Finally, an update…

My heart, as it turns out, is fine. Every test came back normal, and after the removal of any decongestants and all caffeine, I’m feeling fine and not having any palpitations. I’m a little sad that my caffeine is no longer, but I’ve found some great replacements. My favorite is Teecino. I found their caffeine-free herbal coffee at a local organic store, and I LOVE it. It smells and tastes like coffee, but with no caffeine and none of the acidity that even decaf can have.

More importantly, I’m relieved my heart isn’t freaking out anymore. Such a scary feeling. The longer I sit with it, the more I think it was a result of anxiety. I struggle with varying levels of anxiety, and I think it just caught up to me a little bit. So I’m back to regular yoga and meditation, both of which had fallen away in a haze of “too busy”, and I’m feeling better overall.

So what else is new? I gave myself a birthday present of a month of yoga at a WONDERFUL local studio, which resulted in several exciting things. First, some new thoughts about how I approach not only yoga, but life in general, and second, some real steps in the direction of my yoga teacher training. Which begs the question of how tacky it would be to set up a GoFundMe account…

But really, the lessons are the most important part for me right now, since the training awaits funding, and I’m doing what I can to incorporate the lessons in every aspect of my life.

Lean In: Don’t be in such a rush to move on to the next thing…the next pose, the next project, the next breath. There is time. Savor it. Wallow in it. Allow each moment, each pose, each breath it’s own space to simply be.

Start Small: This isn’t a race, and it’s no one’s practice but my own. I have nothing to prove to anyone, and only my own center to find. Build up from the most basic aspects of a pose, find my edge, and stop there. My edge does not need pushing, but only exploring. My body was not meant for pain, so too my mind.

Meet the Breathe: If I can’t breathe in a pose, I’m too deep. If I can’t breathe in my life, I’m too deep. Back off a little. Find the spaces where there’s air.

Dont Do the Pose: Yoga (like life) isn’t about force. It’s not about insisting my body and mind do something they aren’t ready to do. It’s about letting the pose happen to me, about allowing a settling into the pose. 

And finally, the one that had me crying in savasana again (honestly, at this point I should expect it)…

It’s Not About More Strength: I’m sorry, what? But isn’t that the point? Turns out, it’s not. It’s not about more strength, it’s about what you can let go of. In a pose, at work, in the world. It’s not about doing more, it’s about not trying to do it all. It’s not about powering through, it’s about letting go of the things that don’t matter.

It’s a constant epiphany, a radical revolution, a sea change. Right now I’m sitting with it, enjoying it, letting myself feel out all of it’s corners and edges and curves.



heartbeat-163709_640Hey there, friends. How’s it going?

What’s new?


I have a thing. It’s making me scared. I don’t know how to talk about it here or even if I should. But this is my blog, and I’ve always shared it all.

So…starting sometime around last Tuesday (2/3) I started having a weird fluttery feeling in my chest. When I checked my pulse, it was skipping a beat when the flutters happened. By Thursday it got enough worse that I went to the clinic. They did an EKG and then sent me to the ER “just to be safe.”

The ER. For my heart. I cried. I called my mom and asked her to come with me, since the kid was already sleeping at her house.

We sat in the ER for hours. They took blood, pee, a chest xray. They asked a lot of questions. They did another EKG. I finally saw an ER doctor, who told me I was “probably” fine since I’m not having any of the symptoms of a more serious heart problem. I might have just developed an arrhythmia, and it could go away on its own, or be my new normal. My blood pressure was up too, which isn’t normal for me, but he thinks it was stress doing that. Which, yes. Stress.

His theory, which could make sense, is that a combination of fatigue (not enough sleep), dehydration (not enough water), cardiac stimulants (too much coffee), and decongestants (I was sick and took Mucinex D on Sunday/Monday) likely came together to make my heartbeat erratic. Still, “just to be safe”, he referred me to a cardiologist.

I see her on Wednesday. And I’m scared.

I haven’t had any caffeine since last Wednesday. I’ve stopped drinking any alcohol too. I’m trying to be really good about my water intake. I’m meditating and focusing on my breathing to keep from feeling anxious about the whole thing.

