Thursday, May 30, 2013

4.5 weeks out

Height: 5'10". Current Weight: 130 lbs. We are 4.5 weeks out from NPC Bikini-San Jose Fit Expo. 10.5 solid weeks into cutting.

Today's Topic: Femininity and Muscle
This post may be a little more negative that usual, but I promised I would write about both the good and the bad on this blog. Also, sorry for the weird lighting in the was cloudy and then sunny and the light was just NOT working with me...hence the multiple lightings.

When I started this journey, I wanted to lose weight and regain the confidence I once had in my body when I was athletic and healthy. I had made it a goal for myself last year--a New Years Resolution of sorts--to get back on the fitness bandwagon and get into the best shape of my life. But it wasn't until September of last year, and a couple days after my 22nd birthday that I realized how far I'd let myself go in my self-wallowing and food-worshipping. I gorged myself because I thought "I deserve this...I work hard." I didn't take care of my body because I had come to grips with my "curviness" and had made justifications for my love handles. Because I was too lazy to think about going to the gym, I made excuses why I stopped practicing yoga and stopped running or doing P90X. But September 29th, 2012 I reached out to an old friend who showed me the ropes when it came to calorie tracking and MyFitnessPal. I ate around 1450 calories for the next 2 months straight and lost a whopping 18 pounds. It was then that I realized that a half-marathon was not going to be in the cards for me...throughout those two months with the motivation on Instagram and in the gym, I realized that lifting (and the powerlifting movements specifically) were going to be my ticket to the body I always wanted. I know that muscular feminine bodies are not for everyone, but the backlash I received almost immediately from anyone outside of the fitness community was a bit overwhelming--"You're going to look manly." "You're going to look so bulky." "Muscle on a woman is not attractive." But I pushed on and persevered and now after 8 months of serious dedication to this lifestyle, I'm loving my body more and more every day. I have a good friend who I send progress pics to who always replies with the snarky "put down the weights, so bulky, so manly" just to point out how FAR from manly I do look. I'm still curvy, I'm still feminine, I'm just lean.

With that being said, even after months of my posts online and changes in public (and of course in private in my heart) I am still surprised by some of the negative comments I get from those who either don't understand what I'm doing, don't care to understand, or just want to feel better about themselves by shooting me down. I still get the comments, ALL THE TIME, like "Wow, maybe you should eat something." Are you joking me? I eat 6-8 meals a day, 1900 calories a day, of good, clean, whole foods. NO I'm not going to go out and feast on fries and milkshakes and desserts...because I don't treat my body like a waste basket anymore. Eating to SPOIL myself is NOT conducive to my goals and aspirations. And while I appreciate the sentiments behind it--I know people are just trying to say that I look good now and I should just "treat myself"...I don't see eating horrible food as a way to "treat myself". I see less cardio as a way to treat myself. I see avocado, or that extra Quest bar, or maybe a couple ounces of fat free frozen yogurt as a way to treat myself. I see food DIFFERENTLY now. And I'm not going to sit here and say I will never have a piece of cake again or that after I walk off stage when I'm done my show I won't go have an epic cheat meal before I return, QUICKLY, to a clean diet. But that will be a RARE circumstance that only comes once I really should reward myself for having the courage to compete in this competition. This is a lifestyle. I don't starve myself. I love my body and want to take care of it the right way. Here's an example of something I had for lunch yesterday. Keep in mind, I eat 6-8 mini meals like this a day. Veggie Patty with hummus, egg whites, and sweet potato with cinnamon.

Recently I was explaining to a group of colleagues what I love about lifting and how it makes me feel. I was describing the exhilaration of getting a pump and watching the vascularity begin...first my hands, then in my forearms, and then all the way up to my delts (which are becoming more and more striated!). Watching the body lean out and really PUMP that blood through your veins is such a crazy's addicting. Anyway, one person interrupted me and literally said "Ew. That's disgusting. Gross. I run, but wow, that's gross." I mean, okay. Maybe blood and veins freak you out? Maybe what I'm saying doesn't make sense to you? But for this person to openly call me / what I like disgusting? I don't know. It's discouraging to say the least, but I was explaining to a friend last night that it's this type of crap you just need to shrug off like a bad coat. Or, perhaps use it as fuel for the next workout. Not everyone is going to understand or support you, but you're only responsible for your own heart and do what works for you and don't let the bastards get you down.

