Monthly Archives: January 2011
i’ve made it no secret. i have a new love in my life. he’s earthy. and rough. and makes me all hot and sweaty (how inappropriate am i ). and i love it.
ladies and gentleman (if there are any?), allow me to introduce to you to my love: ROCK CLIMBING.
all ropes and fancy harnesses and fake, plastic rocks and different colored tape on marking routes you don’t understand. but rock climbing is also more than this. rock climbing can look like this, too:
chris sharma, badass climber extraordinaire
and professional piece of eye candy (but seriously. ladies who are attracted to guys (and you know what, for that matter, ladies who are attracted to ladies and guys who are attracted to guys!), you have not seen a body worth drooling over till you have seen a rock climber’s body. holy. god. yes, i am fifteen again). here this amazing, amazing climber is doing something called bouldering: climbing rocks without the support of a rope.
and so is this guy, alex honnold, but on a much more intense level. this guy free solos. everything.
including half-dome, pictured above. all 3568 feet of it. without a rope. this is an extreme version of rock climbing that only a small, elite group of people really participate in. this would scare me shitless. talk about bad.ass. for reals.
but let me step back and tell you my brief, yet passionate, love story with rock climbing. the first time i ever climbed, i was a kid, maybe seven or eight, and at a birthday party. as a young girl, i loved to climb everything. i climbed all over the playground, climbed up trees, climbed up rocks. heights never bothered me and still don’t, an advantage i have when climbing. at this party i only got to shimmy up the wall once or twice but i remember loving it. i remember loving the challenge and thinking about how fun it was.
though i loved the experience, i never did it again until college. well, until last semester, really. i am fortunate to have attended (still a weird concept for me. i cannot believe i am not in school any more…) a college with a pretty legit climbing wall. it’s small, yes, but not very many people climb there and the routes are super fun and challenging. can you all guess who got me into climbing? k, of course! he lives and breathes climbing. seriously. he’s amazing to watch on the wall or on the rock and has taught me so much in the past few months.
i remember the first day i went with him and another friend, some time during my junior year. it was scary and intimidating. all the people around me climbed so effortlessly and boasted muscles i only dreamed of. no way was i that strong. after that first day i went only one other time after getting belay certified (being the person with the rope at the bottom of the wall keeping the person climbing alive) and did so with another friend of mine, nate. well, i sucked at belaying and he kind of dropped a few feet, which spooked him a little. naturally, nate freaked out and kind of yelled at me in front of the whole gym. douchey move? hell yes. then he told me i shouldn’t be belaying if i don’t really know how. so i took that comment to heart and never stepped foot on the rock wall floor again.
…till last semester, that is. last semester, my entire life changed. i stopped running. i stopped living, essentially, in my school’s gyms. k bought me a pair of used, mismatched climbing shoes
and i took a deep breath, found some cajones, and tied into my first route.
how was it? exhilerating. frightening. intimidating. i was scared to climb in front of all these people who seemed like climbing experts. i didn’t want to embarrass myself. what i found, however, was a group of thoughtful, encouraging, and incredibly helpful, kind people who wanted nothing for me but to succeed. like in yoga, climbers only want to see fellow climbers achieve their goals.
i have fallen head-over-heels in love with climbing. and no, it is not because my boyfriend climbs. it is because i feel a strength when i climb unlike any other strength i have ever felt. i feel challenged and pushed to my physical limits. with each new improvement, each new monument in my climbing career, i feel empowered.
similar to yoga, climbing allows me to experience my body and all it has to offer. like yoga, climbing requires breath to movement, focus and concentration, a positive mind-set. climbing shows me just how amazing my body truly is and just how much i can accomplish if i put my mind to it.
some people run marathons to prove to themselves their bodies are amazing. me? i climb rocks.
oh, and to top it all off, look what i found the other day at planet granite?
oh yes my loves. that would be a chalk bag (chalk is used to soak up the sweat on your hands). but not any chalk bag. a beatles chalk bag. you would of thought i found a friggin pot of gold with the way i reacted. but no, i did not find a pot of gold. just the most badass chalk bag there ever was.
so if you’ve ever felt like climbing, please, just do it. no one is judging you. everyone is there to support you, actually. gift yourself the gift of climbing and discover the depths of your strength. ’cause you’ve got a lot pack into that little body of yours, believe me
have you ever climbed? did you like it? do you climb? do you want to climb? tell me about it!
