Posts Tagged ‘shred’

the gym

the voices come trickling back into my life.  when i was younger and my world was so much darker the voices were always there filling up my mind and my days.  as i grew up, and found my self, and my path, i learned that the voices were just insecurities and not me.  that i am so much more then self doubt.

but as my life is little strained now, i find the pitter patter of those voices dropping back into my silent moments.  slippery little voices, sliding into the space that was filled with quiet warmth or love.  ah, hello voices.  i said one night when they were keeping me awake.  i am tired please be quiet so i can sleep.

now i have to remind myself.  i am not my thinking self.  i am not my thinking self.  i am not my thinking self.  oh yeah, so what am i?  you are this right here.  (heart focus.)  yes, there i am.

i decided that if i can try to get some exercise it would be good for me.  mental health, i think, mental health.  my plan is to try to join the gym and go to the exercise classes while the bean is at preschool.  on monday i drove there with both my kids and asked if i could have a trial period.  i need the trial to see if i really have the will power to make myself go.  if chickpea can hang tough in the child care center there.  if i enjoy the classes at all.

on tuesday i tried it all out.  all the voices were trying to convince me not to go.  that i would feel stupid in the class since i am so out of shape.  that i look to fat in my workout clothes.  that i am just not a gym kind of person and everyone there will know that and i will be an outsider and no one will like me and i will fail.  fail at what?  doesn’t matter.  slippery voices.

i went.  i stood in the back.  i followed the instructor and i looked at the women all around me moving and kicking and punching the air and raising their knees and their heart rate.  not a single one was judging me.  no one pointed or laughed.  some smiled.  i was tired but i stuck with it.  i felt the voices trying to one up me when i glanced in the mirror and saw my red hot face, when fatigue started kicking in, but i said, shush up now voices.  i am not my thinking self.  i am this here.  this heart.  this thudding pounding breaking beating working over-time strong proud beautiful heart.  me.

i settled in to my true self and set my awareness the way i did when i was shredding with intention and i let the sweat pull all the toxins out of me.

and then, there was the woman from the childcare waving at me.  so i grabbed my water bottle and strode out of the class fifteen minutes early.  i walked to the room and grabbed my baby who was missing her mama.  i thanked the woman for getting me right away as i had requested.  i hugged my baby girl tight and i sniffed in her sweet sweet baby girl smell and i loved on her perfect heft and weight and the way she lays her head on my shoulder and hugs me back.

i considered feeling guilty that i had left her there at all.  but i decided to check in with my real self.  she said, baby pea is fine.  she needed you and you went to her.  so i let the guilt go and the strangest thing happened.  i felt good.  tired, thirsty, smelly, good.  maybe i am a gym kind of person after all.  maybe i can sweat those slippery voices right out of business.  maybe my heart likes hard work.

the trial lasts a week.  i’ll let you know if i join.


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i have been online a lot less in the last few weeks. this means i have fallen behind in some of the things i enjoy online, reading certain blogs, seeking some sense of companionship and camaraderie from similar thinkers, writers, and parenters that i find here on the interwebs (i am loving making up my own words these days). even finding inspiration to get my buttsky in shapesky (again) as i restart the 30 day shred (again) inspired by all the shredheads (again) and it hurts (again).

i have been on the computer less as i tried to find the rhythm that would take me safely and happily through two weeks at home without flash, and with my two wonderful, lovely, amazing, exhausting children. i know that when i am home without flash i have the instinct to turn the computer on more, to have a sense of adult company. i also know that i tend to lose control of the house being neat enough for me to be happy, i get overwhelmed, i burn out around day six, and it all seems too hard. that is so not what i wanted to have happen when i was facing fourteen some odd days.

