Scale Day v34.0

I’m a day late with my post. Oops! I have a good excuse.

I spent yesterday morning with my Nia White Belt Intensive trainer. She is training a new batch of students this week and I got to spend yesterday morning with them. Have you ever been working hard on a project? Week after week you work towards your goal, then life nudges its way in, your schedule shifts slightly, and that project you were working on just gets shelved. I’m sad to say that in the past several weeks my Nia studies have gotten shelved. I’ve been working more (paid work) and my time for Nia has disappeared.

In this post I’ll also be talking about my scale day, or should I say days. I don’t normally weigh myself several times in a week, but after last weeks strange change in weights, on Tuesday & Wednesday, I did weigh myself a few more times and yesterday morning. I came to one big realization, it was one I learned in the fall, but had forgotten.

Did yesterday refreshen my desire to pull Nia back into my daily schedule? What did I weigh yesterday?

It was strange to spend just a morning doing something that just a few months ago I spent 7-full days in a row immersed in. I met a lovely girl from Minnesota (we have a lot in common) and a man from Austria (he says when I was on a train (back in 2005) from Venice to Berlin I passed right through his town- pretty cool). Yesterday morning I was reminded of all the work I have yet to do, work that I CAN DO. I was reminded why I love Nia. And I learned a few things. Daily study is what I need. It wont be a lot of time, but it will be daily. I love pattern, I love routine, and there is only one way to get myself ready to teach…do the work. It’s a practice, not a perfect (love Niaisms) and I WILL practice.

Last week the scale read 135 (even though the morning before read 133.9) which was a 0.7 gain from the week before. Last week: water great, calories great, and I worked out for 230 minutes. This past week: water great, calories great, and I worked out for 298 minutes. I worked out once a day every day, except one day. So all in all these last two weeks have really been pretty good. I weighed myself twice between scale days and my weight went down to 132.5 and then back up to 134.3. Yesterday, official scale day, my weight was 132.9, for a loss of 2.1 pounds, yeah!! Wait, that is only a loss of 1.3 pounds in the last 4 WEEKS!! OMG.

So what was that little thing that I learned in the fall that I had forgotten? I have forgotten to fill 1/2 my plate with fruits and veggies. Sure I’ve been picking good foods and keeping to my calorie limit, but that is not the whole game. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you, although with strange fluctuations in weight you may have guessed…oh yeah, it’s a #2 problem. With slowing down my intake of fruits and veggies I’ve become irregular, gross I know, but it is fact.

One other fact that I have accepted: If for what ever reason I do not get a good night of sleep I wont be getting in a morning workout. Yesterday I had to get up an hour early to travel for Nia class, then work, then parent teacher conference, take care of the home/kids, & make dinner…I was one tired pup this morning and didn’t workout. Instead of getting angry I’m going to understand the situation. I’m not lazy. I’m just tired. I’ll adjust my schedule and workout this afternoon. Stop all the stressing and simply find another way.

Next week is my birthday week and there is probably little chance I’ll make my goal weight of 130 by then or by my vacation. My weight is still in the normal BMI range, 24.3 actually, and that I WILL celebrate. I’ll keep moving forward, right on past my birthday and vacation…this journey is withOUT end.

New patterns and reminders are my themes of the week. What have you forgotten recently that you need to re-learn?

Random Thoughts Monday v18.0

Last week was on of the fastest weeks in my life. I’ve been attempting to increase my evil day job hours and at the same time give Nia and my book editing daily attention. I might be pushing myself a ton, but I don’t see any other way at the moment. I’d love to give the evil day job the boot, but until Nia and gosh one day my book is sold that just aint going to happen. We solder on, don’t we, yes, we do, with a big smile, because my neck is pretty much all the way healed!!!

