Tag Archives: eating well

Risk it.

Good Morning avid readers! I have been up since long before the sun and I have been pretty damn productive. Fighting off a cold that keeps trying to creep in–Elderberry syrup (that mom made), a boat load of vitamins, hot tea, water, and good foods are what I’m using to keep it at bay. So far nothing beyond just feeling a bit icky and run down. It is not going to take root! I refuse to allow such things to happen. I have a lot to do these days. So, the big news.

I’m moving. Not leaving the Port City, but I am making my way to a different dwelling that isn’t Hell. Long story short, because the apartment employees, and some 3rd party hires, my living room flooded 3 times since July. Because of that, I decided to officially break my lease and get the hell out of here. Their negligence is inexcusable and my personal things were destroyed on more than one occasion. I can’t take it, nor should I have to! So, here I go on November 1, 2017 I am moving to a far better place. I am beyond excited. I am also really thrilled at what the process of moving has helped me get rid of in addition to helping me understand that is okay to take a risk and try something new.

I’ve been taking a lot of risks lately. Taking on a rent that is higher than what I am currently paying. I am taking on more responsibility in the yoga community around town. I officially work for 3 different institutions and I really love it. You can find me on Carolina Beach at Salty Dog Yoga and Surf on Saturday morning at 10:45am. Starting in October you can find me Monday morning at terra sol sanctuary at 9:00am for a 90s themed flow (this one is going to be off the chain!), and then I am doing some work with Yoga Village, a local nonprofit taking yoga to underserved communities. They all offer me a completely different perspective and give me the opportunity to grow into my own place. Figuring out who I am as a teacher is going to take time and i know I will evolve in a variety of ways! Finding comfort in my role as a teacher is vital, in addition to growing my own practice.

That being said I decided to take another risk. This one is leaving my gym and my gym family. Sadly, money is a real thing and I couldn’t afford it anymore. However, I will take the lessons I have learned over the years and apply them to my own style of working out. Doing so much yoga on top of heavy lifting isn’t something my body is used to doing. I am in a lot more pain that I am used to being in and as someone that uses their body to instruct and make a living, I have to be careful. And while it is bitter sweet for me to leave the gym, I know it is what I have to do right now. Hopefully I will be able to go back one day, but right now my priorities are in growing my yoga practice–which can be pretty strenuous! And I am having to remind myself that it is okay to stray away from things as we grow. Some things are put in our paths to help us toward another one. TFW has taught me so much about myself since day 1! The coaches that I’ve had are amazing and while I may have hated one day or another I still pushed through. Yes, I did complain while I did it too. But it was all part of growing and expanding. If it wasn’t for the confidence I got in TFW I probably never would have gone on to try yoga or gotten certified. Through the training program I learned that things I never thought I could do are things that are well in my grasp if I get rid of the fear surrounding it and actually try!

And on top of it all I am learning so much. Not just about yoga and the practice and how to build effective classes and such, but about who I am and who I want to be. Each day I learn a little more, I get a little deeper, and a little smarter. I am also going to be putting together a workshop in the near future, but that is still VERY much in the infant stages. I’m going to be attending some lectures this week and next about Hindu art and Buddhist art which I plan to somehow bring into the studio and create a class around. Life is so full of adventure right now, you can understand why I don’t want to get sick!

I suppose I should find my way into doing some more work this morning before the day gets away from me. Before I go, can I just tell you how thrilled I am that my trips to the laundry mat are officially numbered! Just a couple more weeks and then I will have the ability to wash things in my house! It’s the little things. While I do appreciate all of my loads finishing at one time, I still like the idea of not getting there at 8am to make sure I can get my shit done before I have to be somewhere else. And being able to just warm up a towel in the dryer or something like that. Oh the things we take for granted.

Well, y’all wish me luck. The tides are changing and I am ever so excited about this change! Sometimes the risk is worth it. OH! I almost forgot, Autumn will be here next week and that alone is worth celebrating! I cannot wait for sweaters and boots and snuggling by a campfire. ❤ Namaste!

The First Month…

Y’all it has been a freaking month since I became a certified yoga instructor. August has flown by and I have been so incredibly blessed to have had the opportunities that have been presented to me. I’m working for two studios and one non profit. I have taught 15 different classes ranging from kids to various kinds of flows. I’m pretty thrilled with the idea of doing more of this. Getting to connect with people and learning from the seasoned teachers around me has been such a beautiful experience.