so instead of plugging in i unplugged. i tried sitting down in the morning with the kids to all eat breakfast together. i made a rule about television that i am happy with. i tried to leave myself more time for housework so that i could include the bean in the work and not be frustrated by the constant interruption of redirecting chickpea as she explores the house, the cupboards, the drawers, the shelves, the toy bins, the stairs, the door to outside, the toilet and so on and so on. i still come online each day for a bit. i try to write something because writing serves me well. but i have gotten behind in my reading, in my commenting on blogs i like, even in the whole stream of availableness that makes twitter enjoyable.

i do have a point here. though so far i am just going on and on. i think i mentioned the waldorf book i am reading heaven on earth (i have been warned it has some discipline suggestions i will not agree with but otherwise i am finding it to be a helpful and inspiring read). i also was gifted a copy of amanda soule’s book the creative family which i am loving. so as i have unplugged i have been doing more reading of ink on paper, which in some ways allows me to be a little slower, i find, i underline some things or make notes in the margins and then i turn out the light and drift off to sleep.

it has been nice slowing down, connecting with the kids, unpacking my bag at the end of each day and being sure to wash out all the snack containers and water bottles. taking the time to pack snack before we go out even (for all this i must thank my brother and sister in law – the lovely cakeissweet who are totally on top of this kind of stuff and who i learned from by watching while we visited with them this summer). i put away the dishes in the drying rack when i come down first thing in the morning while i am waiting for my water to boil for coffee. i make the beds. i do the dishes, every single one i can find, before i go up to sleep. seriously, this is not how i have been for the last year (or thirty one years) and i have no idea if it is something i can keep up and the list of things i want to fit into my day and life seems to only grow each day which is totally overwhelming and i am looking for a support group (anyone anyone) but life is good.

so, it was with much joy that i headed over to one of my favorite bloggers today and read about her day of gratitude she shared with her little one recently. i decided i wanted to take her invitation to list things i am grateful for here on my blog (though it sure has taken me a long time to get around to it). to limit myself from going on and on i will make a list of ten.  ten things i am grateful for right now:

  1. my family
  2. woven wraps, and my ability to use them
  3. my recent peace with my parenting style
  4. the really nice date i had with flash on thursday
  5. the animals i have had throughout my life
  6. non ordinary reality
  7. good therapists
  8. local fruit finally at the farmers market
  9. tripp trapp chairs borrowed from a friend while she vacations
  10. knowing what it looks like to watch a retired racing greyhound run as fast as the wind for the sheer joy of it, and knowing that i want that in my life again at some point.

thank you green mamma for reminding me that although i am striving constantly to learn and grow it is imperative to balance that out with a gratitude for what i have and know.  and now everyone who reads please join me in sending the lovely green mamma some “happy healthy beautiful perfect timing” birth vibes as she waits to meet her baby boy.

signing off.

or rather, going back to searching the internet for a nice place to take sewing lessons.  (or should i focus on canning?  or knitting?  or making my own cheese?  or…)

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this moment in time feels so familiar to me.  i have idea’s and plans and so much to do and instead of moving into the work i am on the couch in my pajama’s and i haven’t washed my face in days.  ok, not entirely true, today i washed my face and brushed my teeth and got dressed by 8 am but i did have an appointment.  in general, this week i have been gray and a little sullen and in that zone of too much to do and doing nothing.  i want to be doing but instead i am not and the longer i am not doing the more i feel behind in my doing the more overwhelmed i am and the more stuck i get.  hello my good friend rabbit.  so nice to see you again.  here we are, frozen in our fear together.

what do i want and need to be doing:

work for my class (reading and papers)

laundry (we got behind while i was in class)

creating rhythm and activity in my days at home with the kids (for bean especially)

reading to get ideas on how to start the rhythm/activity stuff

making a plan of what the days could look like

implementing the plan

going through the toys (again) and getting rid of the plastic stuff i hate hate hate (some can stay but not the triple hate stuff)

organizing my desk area (ikea would really help if we could swing the funds)

writing about non-attachement on this blog

SHREDDING (for the love of all things holy i know i’d feel better if i got back to it but i am so tired i don’t and so on and so on)

geting my eye brows waxed (this is shallow but pleasing)

getting my hair cut (see above)

shipping books out to green mamma

shipping out sold dipes

learning to knit well enough to make things

learning to sew too

being generally amazingly crafty like soulemama

adopting a dog into our family

getting involved in the local food pantry

painting the bedrooms

making the kids rooms nicer to be in

finishing the second front garden

canning some things (learning to can) for the winter

learning to make my own cheese!

