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that was said to me by a stranger, a random yoga student, as i was talking to Stephanie the nutritionist. it hit a nerve.

i do want this. but it is not my absolute number one top priority because that slot if filled by my business. i have to make money, and i have to pay my bills…fat or healthy. that is just a fact. i do understand the sentiment behind the statement, especially these last few weeks.

business has been doing great this month. when business is good, it means im always on the run which equals my eating is not proper.  meals get skipped, and when i realize i am hungry i make the quick (usually calorie laden, non nutritious) choices.  breakfast gets skipped and my first meal doesn’t happen until noon many times during the week.

stress has been a huge factor these last few weeks withtense relationships withfriends. one thing i did notice was since i was busy with work, emotional eating wasn’t a huge factor.  i didn’t crave the usual comfort foods, but then again i didn’t have time to sit down and truely poor myself into the foods i would normally gravitate too.

activity is a big key to this journey. before teaching yoga i would practice every single day.  there were changes in my body when i did that.  practicing yoga also triggers something in my head when it comes to food choices, so my eating habits changed.

my emotional eating, besides being busy, may have also been tempered by my work in the veggie garden. working in the garden is almost a zen like experience.  i get passionate and excited about growing my own food. there is nothing better than going into the veggie patch and picking out your lunch or dinner. unfortunately, the garden is still in the baby stages, and i can’t pick anything besides chives and rhubarb. working in the garden is a huge stress reliever.  it’s physical labor – hauling bags of composted manure, digging, walking back and forth from the mini greenhouse, etc. i do enjoy it.  expect more gardening posts.

i did have a moment with a personal trainer at one of the gyms. he offered to work with me every monday, but that didn’t happen.  we did get together for one training session and i had a good time. i really liked his style. i am really out of shape and not where i want to be physically.

working out in the gym is okay. personally i prefer various activities.  last summer, one of my yoga students Michael, introductedme to hitting tennis balls. i had an absolute blast. during the winter i even found two tennis rackets at goodwill so i can grab anyone willing to just hit balls when spring came.  it hasn’t happened yet. i haven’t found anyone to play withwho’s schedule meshes with mine, but i am working on it.

today i went hiking after my yoga class. it was always on my list. i live in such a beautiful and diverse small state, it doesn’t take long to get to a nice hiking spot. Claire (another yoga student, see a pattern here) and i headed off after class. it’s about 5 to 10 minutes away from the gym. such a beautiful day for it too. after being all stressed for the last few weeks, it really helped melt away the emotional toll on my body.  i totally needed it since my body got mad at me and overslept, making me miss my 6am Tuesday morning class.

the combination of being physicial, but  it was actually taking the time out for myself that really made me feel good.  (since i knew i was going hiking today, i made sure i had something for breakfast – wheat toast withpeanut butter Skippy’s natural.) Claire’s company was great, and it was nice learning about her.  we took the easy trail which leads to the tower. i had to rest a few times, and my hip starting aching close to the top towards the tower.  Claire also mentioned when she’s starts out for hiking season, she’s the same way. the hike was going straight up, and the view was worth it.  the weather was perfect – blue sky and not very hot.  it seems to be something we may do again. personally, if i can figure out how to get there myself,  i would love to go once or twice a week.

i was so inspired by my hike today that i stopped off my favorite market for veggies and fruit. i splurged and purchased a few oranges and they had jicama. ever since bravo’stop chef episode with a jicama salad, i’vebeen wanting to try it just never knew what it looked like or where to buy it.  lunch today was a nice salad – greens, grape tomatoes, sprouts, cucumber, and a hard boiled egg with a white balsamic dressing.  my choices become better. while i was waiting for the egg to boil, i was tempted to grab a bag of chips, but i didn’t. that was why i splurged on my oranges. i grabbed an orange and yes it was yummy.

tomorrow, i have a date with another yoga student (mmmmmmmm i see a pattern here) Anne Marie who is working on her pilates certification. personally i am not a big pilates fan, but i love the reformer (a machine that uses the bodies resistance and springs).  it is very core-centric.  i look forward to it, then maybe i’ll get into the garden again.

i do want this, life happens though.  me wanting to be healthy isn’t about just losing the weight.  it’s about a lifestyle and behavioral change,  finding that balance.  if it was just about losing the weight i would be in weight watchers for the 8th time. or heeding the call the Jenny Craig across the parking lot from one of the gyms keeps calling me.  it’s not about particular diets, because i don’t believe they work in the long run.

