saturday vibes

it’s saturday!

i wish i had a cat or cats again just so i could participate in CATURDAY.. i miss cats. i had them growing up but my hubby’s  not a cat person. he will be once we get into a larger house, at least that’s my plan: get one without asking once our home is big enough for him not to notice. brilliant stuff, right?

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my favorite time of day, in my favorite place: my great grandmother’s rocking chair in Lulu’s room, in the early morning 🙂 

yesterday i missed writing because honestly it was one of those ‘newborn baby is gonna do her thing all-day’ days. which means i was just feeding her off/on and doing baby stuff all day. i was in my pj’s the entire day as well, and i survived. i had a quick shower in the wee hours of the morning but i was covered in milk and spitup by 11AM anyway so who cares? my happiest victory yesterday was getting Lulu in the baby bjorn and taking my dog for a walk with her – i have two dogs but muffin decided to rebel and stay indoors with the cooler temps. smart girl.

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the theme of the other day 🙂

it’s been a shockingly good morning so far… i read nice comments from Meg and Cora that made me feel warm and fuzzy. Lulu is napping right now, i’ve got coffee, AND i’m showered. plus i had an hour of girlfriend time combined with a workout this  morning, thank you darling hubby! since i take care of Lulu 90% of the time, my hubby has agreed to watch her a couple mornings a week before he has to get up for school so that i can go for a walk or run. since i’m up all hours anyhow, this is great for me. this  morning my running friend and i had our chatty jog/walk for an hour. it was blissful to be able to do something like that, all before the sun rose. i got home in time to walk the dogs, make coffee, and shower. a-may-zing.

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thank goodness for baby bjorn, what a lifesaver! and mental health saver

i feel very lucky. even on the days where i literally don’t leave the house or brush my hair, i feel lucky. every morning i see this tiny girl and can’t believe i had her!

i never thought i’d get this chance, honestly. i thought i screwed up so bad in my younger years that my creator would keep my from procreating further. that’s really what i thought. so this is pretty awesome. i guess i didn’t screw up that bad after all 😉

saturday vibes so far are pretty chill. i’m just feeling grateful. sometimes i am overwhelmed with gratitude.

feeling the love again

what else has been on my mind? my relationship with my hubby is much better. at first i was feeling totally overwhelmed with everything, then i somehow changed my thinking and decided to be supportive of all that he does, even if he’s gone a lot of the time. he takes very good care of us, we couldn’t be here without  him. now i’ve decided Lulu and i are his team mates and we must support our mate. he’s our quarter back, or lead cyclist. whatever it is, we are his peeps and we love him and need him.

thyroid cancer stuff

i’ve also been thinking a lot about cancer. ok that sounds cryptic but honestly, i’m feeling really good about it. i refuse to accept that they want to just cut out my thyroid. NO WAY. i’ve done enough research and talked to enough friends that have had it removed to know that i won’t be ‘just’ letting them cut out my perfectly healthy thyroid. ok so it has a tumor on it, but otherwise my thyroid and thyroid function is HEALTHY. doctors are quick to cut, and after having major spinal fusion (which saved my life by the way so i don’t hate all surgery!) i am not just about to let them remove a major piece of me. our thyroids are critical to everything. EVERY THING! seriously. so because of this, i’m taking my health into my own hands for a while, while monitoring the size and state of my thyroid.

food is medicine. and delicious. 

i know we can change our health not only with our minds, but through food. food, after all, is medicine. as much as i am opposed to dieting, i am totally convinced we can heal our bodies through delicious food. i screwed up my health when i was younger through the foods i was eating, then managed to improve and restore my health by doing the opposite. so i know that food and health are totally related. lately i’ve been doing endless research on cancer and cancer healing diets and feel that there is a common thread: remove junk. they all say cut out sugar, and some say remove carbs since they turn into sugar, others say remove all animal products, but they all say remove processed foods and GMO’s. i’m definitely not leaning towards a vegan diet because i know my body, the reality is that my body does better with some animal protein. it’s just the way i was made. i love animals and tried many times to be a vegan because i can’t personally kill an animal and feel like a hypocrite for eating them, but i also fall apart physically and mentally without animal protein. at the end of the day i need to take care of my family, which means feeling the best i can.

sweet denial

i consider myself a pretty healthy eater but i still consume some processed things. meaning not everything i eat is from scratch. i wish it was, but i’m a new mom and it just ain’t like that for me yet. but it will be. i consume a lot of sugar in my coffee and tea, and even though i’d like to think it’s no big deal, i can’t hide from the cards in my hand any longer. my grandmother died of diabetes and i’ve now got thyroid cancer. i’ve had plenty of sugar in my life and am at the point where if i have to choose being healthy and not get surgery, or eating sugar, i choose to be healthy – healthy meaning not having my thyroid removed and hopefully having the tumor shrink. people have done it! there are people out there who have wiped away their cancers by the foods they eat alone. why can’t i do this???? i’m still eating sugar right now, but i’m putting this out there to the universe because i need to be serious. it’s not going to be easy for me because i don’t like restrictions or deprivation. but i have to think about it differently now for my daughter. it’s not just about me anymore. besides, i love butter and eggs SO much and would much rather have those and give up the sugar. i can live without sweets but living without a nice omelette with lots of nice butter would be very sad for me. or many other foods. a dessert of gourmet cheeses and fruits is so much more luxurious to me anyway! with some nice wine or nice espresso? oh yeah.

OK i’m done with this rant now, there is much more to life than these little things so i will try not to  harp on them. however, these little things can add up so it’s a fine line between being healthy and proactive, and being in ignorance and denial. i don’t want to be in denial any longer. i want to be healthy and strong.

yorky love joyful snuggles dog fashion

happy caturday to all you cat people, i wish i could join your party!!! i’ll have my happy dogurday here…

how do you feel about food and medicine?

do you think you can heal yourself through food or would you take the meds or have the surgery? 

 

 

self help thursday

for some reason i’ve decided it’s self help day. it will make more sense later, keep reading.