I have a few random thoughts…

  • Several months ago I shared one of my favorite ever links: What Woman Look Like. I like this site so much, because you can look at your height/weight/paint size & even shape type. If you are like me you may look at yourself and say, you need to lose a few (and I do, but just a few). If I would have found this site a decade ago (when I was 15 pounds lighter than I am now and I thought I was very over weight) I would have seen other woman, whose shape and size were similar to mine and would not have been able to call them over weight. So what would what mean about me…you got it, truth can feel really good sometimes!! Are you being truthful to yourself about your weight and how you feel? What can you do right this minute to make you feel better about yourself? I do not have to remind you to go do what ever you thought of, right?
  • ‘Most runway models meet the BMI criteria for anorexia,’ I believe it and so does a plus size model magazine as reported here. The article gives an interesting photo of a “plus-size” model and a “straight-size” model and goes on to say ‘Twenty years ago the average fashion model weighed 8% less than the average woman. Today, she weighs 23% less.” Wow, something is very wrong here. Wonder when or if they will ever get a clue?
  • Author Jeaniene Frost wrote a very interesting post on January 7th, entitled New year, no resolutions. Jeaniene is an amazing author, I really enjoy her books. She is a New York Times best-selling author, so why would she have self-doubt? Very interesting read, please check it out!!! 
  • Nia
    • Sanjana (the routine I’m currently learning): I made minimal progress this past week, however I did the movement several times as I worked my way back from injury.  This week I will continue to practice teaching the first 5 songs and begin the bars for the 6th song and 7th songs.  There are 8 songs in the routine.
    • 52 Moves in 52 Weeks: There are 52 moves in the Nia dictionary and what a great way to better know your craft than to spend 1 week with each move!!
      • “A” Stance. Stand with feet wider than hip width. Keep your knees spring-loaded and relaxed. Start with your weight centered, shift your weight back and forth and return to center to feel your balance.

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. day. He was such an inspiration. One of my favorite quotes of his:

“A right delayed is a right denied”

Yes, he was brilliant!! My great friend over at www.ThirtyThreeandCounting.com  created an inspirational post today in honor of Dr. King: This is How We Change the World, she had some help from her friends and I’m honored to be on the list. Please check it out!!!

Have a great week everyone!!

~Do you want to start or re-start your health journey? I’ve created a list of things that worked for me, see the last page listed at the very top of this page and Create Your Own Healthy Journey today!

Random Thoughts Monday v17.0

This past week has been spent getting to know the ins and outs of neck pain. I did not start this research project randomly, no, I woke early last week with terrible pain in my neck. Apparently I’m getting old. A good friend, who did have good advice, told me that when we are younger our muscles have an easier time at bouncing back. Well I’m still in my 30s, I’m NOT old 🙂 but apparently my neck thinks otherwise 😀

