Blog Maintainence:

Out of sheer need for organization, I have decided to date my  posts, as well. This is mostly for me (right now), but one day also for my future readers. Being a blogger is a passion of mine, one that I would love to – one day -turn into a actual form of income. So, in order to make the blog more reader friendly, I want to give clear topic and date titles, so should someone want or need to refer to a previous entry, they can. 

Moving right along then!

Today marks the first day of my second semester of my third year of University. I am amid my pursuit for a Psyhology and Human Resource Management degree. While I do love education, this year has been difficult for me. I feel little motivation or connection to my courses, so I end up going through the motions. Even still I manage to become extremely… stressed out (which I do not understand). You would think that if I did not care, I would not care. Evidently I am at the point where I care, but only enough to cause me inner turmoil in the chance I may fail.
Now, being that I am… a lover of lists and planning, I decided to make a Plan List for the semester. So, without further ado, here is my action plan for the semesters which follow!ssg

~ storm ~

Before getting into too much seriousness within this post, I just must do this:

[just must? Really?]

It has arrived.

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After much waiting, it has come.
Sadie… yoga… barre… dance.
My very own play ground ball.

OK. In other news. Here in Nova Scotia we had our first true snow storm of the season. I can not explain in words my level of fear that came along with this. Baba and Mama both had to work. My store closed, so I did not have to work and my father was no scheduled. Now, if you know me at all, you would know that I absolutely hate being away from my family during storms and this, well it was a bad one!

 Buses were off the road, the police cars were off the road… everything was off the road except my mother and my boyfriend.
I was terrified.

I, in likely the most annoying fashion, begged Omar to come home. Being that he is a new driver, who would be off at 5 PM (which meant it would be dark out), I was scared… I was honestly scared that he was going to drive into something and that I would never see him again. I was also worried of my mother, of course, but she was much closer to home and I knew she had decent arrangements.

I never really thought much about it before – the snow, or the risk, because I have never felt so helpless before in my life. But I was scared.

I do not have much to say today other than, I hope everyone made it out OK after that storm. I know that is was hard; I know that it was scary.

Please be safe.

year of the flow

First of all, I am horrible at resolutions.

However, I kick rump with making plans!

Being the psychology student I am, I have been introduced to a number of different psychological outlooks. I have learned about good ol’ Freud and his crazy theories; I have become fairly educated about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, and I know the purpose behind the Bobo doll. While this is not an exhaustive list, it is a good start.

Of all the theories I have learned the ony that has become most interesting to me is that of ‘flow’  – which, oddly enough, I did not learn in my psychology courses, but actually my philosophy class. Why? Flow is more of an idea, or philosophy, than it is a true, science. In layman terms, flow is the act of fully involving yourself in activity, 100%. The activity, does however, need to be something of a challenge. The main idea is that you must immerse yourself fully into an activity, that you will be able to receive immediate feedback regarding, while also establishing a sense of focus and awareness to your every day potential for challenge.

Wow, that was a mouthful. 

The whole idea was brought on by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (say that name ten times fast) who believed that this immersion was the true road to pure and genuine happiness. So, being that I am on my own pursuit of happiness, and being that is it already day three of the new year (with no definite goals made – aside from a few ‘couple’ goals with Mr. Baba), I thought I would theme the year as my year of flow. 

flow

While i do plan to attend to the notion of ‘flow’, I will me making this more my own. The plan this year is to flow in my practice and in my life, to hopefully get back my own personal… uh, flow :).

As I have made it very clear, I am undergoing a hiatus in my cycle. We are going on almost five months (I am pretty beat up about this). There has been no sign of a return, and nothing to cause me to assume that pregnancy is at all a factor. So, obviously I know it is likely a result of stress and improper diet and nutrition. I have – thankfully – gained to my goal weight-set. Which is less of a number and more a body feeling. My body is imperfect, there is extra bits of fat in places, but I feel comfortable and happy. My cycle has not yet returned but I have been told that this could take upward of a year – so I am not yet paniced.

However I have decided it is my duty to do all I can to try and help to regaining process. I have spent a lot of time reading abot HA from fellow bloggers. Sadly, the loss of one’s cycle is almost becoming commonplace in the health blog world.