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serious face

it’s thursday, roughly 8AM as i type this. Lulu is napping in her bed but wiggling around so i’m in that ‘panic, type fast!’ mode. there is a good chance i’ll be pausing a lot and this post will take the whole day to actually write. that’s totally OK! any post is progress, that’s my new attitude. i’ve abandoned perfection and just moving forward and writing what i can, when i can. seize the moment. seize the blog moment. cora inspired this in me, i read on one of her posts something about doing the work. i love to write but was afraid to blog since that felt like i needed it to be perfect. but i’m not worrying about that anymore. i’m just going to write.

i’ve been up since 3:30AM and somehow feel ok. maybe it’s because i had my lemon water, did my oil pulling, showered, and have my coffee. oh yeah, and i got in a quick run with my friend who is always up at 4AM, crazy like me.friends are good to have. crazy ones are even better.

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i know, i’m sort of amazing sometimes. i didn’t plan for this, it sort of just happened. whenever the stars align themselves in my favor, i take what i can. the rest of the day is anyone’s guess.

life is about mastering improv and going with the flow…

for example, one of my outings that was planned for today has already changed. i had a therapist appointment scheduled, and she called to cancel due to having a bad shingles outbreak and not wanting to have my sweet baby near her. thank you for that. i love my therapist, she is like family. not that i see her all the time, but the handful of times i’ve seen her over the last 2 years she has felt like family. she’s met our baby, she’s met my hubby, she’s like a godmother. she even calls to check up on me. she even knows my mom! which is how i found her. everyone needs someone like her, it’s worth paying for it to keep it professional. i know that’s what friends are for, but sometimes you need someone that is a pro, and not a friend. ya know? i’m all for therapy and self-help. nobody is without issues and we all need some TLC for our  mental health. it keeps me sane, literally. haha ok i’m amusing myself. i’m sort of running on fumes and coffee, and rice milk.

back to my talk about self-help, i’m a huge fan of it. i have always had major anxiety. i was a very anxious kid. doesn’t matter why or how, that’s just how i grew to be. i run on anxiety and adrenaline and zen thoughts. i’m a like a hyper active buddha, at least in my own mind. i’m very zen but also very anxious. i don’t care that i’m conflicted, it’s just me. i stopped fighting my self and it is much nicer now inside 🙂

anyhow, i used to try to fix my anxiety but it wasn’t till i accepted myself that i actually got less anxious. it’s OK to be anxious, it won’t kill you. however if you worry about it than it just makes it worse. at least that is the case for me. the way i manage my anxiety is by doing things to release that pent up energy: taking care of my SELF, having some me time even if it’s a shower, working out, write, clean, invert myself, take deep breathes, take the dogs for a walk (less possible with a baby.)

life with a new baby has made me realize even more so how it’s important to take care of my self. i was raised by a woman that always made taking time for herself a priority, and i appreciate that now more than ever. women have enough guilt to deal with, we don’t need EXTRA mom guilt. it’s hard enough. i felt guilty for stuff at first, but now realize how much better i feel if i take time for myself, ask for help, do something -anthing!- for myself – it makes me a better mother and a much better wife. i don’t do well when i haven’t showered, and the last thing i need is a mental breakdown. much better off if i get in a shower and decompress when shit hits the fan – almost literally, Lulu has quite the powerful anus!

so that’s my rant for today. it’s not just self-help day, it should be self-help every day. but i’m highlighting it today.

because the better i love myself, the better i can give love. and don’t we all want to give the best love?

<3

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i love these two

what do you do to take care of yourself?

ever have mom guilt? oh it’s the worst! 

 

limitations or limitless

hey there peeps. i’m on a roll. i guess when i get into something i really get in with gusto! but seriously, i’m trying to take advantage of any baby nap time i can. they are not predictable just yet being that Lulu is only 6 weeks plus 2 days old 🙂

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my day technically started at 12AM this morning,that was her first feeding. she likes to seize the day by the balls i guess, or the ta-tas 😀

so far we’ve had a pretty fun day: feeding, changing, burping, listening to my play list for spin class, staring the the mobile in her big bed, and best of all: i gave a bath and she didn’t freak out. she loved it. she even fell asleep shortly after. nothing makes me happier than i happy, well fed, clean Lulu that is sweetly napping next to me. love love love.

i also managed to take a shower and wash my hair, invert on my inversion table, and skipped my workout in favor of washing my hair and taking my time with cleaning up and prepping for her bath. i try to exercise every day but seriously, it’s not set in stone. she comes first! and also my health. working out is supposed to be my stress relief, not add stress. right???

during all the hustle of the day, i’ve been pondering… pondering about how lucky i am to be here right now. how grateful i feel. i haven’t always felt this good, there have certainly been times where i felt limited, rather than limitless. yes, i have allowed my own mind to be my enemy rather than my friend. thank heavens today we are friends!

i used to have a really hard time moving forward and going after things i wanted, starting from a young age. i was shy and nervous, and had severe anxiety as a kid. luckily it was a phase since before elementary school i was really outgoing, but during ages 6-10 i got severe anxiety and was just a bundle of nervous energy. i felt awkward and just wanted to fit in, but always felt like i was limited. mainly because i didn’t feel good enough compared to others. not pretty enough, wealthy enough, and not ‘american’ enough. it’s all SO silly now that i felt that way, but it is what it is.

examples of the limitations i thought i had: 

  • not pretty enough
  • not blonde, therefore not pretty
  • not thin enough
  • not cool enough
  • not ‘normal’ enough, whatever that means
  • too foreign
  • too exotic
  • single mom always out, great-grandmother at home that didn’t speak english
  • tiny apartments or homes in ‘poor’ areas before my mom remarried
  • not knowing my father till 23 yrs old
  • getting diagnosed with severe scoliosis at age 10
  • having to go to the chiropractor 3-5 times a week for years till i was 19
  • having back surgery at age 20
  • thyroid cancer
  • blood clotting disorder
  • being pregnant with spinal fusion
  • being pregnant at 37 years old
  • trying to succeed in the corporate world without a degree (before i had one)
  • a family history of diabetes, depression, and stroke

i used to let this list of things get me down, but one day i decided i can change the way i feel. i can focus on the positive. i didn’t have it that bad, and even if i did so what? i can still live my best life no matter what.

the days where i felt limited are long gone, for the most part. some days i do feel challenged like with my back and all the breastfeeding. but then i go over my reasons to be grateful and do my best to appreciate all i have. if that doesn’t work, i get something yummy to eat. yup, i don’t mind eating to feel better!!!