  • Neck Info
    • I’m not a doctor!! This is just things that I have learned and have worked for me.  Take the following with a grain of salt and if you have neck problems for several days you should probably seek advice from a doctor.
    • Our neck should have a natural arch, like a backward c shape, arching forward from our spine and then back to our head. When you force your neck flat you CAN strain those muscles. When you squish that c shape in half you CAN strain those muscles.
    • When muscles are swollen enough they will pinch and put strain on your tendons. Not only do I need to heal my muscles but I also need to heal the tendons too, lovely, because they can take a long time to heal.
    • When muscles are swollen you should not do heat therapy.  Simply ice on and off all day until the day comes that the swelling is down.
    • Once swelling is down you can start to heat the muscles up, do some stretches and then cool them back down with some ice, then repeat over and over
    • You should change out your bed pillow frequently, hmm, really? You should consider changing the shape of your pillow, what? They make different shaped pillows like this and this. It is the memory touch pillow that has finally given me some good nights of sleep and the healing is well on its way!! Yeah!!
    • Don’t neglect your neck, treat it well, you use it more than you know!!!
  • Is there one part of your day that is a pain in your– hmm tempted to say neck but I can’t tempt the neck god again, ok so I’ll say pain in your- butt, because you are disorganized? Maybe it’s the junk drawer, maybe it’s your car or your desk? For me it’s the place in my kitchen where new mail, bills, deposits, cameras, iPods, iPad, phones collect. I’ve made improvements to this area over the years.  We now have a charging station here, all the cords are tucked behind this cute- but expensive, because it was from pottery barn- wood bin and there is a little drawer underneath that is put to good use.  Right in front of this pretty piece is everything else that we frequently need. My Kitchen is not large so there is not a lot of options, but I’ve found one that I am trying out this week, basically it is just a linen pouch that I can hang on the wall behind the docking station. Oh man if this works I’m going to be so happy!! Is there something in your life that could be made a little easier if you changed one little thing?
  • Nia
    • Sanjana (the routine I’m currently learning): I made absolutely no progress this past week.  I could have worked on my bars (learning the patterns in the music), but my neck hurt so much for most of the week my heart just was not in it at all.  Today I’m just getting back into working out.  This week I hope to begin practice teaching the first 5 songs and begin the bars for the 6th song and 7th songs.  There are 8 songs in the routine.
    • 52 Moves in 52 Weeks: There are 52 moves in the Nia dictionary and what a great way to better know your craft than to spend 1 week with each move!!
      • Open Stance. Standing tall with my feet hip width apart, my toes pointing directly forward, my knees are flexible and spring-loaded.  I imagine standing on two railroad tracks.  My left and right sides are balanced.  I sense my feet from underneath as they give me support and provide me with foundation.
    • Reality TV is interesting to say the least, some of it is a train wreck, others are educational and some you can’t look away from. I enjoy some reality tv, I try to stay away from the shows where the people are just so outrageous it is a bit ridiculous. While Hulu was trying to provide me with something I might like, something I’d like to say I only checked out because I was feeling so sad about my neck, I got sucked into a “reality show.” In my defense I thought it might be interesting to see how young folks lived in Essex, England and I could work on understanding their accents. The show is called The only way is Essex and it is The Hills (I know this because, yes I’ll admit, I watched The Hills) but Essex style. It is a total train wreck and I can not stop watching, somebody help me!! 😀
    • My Lions played their wild card game on Saturday night. Well we lost and our season is over. I just have to say that my boys played some really magical football on Saturday night!! Our Quarterback,  Matthew Stafford (who is only 23-yrs-old!!! He threw 380 yards, including 3 touchdowns in Saturday’s game) and our Wide Receiver, Calvin Johnson (had 211 receiving yards and 12 receptions in Saturday’s game) are really something to see!! I can not wait to see them play again next Fall!!!

I hope our week is filled with proper neck alignment, some new organization, our feet providing us with a comfortable foundation, no train wrechs, some magic and that I find a way to continue to enjoy the football playoffs.

~Do you want to start or re-start your health journey? I’ve created a list of things that worked for me, see the link or the last page listed at the very top of this page and Create Your Own Healthy Journey today!

Random Thoughts Monday v16.0

We started a new year yesterday, now what are we going to do today? Are we moving forward with those goals we’ve set? Do we still need to create some goals?

I set my goals during the year last year and I’m starting this year on the same path. Full steam ahead!! I may have just over six pounds to lose to get to my goal weight, but my healthy journey wont be ending there.  My healthy journey will continue withOUT end. I’m continuing to learn my first Nia routine and promise to look for a teaching job as soon as the routine is in my body, see more info below. 2011 not only brought me weight loss, it also brought me in touch with my writing genes.  I not only started this blog last year, but I also started my first book (see my progress on the side bar). I’m sad to say that I didn’t make much progress on the book during the holidays.  I started a couple of challenges yesterday to help me with my goals and you’ll find information on all of them below…