The take away is that every thing I do this year, should be in regard to my personal committment to ‘flow’. The principle of flow very much parallels the fundamentas of yoga, so naturally I will continue to dedicate to my practice. However this will go off the mat as well. I have always found the idea of ‘going with the flow’ next to impossible. Instead of being calm, cool and collective, I often find myself adhering to unhealthy, over-structure habits. This is likely resulting from the ED. I think this is true for a lot of peole who undergo an eating disroder. In pursuit of trying to control your weight, you try to control the rest of your life too. Eating times, exercise times, duration… food types. Everything is down to science. This results in a huge fear of anythinge extraneous to this. Trips? No thanks! Spending a day at the beach? Terrifying.

Now! Let us just quickly note: it is 100% okay to bring your own food, if you prefer to eat healthier. I do not really agree with this circulating belief that you should eat unhealthy. I mean, if that makes you happy, sure. But, myself, my ED has opened my eyes to proper nutrition and now I much prefer eating healthy, whole foods. That is me talking, not my ED. The issue is, that a lot of people do not get that mindset, yet still force themselves to eat their food, leading to unhappiness –

I think I am digressing…

The point is ED (or mine at least) lead to a very systematic lifestyle. This year I will combat that. As best as I can. I wall focus my fitness on ‘flow’ (that is yoga), I will focus my life style on going with the flow and I will just try my best to cultivate a lifestyle where I am happy and relaxed.

This is my plan,

This is the year of the flow.
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thursday thoughts [01.02.2014]

Ah, another Thursday :)…

Big ol’ thanks goes out to Amanda for this awesome concept!

Thinking-Out-Loud

 

1) Lately I have been actively trying to recreate my former self. That is, my ‘self’ pre-ED. It is not the easiest of tasks, but shockingly , I have been kicking serious rump. How so? Three-four naps in the past three-four days*, randomly finding two movies I had never heard of on Netflix and watching them, falling asleep far too early on New Years Eve**… yep. :) It has been good.

*Since my ED (not sure if this is similar for others recovering or not) but I had found it next to impossible to take a nap. Originally, the idea sprouted from the misguided belief that if I fell asleep, everything I would have eaten in the day would magically change into fat and after 2.5 hours of resting, I too would have magically turned into fat. However even after that thought took a hike, I still found myself unable to take naps. I would be exhausted by 4PM but refused to rest.

**I am a horrible  New Year’s Eve’r. Always have been – and likely always will. First of all, I never really understood the celebration. But that is my personal thing. I completely understand and support any other individual wanting to ring in the New Year. Giv’er. For me, it just doesn’t really seem all too important. Luckily for me, my fell in love with a guy who has much the same opinions on the holiday. Score. What exactly do I mean by too early? When I looked at the clock at last… it was [ready to laugh?]… 9:15 PM … score. I tend to get cranky when I get sleepy, and who wants to ring in the New Year with a b@*$? Not me. That said, I always set an alarm [or ask Baba] to wake me up 15 minutes before midnight so I can ring in the New Year with him via a kiss :)

2) In the past I was in love with Lululemon. I own, up to, five sweaters and two or so bags. I never really did get into the mindset of buying one of their tank tops or pants. For me, tanks and pants are tanks and pants; I do not really think it is worth the money. But that – again – is my personal opinion. However lately I have been feeling a certain level of cognitive dissonance toward the company due to the comments (which I am sure you are aware of ) made by Chip Wilson, the founder. While I know that Chip Wilson is not all of Lululemon, I can not stand behind a company that believes or attends to the notion that some bodies are just not fit for their merchandise. I was not supportive when I heard about Holister saying it, so why would I support Lululemon? I do not think weight = health and therefore, a health and fitness apparel store should aim to attend to all shapes and sizes. I still love their sweaters, and will wear the ones I have… I just do not know if any more of my money will go to supporting them.

3) I must say I am 100% glad that 2013 is over. I hate the be one of those grumpy pants who grumble at the end of each and every year, but this year was not all a good one. So many things happened that were out of my control, out of my families control and just… out of control. There were 101 ups and downs, that sometimes I felt like I could not even think straight. So, this year, I am 100% glad to be in a new year.

4) After Eight Cake. Made! It was pretty well received too. The mint was almost too amazing. Confession: my favourite cake actually uses a box cake mix as one of the ingredients. My mother got it from a baker who uses it to make all her cake bases. It is really moist and dense and delish.  I do not personally each much of the cake due to the fact that I aim to limit all my gluten intake, but the reaction has never been poor on this cake.

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5) After years of looking at it at Chapters, Mama finally bought the board game SmartAss. I mostly wanted it because my boyfriend IS a Smart ass sometimes (though I love him). What we have learned:
1) I am SO BAD at geography.
2) I love my family x 20382
3) My strengths seem to be in book and music… big surprise.
3) Johnny Depp was there when River Pheonix Died.
4) The Amazon river supports feminism
etcetc.