And I’m scared.


The Year of the Body

I’m tired. Tired of not sleeping well, of too many stomach aches, of not enough energy.

But you know what else I’m tired of? I’m tired of looking at this body of mine with hate or anger or disappointment or, on the worst days, disgust.

This body. It does headstands and upward bow and lizard pose. It takes me where I want to go every day, carried me 13.1 miles without giving up, and it gave me my awesome kid.

It’s squishy and jiggly and huggable. It’s strong in places and weak in others. It’s bigger than many, smaller than lots, rounder than some, straighter than others. It more flexible than most.

This is the year I let this body come into its own. I gave up the diets and the weigh-ins and the focus on weight loss. I focused more on movement I love. And I made huge progress, but only now do I feel like I’m coming out of the fog of more than twenty years of feeling too big and knowing a diet was the answer, of feeling shame and fear and hurt when my willpower gave out, when I failed, when I wasn’t enough.

Turns out it takes a while to find your way out of that forest. I’m lucky to have found some pretty incredible guides along the way. I have Erin Motz and Anna Guest-Jelley to teach me the power of yoga in terms of knowing my own strength and remembering that I love my body. I have Ragen Chastain and my Fit Fatty friends to remind me that my body is worthy of love and respect, and that moving it in ways I adore is well worth my time. Tess Munster’s Eff Your Beauty Standards helped me remember that size is not a determination of beauty, and Weightless gave me anchors to help keep my self-love journey going.

So this is the year I make room for this body to be heard, to take up the space it needs without shame, to move with joy and abandon, to slough off the expectations of others. This is the year I explore some of the deep stuff yoga has brought up lately. For starters, I was doing flamingo pose today. Even in flamingo, which felt nice on my lower back, binds are not my friend. I’m wondering where to start working through that, and if there isn’t some deep reflection in there about why my body is so willing to bend and flex but resists binds at every turn.

Exercise is still linked to weight loss in my head. I’ve spent nearly two years now moving purposefully away from weight loss as a goal, and it’s done wonderful things for my head and heart. And yet here I sit at 230#, nearly the heaviest I’ve ever been, and I don’t know what that means for me. I don’t feel comfortable in my body, but I didn’t when I was smaller either.

Some days I believe my size doesn’t matter if my habits are healthy, and other days I get scared that every ache or issue is a sign of how bad my weight is for me. Lately I’ve been having what I’m fairly certain is sciatic nerve pain, and I worried and wondered about whether it was because of my weight, which just made me feel guilty and awful.

It’s impossible to get an objective answer. There’s sound science backing both sides, smart people in both camps. I try to leave it all by the wayside and just do the things that make me feel good…but food is still an issue, and I still hate to exercise.

I stress eat. I watch tv to unwind. I walk, meditate, do yoga. Sometimes I manage some strength training.

I want to feel good in my body and proud of my choices. And the thing is that sometimes I really do. Other times I journal at midnight because I feel guilty for skipping yoga and eating cookies. I’ve come to the late night conclusion that I can’t fix anything by focusing only my weight. It’s proven to be unhealthy for my mental state, and nothing is worth that.

So let’s say the sciatica is because of my weight? Is getting on the scale and tracking my calories and beating myself up going to help? Past experience would suggest I’d, if anything, gain…so if weight is aggravating or causing the pain I’d just be making it worse. Instead I’ll keep focusing on what I know is good for me, the food and movement that makes me feel awesome, and I’ll remember to be gentle with my mind, body, and soul.

It’s time to be my own best friend again, and to allow the fragility that’s settled over me lately to just be, without poking at it or pushing it away.

Nothing changes without me (a poem for open, terrified hearts)

A poem from Danielle LaPorte

Sometimes, my heart is so open
I can’t tell
if it is a gaping wound
or a portal
for everything
that ever was and ever will be.
I’ve learned to love the beautiful terror of eternity,
and scenario planning how shattered I could be
if the dark things got tall
and if I fell backwards in my forgetting of the Light.
But you can’t fall backwards in Space,
You can only only only ever unfurl.
More than anything,
I’ve wed the certainty that nothing changes without me –
not coal becoming diamonds
not fertilizing eggs
or migration patterns
or medicine dreams.
And what I thought was a net cast to me from a higher God
is actually
strands of truth and filaments of desire
that I have
strung together with my own hands.
In precious encounters,
I tie what I know & want to you,
so we can ride the winds of wonder.


