Category Archives: Fitness

A New Year and a Fresh Start.

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The above video is good food for thought for me at this point. This year has been full of challenges and obstacles, as well as a lot of growth and change.  I’ve had some backslides and some leaps forward, and I’ve remained stagnant in some areas. The main thing I’ve learned this year is that I don’t have to be perfect, and that often just showing up for life is enough to make it all worthwhile.

I really want to wow you with insight and brilliant ideas, but really I’m just doing what I need to do to keep moving forward in my life. I’m struggling pretty hard with my dietary changes right now, but I can see progress. Eventually I’ll be comfortable enough with my food sensitivities that I will be able to cook without it being a huge uphill struggle. I guess the hardest part is just that NOTHING I’m able to eat is packages, instant or effortless. I love whole foods cooking, but damn I miss the ease of just opening a package of veggie burgers at the end of a long day. I’ll get there – change usually results in some defiance, anger and resistance from me, and this change is no different.

From this point on I’ll be updating at least once a week, and probably reblogging a fair bit as well. I’m still in college, and struggling with learning how to be a student again, but it’s going ok. Last term was sort of blown out of the water by my emergency surgery and I’m working pretty hard at making up for it this term.

Shamanic Drumming and Moving Forward.

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The above video really expresses what it is that is so appealing to me about shamanic drumming, and why it is something which I’m exploring for use in my own life. It just stirs something vast within me, and I know that I can harness this vastness and use it to journey deeply inward and deeply outward.

I’ve made some really profound realizations about the direction my life has taken and am so grateful for the bullets I’ve dodged, and the people and things I’ve lost over the past few years, as the gains I’ve made are far beyond what I ever suspected was possible for me. I am beginning to have a really solid concept of what my path is meant to be, and what it is becoming, and I’m beginning to be really excited by what a good job my intuition has done in guiding me, even when I thought I was wandering blindly and without direction. I’m really not trying to be vague, I just don’t quite have the words to describe what it is that I am here to share with the world yet. What I do know for sure is that my schooling will greatly aid me in this mission, and that working with differently abled people is certainly a step in the right direction for me.

School starts for me in September.

School starts for me in September.

I picked up my first semester textbooks today and began some preliminary studying. I’m so eager to get started on my actual program, and can hardly wait until January when my practicum begins.  It feels so good to be moving forward consciously and to KNOW deeply that things ARE on track, and that I have done the 360 degree turn which I needed to do.

I’m so grateful that the Universe chose to step in and show me the wrong relationship choices I had made, and let me know that I was destined for something bigger than just settling for what fell in my lap. Sometimes settling feels comfortable, but it’s not really the right fit, and comfortable is usually not the more interesting, fulfilling or growth-inducing place to be.

Walk in Beauty.

Body Shame and Moving Into MY Perfection.

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bikesky

Perspective is EVERYTHING. Is this a field destroyed by industry and a sky marred by chem-trails OR is it a beautiful day to be human and moving forward?

We do not see things as they are, we see them as we are.

Anais Nin

It’s finally gotten good and hot here in Southern Alberta, and as the temperatures go up, layers of clothing come off. As I am someone with a long history of disordered eating and distorted body image, and as a human being who grew up on Earth, surrounded by commercials, fashion magazines and media in general this of course brings up a ton of food for thought. My perspective is pretty unusual, as I am also someone who has studied and understood both the Beauty Myth and the patriarchal pyramid and I am fully awake to and aware of how distorted my (and most other people’s) ideas about bodies and health really are, or at least can be.

A love for physical activity has not come easily to me. I’ve always been a “big girl”  and as a kid I was teased for this, as well as having parents who encouraged me to diet, but seldom encouraged me to be physically active. The shame I felt about my “flawed” body was pretty over the top for many years. I wouldn’t participate in gym class as early as age six for fear that people would comment on my “fat” jiggling, or my sweating, breathing hard or appearing “too out of shape”. This sort of shame of course, did nothing to encourage me to work on improving my physical strength or my overall health.

Of course, with all of this inner emotional torture going on I never had a chance to find out that sweating, jiggling, breathing hard and getting my heart pounding due to physical exertion feels really, really good! I learned this on my own over the course of the past two years, as  I have rediscovered my love of bicycling! I adore working hard to make it up a big hill, or pushing my bike against strong wind. All of those physical sensations which I used to see as “signs that I’m too fat” are now pleasurable reminders that my body is growing stronger and healthier.

I frequently find myself needing to correct my thinking when I’m out cycling as I catch my thoughts running toward how I look to other people. If I allow my mind to wander off in that direction things get uncomfortable instead of joyful. I’m getting better and better each day at just not allowing my mind to stray into negative self-talk and anxiety. It’s sometimes really hard, and I need to remind myself over and over again to enjoy the view, enjoy the air, enjoy the sun, enjoy the pumping of my heart, the working of my lungs and the motion of my hips and to forget about my “muffin top”. Basically, if I practice staying in and enjoying the “now”. I’m in a good place and am moving forward.