today i do things to help me feel joyful and happy, each day. they help me to feel limitless rather than limited. these are ingredients to help me feel good as much as possible. i can’t do them all some days, but i try my best. 

daily happiness rituals:

  • wake up and say thank you each morning
  • say my gratitude prayers morning and night time, now to my baby girl
  • give kisses to my loves: baby, hubby, doggies
  • stretch and give thanks
  • have water with lemon – thanks for the reminder, Meg!
  • drink my greens powder and take supplements
  • try to sweat for 30 min a few times a week
  • take deep breathes in the shower
  • oil pulling for oral health
  • inversion table for a few minutes, hanging upside down is awesome
  • prepare good food to eat: lately it’s been potatoes, rice, and more carbs 🙂
  • be nice and loving to my hubby

things i try to do whenever i can

  • go for a walk
  • walk the dogs
  • get a massage
  • go out with friends
  • take the baby out to a cafe or walk
  • visit friends with the baby
  • invite people over to keep me company
  • go meet a mommy group

well that’s all i got. i’m back to check on the baby. hope you’re having a great hump day!!

have you ever felt limited?

what do you do to feel good and feel limitless? 

reflections from the bench

perfectly imperfect
nothing is perfect, and that’s the beauty of life

so it’s been a few weeks that’s i got injured during marathon training…

and guess what?

i’m still alive

i’m not dead

i’ve been busy doing other things

i’m still loving life

i have MUCH to be thankful for! 

OH MY GOSH but HOW have i not gone crazy and turned into crybaby injured runner girl like previously????

simple: i said to myself, “so what?” 

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there is so much more to think about, and this is just temporary.

this is just a small fragment of my tapestry of life.

i’ll still be able to run the marathon. 

and guess what? i’ll be just FINE!!!

of course that wasn’t always how i thought… 

i have been the type of person that thought the whole world would fall apart if i couldn’t train or run or whatever.

thankfully i’m not that person anymore. 

i realize that i have truly come a LONG way in my personal growth and recovery.

here are some reflections that i’ve had over the last few weeks/days/hours.  i thought i would share this so i can see how i’ve grown and where i made the mistakes that led to a full-on injury. it’s amazing how i can actually see it coming now that i look at my mindset over the last few weeks and check my thought process!

#checkyourselfbeforeyouwreckyourself

#truthbomb

here are some thoughts, rambles, and reflections leading up to my running injury:

my legs are feeling funky, but i think i’ll run anyway

i have the stomach flu but i’ll get a run in anyway

i ran through my oral surgeries just fine, i was careful. therefore i should be able to run through anything!

i definitely did that thing again where i ran too much

yup i did more miles these few weeks than i was supposed to

i’m a glutton for punishment

i have serious addiction issues

my body is exhausted but i think i’ll just run a couple more miles

this run/walk/run thing is great, it means i can run FOREVER

i’m an idiot

why is there pain in my body? that’s IMPOSSIBLE!!!

if i’m run/walk/running, then that means i’m invincible. right?

if i make sure i walk a shit ton, then i will never be injured

Galloway says we don’t need strength training – YIPPEE then i’ll just continue to ignore the weight room and my core and run all the miles… forever.

i’m sure ignoring my core is not a big deal, not everybody needs it right?

i’m made of titanium steel, doesn’t that mean i can go forever?

i probably shouldn’t have run yesterday. oh well i’ll keep going.

i probably should take a rest week…. one of these days

i probably should not have raced that 5K. oops

i should rest.

i should strength train.

i should fuel properly.

i should listen to my body.

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but i never did those things when i should have, but fortunately i sought help. i didn’t do what i should have done, but i’m rehabbing now and following the plan.

second chance day

here’s what i’ve learned that i need to remember:

strength training is my best friend

okay so not yoga, but pilates!

my gluts are weaker than decaf coffee

my hips need a lot of conditioning and strength

my core needs to be worked regularly

if it hurts, stop

being uncomfortable is okay sometimes

ice ice baby

REST is BEST

eat all the food, rehab still requires fuel!

do fun things

there is MUCH more to life

laugh always

remember the funny moments, like when DJ ate my mom’s flowers and tried to pretend he didn’t but had daisies stuck in his face fur

have FUN

write my thank you list

write down new ideas

LOVE my self! 

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okay that’s all i got for now.

if you are dealing with injuries, take it from me: a rest day will not kill you. it might make you stronger though! meow

 

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it works if you work it

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OA.

OA.

OA.

no that’s not a song or tune i’m pathetically trying to conjure up.

OA is Overeaters Anonymous in my world.

it’s a land that i’ve traveled to, and walked across, and returned from in one piece.

with much perspective.

I’m danielle and i’m an addict……

and that’s where we started on that end of summer tuesday night back in 2000.

I’m a bulimic/anorexic/ednos/etc. i hated saying that, it felt wrong and abnormal. but i said it anyway and felt totally alone in a room filled with strangers. i felt like the only one wanting to roll my eyes, muttering, “give me a fucking break,” in the room filled with people that i just couldn’t quite understand. in many ways i felt lost from them, at least in the beginning. the person i was in 2000 didn’t even relate to these people, the Millennium Me just wanted to get the hell out of there… i didn’t want to be there, i thought i had it all figured out. so i just wanted to go home and numb myself with food so i didn’t have to think about the abusive nightmare i had just abandoned; i didn’t want to think about the surgery i had that changed my martial arts life forever and physical body; i didn’t want to think about the fact that i had left home so i could eat alone and not have anyone judge me or try to criticize my coping mechanisms. and most of all, i didn’t want to think about all the other things i lost in years before.

my martial arts/fitness, abusive boyfriend, pills, and excessive ways were my outlets. they kept me in a bubble where i never had to think about the ‘other’ stuff. surgery put a stop to all those vices but food. so i felt like a raging bull in a pin, waiting to fight. i couldn’t be comfortable in my own skin,

i had no idea who i was anymore i just knew food.

so i knew i needed help, i mean i wasn’t a total fool or ‘that’ delusional. i knew i needed help but i also knew that i had to want to help myself.