What Groot Taught Me About Christmas

GrootEvi asked for a giant stuffed Groot. I didn’t think much of it because I knew we’d be able to find one. So when we were a week out and I started looking…I was unpleasantly shocked to discover that big huggable Groot is not a thing.

So I decided to make one.

Me. Not a crafter. Not even a little crafty. But I was determined. I started three nights before Christmas, and I FINISHED HIM! He’s adorable but looks nothing like the “real” Groot. He has dried superglue on his head, a floppy neck, and big button eyes. His mouth was drawn with a Sharpie and his hands are shaped all weird. His stuffing is somehow seeping out of the fabric in tiny little bits. He’s far from perfect. I was worried she’d think he was weird or silly or stupid. I was worried she wouldn’t like him.

I worried for nothing. My sweet girl was so grateful. She still hasn’t put him down. She’s thanked me for him a million times and declared that he doesn’t look like the real Groot, he looks BETTER! She says he’s wonderful and unique (just like me, she says!) and it makes my heart lighter.

And then…it got so much better. She paused mid-stocking opening, leaving all those shiny gifts untouched, because she wanted to put together her Lego Chima Phoenix mini with me. She paused BEFORE opening a gift somewhere around the midway point to thank me for her presents – as in, sitting in front of an as-yet unopened gift, she was so suddenly overwhelmed with gratitude that she stopped, looked at me, leaned over for a hug. “Thank you, mommy,” she said. It was just so damned sweet.

In the days after Christmas, she’s taken Groot everywhere, continuing to extol his virtues to anyone who will listen. She loves him, and not because he’s exactly what she’d imagined getting. She loves him because I made him, and because she’s so full of love that she radiates it.

And that’s the lesson I  more than needed to learn this Christmas. I’m raising a little girl who is utterly infused with love, who’s got so much of it that it’s seeping out in every direction because it just can’t be contained. So I must be doing pretty alright as a mom, and more than that, it’s time for me to soak up some of that love. She’s a reflection of me in some ways, and so it’s got to be in me too. It’s time for me to bask in it, settle into it, direct it where it’s most needed…sometimes that’s inward, and sometimes it’s out.

This year is all about creating space for love.


Another amusing Evi anecdote? My brother brought her a tee shirt from MIT, which she was so overwhelmed to receive that she wasn’t quite sure how to process it for a little bit. The day she finally wore it, I told her how cool I thought it was that she was wearing a shirt for a college she might go to. Without missing a beat, she said, “Might? I WILL go to MIT” and went back to tying her pink boat shoes.


Halfathon Recap

Hey, guess what?


It was…pretty awesome. I felt good the morning of the race, and Dacia and I found a place to park quickly. I’d talked to the race director about starting early but never got confirmation, and when I got there I couldn’t find someone to ask. In the end, I started at 7:05 with the other walkers, and that turned out fine. If I’d started earlier it would have been in the dark anyway, so I think it was probably a good plan overall.

We started out strong and fast, and overall I ended up maintaining a faster pace than I had on any of my training walks. I felt good for the most part too. I struggled around mile 8, when I was feeling wonky and also started getting some serious blister pain. At that point there was nothing I could do about the blisters, and I know now that the issue is the socks I wore. Lesson learned. Don’t wear new socks…

I did eat as I went, sticking to Gu and Clif Blocks and that sort of thing because they were small enough to fit into my race belt. I had the first Gu around mile 4, and then every 2-3 miles after that I had something. I also think I should have had protein for breakfast (I had coffee and two bananas) because it might have helped the wonky feeling that came and went after mile 8.