thanks for the comments on my last post. it’s not nice to see other people struggling, but it’s nice to know we’re not alone, right? if anyone ever wants to talk just let me know! i am always here with open ears and an open heart. i know how hard it can be to do this alone. (i also find that when i share, i feel much better and much stronger in my conviction towards a happier, healthier life!)
anyway, onto today. a new day. a sunshiny day. a day filled with tissues galore and unending cups of warm, soul soothing tea. i can’t taste food (bummer) and my appetite barely exists (sorry body). today was supposed to be filled with friends and outside climbing but the cold bug bit me yesterday (thanks, k!
okay. so maybe kissing someone who is sick was a bad idea) so any form of strenuous exercise is out of the question. which is a bummer because it’s kind of all i feel like doing…go figure.
and it’s so funny, too…my mom knows me too well. she called earlier to make sure i wouldn’t work out. sometimes it’s irritating to know people know me better than i know myself but i know it’s all done out of love. my mom knows i struggle and she’s reminding me to be healthy only out of love. so i appreciate it. because i know she’s right.
regardless, i did do twenty minutes of some stretchy, calm yoga for the flu and cold season. it clearly out my nose for a few minutes! i swear, i might go through an entire roll of toilet paper today…
anyway, all this stuffed up business has allowed me to kind of relax all day. i slept poorly last night so resting is key to recovery. so i recovered with a movie. anyone seen it?
it’s been on my netflix instant queue for some time now and the other day elise over at hungry hungry hippie watched it and have a pretty strong reaction to it. so i decided to check it out!
what did i think? well. wow. wow is really all i can say. the documentary chronicles the whaling business in a town in japan. it was horrifying and sadistic and utterly upsetting. it brought up a lot of emotions in me and helped me feel more secure in my personal decisions.
i’m talking about food here. i might get a little political.
when i first became vegetarian, i admit it was primarily for health reasons. i didn’t care or care to think about the animal aspect of it. kill a dog? kill a cat? sure, that would upset me. but i never thought about fish or cows or chickens or pigs. however the more my diet changed, the more my perspective changed. animals have the ability to feel pain. i believe animals are so much smarter than we think. when i would drive by the open fields of cows along the side of the free-way (hello, northern california!) i would find myself smiling. suddenly, these animals i never thought twice about made me feel.
watching the dolphins get slaughtered in the cove frightened me. but it also lead me to think this: americans, obviously, find this practice obscene. killing dolphins? a huge no-no. but killing mass amounts of cows and chickens and pigs, all (for the most part) slaughtered in inhumane environments? a huge yes? the contradiction becomes apparent.
why do we deem some animals “better” or “more worthy” than others? why do we not find the mass extermination of cows as heinous as the slaughter of thousands of dolphins?
this movie reaffirmed for me my decision to not eat animals. i think there are ways of eating animals without impacting the environment and our own health (hello hormones and diseases and unregulated slaughter houses) but i think the majority of americans don’t think twice about it. i am fortunate to live on the coast of california, a pretty progressive state in terms of eating locally and organically. (i am not trying to sound snobby or arrogant here. i am just stating something i have observed). i find the more i educate myself on these types of topics, the more passionate i feel towards animals and their rights. and towards a healthier way of life for everyone.
what do you think? are you a meat eater (NO judgement over here. these are just my personal beliefs and opinions. i believe in choice and i do not believe in forcing your way of life down other people’s throats)? are you not a meat eater? do you care either way? i’m curious!
regardless, i think you should most definitely check out this movie! it’s well made and thought provoking. two things i look for and love in documentaries. if something can make you think, it’s gotta be good, right?
anyway, i’m going to go attempt some form of dinner. hope you all have a wonderful wednesday!
fingers crossed for a healthier tomorrow!
well, i feel a lot of of things right now. i feel uncomfortable. i feel disappointed. i feel sad. yet…i’m still clining to a few shreds of happiness. i’m still holding my head up. you see, the binge monster has reared its ugly head. again. its decided to venture out of its deep, dark cave and swallow me whole. at least for the moment.
