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zoe & the beatles

just a twenty-something vegan navigating healthy, positive living with a little help from her friends john, paul, ringo & george!

Category Archives: real talk

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.

this body is beautiful

and all three of these different bodies are beautiful

it’s time we judge ourselves based on the traits that matter. it’s time we stop judging ourselves period.

love the body you’re in. stop fighting it. because it’s the only one you’ve got. and you’re beautiful just to way you are.

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)

namaste

zoe

today the sun is shining and i am smiling. and i am thinking.

yesterday, katie, of chocolate covered katie, penned a post entitled chase away the blues. in it, she offers tips on beating seasonal depression. winter and lack of sun (and, therefore, lack of vitamin d, the “happy vitamin”) often leave people feeling less motivated and more introverted than they might be in the summer time.

the post sparked a really interesting conversation, one i am urging you to read. most people loved and agreed with katie’s suggestions. some people, however, did not believe in the power of exercise and eating well.

which got me thinking. i am most depressed when i eat poorly and skip my work outs. depriving myself of my healthy habits leads me to cave to the negative chatter of my mind and treat myself poorly. i self medicate with food and drown myself in thoughts of unworthiness. on the flip side, however, when i treat myself well by feeding myself nourishing foods and sweating at least twenty minutes of day, i feel so much more grounded and sane.

i’ve never been diagnosed with depression but i’ve certainly felt it. i do not think, in any way, that i suffer from depression but i do suffer from intense blues (as i’m sure most of you do, too) from time to time. over the summer all i felt was intensely blue. it was awful and i wasn’t treating myself right. i binged, i restricted, i compulsively exercised to the point of pain. i drove the sanity right out of my world and felt completely lost.

fast forward to now. things are not perfect, nor do i ever anticipate they will be because nothing ever is. but candace said something to me the other night that sparked another thought. while discussing with her the thoughts which, as of late, have sent me into moods i cannot shake, i told her that i was five pounds away from where i started my weight loss journey. she told me this: “so what?”

so what? it caught me off guard. so what? so i was going to be ‘fat’ again. so i am uncomfortable. so i am critical, obsessive, and miserable.

so what, she told me, then added “think of it this way: you’ve gone through all of this and you’ve ended up where you started, okay. but you’ve learned so much along the way. you know what foods you like to eat now and what foods your body likes. you know you love yoga now. think of all you’ve learned.”

think of all i’ve learned. think of all i’ve learned.

the words kind of floated in my head for a moment, mulling about the forefront of my mind. think of all i’ve learned. after a few days of contemplation, the positives replaced the negatives, and all these lessons learned became clear.

i’ve learned exercise is something to be done in order to feel good, not something to be used as punishment. i’ve learned my mat is my happy place and yoga brings me more peace then running everwill. i’ve learned a plant-based diet best suits my body and mind. i’ve learned smaller portions help keep me sustained through out the day. i’ve learned to evaluate the reason why i feel the need to binge. i’ve learned, above anything else, that self-love is the key to true happiness.

i’ve been up and i’ve been down and back again but i know there are ways to have more up days as opposed to down days. in order to keep the ratio of up days to down days uneven, i know i need to focus on a few things:

i cannot fight the shape of my body. it is curvy, not straight like my mind wants it to be. i need to accept the person i am on the outside.

i need to accept that maybe, just maybe, my body likes being at the weight it is at right now.

furthermore, i need to accept that weight is not important. if your insides shine, your outsides shine no matter what you look like.

no one cares whether you gain weight or lose weight. they like you, the person, not your appearance.

eating well and exercising bring only happiness into my life. when i slack on either of these things, i feel shitty. health brings happiness.

and for today? well, today’s a good day. maybe it’s because i spent the night with my boy or maybe it’s because i have the day off work. or maybe it’s because i went on a short run this morning and finished it off with some yoga. or maybe it’s the sun, or the fact that cooking dinner tonight is far too exciting. or maybe, just maybe, i’m one step closer to loving this person i am, inside and out.

regardless, i am counting my blessings today and thanking the universe for granting me the power to feel solid in my person today, to be happy and whole. because i always am. i just have a hard time remembering that.