Still, I finished strong and happy. I was a little bit sad because the husband and kid were trying desperately to get there, but got stuck in traffic and missed me crossing the finish line. Another lesson learned. Spectators should get there a lot earlier if they want to see you finish. It worked out alright though, because Erik got video of my crossing and we showed it to the kid later. I crossed with a smile, then cried like a baby for a minute or two.

Man, I was SO not expecting the race to be so emotional! There were volunteers holding signs along the course with all sorts of inspirational messages on them. I got pictures of a few of them, but not the most impactful ones because I was busy not crying. One right around mile 8/9 said Be Brave, and it was right when I was struggling and it just felt…yeah, like it was for me. I kept thinking OMG I’M DOING THIS and the closer we got to the finish line the more amazing it seemed.

I did it. I wore the wrong socks, and I stopped to sit down too quickly after I finished, but I did it. I could barely walk the rest of the day (skipped stretching too, unintentionally). I was SO worried about Monday since I tend to have 24-48 hour delays in soreness, but I was a little better on Monday and nearly back to normal by Tuesday morning. The blisters are still twinging a little, but I’m keeping them clean and tossing on some Neosporin now and again, so they seem to be healing just fine.

So: no new socks, should have stretched, don’t stop walking when you’re done, have spectators in place earlier.

Also: Am amazing. Did the thing.

Seriously. I stuck with thirteen weeks of training. It’s the first time I’ve ever stuck with a training plan and seen it to the end. Even if I’d crawled across the finish line after six days, I would have called it a victory just for that. I finished last in my age group, and 905/913 overall. And I couldn’t be more proud of that. I set out to do the race, I trained for it, and I felt strong when I finished.

And yes, I want to do another one. I’ve got my sights set on Space Coast next year, since that gives me nearly a year to train. My plan is to redo my training plan with more yoga and strength included, and then do it a third time with a focus on speed.


13 Weeks, 13 Miles

Thirteen weeks ago I started a walk training program to get me ready for my first-ever half marathon. Today I walk the race.

It might be the first time I’ve stuck with an entire training plan, and while I’m nervous, I’m also ready. I’ll be decked out in my ENELL ambassador gear, which I’m thrilled to have. I wouldn’t have comfortably made it through my long walks with that bra.

Even better, I’m walking with Dacia. She’s amazing, incredible, and a runner who volunteered to walk the race with me at my pace. I’m excite to earn my Santa Starfish medal with her.

Thirteen weeks. Thirteen miles. I can do this. I’m a little worried about fueling properly, but I’ll get that figured out with Dacia’s help.

For everyone who reads these posts, who follows along and offers support and friendship….thank you. I’m feeling oddly emotional about this whole thing and I’ll be thinking of you all.


Habits That Work

For six days now, I’ve been working on morning meditations to help me focus on what matters most. It’s not about weight loss. It’s not even really about food, although my hope is that by channeling my energies into constant reminders that I AM ENOUGH, I’ll be able to sidestep many of the food issues that come with being an emotional eater.

So how’s it going? Well, I’ve made some pretty significant progress in terms of sugar cravings and crap foods. Have I had sugar? YES! But in those six days, not once did I find myself reaching for something out of emotional need. Sometimes I did the meditation only in the morning. Other days I did it several times through the day, depending on how much I felt like I needed it. The truth is that it felt pretty easy, and I began to think more and more that this was just a good couple of days anyway. We were off our routine, traveling, celebrating, etc, and maybe that got me out of my own head enough to make better choices. Not once did I have a stomach issue related to food, which has happened a fair amount lately.

And here’s the thing. By no means do I think that meditating every day means I’m never again going to eat emotionally, make bad food choices, and upset my colon. I know better. I’ve spent a lifetime doing this, and unlearning the habits doesn’t mean eradicating them. In the end though, I had myself pretty convinced the meditation wasn’t working. This morning, unintentionally, I forgot to do it. It was the Monday morning after a holiday and I wasn’t prepared to jump back into my morning routine. As such, the basic necessities of the morning – get dressed, pack lunch, walk dog – replaced any time for meditating.

