That Time I Scored A Goal in Soccer: A Week of (Mostly) Victories

I want to start this entry with this: I haven’t had a cigarette in almost four weeks.

One of the things people may or may not know about me is I have a tendency to get in these “ruts” where I do the same thing over and over again until I’m tired of it. If I find a particular song that I resonate with, I will listen to it until I can no longer listen to it anymore  (Lookin’ at you “Shake It Off”). I do the same thing with food– currently, I’m addicted to making veggie taco wraps. So, it’s probably no surprise that I do the same thing with television shows. My current obsession is “Rick and Morty” and holy fuck, am I obsessed with it.

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That’s Rick. I love the show because it’s hysterical and dark. and emotional. Anyway, I just wanted to share that with you all. If you haven’t watched “Rick and Morty,” you should probably do that yesterday.

So this week has been a week of mostly highs and a couple of embarrassing lows. I say embarrassing because something I did this week sort of goes against one of my core tenants now but at the time, I felt like it had to happen. I’ll get to that soon enough.

Last Friday, I weighed myself and I was down to 110.7kgs, or 244lbs. That puts me down 9.3kgs or roughly 20 pounds since April. I was, and am, fucking jazzed about it but I realize I still have a long way to go, both in my physical and mental capacity. I want to be healthy for me, not to fulfill some sort of beautification fetish that is all too rampant in the society we live in. But, I find myself creeping back into obsessive territory where I constantly think about the caloric content of food or worry that I’m gaining weight instead of appreciating the journey I’m on. I know I’ll eventually get there, but it’s scary to feel old habits start to form. It is all a process and it all takes time.

Saturday, Robert and I moved into our shared apartment. It was one of the most painless moves I’ve ever engaged in as we only moved down two floors in the same building I live in. We have so much space! That night, we decided to go out and get wriggity wriggity wrecked (that’s a Rickism) to both celebrate our newfound cohabitation and let off some steam from the week before.

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bourbon and ginger– no ice.

We had a great time, but I woke up with one of the WORST hangovers I’ve had in quite some time, which led to not-so-great food choices and more beer the next day. Hair of the dog, right? We ended up going to the Chimac Festival, which is literally a festival devoted to chicken and beer in Daegu. It ended up pouring rain so we retreated to our friends’ apartment and waited out the storm which led to more beer and eventually, cheese-covered jjimdak.

I won’t lie– the next morning I woke up in a fucking daze. I couldn’t shower because our gas wasn’t working and more importantly, I couldn’t make myself food. So, I went about my day and planned on eating at one of the small Korean restaurants outside of my job. Much to my dismay, though, every single restaurant I usually hit up in my time of need was closed– the Korean restaurant, the kimbap shop, the Paris Baguette and Rapang had no sandwiches. Everything was closed! I started to panic– I needed to eat before work or I was going to be fuckin’ hangry teacher and my students are too wonderful to be exposed to that kinda bullshit. Unfortunately, my only option it seemed was fast food. I got a fried chicken sandwich, some fries, and a fuckin’ Pepsi because I am a GLUTTON for punishment. I ate it and spent the whole fucking day in a self-hate, gross spiral where I felt like dogshit and later ate MORE food with my friend Alex, and then later ate MORE food when I got home. Needless to say, my body felt like shit, I felt like shit, and I was lacking any sort of motivation to be kind to myself. My brain said “you fucked up. it’s over” and my body felt the weight of that decision. I felt defeated all from one meal and, honestly, a total lack of exercise in my life. Monday night, I promised myself that I would get up and run before I went to work.

…and I did. I got up and ran in the middle of the afternoon in Daegu’s brutal heat and humidity because I had something to prove to myself– I am capable and I am stronger than I give myself credit for, especially when it comes to motivating myself to exercise. I did not run continuously. I ran in 10 minute blocks, and my pace was slow, but I got out there and I logged some miles. I sweat like a fire hydrant, too.