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(there is also apparently a dumb ass game. I am not sure how that works)

6) In Highschool, I asked me friends to cut out the word ‘Cheer’ from a Cheerio box and write a note on it for me. Yesterday I said that no one had done it for me (but now I think I remember one person doing it). Regardless, I woke up on New Year’s Day to this:
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This is from Baba, who I celebrated my third New Years with this year :).
I love him very much and little moments like these solidify that for me 100% :)

Don’t you love those little moments when you realize why you love someone so much?

Now, I turn it to you

What are your thoughts on Chip?
Naps?
Did you have a good New Year? Regardless of your ‘bed time’ :D.

That’s Thursday:)
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The New Year Series. Part Two:

Last post, I looked back. This post I will look forward.

nys

While I have never been partial to making resolutions, I am very much a goal-oriented person. For me, the main reasoning is that at the end of the year, I do not really feel the need to ‘resolve’ much, but only improve my current situation. Or in some cases, only maintain the current status of my situation. So while I do not want to make resolutions, here are five things I want maintain or focus on in 2014. These will all be food, fitness, family and faith related:

1) Commit to Yoga 100%
Lately – brace yourself – I have been losing my passion for exercise. What, wait, woah, what? You know when you eat a certain food, like, every day, and become disgusted by it? Or watch a movie 20 times and start to really notice all the flaws in the plot? Yea, I am kind of going through that right now. I have had mornings where I have woken up and have been like: I just do not want to anymore. I guess in so many ways, I am losing that fire within me. That said, I still love physical activity, but am developing in a more realistic, less impacting approach. So let’s get more specific. I used to divide my routine into the follow three: (1) cardio (2) strength (3) yoga. On days where I do barre or yoga, or a combination of both, I am pumped to go down; however, on days when I do typical weight training or cardio, I could care less. So for the next year, I am going to commit to just yoga, in various forms for the differing benefits. I am ready to let my body decide how it will look doing the things I love.
Basically, instead of my A typical workout regime, it will likely look more like this:

Weekly Workout Schedule
Sunday: rest day – complete rest
Monday: 30-40 minute total body toning (barre/yoga sculpt)
Tuesday: 30-60 minute detox and vinyasa
Wednesday: 30 minute core work or additional day off.
Thursday: 30-60 minute vinyasa flow
Friday: 30-40 minute total body toning (barre/yoga sculpt)
Saturday: 20-30 minutes of detox yoga or additional day off.

As you can see I will be taking one to three days off per week, have three vinyasa focused days and two total body days. The length of my work outs has increased for two reasons: (1) yoga sequences are best done completely. I absolutely hate if a flow is 40 minutes or 50 minutes and I refuse to do it because I cannot exceed 30 minutes. That said, typically speaking, only 1/2 of a yoga sequence – give or take – is truly a work out. There is a handy amount of time you’re just easing into poses, plus considering a five minute savasana, a five minute cool down and a five to ten minute warm up (sun salutes), the increased length is understandable – and actually OK’ed by my nutritionist. Same goes for toning work outs; and (2) sometimes I feel the need to do an additional 10-20 minutes mid day if I have been sitting all day. That is just me. I feel allowing myself these potential increases are okay, considering the intensity of my exercise is much lower.

Also, from here I want to focus on increase core and upper body strength – both of which I lack. This time next year, I want to have come much closer, or mastered, the art of arm balances.

2) Try a new recipe at least each – or every two weeks.  But accept that I like the food I like.
I fall easily into meal ruts. I find a food that I absolutely love and eat it to the bitter end. For example, I currently am in a total sweet potato kick. I am not upset by this, at all. I love sweet ‘taters, but I know  there are a million other foods out in the world. That said, in the past, I constantly find myself feeling bad about having a ‘boring’ diet. On the one hand, yes I do tend to each the same foods regularly, but I also tend to eat that foods I liked regularly too. Should that not be enough?
Last week I tried a new mixture of oatmeal avec coconut flour and it was lovely!

3) Actually get into baking – but be OK that you are not huge on baked goods.
First, I love baked goods and always do want a few bikes, but I do not have a huge sweet tooth and often find things too sweet. I always worry that people will assume that if I do not eat a slice of cake or what have you, it would be due to my ED history. OK, while there is an element of truth there, no doubt, over the years I have also lost my ‘sweet tooth’.