This sort of personal experience is why so many of us are against “fat shaming” and focusing on physical appearance instead of wholistic wellness. I would never have made it to the point I have in regards to healing my relationship with my body if I had stayed in the place I used to dwell due to bullying, poor self-image, and media programming. I’m still not in “excellent” shape, but my body is perfectly designed by nature and when I celebrate that instead of obsessing over how I look when I bend this way or that, I’m moving forward into my perfection.

Feeling ashamed of our bodies really is quite a ridiculous concept when one considers that we are perfectly designed by the Universe to live beautiful, abundant and healthful lives, we just need BE it. Each and every one of us was designed to function as a perfect piece of the whole of the Universe.

I am working on ignoring my weight and am instead focusing on how my body feels, and how far I can push it on a daily basis. I’m more interested in gaining agility, strength, endurance and joy  than I am in worrying that I don’t look appropriately super-model-like. I’m eating as much healthy food as my body desires, and am not shaming myself for eating ANYTHING these days. Food is delicious fuel to drive us toward our perfected state. We have a natural human drive to pursue maximum calories with minimal effort and to burn those calories off through living life exuberantly!  These are really important steps/concepts in my personal journey.

I am a whole person, I am a vital person, and my life is here for the living.

Birds, Bicycles and Beefless Tips

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A brief visit with a stunned bird whom recovered.

So when you are alert and contemplate a flower, crystal or bird without naming it mentally, it becomes a window for you into the formless.  There is an inner opening however slight into the realm of spirit.  This why these three “en-lightened’ life-forms have played such an important part in the evolution of human consciousness since ancient times; why for example, the jewel in the lotus flower is central symbol of Buddhism and a white, the dove signifies the Holy Spirit in Christianity.  They have been preparing the ground for a more profound shift in planetary consciousness that is destined to take place in the human species.  This is the spiritual awakening that we are beginning to witness now.
I’m still very busy with work and my newly active social life, as well as lots and lots of biking. My meals are still leaning toward fast, simple and tasty, and not highly photogenic. Tonight I had Gardien’s Beefless Tips, sautéed with lots of caramelized mushrooms and onions, a splash of tamari and a big baked potato. Nothing fancy, but oh so yummy.
I spent part of today working on registering for my first semester at college (I’m enrolled in Disability and Community Rehabilitation for September) and I also spent a big chunk of the day hanging out downtown window shopping with a new friend. I also bought a great big book on Linux, as I’m still pretty passionately attempting to wrap my head around the topic. I do run Linux on my computer currently, but I’m eager to be knowledgeable enough that nothing can go wrong that I can’t fix myself.
I’m exhausted and must sleep.
Walk In Beauty,
Coulee-Wind

Avocados and Road Bikes.

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The sky on my bike ride home last night was incredible.

The sky on my bike ride home last night was incredible.

“Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes.

If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralysed.

Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding,

the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birds’ wings.”
Rumi

I’m still really loving biking to and from work both for the physical work out as well as for the HUGE spiritual lift which it gives me. I arrive both at work and at home feeling invigorated and full of energy, which is certainly not how I felt when I was busing or getting a ride to work. It’s as if the mere act of getting my adrenaline pumping just lifts the stress right out of me and blows it away in the wind.

I am intending to upgrade my bike when fall hits and get a road bike with really good treads for snow-biking. I tried to bike through last winter but I gave up in early December. This year I intend to make sure I’m prepared enough that I have no excuses. I am getting much better at not making excuses, and at just being free to enjoy things without dragging my heels and complaining. Being unapologetically alive feels pretty darn good.

I’m still in a super busy stage in my life and as a results my meals are pretty simple and straight-forward these days. Meals are things like organic corn chips with organic refried beans, and piles of fresh salsa, or toast smeared with avocado and topped with homegrown sprouts. These meals aren’t very exciting to blog about, but I think I’ll start doing so anyway, as I need to keep carrying my whole foods, plant-based message, and showing how simple it can be is an asset for sure.

Avocado toast for supper.

Avocado toast for supper.

Centred, Focused and Moving Forward Into Now.

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And people ask me what real transformation beyond the diet-mentality and the beauty doctrine looks and feels like. They have no concept. And that is only natural really. You are transformed when the relationship with food and with your body is no longer a form of resistance. Food, your body, they are no longer your enemy or your momentary lover. You don’t struggle, battle, or fight to control either. And you know neither one has any control over you anymore either.

You can walk into a room full of food and not panic or worry or feel nervous and anxious about it. Food is seldom the purpose to social engagements. You finally can look past the food. You don’t have a constant mental tape replaying in your mind that you “should” watch what you eat. There is simply no emotional “charge” with food anymore. Eating is just a natural and biological and enjoyable physical behavior – as it was always meant to be. But this new mindset can at first feel quite strange.

There you are standing at the dessert table at a party and everyone is mentioning how they shouldn’t be eating what is on their plate. Comments like that are no longer contagious on you. In fact you find it hard to even relate to that level of obsessing. You have recovered. You may not be able to explain that to others – but you realize you no longer have to explain it either. It’s not a position to defend – it is now just who you are now– someone not obsessed or focused on food and weight, weight and food.