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On Tuesday, I also saw on Jessamyn Stanley’s Instagram that she would be hosting a free online class at 8am my time on Wednesday morning. If you don’t know who Jessamyn Stanley is, I suggest you educate yourself. This woman has become a figure in my motivational efforts because she looks like me. She shows me that ANYTHING is possible with any body type. I hauled my ass out of bed unwillingly on Wednesday morning AFTER I considered not performing the class because sleep? But, I am so glad I did. It was motivating, even though it was online, to be back in a yoga class. Her style was so great and her vulgarity just made the whole practice fun. Afterwards, I made myself breakfast, started a 30 day plank challenge (I finished day 3 today!) and later in the afternoon, I went running again! I ran intervals this time to practice speed and endurance. It was a walk/run/sprint cycle and I found that I really enjoyed it.

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You can see the intervals in my heart rate! I fucking LOVE my Fitbit, by the way. I completed 2.7 miles, and felt amazing. Then, I ate thai food, drank a double bourbon on ice, and watched Suicide Squad. I didn’t buy my own popcorn at the movie, which is HUGE as that’s pretty much my favorite part of going to the movies. Small steps, y’all.

Today, I was hit with the urge to fuck up again. I do that to myself– I make a lot of progress and then I derail because my success is too scary. But, complaints without actions are pointless, so I allowed myself to sleep in, got up, made myself some lunch, got an Americano, and took my ass to work. After work, Rob and I made broccoli cheddar soup and vegetarian black bean burgers that I stuffed with fresh goat cheese.

After dinner, I put my ass on the subway and played about an hour of soccer with these lovely ladies. I want to say something here: I am so lucky to have such a wonderful supportive expat community to live in. The people I’ve met in Korea have influenced me in so many ways and even when I’m being a grouchy, hermited fuckhead, people still love me and want the best for me. It’s a good feeling to find such a fantastic community so far away from home. As a side note, I scored a fucking goal tonight. YES. I. DID. I can’t even fucking play soccer, but I scored a goal and that, right there, is enough to make my week shine. The fact that I play soccer now amazes me.

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I am capable of so much. I am so worthy of love, affection, time, and attention. I forget that quite frequently. I forget the strength of my legs and the power of my heart and the depth of my soul. I forget that I am a force to be fucked with, especially on my dark days. I’ve always said that the world should fear when I figure out and start acting on my true potential. Well, world, you better start fuckin’ preparing because I am relentless and passionate and I am fucking TIRED of being beaten down.

The world hasn’t seen the best of me yet.

Stay on your grind, y’all.

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A Week of Unsteady Forward Motion: New Running Shoes, Good Foods, and Bad News


sunday funday!

happy sunday funday, friends! i hope your weekend has been full of magic, splendor, and rest. my weekend has been filled with spending time with some of the coolest people in the world, sports, and relaxing. i cheered on my C-A-T-S CATS CATS CATS to victory

three goggles!

and generally had a good time with friends.  while i love relaxing during weekends, i really should learn to do some homework before sunday afternoon. i just cannot get motivated. but, i need to fix this and hopefully, as my schedule starts to solidify, i will adjust and get my shit straight. i need to graduate in May and i need to move away from this city. i need to keep these things in mind when i start to slack off or decide that taking a 3 hour nap is more important than reading some of Roxana or The Sun Also Rises. those are the two books i am currently reading for my classes. my classes, though, kick a bunch of ass this semester and i am happy i decided to take both of them, even if they are a lot of work and a lot of reading. i digress. let’s hear about my health!

my week has been full of ups, downs, and experiments. i have been looking at different types of foods to eat considering my options in richmond have been completely decimated and, after perusing pinterest, found a recipe that i really liked and wanted to try. originally, the sandwich was a tomato, avocado, and hummus sandwich, but instead, it was transformed into a vegan veggie burger, hummus, guacamole, and a tomato grilled in a pan with seasoning.

burger!

the result was a bit…intense for my taste buds. i think the tomato was too seasoned and, since i am just starting to like guacamole, i think i overdid it. it actually made my stomach hurt, but i liked the combination of the hummus with the veggie burger, which means i will definitely have to try this again. if you are a big fan of these items, this might be the sandwich for you! i was just a bit disappointed in how it tasted and disappointed in how it made me feel. i am not used to eating foods (at this point) that make me feel like utter garbage. i did, however, manage to sneak in some tofu burritos from my favorite restaurant in Lexington, Alfalfa.

