Coming Down

It’s been awhile since I’ve written on the blog….a little over a week. On Monday I had every intention of posting about how wonderful it was to have taken my last dose of Prednisone, but the truth is that this week has been a little of ups and downs. In my health journal I have seen my first smile on Tuesday when I went for a run with a friend and didn’t have to take the meds, but also my first frown because Wednesday I was so fatigued and couldn’t get off the couch to go exercise.

I am pretty okay with the neutral face days because that means that I’m still getting life done. I had another smile on Thursday while getting to experience Goddess Yoga as taught by a former student of mine. Things are looking up, but coming down from the Prednisone has meant that I’m more tired, my mind has slowed down, and I’m adjusting to the old eating patterns again.

And today? Today gets another smile! Today I am in Rochester, New York at one of my favorite workshop sites (Rochester Athletic Club for Women) teaching the NETA Pilates Specialty Certification. I love this place because the women are amazing, the facility is super clean, and the host, Nikki, is fabulous! I would work for her if I lived in this area.

I’m also getting the opportunity to eat at one of my favorite restaurants….Root 31. Today I had their Mediterranean Flatbread for lunch and it was so good that I ate it before I could snag a photo for you. For dinner I had to indulge in my go to Beets and Sweets salad. At first I thought it was a little smaller than last year, but it still hit the spot after my 4 mile walk on the treadmill. I wanted to run, but seriously….the treadmill is so close to the ceiling at this hotel that I was afraid of going through the roof!

Now I’m just prepping for another great day of Pilates training, one last meal at Root 31, my trip home, and a better week ahead. Check in with me on Monday for a full recap of my weekend away plus the start of a new Meditation series (think How to Meditate); Wednesday we’ll be breathing together in a different way; and Saturday I’m back doing another race for RTE.

How is your health holding up?

What is on your agenda for the week ahead?

What was the best part of your weekend?

Health in 5 Easy Steps

One of my least favorite terms as a fitness professional is the word “HEALTHY”. Why does it rub me the wrong way? Well, because it’s hard to define in some instances. The definition of HEALTH that we use for the NETA PT Workshop is:

 

Health: Freedom from disease AND the capacity to enjoy life and withstand challenges.

Last week on Monday, when I started describing my Happiness Project I said that the first thing I wanted out of MY BEST BODY was:

To be in good health and not currently fighting minor nor chronic disease

So, for the first month of this project I will be focusing on my health in this regard. Continue reading “Health in 5 Easy Steps”

Meditation Monday #30 – My Best Body: A Happiness Project

I’ve been reading Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project book this year. I haven’t quite finished it yet and that’s why you haven’t been privileged to a Fave Reads Friday post on the book yet. But, I thought that it was time for me to define my own Happiness Project. The book has been very inspiring in many ways and made me consider many aspects of my life and ways that I have chosen to live in regards to a yoga lifestyle. Yoga has helped me in my relationships, my professional career, my parenting, and with my mental and physical health. It’s help me define who I am and what I stand for. Now, after a weekend of teaching yoga, I have the ultimate goal of my own Happiness Project….MY BODY!

Continue reading “Meditation Monday #30 – My Best Body: A Happiness Project”

Meditation Monday #29 – The Best Laid Plans

About a week and a half ago I had a private discussion with one of my yoga students who has been with me for over a year now. She said somethings that really stuck with me about my weight, which is something that I’ve been struggling with for a little bit now. She asked some of the usual questions like, “Are you just eating too much?” These are questions that I sometimes avoid being honest about because I like to believe that I know the right balance for my body. However, I haven’t run hardly any in 2017 and I knew this was a big part of the problem. So, I resolved to get things back in gear and started thinking hard about what changes I wanted to make for myself.

Out of My Hands

Then the weekend came. I was already being more mindful of what I was eating and I had gotten active that Saturday walking my kids to the park near us. We played, we hiked through the disc golf course in the woods and walked back home. Sunday morning, though, I woke up with some spots on my neck. I thought nothing of it and my husband and I went out for our date day. We shared an appetizer and a pizza and opted out of snacks at the movie. The spots got worse in the afternoon after I moved a tree in our yard. I figured I’d gotten into something, but didn’t think much of it as I’d spent a good part of the weekend working inside. See, I was on this medication for the cyst in my leg and didn’t want to risk sunburn.