Feeling: Bloated... wah. We need to get the bloating situation under control. Hopefully a few days off (leaving for Santa Cruz today) will be a good time to focus on rejuvenation and some dehydration. Saturday will be 4 weeks out...that's when we will make the big decisions for the show!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

5 weeks out

Height: 5'10". Current Weight: 129-130 lbs. We are 5 weeks out from NPC Bikini-San Jose Fit Expo. 10 solid weeks into cutting.

Today's Topic: Kicking the Habit
Here we go, guys. 5. weeks. left. This is do or die time! Really honing in on the diet. No cheats. No setbacks. Just clean food and hard work. BECAUSE ITS MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND...Today I wanted to talk about HABITS and ADDICTIONS. You know, I've been really blessed in my life. I can count on two hands the number of times I've actually gone out and DRANK, let alone gotten drunk. But in the past 8 months I think I've had two glasses of alcohol, and the past 5 months I've had no alcohol in my system at all. I was never into the bar scene, never into partying...I played beer bong back in the day for fun, but even then I never LIKED drinking. When I started this fitness journey, I felt as though I could really let myself be at peace with the fact that I DO NOT like the way alcohol, or any other substance for that matter, makes me feel. I've never even HELD a cigarette in my hands, let alone smoked one. It's just never been part of my life, and I'm always going to keep it that way. I made the decision at the beginning of this prep that if ANYTHING--any action or decision--was not conducive to my goals and aspirations, then I wasn't going to partake in it. I no longer have to be ashamed of the fact that I deny my friends' invitations to "go out".

It drives me mad to see people grow dependent on substances and abuse them as they destroy their body and mind. Lately, I've been hearing lots of stories of addiction--but many more about RECOVERY--and it both breaks my heart and fills me with joy. People ask me often: "How do you do this? How do you stay so dedicated, even on the weekends when you go out?" And to that I answer, "What is going out?". Because I don't. And it's not because I don't have a social life, or friends, or don't want to have fun--it's just that abusing or even "enjoying" alcohol or any other substance does not and will not ever help me become the very best me. Alcohol is a waste of calories, but more than that, it just doesn't make me feel right. I went to a dry wedding yesterday, where so many of the guests were in recovery and having so much fun--and I was so inspired by their years of sobriety. And I'm not here to bash on people who love to drink--that's their prerogative. But I would just encourage those of you, especially the ones trying to lose weight or get in shape, or just live an overall BETTER life--how is alcohol ever going to help you do that?

Instead, fill your body with things that BLESS it. Fill it with good foods, and plenty of water. Fill it with refreshing iced tea instead of those Long Islands ;) You'll keep your head clear, your soul free, and your liver clean--afterall it is your LIVEr. And the same thing goes for any other substance--stop smoking and destroying your lungs and shortening your life with that toxic waste.

Feeling: Ate lots of GOOD, CLEAN food yesterday. But indeed I think I exceeded my macro limits. It's okay though--my last little hurrah before crunch time. I even had a bite of RED VELVET CAKE, but I budgeted for it and then sweated it out with 30 minutes in the sauna haha! I'm really overjoyed and excited for the next 5 weeks. It's SUMMER TIME...already have two vacations lined up (one mini, one big). Thanks for all the support guys. And if you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please reach out to someone you trust, or call the 24 hour addiction hotline 1-800-447-9081. Or send me an email at and I can send you some love and support.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

5.5 weeks out

Height: 5'10". Current Weight: 129-130 lbs. We are 5.5 weeks out from NPC Bikini-San Jose Fit Expo. 9.5 solid weeks into cutting.

Today's Topic: Coping with Hunger Pains.
With only 5.5 weeks left in the cut, I can almost taste the Reese's Peanutbutter Eggs that I bought boxes of during Easter time...they are sitting on the top of my pantry just waiting to be broken open and devoured. I've been thinking a lot lately about WHAT I will eat the minute I'm done with my competition. Should I go teppanyaki? Cake and ice cream? Gorge my face all night on ribs, artichokes, steak, and rice at my restaurant? I'm promising myself a 3 day eating window where one of the days is an all out binge, and the other two taper off and let me treat myself (frozen yogurt / big salads / etc.) Then it's right back at the strict diet (with increased carbs of course) so I can either compete again, or bulk in a long off-season to build some muscle. I think I've been centered on food this past week because the diet is finally kicking in and kicking my butt mentally. I am bored. I'm bored with just chicken and turkey. I'm bored with a couple Quest bars a day. I'm bored trying to force feed myself mounds of vegetables instead of mashed potatoes :) I just finished up my LAST paper of the year and am officially 1 year away from receiving my Masters in English Literature! WOO. I think all that stress of final paper writing and late nights helped hunger pains and cravings kick in. I noticed too that once you let yourself slip a little bit off diet (aka a little too much avocado in my salad) it sets off a-whole-nother battle of cravings. This is why I've made the decision to NOT let myself have a cheat day before my competition. I thought maybe I could handle a couple cheat meals leading into the final phase of my prep, but seeing how I reacted to just MINOR adjustments in the food I COULD eat...I realize that eating anything I shouldn't is just going to set me back physically and mentally.