namaste

zoe

because i have a few.

last night, i ate a pint of tempt hemp milk “ice cream”.

the oatmeal in my bowl is a full half a cup. not 1/4 cup. or 1/3 cup.

i’ve been drinking soy milk, rice milk, and hemp milk lattes like it’s my job.

i just ate more than three servings of cashew butter.

i just ate two servings of dates.

the other night i ate m+m’s for the first time in over a year.

and then i ate a few hershey’s kisses.

i haven’t run in over a week.

my favorite pair of jeans don’t fit.

i’m not sure i feel badly about any of this.

and that, friends, is the truth.

though the m+m indulgence sent me into a mild panic in which i found myself hunched over the toilet contemplating one the worst possible forms of self-harm (it didn’t happen loves. i talked some sense into myself before it did.) and i am currently sitting here feeling slightly guilty, i am not feeling the need to supplement with exercise or with restricting or with more bingeing. i am simply being.

yes, my favorite pair of jeans no longer fit. most people might take this as a sign to reevaluate habits but i am open and honest enough now to acknowledge that i bought these pants in the middle of my year of self-loathing and bad habits. i was smaller a few months ago, yes, but i was also forcing myself to be so. i am slowly seeing that my body is happy at the weight i am at now. i am not forcing it to be here and i look healthy, truly healthy, for the first time in months.

however, i am also open and honest enough to see that that does not excuse the fact that i can down a pint of ice cream in one sitting or toss back three million handfuls of m+ms in one go. these are unhealthy habits that do not respect the body and mind. and i want to respect my body and mind. these habits stem from deep emotional issues not yet explored or, at the very least, not yet explored as intensely as they should be.

i want a lot of things this year. i want to to see myself in the positive light others see me in. i want to be happy and confidence and settled. i want to divorce myself from my bad habits of over-eating and eating for comfort. i want to banish guilt and shame from my life in regards to food forever.

but to do so, i know i need to concentrate on one thing: self-compassion. to heal completely, i must forgive myself and not scrutinize the negative aspects of my person.

in the newest issue of yoga journal (quite possibly my most favorite magazine ever), an entire article was dedicated to the subject of self-compassion. the author offers four tips to cultivate self-love and they are so wonderful, i feel the need to share.

1) LOVE.
acknowledging that you deserve health and happiness, and that you’re worth the effort it takes to make a positive change. remind yourself how the specific change you are making supports your well-being.

2) COMPASSION.
without self-judgement, recognize how the habit you are trying to change creates suffering and stress (including your habit of being hard on yourself). then acknowledge your desire to be free from this suffering.

3) JOY.
give yourself credit for, and celebrate, any positive actions you have taken to support yourself in this change. also, have gratitude for any support you have received from your family and friends.

4) EQUANIMITY
if you are feeling bad about a recent setback, remind yourself that mistakes are only human, and they’re an important part of the path of change. instead of berating yourself, focus on your larger goal to be happy, healthy, and free from suffering.

2011 will be the year i end my suffering. because i am worth it.

what are you changing for yourself this year?

because you’re worth it, too.

namaste.

zoe.

so i just spent a good forty minutes flipping through some of my favorite blogs. and i kind of noticed an odd response to the blogs more focused on diet and exercise and healthy living. i noticed an uncomfortable and negative competitive mood settled in my chest. i’m afraid i allow the content of blogs to spark up some unhealthy aspects of my person. meaning, really, i just start focusing on comparisons.

in all these holiday recap posts i am seeing people’s christmas dinner meals and mentally compare it to my own. i cringe when i see the amount of food in comparison to mine. i think, “god, she only ate that much? that much?” then guilt and shame appear in equal amounts and i feel inadequate, like i lost some game i didn’t realize i was playing.

i see some of my favorite bloggers writing about ways to stay motivated for work outs during the winter or what foods they’re eating now to counteract all the rich foods of the holiday season. these are all wonderful things but the controlling person in me wakes up when i read these posts. i suddenly feel badly for eating an extra treat and not exercising because the “holidays are over” and getting “back on track” needs to happen instead. i start saying, “okay, stop enjoying now.” i’m so tired of fighting against food and my negative self. i just want to enjoy with a conscience free of any fucking guilt. i want to restore my relationship with food, my mind, and my body.