alfallfaaaaa

everything on this plate is vegan. i dream about these burritos; i lust after these burritos. i am eventually going to get some tofu and i am going to try to make them myself that way i don’t have to drive 30 minutes to Lexington on a Saturday or Sunday every time i crave them… which is all the time. i could eat these every single day and i am thankful to have a restaurant so close that serves healthy, vegan-friendly breakfast food. there is nothing in Richmond i can eat with my friends anymore so it is nice to know that we can always take a small trip to Lexington and have breakfast together.

i also tried a blood orange this week and it was absolutely incredible!

blood orange and almond milk yogurt!

i went to Whole Foods with my friend, Micah, and we both picked up some items we needed for our kitchen. some of my items were blood oranges, but it also included an almond milk yogurt. now, i have tried soy yogurts before and have been sorely disappointed. i was hoping this would be better, but again, i was let down by this yogurt. the taste was alright, but the texture kind of freaked me out just a little bit. so this week, i went to the Good Foods Co-Op in Lexington and bought more items for the kitchen, including some coconut yogurt to see if i like that kind better. i hope i can find a yogurt that i like. while i was at Good Foods, though, i did manage to buy some vegan pumpkin and banana nut bread!

happiness in wrapping

i haven’t eaten these yet, but i look forward to indulging later this week.

my best and biggest purchase was not food, though. there was a bigger, more important reason i went to Lexington this week and it was to buy myself a new pair of running shoes. now, my old pair of running shoes

reebok runtone

have been my friend since January of 2011. these running shoes ran the Shamrock Shuffle 3k, the Spoonbread 5k, the Black Cat Chase 5k, the EKU Homecoming 5k, and the Thoroughbred Classic 5k. they have carried me through countless outdoor runs, indoor runs, cycling, walking, sprinting, jogging, struggling, all of those things. these shoes were there for me when i was hurt in March; these shoes took me back when i forsake them over the summer. according to my account on DailyMile, i put 541 miles on my these running shoes. it was time to buy a new pair because not only have i outgrown these, but it is time to lay them to rest. i ventured to John’s Run/Walk Shop, where the look at your feet and fit you for the right pair of running shoes. the nice sir looked at my ankles, arches, the way i walked, the bottom of my worn-in shoes, and let me try on around 6 or 7 pairs of running shoes. i told him i was training for a half and i needed a shoe that helped me get there. i walked out of the store with these

MIZUNO!!!

ARE THEY NOT THE MOST BEAUTIFUL SHOE EVER?! i broke them in by running 2 miles on Friday night and my knees did not hurt, my ankles did not hurt, and i felt like my run was relatively easy. i know it might just be me projecting my happiness onto the shoe, but they really did make a difference in the way i carried my body. i was able to run (on the treadmill) 2.17 miles in 25 minutes, which is like an 11:30 mile. that is so fast for me! i was so happy that i picked the shoe that seemed to fit me the best. i cannot wait to run in them tomorrow. after i ran 2 miles, i was convinced to go to a local gym where i participated in a Ladies Night Zumba marathon thingy. my friend and Office Mate, or OM, asked me to come as she was trying to win 3 free months of a gym membership and i hesitantly accepted her invitation. Zumba, as i’ve stated before, is a lot of ass and titty shaking and body rolling. you move the ass, you swing the ass, you shake the titties, you turn circles, you shake the titties more, and then the song is over. Zumba scares me and the idea of doing a full hour and a half of it was absolutely overwhelming. we did Zumba for an hour and 20 minutes or so. i was so hot, sweaty, and gross. to top it off, one of the moves is stomping and as i was stomping my left foot, my left knee popped hard and it hurt like a motherfucking bitch. i was so nervous about it that i took it easy yesterday and did not run my scheduled 5 miles out of fear that i may hurt myself. today, i woke up even more sore than i was yesterday. my quads were screaming at me and while i know that a walk or a little jog would have helped loosen my muscles, i will be honest and say that i could not get motivated to get out and run today. i feel bad about it now, but what has happened has happened and all i can do is continue to move forward. i am just so scared of hurting myself. i have to get over that, though, and move on.

on friday night, i had this delicious black bean soup!