  • Life is about spending time with the people you love. That time can be spent in person, or phone or Skype or the zillion other ways we can stay connected. I think the key is to stay connected. I don’t get to see much of my family during the year due to the distance between us, but that does NOT mean I should cut off the connection. This year I’m going to work on staying more connected to the people I love.
  • New Years Resolutions, goals, to do lists, wish list…It is daunting to think about changing your life.  I’ve seen many of my friends write on Facebook over the last couple of days that they would not be making any resolutions this year, because they never live up to them anyways. Interesting that once you meet one goal, the next goal seems a little more possible. Maybe we tend to reach to high when we reach out for a new goal, one of the reasons I’ve become a fan of short-term goals.
  • Shrink Yo’Self in 2012– I’ve started a new challenge by the brilliant Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jean The challenge is simple and straightforward, I like simple. The assignment: What do you hope to accomplish during the next 8 weeks? Think of ways that you will make these goals reality. Easy, I want to lose the last hand full of pounds and get to my goal weight.  How will I make it a reality: follow all the goals on my Weight Loss Journey Goals page.
  • A Round of Words in 80 Days– it is the writing challenge that knows you have a life.  I’ve been wanting to join this challenge for a while. When I realized my book was suffering from neglect, and I WANTED to do something about it, it was the first thing I thought about.  Most folks who participant have a nice list of goals, mine is simple.  For the next 80 days I will spend 1 hour EVERY day with my characters.  I may be writing, editing, re-plotting, developing characters, anything, as long as I spend 1 hour EVERY day doing something to push my book forward.
  • Nia– this year is going to be about discipline and my Nia journey has two paths right now
    • Sanjana (the routine I’m currently learning): yesterday I finished drawing the bars and writing notes for the 5th song in the routine.  Today I will be practice teaching the first 5 songs and begin the bars for the 6th song.  There are 8 songs in the routine, I’ve past the 1/2 way point!!!
    • 52 Moves in 52 Weeks: There are 52 moves in the Nia dictionary and what a great way to better know your craft than to spend 1 week with each move!!
      • Closed Stance. Standing tall with my toes together and my heels comfortably apart, I sense my entire skeleton, my arms hang naturally, I lengthen up and sense the space above and the earth that is touching my feet.
  • My Lions are headed to the playoffs!! I wont be talking about the amazing game they played yesterday and how they got cheated by a bad call or how that bad call cost them the game, oh well, that was yesterday. My Lions are in the playoffs, it has been a long time, but this year you very much deserve to be there!!  Come on Lions, march all over those Saints!!

2012 is going to be amzing, because I’m going to make it amazing!!! How are you going to make 2012 amazing?

Do you want to start or re-start your health journey? I’ve created a list of things that worked for me, see the link or the last page listed at the very top of this page and Create Your Own Healthy Journey today!

Creating Your Own Healthy Journey

I’ve created a new page at my blog.  I want to share what worked for me and what I know now that would have helped if I knew it in the beginning.  This page is meant to help you get started or re-started on the right foot and empowering you in your own health journey.  May 2012 be even healthier than 2011, may it be more fun and may true happiness be yours.

Random Thoughts Monday v14.0

Christmas weekend is just 5-days away.  All week I’ll be baking cookies, wrapping presents, doing laundry and packing.  This is one of the busiest weeks of the year and mostly I love it, all the work becomes worth it when I get to spend several days with family.  Not everyone gets to spend time with family this week, but I hope everyone still has something fun planned.

Last week I skipped my random thoughts post because I wrote a novel of a post about my history with dance and my first journey back into teaching.  I joked with a fellow blogger about how I should send cookies to anyone who reads the whole post.  Anyways, here are a few of my random thoughts this second to the last week in 2011.

  • On Saturday I took my boys to the local Toys-R-Us where the Marines had a bus to fill with toys for Toys-for-Tots.  I have to say that visiting the Marines at that bus is one of my favorite things about Christmas.  Not only do I get to see some fine upstanding nice young men dressed in beautiful uniforms, but my sons get to see them too.  My oldest is always very impressed with the men in uniform and this year he went on and on about how courageous they were because they stand and protect us.  I was very proud of many young men that morning.
  • We don’t have as much to spend on Christmas this year.   Our income has not gone down but our health care bills sky rocketed this year with both my husband and oldest spending a couple of nights in the hospital.  I’m happy however that we will still be giving our usual amounts to the charities we like to support.  We support, not our library (because the people in my wonderful community support it very well), but my dear husband’s parent’s library.  They have a wonderful little library and I love supporting them.  We also support a very productive soup kitchen in inner city Detroit (their motto: Feeding Bodies, Nourishing Spirits, Strengthening Communities), our local Loaves and Fishes, Toy-for-Tots of course and Seedlings which makes braille books for children.  What are some of the Charities you like to support?
  • I think I’m going to add a page on my blog about how I would start my weight loss journey if I were to do it all over again, which I have no plans of doing by the way.  I hope to have it up this week. I want it up in time to hopefully inspire one person to start their journey in 2012.
  • My journey in learning my first Nia routine continues with not as much progress as I would have liked.  My replacement laptop arrived around lunch last Wednesday and it has taken me awhile to get used to the thing.  The first routine I’m learning has 10 songs and I’m only through the first 4.  I still hope to have all 10 in my body and mind by the end of the year, I’ll just add this to my crazy list this week.  Actually I hope to get at least one or two more in me this week and the rest next week.  I’ll keep you posted.
  • Oh Holy Lions, wow, if you didn’t see the game yesterday you have to read about it, simply go here and see the 4 slides they have on their site.  Nothing I love to see more than a team fight their way through a game and win the whole thing in the last few minutes with a successful extra point kick.  Not only did our beautiful YOUNG Quarterback have a good game, but our rock of a receiver, Calvin Johnson, did too.  The icing on the cake was having Suh back (after his suspension for kicking a player during the Thanksgiving game), apologizing for his bad choices and then getting back on the field and playing great.  To top it all off Suh blocked the Raiders last second field goal attempt, ok sure it was a 65-yard attempt, but still he blocked it and we WON!!

