Category: Crumbs

My Fitness Numbers: The Beginning

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“There is immense power when a group of people with similar interests gets together to work toward the same goals.” ― Idowu Koyenikan, Wealth for All: Living a Life of Success at the Edge of Your Ability

Once upon a time I dreamt of bathing suit season. But it’s been awhile since I’ve raced to remove layers.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve felt uncomfortable in my skin. Always judging, forever wishing, and constantly covering, I’ve fought the battle of body image throughout various ages and stages.

In the past, I used numbers as pillars of promise for all things fitness and wellness. For this and for countless other reasons, I’ve failed. We live in a number obsessed world. From weight to wallet, numbers occupy our obsessions.

But numbers don’t tell the entire story. And since I’m a storyteller, words matter beyond measure.

I’ve been going through an eight week evolution at FitFabMoms in Madison, New Jersey. During the process I’ve come to know two things: 1. I am capable of more than I imagined. 2. Community is a large part of my fitness and wellness experience.

What I love about FitFabMoms is the philosophy that in pursuing the best versions of ourselves we propel one another. It’s empowering to see change in motion. Furthermore, it’s inspiring to feel change in motion.

I am feeling all kinds of love when I walk into the studio. There’s a shift in the way I see myself and my progress. I celebrate newly discovered energy, I cherish muscle definition, and I excitedly embrace endurance. I’m able to hear an inner voice because of someone else’s ability to listen.

In life, and in all of its endeavors, we need listeners. Listeners allow and encourage vulnerability and transparency. Aside from being professionals in the fitness industry, the trainers at FitFabmoms are expert listeners.

I’m a sharer but body image comes with baggage. Thankfully, my needs and wants fell upon ears and hearts that listen and love with pure passion.

When my trainers told me to surrender the numbers to them and to focus on feeling, I knew I was in the right place. For the record, I’ll be sharing my “before” and “after” in a week or so. However, I’m feeling the “after” is more appropriately labeled “still going.”

This summer I plan to sit comfortably in my bathing suit. By mid-August I hope to live in it confidently. I have no idea the cost or size of said suit to date, but to feel good and grateful about it is more than I anticipated.

But since I know numbers are the stepping stone for so many, here are some numbers worth considering. I’ve worked out alongside 100 different people since I started. I’ve made 50 healthier and versatile meals since March. I can hold a plank 25 seconds longer than when I began. I can do 10 burpees without thinking evil thoughts. 5  pairs of pants no longer fit. I’ve cried 3 times post workout because of how good I feel when I overcome an obstacle or try something new. 2 women, Katie and Lauren, had a vision, created a space, and devote themselves to revealing power and possibility within others. 1 workout gives me more energy than three cups of coffee. I have 0 regrets.

This is the beginning of something that will stay with me forever. I’d like to say thank you to every person who has worked out alongside me. I am inspired by your presence, grateful for your example, and motivated by your strength. Keep it going. Katie and Lauren, there aren’t enough words. You’re a beacon of light. I love you more than pinot noir and despite mountain climbers. Trust me, that’s a lot of love.

I’m evolving and for this, and all that’s to come, I am thankful.

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Current State

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“I like coffee exceedingly…” ― H.P. Lovecraft 

My love of coffee knows no particular place, but I lust after and linger with it most at coffee houses. There’s something to be said about the lost art of creative, eclectic, and independent coffee houses. You can’t replicate vibes and the very best cafes produce them effortlessly and consistently. Today I’m at Sweet_ness 7 Cafe in Buffalo, New York. I believe I’ve discovered and tasted heaven on earth. Copious amounts of charm live within the walls, words are flowing freely, and my lavender latte has given me a new purpose in life. Seriously, it’s that good.

I like to talk and write in coffee houses, and usually, I prefer the company of strangers. The majority of my passion projects are centered on exchanges with people I’m unacquainted with or I’ve been interested in meeting. There’s something to be said about connection and discovery. Unearthing is enlivening.

For the people closest to me or most familiar with me, this fika thing is a mystery. Sure, we fika. Pausing with the ones I love is forever a favorite past time. But there’s a curiosity about the greater vision within my fikas that remain unclear to them. Truthfully, I like it this way.

I am knee deep in collecting and curating stories. I am grateful for the power of connection and the undeniable value within a good cup of coffee.

This is my current state…just in case you’re wondering.

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.

 

You’re Invited

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“No more wanting. It’s time to work. No more hoping. It’s time to help yourself. No more dreaming. It’s time to do. No more waiting for something good to happen to us, it’s time to make something good happen through us.” ― Toni Sorenson

I’m going on an adventure. Would you like to join?

I’ve decided to make March mine. I’m vowing to transform myself in all things, but I’m especially focused on my physical well-being and emotional engagement. I desperately desire how I look to match how I feel.

To be clear, I’m encouraged by and enthusiastic about life. I’m happy. But to be blunt, I need to get my ass in shape.

It’s time for a fitness fika.

If you’re reading this and unfamiliar with fika, start here. 

I like to talk. I love to share. Fika makes it possible.

I became a mama in 2015. In 2014, in preparation for mama mode, I made some changes.  I stepped back from teaching full-time. I sought out more writing opportunities. I engaged in more personal relationships. I forged community connections. And I’ve been humming along, happily, knowing these tiny steps would serve a bigger purpose.

Alas, it’s 2019. I’ve been a mama long enough to know that there’ll never be a right or enough time. Laundry is constant, patience is tested, sleep is precious, and privacy is limited. This beautiful, chaotic, exhausting, humbling, and invigorating life is mine to keep and cherish.

But what about that bigger purpose?

It’s now. It’s here.

Someone has to keep it real. I haven’t made myself or my dreams a priority.

“I don’t have time to take care of myself,” is not what I’d want to hear from my girls. “I don’t like my body,” is not what I’d want them to say when they look in a mirror. And to hear “I give up,” from their lips would crush me.

So if I don’t want my girls to think or speak these words I have to eliminate them from my mouth and mind as well.

It’s time. You’re invited to join me. My soulful sweat sessions are happening at FitFabMoms in Madison, NJ. I’m the girl in the corner, forever talking about something to someone, and going home right after to write about it all. For the record, while holding a plank I create sinful stories laced with expletives and scattered with visions of pinot noir. But I’m about to be one strong mama. Follow me as I fika about fitness. P.S. Help me understand why mountain climbers are a thing.

Silent Love Stories

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At church, an older couple shuffles down the aisle to their pew. He reaches out for her hand, which she willingly and eagerly accepts, and they proceed to their seats.

A young mother holds her baby close. She kisses a chin and each cheek and smells the back of the neck as she patiently and purposefully sways.

A college-aged couple passionately embraces in the middle of the bread aisle. Their hands linger and their kiss is long. They see no one.

After he died she sat next to his empty chair. Weak and weary, she held her post for 9 days. Then she returned to him for eternity.

These are silent love stories.

No words are exchanged. In fact, no words are necessary.

Often overlooked and undervalued, sincere gestures and intentional presence are at the center of silent love stories.

On a day where things might seem loud or need to be proclaimed, look for the silent stories. They’re everywhere. They tell us more than we imagine and give us everything to believe.

Happy Valentine’s Day.