I am making my way to take more classes this week. That is my goal. I’m aiming for 3 classes in addition to the 4 I’m teaching and going to lift 3 days this week too. I may die from all of the physical activity, but it will be a great way to go, right? 🙂

I was looking on my Facebook memories and I saw an interesting thing that I had done 3 years ago. It was saying 3 things that I am thankful for which I picked my parents, my sisters, and my grandma. My grandma is 93 years old as of this past July 11. She amazes me so much, but the memory was talking about a card she had sent me. The card is nothing fancy, just a garden scene painted by Renoir. Inside it says “Cheers to you!” and she wrote a personal note in it. She said she couldn’t wait to see my name up in lights one day. Writing those words makes me tear up. I feel like this is that time in my life. The lights have been being installed, and now they are going to be turned on. Maybe each light will flicker on in its own time, maybe they will all shine at once, but I genuinely feel that things are pressing in that direction. I feel more fulfilled now that I may have ever felt.

As a teen I didn’t know what the hell I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to be so many different things. I wanted to be a chef and a singer and a lazy bum. In college I wanted to teach. I wanted to be able to connect with people over a subject matter that I loved, like my teachers had done for me. I wanted to some how keep the legacy in my family to be a teacher. My aunts were great teachers (retired now). I felt it was genetically possible for me to do the same. I also always wanted to help the less fortunate.

Growing up my parents always encouraged my sister and I to give to those who had less than we did. My grandparents always, still to this day, ask us to bring donations for the food pantry at their church when we come to visit. Because of their examples my sister and I would spend gift certificates on toys for kids in the hospital. We watched as our parents donated time and money to causes that they showed us were important. That is what sent me to the Bronx to work, the drive to help others. That is what drove me to connect with Yoga Village, a local nonprofit that takes yoga to underrepresented groups. That is also what drove me to become involved in activism and politics. I don’t ever plan on running for office, but I do plan on spending the rest of my life fighting for those who have less than I do.

Not only has yoga given me confidence in myself and a whole new banquet of knowledge, but it has also given me the opportunity to connect in ways that I always longed for. Yoga is activism. It is helping others who have less. It is teaching. It is connecting to my community. It is all of the things I ever wanted in life, and just never knew it. I am beyond grateful for the experience. I am beyond grateful for the opportunities that I have received in just this first month of being official. I am grateful for the continued support of my family and friends. I am grateful for all of the blessings that have been given to me this year. The growth that I have experienced as an individual. The friendships that I have made. And all of the personal confidence I have acquired.

Thank you all for being on this journey with me. I am humbled at the opportunities that I  have been given and I couldn’t imagine my life going any other way. I suppose it is time to flip the switch and see what my name looks like all lit up.

Namaste! ❤

Dedication

I just made myself a smoothie. Blueberries, mango, celery, basil, spinach, hemp seeds, honey, and almond milk. Blend blend for a delicious breakfast. The basil really makes it delightful and cooling. I was reading about the health benefits of basil. Lots of good stuff come out of this little herb, and it really tastes delicious in a predominantly veggie based smoothie. It adds its own sweetness.

So, dedication is a real thing. It is so hard to dedicate time to yourself for the benefit of health and wellness. My first coach said to write it down in your calendar. Schedule it, like you do everything else. It’s a great idea and worked well for me, and still does. I’ve had the same workout/exercise routine for a couple of years now. It was hard to get that routine down pat. It was hard to dedicate the time to making myself move, but I did it. I was paying for it, I will make time. So I did. The hard part for me now is making time to add stuff to the already routine I have. I have been gaining and losing the same 20lbs for the past year and I am over being on this yo-yo plateau. Yes, I still see changes in my body, but I’m ready to dedicate the extra time it is going to take in order to actually get off this back and forth.

Can I be completely honest here? I have no freaking idea what it is like to be an average sized person. I’m not even talking about being skinny, but just like an average size 12. As long as I can recall I have shopped in the plus sized section. I know this sounds terrible, but I find comfort in this section. Because I don’t have as many options. Because I don’t actually have to change anything to achieve this section. Yes, I have gone from being a size 28 to a size 18/20. Right now I’m more toward the 20. And yes I am approaching the end of the size spectrum in this section, but I’m still not gone. I linger. Holding on. But what am I holding on for? I tell myself it is because my body just likes it here. My body just likes to be fat. No, my body would probably love it if I wasn’t overweight anymore. Then my skeletal system would get a little bit of a break. My knees especially. What’s the real reason? Because it is easier to just be fat.

