Getting to know me

Not too long ago I met a beautiful woman who decided to give my restorative yoga class a try. She had undergone gastroplasty and had lost a huge amount of weight. She commented to me that she wanted to get to know her ‘new body’.

That comment has stuck with me. Especially as I have lost weight and do have a new body. A couple of times I have had to do a double take in a mirror when I was walking by. Or I’ve looked closer at a picture or video of me to make sure it was me.

I don’t know what to expect when I see myself. Not yet.

I had Danni snap this picture yesterday as we were walking out the door for church. My brother gave us this coat 7 or 8 years ago. He got it from a translator in Afghanistan who decided the mission they were on was too dangerous for him and felt bad about ditching my brother, so he gave him this coat.

This was a ‘double take’ picture. I’m not sure what it was about it that made me look twice. It’s really not that great of a picture. But I like the ‘me’ in it.

We went for a walk through the Minnetrista yesterday. I don’t like those filters that make the skin look like porcelain. I like the ‘me’ in this even though wrinkles are there and my grey hair is frizzing like a champ, I like the calm joy that is coming through my eyes, and I love Bill’s smile!

I find as I grow older I’m not worried about the perfect shot so much as the real ones. The ones that have a story and show the emotions of the situation. Of course I still don’t want to look like a zombie or a mug shot, but I’m less picky now.

To tie this into the getting to know me title, I’m struggling a bit with that. You will probably think I’m off my marbles here, but when I look at pictures or my reflection I expect to see something else. I expect to see a thinner younger me. I expect to see my transformed body looking amazing! But instead it looks a lot like I thought it should have looked 40 pounds ago.

There’s a certain amount of acceptance that I’m lacking. I’m working on doing better, but it’s the automatic response – the one I have to talk myself down from each time with the self talk about how far I’ve really come. I’m not even sure where that initial disappointment in myself comes from.

I’m not writing this to get your accolades. I hear daily about how much better I’m looking from myriads of people. I’m writing this in case you can identify and you can know you’re not alone. How we see ourselves is a tricky endeavor.

I don’t think it’s just our physical appearance either. I like to think that I’m patient and loving, but I know if I’m cut off in traffic I become this:


Maybe we’re all a bit splintered. Maybe I’m not so unique. Maybe it’s wanting the better me while seeing the lesser me that makes me want to continue to improve myself.

A week in South Carolina

This is actually more of a photo montage.

~So enjoy!

biking on the beach
so many dear friends made!
OK- so the birds were mesmerizing!
so wonderful!
Loving the shoal- we could walk in the water for a long time!
Who doesn’t love a sunrise kiss?
Morning over the ocean.
2 deer
We really did smile throughout this whole trip!

Our lodging. Vanderhorst Plantation.
Why we were there.

Bill is an amazing teacher, that’s why he was asked to teach this workshop of amazing artists. I don’t get to go on every trip with him, but I was sure grateful to be his travel buddy on this one.

Cupping

I will be the first to admit that I go into things “half-cocked” – as my dad would always say.

There are many euphemisms that don’t apply to my personality, “look before you leap”, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, and so on.

So it all started when I went to Alec for some acupuncture. (Amazing by the way – I would totally suggest it for anything that ails you!)

He sat and talked with me for quite a long time explaining all the many services he offers. Turns out some people don’t like needles sticking out of their skin. One of those services is cupping. I was very interested!

I found my own silicone starter set on Amazon and ordered them.

Cupping Warehouse TM Supreme 8 (4 Sizes) Professional and Home Use: Clear Chinese Silicone Massage Cupping Therapy Sets Vacuum Suction Cups

Bill injured his elbow quite a while ago. He has been trying several options to help it, but nothing has worked. This was my first ‘test subject’! I rubbed some arnica creme into it and latched those babies on.

Elbow cupping – it looks like the water bottle is attached as well – it’s not!

I had read enough of the instructions to know that I shouldn’t put them over a major artery or leave them on for more than 10 minutes – enough for me – let’s do it!