Hunger pains got me thinking about other kinds of cravings--spiritual ones. I have to make the conscious effort that when I crave something, I will remind myself that the craving for this competition body--the craving for a victorious walk on that stage--is the only kind of craving I should be focused on. I don't want my diet to turn into an obsession with food. I don't want to look at food as a demon, because it's meant to be enjoyed. I just need to keep focused on the idea that (and I've mentioned this before) eating clean, whole foods is an act of self-love, NOT an act of self-punishment. It's really easy to lose sight of that when your grad classes are having cakes, pizza, and beer to celebrate the final sessions...and you're over in the corner eating your cold chicken and cucumbers with hummus. I also WORK at a restaurant where the food is explaining to my guests (the ones that ask of course) what my diet is like makes me feel almost guilty for trying to convince them to try our Oreo Cookie Sandwiches! :( But, you know, a couple guys last night explained how they thought women bodybuilders looked like dudes and were heinous, etc, etc...and I really took a stand for those women because they have worked for years, and years to get that kind of physique. While steroids definitely helped almost every single one of them, I think their dedication to a strict diet and training plan for YEARS is something so much more commendable than eating Oreo Cookie Sandwiches every night. I just need to remind myself that what I enjoy may be different from what other people enjoy, and that indulgences come VERY far and few between.

Feeling: Bloating is going down. Weight is settling again. Hoping to reach competition weight in 3.5 weeks so that the last two we can REALLY focus on coming in DRY.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

6 weeks out

Height: 5'10". Current Weight: 129-130 lbs...hasn't changed still, but I think we are going to try to stick around this weight and continue to lose bodyfat through cycling/recomp. We are 6 weeks out from NPC Bikini-San Jose Fit Expo. 9 solid weeks into cutting.

Today's Topic: Discouragement, Doubt, and Burying Your Lies.
So this is the last 6 weeks. I've been told time and time again that this is the point in prep where you make it or break it. The competition is so close I can smell the Pro-Tan ;) I ordered my suit from BeachBabe Swimwear, I'm in the process of ordering my NPC card, my hair and makeup is set up and ready to go, and school is almost over (2 essays left) so that gives me a lot more time to focus on my prep. But, and I knew this would happen, I'm starting to doubt myself and go through waves of discouragement with my weight not dropping (this is NORMAL because I'm 9 weeks into a drastic cut) and my hunger pains increasing. This past week I've been thinking about how close this competition and doubting whether or not my physique is up to par with those I'm going to compete with. What if I can't make more progress in the next 6 weeks? What if I just get so overwhelmed by my cravings that I binge? What if I get burnt out or even more discouraged coming into the competition?

Yesterday I had a really great day off full of yoga, beach time, great food and relaxation with someone I care about. It was a day I needed to take the energy I've spent WORRYING about my progress this past week, and refocus that energy into some work internally and spiritually. We were talking about career choices and big picture decisions and the idea of focusing your efforts in one, single path or direction came up. If you don't give 100% of yourself to a certain goal you want to accomplish--you're not going to do it with the fervency and attention it deserves. For me, focusing on my competition doesn't mean giving up my social life or my days of relaxation, but instead devoting my whole heart to the physical journey I alone am on, and not giving into the doubt or discouragement that creeps into my soul from the depths of my old insecurities. We watched this golf movie called Seven Days in Utopia wherein the main character is told to write down and bury the lies he was told his whole life; lies like his golf score being an accurate measurement of his abilities. That scene really struck a cord with me because I love the idea of writing down and burying my insecurities: "Am I good enough?", "Am I important?", "Am I capable?" Of course I am good enough, of course I am important, of course I am capable. I KNOW these things because I've set myself up for success, I'm made the right decisions for my health and well-being, and I treat my body like a temple because I want to live this life as an OUTWARD manifestation of an INWARD transformation. I would encourage any of you reading this to do this same...let your inner peace and love transcend the cold shell it sits in. Love this life and show others that love, and I promise the discouragement and doubt will slip away.