at that point in my life, i was still in post-trauma mode so my only relief was going home after my boring day job and eating. and then getting rid of it so i could feel numb. it was sick, sick cycle. but it kept me from going nuts. if that makes any sense….

oddly, my mother understood what i was going through… she knew the nightmare i was in with the ex boyfriend. this seemed like a less damaging option in a sick way.

she knew that i couldn’t cope and the fact that i had left him was overwhelming. her mother, my grandmama, had an ED all her life. my mother knew that i was better than that, but she also knew that i could easily do much, much worse things to myself.

i know i know i know!!!! this whole thing, it’s sick. being bulimic or restricting food is not okay. but this is my life and the experiences are my own.

today i can tell you that i’m thankful for my experiences because i knew i would be the person i am today: grateful and alive

i am so thankful… 

but back to OA and how it totally rocked my world at first…

so after that Tuesday in 2000, i left that first meeting in OA early and didn’t go back.

it totally freaked me out, who were those people? how on earth could they have food addictions then want to go to dinner after the meeting? how did they keep going to meetings after they kept failing every single day???? the ones that kept going but kept slipping, each day, really got to me.

i went right home and numbed myself and tried to feel better at the fact that i even went at all.

the fact that i went anywhere besides straight home was a HUGE accomplishment.

you MUST celebrate every single success. do it. 

anyhow, it was not until several years after my first visit that i returned. and this time i stayed because i wanted to be there.

for me.

i realized i didn’t care how crazy it seemed, i knew i needed a higher power.

i surrendered.

so there you go:

“it works if you work it!”

do those words sound familiar to anyone?

i hear those words in my ear still to this day! yet they are from a 12 step OA group i did over 4 years ago.

anyways, i just wanted to share my experience in a 12 step group, and the tools that i took with me and why i’m no longer active in one.

i went to that initial first Overeaters Anonymous meeting back in 2000, really just to make my mother feel like i could take care of myself. i had no real intention of getting better at that time, actually i just wasn’t ready.

however fast forward to august of 2011, i was ready.  i had hit the bottom so many times that i knew i needed to shape up and get with the program of life. i had run out of lives and i already knew i was dealt many more than 9 lives. i had already used up about 12.

so when i went back to that same room, to that same tuesday night OA meeting in 2011, i was ready. i WANTED to be there.

i reached out, i asked for help. 

i got a sponsor. 

i did the work. 

and i earned my 1 year of recovery chip on august 9, 2012. 

so here i am today. after i got my 1 year chip i did not continue with the OA program,

but i learned a LOT about myself along the way.

the tools i got out of it are these:

  • a sponsor made me accountable
  • the food journal helped at first
  • not being allowed to eat ‘trigger foods’ helped at first
  • having a group was helpful sometimes
  • checking in with my sponsor daily helped a lot
  • being accountable was the most important thing of all

the reasons that i am no longer in a 12 step OA group:

  • i wanted to be okay with eating all foods
  • i felt uncomfortable with the rules
  • i want to live my forever life
  • it’s just not for me anymore

my point in this post was to share that sometimes life is hard but we are given tools, and if we use those tools they can help us. and it gets better…

it works if you work it 🙂

thank you for letting me share my experience in recovery and OA. i want to close this with the serenity prayer, which a beautiful prayer that i still appreciate and turn to every now and then.

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xox <3

Celebrating Flaws

perfect imperfect
aren’t we all?

covering up  CELEBRATING flaws…

i’m not perfect.

no such thing as perfect anyway, right?

i was born flawed… yes, we all were.

i struggled for a long time trying to come to terms with my flaws.

today, i love and appreciate my imperfections. 

they make me, ME. and i actually like being me. 

perfectly imperfect
truth

originally i was going to write about how i spent so many years covering up my flaws.

but then i had a revelation (during my bubble bath, go figure!) that i don’t want to harp on just that, i want to share with the world how i’m actually celebrating my flaws!!!

i want to tell you about what i changed, and how i turned my phantom ugly things into bedazzled pretty things.

now this is astounding considering that i spent decades covering up everything i considered to be a flaw.

but a few years ago, something clicked inside of me and i decided that my little nicks and knacks make me special, they make me beautiful in my own way.

#beautifullikeme #beautifullikeyou

today, i love celebrating my imperfections. i’m perfectly imperfect. i don’t want to be anyone else. i love waking up and being me. 

but alas, that wasn’t always the case….

i actually had high self-esteem as young nugget; my early childhood years were spent feeling carefree and i was full of life. i remember actually feeling ‘happy’ as early as age 3.

however when i had to change schools at age 7, i felt uncomfortable being me.

that was the first time that i experienced ‘mean girls’ and not everyone wanted to play or be friends with me. it was very confusing.

that was the first time i felt actually ‘different’…

so i started observing the cool girls, the ones that specifically didn’t want to hang out with me. i started to notice how i was different and how i must be flawed since they didn’t want to play with me. here are a few things that i USED to perceive as flaws, and what i did to turn them around. perception versus reality.

perceived flaw: my eyes were more slanted….

i didn’t want to look foreign, so i tried to make them open up more by making funny wide-eyed faces. i did this for years till i discovered eye liner and started to shadow around my eyes to try to make them look bigger with makeup. i was wearing quite a bit of makeup by age 10. by age 11 i got mistake for being 16. i know that’s crazy for some people. it’s sad and amazing what people do to fit in or feel accepted.

reality: eventually in my teens i grew to love my eyes. even though i had an ED i did actually appreciate my facial features. i knew that an ED would not rule my life forever and it was never just about how i looked. i go days without wearing makeup on my eyes, now i actually consider them a feature and nice part of my face. funny how i hated them for years, i’m so grateful for change and personal growth. now my eyebrows are a different story… 

perceived flaw: my eyebrow situation, or lack there of…..

now i know that’s just plain silly, but as an artist and someone who has always drawn faces, i notice eyebrows. well, duh. i noticed pretty early that i had no eyebrows. who cares, right? well i did. i still do. but i let it affect me negatively. i used to spend hours trying to draw my eyebrows because i felt embarrassed if i didn’t. i thought that was one of my flaws.

