Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Learning to Breathe Again

As I drove home last night from yoga, my heart was so full of love for everyone and everything around me.  My life felt perfect in that moment.

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I can honestly say that is how I feel after every yoga class at In Bliss, with Marti Lee or her daughter Starr.

It’s the combination of meditation and connecting my mind and body with my breath.  It sets me back up right and centers me no matter where my head is that day. 

One of the down sides to being a control freak is when things start to get out of line my brain starts to feel a little scrambled.  I feel a little wobbly.  Like I can’t think about any ONE thing clearly.  Everything starts to run together and get all junked up and then I start forgetting things or making mistakes which makes that control freak inside me CRAY CRAY!

Yoga irons it all out, puts things back in their place, restores order in my brain.

Get comfy, we’re going back in time….

In May of 2007, I had finished up my third semester of nursing school.  I only had one semester to go.  I had developed such bad panic attacks, from the stress and pressure of school, that I spent most of the next month and a half in the fetal position.  I didn’t even want to leave the house and sometimes I didn’t want Justin to leave the house because then I would be alone.  It was a scary, dark time.

I was very open with Justin about how I was feeling, even saying I wasn’t going to finish school, and by mid July we both decided I needed some help.  Justin recommended yoga.  So, I did a search for a yoga teacher that would do private lessons, in our home.

I didn’t want to leave the house.

That’s when I met Marti Lee.

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The moment she stepped in to our home, I felt the darkness start to lift.  She has such a powerful energy. 

I cried after that first class.  I think we may have all cried.  I felt overcome with hope and promise.

She came to our house twice a week for the next 6 months.  She taught me to meditate and how to breathe again.  She taught me mantras to get me through test anxiety and LIFE IN GENERAL.  I was a chanting fool!  Removing obstacles….bringing abundance.  Or even just the Om sound.  Feeling the vibrations of my own voice and using those vibrations to calm my nerves.

She taught me to love my body.  I was at my heaviest weight so I had a lot of negative feelings about myself.  She taught me to not focus on how FAT I was, but to give thanks to all the good things my body does for me.  So, I would lay in meditation, and starting at the top, give thanks to every single CELL in my body from my brain to my toe nails.

When I shifted my focus from judging myself from the outside to feeling gratitude for what’s inside, a sense of calm and love for myself washed over me.  I still practice this.

Once I was able to break through and connect mentally and emotionally with myself again, the physical postures of yoga started to mean more.

Balance postures teach me to be patient and nonjudgmental.

Hip openers allow me to release frustrations.

Warrior poses allow me to let go of aggression and feel powerful!

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Inversions allow me to feel fear and know that I can work through it.  Getting upside is NOT comfortable to me, but it’s important. Not just for my brain but for my circulatory and nervous system as well.

Every pose has something to offer and every class is different.  I can do so many more poses now than I could 6 years ago.

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I learned so much from Marti, but the most important thing she ever said to me was,

“You are in control of your thoughts.”

We always end our class in meditation and she would walk me through my thoughts, clearing the clutter, reminding me anytime I feel out of control or negative thoughts are creeping in to turn to my breathe.  I have everything I need right inside me.  I am in control of what I tell myself.

She also taught me how to LET GO of things I allow to weigh me down or that don’t bring abundance to my life so that I may be OPEN TO RECEIVE all the good that life has to offer.

Fast forwarding to now.

Competition prep is sooooo mental.  Negative thoughts can get overwhelming.  My brain can feel deep in clutter and messy.   While I’m not perfect, I hear Marti’s voice when I start picking on myself.  I AM IN CONTROL OF MY THOUGHTS.

Tionna takes yoga classes with me.  Her and I had an instant connection and I am so thankful for her friendship.  She also has a powerful energy….like a magnet!!  I love sharing yoga with her.  It has brought us so much closer.   As I laid in Shavasana last night, with Tionna next to me, I gave thanks to my body for being strong and healthy and allowing me to push it harder than I have before, I felt so full of love and happiness and peace.

Everything is right where it is supposed to be.  In this moment, I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing.

Allowing myself to be open and RECEIVE new people and new experiences has brought me Tionna.  I was scared to leave Hitch Fit and trust someone new.  Best decision EVER!

I am so THANKFUL!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Setting Goals

My goals for today:

1. Train – Weights and cardio are DONE. Going to yoga tonight!

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2. Eat – work in progress.

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3. Shower – This really should be #1 aaaaaaand it hasn’t happened yet.