and, if i am being one hundred percent honest with myself, i’m not sure reading these blogs is incredibly beneficial to my health and well-being right now.

i need to feel strong in all parts of myself. i know who i am and i know who i can be without this negative cloud always threatening to obscure my horizon. because there have been stretches of time when i am this person. this awful voice and this awful never ending cycle with guilt and shame and this need for control is holding me back from being completely happy.

and, if i am being honest with myself, i can say that i am a competitive and comparative person. and i can say that i know reading these blogs heighted these aspects of myself and brought me into unhealthy habits. and no, it’s not anyone’s fault but my own. because that’s how i allow myself to interpret these blogs and that’s how i choose to read them. negatively.

i think i’ve come leaps and bounds this past year. the journey of these 365 days has allowed me to grow and change and settle in so many different ways . i’ve healed so many parts of myself but i think there are parts that need so much more healing. a lot of these blogs stimulate and aggravate the parts of me i am trying to mend. i’m just letting my reaction to these blogs continue to nurture my negative person.

so i think i need to take a bit of a break for a while.

i think i need to do a little more growing before i can read some of these healthy living blogs. because their healthy intentions are only spurring in me unhealthy behaviors and emotions. i’m really working on just being. i am. and i feel like i am so, so, so close. i just need to get my priorities a little bit more straight, ya dig?

i’ll still post from time to time but i don’t think it will be much about exercise. maybe more about food. lots of food. and maybe more about yoga. and maybe more about the beatles because i’m pretty sure these things are what i always intended this thing to be about. so i think, i guess, expect some changes with the new year. because i’m going to be making some in my look nook of the california coast.

and, on that note, i’m going to go breathe it out on my mat. (did i mention k got me the most LEGIT yoga mat for christmas? he’s a keeper 😉 (and i’m the biggest dork you’ve ever met. i know.)). i might take a little walk to the bank because it’s sunny today and it hasn’t been in a while. and i’m pretty sure i might treck on down to cafe gratitude later because it’s my soul food. and my soul needs some good food. mmmm.

i hope you have a spectacular monday.

namaste

zoe

beatles song of the day: here comes the sun (abbey road)
why? because i’m super cheesy. and because the sun just came out after a lot of rain and it’s beautiful outside ❤

(p.s: and for the creepiest thing of the day: my horoscope. verbatim:

A desire for approval today could cause you to base your decisions on how they will affect people’s opinions about you. Building up a stronger belief in yourself might help you make decisions because they are the right choices for you rather than because they will impress others or be in agreement with their way of thinking. You might want to take time today to affirm your self-worth and focus on your strengths today. The better you feel about yourself, the less you will worry about what others think. You can then make the decisions that are best for you.

Having a strong belief in ourselves gives us the confidence to not let the opinions of others sway us when we make decisions. While it is natural to want to have others affirm or agree with our choices, basing our choices on other people’s reactions is not always the wisest approach to take. If we can practice being self-referential, we will develop a stronger sense of self. We begin to trust our instincts more and make decisions based on what works best for us instead of on what others may think. The approval we receive from others regarding our choices becomes a nice acknowledgement of what we already know to be true. Believe in yourself and your ability to do what is right for you, and you can trust that you are making the right choices regardless of what anyone else says to you today.

ikidyoufuckingnot. )

ah, school and work free mondays. does it get any better than this? not really. spent the morning with k in the little town named sebastopol just north of us. drank a hemp milk latte and got some christmas shopping out of the way! tackled my dad’s gifts today and i am happy to report i scored! big time. bought my dad a lovely spread of grateful dead items…

(you can’t really read it but on the hoodie it says “san francisco somedate 1975…the year in which my dad graduated from high school in san francisco. he was and is (clearly) a dead head till death!)
and i indulged a little for myself, too…


(and yes, i’m feeling mighty feisty and fierce today if you couldn’t tell from the gestures and expressions!)