yesss

completely vegan with a tofu sandwich made with veganaise, spices, and tofu! it was a pretty delicious meal. the soup was exactly what i needed after the intense Zumba and my 2 mile run earlier in the evening. it instantly warmed me up and pretty much put me to sleep as i was fucking EXHAUSTED from doing all of that exercise. i am glad i did it, though. it was fun to be with a bunch of my friends in a sweaty hot room dancing like maniacs. i was drenched in sweat, but i felt good. i love the feeling of exhaustion due to working my body hard.

one final thought. i received an e-mail from my beloved yoga studio yesterday announcing that they were closing on February 11th. i have to admit, friends, that i am absolutely devastated. this is the place where i have come to find peaceful solitude, to find my sanctuary, and to center myself for a long, rough week. the idea that i will not have this place anymore after February 11th terrifies the shit out of me and i am not sure what to do at this point. i could go to classes on campus, but they aren’t the same. it is not a yoga studio, there is not a level of comfort, of sereneness, of acceptance. i am very scared for my yoga future and this is something that has been bothering me for the past 24 hours. i must now figure out what to do about my need for yoga. i shall find another studio, but Exhale will always be the place where i found myself and found my craving for yoga. namaste, Exhale.

my exhale.

that’s all i have for this week! unfortunately, i did not record my measurements this week, so i will have those on thursday and i will be comparing them to the last measurements i took before the holidays! i hope there will be SOME improvement. right now, i feel like i have kind of plateaued, which is fine. as long as i am not gaining weight, it is still a success to me. be good to each other and stay healthy, y’all.

Auld Lang Syne: A Year in Review and the Year Ahead

hipster, heavy hipster.

happy new year, everyone! what a year it has been and what a year it is shaping up to be! there have been so many wonderful milestones in my life, devastating setbacks, and much goal setting this past year; 2011 was a huge year for me in regards to diet, exercise, and physical accomplishments. i have been on this journey for a year now and while i have had some days where i did not feel like moving forward, i am still here, still going strong, and still pushing toward my goals. i have fallen many times, i have succeeded many times, and i am a better person for all of it. this year contained many memories for me and many of them have been incredibly influential as far as my success goes.

in January of 2011, i decided that my weight was an issue for the last time. i had reached 255 pounds and was 9 pounds shy of my highest weight ever, which was 264 in high school. i was fat, miserable, drinking all the time, and totally lacked any sort of momentum. i had tried to lose weight in October of 2010, but had failed, once again, just like i had always seemed to do. my health was in shambles, my cholesterol was high, and regardless of my vegetarian diet, i was struggling to get the nutrients my body needed to function efficiently. i was a victim of IBS, i was out of breath going up stairs, and the concept of running was completely foreign to me. so, in January, i started the C25k program to start running. while i knew it would be hard, i had no idea just how hard it would be. running 60 seconds killed me and the idea that someday, i could run more than 60 seconds, seemed impossible.

december, 2010

i was uncomfortable in my own skin and that made me uncomfortable with running. i struggled through the first few weeks of the program, my body surprising me every time with how much easier it seemed to get. at the same time, i was also starting to cook more for myself, investing in kitchen equipment and cookable food, including making my own hummus, bread, and vegan delights.

vegan lunch

slowly, i began to get into a routine with cooking and running; i eventually went from 255 to 240– a loss of 15 pounds over a four month span of time. i was happy with my progress. i registered for my first race– the Shamrock Shuffle 3k, and completed it with relative ease.

i ran!

i had almost quit smoking by March– i was down to once a week, if that, and i was only drinking once a week. but, then, St. Patrick’s Day rolled around and then… the NCAA tournament. obviously, my drinking and smoking picked up drastically

three goggles

after this three week bender, it was hard for me to get back on track. i was dedicated, though, to making it happen until…

celebrating UK

i was celebrating UK’s victory over Ohio State when i landed the wrong way on my foot and hurt myself very, very badly.

the pain

i sprained my left ankle and it took almost a month to get back into training. during this time, i began to think about what mattered to me and what i needed to do to be successful. i thought i had a handle on it, but the summertime proved to be a bit of a challenge as far as keeping inside my self-created boundaries. may rolled around and all i could think about was having fun with my friends, day drinking in the summer, and being free of my obligations for three whole months.