Because it is easier to just be fat. The food makes you feel better because it’s loaded with sugar and salt and chemicals that play with your brain. I also really love vegetables and things that are good for me, but sometimes it is just too much work. Sometimes it just doesn’t matter and I’m hungry now. Eat a peanut butter sandwich.

As someone suffering from PCOS, which makes me insulin resistant (I do not have diabetes though, thank God), I should live a very clean food driven life. I should be focused on avoiding grain and things that react as sugar in the body. Grain, alcohol, sugar, and fruit. I like fruit so i will never give it up, and it is good for you, you just have to know when to eat it. There is fruit in my smoothie, just not much in comparison to the vegetables.

I have the tools to accomplish this stuff. I was well on my way in June, but then I got 5 days of IV drip steroids and blew up like a puffer fish. The 15 pounds i lost turned into 20 gained. It is still here. And I’m done with it. I’m getting more work teaching yoga. I’m going to need the proper fuel to sustain throughout the day and keep myself healthy. I have the tools. I have the knowledge. I know what I’m doing because I’ve been doing this for a long ass time. I just have to put the elements together and dedicate the time. So here goes.

I made a new workout schedule. I’m making a grocery list of low carb, satisfying food that I can be happy with. I am taking things one day at a time. My goal is to lose 35lbs in the next 150 days. That will be the end of 2017. I know I can do it. I’ve done it before. I can do it again. Only this time we’re going to keep moving down. It will be mostly food oriented. I’m going to give 100%.

I really try not to pay attention the scale. But sometimes it tells us the truth, even though we don’t want to see it. I know that this is a big long journey and that I should honor that and how far I have come. I do honor that, believe me. I am quite proud of who I am and what I have accomplished. This year especially! I will probably come here to complain about how much I want a cupcake. I will also complain about the heat or something similar which will make me not want to go for a walk. Then I will get mad at myself. Then I will go on a walk. But I will probably stop and write about how mad I am in between.

Today, I would normally be heading to the gym, but I have to go take a tour of a facility where I will be teaching yoga on Thursday nights. It’s apparently an involved building complex. So, I am skipping it to take this tour. I will be coming home to practice my yoga routine sequencing for the week. I have a class Thursday evening and on Sunday morning.

I hope the day is full of magic and positive changes. ❤

Santosa

Santosa is all about contentment. It is a Niyama from the Eight Limbs of Yoga. I’ve been reading in “Light on Yoga” by Iyengar. I’m re-reading it for the 3rd time now. Trying to pick up pieces that I didn’t catch along the way the last time I read it. Santosa stood out to me last night. Iyengar states “A mind that is not content cannot concentrate.” I’ve been stuck here for a while. Thinking about what it means to be content. Americans aren’t taught to be content. They are taught to consume and attempt to make their lives flashy on the outside, but really just encourage a terrible cycle of things that exploit the earth and its people. Our honest lack of Santosa is upsetting.

I sit and think about how I have never wanted for anything. I have sat around, hoarding energy and objects that could be going to help someone else. Earlier this week I spent time cleaning things out. I threw away a bunch of old toiletries, papers, mail, and I even went through my “box of important sentimental crap” and threw some of it away. Love notes, trinkets, mementos. I went through my clothes and tossed a bunch of stuff that I haven’t touched in a year or more. Things that just keep moving with me, but never get used. Like, who needs all this crap? Why are we so driven to consume it? We all know better.

I’ve been debating on trashing the mattress I have in my guest room. It’s over 10 years old, and no one uses it. Not often enough for me to justify keeping it anyway. I want the space. Yet, I’m still apprehensive about tossing it all because of stupid “What If’s” that play out in my head. Sure I have friends come visit from time to time, but I still have a couch. It’s so weird to be so nervous about trashing something. Yet, I had no problem throwing away “important crap”? Says something, doesn’t it?

“Contentment and tranquillity are states of mind. Differences arise among men because of race, creed, wealth, and learning. Differences create discord and these arise conscious or unconscious conflicts which distract and perplex one. Then the mind cannot become one-pointed and is robbed of its peace” (Iyengar, 37).