thank yoooou cali kind! i love, love, love this store! it’s also where i bought my tapestry a little over a year ago…

ganesh, the god of wisdom!

yes, i am born from a hippie. it only makes sense i am a little hippie, too 🙂

but, alas, hippie-ism and christmas presents are not the point of my post today. today i want to talk about health and what, exactly, it means. in the world of western culture, health tends to take on one main purpose: appearance. ever looked at those magazines lining the checkout stands of your local super market? you know, the ones doling out tips for flat abs and tips on how to avoid cravings and tips for being better in bed, at the work place, at the gym? the ones that thrive on telling you you’re not good enough? at anything.

can you tell i feel passionately about these magazines?

a few months ago candace and i subscribed to some magazines. we ordered yoga journal, vegetarian times, and women’s health, believing whole-heartedly it dealt with just that: women’s health.

imagine our surprise when we received our first issue. what type of “health” related articles did we discover? the same old shit we found in the pages of glamor and elle, two other women’s magazines: “how to blast belly fat!”, “how to get that dream bod — without any work!”, “ten diet DON’TS!”. we both found ourselves disappointed. severely disappointed. i mean, take a look at what came in the mail today…

(i originally had four saved from the past few months and they ALL LOOK THE SAME. but i couldn’t find them. so i apologize…just one and no comparisons :()

what did i tell you about those ab tips? and the looking better naked tips? and the 375+ smart new nutrition weight loss, health, fitness & style tips? in my (ridiculous, humble, unimportant) opinion, these magazines only serve to point out things for you to unnecessarily worry about. example? before college i never worried about the size of my pores or of my arms. come freshman year, i read an article about those two things and found myself fretting over my suddenly “large” pores and “chunky” arms. where’s the logic in that?

yes, i am aware that i happen to be a woman who is sensitive to these types of magazines (given my history with self-confidence) and i know not everyone reacts in the same way. and yes, i am also aware that these magazines do indeed help some women. but, again, it is my personal opinion that these magazines do not focus on health. they focus on shit like “looking great naked”.

additionally, today, while shredding it with jillian michaels, i noticed the shit she was saying: “if you wanna go jeans shopping, you gotta commit to this workout!” or “if you want to go bathing suit shopping, you gotta commit!” or my favorite: “what do we want? MORE CALORIES BURNED.” what, we don’t want to just simply feel good, strong, and healthy? every motivating thing she said relied on the physical. it was so. LAME.

my point is this: there is so, so much more to health than your overall appearance. what about the health of your insides? your mind? your soul? are these things not equally important? yes, these magazines do have articles about these aspects of your life as well but the articles do not have as many words dedicated to them as say, the fucking flatness of your abs.

if there is one thing i have learned it is this: flat abs do not, i repeat, DO. NOT. determine one’s overall health. i had flatter abs in the past. but i was also binging and restricting and compulsively exercising in the past.

over the past year i’ve learned so much about health and how personal it is. to me, health is how you feel internally. it is matching the beauty of your outsides to your insides. it is feeling strong, happy, and confident, in body, mind, and spirit. it is laughing, crying, dancing, smiling. it is finding your passions and chasing your dreams. it is everything these magazines try to make you forget.

it depresses me see just how much our society values a “beautiful” appearance. because beauty is objective. a few months ago kate, authoress of the incredible blog eat the damn cake, wrote about beauty. as a culture, we have these standards we silently hold everyone up to. we all believe the person sitting next to us finds what our culture thinks to be attractive, well, attractive. however, if you took the time to talk to that person, he or she would most likely answer with something along the lines of “eh, actually, i’m much more into x, y, and z.” we all hold individual ideas about beauty. that’s one of the best parts of humanity: we’re so diverse.

i just wish our popular magazines expressed that.

while women’s health gets me down, the fact that i have this makes me happy:

see anything about flat abs or diet tips? neither do i. and that makes my heart incredibly, incredibly happy.

what is your definition of health?

namaste

zoe

sometimes, i wish i cared less about food.