having more fun parenting

going on a nice date with flash

sleeping, sleeping, and sleeping some more.

oh yes, a little sleep might go a long way.  with flash away the timing for the pea’s recent sleep strike isn’t great.  she is keeping me up most of the night and there is no one to take her when she is up for the day so i get a little break.  she is nursing a ton, biting, tossing and turning and whining.  i am guessing maybe a tooth is coming but from 1 am until i give up hope at 5:45 i am not really as compassionate as i could be.  i am tired!  right now i am drinking coffee (albeit half caf) in the afternoon which is basically me asking to be up until 1 am which is around the time she stops sleeping so i am caught in a cycle here.  and, isn’t it funny that i want more babies!

so how are all of you on this long gray week?  anyone else want to share their to do list?  or their sleep deprivation stories?  or a late afternoon mini half caf?

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it has been overcast around here for days and today the weather decide that just for kicks it would produce rain all day.  i piled the kids into my monster sized car and drove a few towns over to whole foods.  i make the trek a few times a year for things i like and have trouble finding anywhere else.  (like just tomatoes peas which bean used to love and chickpea still loves.)

i have been happily reading animal, vegetable, miracle and now i am appropriately obsessed with buying and eating local food. so when i saw the beautiful display of locally grown strawberries and right next to them a few (really pretty pathetic looking in comparison to the strawberries) pieces of rhubarb i had to buy them.

and thus, my plans for the evening include making some gluten free pizza and then perhaps some of this delightful looking strawberry rhubarb crumble. yes, i told myself i was on a diet. yes, i have not shredded since last wednesday which was now almost a week ago. yes, i am supposed to be trying to lose weight. but how can one not answer such an obvious request from the universe? the display was right there. the strawberries looked perfect. they are in season and local. it must be done.

and, as if a sign from the heavens that i am doing the right thing.  the bean just ate like ten peas.  those are his first veggies in weeks!

until tomorrow then.

woowoo mama (of growing girth)

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my decision to do a little woowoo on my daily practice the other day combined with a a meeting of the covenish (as mentioned here and here ) yesterday has shifted things for me. “things” couldn’t possibly be a less descriptive word but sometimes i have problems fitting the experiences of woowoo, energy shifts, awareness, into language. hang in there with me.


one of the things i have been reminded of is the power of setting intention and using attention or awareness to make any activity a part of the practice. i know, i should in some way be able to define what “the practice” is and i may try to return to that but right now i am just going to keep trying to fit these little puzzle pieces together and loop back to shredding.


my thinking about my practice was in part reinvigorated by a post put up by mind body mama (whose blog i really like) on the container and the practice. my brain wasn’t ready to fully process how her piece related to me but it was sitting in there like a nice portion of food to be digested. sometimes i can just tell there is a message for me but i am not sure what the message is and so i just hold onto things and slowly it fits itself into my brain and heart where it should. reminds me a little of the biological basis class i had to take as part of my masters in counseling psychology where i didn’t understand what i was reading when i read it, but if i let go of my concern over that and just let it sit i “got it” eventually. but, i digress.


mind body mama’s writing was sitting with me, and then i did my own woowoo the other day which kind of reaffirmed things and then more talk during covenish yesterday and suddenly there was some clicking into place. anything i chose to use as a container can be one. gardening, yes and breathing and making the bed and folding the diapers and nursing the pea to sleep at night. the world is my oyster.


