Two Months Until Second Dan Begins With Rest, Wine, and Whataburger

texas whataburger
YAS! That’s how Texas black belts fuel themselves!

So it’s still the plan that I will be testing for second degree black belt in about two months. Even though I’ve had two years to prepare for this test as opposed to six months for first degree, I’m more nervous and leery about it this time around. If you’d like to read more about the psychological aspects and musings on it, read this post. I’ll continue with that theme in another post. Now I’m going to talk about what I plan to do with myself until that eagerly awaited day.
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So…I Stopped Eating Meat

funny-picture-vegetarian-because-i-hate-vegetables

I haven’t eaten meat for the past three months…well, six months, really, but with a caveat. I stopped eating meat on September 12, 2016. Exactly two months later I made an exception for a gyro, pastitsio, and souvlaki at the local Greek food festival and later meatloaf for dinner. Worth it. Gyros, you guys, come on, gyros. Then I went right back to not eating meat. I had a little bit of meat over Thanksgiving and Christmas, and when I got on the plane to fly back home after the holidays I was done.

Before I move on, let me just do my instructor and other Texas friends favor and yell “HIPPIE!” Yes, yes, I know. I am a hippie.
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Chocolate Chip Cookies for Your “Cheat” Days…or Every Day

funny_chocolate_chip_cookie_throw_pillow

While fitness is one of my highest priorities, I haven’t given up my sweet tooth. Luckily I have found the Holy Grail: a recipe for chocolate chip cookies that are both tasty and SLIGHTLY less harmful than the normal processed white flour crap you’d find on the shelf at the grocery store. It can’t be brown rice and vegetables 24/7. You need to have a little fun.
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How to Handle the Holidays When You’re an Athlete with an Appetite (Or, My Justification for Pie)

sleeping at gym
Exercise is good for you, and so is sleep. She is multi-tasking!

“I feel like Jake LaMotta when he’s all fat and out of shape and laughing at his own stupid jokes at the end of ‘Raging Bull.'”

I was leaning against the counter at my parents’ house, drinking a glass of wine and munching thoughtfully on a tortilla chip. As I’ve been coming off a serious back injury that brought my exercise routine to a screeching halt, I’ve been going into the holiday season, which means excuses to eat are everywhere. I haven’t exercised since the Friday before I hurt my back, and unlike the weeks before my black belt test, I’ve been eating a little more than my typical brown rice/roasted veggies/eggs/fruit diet.
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Eat, Practice, Love

arm heart

I spent the final week of May indulging in home-cooked Italian food and fine dark chocolate and to no surprise gained a few pounds.

In my defense I was nearing the end of a very sad, painful, drawn-out situation in my personal life. Usually I stop eating when things get really bad, but this time I seemed to stress eat, albeit good quality food rather than chips and cheap candy bars, as if that makes any difference. Then whenever I start to feel better I “happy eat,” so I can’t freaking win.
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Week Two of Black Belt Training – Rolos, Man…Rolos

rolo-feat
Oh you won’t stay unwrapped for long, my friend. Enjoy your last moments on earth, Rolos.

Okay so I had a pack of Rolos Tuesday night. And Indian food for lunch on Wednesday.

I told y’all I was going to need some sweets during the next couple of months of amping up my training! Read the post! On the plus side I’d had a very healthy vegetarian lunch that day and a very light dinner. I had gone out to gas up my car and well…somehow I ended up inside the convenience store handing over some change for candy because…Rolos, man…Rolos. What child of the 1980s doesn’t enjoy a pack of Rolos now and then?
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Food Hacks for Future Black Belt

kung-fu-skeletons
Oh man, if only I looked like that…and could do a flying side kick like that too. 

So now that I’ve lost my winter depression/hibernation weight and am not eating candy every day I can actually talk about nutrition without seeming like a total hypocrite. After my bo dan test I was really pumped to get into prime shape for my black belt test. I had given up alcohol in late March for health reasons, and I was ready to say goodbye to junk food and refined carbs after I’d had a last tearful rendezvous with a Cadbury crème egg. I can go without alcohol for a while, but I know I WILL need some chocolate or fries every once in a while or there will be a trail of death and destruction behind me. Women will weep and men will gnash their teeth…you get the picture.
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Brain Freeze, Spring Thaw

jabba pie

I haven’t written a post in over a week, and I’ve only had two nights of taekwondo in the past two weeks. The taekwondo absences have been due to freak Texas winter storms and a belt test I wasn’t scheduled to attend, but I’m not sure about the writer’s block. I think this dark gloomy weather starts a snowball effect, no pun intended, of lethargy and dulling of my mind. As I said in an earlier post, we may not be covered in feet of snow down here, but our roads get extremely icy and the drivers are even worse. You don’t have much motivation to go out when it’s like this. Even when it warms up and the snow is melted the rainy, gloomy skies and crisp chill in the air aren’t very inviting.
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How I Stay In Shape for Something as Demanding as Taekwondo When Netflix Beckons and Forty is on the Horizon

couch-potato-cat fat
Mr. Fluffy is having an “Intervention” marathon. The irony is not lost on him.

My grandfather is eighty-seven years old and swims a mile every morning. He and my grandmother have a much better quality of life than anyone else their age, and as a matter of fact, better than many people I’ve met who are half their age. I’ve been a gym rat since I was a teenager, so getting back into taekwondo wasn’t as much a shock to my system as it might be for someone else, but it still required me to re-evaluate how I care for myself so I can participate in the sport safely and at the best of my body’s capability.
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