reality: later on in my late 20’s i discovered permanent makeup. now i must tell you, for me this really changed my outlook. i love not having to draw on eyebrows every single day. before you judge and say, “but you were fine before and so what?” i get it. i know i was fine before, but i just happen to have a thing for brows and appreciate the fact that i can have my own. besides, it’s easy to get them lasered off if i ever decided to do that. but i WON’T so don’t worry. if you’re curious about it, it’s painless and takes a few minutes. my older half-sister introduced me – clearly we are siblings, we both have a brow obsession! – and i have been hooked ever since. i have had 2 permanent eyebrow tattoo sessions since 2007 and this last time was the best. technology, baby! 

perceived flaw: my family situation….

everyone had mom’s and dad’s and a house they lived in. i had a great-grandma, a grandma, and a mom… who worked all the time and i didn’t see as much as i wanted. we lived in tiny apartments sometimes, then town homes, then a small cottage in a very artsy part of town. the kids made it seem like i lived on mars.

reality: eventually my mom married my stepdad and i had to deal with that process. and eventually after that, i really began to fall in love with my family situation. i met my biological dad when i was 23 and discovered i had 9 siblings; my mom had my brother when i was 18. it took some time and therapy, not gonna lie, but i seriously fell in love with my family and today wish i knew more about them. 

gone are the days when i feel embarrassed about my family, i love my family! i finally forgave myself for ever being embarrassed. you only have one family so i have chosen to accept them and love them all. it’s not even hard 🙂 

perceived flaw: my clothes…. 

the kids at school wore all the latest fashions; my mom shopped at thrift stores for me and also at the salvation army. i actually liked it, personally, but was also embarrassed when the kids made fun of my outfits. by the time i was 12 and 13 years old, i enjoyed my vintage retro fashion. i somehow became a rebel trendsetter. i mentally flip the finger at the mean girls right now.

reality: i still have some of my old thrift store clothes and LOVE them. i love knowing that i was a unique kid with her own style. so, suck it! mean girls. that experience as a kid humbled me, now i can afford whatever i want and still love vintage fashion. i love designers from all decades and could care less about name brands. i appreciate style and colors, i don’t care where it came from. i care about quality more these days but if you were to give me the option of the mall or a vintage boutique, you better give me 3 hours and the boutique any day! 

perceived flaw: i was chubby for 3 years….

this one really made me feel like an outcast. the cool girls were all skinny and i felt like a whale. in reality i was not a whale, just a little chubby. but for some reason unknown to me, the kids made it seem like i was a circus freak. they did horrible things and said things that made me cry. for 3 years i wished every day i was someone else. someone thin, pretty, and in a normal family. thank goodness i grew out of that! but that’s my truth and i’m being honest. i wore large clothes because i wanted to hide my body. i never thought of changing my diet but my grandmother would not let me eat, so that just made me confused and hungry. my mom said she hoped i wouldn’t get bigger one day, and that really made me sad. she doesn’t remember saying that because i asked her about it in my recovery, but i’ve forgiven her. she was a single mom and had a lot going on. till i outgrew my baby chub phase, i tried to hide myself and wished to be prettier and liked by kids at school.

reality: i’m grateful for my awkward, chubby years. if it weren’t for those years of self-doubt and low esteem, i would not appreciate the things my body can do for me today. i love people of all sizes and shapes and colors, and truly just want to FEEL good. healthy is beautiful. happy is beautiful. 

perceived flaw: i had scoliosis….

i had a very curved spine and it was easy to hide as long as i didn’t bend over, but still made me feel awkward. eventually i had to have spinal fusion, which saved my life and was amazing! but left me with a gigantic scar up and down my spine. it also cut my first tattoo, and when they sewed me back together it was lopsided and very obvious. my scar was very noticeable because of the crooked tattoo on my spine. it really made very uncomfortable and i became self conscious about my back 24/7.

reality: i decided that i would celebrate my scar and my spine when i turned 30 years old by tattooing a large art piece on my back. i took art inspirations from my great-grandmother and had a huge phoenix tattooed on my back, which covers up my scar and is a forever reminder of one of the most inspirational women in my entire life. i know i would not be here without her. 

so those are just a few examples of how i chose to take what i perceived to be a flaw and turn them into happy realities. life isn’t always perfect, but i’m happy to say that mine is imperfectly perfect.

happy-to-be-me

tatt

<3

have you ever taken a body negative and turned it into a positive?

 

Fri-YAY Wrap it Up

and tie it with a bow…. 

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geez it’s been a long week, and it was a short one! work has been good and nicely busy, however all the OTHER stuff outside of work has been snowballing into an icy mass.

i can sum up the week with the personal to-do list that i totally crushed, well sort of:

  • september birthdays
  • wedding presents
  • trip planning
  • emotional demons trying to have their way with me
  • new running stuff

before i yammer on, i need to acknowledge something…

so today is September 11th. i can’t believe it’s already been 14 years since that horrendous tragedy. i’m taking a moment to honor all the lives lost and lives touched by those events…

nverforget911

so as i was saying, it’s been a hectic week. not bad, just hectic. i like a certain level of chaos… whoa tell that to my therapist. ha!

work and my own personal demons have been taking up my mental space. luckily i’ve had some good runs and workouts, and home life has been quite niiiiiiiiiiiiice. best of all my dogs are healthy and happy.

birthdays…. 

so hello september. oh how quickly you arrived! i would have appreciated a bit more time, how rude. it’s a big month over here in the Smith haus. seems like everyone in my circle is having a birthday: my boss, then my brother, then my husband. and i’m sure there are others that i know and i keep hearing talk about birthdays, but the ones i need to focus on are those. chit chit chit.

what on earth to get my boss/mentor/family friend???? seriously! she loves walking in nature, that’s where we conduct 50% of our business. she loves the theatre… perhaps i’ll get her tickets to a show? still mulling this over. suggestions are always welcome. she has impeccable taste so i’m probably not going to get her jewelry. she’s ‘fancy’ 😀 maybe a nice dinner? hmmmm

my brother’s gifts are sorted – whoa talk about stressful. i thought it’d be easy to just order stuff from Amazon UK and have it shipped to him in Scotland, easy peasy right? not so much. there was a whole ordeal with my credit card because they didn’t recognize his address, of course, and then i had to prove my identity a thousand times. now part of the gift arrived and he was not there to sign,so now he has the pleasure of going to get it. aye vey. oh well, i still think he’ll love what i got him: a really nice wok, a wok spatula, jack daniels bbq sauce gift box deluxe, naughty cow salt n pepper shakers, naughty man wine openers… and a vegan bbq cookbook that he requested, but i accidentally got it in german. OOPS hopefully he’ll appreciate the hilarity of it all

for my darling hubby, i have planned a night of blues and seafood. his favorite things. we are going to this club that he’s never been to,the big easy , and hopefully he’ll like it. i haven’t been in years but i’m hoping it will impress him. i’m still deciding on where to go for seafood dinner… but i’m pretty sure it will be here.