sometimes, i wish it wasn’t what i day dream about. i wish it didn’t matter to me. i wish grocery stores and farmers markets and restaurants didn’t excite me like they do. i wish it wasn’t my passion, my obsession, my best and simultaneously my worst friend.

i hate food almost as much as i love it.

awful thoughts have been circulating through my mind recently. i’ve spent days attempting to put together a post to articulate what i am currently struggling with. the negative voice in my mind still has a voice, and that upsets me. particularly because its strength is only growing.

after meals i find myself calculating. adding up rough estimates of calories. what, in total, i consumed for the day. how i need to move to get all the food off of me. the other day, in the tail-end of a teary breakdown, candace reassured me “everyone has things they feel the need to control.” to which i responded: “yeah, i just wish mine happened to be more proactive for my life.”

i am feeling the need to control intensely. i am not happy with the bit of winter weight settling on my frame. (i know. vain and superficial. i’m trying here, guys.) i know it is normal and i know it should not bother me, but it does. and i am not happy.

and i am not happy about my relaxed attitude towards sweets. i’ve been consuming too much sugar (in the form of dark chocolate, carob chips, frozen yogurt, soy drinks from work) and it’s showing up on my face, in my mood. i forget just how sensitive i am to it. i’ve been breaking out more than i have in months and i feel puffy and not too great. i have no problem with eating sweet foods (hello cafe gratitude! and hello home-made, sugar free, raw carrot cake sitting in my fridge!) but i do have a problem with sugar, specifically white sugar.

it’s also a mental problem. i recognize that. if i tell myself i cannot have something, i overeat it when i do. it’s not a good habit or a good mind set. i know i am perpetuating the disconnect between my mind and body.

my mom and i shared a wonderfully honest and raw discussion the other day. i am so happy to have someone in my family to talk to about my struggles now. and my mom understands better than most because she experienced the same issues when she was my age (though to a lesser degree. and, i would argue, still does to an extent today.). anyway, we agreed it would be best for me to keep seeing a counselor. unfortunately i cannot see the woman i was seeing at school because with graduation comes the loss of using on-campus resources.

so yes, i am feeling unsettled in these winter months. i am attempting to settle myself once more. to do so i need to listen to my body. sometimes i eat foods i do not necessarily want (like sugar) just because it’s there. but lately, all my cravings have been for fresh and raw foods. i need to start honoring my body’s cravings. i also need to start honoring it through exercise. i’ve allowed winter to make me a bit lazy, i’m afraid. i miss my mat! and my running shoes. and rocks.

so today i am going on a trail run/tree climbing adventure with k. we ran across the golden gate bridge the other day (super fogless on an otherwise incredibly foggy, grey day!) and it was so much fun! it’s really fun having a running partner. and one who likes to climb trees! i’m trying to make my movements fun and interesting, if you couldn’t tell.

anyway, thanks for listening, loves. i’m trying over here, i really, truly am. some days are just harder than others, you know? have a good friday.

namaste

zoe

yoga.

you all know i love it. i call it my saving grace. and i do so for a reason.

december marks yoga and my’s one year anniversary. one year ago i flipped on an exercise tv yoga video and tilted back into my first (awkward) downward dog. from moment one, i knew i found something special. but my journey with yoga blossomed and shifted as much as i did mentally, physically, and emotionally this past year.

admittedly, i first attempted yoga purely for a new work out. i wanted to be flexible. i wanted to be “sculpted”. i wanted to be like all the “sexy” yoga ladies i always saw tucked away in the pages of magazines. furthermore, when i first edged my way onto a mat, i used yoga in addition to my daily runs and daily work outs. i never did it on its own because, in my naivety, i believed it did not deliver the same benefits as pounding out seven miles.

as december 2009 unraveled into the new year, i unraveled from myself. i lost touch with the important aspects of life and found myself focusing on the superficial. i spent countless minutes and hours and days worrying over frivolous elements that only brought me pure unhappiness. during this time i lost touch with yoga, dabbling only on random days when my knees hurt so badly running was simply not an option. either that or i found myself huffing and puffing reluctantly through a flow because i binged and the guilt complex forced me to compulsive exercise.