That said, I am 100% a dessert lover.

The issue is, I can only really handle 2-3 bites of a cake. Following that, I just have no interest. I always need a few bites, though!

I want to embrace my interest in baking, while accepting that I am more into the prep work than the actually enjoyment. Similarly I love to see people’s reactions. Additionally, try to gluten free baking.

4) Eating to how I feel

Okay, this might seem confusing, but it goes both ways. I also tend to have this fear of under eating as well as over eating. So if I am not hungry, but know in my mind I need more food, out of fear of being hungry later, I eat more… and sometimes, I get so full it hurts me. I hate this. Hate it. Not out of fear of getting fat, but because it makes me feel sluggish. It is a horrid habit, and one that I want to try to rid myself of. Eating too little is not worse than eating too much – or no better. Regardless, you’re not attending to your body’s needs, but rather what you think your body should need.

5) Continual Check-In
As we all know, I have been advocating for the past while the ‘check in’. This – for me – entails a continual look into what it is I am doing and why it is I am doing it. Often I find myself becoming less and less confident in my choices as an individual; I become worried that their reasons are lined with poor judgement and misguided intentions. In the year 2014 I will consistently commit to my focus of ensure that every move that I make is 100% motivated by good intentions.

Here is hoping for a beautiful 2014. :)

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The New Year Series, Part One: Signs.

Leading up to the New Year, I am going to do a ‘New Year’ themed posting series. Each day will focus on rather (a) a reflection of 2013 or (b) a projection for 2014. Each will look at a very specific topic. For instance, today will look at some signs which occurred in 2013. I happen to believe in signs. Do I think they come from God, or some other higher being? I am not sure. But I do believe that they are there. This year has been laden with signs for me. Maybe it is my own mind playing tricks on me, or perhaps they truly are there; regardless, I believe in them 100%.

 signs

1) In May, when my Grandfather past away, the weather was poor. It had also been a Sunday, meaning that the buses only ran once every hour. As a result, it took Baba much longer to get to the hospital than it would have any other day. The rest of the family had come together at the hospital in the early morning, so while most everyone was there, Omar was not.
Finally after much wait, Omar showed up, comforted me and following that, my Grandfather breathed his last breaths. It might sound stupid but I took this as a sign that Omar was meant to be with me. He was meant to protect me, support me and comfort me when I needed him most. Not only me, but my family as well. It was in this moment that I realized how truly I wanted Omar to be the one I spend the rest of my life with.

2) Most years Christmas is more green-y, slushy brown, unlike that ‘white’ Christmas we all pray for. This year, was a truly white Christmas. It snowed all Christmas long. Now, you all know – I hate cold and snow. I am a warmth kind of girl. I like the sun. I like the beach. I do not like ice. The two days I can justify a decent amount of snow fall: Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. This year, we had both. There is a part of my that thinks it was my Grampy, looking down from above, telling us that he was OK and he wanted us to have a perfect Christmas. I do not know if anyone translated the White Christmas to that, but all I could think of whilst watching it fall was ‘I love you, Grampy’.

3) Lately I have been having troubles believing in God. He took my Grandfather away, he’s put my mother through endless amounts of pain, he’s caused harm to the guy I love… it just seems like so much hurt and pain is around me, that the notion that someone from up above is at all… involved… seems kind of, unrealistic. Or, cruel. That said, over the past few weeks, my family has had some amazing news. First, my mother got her surgery (or, rather, her long-awaited surgery) and I was accepted for student loans. This forces me to believe that there is someone or something above me that is looking out for us, even just a little bit.

4) For the past two months I have been struggling with someone relatively unimportant, but very important to me: full immersion into yoga. I have been lately dreading doing anything with impact. Running, HIIT (which I have not done in almost a  year), jumping of any kind… why? Well, first I find when I do do [hehe, do do] those types of exercises, my body feels… uneven or imbalanced. It does not feel right. I feel void of energy, irritable, sometimes even mad… for no real reason. Then, I find myself starving of unsatisfied all the time. About two weeks ago, I decided to change my practice into yoga and barre and that is all. My heart rate gets up as I use my lower body, so there is cardio (plus additional walks when it is not so cold out – I can not step on a treadmill… I just can not do it). I have been struggling if this is ‘right’ for me and my body, then all of a sudden a few days ago, my foot started to hurt a lot. Any impact on it causes pain. To me this was a good indicator that low-no impact was preferred.