His elbow felt great! He has done some stretches and exercising to help it along, but he says it’s night and day!

My daughter hurt her back/ shoulder area by playing with her nephews, awesome! I got to try the cups again! And she felt better, not completely healed, it took another session a couple of days later.

Yesterday Bill said he had tweaked his back, so I ran for our cups! (I may or may not be a little too excited to try out my new toys on my family.)

Right after cupping

I had him go through some yoga poses after the cupping and he said the pain was much less. While the marks look bruised, there are just shadows of them this morning. Although when I did my daughter her marks were much darker and lasted longer.

SO HOW?

Cupping draws stagnant blood and other fluids that has fallen out of healthy circulation up to skin the level and away from the injury so that healthy free circulation can be restored to the affected area. Being that skin is the body’s largest organ, it contains about 20% of your blood volume at any given time. The skin has a beautiful network of capillaries that make it a fantastic vehicle to transport all the stagnation that cupping pulls up into it. Cupping creates a space for oxygen, living cells, and nutrients needed for healing. The body’s capillary system at the skin level carries the toxins to the liver and kidneys, where they can be metabolized and excreted. ~ from :LOVIE ACUPUNCTURE AND HEALING

I think of it like lifting up the rug (skin) and sweeping dirt out from under it.

Image result for sweeping out from under a rug
If you’re anything like me – I’m usually sweeping it under the rug!

Have an old injury? Or maybe a brand new one? I would suggest cupping! Probably from a professional like Alec. But – if you are also a half-cocked personality, there are so many articles and videos out there, you could get your own set and give it a try! It’s worth looking into anyway.

Intermittent Fasting Update

Wish it would stay here…

If you are just joining me on my Intermittent Fasting (IF) journey then this weight might not seem that impressive. To me it’s just 9 pounds from my goal weight! I started at 228 on October 1st, 2018. My kids got me this Renpho scale for Christmas, so my weight is documented from then

Very long fast!

This is a screenshot of my LIFE app. I have made a circle ( https://lifefastingtracker.app.link/eXwnGOkE0U ) and you’re welcome to join me. I saw many people posting about apps, but never felt I needed one because I just would stop eating and start eating with the clock.

But I sure like it now. I get to support my friends in the circle, I also get to see where I am in my fast. All those little icons along my fast cycle tell me what’s happening during that point in my fast. (You can see what they all mean here: https://lifeapps.io/fasting/the-5-stages-of-intermittent-fasting/

Since I’ve had the app I haven’t fasted past 48 hours, so I’ve never gotten to the last 2 icons! It’s motivation for me.

Although I normally do 20 to 24 hours of fasting. With spring I’ll probably try a few longer fasts. I do one 72 hour fast a month (although this is my 2nd for March). Then I’ll scatter 1 or 2 more 48 hours throughout the month.

Spring is when my body naturally wants to pull away from heavier foods, get outside more, and not eat as much. So the fasting works well with “spring cleaning” my temple – my body!

roller coaster ride

This is a chart of me going from 196.2 on Jan 4th to today. So this 8.4 pounds has been a roller coaster ride….as has been the entire 40 pound loss. Admittedly , February was kind of a plateau month – I didn’t push it very hard.

Knowing this about my body helps me not give up.

These longer fasts kind of kick my body down, then once I start eating it goes up. But the downs get lower, and my ups don’t go as high.
My goal is 179 for now. Initially it was getting under 200, and I choose to continue from there. Once I get to 179 I’ll re-evaluate it all.

I don’t have a date set for 179 (it was supposed to be 180, but I couldn’t get the line onto the right place on the app.) I had my 50th birthday as my goal for the 40 pound loss, missed it by a few weeks. I am slowing down on my weight loss a bit. If I continue on this trajectory I imagine I can get to my goal around my 30th wedding anniversary, May 5th.

So now you know all the numbers! Now you can keep me accountable.

Some things I love while fasting: lots and lots of water, I just found sparkling mineral water for these longer fasts, pebbles of salt when I feel like I’m hungry, Cafix or Teecino, and mint tea.