cornhole in the summer

there is a beer on the ground, but the real achievement was wearing these shorts, which i eventually got more and more comfortable with. if i had been a few pounds heavier, i would have never, ever won these shorts. i actually miss them now. summer trekked on with little to no progress. i went to Bonnaroo, spent time with a bunch of friends, and essentially did whatever i wanted to do.

drinking in July

i was trying to get myself back on track, but i could not get myself out of this drinking rut. i was not exercising as much as i could, i was not cooking as much as i could, and i stayed around 235 all summer long. i was desperate to lose weight, but i was not willing to put the work in that was needed to make that happen. i was distracted by weddings, happiness, and my friends, and i could not be bothered to do anything more.

raychell & andy's wedding

eventually, the summer ended and i was forced to confront the restructuring of my time, energy, and the lack of effort i had put into my body over the summertime. around the beginning of school, i started to feel the urge to get back into the game– i wanted to succeed and i wanted to keep myself from going crazy during the semester. i started going regularly to the yoga studio in downtown richmond, finding solace and comfort in the tuesday night hot yoga class. it became my refuge and my strength, but, i also needed to get back into running, so, i started registering for 5ks like craaaazy and vowed to not fuck up so horribly in the future. the first 5k i ever ran was the Spoonbread Festival

thanking god for it being over

after the spoonbread 5k, i was on fire. i wanted to be healthy, active, and moving. i wanted the outdoors and i wanted it desperately. i craved physical activity and so, on fall break, myself and a few friends went to red river gorge for some camping and hiking.

whale's tail!

we hiked around, i climbed things, and soaked in the wonderful autumn sunlight. around the same time, i was experiencing some great milestones as far as yoga. i achieved the lotus pose

lotus!

and it was in this moment that i realized that my weight cannot keep me from doing anything. while i may be overweight, i can still get into lotus, i could still run 5 miles, and anything i wanted to do was at my fingertips.

i ran another 5k, albeit, i was drunk. the homecoming 5k tested my endurance, my ability to push myself to be active, and my commitment to being healthy

homecoming 5k!

and the weekend after that, i ran the Black Cat Chase 5k, which was honestly one of the coolest 5ks i have ever run as it was in downtown frankfort and led the runners around the capitol building. it was also at night, which was a very new experience for me. after that 5k, though, i hit a very rough patch in my life and it became harder for me to focus on exercise. school began to get in the way, i was struggling with my own internal needs, and i couldn’t get my head on straight. i was spending way too much time at the bar and not enough time in the gym. on Thanksgiving, i ran a 5k at Keeneland, which was also a really cool race course

thoroughbred classic!

i woke up the morning of this race and almost did not go. but, after prodding from friends and family, i went and ran it. it was a hard run– i hadn’t been running regularly in almost a month. but, this race reminded me how important running is to me and how necessary it is for me to be healthy in my life.

christmas break has been another beast to battle. with all of the good foods, desserts, and laziness i’ve encountered, it’s no wonder i’ve put some weight back on. but, this christmas break has also allowed me time to reevaluate what i need, what i desire, and what i hold dear in my life. my exercise, my physical health, is something i greatly need to stay sane and motivated. the longer i go without exercising, the harder it is for me to focus and stay positive. my positivity comes from exercising, eating healthily, and taking care of myself. so, i’ve been thinking about New Year’s Resolutions and while they can be cliche, ultimately, they serve to lay a basic foundation for the year 2012.

  1. Lose 50 Pounds in 2012: this means i need to lose 4 pounds a month every month all year. i can do this. this also gives me an opportunity to lose more.
  2. Move Out of Kentucky: this goal will happen regardless of my future school plans. i need to experience life outside of my small Kentucky towns. i want to live in a different culture, experience a different life, and ultimately, find myself in this solitude.
  3. Complete the Run the Bluegrass Half-Marathon: this goal is terrifying, but i have already registered and have looked ahead. i can do this. i will do this. and i will finish and be proud of myself for coming so far.
  4. Graduate with my MA in English: this may or may not happen. i kind of suck nuts at school. seriously.
  5. Set Achievable Goals for Myself Each Month: i need structure and if i give myself something to aim for, i am more likely to run after it.
  6. Adopt Veganism: don’t look at me like i’m crazy. this is going to be a challenge of every single skill i have acquired and my willpower. this may or may not be permanent. right now, i just want to feel better.