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Today is Wear Purple for Epilepsy Day! 

I thought it was yesterday!

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Oh well, looks like I’ll be putting on another purple outfit today!

Wear Purple!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Ready!

Yay it’s Monday!  A new week!

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I am ready to kill it this week.  Tionna started me on a new workout last week but it was also my T.O.M, so my energy level was lower than normal, and I had that day where I cried the whole time, so I’m excited to do it with all my hormones in tact!

Friday night

I picked Tionna up and we stopped in at a Fundraiser for some friends and then headed out to a KC Diva dinner.  Where I did not take one picture! #bloggeroftheyear

Oh, except of my purple pants! (don’t worry, I did not wear those shoes Winking smile)

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Luckily, Tionna did!

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It was a fun night.  I stayed up until MIDNIGHT!  Can you believe it?!

Which made getting up to run the Diva Dash….

super FUN!

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I hopped out of bed at 6:30am and was so disoriented, I hit brew on the Keurig with no coffee cup under it!  After finally getting some coffee in me, it was time to get going.  I had a 40 minute drive to the race.

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It was FREEZING cold.  I had planned to walk/jog it with some of the girls but it was just too cold, I had to get moving and get warm. So, I took off!

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As you can see, it was an easy run.  We pretty much look the same at the start and finish!  ha!

It was a good warm up for my leg workout.   Tionna and I planned to meet up at a regular, public gym (can you feel my anxiety level rising just typing those words?).  If you have been reading for a while, you know, I get the eeby-jeebies from public gyms. 

DIR-TAY!

Not to mention, I can count on one hand how many times I have lifted weights in a regular gym so I have NO gym etiquette and am not used to working out with other people.

I am a total brat. I know this.

I am either in our home gym or the private gym where I work with Tionna.

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But, for Tionna, I was willing to cover myself in hand sanitizer and enter the Place of Germs.  So, off I go to meet her when she calls and has blown a tire.  I headed down to help her…..or, eeerrmm, be with her while she helped herself because I have never changed a tire in my life!  Long story short, we talked a guy into coming with us from a tire shop and getting the tire off, put my spare on her car, got it back to the tire shop, put a new tire on her car and in the middle of all that a SNOW STORM was starting!

We both just had to laugh at the whole situation.  I really wish I would have taken a picture of how hard it was snowing.

We didn’t end up working out together but I went home to my gym and she went to hers and then we texted each other throughout the workout. ha!

Yesterday

I rested.  It felt so good to do absolutely nothing.  I watched movies, took an Epsom salt bath and was asleep just a little after 10pm.

Oh, and I sent in my measurements and pictures for a custom suit! eeep!

Now I am ready to get after this week!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Sweat and Sports Bras

Whoa.

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It’s been a month since my last post.  

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Where did the time go?

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Why didn’t anyone tell me?!!!

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I hate that you have missed all my sweaty, 6am self portraits in sports bras.

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Do you feel better now?

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Does seeing those pictures make you want to dye your eyebrows and put some cream on your face?  Maybe take a shower?

Me too.

Besides taking pictures of myself, I have been enjoying our crazy Midwestern weather.  One day it is 70 and I am outside with friends (that’s Tionna!).

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and then the next day it is 29 degrees and snowing, and I am OUTSIDE WITH FRIENDS!

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I love it.  Every single second. Even if I can’t feel my face. I love it.

I also love that I am surrounded by such an amazing group of women that share my excitement for fitness! Being at the track at 6am, in the dark, when it’s 29 degrees, is so much fun with girlfriends!  Oh, the things we discuss during 400 meter lunges!

The other thing that I am loving again is YOGA!  Just what I need right now to keep myself centered and focused.

Enough about me.

My sister, Vann, is STILL pregnant (just kidding, Vann!) and we had her baby shower this month.

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She is the cutest pregnant person EVER!!

Justin is still hanging in here with me and my craziness.  I’m not sure what I did to get so lucky to have him as my #1 fan.  I pretty much apologize and thank him everyday for putting up with me!

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I can also say those same things about Tionna!  Somehow I have tricked her into still rooting for me.

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Seriously, she had no idea what she got herself into.

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Remember in 2011, when I cried during my workout?  Yeah, that happened again.

This week.

I’m still 9 weeks out!

I warned her that I’m a red-headed, Gemini, she better buckle up!  This ride is BUMPY.

Thanks for still being here, Friends!  Hope everyone is doing well with whatever goals you have set for yourself!