2014 Manifesto

20140101-213836.jpgHappy 2014. 

 

This year…let’s promise to: give love; enjoy the surprises and delights (and the simple pleasures) that make the ordinary extraordinary; make mistakes; be fearless, reckless, and hopeful; love yourself; drink more water; follow and stay true to your passions; dance to the beat of your own drum; remember that every day can be your best day; say sorry first; get out of your comfort zone; and have an attitude of gratitude for who you are, what you have, and where you’re going. 

Let’s Make 2014 Our Best Yet

Strong Is Sexy

 

I’ve been obsessed with dieting since I was 5 years old. I was the girl who taught the other kids in my kindergarten class what a diet was, and how I was on a diet. (At that point, I wasn’t). The 21 years following kindergarten my obsession with dieting (and my size) grew.

Between weight watchers, slim fast, dialing jenny,  natural cleanses, trimspa, over exercising, bingeing, under eating, about 25 more programs I didn’t mention, along with some extremely unhealthy habits I picked up along the way… nothing worked. The cycle was vicious…I lost weight, and gained it (and then some) right back. I would immediately find another quick fix, another program offering instant gratification, 3 a days at the gym, hours on the tennis court, and the cycle would repeat itself all over again.

 

I was fixated with dieting. Obsessed with being skinny. Consumed by a deeply rooted belief that people would love me, or love me more,  if there was a smaller number on the scale. I became so rooted in a belief that my self-worth was based on an unattainable and unhealthy number that I lost myself. Instead, I believed myself to be a person of value, a person worth love, if I lost a pound. Yet, if I gained even a tenth of a pound–I was a failure, I was nothing, I was worthless. I became my own abuser, my own worst enemy.

 

Everything changed four months ago. There was no epiphany, I didn’t have breaking point, or anything along those lines. I can say I was at a point of exhaustion with how I felt physically, I was exhausted with basing any sort of self worth upon a number, and exhausted from my self loathing.

 

One evening, I had a margarita with my cousin who told me all about crossfit, and encouraged me to find a box (crossfit gym) in Omaha. The next day, there was a groupon for a box: Fit Farm. I ended up calling the number, hopeful for another quick fix, while at the same time hoping this fix would make me skinny, worthy of love, and maybe even beautiful.

 

I couldn’t pinpoint when things changed. Not overnight by any means, but for me…the change has been radical. Maybe it was when I stopped stepping on the scale, and instead take a weekly picture…maybe it was when I started feeling empowered during and after a hard workout…maybe it was sticking with a Paleo/clean lifestyle…maybe because Crossfit is so much more than a gym or a quick fix, but instead a community–a way of life…or maybe because I was slowly falling in love with the (strong) woman I am becoming.

 

Through doing crossfit, embracing the culture, and allowing the aforementioned factors to become my lifestyle, I stopped wanting to be skinny. Instead, I began to admire the definition all over my body, the constant improvements in my workouts–whether lifting heavier…learning a new movement…or blowing a past time out of the water. And the pictures I’ve taken prove that I’m transforming my body, but it’s not about being skinny. I’ve come to believe that I am so much more than a number. I’ve started to take care of my body, not so I can be skinny, but because my body allows me to accomplish so much.

 

It really hit home recently when I was having a conversation with one of my coaches. I thanked him for the remarkable changes in my body, mindset, and some huge PRs on a bunch of different lifts. Instead of taking credit, he informed me none of that was him…I did all the work. It also hits home every single time people seem shocked by the fact that I look so different (and the constant compliment that I look so happy)… and I’m completely oblivious.

 

I’m (for the first time in my life) proud of my accomplishments, falling in love with who I’m becoming, and I’m excited to see where I can go… It finally stopped being about skinny, stopped being about the number, and stopped my value as a person depending on a number on the scale.

 

So that’s where I am today. Strong is sexy. Strong has become a way of life, a mindset, a place that I want to be. It’s what I want to embody and what I want to be known for.

 

Happy Buddha

SeatedBuddhaGandhara2ndCentury

SeatedBuddhaGandhara2ndCentury (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For 3-4 hours each week, instead of focusing on my breath, my body, or staying in the present, I focus on punching a statute of a smirking Buddha.

I have no idea how this (slightly perverse) desire developed other than one morning I came to class late, and ended up face to face (so to speak) for a 75 minute class with this Buddha statue. His self satisfied expression seemed to judge my flow (or lackthereof), his (yes I realize it’s a statute) expression seemed almost morph into one of glee when I almost wiped out doing a crow pose, and he just looked so damn happy.

If you hadn’t guessed, yoga is not my happy place. Crossfit is my happy place, the gym is my happy place, deep cleaning my house is a happy place, actually almost anywhere but a yoga studio is my happy place. Yet, as much as I dread  class, and as much as I want to wipe that self-satisfied smirk off the statute’s face, I keep going back.

I go back because I love the challenge yoga presents, I love the clothes (Lulu Love), and I love the result I feel after every practice. I go because I’m allowed to do yoga along with my normal workouts–and not get in trouble for “two a day workouts…” And if we’re completely serious, I keep returning because plotting the Buddha statute’s demise gives me as much “zen” or joy as others might get from the practice itself.