this realization paired up with my own thoughts on exercise and with some stuff that wotw and i were talking about a little while ago with regards to my shredding. (what is shredding? it is the act of doing this 30 day shred dvd. somehow the fad is sweeping the blogosphere and i got hooked in.) the truth is that i do want to find a fitness routine that helps me to drop some of my baby growing weight and tones my body back up a bit because i think i feel healthier when i am in better shape. the other truth is that i think working out my body helps me to stay happier. but i am afraid that it is all too easy to get sucked into the shredding as something that i do mindlessly. the shredding becomes a physical activity to push myself through instead of a time set aside to work my body while listening to my body and staying clearly focused and attentive on what there is to learn.


jillian even says at some point on level 2 something to the affect of “i want you to feel like you are dying.” and i am sorry, i think jillian should be commended for creating a workout routine that so many people are benefiting from but putting out there the idea that as we exercise we should ignore input from our body and spirit and get to the point of feeling like death simply doesn’t help me.


when i was in college up in maine at bates (briefly, before transferring to hampshire college in western mass. which was a much better fit for me) i took a “short term” class taught by an intensely cool philosophy professor on the art, philosophy and practice of karate. we met in a gym room and treated it like a dojo, the professor was a black belt and she led us through some basic karate training. we also read a lot of books (like the art of war, the tao of jeet kune do)and talked about the thinking behind martial arts. this was sort of my first introduction to having a physical practice and a philosophy or spirituality that were linked, working together, combined.


later on in life i was introduced to the practice of yoga and i once again was submerged into the art of using the body work as a container for some more spiritual practice. so, when wotw was voicing some concern over how exactly i was shredding it wasn’t like i thought she had no point. i just wasn’t yet ready to figure out what it meant to me. what i did clarify for myself at that time was that i could not fall into using the shredding as way to “prove” anything or to be “tough.” it is more important to me that i stay comfortable physically and that i hold my chiropractic structure than that i look good in a swim suit or that i move through the three levels at the suggested pace. sounds like a simple enough truth to hold onto but it is hard for me. once i decide i want to get into better shape i really do want to power on through and get into better shape. but there is that nagging voice in the back of my head saying “push yourself but do it with awareness.”


because i do believe it is possible for me to shred, to push myself, to get more fit, to get sore and struggle and make it really tough, and also to be present and aware and using the shred as a container. the trick is to set my intention and to use my awareness and to stay on top of things. in my yoga practice i learned a lot about how my body likes to fall into doing things “incorrectly” because then it feels easier in the moment but that leads me to pain and injury i do not need. for example, each minute adjustment a yoga teacher describes makes my body feel like it is working much harder, and it is, but it also leave more comfortable over all at the end. lets say we are in a warrior pose with our front leg bent at a 90 degree angle. the teacher might ask us to bring our attention to the arch of our foot and to lift it up off the ground which will then straighten out our thigh. when i do this my quad says, “wow, it is a lot harder to be straight” and also my knee says “thank you for taking the strain off of me and putting it onto the muscle that can bear it safely.”


ok i am sorry if this is getting wordy. i did say i was piecing things together. so today i really did not want to shred. i started off strong with my shredding at the beginning of may and fit it in about 5 times a week and noticed real changes in my body. then last week i was sick, the bean was sick, and chickpea was sick and i did nothing. not a single shred. i was way too sick and exhausted and sleep depraved. it has been very difficult for me to get myself back into shredding. i simple do not want to do it. but i know, from before, that if i can make myself i will feel better.


today i decided to try out the idea of using my shred as a practice. shred as a container to hold my practice. i was determined to bring awareness and not just toughness to the workout. i still did the full 20 minutes of level 2. i still felt like puking at the end. but, yet, it was totally different. each movement i checked in with my body to make sure it was safe. i challenged myself to try harder but also to be more correct. when i get tired i slump and i let my body cheat its way through the workout just so i can finish. push push push is what i do. and today i asked myself lovingly, “please stand up straight and use your core. if you do not your back is going to be injured.” and i modified things that felt like too much strain on my joints to be safe. and i threw in a little more yoga. and i asked my higher self to chose who to follow for each movement so that i was sure that it was bringing up the right level of energy and challenge for me.