Feeling: Still a little bloated. I'm going to give myself another week so that when I hit that 5 week mark, we can re-evaluate and hone in on the last bits of fat burning. The fat burner is almost gone, so we will see where the weight is at this time next week.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

6.5 weeks out

Height: 5'10". Current Weight: 129-130 lbs...hasn't changed, but I've been relaxing on cardio. We are 6.5 weeks out from NPC Bikini-San Jose Fit Expo. 8.5 solid weeks into cutting.

Today's Topic: Finding Your Groove and then Letting Go Of It.
Today was bench / upper body day. Something coach always talks about when I'm benching is finding your groove and keeping the bar IN that groove. If you let the bar get away from you (and this is true in deadlifting too!) you're going to lose your tightness and stability. My whole life I've been very meticulous about the way I've gone about getting what I want. I'm methodical and I follow, step-by-step, the stages of the process I feel necessary to achieve my goals. I'm extremely passionate--almost to a fault. When I want something, I'm going to go get it no matter the cost. I had dinner with my Dad last night and he basically broke down my personality--when something intrigues me or inspires me, I pursue it with my whole heart and I fold in INTO myself, enveloping it and making it a part of who I am. That sentiment is totally true of the fitness journey I'm currently going through. And while I feel it is so necessary to have goals in mind and so important to situate yourself in your own "groove", something I find difficult is to just let things happen organically and just go with the flow. I always said back in late September/early October when I started this journey that I wanted to peek into the future and know for a fact the type of body I was going to transform mine into. I'm impatient to say the least. But I've learned in the past 8 or so weeks of this prep that it's OKAY to let go of the groove for a's okay to let things coast, happen, and transform you INDIRECTLY. I don't need to have the power or ultimate control over every part of my life, and it's okay because, no matter what, I'm going to be successful because of the steps I've already taken to set myself up for that success.

Like I said, I'm a planner...but some things in life you can't plan, you can't force, you can't WILL. I saw this quote today and it said "To attract positive things in your life, start by giving off positive energy." I'm really happy in literally every aspect of my life right now, and I owe that to a positive mindset and the past 8 weeks of "letting go of the groove". When you stay positive, tackle the personal and spiritual, and enjoy every waking moment of BLESSED time on this earth, positive things happen, you meet positive people, and you inspire others to pursue their own form of positivity.

Feeling: Bloated! Dad came to dinner last night and I sorta went over my calorie limit by about 100-150 calories. No matter was all good, clean, hearty food (AVOCADO NOM). I'm nearing the end of my fat burner/thermogenic so we'll see what kind of water weight I lose in the next 2 weeks. I ordered my suit so that makes me so happy! Alright, lunch time (garden patties woo!). Thanks for all the support guys!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

7 weeks out

Height: 5'10". Current Weight: 129-130 lbs. We are 7 weeks out from NPC Bikini-San Jose Fit Expo. 8 solid weeks into cutting. Sorry I'm late in posting this and sorry for the poor lighting/quality images. I took these four alone because I just didn't have time recently.

Today's Topic: Forgiveness and Release
I'm glad that I've been able to share with you all some of the more personal and internal ways my weight loss and fitness journey have affected me. I'm a firm believer that if you don't work on your spiritual health simultaneously with you physical health, then no progress can truly be made. People email me all the time saying "I eat this many calories and work out this many times a week. I've been trying for months and can't seem to lose any weight! I hate this, I hate my body, what can I do?" My initial reaction to this is normally "Well, something is wrong with the diet. You've got to be underestimating your calories and not really counting them." And while I think that is still true to a large extent, I feel as though weight loss and progress just simply cannot come to someone who is so negative about the journey they are on. Someone posted a comment on a thread on Reddit recently where she said "It's so easy to for me to forget that eating good, healthy food is an act of self-love, not punishment." If you only view dieting and taking care of your body as if it were a temple as PUNISHMENT for the ways you ate and took care of yourself before, you're in for a world of hurt. Stop what you're doing, and forgive yourself. I made so many excuses for myself and have time and time again felt ashamed for how I looked in old pictures, and embarrassed to be standing next to my gorgeous fit friends (NCAA Div. 1 Track Athletes). But this past couple of weeks I've realized that, while I can look at those old pictures for inspiration and remind myself of how far I've come, I should NOT hate the person in those pictures. I should forgive her. I should stop kicking her around claiming she was lazy and stupid. She didn't know better, she didn't care about fitness, she had insecurities from previous relationships and time spent wallowing in pain. But the woman I am now LOVES. I have endured hardship. I have gotten to depths of the personal problems. I am learning to set myself free from negativity and resentment.