2012 is going to be a great year for me. i started NYE off right with four of the coolest people on the face of the planet, had some adventures with them, and enjoyed myself. we were ridiculous all night– i even got on a little child’s bike that was not mine

look at my hot outfit, though

you can see just how hot my outfit is, though. haha.

i am awake, i am ready, and my goals are set. i have a path and i just need to follow it. today, i got up and ran 4.5 miles– if i can do that after not running consistently for a couple of months, i can do absolutely anything. in a year, i started running, yoga-ing, and i lost almost 35 pounds (give or take a few because of christmas break fucking oops). this year will be no different– i can do whatever i want. i hope every single one of you had a great Christmas and an even better New Year. stay healthy, y’all.

13 Days to Halloween: A Jade Yoga Mat, Struggles, and My Second 5K

rain be damned. today is a good day.

happy wednesday, everyone! although it is a rainy, grim mess outside, i hope your spirits are high in anticipation of the weekend! i am for sure excited because this weekend is HOMECOMING and Raychell’s Baby Shower! so many exciting events, so little time. i am really stoked about seeing long lost friends, catching up, and of course, doing my EKU alum duty and tailgating. i hope the weather, though, is more cheerful than it is right now.

this week has been a week of ups and downs for the Heavy Hipster. last week, my weigh-in was less than desired, and while i still have to commend myself of the positive changes i have been making in my life, to see the number shift so little is incredibly frustrating. i know that my body is still adjusting to all of the new and exciting activities i am doing and i am running the potential of plateauing, but that does not make it easier to stomach. i was even more disappointed because i had DONE SO MUCH outdoors and had been so active. but, this week, i fully plan on taking my measurements with my weigh-in. i know i am shrinking– i just need to see the numbers to validate that thought. fortunately, though, that was my one true down this week; my ups have vastly outnumbered the negatives!

last weekend, i was really struggling with the idea of running. the last time i had run, i was tired, my legs felt heavy, and i wasn’t really into it. but, on saturday morning, i got myself out of bed and met Katie and Leslie to get some miles in. there was no set number of miles; there was only the desire to run as close to an hour as we could and sure as shit, we did it. i ran a little over 5 miles that afternoon, and with the help of those two awesome ladies, my faith in my running was restored. i even took a picture of my crazy sweat!

giggity!

my arms are both soaked and you can see the body sweat. i do not care if you think it is disgusting. i am in love with my sweat these days. sweat is the sign of hard work and endurance– i’m determined to have both of those.

the same day, some friends and i took a trip to Keeneland to bet on some ponies and drink some beer. after the 5 mile run, i felt a lot better about enjoying my day at the race track. i bought a really pretty black pencil skirt from the Gap earlier and a cute sweater so i decided to… you know… tuck the sweater into the skirt and see how it looked on me. i have always been so evnvious of that style, but i was always so big i could never pull it off. i rocked it on Saturday, and i have to say that Micah and myself looked like total hotties

Keeneland!

this weekend, i also played on some swings

and i ate at the Acres of Land Winery. it was wonderful.

acres of land!

a kentucky autumn is more beautiful than anything in the entire world. seriously, how gorgeous is this?

this week has been much better. i’ve been awoken by this sweet puppy over and over again

and felt pretty damn awesome while looking into a mirror

and, showed how serious i was about yoga when i bought my very own JADE mat!!!

beautiful mats with mellie

i needed the yoga class we had last night. after last week’s class and the feelings of failure i encountered, it was awesome to hold every pose as long as Andi wanted us to, and i felt accomplished and strong. the mind is stronger than the body. remember that.

tonight, for dinner, i made Tofu Tikka Masala! the tofu was marinated in fat free greek yogurt, a generous portion of spices, and some lemon juice. the tofu was then placed in a sauce of fat free half and half, tomato sauce, and jalepeno and garlic. deliciousness.

and some naan, which i made myself and it was really good!

and in the process of this, i got to use the KitchenAid mixer my friend Aleshia gave me!

