Category Archives: Yoga

Return of the Blog

I haven’t blogged since August of 2016. I’m still not sure where to start, what I’m trying to say here, or if I’ll get back to blogging regularly anytime soon.

But here I am. I’m here to…collect my thoughts. Lay out my intentions. Try to tease out the thread that leads me back to what matters most for me. The best way for me to start, I think, is with the highlights of where I’ve been.

Since August, I had a full hysterectomy. I spent some time recovering, as I needed to, but in there somewhere I lost my mojo. My hormones are still not 100% settled, so I consistently struggle with being too tired and too emotional in one way or another. I’m working on it.

In January, prompted I’m sure by the New Year’s Resolution idea, I started thinking hard about getting back to the things that make me feel balanced. I set some non-specific goals:

2017
Camp Gladiator for my body.
Yoga for my soul.
Healthy food for my energy levels.
Daily writing for my spirit.
Reading for my mind.
Weekly walks for my heart.
Snuggles for my joy.
Activism for my piece of mind.

Around the same time, thanks to the husband’s awesome gift of annual Disney passes, I wanted to write a blog about what I felt like Disney was giving me.

How Disney Gave Me Back Myself
Out of shape, out of touch, feeling sad. Not enough time with family.

Lots of Joy, tons of walking, lots of smiles and laughter. Remembered movement can be fun, what my body is capable of. Love being outside. It’s cool to be joyous, be a kid.

I never did get around to writing that blog. Every time I sat down to try to write it, I felt like I was faking. I wasn’t making progress. I wasn’t making healthier choices. I loved being at Disney, I love it every time we go. But despite all the joy it brings me, it isn’t carrying over to the rest of my life. So I never wrote the blog, because what could I say? Hey, I found a place that fills me with joy and it still didn’t give me a reason to get healthy?

So a few weeks went by. I did nothing. I barely went to my previously beloved bootcamp. And then…

I’m at my heaviest weight ever. Probably about 250, but I don’t know for sure and I don’t want to know. I do a really good job of pretending it doesn’t bother me, but it does. But that’s another story for another time. I’m actually writing about something more practical. Last night I was stretching and felt a sting on my lower belly, where my belly fat roll meets my torso underneath, right at the fold. Now it’s stinging and seems to be seeping a little blood. I think it’s just a skin tear, and doesn’t hurt a ton or smell bad or itch or anything…but this has never happened to me before. I’m crying in the work bathroom. This is making me feel like shit. In one day I’ve gone from feeling hopeful to feeling disgusting. Intellectually I know it’s the wrong way to feel, but here I am.

I felt so…embarrassed? Ashamed? I hate this feeling.

It’s brutal. My husband, who I only get to see on the weekends, is like “hey baby” and I’m all, “excuse me, my fat roll is bleeding.” I just…ugh.

In some ways, the worst part of this whole fucking thing is feeling like I can’t talk about it. I’ve made such a big damned deal out of accepting my body and being fine with whatever size, and now I feel trapped…like if I say something negative about my fat body, I’m somehow going back on those things (that I truly believe to be true). If I’m miserable with my fat roll, I can’t say that without sounding like I think fat is bad. I feel stuck and so dark right now, and I’m extra upset about it because I had this great, hopeful, motivated blog post planned. I was outlining it in my head yesterday, and then this happened last night and I’m so derailed. And of course, I’ve eaten SO much better today, but it’s out of shame.

That was the end of January, and I decided February would be different. Because it needed to be. And…it wasn’t. I barely exercised except for our awesome Disney weekends. I ate terribly, brutally, with intention to harm. I made myself sick from food for the first time in a very long time.

Now it’s March. I want to say that everything will be different, that this is the month I’ll turn things around. That I’ll find the time to do Couch to 5K with my kid and get back to 3x/wk bootcamps and start eating foods that make me happy and balanced and healthy. That I’ll get back to daily (or atleast weekly) yoga and meditation. But the truth? I just don’t know, and I’m scared to even try to commit to something.

So that’s where I’m at right now. There it is. I don’t know what to do with it, but I needed to get it out.

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The Cake is A Lie

the_cake_is_a_lie_515The cake is a lie. It isn’t even cake. It’s a vehicle to further solidify the truth I have created for myself right now, which is that I’m beyond saving. I’m too far gone. I’ve lost all of my motivation, slipped far from my health and fitness goals, and so now this is what I deserve. I deserve to eat a huge piece of cake, not because I’ll enjoy it but because the sugar will make me sluggish, and I’m not even that hungry, and it’s there so I might as well eat some, since that’s what I do.

And so I go to bed. Another day with too much sugar and not enough movement. Another night I’ve pushed myself to exhaustion before collapsing into bed to lie awake.