By Monday I was in full blown hives! I started Googling hives and joint pain because my hands had started to hurt, then my feet, then one ankle became unable to bear weight. I ended up in the doctor’s office again on Tuesday.

Health Comes First

I was taken off of the antibiotic and placed on Prednisone this past week. This plus a combination of Benadryl to help me sleep. It made doing most things very hard for me for much of the week. I skipped out on teaching yoga in the early morning both days and didn’t exercise much at all. The hives kept coming back, so I limited my teaching even during my one day at CFCC. I was able to get out and walk again on Friday with some friends and have been struggling with the eating this week.

Two things I have learned about Prednisone are that it makes you want to eat….everything….and it makes you very angry.

Angry Sleep

Angry and agitated during my day is not the only hindrance to my yoga outlook this past week. I am also dreaming angry. I woke up this morning angry at all of the people in my dream. I fought and yelled the whole night in my head. I feel like I am fighting a person inside of me right now that isn’t me. While the hives and joint pain have subsided, I still feel like there is something not quite right inside of me. I have 3 more weeks of Prednisone treatment and I’m hoping that as the medicine dosage tapers off, so too do the side effects.

Moving Forward in Yoga

So, for today I am waiting for a chance to go for a run, alone, because I need that space in my head today. I need to meditate with activity. I need to eat to fuel and to fuel happiness. While my plan is to focus a lot on being more mindful and getting back on the road (I mean, it’s been almost 80F here lately!), I realize that being mindful is knowing that the best laid plans can sometimes be interrupted. This is a temporary state of being and I’ll look for my contentment in the time being, knowing that things will be different soon.

Have you had a health set back? How did you deal with it?

TOLT – Why Numbers Matter Part 3

In the past I have been very upbeat about my weight. Part of this has been due to the privilege of being “thin” for most of my life. I didn’t come by being thin easily, but I have been thin for most of my life due to periods of restrictive eating and periods of taking care of my body. No matter what, I’ve always fallen at average or lower, so weight has not concerned me that much….until my recent doctor’s appointment.

This time around, for my yearly physical, I weighed in at 145lbs. I am about 5’8″ tall, so if you do my BMI that puts me in the average category….no biggie right? Well, normally I’d agree except this time it wasn’t a moment of normalcy for me.

Before I go any further, I want to state that I know that weight is a touchy subject for a lot of people and I am by no means overweight or obese, so the question will always come, “Why am I complaining?”. I’m not. I’m just taking notice of a few things. Continue reading “TOLT – Why Numbers Matter Part 3”

Mini Movie Monday #4 – King Pigeon Pose

I tried again yesterday after my post to go back and get a video of My Donkey for you to give you two videos today for the price of one….but he was still gone and I had to come home. So, instead, enjoy this gem on how to prepare your body for King Pigeon Pose!

As always, this is not advice for you to use to diagnose your own injuries, treat them, nor rehab anything. Please check in with your healthcare professional if you’re having problems that need treatment.

Here is a photo of the full version of King Pigeon Pose well executed and where I hope to be someday!

Please share with me your own stories of King Pigeon Pose!

Where is my Donkey?

I’m in Columbia, South Carolina right now and awaiting the latest participants in the NETA PT workshop to finish their exam. It’s been kind of an unexpected week this week and since I missed TOLT with Amanda this week, I figured I’d just tell you all of this in that sort of brain dump format.

Parenting

On Wednesday I remembered something that my oldest son said to me not that long ago. I cannot remember the context of the conversation, but it began with him asking me a question about why someone was doing something. Do we ever really know why others choose to do what they do? So, naturally my response was “I don’t know”. To which he replied, “So you don’t really know EVERYTHING do you?!” Wow! You’re right and thanks for calling me on that bluff at 5 years old!