I hope your week isn’t too crazy, strive to get as much done as you can early in the week so that you can slow and enjoy the people around you this weekend.

When it’s Time to Teach

Today I have two stories for you really, which makes this a long post, the first section is about where I’ve been and the 2nd is about where I’m going.  Feel free to scroll down to the Present Day section to read about When It’s Time to Teach.

BACK STORY: I’ve been studying dance since 1982, I was 9, although it was casual that first year, my second year brought on a whole new level of dedication and more classes.  By the time I became a teenager my life was dance.  Everyday after school I was dancing until it was time to go home and sleep.  Several weekends a year I was in competition and each summer from mid-junior-high until I graduated from high-school I was either in LA or New York studying dance.  During my childhood years I challenged myself a lot and accomplished a lot too.  I collected a lot of trophies in my day, not only on the state level, but on the national level too, but in the end I kept doing it, because I loved to dance.  I loved the discipline of dance, I loved the movement, I loved the way my body felt filled up with rhythms from the music.  Dance to me was magic.

By the time I needed to start thinking about what I’d do after high school I became highly conflicted.  I desperately wanted to dance professionally, but my heart had this other need that I could not ignore.  I wanted to go to college, I wanted that normal life that most teenagers had that I felt I missed.  I also have this overly realistic side to myself, I call it my truth and it was going to stop me from making the grand gesture of committing to dance.  I knew I was only 5′ 2″ and in the dance world that can get you cut from an audition before you can even step on the stage.  Of course I know now that I could have made a living somehow, but I wont look back.  I went to college, only one semester went by before I missed dance so much that my heart ached.  By my 2nd semester I was a double major and living high on dance and business classes.  The following year brought on sorority life.  I had it all, college was the time of my life!!!  By the time graduation hit I had met the man I wanted to marry (spoiler here: I married that prince and we have two beautiful boys), I had my business degree and I had a scholarship with Gus Giordano, a very famous dance company in Chicago.  Off to Chicago I went, I used my degree to get a good job and lucky for my they flexed my hours so I could dance at Gus’.  Dancing on scholarship has a lot of plus sides, including learning from amazing teachers, dancing along side company dancers and even getting pulled in at the last-minute to substitute teach.

Long story short, 5-months into the scholarship my knees started to hurt.  The pain was so bad I couldn’t walk up and down the stairs.  I was tearing the underside of my knee cap, not good.  Decision time.  I loved dancing at Gus’ and I loved Chicago and still do, but I had a prince waiting for me back in Michigan.  I had a degree I could lean on and I still had some dance connections back in Michigan.  I believed I could make it work, just on a smaller scale than I had intended.  By this point I’d also gotten a taste of getting a good salary, which was something even my scholarship buddies could understand.