curious as to what constitutes a binge eating diagnosis? i was, too. and i found this:
A. Recurrent episodes of binge eating. An episode of binge eating is characterized by both of the following:
eating, in a discrete period of time (for example, within any 2-hour period), an amount of food that is definitely larger than most people would eat in a similar period of time under similar circumstances
a sense of lack of control over eating during the episode (for example, a feeling that one cannot stop eating or control what or how much one is eating)
B. The binge-eating episodes are associated with three (or more) of the following:
eating much more rapidly than normal
eating until feeling uncomfortably full
eating large amounts of food when not feeling physically hungry
eating alone because of feeling embarrassed by how much one is eating
feeling disgusted with oneself, depressed, or very guilty afterwards
C. Marked distress regarding binge eating is present.
D. The binge eating occurs, on average, at least once a week for three months.
E. The binge eating is not associated with the recurrent use of inappropriate compensatory behavior (for example, purging) and does not occur exclusively during the course of bulimia nervosa or anorexia nervosa.
well. let’s just say i have A-E on lock down. not proud of that accomplishment.
the past few days have been rough.
right now i am floating in a weird, complex paradox i cannot seem to wiggle my way out of. in fact, i’m pretty sure i’ve been floating in it for a while. i love, love, love being healthy. i love eating fresh, whole foods. i love moving my body. i love the peace i get when all things in my life are balanced. on these days i feel sociable, light, giddy. i can laugh easily, forget the definition of irritated, and simply be.
nutrition is a passion of mine, one which has often times lured me in the direction of becoming a nutritionist. but there is just one issue: i am not healthy.
yes, i am, as candace likes to tell me, “one of the most healthy people, if not the healthiest person” in our group of friends. sure, i avoid meat, dairy, gluten, and sugar because none make me feel my best. and yes, i work out 5-6 times a week and do so for pleasure. and all that alcohol my fellow 21 year olds chug on a nightly basis? i forgo it, too, because, honestly, i really hate being drunk.
but being “healthy” includes a lot of other aspects as well. simply avoiding the food groups which set the stage for an “obese america” does not mean i am healthy. yes, i eat well. very well. however, sometimes, i find i am unable to put the spoon down or put the jar away. sometimes, i eat to the point of incredible discomfort. and i do it all for emotional reasons. i am an emotional eater. i am striving to live a healthful life yet find myself unable to because of, well, myself. recently, it’s been a constant battle to acknowledge my hunger cues and respect my body.
i have always been my worst enemy and harshest critic. lately i’ve allowed too much (astonishingly petty, stupid, ridiculous, pathetic, neurotic, obsessive) negativity to influence my decisions. which leads me to fall into a cycle i’m sure a lot of you can relate to. and, i for one, am so tired of this cycle. mentally and physically.
the cycle goes something like this: i eat well for a period of time before succumbing to the awful monster that is bingeing. after periods of bingeing, i vow to be “good” again, to treat myself well. usually this leads me to restrict more than i should which just leads me right back to the feet of the very monster i am trying to avoid.
perhaps i am trying too hard. perhaps i am orthorexic as well. perhaps all this focus on health has just lead me to be the exact opposite. this bingeing habit (and its severity) has really developed over the past year, when all my issues with food and my body started. it’s embarrassing. it’s depressing. eating in secret because you are afraid of the (imagined) judgement of friends and family is not healthy. having a bad day and justifying it with unnecessary amounts of food is not healthy.
so i am left feeling like a walking contradiction. i strive for health, i love health, yet, at the same time, treat myself the exact opposite. and it all stems from lack of self-love. with self-love comes self-acceptance, two things i am practicing. some days it’s easy. but other days, i convince myself i am suddenly not worth it — for anyone, myself included. so i eat to compensate then eat more to compensate for over eating in the first place. it’s awful.
in this world of healthy bloggers and healthy living blogs it’s hard to find someone who struggles, or at least admits to struggling. and i want to know if anyone out there struggles with this, too. if you do, what do you do to cope? it’s truly difficult to deal with this solo. i write (obviously). and i do yoga. but it’s hard to talk to people about this. i am so utterly embarrassed. it’s hard to tell people who think you are such a healthy person that you eat a pint of ice cream or three servings of almond butter when no one is looking. it’s embarrassing to admit this here. but some how, the vague anonymity the world wide web offers provides me a bit of comfort.
regardless, i am still pretty upset. and confused. and would greatly appreciate any advice or any suggestions as to who to talk to, where to go, how to start this recovery process. i don’t even know. but i do know it’s driving me nuts.