It’s become clear that my own well-being isn’t enough to motivate me out of this place. Not right now. And so instead, I’ll do it for her. Because I want to keep letting her spend one night a week in my bed, letting her believe it’s an indulgence for her when it’s just as much a treat for me. Because I want to feel alive and exhilarated and strong through every moment I get to spend with this fantastic kid. Because I want to have the energy to give her the attention she deserves in the precious few hours I get with her during the week. Because I want to keep up with her, challenge her, and teach her to own her own power.

20160523_174544For her, I’ll sleep more. I’ll hydrate more, move more, stretch more. I’ll do more yoga and meditation. I’ll stop mindlessly eating for punishment, for guilt, for boredom and sadness and stress and frustration and social ease. I’ll be mindful, purposeful, and honoring of this one body I have, that I get to share with the most amazing soul to ever walk this earth.

For her, I’ll recommit to my yoga practice, which does my heart and soul so much good.

For her, I’ll go back to Camp Gladiator in June, as planned. I’m scared to go back, terrified of the heat and the difficulty and returning after two months off. I’m worried I won’t be able to do it, that I’m so unfit that I won’t be able to finish the first workout, that the frustration will keep me from going back more than once, that I won’t go back at all. But I will. I promised her I’d go back, and so I’ll go. Because it makes me happier, healthier, better prepared to face the world with m very best.

It won’t be easy. I’m in such a rough spot that it’s going to take near-constant recommitting to my goals. I need to be prepared for gentleness, for patience, and for extra focus on being aware and in the moment as much as possible. But I have to remember I haven’t completely run out of sparks. I did do a half-marathon on an exercise bike to earn my first Hogwarts Running Club medal. (It’s awesome.)

It’s time. Summer is coming. My incredible kid is GRADUATING FROM FIRST GRADE. We’ve got a busy, fun summer ahead of us before starting a whole new school year. We’re looking at maybe moving, in the same area, but to somewhere a little closer to her school or a little closer to my office while still in the school district. My career is really shaping up beautifully, with a job I enjoy and work I am proud of. It’s time.

So help me out. Tell me how you climb out of a funk, what you do to get back on track, and how you handle setbacks in that process.

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The Secret of Change

The secret of change…

The truth is that I’ve been thinking about change a lot lately. Specifically, that I think it’s time for one. I injured my tendon, which led to a month off from bootcamp to let it heal. In that month, it was my job to wait for the pain to fade, and then focus on daily yoga to help stretch out my tight, overworked body and let things begin to heal more fully.

And maybe that’s what my mind needed too. So the pain began to lessen, and…I got bronchitis. For the 4th time in the last 3 years. I am a bronchitis machine, it would seem. And so I didn’t do yoga, and I shouldn’t have. I listened to my body. I took time off. I slept. I hydrated. I rested as much and as often as possible.

Two weeks later, when the exhausting hacking cough finally abated, I was finally ready to return to yoga…only to discover the pain was back, but different this time. Sharper, lower, less severe but more insistent. So I went back to the doctor and…my tendon is healing nicely, but it turns out that some of the pain was thanks to a build up of uric acid that has formed a sizeable crystal on my heel.

I’m taking a medicine to dissolve the crystal, but as it’s dissolving the pain is much worse and any impact or weight bearing is rough.

So it looks like I’m out another month until the crystal is dissolved. I’m super bummed about it, but sticking with daily yoga and doing the workout Mike sent me a few times a week.

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FitBloggin15 Recap – Part 1

Another year gone, and now I’m settled back and home and trying to make sense of everything I did, everything I felt, and everyone I hugged. For now, a more functional recap will have to suffice.

 

What I Did

I ate wonderful food. I drank great local beers. I saw beautiful street art.

I did hours of yoga, walked 10 miles, did Zumba, did strength training.

I sat in sessions where I cried with pain or hope or joy. I felt proud and scared and inspired.

I hugged people who are painfully precious to me, even when I only see them once a year. I hugged people I didn’t know yet, people who I was only just beginning to make connections with, and who I’ll stay connected to as the year goes on.

I laughed so hard I cried, so hard my abs hurt. I cried so hard I hiccupped.

I WALKED IN A FASHION SHOW, as my tribe clapped and cheered. The generous sponsorship from Soybu meant I got to wear (and keep!) gorgeous, CRAZY comfortable clothes.

I had my butt slapped more than once, by several different people.

I had my picture taken in nothing but capris and my favorite ENELL bra, standing arm-in-arm with several other ambassadors, proud to represent the brand and our own spirits.

I wandered off-site for a yoga class and a sound healing session, both of which left me rejuvenated.

I went to bed early, stayed up late, got up early, and ate a lot of bacon.