You are welcome to comment with your fasting tricks, or with questions!

Why everyone should do Yoga before Zumba

So maybe not in the same day – but I’m talking over all. In fact I think yoga should be the first exercise a person learns, then try something new.

Let me tell you why…

While going through these poses a certain amount of body awareness naturally happens. We start to feel a connection with the body, the way the muscles move, the way our joints open, and the way our breath guides it all.

Women silhouettes. Collection of yoga poses. Asana set.

Usually a yoga practice is slow and thoughtful. The mind has time to visit the areas of the body that are being engaged. This body awareness helped me as I hopped, swayed, and shimmied my way through a Zumba class today

set silhouettes zumba dancers

As we did some twisty thing (like a belly dancer – the teacher – not me! – not yet…) I was able to put thought into my abs a feel the way they were supposed to move. Leaning into lunges I was able to know the form and flow that naturally occurs in so many yoga posses.

Something else yoga did for me was allow myself to move without judgement. I might not be able to “shake it shake it

transitions

I love the way Sun salutations flow from one asana to another, same with the Moon Salutes, although they require a little more balance. But over all –

it’s the flow.

I love the seemlessness, the grace, and the muscle control used in moving from one pose to another.

The tendency is to focus on the pose itself, but I think the movements between the asanas might be just as important.

I’ve been playing with transitions more in my practice. I tried to put in a video of my recent experiment, I hope you are able to see it, not because it’s super fantastic – it still needs improvement. But because it’s a work in progress.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/zRzYrQFrkji98y5x5

Danni was able to get this embarrassing image of me falling down. (Thanks Danni!) A couple of weeks ago I decided it was time to ditch the wall with my headstand. This did end as funny as it looks like it might have…

falling down!

Next time I tried I asked for help!

Bill stood behind me and I tried my headstand again. But this time I also decided to switch my hands to the front to allow me a little better foundation. It ended up that he didn’t have to help, I was able to get my legs up and hold without a problem.

Lessons learned: 1- Having a spotter gives me confidence to try something new. 2- I’m not too old to learn new tricks.

The thought of using a headstand in a flow excited me! The only thing I could think of for transition was crow. Then the flow brought itself to life! Going from crow to the headstand was a leap of faith for me. Could I make it smoothly (the video doesn’t look that smooth- I actually did better in practice!)?

I went through the flow I wanted in my head over and over until I knew how I wanted it to go, then put it all on the mat!

Are transitions in life similar?

We all go through transitions- I have them sub-categorized:

Baby bear transitions; new hair cut, changes to my schedule, helping a friend in an emergency, etc.

Mama bear transitions; getting really sick, appliance or car conking out, child going to college or getting married, etc.

Papa bear transitions; loss of a loved one, relocation, loss of a job, ended marriage, etc.

Of course we all have to deal with transitioning because of any and all of these possibilities in our lifetime. I think some more than others though.

The movements between the holds- the little things in life, it takes courage, time, patience and fortitude to move from one hold to another.

Buckwheat Pancakes

Stack of buckwheat pancakes

When Bill and I were in Colorado we would eat at a little breakfast place (which I tried so hard to find – but can’t now) – it was at this place we first tried buckwheat pancakes. Mostly because they ‘sounded’ healthy. Bill fell in love with them, and I have – for the past 20 years, been making them for him! I like them too – don’t get me wrong, but there’s a different taste to them.

They have a heartier taste. The spices and molasses in them give a nod to ginger bread. My kids grew up on these babies.

No wheat was harmed in the making of these pancakes!

Buckwheat is actually a seed, like quinoa and amaranth. It’s easy to put it in the grain category because of it’s name. There’s no gluten in buckwheat. Just a little information – I am not adverse to gluten – but there are some who are.

Buckwheat in the grinder

I grind my flours. I usually grind enough buckwheat to take me through a couple of weeks worth of pancakes. I make them pretty much every other day (Bill makes his smoothies on the off days, and Saturday is waffle day!).

dry ingredients

I’m sure at one point I started with a recipe, but I have no idea what it is. I generally throw the ingredients in by rote now.

add wet ingredients

I think I have an idea of the amounts that I’ll share with you, but feel free to tweek and change.

buckwheat pancake batter

Why even try it?