Stephanie mentioned that i should do a food journal.  i don’t like them, i feel guilty when i don’t have something clean. but understand it will give her a better way to guide me into changing my eating habits. the summer will be easier to eat well since i have my garden and i never shied away from veggies.  the real test will be the fall.

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i forgive myself. i am not beating myself up because i fell off the wagon.

to keep being negative about it would just sink me down even further.  i understand what happened. last year around thanksgiving my dog, who i raised since she was about a month old or so, got really sick.  cancer. a tumor that invaded the vena cava and stole her oxygen trying to get to her heart. on december 6th, 2007 we had to let her go because there was nothing else we could do for her. it broke my heart.

thanksgiving was always the day we celebrated her birthday, since she loved food. it was pretty much exactly 10 years to the week when she came into our lives that she also left us. needless to say i was a mess on the inside. i hid it rather well. i would talk about her and my sadness. i did my job. i smiled and laugh….but inside i was numb. very numb. even as i write this, christmas lost it’s joy.

i fell into stop and shop cupcakes, bags of kettlecorn, soda after months of not having any, chocolate and peanutbutter, turkey chili dogs with potato rolls, etc.  clean eating? what was that during those weeks. the gym became just a place i worked at, not workout in. my bed became my friend, and BJ’s wholesalers became a place i wandered around in to take up the time.

i can make up all kinds of excuses, but what it came down to was just lifelessness. the drive was still in me. i still admired those at the gym who worked out pretty good — pat, tayna, debbie, amanda, and strangers who had their pony tails flying while running on the treadmills. i admired yell for her commitment to yoga during her sabataical from the real world while she lived in san diego. i admired the women who were brave enough and survived ann’s bootcamp classes.  i admired all of them, while i couldn’t make myself do anything but mourn and eat.

thursday morning, michelle got her groove back…well sorta. i found a workout partner – michela. she also fell into a slump with experiencing the  economic downturn firsthand.  in a way, i understood her funk. we talked a bit. i’m not sure what possessed me to call her at 7:40am in the morning, but i did. happily she answered and didn’t hang up. i had a preschool yoga class at 8am and then the rest of the day free until the early evening. she met me at the Y and we played around at the fitness center.

since it was all last minute, i didn’t have a plan. she wanted to work abs. and i just wanted to move. so i recalled many of the things ann (the trainer and bootcamp queen) had me do during my short time with her.  it felt good.  we did lunges with curls. squats with raises, used the medicine and bouncy/stability balls. we even got on some of the machines. it was just awesome having another person’s energy around to workout with. to push each other and to chat a little while working out.

she texted me this morning with three words: “my abs hurt!” mine did too, and i loved it! i sit and type now feeling the soreness in my arms, i miss this. really i do.

working out with someone is 10x better than being on your own.  i think that is why i enjoyed having a trainer when i did.  unfortunately i can’t afford another one at the moment. so when i don’t have michela …i have to dig down and push myself.

we are going to make a go of working out together more often if possible. the only thing is i can only do it when i am in her neck of the woods, which is two to three times a week. and she can only when she doesn’t have to work one of her part time jobs.

it inspired me, and i am aching to move. so i sit here dedicating myself again to this blog and to my goals. my head is swirling with ideas for our next workout session, and what i can do on my own.

one of the fitness forums is doing a winter yoga sadhana and i am most likely going to join.