Friday, January 15, 2016

After Acceptance Comes the Plan to Regain Health

I've been writing about my failings as a fitness professional and my weight gain and feelings of depression. And that is all part of it, but it's not the only part.

Since the middle of December 2015 I've been taking vitamin d, vitamin b, iron Floridix, spray magnesium and white Kwao Krua.  

I've been sleeping better thanks to my daughter Lydia sleeping better.

I've increased my exercise time. Weight bearing exercises at least three times a week and play ground fun with Lydia a minimum of three times a week too. Plus what ever else I can fit in.

I've dropped the amount of bread and pastries I'm eating and although I'm still sneaking in a few, I go for the small bite and make sure I have a hearty healthy snack for the 6pm rage of hunger that overcomes me. I have also started planning our meals again, and increased fruit in the mornings and vegetables all day.

I started drinking coffee again.

I've started to limit my internet, especially in the evening and the mornings.

I've replaced normal hair dye with henna! This I'm so happy for.

I've begun to feel a lot better over all. I'm feeling good, energetic, started to get my apartment in order. Started my old Flylady routines. Overall, I'm feeling great.

I don't seem to be losing weight, but I'm ok with that for the moment. All I care about is feeling better, more energetic.

Over the next few weeks I'll write in detail about some of the changes I've incorporated and see if it's something you'd like to do too.

Thanks for your support.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Forty Fat and UnFit

What happened exactly?

Of course my life changed dramatically when I left Norway 8 years ago. I was a fitness instructor in a busy gym. I trained regularly on top of the classes I had and I knew my place in the world. I was a yoga teacher and I was multi skilled in the fitness arena. I was versatile and could take Pilates, core strength classes, kids classes, rehab classes. I even created a fitness belly dance class. That was the centre of my life.

First comes love, then comes the Marriage.

My little family of three moved and we travelled around south east Asia and to Australia. We were on the move for two years. I home schooled my son and I practised yoga and when I could. I even practised by the river Ganges. We did pilgrimages to sacred sites and I prayed, meditated and I felt like I was deepening my awareness of life and spirit. 

Settling Down

We moved to this apartment in Granollers Catalonia about 6 years ago. I'm about to get my residency permit. So for 6 years I haven't been able to work, legally. There have been some loopholes that some people have been willing to fall in, so I have been working on and off when I could. 

My role changed from single independent mother, bread earner, creator and manager of my destiny to mother, cook, cleaner, supportive partner and occasional teacher. I felt disempowered. My heart and mind hadn't caught up to my reality. Yes, I blogged about my experiences. Yes I trained and walked and explored. Yes I tried to do the best I could with what I had, but a fundamental flaw remained. 

Then Comes the Baby Sitting in the Carriage 

We had a baby. It really got between me and who I thought I was. My need to be a good mother was fighting with my need to be a yoga teacher. Both were failing. I suffered some problems towards the end of my pregnancy. My skin was itching terribly. I had pain in my back. I felt alone, tired and ridiculous. What was I doing, a forty something without many friends or family around her having a baby? Was I crazy? There is no financial support here in Spain, for a baby. The father gets two weeks leave. My family were in Australia. If I didn't have a compulsive cleaning teenage son and Kate my best friend here, I would have fallen off the deep end.  Albert works long hours. He's often out of the house twelve hours a day. I can tell you vomit, a demanding baby, being three days unshowered, the house work getting out of control can send anyone over the edge. Don't even get me started on lack of sleep. Lydia at 2 years and 3 months has just started sleeping better, and I do believe it's one of the reasons I'm feeling so much better. 

Basically sweet pastry became my best friend. I have been known to go on a walk and stop in every single bakery along the way, just for a little something. Yes. And I lied about it. Actually, about a year ago I realised I was a binge eater. I had no idea. I just seemed to blank out. I was lying about the food I was eating. I started to think about food more, and it's control over me. I blogged a bit about it last year. That was shedding some light on who I had become. Someone I didn't recognise. 

Where is Your Self Esteem Plugged In?

I didn't realise I was getting my self esteem from my strong athletic body. But I was. So if I was fat and flabby, how do you think my self esteem was talking to me every day I looked in the mirror? 
I didn't realise that I was used to getting support from my social group and my work. I used to be praised often. I used to be called upon to shed light on a matter. People contacted me to help solve problems. And here, I was nobody. Nobody was calling me. Nobody was telling me I was special and gifted and an angel. Here I felt ignored. Looked over. Unimportant. And I was in a rage about it. My little me was shouting all the time 'what about me? I am important too! I am somebody' 

But the fact is, I used to be a somebody. Then I became a nobody. And now, I am just me. I don't need the approval  of others. I'm not looking for it. I am not in the self pity game of 'poor little me' - I've been there and done that. It's not for me. No label for me just now. And breathe.

Who am I?

I still considered myself a yoga teacher first. A teacher. And I wasn't. I was failing. I was two sizes bigger than I was before I was pregnant.  And as the years went by, I discovered I was becoming embittered, frustrated, angry. At everything and everyone. Because they were in the way of who I thought I was.

Thank God for having a change of mind, a change of heart. Thank God for learning about yourself and being able to flick a switch on in your darkest moments. 

And here I am, rebuilding my life based on who I am at the moment. I wrote a bit about it before, but I can't tell you enough how important this moment has been to me. 

From frustrated and impotent yoga teacher to fulfilled mother, determined house keeper, loving cook, and heartfelt companion to my family. Like I've said before, I still teach sometimes. And I have other part time jobs, including a new online jewellery shop. But number one is my two year old daughter. I will not spend one more second wishing for something I don't have, consciously or not. I am filled to the brim with my life here. If only I let it in. And not see it as 'worse', or 'failing'. How can being an attentive mother to a darling girl be a failing?! How could I think I needed to do more to be more to achieve more? 

