Blue Zones

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If you are abled bodied, walking is one of the greatest forms of relaxation and exercise. I love walking. I’ve had to slow down in the past year due to some weird thing going on with my left leg. But, I’m still going. Just slower.

Last year I got together with a group of people and we started walking on Saturdays. We started in January and trudged through the snow and blizzard conditions for most of it. Later, we added Sundays to our schedule. Our start times vary depending on the season; temperatures, sun rise, and bugs are things to consider. Sometimes one or two of us may miss a day but as far as the group goes, we haven’t missed a weekend yet.

Early on we started to socialize outside of walking. Now I call these people friends and I can’t imagine not spending time with them. In many ways, we are all very different. And, if you had asked me two years ago if I thought we would all be friends, I wouldn’t have believed it. But, the more I get to know them, the more I think they are all just as weird as I am and I love them.

One day, my friend, Caryn, mentioned Blue Zones. Check it out here. It’s interesting stuff.  I love the connection she made to our walking group. These people are part of my tribe.

Check out the Power 9 and let me know what you all think.

Peace.

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Versatile Blogger Award

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I squealed a bit when I got the nomination for the Versatile Blogger Award from Janet over at SpanishMossSeries. It meant a lot to me because I’m so new at blogging and it was cool to know someone besides my family and close friends were reading my writings.  The recognition from other bloggers with the nomination of this award is a great motivator to keep writing. I hope the bloggers I nominate feel the same way!

There are some rules though and here they are:

  • Show the award on your blog
  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Share seven facts about yourself
  • Nominate 10 blogs
  • Link your nominees’ blogs, and let them know

7 facts about this fat beach bum:

  1. My sarcastic wit often conflicts with my Buddha nature.
  2. I am a classic underachiever.
  3. I would be a professional student if possible.
  4. I LOVE cheese.
  5. I don’t remember what I look like with my natural hair color.
  6. My favorite color is purple.
  7. I prefer silver over gold.

Some of the blogs I’m nominating are new, new to me, or have been around for a bit. Either way, I love reading them. My nominations are:

bluchickenninja

parkinkspot

my own private Idaho

girlonthecontrary

Coffee & Pajamas

menopausal me

seed & feather

fierce freethinking fatties

sand dune in my pocket

IronFat

Peace.

New blog. New goals.

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The purpose of writing this blog have changed since taking blogging101. In the beginning I had planned for this to be a teaching platform. Now, I just want to share my experiences with others. I want it to be a way to channel my brain activity into a creative glob of words and pictures.

I want to share my experiences with how I manage my stress and create a balance of mind, body, and spirit though this particular journey. And, if someone learns something from me while I do it…well then that’s just swell. I want to influence others to smile, laugh, and chill out a little. I think I have a responsibility to lead a good ethical life but not to take myself too seriously.

My desires for this blog orbit around expressing my creativity while balancing my mind, body, and spirit. It will be about me getting through this life handling my stress in order to create and live the best life possible. I want to share my life experiences, whether it’s a picture or post or both, about whatever random ideas pop into my head.

That being said, here are three goals: I will post 3x a week, I will read 5 posts from other bloggers a day and comment on 1 of them weekly, and, lastly, I will establish a monthly feature educating others on subjects of stress management.

In your face!

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I’ve shared with you lovely readers that recently I haven’t been feeling all that great. Well, my mind is getting a bit better but I’m still experiencing pain. Pain sucks. It’s just an asshole. Lately, it seems that most days I have to force myself to move because it just hurts all the time. If I don’t move, I fear I won’t be able to move. And, when I don’t feel good I don’t write. So, of course, I’ve been struggling with the “oh my gawd, I need to write anyway because that’s what I should be doing but I don’t have anything to write about that anyone would want to hear anyway’s.” It can be a vicious cycle.

But, I do have an experience to share. It’s a victory for me in many ways.

My wonderful trainer has been hosting these ‘Get Fit,Get Food’ nights; we do some kind of workout for an hour at his studio and then go eat at a local restaurant. I have forced myself to go each time because I love him and want to support him. Plus, it’s on my regular weekly scheduled workout night. I really don’t have a legitimate excuse to not go. And, because it’s good to get out of my comfort zone every once in a while. I had a negative experience with another attendee the first time and was in tears on the way to the restaurant. But, my trainer is awesome and I ended up having a good time. Last night the fit part was pilates and my husband went with me. About ten people attended. Most of them were very thin and the woman that gave me a hard time at first session were there again. My pilates instructor was teaching this time and I’ve been attending her class weekly since last summer. She used me as the example for all these women to follow if they needed a visual. I was floored! I was also feeling a bit “Take that! In your face you judgmental jerk!” toward the woman that thinks I’m too fat.

Not a very Buddha-like thought to express but hey…there it is.

Peace.

No attempt at fiction

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Coincidental meetings in life can happen. Sometimes they are random chances of fate and sometimes they are assignments from online blogging courses.

For example, today, I pondered the meeting of Margaret, from Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret, by Judy Blume (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Are_You_There_God%3F_It%27s_Me,_Margaret) and Bernadine Harris from Waiting to Exhale by Terry McMillian (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waiting_to_Exhale ). Margaret, a girl just beginning her journey of discovering life and who she is and Bernadine, a woman on the verge of a drastically new beginning part way through her journey.

What words of wisdom would Bernie share with Margaret? Could Margaret offer an innocent or fresh perspective on life that the older woman had forgotten? Would they bond over their uncertainties and unknowns or would their differences prevent them from getting what they needed from this chance meeting?