I got to work, ate two pieces of pie and a candy bar, and then wondered what the hell had just happened. Is pie for breakfast a big deal? Not even a little. But I did it mindlessly, without ever thinking about whether it was what I even wanted. The pie wasn’t even very good. So yes, meditation works for me. It works incredibly well, and I’ll keep it up.

Half Marathon Training 

I walked ten miles yesterday! It’s the longest I’ve walked, and it’s also the fastest pace I’ve managed for any walk over 6 miles. My previously broken foot is a little sore today, and I definitely didn’t stretch out my hips the way I should have, but overall I feel great! I’m two weeks away from my big race now, and I’m feeling READY! I’m super grateful to be an ENELL ambassador for this race, since I’ll definitely need serious support to see me through 13.1 miles! So now I need advice about the race…

  1. Will there be regular water stations? I’d rather not carry my own if I don’t have to.
  2. My hands tend to swell a lot when I walk. Any thoughts on how to reduce this for the race?
  3. Do I eat? Do I not eat? If I eat during the race, what’s a good option for something easy to carry and eat while moving?
  4. If it’s fully charged, do you think my iPhone 4 battery will last through the whole race if I’m using the MapMyWalk fitness app?

Repetitive Thoughts

I AM ENOUGHFixing my food isn’t working. Because I want to look better, feel better, do better, be better isn’t working. Because my body deserves it isn’t working. So it’s time for something new.

The human brain can be shockingly convinced of all sorts of things through sheer repetition. It’s long past time I look to the source of my problems, and a little dependency on my monkey mind might be just what it takes.

Remember Bjorn? Remember how she’s constantly doing and saying detrimental things out of a well intentioned place of both love and fear? Well, she’s my monkey mind and she’s terrified of letting go of the things I’ve learned to rely on when I’m scared or feeling out of control.

So it’s time I try to soothe her, to address the things she’s so scared of, with sheer repetition. I started this morning with a new kind of meditation.

I am enough, I have enough, I do enough. I am safe and loved. I make lives better.

Over and over, for as long as I can. Every morning. Because these are my fears, that I am slowly but surely failing the people that I love most. That at any moment I’ll be discovered for the fraud I sometimes fear I am. That all my efforts aren’t enough.

Slowly, day by day, I’ll repeat my truths. One day, I’ll hear them, accept them, become them. I’ll be focusing on the things I’m doing well, the ways I feel lit up, and leaving the rest of it behind. (MORE YOGA!)


So how am I doing with Half Training? Not too shabby! I missed my long walk last weekend. It’s the first walk I’ve missed, 9 miles, and because of the holiday week I won’t be able to make it up before I’m due to walk 10 miles this weekend…so I’m letting it go. I feel good about having kept up with the training this long, and I know I can do this half. It won’t be as fast as I wish it could be, but I will finish and I’ll do so with a smile.


Just Keep Moving

I’ve had some pretty fantastic walks lately.


The picture on the left was from a nighttime Color & Glow 5K I did a few weeks ago. I wasn’t super excited about the night race, and I do think they could have lit the path a lot better, but overall it was incredibly fun. I genuinely enjoyed the glow paint, even when I did get it in my mouth, and I got an incredible chance to talk to several women there about my love for all things ENELL. I even gave away one of my awesome ambassador slap bracelets. As an ambassador for ENELL, I’m super lucky because I get to talk about something I genuinely love, and they’re generous enough to pay for my race entry fees.

Overall the Color & Glow was incredible, but I might think again before doing another race at night. This one was over an hour from my house, so next time it’s closer or it’s a no-go.

Next up was the Oktoberfest 5K I did representing Jost Running. It was such an awesome experience. Not only did I earn a huge, beautiful medal, but I also got out there with my sister and her boyfriend, and even my mom’s dog! My husband and daughter joined us for the first three miles or so too. It was so much fun to have people to chat with the whole time and just get out and moving. And of course I used my incredible medal to open a cold beer (it’s a bottle opener too!) when we got home.

