He loves to kiss you and make you laugh. 

Well, you woke up and I had to play with you so I must make this short. I love you more and more each day. I love getting to know you and to be your mom. 

Many more letters to follow. 
Love you tons,


Cardio vs. Weight Lifting.

Here I am finally answering one of the three whole questions I have fielded about fitness.

Morgan asks:  "I've heard weight training aids/causes weight loss, but I don't get it. I've always thought cardio, cardio, cardio! Explain."

Here is how weight training aids weight loss.  Notice I said aids, it really doesn't cause weight loss.  Cardio is still the way to burn, burn, burn calories.  But as quoted in this article that was just posted on fox.com a few days ago, "Strength training is the number-one way to build more muscle. And for every three pounds of muscle you gain, you can expect to burn an extra 120 calories a day without moving a single one of those muscles."  

When you have more muscle mass on your body, your body burns more calories.  Those muscles need more energy to exist in your body than does goo, or fat.  They help increase your metabolism so you actually are burning more calories not just while at rest, but also while exercising.  See how it can "aid" weight loss.  

Many of the popular workout routines these days incorporate both a cardio and a strength component.  If you watch The Biggest Loser," you will see this in action.  They don't just concentrate on cardio, but they also do strength training. Most of the time that strength training is during the cardio.  I like the mix.  

I teach a weight training class and it is one of my favorite things.  Lifting can be fun.  I also get cardio in as much as possible(my calves are killing me this week.  I think I went too fast into running again!).  

Be sure to add strength training into you exercise routine.  Not only will you look better, but you will burn more calories just watching television!  And that really is the goal, right?

If you have any more questions, please comment, email me, or message me on facebook.  This was really fun.  I like answering questions.


Throw it Back

I needed to see "Big Alice."  I need some motivation to get back on the weight loss bandwagon.  I remember that girl.  The one with the cake didn't quite want to change yet.  The one running would have given it all to be where I am today.  I need to honor that running girl and get back to my goal weight.  Any of you have some motivation for me?