So here’s to me finding some sort of zen that allows me to embody the statute instead of becoming mildly enraged every time I see him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paleo Pumpkin Bars

photo (1)It felt like fall last night.  Almost a Full Moon, Crisp, Drizzling, and Still. Couple that feeling with my recent carb and sugar cravings… (I’ve been doing Paleo for almost 14 weeks and haven’t “indulged” (aside from coffee creamer and alcohol)) and I had a perfect excuse to try a new recipe: Paleo Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars.  I found this recipe on “Everyday Paleo,” and modified it. The entire process was a breeze…and the best part (aside from how delicious the bars turned out) was how divine my entire house smelled while the bars were baking and cooling.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees & Lightly Grease a 9X13 Pan with EVOO

Combine  in a large bowl:

2 Cups Almond Meal
1 C Walnuts (baking size)
4 T Cinnamon
1 t Baking Powder

In a smaller bowl whisk together:

2 cage free eggs
1/2 C Coconut Milk 

Combine smaller bowl ingredients with dry ingredients.

Mix in 1 can (2 cups) organic pumpkin, and 1/2-1 bag 63% Cacao Chocolate Chips.

Bake for 23-25 minutes. Let set (I promise it’s worth the wait) for 2 or more hours.

Enjoy🙂

For what it’s worth.

Is it worth it?

That question has been running through my mind, like a song I can’t shake. The past ten weeks have been about transforming my lifestyle…eating pretty strict paleo, working out at least twice a day (one of those times being crossfit), and focusing on myself. As of right now, there is no end in sight.

I’m Exhausted. I’m Beat Up. I’m emotionally, mentally, and physically drained. I have callouses on my hands, bruises all over my body, rope burns, whip marks from jump ropes, and at least one new pull, strain, or sprain every few days.

I almost had a meltdown at Starbucks because they don’t serve almond or coconut milk. My workout schedule and meal prep lists would put Bob Harper to shame. My trainers/coaches deserve some sort of medal for the texts and emails they’ve responded to regarding “can I eat this…?” “what should I do for my second or third workout today…?” “how do I turn on a George Foreman?” “is grey or ketel is more paleo…?”

So…is it worth it? Is it worth the time, the effort, the energy? The little bit I tried to describe above? But then I realized I was looking at this all wrong…the better question to ask myself:

Am I worth it?”

Without hesitation, I can answer that question in the affirmative. I’m more focused, motivated, and fit than I’ve ever been. I’ve come to embrace crossfit as my lifestyle–not a quick fix. I haven’t stepped on a scale in 10 weeks, but instead focus on, and celebrate my accomplishments–whether they be lifting heavier, improving my time in a WOD, or dropping a clothing size…or two.

So maybe it doesn’t feel like it’s worth it every day…but I know that I’m worth it every day, and that knowledge makes all the difference.

Stark Raving

I cried four times today. I’m trying to keep it at that number. Last Thursday, I cried upwards of 9 times. The crying I’m talking about isn’t me getting misty eyed, or a sniffle or two…but full fledged ugly crying. Along with the crying comes misguided and “out of left field” statements, biting off people’s heads, and more wrinkles in the past two months than in the three years of  law school..

In May, I had lunch with two girlfriends who graduated law school a year ahead of me…passed the bar…and are now ‘real’ attorneys. Both warned me my optimistic, happy, glass half full, smiley personality would be obliterated this summer…and slowly surface the weeks following the bar (or bar results). Sarah said she cried a lot, Erin said she was angry. Neither of them told me raving lunacy was possible…nor did they inform me that self-doubt, insecurity, and constant questioning of myself–my abilities–and my future was the theme for my summer.

My dad reminded me this morning (during my second meltdown of the day) I’m not alone. I’m not the only person taking the Bar Exam this summer, nor am I the only person who has ever had the worst summer of their lives while studying for the bar… I’m not the only crier (though I may be the ugliest crier)…I’m not the only person with self doubt…or the only person who has lived in lulu lemon and messy ponytails all summer.

With one week left… here’s to the ugly crying, my meltdowns over the little things, a few more wrinkles, yoga pants, prayers being said, memorization that sticks, and the end finally being in sight.

Miss Thatcher

I’ve always thought of Margaret Thatcher (the Iron Lady and Former British Prime Minister) as an incredible role model. Power, Class, Confidence, Intelligence, Grace, and Dignity were just a few of her qualities.  She was well-spoken, well-dressed, and stood up for her beliefs.  I think emulating just an iota of who she was, what she believed in, and how she acted would be an incredible accomplishment.

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some of the words I hope to live by on a regular basis, are attributed to her infinite wisdom:

Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.

I usually make up my mind about a man in ten seconds, and I very rarely change it.

To wear your heart on your sleeve isn’t a very good plan; you should wear it inside, where it functions best.

and… “I, personally, have always voted for the death penalty because I believe that people who go out prepared to take the lives of other people forfeit their own right to live. I believe that the death penalty should be used only very rarely, but I believe that no-one should go out certain that no matter how cruel, how vicious, how hideous their murder, they themselves will not suffer the death penalty.

So this is to Miss Margaret Thatcher today.  Someone to emulate, someone to aspire to, and someone who will be greatly missed. Thankfully her incredible legacy will always live on.