Fishing for Fika: FINALLY!

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Hooray! You’re here. Welcome. Today’s the launch of a project that is so much more than a blog or podcast. It’s the culmination of failed endeavors, constant questioning, endless searching, and serious surrendering.

For years I’ve felt like I was fishing for something special. I’d cast a line into deep waters, unsure of my bait, anxiously angling and frantically reeling in.

I was desperate to do something with my writing. I was hungry to connect. A perpetual daydreamer, I yearned for the chance to make my mark. But like so many, I got caught up in the chaos. I swam in emails, became a slave to my phone, and cohabited with my computer.

In this powerful, fast-paced, ever-changing world, I drowned in doubt, fear, and epic excuses.

One day a friend asked me if I wanted to fika.  A true lover of words, she rendered me silent. What was fika?  Upon explanation, I was game.

Fika made sense. It was a chance to break and converse. A pause without a purpose other than fostering friendship or camaraderie. So we sat. We had no technology, no distraction, and no agenda.  She made the most delicious coffee and we let our discussion go in all sorts of directions. It felt strange, freeing, and fun.

As a storyteller, I’m drawn to opportunities to grow and gain insight into others. Fika offers me the platform to connect and conspire while creating stories worth sharing.

You’re a part of this project. In fact, you’re the passion behind it. Let’s fika!

Consumption

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I am all up in the exercise scene lately. Just click here, here, or here. Seriously, my relationship with kettlebells is deep and ever-evolving. But there’s something else that exists with this new lifestyle I’m living. Truthfully, it’s a longtime struggle. And it’s one of those situations where knowledge isn’t enough. This evolution isn’t solely physical. It’s mental, emotional, and in the spirit of being transparent, somewhat spiritual.

Food has been my downfall. What I eat, how I eat, and when I eat is something I’ve battled with and lost on numerous occasions. Why? Short term mindset. I was using food as an excuse or motivator for how I look. Rarely, if ever, did I link food to how I feel.

I’ve definitely done my fair share of fad diets and programs. Some worked while others failed. But all of these attempts, albeit successful or not, were tied to extreme efforts. Nothing was sustainable. And in my ten plus years of trying to get myself healthy, I’ve never thought about the long term function of food.

Enter FitFabMoms. In the spirit of fika, I was gifted some quality conversation before a meal plan was presented. It started with a food diary but it soon became a confessional of sorts. And while I was bearing my soul, my trainer and dietician were listening and creating something special. My meal plan is a result of an evolutionary exchange. There’s a focus on fulfillment while reiterating feelings.

Am I happy? When was I hungry? Did the snack satisfy me? These simple questions guide me through workouts, daily duties, professional commitments, and personal obligations or outings. This mindset gets me far from the trap of timing. I’m no longer trying to lose ten pounds in a week while starving myself. Instead, I’m fiercely focused on talking about and responding to what I need to feel good.

I don’t have all the answers about food. But what I’m learning and loving is that the conversation begins with a question. I’m consuming comfort and gaining confidence. This happiness is the most delicious thing I’ve tasted in a long time.

 

Scales

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I often refer to myself as a parking lot therapy session. For whatever reason, I choose to emotionally unravel while parked next to a minivan. In the spirit of reciprocity, some people share their soul with me as we lean into a Honda CRV. I guess in true mom mode the comings and goings of my life determine the setting. And lately, it’s parking lot pandemonium.

As evidenced by the title of this blog, I like to talk. And I see a real need for people to create and contribute to exchanges. But there’s something a lot of people don’t like to discuss or delve into, which is the weight we carry.

To begin, this isn’t solely about the physical weight, but since it’s the most obvious association I suppose it’s important to initiate the topic.  Talking or writing about weight is uncomfortable. It’s not easy to admit or decipher how five pounds turned into ten, twenty, or thirty. And while we’ve come so far in terms of body positivity, the stigmas attached to one’s physicality are real, heavy, and long-lasting.

This world is fast-paced and forever forward thinking. What’s next or where to are common attitudes in all things. But herein lies the problem for me as the client or consumer. I need to get to a place where I acknowledge where I’ve been while celebrating where I am. This is almost more important than where I’m going. For me, carpe diem is more than a saying. It’s a parking place for purpose and promises. It’s where I need to be in order to go anywhere.

I have a scale in my bathroom. I used to weigh myself every morning and evening. Not surprisingly, there was never a noticeable difference. The act itself was disingenuous because unless I weighed in less than yesterday, it meant nothing to me. I only liked weighing in if the number showed me what I wanted to be and not who I was.

My trainers recently instructed me to surrender the scale. The numbers didn’t help me park my positivity. In a world forever on the go, centered on driving if you will, we rarely park.

I was speeding through this process and while rushing to get it all done nothing was getting done right. I wasn’t shedding weight, I wasn’t writing well, and I wasn’t enjoying anything.

The scale wasn’t going to help me. Because the scale doesn’t showcase how I feel, the muscles I’m gaining, and the fear I’m eliminating. The scale is not gauging the growth so pivotal for all evolutions. And it’s definitely not pausing to ponder.

Just as important as anyone’s physical weight is the emotional aspect of any said measurement. Knowing what we can carry, understanding and respecting the weight of different duties, and feeling strong in creating spaces and stories allows for some solid parallel parking.