Politics

Why was this memory important? Because on Wednesday I decided to take my sons with me to vote. Many of us are ready for the election to be over and I, especially, will be glad when I can watch the news in the morning without exposing my children to political campaigns. However, it’s my civic duty to vote and I thought it was of most importance this year that my 5 year old has listened to the news, seen the political ads, and has such strong feelings about what is happening in our country and state. I won’t ever tell you who to vote for, but please get out there Tuesday and get it done if you haven’t already!

Health

On Thursday morning around 4am I awoke choking….because my tonsils were swollen almost shut! This has happened to me in the past and has always been tonsillitis (except for the one time it was mono). This time, though, it was STREP THROAT! Ew! I spent the entire day laying on the couch shivering, sweating, in aching pain, and attempting to drink juice and swallow massive horse pills.

Teaching

By Friday morning I was better, but chose not to go for a run and instead just taught and packed up my stuff to head for SC. I was off my game while teaching….mentally and it carried over into my packing. I forgot things this week, but nothing that made a huge difference on my weekend. My scatterbrain also prevented me from doing my 5 Yamas Friday post this week, so in the interest of keeping it on Fridays, I’ll save #4 for this coming Friday as I travel to Columbia, Maryland.

Traveling

cib
I might know why this sign was outside….

I arrived at my hotel, the Comfort Inn Blythewood, on Friday night and anticipated taking a shower before I went to bed…..that didn’t happen because there was a ball of hair and a used bar of soap in my shower. I called downstairs about it, but they couldn’t do anything until morning as they were all sold out. I had skipped dinner that night because I was feeling nauseous from my meds and the post-nasal drip. Luckily I had a fig bar that one of my students had given me and this special drink.turmeric I didn’t think to take a picture prior to drinking it and honestly I won’t be getting it again myself, but I will say one thing….Turmeric is supposedly really great for inflammation and it really did help. Although, the taste was not my thing.

I will not recommend that anyone stay at the Comfort Inn Blythewood as breakfast consisted of something that looked like it might have once been eggs, the usual waffles and other dry bread products, some sugary cereal, and a coffee bar. Where was the fruit?! The yogurt?! The oatmeal?! Well, some of that appeared on Sunday morning, but it wasn’t worth my trouble. My food options this trip in general were less than stellar.

Finally, Saturday night, the wonderful extra hour of sleep in a hotel night…..was ruined by the fact that there was a flood light outside of my room and the curtains wouldn’t close. curtainsThis photo was taken at 12 midnight….it looks like morning is already trying to get in!

Training

As I said, I’m in SC for a workshop and I’ve been training future PTs and they have been wonderful! If I could ever stop getting lost on my way to the Jeep Rogers Family YMCA I would love to come here more often. While I’ve been here I’ve also had the opportunity to catch up on some work (YAY!) and get in a Saturday run (DOUBLE YAY!). This is where I met my Donkey.

On Friday night, as I was driving down here, I was listening for a moment to the John Tesch radio show and he mentioned something about looking at a point in the distance as you run instead of the scenery in order to run faster and smoother. I disagree John Tesch! I tried this on my Saturday evening run and I had to keep running off of the road to avoid cars which kept me in the sand, dirt, and straw. I ran uphill so much that my calves burned. And, my motivation was very low by not enjoying the scenery around me……until I saw him.

Now, I’m not an animal expert, so I’m not sure he’s a he or a donkey, but what I saw before I reached the turn around point was a pasture with horses, goats, and a donkey. The goats were butting the donkey and he was chasing them around so playfully that I smiled and wished I could join him! To my great fortune I was able to run right past him on my return and……he ran with me! Over and over again this little horse ran over to me and lifted his head to race. He took off down the side of the fence leaving me in his dust, looked back, circled around and played his game again. I almost decided to stay there with him for the rest of the night.

where-is-my-donkey
One of those little dots is my donkey!

I went back today to see him and take a little video, but they had moved pastures and were not around. Sadness.

The Week Ahead

So, it’s the end of my time and I need to pack up and hit the road again. Come back tomorrow for Mini Movie Monday #4 where we tackle Pigeon Pose! I will also have a post this week about Santosha and all of the great meditation I’ve had this week. Friday will have my 5 Yamas Friday and if I have a chance, I’ll link back up with Amanda to share what’s on my mind on Thursday. I hope you had a great weekend and DON’T FORGET TO VOTE!