i hope you are all having a wonderful tuesday. i’m going to try to make it a good one despite the wonderful sunshine i don’t get to play in today because of work…from 1:30 to 9:45. i’m going to try to make it a good one because i deserve to be happy and whole. and so do you.
get ready for a long one. i’m feeling introspective and thoughtful.
the other day i drove home for a graduation dinner with my family. i went home early to do some laundry because, you know, i’m cheap and doing laundry for free is pretty cool and economical and stuff. plus i got to hang out with my brother for a little bit as well as my parents. (and put that treadmill to some use!) but i got something else i didn’t expect.
my mom subscribes to a lot of magazines. well, i should say my parents subscribe to a lot of magazines. my mom, however, subscribes to kind of superficial, frivolous magazines that all look eerily familiar whenever i flip through the pages. as i perused the stacks (literally) of magazines, i happened upon one i never knew i would open: ladies home journal.
i know — ladies home journal? did i suddenly need to know how to use a crock pot or desperately need to knit a scarf? normally, i might take one look at this magazine and pass too much judgement to even bother opening it (obviously, if you couldn’t tell). this time though, something compelled me to open it. i blame it on the article entitled “how to raise a girl with good body confidence”.
well shit, i thought, how the hell do you do that?
it’s not easy. and no, i wouldn’t know. but i do know that i am a daughter, one who happens to have been raised by a woman who spent ample time unknowingly shaping the way i viewed my body. i grew up in alongside a mother who loathed her appearance, who looked for opportunities to talk badly about herself, who dieted on and off, who worried about fat, food, and her body, a woman who never loved herself enough to see what i see: someone beautiful.
all the negativity, unfortunately, rubbed off on me. i was raised on insecurity. body-snarking became something of an art form for me. the reflection in the mirror never showed me the kind words friends and family members applied to me. the reflection did not reflect the intelligent, witty, friendly, compassionate, curly-haired, curvy beauty everyone else saw.
instead, i chose to let it show me what i was never enough of. i was never thin enough, never straight enough, never pretty enough. i was never enough of anything. all this self-hatred manifested itself in different ways. depression, eating disorders, feelings of unworthiness.
a few weeks ago i unearthed my old middle school journal. in its pages are the first seeds of my body conscious. i call myself fat. i call myself ugly. at age twelve. it’s funny and sad to see the same words in my present day journal. for over a decade i’ve lugged around these feelings of shame and embarrassment towards my body. for ten years. when i think of all i could have been spending my time on instead of worrying about my appearance, i cringe.
inside the article in ladies home journal, the author compares the new years resolutions of women from the 19th century to women of the 21st century. the resolutions from the 19th century focused on using the new year to become a better person, a more helpful, compassionate, patient, and learned woman. the resolutions of the women from the 21st century concerned weight and appearance.
we all know the new year brings with it a new, often times temporary, fervor for physical health. advertisements containing weight loss supplements bombard us. gyms shove membership discounts down our throats. magazine covers boast ways in which to get you “on the right track.” but whose track are we jumping on? is it really our own anyway?
the western world doesn’t seem to get it. we’re too focused on the physical aspect of health. what about mental health? what about the health of your character? do these things not matter in our society anymore? i am wondering when we started to value ourselves solely on our outsides instead of on our insides. shouldn’t the goodness of your character hold more weight than the flatness of your stomach, the shape of your ass?
all this thinking (stemmed from a single little two page article nonetheless) lead me to make an abrupt change in my life. two days ago i made a pledge to myself, a resolution if you want to call it that. i promised myself to never, ever use the word “fat” in reference to my body again. from now on, the word “fat” will forever be nonexistent in my vocabulary after years of using it. the word “fat” carries with it so much stigma. it is just a feeling, usually, a state of mind. not the actual truth.
fat is not the enemy. your body is not the enemy. because bodies are beautiful things. and all bodies are beautiful things.
want to take the no-to-fat pledge with me? got any other words you think should be banned from our vocabulary when referencing our appearance?
want more reading on similar topics? check these lovely ladies out:
emilie started a new project: embrace:ME
kailey dropped -er words
and this lovely woman posted an entire slew of body loving articles!