wedding presents…. 

one of my younger brothers is getting married next month in Arizona. i’m very VERY excited! they only invited 50 guests total, including family, and since we have a large family that makes me feel very special. we didn’t grow up together, but i’ve always loved him. he’s just a brilliant, wonderful man. i’m so happy for him and his future wife. i can’t wait to meet her. they are both in the AF and have never lived anywhere together or in the same city before, until  now. how cool is that? i love Arizona so i can’t wait.

i was racking my mind trying to get them something unique, but what i didn’t do was check their actual registry… duh! thank goodness i did. they have requested donations to their honeymoon, their favorite restaurant, and the humane society. i love it! i donated money to their favorite restaurant because hey, i love feeding people virtually.

trip planning…. 

this is something we have not technically completed but that is because it requires my  husband’s attention and time to finalize details. we have decided, finally, that for our grand NYE trip we are going to simplify and drive to New Orleans. NOLA for NYE. yeah! that decision took us months of flip-flopping… we had planned on going with friends to Buenas Aires, Argentina, for the holidays, but then we realized that a) we are about to buy a house next year, b) we are going to Europe and the UK to see my brother next summer, and c) tickets are over $2000 per person just for the flight. yikes. yeah so we’ve been talking about other options and i LOVE the idea of a simple 6 hour drive. we get to have our own car and not mess with airports… sorry, but it’s madness. no thanks, i’ll just sit back with my snacks and put my feet up 🙂

emotional demons…. 

my emotions have really been on red alert lately, i’m practically a blubbering mess. i’ve been having these dreams about my grandmother and being chased by white/silver fluffy racoons, and losing my husband in a coffee shop. i wake up sweating and making sure he’s okay. and then think about my grandmother all day… wondering why she chose food over her life? why didn’t she want to take care of herself? didn’t she love us? why did she leave so early? i know, deep chit. ugh! but it’s made me face these demons and i’ve concluded that i have some work to do. i need to take care of myself a bit better, and by that i mean i need to just accept the fact that my sweet milk tea makes me a little hormonally cray cray. i’ve been in recovery for long enough to know what all foods taste like and i’m really at the point where i want to feel good and have a healthy body, i would really like to conceive and that’s where i’m at. i’ve done the ‘eat everything in moderation’ crap for a long time. and guess what? i’m not good at moderation!!!! that is OK. i’m happier and saner when i just eliminate certain things. that’s just how it is. it’s like telling a crack head to smoke just a little bit each day… ugh it drives me nuts. i feel like i’m constantly on the verge of breaking when i follow the stupid moderation rules. and intuitive eating is not for me. i don’t have any smart brain in my stomach, i did the intuitive eating thing for a whole year at first, and guess what i ate? nothing but peanut butter, almond butter, and honey. and apple sauce. what da fuck. so yeah, i need to just accept how awesome my life is and how good i feel when i take care of ME. seriously.

new running stuff….

i’ve discovered OOFOS!!! oh my goodness gracious, they are seriously the most comfortable things i’ve put on my feet ever. i was having some heel pains and was worried that i would have to take time off from running. well, luckily i complained to the right person because this girl from my running club suggested these. she was my angel in running wear, and i’m forever grateful. i love them so much that i got 3 pairs: 2 for me, and 1 for the hubby. he loves them, too. seriously check them out… i might be late to this game but whatever. LOVE

OOFOS

so that’s all i got. hope everyone had a great week!

 

what’s planned for the weekend? i’m going to a fancy fundraiser tomorrow and get to have my hair done and wear an Indian handmade sari!!! i’m so excited 🙂

 

injureez: work through da chit

i hate dislike talking about the ‘bad’ stuff, but ya know what? chit happens. stuff happens. life happens. and yes, injuries do happen. even to the best of us. i’m talking to you runners out there, but anyone who can read can partake in my babble and banter. it’s always a party over here ya know. so this post is about what i’ve done when i have had to take some time off from training, running, or working out, heaven forbid.

(ok maybe not every runner has been injured. apparently there are special runners out there that have never been injured. i have not met one, but i haven’t met a unicorn either… so which is real? you tell me) 

let me tell you, i have had a lot of falls, bumps, scrapes, and injuries in my life. shoot, after a major surgery i can tell you that any athletic endeavor does not come without a bit of suffering. no sir-ee! but i’m tough, yes sadly this is true. i think i was born half gangsta, half princess. with a hint of dancing queen… i digress.

gangsta girl
i can’t help how i was born.. womp womp

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so my point of this post is to share my thoughts (in a very rambling, nonsensical way – my usual modus operandi) about how to come back from injuries as a runner, since running is my joy jam these days, post the last IMTX of 2014. and oh by the way, this is targeted towards all runners and people who train, coming at you from a regular gal’s point of view and experience. i’m no pro, so obviously don’t take my word on all this. these are things that have worked for me, and i’ve tried a CHIT load! and sorry, i’m not Ben Greenfield and don’t spend $$$$ on wearing space pants for recovery. props to big Ben G, he’s totally a badass. but nope, my methods are what i consider to be manageable and doable for the common average runner who do this stuff for fun. we’re all badass indeed, but you know what i mean. right? sorry if i’m offensive, just putting it all out there.

aside from running, i dig dancing as well, specifically 90’s hip hop dancing or 80’s gothic/sway/i’m a dead doll dancing. i love dancing! but on the daily, i guess it’s easier for me to lace up rather than rock out. how lame am i? hmmmmm 

like i said i am not a pro runner or top athlete by any means. i just dig putting on my kicks or hoka’s or nike’s – whatever – and running out the door. and feeling all free and chit. ahhhhh the fresh air, the sweat, the losing myself in the steps. i love it.