I think they would like each other. I think both women are strong and have a vulnerability that would allow them to teach each other how to get through life a bit easier.

Oh, how I wish I was a fiction writer!

Peace.

Slouch socks and happy memories from the 80’s

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IMG_20150116_103721My favorite outfit in the world; leggings and a long, loose top. Today, I’m pairing this outfit with these awesome black slouch socks one of my sisters gave me. They’re beautiful. They make me feel good. Socks. Go figure.

But, think about it. The connections in my brain are jumping with memories these socks bring me. Slouch socks were good times. Teenage years are filled with angst, fun, and adventure. It is a time when hormones are in full swing! Teenagers feel EVERYTHING so intensely! You will most likely always know the words to your favorite songs from your teenage years.  So, at a time, when my hormones are making me sad and teary, these slouch socks trigger my brain to feel that rush again. And I get a brief moment of pure joy during this peri-menopausal upheaval I am experiencing right now.

It’s crazy how our bodies and brains work together. I may not like what my body is doing all the time but I still find it fascinating. And, I’m grateful for what it does.

Tell me what triggers good memories for you.

Peace.

ADOS

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The Blogging 101 course is challenging me to get out of my comfort zone. Yesterday’s assignment, to leave a comment on another blog was an intimidating task for me. I didn’t want to come across stupid, judgy, preachy, or offensive in any way. And, other than saying “Hey! Great post!” how can I comment without sounding like I’m back in my online college course trying to please my professor and classmates?

And, to top it off, I’m having a really hard time concentrating due to low testosterone levels (booster pellet next week! Woot! Woot!). So, putting together an intelligent, thoughtful post was a struggle. I prayed when I hit enter that the blogger wouldn’t find me stupid. One of the worst things I can imagine is someone thinking I’m stupid.

But, I’ve been following http://fitisafeministissue.com/ for a few years now and their topic of body image struck a chord with me yesterday. Pledging to love my body no matter what shape it’s in is difficult for me right now. I have been loving my fat & fit body for years now but it tries to change without any active or conscious effort on my part. What I mean is that my body is trying to morph into an unfamiliar shape. Not because I’m eating more or moving less. It’s getting bigger because my hormones are out of whack and out of my control. One of the symptoms of low testosterone in women is weight gain especially around the middle and upper thighs.

So with that, the self-doubt and fear of working out in front of people can be overwhelming. Our culture definitely promotes a narrow range of beauty and I don’t fall into that range. And, I find it difficult to muster the nerves to participate in group exercise. But, I do it. If only to prove to others that I can.

Another symptom of peri-menopause is scattered thinking and ADOS (Attention deficit oooh shiny!)  As you can see from this post, I suffer from that too!

Peace.

Day 4 of using a standing desk

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Last week in a fit because my desk area was cluttered and my arm hurt, I decided to get rid of my chair and make myself a standing only desk. I have to admit my first thought on Day 1 was, “holy fuck! I only have a standing desk! What was I thinking???” That feeling has passed.

I decided to do away with my chair for a few reasons. My husband thinks poor arm placement is playing a factor in my arm issues. And, because I am having additional concerns with body pain and flexibility, I decided to try to do what the experts advise us to do; spend more time standing.

Also, let’s face it, in Northwest Indiana the winters are cold outside and it’s all snuggly inside. I can spend a lot of time on the computer. Facebookpintrestetsyamazonblogreadingnetflixing. They all kind of run together in a haze, and before you know it, an hour has gone by. Have I even moved in the last hour?

Standing is an entirely different story. I stretch, dance, sway, practice yoga, and more often, I’m walking away.  I’m also writing, drawing, and reading more. I’ve read increased creativity is a benefit of standing more. I’ve also read circulation can be improved when switching to a standing desk.

I’m not quite sure yet if it’s making my life easier just yet but it’s certainly not having any negative effect. Stay tuned.

Peace.

Using antiques for a modern concept

Combining old and new

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Pain sucks

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Pain. It’s not something I used to talk about. I didn’t need to. It didn’t apply to me. Lately though, seems all I think about is pain. My physical, unrelenting pain. And for those that don’t know me…I am not a conventional medicine kind of gal. I don’t even like taking over-the-counter pain relievers. And usually don’t unless I absolutely have to! I’ve always assumed these beliefs stem from my journey with the twelve step program. So, here I embark on a new journey. The journey into middle-age; peri-menopausal and arthritic, and pissed off but still trying to be happy and content even with all of the chaos in my head.

And, in this journey, yoga has become my friend and nemesis.

When yoga is my nemesis, I curse the lack of progress. I despair over my tight hip and hamstring. I whine at my knee that just won’t move the way I think it should move. My shoulders: why have they failed me? Curse the stupid fucking elbow and forearm! And don’t even get me started on the calf pain that won’t allow me long walks on the beach.

However, there are times when yoga is my friend. With music playing and incense burning, I sink into my mat. When I’m feeling stiff and uncomfortable in my own skin yoga loves me anyway. Like a supportive hug from someone I love, yoga allows me to relax.  I just breathe and let my body open up. I feel my body respond to the letting go and my mind follows suit. I release everything.

Yoga permits me to let go of my physical stress. It is my prescription for pain relief.  All I have to do is open up and let it take me into the moment.

Peace.

p.s. Here’s a view from my mat.

A view from the mat

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