How perfect for this moment in my life to attend a Jivamukti-style yoga practice in downtown San Jose. Jivamukti is concerned with the 5 pillars of spiritual yoga including chanting, scripture, devotion, non-violence, and devotion. Our class was centered around inversions and backbends to focus on releasing ourselves from the pain we've experienced in our lives--especially because of those that have wronged us. We dedicated the practice to a particular person--not necessarily CONDONING their actions, but more so letting ourselves be free of the pain that person inflicted upon us. We forgave. We moved on down the road. We bent backwards to invert those feelings and turn them into joy.

Feeling: Small. For real! I hit the 129s which is something I'm still in a state of shock about. Coach is sort of amazed but not yet CONCERNED about how fast weight is dropping with 1900 calories a day still. I think incorporating yoga into my training INSTEAD of cardio this next week will keep the weight stable...I think the combination of surfing, yoga, and cardio really burned tons of calories this past week. A cheat day may be coming up soon! How exciting! I want a BURGER from In N Out!!!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

7.5 weeks out

Height: 5'10". Current Weight: 131.4 lbs. We are 7.5 weeks out from NPC Bikini-San Jose Fit Expo. 7.5 solid weeks into cutting. HALF WAY THERE GUYS!

Today's Topic: Positivity and Drive
We really are half-way there! I can't believe I can take all the time I just spent and re-do it! But, at this midway point I'd really like to talk about something that's been beating on my chest. These past couple of days have been somewhat trying for me mentally. I try to keep my head above the negativity and drama but it's Murphy's Law that when you are most happy and content with your life, people with poor attitudes, pretentiousness, and childishness will always try to bring you down. It happened to me at work (one of the most difficult tables I've ever served, right down to a note on the back of my 25% tip that "suggested" that there are better restaurants out there than this one and that I shouldn't be so proud of where I work) and it happened to me in my personal life (never saw that one coming). All I can do is pray that those people can learn to rise above their petty, attention-seeking motivations and that I realize that someone else's opinion is NOT indicative of where I'm going, what I'm doing, or the success I've achieved. I am strong, proud, driven, and not looking back. I'm trying to be the bigger person, I'm trying to do some good spiritual work around these stressors, and I'm okay with letting go of trivial things that are, again, NOT conducive to my goals and aspirations. So it goes.

I don't mean to sound so abrasive in this post. I guess negativity just really gets my gears going. You know, sometimes I walk up to a table at work and I'm just so loud and bubbly that people go "whoa, you're happy!" It's true though! Any minute you spend upset in this life is just a minute you don't get back to be happy. We have to find the good in every situation and the same thing goes for training. When I wake up in the morning I feel so blessed and lucky to be getting into the best shape of my life and spending time with people I care about. I don't want to sink into the depths of other people's sorrows--I want to bring them OUT of there. But, unfortunately, certain people are stubborn and seem to want to purposefully hurt you and throw off their own insecurities on you. Sometimes people don't want to see you happy, but you're going to have to kill them with kindness and let negativity run off your back. I don't want to resent anyone, I don't want to hold on to pain and anger I know wouldn't be there if I could just move on past it. I want to be open, calm, and collected, and so hopefully some yoga and meditation will help me with that today.

Feeling: Better today than the past couple of days. I'm taking a day off from intense cardio today (I will probably just do a short HIIT workout) because tomorrow is gonna be a long day with lifting in the morning and a couple activities (maybe yoga) in the afternoon. Hence why I'm also updating a day early. Got restocked on my Quest bars and my protein. LOVING everything from Serious Nutrition Solutions including the FocusXT pre-workout I mentioned recently. Best stuff I've tried and I've tried A LOT of pre-workouts. Hamstrings are really tight today because coach had me return to Good-Mornings yesterday (4 x 8 at 85#). Excited to bench tomorrow morning--really love upper body day and the way it gets me going.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

8 weeks out

Height: 5'10". Current Weight: 131.8 lbs. We are 8 weeks out from NPC Bikini-San Jose Fit Expo. 7 solid weeks into cutting. Almost half way there!