Much longer story short, once back in Michigan, it was 1997 now, I was dancing a little and working a lot.  It was not long before I was no longer dancing because my career was taking off.  Dance was forgotten, how to take care of my body was forgotten, everyone elses needs became my focus…my mom took a Nia class and immediately tells me it’s something I must try.  Why? Because you love to dance.  I do? I had forgotten and I didn’t give Nia a chance.  Two years later around the time I turned 38 I had enough of forgetting about me.  Starting slowly I pushed movement back into my life.  I started to blog and not long after a beautiful person stopped by my blog and started to comment and it didn’t take her long to say…Nia…hmmm

Nia and me = instant love connection, my body came back to life, movement, joy, rhythm, heart, choices…I chose me.  When I started Nia my BMI was 30.2, 5-months later when I took the White Belt Intensive (the training that would allow me to teach Nia to others) my BMI was 26.4.  Change was in full force and catapulting my life forward.

Present day, well lets start with last week: Now I was going to tell you all about my week leading up to the day, yesterday, in which I taught my first Nia song.  Lets just say it was a week filled with stress, sinus troubles, tons of work (paid kind and un-paid mommy/home maker kind), broken coat and a broken laptop, it was horrible.  On top of all that mess I was trying to finish learning several songs in the first Nia routine I was learning.  By the time my laptop blinked off in its last breath Friday afternoon I thought I was going to lose it…it was a blessing.  Last week I stated I wasn’t stressed about leading my first Nia song in front of my mentor, my mother and several new friends, but I was stressed about not giving Nia what it deserved and it deserved my full attention.  Life can be crazy and hectic if you let it, sometimes you have to shut out the noise and be quiet.  My now dead laptop apparently knew I needed quiet, yes that is the cup half full version.  With work forced to be done for the day I was able to get back to Nia and I found my center.

The process of preparing to teach began with first listening to the music and listening again and again and again.  Next I diagrammed the music, in Nia we call it doing your bars.  With my bars done I could see a pattern in the music, I could see where the music changes from the intro to the vocal, to the chorus and patterns inside each section.  Once the music was understood I turned back to the movement.  I’ve been doing the movement for this song for many months, but now I had to get to know it in a whole new light.  I learned how to prepare the students for the movement, how to start the movement, what to say when, all while remembering to listen to the music and pay attention to the movement.  I decided when I wanted to give the students choices in movement and movement change queues.  A lot goes into preparing one for teaching, a lot of learning, a lot of practicing, do, repeat, do again…by the time it came time to drive to the class I was stressed so tight I was about to snap.  A big part of my drive was trying not to think about  what I was about to do and who I was about to do it in front of.  I could not however help the thoughts like, why, why are you doing this, couldn’t you have just stayed in your basement, do you really need to be putting yourself through all this?  I didn’t answer that question, I new my truth and in that moment I would not be answering in truth.  I kept moving forward.

Walking into the room and seeing my mentor Winalee was part of what I needed.  Seeing her open her arms to me and hugging me tightly was what I needed.  As friends, my mom and brand new friends entered the room, about 12 in all, I was reminded why I’ve climbed out of my basement. Sharing movement and the joy of dance with others is magic.

Winalee brought us all together and explained the focus for the routine, she also stated that we’d be having a guest artist.  She was talking about me!!!  I knew my song was 3 songs into the routine and during Winalee’s first two songs I tried to relax and enjoy her instructions.  Before I knew what was happening she was helping me put on her cordless mic that wrapped around the back of me head and my song had started.  Unfortunately for me by the time I was done with the mic the song was past the point where I had planned to get things started.  I took a deep breath and remembered no one would die if I started a little off.   Then I heard it, I heard the beat I needed and the song really begun.  I shut out everyone in the room, although I could sense Winalee just to my left silently supporting.  My concentration was strong, I didn’t get lost in the music or in any of the patterns.  I did forget a couple of the things I had wanted to say, but I got the movement right and no one fell down!!

The rest of the class was a lot of fun, mostly because the stress was leaving me in waves and Winalee is awesome.  Looking back at how I got here is important, but now is the time to look forward to what I CAN do, I can do this.  I can learn a full routine.  I will learn a full routine.  Now that I have this first test behind me I can look forward to relaxing into my new role.  Now that dance and Nia is fully into my life I’m going to continue to make magic in my basement but I will also but one foot in front of the other, because I want to, I need to share this magic with others.  It’s time to teach!

Not until you let yourself be free will you be free to be yourself.  Until you let yourself fly will you know what you can really do.