(and now i am going to lower myself off my soapbox)
lately i’ve been putting more of an effort into creating in the kitchen. i love it so much but i’m usually so hungry and impatient by the time i need to start cooking dinner i either opt for something quick (and therefore too boring to present to you all) or i go out (blaming this on k ).
the other day, however, i buckled down and decided to make curry, a food i love with all my heart and soul and usually only eat when eating out.
k came over and we picked out a recipe and got to cooking! thank you my cozy kitchen for the basis and inspiration for our first attempt at curry!
we basically stuck to the recipe but subbed the potatoes for tofu and added peas and spinach for more veggie bulk! k is not a vegan/vegetarian but he is also not a very picky eater and loves all the vegan and vegetarian foods i’ve introduced to him thus far. sounds like a winner, no?
anywho, it turned out just all right. i wouldn’t say it was as flavorful as curries we’ve tried in our favorite indian and thai restaurants. but it was good! and nicely spicy. spicy foods = absolutelymyfavorite. if anything can be made spicy, i usually will make it spicy
left oveeeerrrrsss! i know it looks kind of gross, but it’s pretty tasty! especially after chilling out in the fridge for a second. all the flavors meld together well
in the past if things did not turn out exactly as i wanted them to, i usually deemed it a failure and wound myself up in negative thoughts. however, now that i am practicing self-compassion and patience, i can call this a great first attempt at curry. nothing comes easily without practice. plus, i think i need to invest some money in good curry. any suggestions???
in addition to the curry, i finally got around my laziness (something i am seriously working on) and sprouted quinoa!!! talk about easiest sprouting experience ever. all i did was soak the quinoa in water over night, woke up, drained it, and allowed it to further drain in a collander all day covered with a clean cloth. did it sprout? hells yes! just look at those yummy sprouted seeds…
i’m trying to spend more time in the kitchen, yes, but i am trying to spend more time un-cooking in my kitchen. raw food fascinates me. i love every aspect of it, from the preparation to the taste, to the ingredients. it has opened my eyes to a completely new form of food preparation as well as a new form of living and eating. though i know i cannot go raw over night, i plan in 2011 to make a pretty big conversion over to the raw side. i do need to allow my stomach time to adjust though!
regardless, i am so excited and so inspired! a friend just let me borrow raw food, real world by matthew kenney and sarma melngailis. i sprouted the quinoa specifically for a recipe in there! i’ll let you know about it soon, promise also, i just ordered another book by matthew kenney and one by ani phyo. so excited! this dehydrator has definitely motivated me! be on the look out for more recipes for sure!
last night i threw together this little tostada…
brown rice tortilla topped with half an avocado, chick peas mashed with hot sauce (nandos!), spinach, sprouted quinoa, and a quarter of a yellow bell pepper which, to me, looks like the sun! which made me super happy. the yellow and orange peppers were on sale (97 cents EACH!) so i stocked up. i forgot how sweet yellow bell peppers were!
this was my first experience with sprouted quinoa. i can tell you it does taste different — it tastes sprouted! crunchy and good. i ate this alongside some roasted brussel sprouts.
one thing i’ve noticed is this: i do not require as much food as i used to. i do not work out like i used to (meaning, i don’t run 6-7 miles EVERY DAY) so my body requires less food. it’s a nice realization and i’m recognizing when to stop eating and understanding the concept of being satisfied as opposed to stuffed. baby steps!
it’s a nice sunny day (though absolutely fucking freezing) and i just completed an hour of core yoga (a la yogadownload.com). i haven’t done this flow in a while and it was challenging. definitely broke a sweat and got my heart rate pumping! about twenty minutes in the negative voice in my head started saying things like “this is too hard, i can’t do this”. but i forced myself to recognize my own strength and you know what? it was challenging, yes, but i felt empowered and strong and refused to let my negative voice dominate my flow. i ended the hour feeling awake in my core as well as in my being.
i love yoga for this very reason. it makes me feel alive and capable and humble all at the same time. and guess what? i can officially hold crow! and i got into full boat pose today (though i was shaking the entire time). i am most definitely deepening my yoga abilities. although i weighed less in past months, i was never able to do these things. my strength and endurance has improved ten-fold despite my weight gain. again, just another reason supporting the fact that weight doesn’t determine your overall health.
this is one substantial mat! it’s heavy and thiiiick. i kind of love it dearly
but i’ve got to go! work in an hour — and my first review! can you believe i’ve been working for starbucks for six months already? i can’t!
enjoy your monday!