but there have been some really, really sad times when i suffered some injuries or was not able to run. sometimes for just a short while, other times i was out for weeks and (gasp!) months! yes. i have dealt with some very sad injuries, and injured runners are no fun to be around.

running-injury

provoke
TRUTH

runningwithdrawals

so what to do when you’ve got an injury?

here’s what i have gathered as my golden nuggets of wisdom over the years:

  • SEE A PRO, GET HELP! 
  • first thing is don’t freak out. okay that’s not possible, for most of you runners, but try not to. TRY to stay positive. keeping a positive attitude really does make a difference in recovering from any injury or time off.
  • readjust your plans and goals realistically.
  • get your gait analyzed
  • consider new shoes
  • try new gear
  • try TRX workouts, they are amazing for all
  • introduce yourself to YOU TUBE, if not for inspiration, for laughs. and workout videos for every injury.
  • give yourself extra room to recover and heal.
  • SEE A PRO, GET HELP! 
  • seriously, go see a pro – professional. like physical therapist or chiropractor or witch doctor.
  • follow the dr’s orders! see above: stick to the said plan
  • treat your recovery like your training, it’s just a part of training. do those annoying exercises.
  • find other things you can tolerate: spinning, swimming, jazzercise, zumba. whatever.
  • take baby steps. literally.
  • take nice walks if you are able, it’s therapy for the soul
  • have you tried HOKA running shoes? i love them. see my note about new shoes…
  • SEE A PRO, GET HELP! 
  • start small and slow.
  • be realistic.
  • don’t give up!!!!
  • enjoy and celebrate ALL victories. like hey, i jogged 10 steps today pain free! wahoo!
  • and
    • SEE A PRO, GET HELP! 🙂 

please take it from me, life happens. we can’t all stick to our training plans 24/7 to the dot. it’s okay to adjust, be flexible.

life is so much easier when we allow for chit to happen, cuz it always does… so don’t freak out. and enjoy.

CHEERS! and go see a PRO…

iloverunning

 

Food Glorious Food

and WINE. don’t forget the wine….

food glorious food
no gruel, please
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wine with food = happy

as everyone posts their WIA posts, I am posting a great big homage to all the glorious FOOD (and wine/drinks)I’ve had lately.

I can’t even begin to tell you how lucky I feel, food-wise. we’ve been eating at some amazing restaurants the past few weeks, and also eating some incredibly tasty dishes at home. sadly I have not photographed every single dish eaten, but gosh was it all good. trust me.

I love food, I appreciate food, I need food. that was a ‘duhhh’ remark but still. i’m really enjoying flavors and textures and eating in general lately. perhaps more so than usual? yes I have indeed. and wine and cocktails! let’s not forget about those. in fact, I just tried a Pimms cup for the first time and I think I found heaven, or at least tasted it. it was a moment of true splendor.

charitypimms
all for me…

I ACTUALLY thought I was going through a no-wine phase until last night, we had this EPICally good pinot noir from the bayou bar at whole foods. yes, our whole foods market has the most amazing and popular wine bar in the world. the WORLD. we live 100 feet away and yes, we are regulars. so are the other 13 people that we see there. we are basically wine nerds that love all things wine and food. I have found my tribe.

ilovemyTribe
I really do

so back to this bitchin pinot noir… I honestly thought I was OVER pinot noir since the movie Sideways. watching that movie had me drinking pinot noir by the case, it was madness I tell you, madness!!! that was a long time ago and I still thought I was over the pinot noir phase. as if I had consumed all the best pinot noirs on the planet. i’m such a dumbass sometimes.

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the movie that led to a pinot noir explosion…
Sideways-Movie-Poster
such a great flick
Ne-Plus
i can’t quit you

so back to last night, sitting/standing at the bayou wine bar with close friends, I was convinced I was not in the wine mood but was just being social. UNTIL the little wine wizard behind the bar pulled out this bottle, and poured me a small glass… and said, “here, try this” and I did. and I died a thousand times in splendor and happiness. it was pinot noir from Oregon, and it was DIVINE.

I don’t have a picture but just trust me it was freaking amazing. and made me realize that good wine is just good wine. and it’s impossible to never have pinot noir again. just because it was mega popular and over-consumed (by me) many moons ago, it does NOT mean that I’ve handed over my rights and must never consume it again. how silly I am sometimes. honestly though, I know i’m going on and on about pinto noir, but it just reminds me that I need to not make SILLY ridik rules for myself for no reason whatsoever.

BUT I will say, since my romp with pinot noir, I have discovered many other reds that I adore: zin, malbec, some chianti, burgundy, cab franc, petit syrah… and anything layercake. oh geeeeezzzus I can talk about wine for days. help me.

I-love-wine-Wednesday

so back to the food!

I have had my moments in life where food and i were not friends. you can read about it somewhere here on my blog… hint. the past year or so that has dramatically changed. especially in the recent months. meeting my husband truly did change me for the better – it basically made me comfortable with myself and appreciate how awesome life is again. and along with that comes food. food is amazing, we are so lucky to have taste buds!!!! I feel sorry for those who just view food as fuel. hello, i workout and I GET YOU ARE A HARDCORE fucking ROBOT and just eat food to get you to the next workout, but give me a fucking break. this makes me want to use the word twat for some reason… I have no reason or necessity, just thought i’d let you know. of course with a british accent because I speak british when i’m annoyed. cheerio.

i love food and happen to love it’s tastiness. I like that it fuels me but also makes me happy on the inside. SMIZE. those of you that are still afraid of you, message me. I’ve been there. you CAN break free. trust me on this. and when you like yourself and food again, life rocks.

so on that note, here is a list of food items I am obsessed with lately, in no particular order:

  • coconut flakes
  • triple cappuccinos with vanilla shots
  • marcona almonds
  • red wine
  • pimms cups
  • amaretto sours
  • chocolate almonds with turbinado sugar and sea salt
  • buffalo chicken wings with blue cheese
  • hamburger patty with mushrooms and butter
  • eggs with goat’s milk gouda
  • BUTTER
  • tamari mixed with coconut cream as a sauce
  • coconut cream
  • heavy whipping cream in place of mayo (we ran out and it’s freaking amazing!)
  • canned tuna from trader joe’s
  • smoked ghost pepper from trader joe’s
  • goat’s milk cheeses

okay that’ all I can think of for now. here are some pics of my favorite eats lately… enjoy

thaidess greentofu filling scallops egg with avo meat sauce bolognese old e grill old eb grill FullSizeRender breakfast IMG_1276 IMG_1203 IMG_1200 IMG_1190

do you like wine? do you LOVE wine????

anything awesome in your mouth lately? hahahahahahaha

insweat&sriracha,

Danielle

 

sweaty runny story

love-running
yes i really do. credit racingthestates.com

runny story? I meant running but I like to rhyme when I have the time, cuz it’s sublime. That was Gross, I’m sorry.