To sum up, this year I have:
1)  Discovered that I have truly found my soul mate. I found the one boy who will forever steal my heart away, day after day. I have found that person who literally completes me. I found something I never thought I deserved;
2) Found a peace in the loss of a loved one. While I do miss my Grandfather dearly, his passing has pushed me in so many ways. I have had to let go of my Mother a bit, because she has other things she needs to do… I have learned that life is more than just… exercise. As horrid as it sound, his passing was my first true wake up call. I miss him, and I have so much to thank him for. I love you Grampy. Rest in Peace.
3) I have discovered that it is OK to believe in something. Being that I was an atheist in the past, the idea of believing in a greater something seemed ridiculous. In the past year, I have realized that there is something to believe in. It might not be in the form that I (or you) have been grown to believe, but it is something – even if that something is simply yourself.
4) I have learned to honour my body fully. Listening to hunger and physical desires. I would rather have the energy to laugh, love, play… be intimate… than have abs.

There is so much to learn, if you let your mind be open.
So open up in 2014 and take note of everything that could lead you to a better life.

name

Thinking Out Loud: Christmas Edition

Well, it is over. Another Christmas has come and has gone. While I love Christmas, there is always this sense of peace at the end of the hustle and bustle. A calm, I suppose. I hate to seem like I do not like Christmas, I love it. I just do love the calm that comes with its end. The shopping is done the presents were given and [hopefully] well received and the food was eaten.

It is nice.

Anyways, here goes :)

Thanks again to Amanda for the awesome concept!

Thinking-Out-Loud
xm

I plan to mush the two together :). Enjoy!
Twelve Days of Christmas mishaps

1) Does a Christmas craft count if it is made out of food?

This is not my photo, at all, but I did spend some time making these on Christmas Eve :) They were actually SO adorable. :)
2) I did not carol :( Next year!
3) My cake will be made very soon
4) I did however make a Christmas rice apple dish – which was tasty :)
5) I did manage to watch three new Christmas movies – one of which was not Elf.

While not every one of my 12 plans were seen, those that I did complete I did to my best ability, so I am not even in the slightest bit upset about that which I did not do.

Each year there is a theme for Christmas. Do you ever notice that? In the gifts given, I mean. This is likely no intentional, at all, but it does happen. One year was the year of the Barbie, one year was basically Christmas does Movie Rental Store and this year is was a hybrid: yoga and Out of Print (which is now, out of stock).
This year, I receive three lovely books from Baba, first:

 

Tara Stiles and Sadie Nardini are the two female yogis (Eion Finn being the male yogi) who pretty much craft my daily practice. So, you better know that I was absolutely nose-in-book all day yesterday :).
Mama Bear and Daddy on the other hand, gave me a bunch of Out of Print clothing, which I LOVE. Basically, it is a clothing line which took classic literature and made apparel out of it. I got quite a few: a Little Women bag, a Raven sweater, an Alice in Wonderland Shirt, etc! They’re so comfy and really unique looking :). Mama also showered me with some of my girl [Kate Spade] stuff. :) Can you say: I got my travel mug!! I got so many clothes, it is hard for me to pick one or two shirts to show you! But, I would definitely buy more :) Here is an example: Not too sure why, but Mama was worried I would not like these. Pah! I have never been so excited about clothing in my life! My love for them is kind of two fold: first, books; second: The styles are really simple, which appeals to me a lot. They’re so comfortable and neat. :) I am so pumped on them.

Honestly

I do not have much to stay out loud today. Except for I am so very lucky for the family I have been given. Each year at Christmas, my gifts, as materialistic as it may sound, reminds me that my family know me better than I would ever realize. I am not the type to say, ‘I want this or that’, yet somehow they know.

This Christmas has also reminded me what love is. I saw it this Christmas in my Mamas eyes when she opened her gift from some one and I felt it in my heart when I saw that look in her eyes. Above all else, that look was my Christmas. Seeing her calming, her happiness, made me happy and calm.

Christmas is not about boxes and bags, good books or shirts with books (perhaps the theme was book… as it often is). As lovely as they are, Christmas is much more than that. The real Christmas moment is often understated and will likely be overlooked. It could be a word or a smile. Mine, this year, was two fold: first, the look in my Mama’s eyes and second, the words shared between Baba and I.  I am not going to get into detail, but they made me Christmas whole. It reminded me why I love him and why I need to love myself.

Do not like the true meaning of Christmas get lost in the purchasing of gifts and cards. Keep it alive

And have a Merry little Christmas, :)
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