however, as running continued to destroy my knees and drain the vitality, happiness, and harmony from my soul, i finally reached a breaking point. over the summer i woke up one day and knew i needed to stop. everything. i needed to stop running, i needed to stop restricting, i needed to stop bingeing. i needed to rediscover the person i lost somewhere in the months of 2010. so i turned to a long lost friend for guidance: yoga.

i woke up every morning and committed myself to my mat, if only for twenty minutes. the first few weeks were challenging. anxiety gripped my being and the negative voice in my head whispered to me about all the weight i was going to gain, all the damage i was going to do, all the hard work i was going to ruin. it told me all about how ugly i was going to become. but something else, that sliver of positive energy, told me not to listen any more. sure, some days break downs were inevitable. but the first unstable months proved to me just how wrong that negative voice was.

with the aid of yoga, i sunk my brittle roots into an unfamiliar solid ground and grew. i dug deep and sprouted into a new consciousness. i struggled up from the bottom but somehow broke through the surface. the more i reached for the sun, for that positivity i long ago lost, the more whole, centered, and peaceful i felt.

i’ve cried on my mat. i’ve dissolved into laughter on my mat. i’ve fallen asleep on my mat. i’ve eaten on my mat. i’ve found strength i never knew i had. my mat feels like a home away from home. yoga has taught me to cultivate patience, forgiveness, and love, among other things. it has grounded me in a new understanding of myself, of others, and the world around me. without yoga, i am not sure how happy of an individual i would currently be.

i am in no way perfect. this is quite possibly the most important lesson yoga has taught me. i still experience anxiety due to the negative chatter of my mind. whenever i feel out of control, instead of binge eating or not eating at all, i turn to yoga to find myself again.

as the new year approaches i find myself so deeply grateful for yoga and all it has given me, mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. i will forever be thankful because, as you well know by now, yoga saved me from myself.

namaste.

zoe.

beatles song of the day: dear prudence (the white album)
why? because the sun is up, the sky is blue, it’s beautiful, AND SO ARE YOU

winter brings with it more than seasonal change. after talking to several friends and reading several different blog posts on the subject, winter truly proves to be a trying time for the majority of human beings. i am not sure about you, but during the winter months lethargy becomes my best friend. something about the grey skies kills my motivation and squashes my positivity. work outs seem less appealing and heavy, rich foods appear to be all my body craves. winter feels like the season in which we all turn inward. cuddling up under covers and filling ourselves with warm, nourishing, heavy foods are all part of this seasonal . well, at least for me.

i am in a funk today. and i am in one for a few separate reasons. one regards school, which ends next week. yes, in one week i will graduate from college. the excitement i expected comes in short bursts. instead i find myself anxious and unsettled. why? well, i just realized i kind of regret my major. a few weeks ago a teacher of mine asked what we as english students were reading in class. no one, save for one boy, offered an answer. i realized how little literary books (outside of shakespeare) i read during the last 3.5 years. suddenly i find myself feeling as if i wasted my education. i find myself wishing i stuck it out in liberal studies, the major i enrolled in freshman year. i find myself feeling less intellectually stimulated than when i started college. isn’t it supposed to be the opposite? i feel like i just wasted my time, money, and energy on a major i lost touch with a long time ago.

in addition i fear i might not pass a class of mine. to be perfectly honest you guys, i kind of shut down this semester. my motivation to do well in school dwindled down to near non-existence. during counseling i realized just how rigid i am. though i believe grades do not reflect a person’s intelligence, i always strove for ‘A’s’ and felt uncomfortable when i did not get them. so i relaxed some this semester. okay, so i relaxed a lot this semester. and now it is coming back to bite me in the ass. i have a massive research paper due on wednesday and, as embarrassed as i am to admit this, i did not read a single thing for that class this semester. i have never, ever, ever done this in my life. now i understand why! i am scrambling to pull something together and have injected unnecessary stress into my life.

on top of all this, this afternoon i had a mini-break down. lately my weight and food habits have weighed heavily on me. i have spent a lot of time in reflection. in practicing following a less rigid existence, i have allowed myself to eat foods i “banned” long ago. frozen yogurt? all right. gummy candies? yes please. soy hot chocolates from work? bring it.