And do you know what? My headaches stopped. And the pain in my neck stopped. I'm smiling again. And exercising. I feel like fruit instead of chocolate. I still feel like chocolate, just not as much. And I'm just buzzing with life and creativity. I can feel the spirit move within me. My vision has started buzzing. 

Conscious Archetypal Shift! It's possible and it's wonderful.

I've even started thinking in poetry again, and that's always a sign I'm plugged into the source of Life. 

Monday, January 4, 2016

An Ex-Yoga Teacher on Aging and Fat Tissue

Addressing the Body

I've always been athletic. The only place I found validation for my athletic body was in a gym. Gym owners loved my sprinter's thighs and I worked on my upper body to get it in balance with the rest of me. Remember, this was before Madonna made biceps fashionable. 

I trained for fitness competitions when I was in my twenties and walked around on stage in a bikini flexing my muscles. 

I loved athletic yoga. I have spent half my life in a gym training. I really enjoy it. And I am sure one day, when the time is right, I will go back and start training again.

But at the moment I'm a stay at home mother who has deleted most of the exceptionally beautiful yoga instagramers from her phone because it makes her depressed to see everyone in great shape while she is sitting with rolls of fat and her thighs rubbing together. I thought it would be inspiring, and its not. It's just irritating. 

I especially used to follow a woman who has three little children and a flat ironing board stomach and she used to say 'no excuses!' and shout it at the camera and I was honestly terrified. I only felt more shame for my inability to get on top of my weight gain. I happily unfollowed her and have been feeling remarkably better. 

Moving from Fear into Acceptance

We all know the drill. Face your fears. Just do it. It's so common that it's trade marked. But that doesn't mean it's not true.  I have posted a few pictures of my stomach and I aim to continue posting pictures of my body, not necessarily just the parts I'm uncomfortable with, but all of it. It's ok. It's just a photo. It's not me. I can not be defined by a few rolls of fat. Even though I was living in total fear of them.

Ever since I posted the first picture, and facebook tells me thousands of people have seen it,  I feel liberated. I feel fantastic. The other day I was walking through our town and a few heads turned to check me out, and I let my stomach out, and felt it wobble and thought yeah, and with a belly. That's right. Check it out! It was really funny. I surprise myself. I had no idea how much I cared about my extra jiggle. 

Archetypal Shift

I'm big into archetypes and I like to read about them and talk about them in a way to help understand what is going  on. And during December I went through a conscious archetypal shift. I went from fear to fun, in one night.

I was living in 'used to be' land. That is, I used to be a fitness professional. I was a teacher, instructor and I felt a lot of responsibility to maintain that image. And every day I was failing. I was getting fatter and less fit and resenting my life changes because I wasn't being the best I could be. Yes, that's my perfectionist! 

Once I realised what was happening, I turned to my self and said, give it up. Just stop. You are not a fitness professional any more. You are not a yoga teacher. You are a stay at home mother who has a few classes here and there. Just give it up. And I cried. And I felt grief. And the next day I woke up feeling wonderful, and it was the beginning of facing my fears.

I didn't have to struggle to be perfect any more and I could be just a fat bottomed mum, just like everyone else. It is wonderful. No more judgement and expectations. And I have my sense of humour back, my sense of fun and wonder. My writer re-emerged. And here I am blogging again! I love my writer! She's interested in the world, she's fun to be with, she wants to be engaged in life and talk about things and explore deep issues. My yoga teacher wants discipline and practice, and if you fail her, she's constantly disappointed and frustrated. And that's how I spent the last 6 years of my life. 

Being a sad, disappointment to myself. And feeling everything was in my way of being where and who I was suppose to be. 

Let's get something clear. I still teach. I still practice when I can, and I still give talks. But I am not going to be dominated by that dictator in my mind who thinks she knows better than I do.


First and foremost at this time in my life, I am a mother. And I tell you right now that I am turning to embrace this wonderful experience. I will not spend another minute of my life wishing for something that I do not have. I embrace this life. I welcome it. And these are not just words. This is what is alive in me. But I did have to let the other one go. Before the new could come in to take it's place.

And I won't be in 'Mother' for ever, but I am now, and I am so happy for the shift. I'm happy for this opportunity, I'm happy for not bringing my daughter up to feel that she was in the way of my dreams. No. She is in my dreams. Actually, literally. This is a post from 2008 about dreaming of Lydia!! Just saw it today and was seriously amazed. 

Thank you.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Revisiting Fatty Fat

I was watching that Eminem movie the other day, and I was struck by the truth of moment. If you put all of your fears out there, what can you or anyone else do? You can't be afraid any more. Nobody can say what you haven't already said yourself. 
It's so sad to admit, but one of the things I'm afraid of the most is someone asking me if I'm pregnant again. I dress to cover my stomach. I usually dress in really baggy tops. Partly it's genetics. My mother also tends to carry weight around her stomach. It's partly being two sizes bigger than I was three years ago. It's partly just eating too much. 
And I don't want to be afraid any more. 
So here are the two things about my body I am trying to constantly hide - my stomach and my triple chin.
It's liberating to see it up on the big screen.
I know this isn't for everyone. 
But it is for me. 
I don't want to be afraid of my own body any more.
I want to practice what I preach. 

Self acceptance. Self awareness. Truth seeking. 

I was writing on Fat back in May of last year. Especially pertaining to my eating habits. Here's the link if you're interested.