Today's Topic: Pain, Fatigue, and Self-Worth
My coach always says "Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional." My body is sore, fatigued, and I constantly find myself rolling out my hips, quads, and hamstrings to relieve some of the tightness. But this is GOOD. I could whine and complain on squat days when my hips get tight and the weight is heavy, but I don't (not seriously anyway) because I know that every extra rep--every little change I make in my programming--eventually adds up and helps me become the very best me. Yesterday after deadlifting I got to watch my coach and his trainer partner do their own training. I did NOT envy their heavy sets of squats, hack squats, lunges and hypers, but it was nice to see the flip side of things ;) Here are all of our belts in a row:

But yesterday really got me thinking about discomfort and my own sense of self-worth. Training doesn't work if you go in and do the same thing day in, day out and don't increase your weights, reps, intensity or any other facet of your programming. But I'm learning that the same thing needs to happen with me internally. Sometimes I get stuck in a rut, and I'm so busy with school and work and everything else on my plate that my diet eventually repeats itself day after day and I find myself going through the repetitive motions of life to just make it by. But I don't want to just get by. I want to really LIVE and LOVE this life I'm living, and that means stepping out of my comfortability and into the unknown. And it's so, so scary to step out of the comfortable home you've built for yourself in the hopes that you'll find something better for you, something that will truly make you thrive. But if I've learned anything throughout this fitness journey, it's that I didn't get stronger by squatting the bar every day. I increased the weight incrementally, and I've stumbled through sets, but I'm finally getting into a groove because I'm pushing and challenging and--most importantly--not CHEATING myself. I need to have the inner strength to look at the person I've become and LOVE the girl who overcame.

Feeling: Good! Haven't been nearly as hungry/craving things at night so the diet has been steady and easy. I just got a new pre-workout from my coach that smells and tastes like delicious cotton candy. Really excited because it doesn't make me jittery and really helps me FOCUS. (Ha, SNS FocusXT). Feeling a little anxious with final paper due in a couple weeks, but really looking forward to honing in on my training and diet to kick butt this last half of prep.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

8.5 weeks out

Height: 5'10". Current Weight: 132.4 lbs. We are 8.5 weeks out from NPC Bikini-San Jose Fit Expo. 6.5 solid weeks into cutting.

Today's Topic: Spirituality and Fitness
Why do I eat clean and lift heavy? I mean, the fitness community throws around those phrases regularly, but what do they mean to me? I think back to 7-8 months ago when I was overweight and unhappy with my body. But I didn't care! I was the girl who said "it takes a lot of calories to maintain these curves" and I was okay with eating tons of ice cream and cookies for breakfast. When I started losing weight, I did it because I wanted to run a half marathon and get back into decent shape. But when I started lifting and really tracking the calories I took in and the types of foods my body NEEDED to be healthy, something happened to me on a spiritual level. I went down into the depths of my self-loathing and found a girl who could break free from insecurity and unhappiness. When I lift it truly is something like a spiritual experience for me--the iron is there on the ground or in the rack. All you have to do is MOVE THE WEIGHT. The iron never talks back. The iron never yells at you or shuts you down. The iron is there egging you on--encouraging you--telling you to DARE to move it. That might sound cheesy to some of you, but that's truly how I feel when I walk into the weight room. I am unafraid. But I'm not always unafraid.

Yesterday, I got back to my roots and had a fantastic yoga practice in the city (SF). It was an hour and 45 minutes long and every centimeter of my body was drenched and dripping in sweat. 200 people, mat to mat. My mat was so wet I was sliding around it like a slip and slide. The walls in the studio were reverberating with all the energy from the various city yogis. So much peacefulness, stillness on the outside, yet so much fire, passion, and vitality seeping from the pores of those all around me. Before the class began, I WAS afraid. It was an advanced level course and I didn't think I was going to make it though I've practiced yoga on and off for several years. I was fighting some inner demons--listening to those voices inside me that recalled the days where I was too out of shape to handle something that intense. Was I good enough? Was I going to embarrass myself? Was I adequate? But with the encouragement of a great and talented soul who wouldn't let me walk out and give up (and was also some pretty great eye candy throughout the class ;) ) I realized I was going to be fine. I made it through the class and really felt my soul bubble up and over the brim of my own consciousness. I realized, again, why I loved yoga for so long. It sorta sets you free.

Feeling: Actually, I feel amazing today. I had one of the best days I've had in a long time yesterday, and it was all about fitness and health. Spirit, mind, and body felt really good when I woke up this morning. Weight is still dropping! So proud of the progress I'm making.