I sang along to other people’s lip sync performances until I nearly lost my voice.

I danced so much that I was sore the next day.

What I Learned

I’m stronger than I give myself credit for.

By just being me and seeking my own joy, I’m helping other people to do the same.

I should spend more time on my blog, for my own sake and for the support and love of this awesome community.

I definitely deal with some very real anxiety issues, and need to be better aware of them so that I can ask for help.

The friendships I have forged (and continue to make) as I attend these conferences are life-changing, and stay with me even when I see these people only once a year.

Denver beer is amazing. Really amazing.

Yoga lights up my soul. It’s not a new lesson, but apparently one that needed reaffirming.

—–

The thing about FitBloggin? Somehow, every year, it meets me exactly where I need to be met. I talk to the people I need most, do the things that most need doing, learn the lessons that most need to be learned.

So if you’re on the same journey, looking for the ways and paths and people that can support your growth? Join us. You won’t regret it.

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#w00tYoga IG Challenge

Hey guys – I’m super late posting this, but wanted to take the chance to share an Instagram challenge I’m doing.

I started my #w00tYoga challenge in May with daily poses that could be easily put together into a full flow. Now for June, I’m doing #w00tYoga #June15w00t, another set of daily poses that add up to a nice full flow at the end of the month.

Want to join in? It’s not too late. Here are the poses we’ve done so far this month, with variations and modifications:

  1. Upward Salute
  2. Tree
  3. Pyramid
  4. Downward-Facing Dog
  5. Tripod Prep
  6. Crow Prep
  7. Puppy Pose
  8. Bow Pose

Jump in with a few poses, catch up on them all, or just start with tomorrow, #8 – bow pose. Post your pics to Instagram and tag me (@YummySushiPjs) and use the challenge hashtags (#w00tYoga #June15w00t) to help me find your pics!

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In Stillness

I want…space. Space to breathe, to stretch, to create. I want lightness, ease, and more time to cuddle.

I can choose to be aware, or I can cruise through life mostly checked out. Lately, I’ve been checked out. I’ve been telling myself it’s because I’m just so busy…but whether that’s true or not, I can’t afford it anymore.

I’m fighting real anxiety these days, with physical hints of panic attacks just below the surface. I constantly feel like I’m barely holding on, and I can’t keep doing that to myself. I let it spiral in April, and now I’m midway through May and trying to pull it all back together.

I want truth. I want to be honest with myself, for myself.

I want to dress in ways that make me feel lovely instead of invisible. I don’t intend to abandon my nerd shirts, because they’re very much a part of my honest expression of self…but I want to be better about pushing the limits of what I think of as ‘comfort’ when it comes to my appearance, because what I really mean by that is that I’m choosing what’s easy, what’s familiar. It’s like I get dressed every morning and choose between feeling pretty and feeling comfortable, and I don’t think both is an option. It’s confusing and weird. I ordered one last Stitch Fix (that’s a referral link!) even though I haven’t had great luck with that, just because I’m hoping for something that works for me. I’m also considering Gwynnie Bee when our finances improve a bit.

I want to feel like I’m aligned with my own personal truths, with who I really am. I’ve felt aligned before, but right now I’m not even sure how to find that path, let alone get back on it.

I need to feel stable, to feel safe. I need to stop feeling the world unravel around me. I want to stop lying in bed, worried about a thousand things that will never happen. I want to strip away all of the unnecessary things that surround me every day and circle in on the things that matter most.

I want to make and consume food that lights my fires, that excites me again. I want to spend time in the kitchen with the kid, crafting things just because we can.

I want to walk in the sunshine more than I sit under fluorescent lights. I want to meet myself on the yoga mat every day. I want to close my eyes and find stillness, explore the me I don’t always share, and find the touch points that allow me to embrace her entirely, every day.

I want to sleep more, because I’m a better me when I’m rested, and because sleep fuels everything else that happens in my day. Sleep returns me to myself, as I undoubtedly become lost through the course of the daily trudge.

I want to be right here, right now, doing only what I’m doing – not allowing my head to spin off into the other million things I might need or want to do today. I want more play and less work, more love and less tension, more air and less stress.

I want fresh produce and fresh air. I want to lay in the grass, giggle with my kid, and not always feel exhausted.

So it’s time to lay out what that takes for me, at least to start.

  1. In bed by 10pm
  2. No caffeine during the work week
  3. Yoga 4-5 times a week
  4. Meditate every day
  5. Cook one real dinner per work week
  6. Cook two real meals on the weekends
  7. Wear something that makes me feel pretty at least once a week
  8. Document the things that light me up…the foods, the outfits, the moments

(as inspired, so often, by Mara)

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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.

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