Anyhow, so yes, I LOVE to sweat. And I also LOVE to run EVEN THOUGH I’m not that good at it and it jacks with me sometimes. Ok lots of times but whatever!

bayou trail
HAPPY PLACE

So I have a runny running story…

Running really does have a special place in my heart, a wee little corner of my heart is exclusively for running. So preciousssss. With the lotion…. And I’m a weirdo. Yeah.

precious dog2
precious…
precious dog
yesssss
Precious_Preview_display
this is precious even more

I remember the first time I consciously ‘ran’ was in the 1st grade playing t-ball. I sprinted to a base or some ‘thing’ in the dirt and it was so much fun to just go-go-go!!!! Vroooooom, I loved it, I felt speedy like a cartoon on TV.

speedy_gonzales
i felt like him! delusional thinking happened at an early age for me

Then in 2nd grade we had a track to run around, and I raced this little kid and actually beat him, (then never did that again but that one time was exhilarating… ) I loved the feeling of being free. *side note, I used to run around at school wearing Mary Jane shoes and loafers – how on earth did my feet not suffer? I wish I could have that gift of being oblivious to pain in my present life.* I loved running during recess but never engaged in it seriously, and then I was diagnosed with scoliosis at age 10 so running was not exactly in my mind. But later on during the teenage years of angst&energy, I needed to do something that got me out of the crazy house and away from the parental units. I remember being 14 and getting up before school to go walk so I could clear my head; eventually I started to jog and before I knew it, I was jogging for 45 minutes straight! Now later on I discovered that it took me 45 minutes to cover 3.2 miles, but still. For me, that was pretty awesome. I got into tae kwon do when I was 12 and then started kung fu when I was 16, which had us run a little bit for warm-ups. I was loving the running again! and since I was dating a guy who ran track, I got rather interested in running more than just a 13 minute mile for a change. He ran with me all summer and I ended up doing my first 5K that fall in 27 minutes. Amazing! I used EVERYTHING I had in my body and it felt awesome!!!! I never even knew there were distances beyond a 5K, I thought I had just run the entire marathon for real. Like really, I thought a marathon was a 5K and vice versa. Ummmm yeah, so I’m not exactly good with details sometimes. Eep.

After that 5K I tabled the running thing for a while so I could losemymind and drinkunderage; I started running again when I found my brain and got sick of being hung over. When I was told I would need the back surgery, I was 20 years old. I figured I would probably never run again; the surgeon said I could if I wanted to but just to be very careful, and obviously not to try running till I was completely healed. It honestly wasn’t even on my radar!

fragile

Eventually after 4 years of just walking and riding a recumbent bike EVERY single day for physical therapy, I asked at one of my checkups if I could run again. The doc said, sure why not? Just be CAREFUL and gentle and stop if anything hurts, but honestly I could run, bike, or swim if I wanted to anytime. Just no full-contact sports, so bye-bye to my football career! They always told me to swim if I could because it’s the best thing for backs, but I just couldn’t get the same feeling in the water that I did from running. I loved the water of course, but after my surgery I stayed out of the water for several years because I was a)embarrassed about my giant scar all the way down my back, and b) not into it at all, mostly because of ‘a’

Anyhow, one day during another walk I decided to just try a little jog. Oh boy it was weird and it sort of hurt! But it felt great to actually have some pep in my step again… gee I missed that feeling. Just to jog a little bit was awesome, and it motivated me to eat more food since under-eating was another side issue all the time. So since the jogging didn’t kill me, I decided to try a short jog just once a week and I loved it. I did NOT have the right shoes of course but quickly learned that after losing some toenails.

So the next couple of years I jogged a bit here and there, and then all of the sudden in 2005, I found myself spinning and then someone told me about a sprint triathlon. What??? I must have grown a giant set of balls during that time because before I knew it, I signed up for a sprint triathlon, after never really running more than 30 slow minutes since my back surgery. But I took it serious and trained in all 3 sports: swim, bike, run. And I managed to not only finish the sprint, but I had a total BLAST!!! And realized not only could I run, but I loved it again! the swimming and biking were not as lovable or natural to me, but the running felt the most freeing and I just loved that I could do it anywhere.

KICK FEAR IN THE FACE

tricri

That little sprint triathlon made me realize that I could actually do things that I NEVER thought I could do after my surgery, and that was the best feeling I ever felt in my life. Before that time, I was scared of swimming, totally terrified of riding a bicycle outdoors, and had given up on ever really running. It’s so amazing what happened to me when I got outside of my self-made box and stepped out of my comfort zone.

Since then I’ve run a couple of 10K’s, several ½ marathons, 2 full marathons, and done several triathlons including 3 half ironman’s, and 2 full ironman’s. Before that little sprint triathlon in the fall of 2005 I would NEVER have guessed I could ride a bike more than 5 miles, or run more than a mile, and definitely not swim more than 10 laps. Low and behold, somehow some way I managed to beat my own limits to the dirt and proved to myself that I really am stubborn as shit heck… and that’s okay because when I put my mind to something, I can really get some shit stuff done.

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i thought i looked kinda cool..
imtx
IM lives forever
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one of the greatest experiences of my life…
IMTX 2014
true JOY and pride

I know many peeps and awesome kats have done some amazing things and beat some badass odds.

what are some things you have done that you never thought you would? i seriously never thought i would ride a bike, especially not more than 10 miles.. eep!

do you love running? i can’t run every day but i really do love the feeling when i do

is there an activity or workout that just makes your heart sing and is your ‘special place’ like with the lotion? or not the lotion…

in sweat&sriracha,

danielle