the other day i weighed myself. just out of curiosity. what a dumb decision is all i have to say. a number is a number and nothing more. all my clothes still fit. and, to be perfectly honest, i don’t feel unhealthy. in fact, i feel incredibly healthy and strong. probably for the first time in months. the freak out i expected never really came. but the number on the scale scared the shit out of me. i felt down for a few hours then managed to climb out of the impending darkness. however, one thought is sticking with me: i am so uncomfortable with how comfortable i feel. i feel healthy, i look healthy, yet i cannot stand the weight i am at and cannot stand how relaxed i’ve become.

and i know why: i am terrified of becoming again the person i was freshman year of college. during my first year away from home i gained a good 10-15 pounds, due mainly to poor eating, late night eating, and emotional eating. i left that year miserable, in body and mind. so i lost weight. and more weight. and then more until it reached an unhealthy point. but during that time, i damaged my mind body connection. i transformed into a controlling, self-punishing person. and now that i am relaxing my control (by slowly introducing the foods my body craves back into my diet), i am having a really hard time coping.

i know i eat healthfully. i know i do not eat the way i did freshman year. i know i will not turn into the unhealthy person i used to be because health is so important to me now. but i am emotionally stressed from thinking about health all the time. i want to give up control but at the same time, i am so frightened of what will happen if i do.

candace said something really thought-provoking earlier. she told me this: “zoe, everyone has something they feel the need to control in their lives.” i know. i just wish mine happened to be something proactive.

i am sorry to be so mopey and pensive again over here. but you know me…honesty always. truthfully part of me knows this is due in part to my period which is around the corner. so i know these feelings will eventually pass. i just wish i had some sunshine to help the process along.

how do you react to the winter? anyone else experience the winter blues?

well, i just finished a wonderful yoga flow in an attempt to regain my center. i feel a bit better, though not as great as i wished to feel. i’m heading out to dinner with my family and some family friends later. hopefully i can rediscover my happiness amidst family. we’ll see! imma try!

namaste

zoe

it’s been a morning. and a night. and i need to blog it out.

last night my job had its annual holiday meeting. basically me and my co-workers got together to discuss our holiday season (holiday coffee and holidays drinks and holiday hours). it was actually ridiculously fun. i am so blessed to work at a store where everyone gets along so well. we’re all friends so, naturally, we all went out following the meeting. we went bowling. but not just bowling bowling — we went drunk bowling. and then we went to the bars (my first bar outing!).

you guys i felt so normal last night. so, so completely normal. and so, so completely happy. i drank four beers. in big glasses. and thought nothing of it. not once did i think about the calories consumed and how empty they were. i didn’t calculate the number of miles i would need to run to burn it all off. i just let myself be. and by letting myself be, i was simply blissful. i like simple. a lot.

here is where the good vibes get a bit muddled.

remember a few weeks back when a boy debacle was mentioned? well, allow me to catch you up. (i am going to use the first letters of their names just to make this easier to follow. how gossip girl of me.) so, three boys are involved in this ridiculous drama of the human heart. j, k, and l, all of whom i work with. (pphhftt, the letters of the alphabet.) k is the boy my little heart has been set on for a long, long time. l was the boy i met at work. j is the boy who fell head over heels for me. now, this is what has happened in the months since i last mentioned these boys: still trying not to be smitten with k. l is dating another co-worker which rocks because i realized we’re better as friends. j…well, j will have his own paragraph. hold on.