HOW COOL IS THIS?!

i am in love with it. my food was good, my day has been good, despite the rain, and i am feeling on top of my goals. tonight is the first cast meeting of the Vagina Monologues, and i am super excited to meet all of the people in it and get this ball rolling. i am equally excited about my second 5k that i will be running this saturday for homecoming. while i am a bit bummed i will not be getting drunk with everyone on Friday night, i must fulfill this goal i set for myself. running this 5k means a lot to me and is a sign of how far i have come since the last homecoming. i have been training on this course for a couple of months now– i know the inclines, i know the rough patches, and i know where i will struggle the most. tomorrow, i’ll be jogging a couple of miles, but i want my legs to be rested and ready to go. i would like to set a new PR, but just running it is enough for me at this point. if you’re at the EKU homecoming parade downtown, cheer me on when i run by. it would make me incredibly happy. next weekend, i’ll be running my 3rd 5k in Frankfort, the Black Cat Chase. i’ll be discussing that more, though, as time progresses.

life feels good today and i cannot help but be so thankful for days where i feel in control of myself. i know that i will just keep getting better and that’s all i can hope for, really. i hope wednesday has been pleasant for you. stay healthy, y’all.

Non-Scale Victories: Lotus Pose, an 11:39 Pace, Hiking the Gorge, and a Sweet Pair of Jeans

happy day in the gorge!

what a great fall break i have had so far! it has not only been beautiful and full of happiness, but has contained a lot of personal victories for me that have ultimately been my fuel. i have been disconnected with a lot of the stressors in my life over this break and i have really been able to evaluate myself.

on tuesday, i went to my hot yoga class as usual. my instructor had us doing some intense poses, like crow and other variations of that pose. while i was very close to nailing crow pose, i think i let my fear overtake me and it is now a pose that i am going to work toward in the next few months. i discovered in this class that i am able to finally achieve and maintain a side plank, which is something i could not do. i can also hold a basic plank, which makes me INCREDIBLY happy! but, my happiest moment was realizing that i could sit in Lotus

i still have some work to do before i am fully satisfied with it, but the fact that i can get into the pose and hold it for an extended period of time makes me ECSTATIC. it’s impossible to fully articulate. i am still giddy just thinking about it.

on saturday, i knew i was going to be going to Lexington to have some drinks and dinner with three of my closest friends, so i needed to get my run in, regardless of if i wanted to do it or not. that morning, my parents offered to take my dog for the day, which was AWESOME for me and the boyfriend. we played with puppy in my parents’ backyard for a bit, and then headed back to go to the gym. i hopped on a treadmill and set myself up at my normal pace, but wasn’t satisfied. so, i cranked it up a notch and then another and then another. i ran 3.1 miles at an 11:39 pace, which is by FAR my fastest pace EVER. i finished my run in 36:08, which means i shaved almost 3:40 off of my normal 5k time. i worry that i will have problems pacing myself outside at this speed because of hills and such, but the fact that i was able to do that is inspiring for me. i just need to keep moving forward and concentrate on building myself up slowly. after the run, i jumped on the bike for 45 minutes and cranked out another 10 miles to go toward the EKU Iron Man. i only have 94 to go. i’ll get it done!

sunday and today were spent at Red River Gorge camping and hiking with some close friends.

we did some shorter trails, which was a lot of fun. myself and a friend practiced some yoga this morning when we woke up

i did some child’s posin’

i also did some plankin’

we hiked some of the shorter trails and did the “Whale’s Tail” trail, where i had to have a picture overlooking the beauty of the gorge

it was all just so breathtaking. after the gorge, i went right to a pumpkin patch with some other friends and walked around a farm looking for the perfect gourds! one of these friends gave me a pair of jeans from American Eagle that are a size 16. now, i know i can wear a 16 at Old Navy, but i am hesitant to try on 16s at any other store because i fear failure. i brought these jeans home, prepared for them to not fit, and then BAM. they buttoned comfortably. i just smiled and congratulated myself. i will not give up. i will not stop moving forward.

i hope you all have had a great weekend. stay healthy, y’all & spend some time outside.