Have you voted yet?

Do you have a donkey?

What did you do this weekend?

Annual Public Service Announcement – Breast Cancer Awareness

Two years ago I decided to make a very short but sweet PSA about October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month while on a trip for NETA. Later that same year I visited a new doctor who mentioned something to me that I had heard a few times before over the years….I have rather lumpy breasts. I kind of brushed her off because she ended up being kind of crazy and charged me for an asthma appointment when I DO NOT HAVE ASTHMA! Can you say insurance fraud?

Last year I wrote a post about my breasts and linked to a whole lot of other times when I had mentioned them and bras and other things of importance in relation to these mammary glands we women wear so proudly on our chests. The ladies at Fit is a Feminist Issue write about them on the regular. But, there’s a little more to my story that I haven’t really shared here and an advertisement I heard on the radio sparked my post for today.

kisK.I.S. is a Wilmington based women’s athletic apparel brand that is still getting off the ground and they’re donating money from purchases this month to our local cancer center (where a Great Aunt of mine was treated not all that long ago before losing her battle with cancer). I plan on getting one of their shirts for myself because they’re good looking shirts and I feel the need to send a little good Karma out into the world these days.

My part in all of this is that in January I went back to see my midwife instead of the crazy doctor for my female check ups. I was again told that I had some serious lumps in my breasts for my age and for having had breastfed two children for the length that I did. My family’s history of female cancers and my own female health history didn’t help any and it was ultimately decided that I should have a mammogram…..at 35.

I’m not going to lie….I was totally freaked out by this despite my normally blase attitude toward health scares. I usually assume that what will happen will and I prepare for nothing good nor bad. It’s really out of your control at that point. But, this was different for me. I’m not sure if it was having my two children and that thought that there could be something seriously wrong that could take me away from them or what it was, but I was nervous to say the least.

I went for my mammogram and the tech was super wonderful and told me that I did everything so well. She said that I was easy to mold and I suggested that it was all of the adjusting you receive to your form in the fitness industry that had prepared me to be positioned in this exact moment in life. This made her smile and laugh. However, I had a feeling that something wasn’t quite right. A few days later I was called back for another mammogram…..they weren’t sure what they were seeing on one side.

A week after the first one I was back in for my second, but only for one side. And the final result was that I just have very dense breasts. One is a 3 and the other is a 4. It’s something that will need to be checked on each year for awhile, but nothing to lose sleep over at the moment. So, here I am, in the middle of October, asking you all to do two things for me:

  1. Talk to your health care professional about your risks and which form of screening is right for you. There’s talk right now about the inaccuracy of checking your breasts each month, but there’s also no real harm in doing so. Ask and you will know your risks and what to do for you.
  2. Go to K.I.S. ‘s website and get yourself a sweet new shirt this month and help out the Zimmerman Cancer Center and all the great work they do for people like my Great Aunt Marilyn and more! It may be me that’s receiving treatment there or one of your loved ones somewhere!

 Take your health seriously; it’s the yoga thing to do!

 

Mini Movie Monday #3 – Exercises for My Back

Welcome to my first official post in October….not counting the non delivered Currently September post that showed up on Saturday instead of Friday as planned. But enough about technological mishaps…today we are here to talk about Yoga and our glorious spines!

As always, this is not advice for you to use to diagnose your own injuries, treat them, nor rehab anything. Please check in with your healthcare professional if you’re having problems with your back.

I'm practicing against the wall in order to try and get my feet to face more forward with the heels on the ground, but really I look like the Unabomber as does anyone in a hoodie.
I’m practicing against the wall in order to try and get my feet to face more forward with the heels on the ground, but really I look like the Unabomber as does anyone in a hoodie.

And, in case you’re wondering, I’m off to a great start on the 30 Days of Yoga October. I plan to write more about it later this week, but for today, here’s a hilarious photo I let my 3yo take of me this morning while practicing Garland pose before our run. Have a great Monday and leave you’re thoughts below!