Jost has some great upcoming races, medals, and causes too, so check out their newest options:

Strength In Numbers: November is the month to give thanks, and this month we are choosing to use our miles to support of our service members, veterans, and their families and thank them for all that they have sacrificed in the name of our country. The “Strength in Numbers” benefactor is Courage Beyond at Centerstone – an organization that helps it’s members cope with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other mental and emotional struggles, after and during their service.

Let It Snow: We’re not afraid of winter, in fact, bring it on and LET IT SNOW!! This December, join us in racing for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and fighting blood cancers while pumping ours!

Finally, today was an eight mile training walk to prepare for my December HALF MARATHON walk! My dad took the kid fishing this morning, so my husband came out with me and we spent an awesome morning together. It was such a great way to spend time together. The weather was beautiful, the walk was awesome, and the chances to chat were perfect.

Physically, I struggled a little with this walk. I was feeling tired and dehydrated before we started, so I felt a little bad in the sun at the end of the distance. I was also having some pretty significant foot soreness in the foot I broke a few years ago, and I am a little bit worried about how to handle that for the half. My sister recommended the massage therapist at her spa, so I might try that out just to see if it helps.

Anybody else have issues with post-break pains?

Anyway, the thing is… I love walking. I love getting out in the fresh air and moving my body. I love the way it feels when I’m done, all sweaty and tired but not awful or ill. Walking and yoga and barre are SO my body’s ultimate choice of exercise!


Gain vs. Loss: Maintaining HAES through Weight Loss

How do you come to terms with results when they require a focus on the same tools that trigger unhealthy thought processes?

When you’ve spent years extracting yourself from the diet and weight loss mentality, how do you make sense of weight loss?  How do you celebrate an apparent result of choices made, when that result represents something that could trigger some seriously detrimental thought processes?

I don’t know what the answer is here. The truth is that this whole thing is complicated for me. I’m not really weighing myself right now, but I do occasionally step on the scale…because I own one?  Because I’m curious? Because it’s ingrained to consider my weight as an important piece of information? I can’t say for sure.

So as it so happens, I weighed myself just before starting both half marathon walk training and Pure Barre classes. I didn’t do it because I was starting those things. It just happened that way. When I looked back and realized I’d completed a month of both, I got curious about weights and measurements – I’d taken those a month earlier for the sake of picking the right sizes for Halloween costume pieces – so I figured I’d see where I was at.

A quick comparison made it pretty clear that I’d made some changed. In fact, I’d lost five pounds and a little over three inches.

I was thrilled. Elated. Then, frankly, a little scared.  I lost weight! Yay! Yay? Is it alright to be happy about it?  If I AM happy about it, is it just because I’m still wrapped up in old thoughts about health and success? If I celebrate weight loss, I feel like I’m just back to using that as a measure of success…which has proven to be drastically untrue for me.

So I’m trying to focus instead on something better. I made changes that I enjoyed making. I chose movement that made me feel good, gave me space to clear my head, and made my body feel strong and capable.  As a result of those choices, and either despite or unconnected from my food choices at the time, I felt better and stronger. I had more energy. I struggled less with mood fluctuations. As a side effect of these choices, I experienced some weight loss and a measurement decrease.  Those changes were NOT the point, are NOT the goal, and CANNOT be counted on as continuing changes even if my behavior remains otherwise the same.  The target I am chasing is the way my activity choices made me FEEL (awesome), the way they made me THINK (clearer), the way they made me MOVE (with confidence). Those are the things I’m chasing as I continue my journey.

And that’s where I feel like I can turn my focus to food. If it’s about losing more weight/inches, my attempts to eat better are never going to work. In fact, lately I’ve been trying to focus on WHY I continue to eat in ways that don’t best serve my body, and the more I think about it the more I feel like having any sort of appearance focus on what/when/why I eat is going to be counterproductive for me. If, on the other hand, I can focus on the things that will make me feel my best, be my happiest, provide me the most energy to get happily and productively through my days…then maybe I can make the choices that help me thrive.

So this coming week will be a week for me to focus on those choices. Even through the weekend, which for me is usually a time of acknowledged crap eating, I’ll be attempting to eat the foods my body needs. I’ll be interested to see what happens in another month if I can maintain the food choices that provide me with my best mind/body connection.