I Am Blooming: The Power of Yoga and Running

i am overwhelmed and overjoyed with so much happiness.

happy thursday evening, friends! there is only one more day in the workweek and then, hopefully, everyone gets a chance to rest up. the weekends, as i have always stated, are my favorite time of the week (obviously). but, this is not just because i get to sleep in– it’s because i get a chance to spend some real time on myself and my own personal development. my alone time and my reflection time are excruciatingly necessary for me to function in the real world. i find this to be incredibly funny, though, because there was a point in my life where i did not need to be alone at all. i preferred, at all times, to be around a large group of people. now, i need to spend time by myself. i really credit that to teaching, grad classes, and working at the Studio. there are so many people who require my attention throughout my days that by the time my day is over, i just want to be left alone with my own thoughts to process my day and begin recuperating.

this week, so far, i’ve run 7.25 miles. monday night, i had a major victory as far as changes in my behavior are concerned. i received a pretty awful (awful by my standards) grade on a paper in one of my classes and my initial instinct was to get Taco Bell and wallow in my pity while watching television. instead, i strapped on my running gear and went to the gym to run on the treadmill. at first, i said “i’ll run a mile and a half.” then, a mile and a half became “two miles.” slowly, two miles became two and a half until i eventually ended at 3.25 miles. what i’ve noticed, more than anything, now that i’ve been exercising regularly again is the amount of sweat i produce. case and point, this is me after my monday night run

delicious sweat, don't you think?

i am proud of my sweat. i have been begging for sweat like this my whole entire life. also, my sweat after hot yoga

mmm yoga sweat

in other news, i lost 3.2 pounds this week! since October of 2010, i have lost 27 pounds. hooray! i was pretty pumped this week when i got on the scale and it read 227.4. i have not weighed this amount in YEARS. it definitely motivated me to get out and get running. it also kept me motivated throughout the day. i ran 4 miles today and while some if it was difficult, i felt powerful. my legs wanted the movement; my heart wanted to pump that blood through my body. my body wanted to move through the crisp fall air and it felt so incredible. this happiness, this notion of success, kept me from cancelling my yoga class on campus this afternoon.

speaking of yoga, i know i talk about it incessantly, but it is literally the most beautiful thing happening in my life right now. i am discovering parts of myself i did not know existed; i am finding ways to keep moving, to keep pushing, and i am feeling my body give into me. it responds to me and what i want, and week after week, my body just keeps surprising me. so, i will keep surprising it by pushing it, taking care of it, loving it, even if it is not the shape i want right now, i am learning to love my body for its flaws, for its struggles. i started writing about yoga tonight and here’s what i wrote:

yoga has become my sanctuary, a place where i am free to embark upon a limitless, personal journey, eventually coming to rest on the gentle shores of my soul. every breath, every deep inhale cleanses the raging wars in my tired, divided mind. unification. namaste. the sweat that forms, bubbles, beads on my forehead, forearms, foreground of my mind, symbolic, the necessary release of pent up energy and feelings of failure, released into feelings of bliss. with every pose, i’m on a mountain, or dancing, or folding over the sky, coming into contact with my deepest core, my inner heart of hearts– i am one with myself on a soft mat, grounded by the sweet, enveloping, forgiving earth. i am a warrior, a goddess, i am playing on the moon. i am liberated, exploring incessantly beyond the boundaries of my mat. i am translucent. i am a child; i am a tree. i am caressed by a compassionate internal breeze. i am melting, slowly, into inner peace. 

so yeah. that’s how i feel about yoga. right now, it means everything to me. i want to pursue it; i want to chase it. practicing yoga makes me feel like a whole person. it puts me into contact with everything i hate about myself- my negativity, my weaknesses, and it forces me to push past those. i’m not lying when i say beautiful things happen in yoga.

i promise i’ll start putting up food pictures again. i’ve been so excited about cooking, and then eating the food, i have neglected to take pictures! i hope everyone is having a great, great week. stay healthy, y’all.

Yoga: Realizing the Weight and Force of My Own Body

incredible

every time i leave a yoga session, i feel like i am able to accomplish anything. yoga, at times, has been excruciatingly hard for me. but now, i am convinced it is one of the greatest things i have ever done with my body. running is wonderful, but there is something so deeply satisfying about stretching every muscle in my body and pushing it to its limits. the result of that push, though, is the release of built up tension i have been holding, maybe for days, into the atmosphere around me. i am very fortunate i am able to do yoga. there are so many things i want to say about yoga, but i just cannot articulate it. i know it may sound ridiculous, but i truly believe yoga is saving me.