Category: Uncategorized

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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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.

Dive: Find a Way

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I’m a diver. I go deep. Let me stop and clarify that I’m a philosophical diver. I dream and dive into things quickly. I take no lessons, I often enter skilless or void of experience, and I tend to go with an “I’ll see how it goes” mentality. I imagine experts and gurus are shaking their heads. This approach doesn’t work for a lot of people. When people enter into places or positions without plans steam is lost, energy wasted, and disappointment frequent. But this works for me. It’s taken me years to realize that I’m most invigorated, productive, and pleasant when I’m forcefully throwing myself into things.

I like the adrenaline rush and I love the reveal of potential. These gifts come to me in the midst of chaotic production. When you don’t know what you’re doing some say it’s fake it until you make it time. I prefer the phrase dive or drown. I can either dive deeper, think differently, learn more, and swim confidently, or I can drown in doubt, pity, and regret. Listen, everyone has a way that works for them. Correction, everyone should find a way that works for them. This is what works for me.

I’m of the opinion that these days the busyness of the world doesn’t allow for deeper dives. People don’t make time to go beyond the surface. However, for those who go the extra mile they create and cultivate a scenario that allows for introspection and investment, and prepare themselves for varying levels of decompression (google that scuba term). By jumping in there’s a chance to discover breathtaking and unchartered waters.

I’m a diver. I go deep.

 

Things

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“Sometimes you need things rather than just thoughts.” ― Patrick Ness, The Rest of Us Just Live Here

One of my aunts recently retired. We spoke the other day about her newest endeavor in retirement, which is photography. She has long admired the art form and decided to pursue her passion in retirement. Her excitement is palpable.

I like when people get excited about things. Sometimes things become significant enough to change our attitude, direction, and/or purpose.

This thing I’m doing with Fishing for Fika is transitioning to becoming more for me than I imagined. While scary, it’s equally, if not more, exciting.

Currently, Marie Kondo is transforming the way we see things in our possession. I’m no Kondo, just Katie, but I’m trying to spark consideration about the things we do.

The answer to overthinking is often doing.

So, what’s your thing right now?

 

Decency

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“Friends who want to stay friends don’t discuss religion or politics.”

These days my Facebook feed is filled with political and religious advertisement and opinion. Twitter seems to be the same. The news, albeit traditional or online, is a running commentary of chaos. Hollywood continues to replicate our realities in its respective mediums while the media’s inevitable influence extends to all areas of our consumerism.

There’s no escape from political and religious jargon and discourse. It’s never-ending.

The problem with politics and religion isn’t discourse, but rather decency.

Fika, as an institution and an integral part of this project, is about connection. It’s a purposeful investment in others, which in turn becomes self-serving for character development and fulfillment. It’s the missing piece.

This is no longer an “us and them” argument. It extends far beyond the reach of parties or varying faiths and texts.

In openness and vulnerability, the opposing viewpoints are garnering a response to refute. It’s become the norm for immediate dismissal of opposition, a quick cast of judgment, and instant citation of evidence or doctrine.

But what about decency?

I don’t pretend to be an expert in politics or religion. I’m more novice than I care to admit. I am, however, willing to engage. I have only one request. Be decent.