Can you imagine a world where men were content with their own way of being, their own actions, their own resources, their own land, etc and just allowed the world to exist? No, I can’t imagine it either, but it sounds nice.

Having conversations with friends about life sometimes you’ll catch yourself saying “I’d be happy if I just had enough to do XYZ.” Whether it is to live in a beach cottage in Key West, get new tires for the car, take a vacation to Europe, or whatever is just a false sense of Sansosa. Of course, you should always strive to improve yourself, but you don’t always have to strive for more. Does that make sense? And there is no harm in wanting to move into a beach cottage in Key West, but where you are right now, as you work toward that dream, are you content? Thankful? Do you respect the journey more than the destination? It’s all about the moment and appreciating what you have right this second. As they say, tomorrow isn’t a promise. If that is the case, how can you be content in the moment? In this day and time?  I find myself stopping and thinking more. Writing more. Feeling more. I try to make an effort to be in the moment more. Doesn’t always work, but it’s a work in progress.

I’m still as guilty as anyone for over consumption. My worst thing is with art. Here soon I’m going to have to incorporate gallery practices and let some rest for 6 months and allow the other ones to hang. I’m okay with that though, because art makes me happy. But a lot of the other things do nothing for me. So, what’s the point?

“There is contentment and tranquillity when the flame of the spirt does not waver in the wind of desire.” (Iyengar, 37-38)

Even if it isn’t in your ability to purge and get rid of unnecessary things, or to even stop consuming at a rapid rate (believe me, I like shopping it is hard to stop) at least take the time to be content. Because that leads you to a place that provides far more than a place full of material possessions. Finding contentment creates peace, and who doesn’t need a little bit of that?

It isn’t just applicable toward the objects we have, but how we see ourselves. Are we content with how we look? Are we content with our small nose or flat chest or thunder thighs? For me I am content with how I look. I feel like I’ve looked this way the majority of my life, but I am probably the only person that believes that. The fact that I’m content with myself, doesn’t mean I’m just hanging out not attempting to become better. I did that enough already. I can be content and strive toward something at the same time. I know it doesn’t seem like that should work, but somehow it does and it is oddly satisfying.

Just some thoughts….<3

The Wagon…

I hate the wagon. Getting on and off of it from time to time is super hard on the soul. When you’re on, you feel amazing and love everything. When you’re off you think you love it, but really you just feel tired and gross. Yet, it is so easy to stay off the damn thing. You know why? Because off the wagon there’s cake, or whatever you guilty pleasure is. Mine is cake. Or sugar in general. I wish I had never developed a sweet tooth, as it is the biggest issue I have.

So today is the day I’m putting my self back on the wagon. Yesterday, I made sure to go to the grocery and stock my fridge with yummy things. Lots of veggies, a watermelon, some walnuts and dates (I have to make some date balls asap!), etc. All things that I love to eat. I made a bunch of vinegar salads yesterday. What I mean by that is tomato salad with balsamic vinegar and basil. No cheese for me though. I also made fridge pickles. Just a nice flash pickling of some cucumbers. I made them spicy with red pepper flakes. I hope I don’t burn my face off. It is important for me to have things made and ready for when I get hungry. After I go to the gym today I plan on finishing the rest of the food prep. This morning was a total win. I made cauliflower hash browns, wilted spinach, and scrambled eggs. I need some solid fuel for my workout later. Oh, and it can always go without saying there is coffee. Lots of coffee.

I’m very excited about starting my journey as a yoga teacher. Like, an official one. July 16 I will lead my first class. There is a lot more going into it than just a first class, it is a project. I am so thrilled to be working with the group of ladies that I am to organize our day of teaching together. It makes my soul feel good! I won’t divulge anymore here now, but there will be more in the future!

Graduation day is July 23. I still feel like I know nothing! But I know that a lot of it comes with practice. It is so much fun to anticipate what the future will bring now. I wasn’t really sure what was going to happen in my life, and I still have no idea, BUT I do know it will involve yoga. In some way, shape, or form.

One last thing before I wrap this up. My dearest friend and her family have come upon some difficult times. Her step father, a really amazing man, has been diagnosed with a very serious type of cancer. Things are uncertain right now, but he could sure use some loving and healing light sent in his direction. Because he’s such a gem, he’s been handling the news with grace and laughter. I admire him for his courage. And I thank you for any efforts you make.

Everyone have a beautiful weekend. ❤