But enough with the analogies and descriptions. I’m feeling like a woman who did some serious kettlebell swings and burpees today. There’s something to be said about finding the right space. Park, ponder, and plank. No scale can measure my joy.

Letters

 

dana-marin-152965-unsplash“How wonderful it is to be able to write someone a letter! To feel like conveying your thoughts to a person, to sit at your desk and pick up a pen, to put your thoughts into words like this is truly marvelous.” ― Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood

One of my biggest passion projects this year is based upon and determined entirely through letter writing. I’m writing people letters and asking them to fika. And while the request might seem simple, it’s actually quite complicated for many. These letters are the essence of vulnerability and an invitation to partake in intimate and soulful conversations.

Why so deep?

Have you ever wanted to ask someone a question that seems invasive but imperatively linked to understanding them better? Or upon reflection, do you know the history of your friends or connections? I believe that talking to others about their lives and/or mutual connections equips and empowers us to think differently and more carefully. Moreover, there’s nothing more special and sacred than a conversation over coffee if it’s done right.

But it all starts with a letter. Snail mail has my heart forever. I have some people who need to know things about their influence on me. I have more people who I want to hear from. Paper. Pen. Stamps. Mailbox. Magic.

When’s the last time you wrote someone a letter? Consider the time. Revel in the impact.

As always, thank you for reading. May your week be filled with fikas.

 

Exercise: It’s MEaningful

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“Things that you are unlikely to regret: exercise, eating healthily, challenging yourself, making a plan, being kind.” ― Freequill

This past Wednesday I woke up at 5:30  a.m. so that I could get a workout in before the hustle and bustle of the day began. I walked into the gym cautiously, craving caffeine, and uncertain about the choice in general.

I used to workout at 5 a.m. I had an established routine and there were people who kept me accountable and excited about exercise. But then the whole two kids, working from home, trying to build a life thing happened and everyone and everything else became a priority. I let my own needs wander and was left to wonder, “how do I get back to where I was?”

On Wednesday, sometime between my sumo squats and single leg deadlifts, I realized I was never going back to the good old days. Yes, they were indeed good and to be cherished, but they were in the past.  And what I need, and what so many women need, is to look at and love ourselves now. Then, and only then,  can we move forward.  If those days were good, imagine the possibilities. Within this space is the realization and recognition of the power of presence.

I’m in a community of strong-minded and muscle motivated women at FitFabMoms and I’m discovering I’m capable of so much more.

Before you think I’ve gone Gandhi during group workouts, let me explain that I’ve always felt called to go deeper than the surface. As much as I want to look good, I’m forever centered on feeling good. You know the drill, it’s the beauty from within belief system.

It’s a freaking struggle to make things happen these days. But I never regret this investment in myself. I’ve never once come home from exercise thinking it was a bad idea. And every day that I exercise I’m a better wife, mom, sister, friend, and writer. Because doing good for myself allows me to be better for others. It’s truly that simple.

My motivation is not for who I want to be. It’s good to chase that girl for certain things, but not when it comes to self-love. I am proud of what I’m doing now. I love me for trying, early rising, and through every med ball slam.

I’m pretty pumped to love myself more. It’s true that exercise endorphins are real. I’m seeing me become more meaningful. For this, and even for burpees, I am grateful.

This week I’m tackling food prep, organized chaos, and the mind game that is scale obsession. Stay with me.

 

You/Me/We Need Help

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“It may sound paradoxical, but strength comes from vulnerability. You have to ask the question to get the answer, even though asking the question means you didn’t know.” Majid Kazmi

You need help. I need help. We all need help.

But sometimes asking for help is as overwhelming as the task that sends us searching for something more or different.

These days I fight the urge to become a Google expert. Do you know about this phenomenon? The people who Google everything and therefore they know everything as well.  But I’m not an expert in everything. In fact, I lack expertise in most things. And there are certain situations where help is beyond my wanting and is plain old necessary for success.

Enter the evolution of my health and wellness. I’m entirely too lost to know where to begin. There’s a science to this stuff, which is why I need an expert. I need a certified trainer and dietician to educate me.

The first step is admitting my lack of knowledge in this area. Being aware that I need help is a success on its own. I celebrate honesty and welcome vulnerability. The second step is centered on time. Specifically, how I see and use time.  I need to take the time to search for the answers to the questions that are critical for consistency and longevity. Because this isn’t some challenge with an expiration date. There’s no specific number on the scale that I’m obsessing over. It’s a lifestyle. Therefore, I need to discover and delve into the world of personal time investment. And finally, the third step is focused on listening. After asking questions I need to listen to answers while keeping an open mind. Asking questions is scary, but sometimes the answers are scarier. Here is where the truth lies. Owning this truth and working towards a better or brighter one is where I find myself now.

It’s funny how these steps are similar to the ones I undergo in my writing. But they’re much more challenging when applied to my well being.

There is strength in vulnerability. I am in need of help. Luckily I asked for it and it appeared in the form of FitFabMoms. Now I’m listening. To them, to my body, to my heart. There’s some truth in there that has yet to be discovered. It’s probably behind my abs, which are currently burning due to Turkish Get-Ups. Google that.