According to Buckwheat 101: Nutritional Facts

(https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods/buckwheat )

Buckwheat has become popular as a health food in many countries, due to its high amounts of minerals and various antioxidants. It has also been shown to provide health benefits, including improved blood sugar control.

The nutritional value of buckwheat is considerably higher than that of many other grains.

on the griddle

For us – it was just a healthy breakfast option that everyone seems to love.

Here’s my best guess at the recipe!

2C. flour

1/4 C brn sugar

just shy of 1 Tbls baking powder

1/2 Tbls Cinnamon

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp ginger

1/4 tsp clove

(whisk all that together)

add 2 eggs

1/2 C oil

1/4 C molasses (Bill likes more!)

1 & 1/2 C milk (or your choice – we use almond)

whisk that in and ladle onto a hot griddle.

Flip when you see the bubbles.

So this is one of a few recipes I feel share worthy.

Let me know what you think! I’m always looking for ways to improve it.

Switching over/ Strong spine

I sent out an email that has been percolating in my mind for a month now. It was to all my yogis. Friends I have collected when I taught at the YMCA, Cornerstone, The Lotus, and any other random spots around town I’ve rolled out my mat with my fellow yoga friends.

I was told I could no longer include anything pertaining to my faith (I’m a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Letter-day Saints) or insert my Christian beliefs in any way. The studio owner claimed I could make someone uncomfortable with my views.

So here I am. Switching over to a new platform to share my ‘musings’.

I’m not a religious blogger – but my religion will show up in blogs. I’m not a food blogger – but recipes and food make their way in often! I’m not a health and fitness blogger, but my current routines and things I learn will pop in. I’m not a homemaker blogger, but you know my kids and family seep into my musings often.

So enough of that and on to my “Monday Musings”:

For some odd reason the line from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar , ” beware the Ides of March.” has stuck with me since high school. A tragically fulfilled prophecy where Caeser suffered death by being stabbed in the back.

“The ides” means the middle, or in this case, the 15th of March, which happens to be Friday. This can only mean one thing . . . we need to strengthen, open, and rejuvenate our spines this week. (like that jump?)

“Posture, balance, and body alignment through yoga. The yoga poses are meant to train the body to be healthy and supple. Consistent practice and application will result in improved posture, and an increased sense of balance, with head, shoulders and pelvis in proper alignment. Additionally, unlike many other forms of exercise, yoga helps stretch and strengthens both sides of the body equally. ” from:https://www.spine-health.com/wellness/yoga-pilates-tai-chi/how-yoga-helps-back

Image result for the back yoga
https://breakingmuscle.com/fitness/heal-your-lower-back-pain-with-these-5-yoga-poses

We will proceed through this week with our spine in mind:

Cornerstone:
Monday 5:30 Back strengthening and opening.
Thursday 12-1: Working on the core/back
The Lotus:
Tuesday 6:30 Restorative Spaces available! Join me for some spinal release!
Thursday 4:30 Basics Plus Back strengthening and opening.

Extras for the week:
Lunch time yoga at the Lotus! The instructors cycle through, and I get to teach from 12-1 this Friday!
Saturday Morning I’m subbing for Debbie – so if you weren’t able to get your Kristie fix through the week…9:30 – 10:30 am

          2 Hr. Restorative:  It's up!  April 26th & 27th!  Register early here: 
https://clients.mindbodyonline.com/ASP/main_enroll.asp?studioid=292352&tg=&vt=&lvl=&stype=-8&view=week&trn=0&page=&catid=&prodid=&date=3%2f11%2f2019&classid=0&prodGroupId=&sSU=&optForwardingLink=&qParam=&justloggedin=&nLgIn=&pMode=0&loc=1

Thanks~Kristie!

A ‘weighty’ battle

I am holding the amount of weight I’ve lost.

