Category Archives: Urban Cycling

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.

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.

Smiles, Books, Unicorns and Sunshine.

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yoooonicorn

I had a really good day today. The weather was perfect, I spent some time in the sunshine with a good book, worked and had a nice fast bike ride. I am working on a fairly long update which should be up in a couple of days, but for now I just thought I’d share something that made me smile.

Vegan Lentil Stew, Urban Cycling and Cultivating Peace.

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I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.
e. e. cummings

Today was pretty darn awesome for me. It was my third shift at my new job and it’s really feeling good for me being there. The staff and the customers are just plain easy to be around, and my shifts just fly by painlessly.

The hour or so I spend on my bike on the way to and from work is seriously just glorious freedom for me. I really don’t understand why so many people become slaves to their cars; they’re just missing out on so much exhilaration, freedom and gym-free exercise. I’m probably quite the ridiculous sight when I bike home (and truthfully the though of how ridiculous I am makes me happy) because I bring music with me and sing my heart out while I peddle home. Today I was jamming to Van Morrison, drumming on my handle bars and basically just sucking up the sunlight and my freedom. I’m studying to get my learner’s license, and then my driver’s but truthfully, I think I’ll always bike in the warm months, it just brings me so much peace. I’ve moved into biking in a harder gear now that I’ve gotten a bit more used to the commute, and my legs and thighs are REALLY feeling the workout.

Tonight for supper I just made a really simple curried stew using tinned lentils, onions, celery. carrots, potatoes,  zucchini,  a chunk of broccoli, herbs, tamari, curry paste and a handful of leftover romano beans. I ate it with some toast and it was really satisfying and I feel good. I love how easy it is to turn PLANTS into a good, fulfilling, healthy meal in no time at all. Most likely I’ll just warm up the leftovers tomorrow and have them with a scoop of brown rice and a small cabbage salad.

I’m reading Being In Balance by Dr. Wayne Dyer currently and I’m really learning a lot about living in a peaceful vibratory state, and about changing my thinking/feeling. This book is really helping me own and release  the anxiety and stress that I usually carry around in me. It’s refreshing to read about stress/anxiety management in this new way. Thinking on a vibrational level rather than an intellectual level seems to really bring some new insight for me. My intellectual understanding of “choosing my feelings” just plain wasn’t doing much for me, but broken down this way it just seems to be more easily applicable. I’m ready to let go of my anxiety and stress and embrace being the peace I know resides at my core. This book really resonates with my current meditation work, and my current focus on balancing my life out wholistically.

I’ve officially decided that I’m much happier, more balanced and more grounded now that my ex isn’t in my life. I’m not blaming him for the fact that I wasn’t happy, or that my life was lacking while I was with him, but I am celebrating my newfound freedom. It’s hard making a life with someone else and truthfully, I’m just really not into the idea of being tied down to keeping house and caring for someone else’s needs at this point in my life. I haven’t yet mastered self-care and balance, and having someone else who needed me to meet their needs really threw me off balance. I’ll always love things about our time together, and I learned a ton about what I do and do not want in a partner and my life.

This song always reminds me to be grateful for my ability to support myself and to love working, even if my job isn’t always what I want to be doing. Something as simple as preparing a nourishing meal and providing a bright moment in someone’s day is a service to humanity, if done with a humble spirit and good intentions. Hating my job isn’t something I need to do today. I’m working in the direction of creating the life I dream of for myself, and where I’m at right now, is just fine. Music is sure a beautiful way to celebrate life.