(overly dramatic) k storyyy
k and his girlfriend broke up a few months back but still talk. i know, why bother with someone who is still tangled up in a failed relationship? guys i’m only human. i’m trying, but i am failing. i really like this kid. we connect on a ridiculous level. we’re pretty awesome friends. it’s evident we like each other but…i can’t have him. obviously. i don’t want to mix myself up in the back and forth of him and his ex. oh, did i mention candace works with his ex? and his ex has a lot (a LOT) of resentment against me currently? and hasn’t liked me since we first met over a year ago (when they were still dating?)? so i guess we’re basically hanging out to stroke each other’s egos. i feel ridiculous. especially because last night we basically never left each other’s sides.

add this to j’s situation.
j was the boy who took me out on a date i didn’t know was a date a few months back. today he came over, gave me a letter, and tried to kiss me. to which i responded immediately by saying “no! no, no! no!” and removing his hands from my face and taking a few large steps back.

i feel like i am in the wrong here. i feel like a bad person. i feel like i led him along some because i know i am a flirtatious person. it’s just my nature. but after this i think i need to work on honing it in a bit…

honestly, it threw me off all day. all day. my appetite vanished until just about a two hours ago. it made me kind of crawl out of my skin. the letter combined with the kiss attempt and the way he approached me this morning just made me feel so uncomfortable. and it really, really doesn’t help that i work with him tomorrow first thing in the morning. i called him already to see if we could set the record straight but…no answer. fingers crossed he calls back at some point tonight… we just talked. i told him i was flattered but kind of taken aback. he apologized, i reminded him he was human and makes mistakes. basically it’s all good, at least in my perspective.

by the way: his explanation? he saw k and i “getting tight” and just wanted to see if there was any chance at all. i expressed to him i understood what he intended to communicate, but did so in an inappropriate way. i told him to just simply tell me next time, that i liked simple, straight-forward communication, not theatrics. he also reassured me i did not lead him on and that he thought i wasn’t into him. whew. but still…

on a brighter note i ate sushi for dinner tonight. it was delicious. and exactly what i was craving. it really took a second for me to put the first piece in my mouth. once i did though it was all good things. i am happy with these little steps i am taking.

and i am happy for the new week. because, even though i had a wonderful, spectacular weekend (cafe gratitude trip, sunshine every day, 81 degree weather) it ended on a kind of abrupt and unsettling note. time for a new week, a new attitude, and a new set of opportunities.

i just finished a lovely challenging hour and fifteen minute flow that helped ease some of the anxiety and stress from my system. i feel more balanced and hope it will help me sleep. because although i am not dwelling on the issue, i just feel like it will be a bit awkward initially tomorrow morning at work. meh. regardless, i really got to get going. i’ve got some last minute poetry to write.

sleep well, loves. (and thanks for reading these ridiculous ramblings. it just kind of brought me down a bit today. i promise some recipes to come!)

namaste

zoe

happy veterans day! did you enjoy your day off if you had one? i sure did. as you all know, this past week and a half has been a bit of a struggle. i’ve wrestled pretty intensely with my inner negativity and sometimes it won the battle. it kept me from going out last night, which i partly regret. it allowed me to doubt my self worth, which we all know is never a good thing. but i am starting to settle a bit today. partly because of this:

i got a little free therapy in the form of beautiful scenery today. and rocks. lots and lots of rocks. you see, i went climbing outside for my second time today! although i adore climbing inside, climbing outside is a completely different experience. the paths are not set and you get to be a bit creative. and i love being creative. the weather gods smiled down on our little group of four today, too. though it’s the middle of november, the sky remained rain cloud free. we only experienced blue skies and a full, warm sun.

true story though: i carried the mental back and forth battle with me all day today. i found it difficult to just breathe through my frustration at some points. but in the end i ended up victorious. if i felt anxiety coming on, i just remembered one thing:

let it be.

i also remembered to find my center.


i think you should start getting used to these photos…

we ended the day at a wonderful indian restaurant. i got a ridiculously delicious okra dish. spicy. warm. okra-ey. so good. currently i am waiting on a friend for a little night time yoga sesh. gotta stretch out these tight muscles! just know i am on the path to feeling better (i’m going to say aunt flo visiting today has a lot to do with this…) and thank you for all your kind words. i really appreciate them. have a wonderful weekend, loves!

namaste

zoe

(p.s: can someone tell me why my horoscope for the day told me the following: “A wave of powerful physical energy may wash over you today. You may feel sporty and full of life and want to take part in games and group exercise as you move through your day. Because your vitality is likely soaring, you may want to vent your energy by engaging in high-energy activities.” um. creepily accurate!!!!!)