In September of 2018 my son called me and suggested I talk with my brother who was having great success with something called Intermittent Fasting.

I called him, and we spoke for 3 hours. He told me about Dr. Fung. And how fasting keeps insulin in check, and how it’s possible to yield up fat stores when that happens.

I have always tried to be healthy. And one day a friend said to me – after I had explained my reasoning for buying some produce organically- I’m surprised you’re fat. I didn’t feel any offence, but rather started wondering why I was fat…

Me wondering why I’m fat with John Wayne….LOL

There aren’t many things I haven’t tried to lose weight. I eventually got so frustrated that I stopped worrying about it and began to accept who I was, size and all. After all I could still teach yoga, go on daily 3 mile walks, lift weights, and pretty much act like a fit person. But then the Blood Pressure numbers weren’t acting like those of a fit person, I knew I had to change something or I would probably die (200/110).

I set an alarm on my phone for 10:00 am, signalling when I could start eating, then another at 4:00 pm, my signal to stop eating. That first week I lost 10 pounds – I was flabbergasted! Nothing else had ever worked!

During my eating times I didn’t curtail it. I knew if I went into no carbs/sugar mode I would begin to feel like I was being deprived and I wouldn’t stick to it.

During my fasting times I drank a lot of water. If I felt I needed something more I would drink mint tea or Caffix (no sugar or milk!). Sometimes a little granule of Himalayan pink sea salt would be enough to satiate my taste buds.

Image result for himalayan pink sea salt

I soon realized I had been eating more out of habit than hunger!

I found that as the ‘time to eat’ period passed I didn’t feel any different. And when the next ‘meal time’ rolled around I wasn’t any more or less hungry than if I had eaten the previous meal.

I want to make sure this is clear: This works for my body!

I do at least one 72 hour fast a month now and sometimes two or three 48 hour fasts. Many times I just go a day without eating because I don’t have a good feasting time between my yoga classes, usually Thursdays. I do much better practicing yoga on an empty belly.

So here it is – full transparency – the numbers: (because, quite honestly, I don’t care who knows how much I weigh or how old I am)

Starting weight in Oct: 226 lbs

Weight this morning: 191 lbs.

Goal weight: (for now) 185 lbs

Drop-dead gorgeous weight: 170lbs (but who needs to be that sexy?)

My fasts are a bit more intense now, I have found I can live off of One Meal A Day (OMAD), so generally I do 20 hours of fasting and 4 hours of feasting, sometimes less feasting, today I only did 2 hours, and that was following a 72 hour fast.

I have taken maybe 3 or 4 days ‘off’ and not fasted. (Plus the 4 day cruise, but that wasn’t living a ‘normal’ life…) When Bill and I go out we go to lunch, cheaper, less people, and we have very busy evenings. So dates with my honey don’t interfere with my fasting.

I have much more I want to share, but I’ll do it in small doses. And if you’ve watched my Facebook live videos you already know much of it!

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I love seeing people’s lives improve as their health improves!

It’s a first! Baby Cricket without a strap!

Within Reach


Delicate Strength 11×16 – white roses – oil painting by Bill Inman (upcoming training video in The Membership)

Recently I co-blogged with Bill on his Master Oil Painting site. I thought I might share the results of our partnership here as well. The above painting is one Bill just finished a couple of weeks ago- and it has quickly made it’s way to my list of favorites. It brought some interesting empathetic feelings to the surface – an artist friend of Bill’s had just lost her husband after a battle with cancer, and it inspired me to write, “Within Reach”.

Within Reach

Sometimes the memories

Are wrapped in a mist.

Little points of color- sound- scent make it through.

Enough to tease the edges,

But not enough to fill it all in.

Where was that?

How old were we?

Who was with us?

Just a vague sense of joy and contentment

We had each other.

No camera phone around to record our bliss.

We somehow managed to make a memory anyway.

But I would like something more than a

Foggy recollection –

An idea that I have forgotten the perfect moment haunts me.

The gaps will fill in my sleep, I’ll dream it into being, and have you by my side again – for a bit anyway.