And the same is true with your body. It is no longer an element of negative focus for you. You aren’t trying to mold it, shape it, torture it or project your negative fears, emotions and hostilities on to it. You can love and respect it without “what ifs”. And more importantly, you won’t allow others to objectify it anymore either. You are immune to the nonsense of all that extraneous noise.

But you will still be around others when the topic of all of it inevitably comes up. You will feel like you don’t belong in that conversation anymore – you are now a stranger to that conversation – only you don’t feel bad about that – you are happy to let go of it.

Over time you become so comfortable with food, eating and your body that you will find the language to express that level of comfort and satisfaction. But you let go of any attachment to how others may “receive” those sentiments – realizing they may be stuck as you once were – in the diet-mentality and all the cultural dictations about women’s bodies.

And now when you do notice within yourself, any of the old message patterns of body-image, food, dieting, and weight – you just observe and recognize them. They just now “inform” you that you are not fully present in the new you. You now use these thoughts – they can no longer ever use you again. So old thoughts don’t send you running back to their level – they just remind you – of your transformation.

All of the above – THAT is what life feels like, beyond the diet-mentality and the beauty doctrine. Because this is what having compassion for yourself also feels like to live as that person. It is higher awareness – which means accepting you may no longer be able to relate to people who lack the same capacity – just as you once lacked it.

Totally and shamelessly stolen from: Coach Scott Abel’s Facebook Page 

Coach Scott Abel’s page is SO worth following if you use Facebook and have food and or body issues, or even if you’re just really into being as vibrant and healthy as you can be.

Overall my life is really on track, and I am on an upward swirling spiral of positive changes in my life. I’ve started to learn chain maille, school arrangements are still underway, I have a camping vacation in the mountains planned with a friend for the beginning on July, and I seem to have found a love of pilates ball and TRX exercises spontaneously (yes, I’ve been working on myself, but it just all seemed to fall into place recently).

I have always had a ton of self-inflicted barriers in the way of my fitness goals (fear of looking too out of shape while working out, fear of breathing too hard, sweating too much etc) and somehow, through realizing how held back someone who used to be in my life was by their own self-inflicted barriers, I began the process of dissolving my own. It’s kind of cool when the Universe hands me awarenesses where I least expect to find them.

I truly hope that everyone on the planet starts to see the way they hold themselves back from living their best life, and starts to challenge those barriers, because it feels really good to suddenly find yourself enjoying things you once disallowed yourself from enjoying, and enjoying the sense of freedom it brings with it. I know I’m for sure going to keep moving myself in this exciting new direction, and that I will continue to challenge my own limiting beliefs.

We all deserve to be wholistically vibrant, awake, alive and filled with joy – trust me on this one.

Walk In Beauty

Life is Beautiful, and I am Healthy and Happy.

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This beauty was flirting with my pup and I on our walk today.

This beauty was flirting with my pup and I on our walk today.

Risk

And then the day came,
when the risk
to remain tight
in a bud
was more painful
than the risk
it took
to Blossom.

~Anais Nin

I had an incredibly beautiful and productive day today.  I have changed my bike route to and from work so it’s 5.8 km each way instead of the 5.2 km each way route I was taking previously. This longer route is much prettier and is a pretty steady gradual incline all the way home, so I get extra cardio out of it. I listened to this song on repete the whole way home and as usual, Van Morrison just elevates my spirit and makes me fly home with a huge grin on my face. Music really is potent spiritual magic for me (and for many others I’m guessing).

I’m not doing much cooking these days, I’m pretty much living on falafel (OMNOMNOMNOM) from work and salads, bananas and dates when I’m home, so it’ll likely be a little while before I post much by way of recipes. I’ve been working a lot more shifts than I initially expected, so I have a bit less leisure time than I did when I started this blog. I’m ok with it being mainly a lifestyle blog currently though.

I’m really focusing on a few of the lessons I’ve learned as a result of the reading I’ve been doing these days and I’m finding this new focus to be really beneficial. Primarily I’m focusing on the idea that thinking healthy thoughts will lead to healthy actions, and that we attract what we think most about. These are of course, pretty basic spiritual teachings, and I’m just now working really  hard at mastering them as they are really key in creating the life which I’m meant to have. It’s amazing how much more peaceful and energetic I feel when I really stay conscious of my thoughts and reactions to the world around me. These aren’t new concepts for me, but I’m just now starting to fully grok them.

I’m making plans with a friend to make our way to the United States next year so we can go check out some Rainbow Gatherings. These gatherings started the year I was born, and I’ve been wanting to experience them first hand for years. I’m going to have to look into getting a passport and all of that good stuff pretty soon. I’m hoping to get a bunch of beaded stuff made to bring with me to barter while I’m there, but I’ll also have to look into the legalities of that as well.

I’m evolving and life is beautiful.