the amazing thing was that i worked so hard, i did push myself (maybe even harder with all my focus on correct use of my body) and my higher self did at time chose to follow natalie (the harder version of the moves for you non-shredders). other times my higher self told me to put down the weights. and you know what, i listened.


at the end of the workout i had the usual adrenaline high going on but i had something else too…that feeling you can get sometimes from meditation or from a really good yoga class or from listening to a chakra balancing cd turned up so loud your whole body gets it. i was vibrating with energy. core energy. god is within me energy. kundalini, the snake had uncoiled and i was just alight.  a light.

i think that i have found the new goal for myself with shredding. yes, i want to get fit. but i do not want to do it through putting on my blinders and toughing things out. my higher self is tough, my aware self is tough, and she is also in tune with my body and good at making smart decisions. so i am going to try to do a different kind of shred. the kind that insists on being present, focusing, attentive and aware. a zen and the art of shredding kind of shred. a woowoo kind of shred.

any other shredders out there want to join me? or even just discuss?

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i have been exploring twitter recently which is a win lose situation.  on the win side there are some funny people out there and reading their quips and looking at links they put up is entertaining and occasionally enlightening.  on the lose side i have yet another social media to spend my time on and yet another way to compare myself to others and come up short.  


not that anyone on twitter is telling me i am mediocre or anything.  (and not just because i seem to be the only one who uses that word.)  its just that i read these little updates and i have to stop and think, “what?”  sometimes when i look around my cluttered house with camera’s and arbonne products on the kitchen counter, cloth diapers and shipping boxes on the dining room table, toys in every room including the bathrooms, i can tell myself it is ok because i am very busy taking care of my two kids.  or even, on my more judgmental days i might think that people with cleaner homes must not be parenting as attentively as they could, or that they are perfectly wonderful parents but they are not ap and i have chosen to be ap and thus i get less done.


but then i get on twitter and there are these potentially great, maybe ap, mom’s and dad’s on there who are tweeting away about their swept homes, and line dried laundry, and early morning 5k runs, and late night shredding and i am a little unnerved.  i can’t help but compare myself and conclude that i am falling short.  i do not have this whole thing down.  i might be a farce.  i do still spend some time every day with the chickpea in her wrap snuggled in on my chest for a nap.  and i don’t get much done during that except laptop type things.  i don’t really want to say goodbye to this nap time together, snuggled with my baby, bodies fitting nicely together, feeling her move through sleep cycles.  this is the last baby after all.  when she is done with the nap thing i will never do it again.  


but still, i can’t help but feel i am falling short.  disorganized.  untidy.  not working out enough days a week.  garden not weeded and mulched, some plants still not planted, laundry in the washer and drier that should have been folded and moved this morning to make room for me to start the next load, fridge full of who knows what.  i could go on.  it might be nice some day to see a succession of tweets about the things we have not finished.  just so i didn’t feel so alone.  i can’t be the only one out there with my mouth hanging open and my brain exploding.  can i?



dining room table post fsot photo shoot

dining room table post fsot photo shoot

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shred up (date)

today after dropping the bean at school i pulled all the flowers i bought on sunday back out of the garage and into the sun.  last night we were supposed to get a frost so i had pulled them all in and covered them for protection.  now i had to pull them all back out and give them a drink of water.  then i watered my hanging plants on the front porch and then i put the pea down for her nap.  at that point i had to decide, to shred or not to shred?  


usually the pea will only sleep in her crib for about 30 minutes and then she is up and i put her in the wrap and bounce on my ball and let her finish her nap on my chest.  she loves it, i don’t mind, it works for us.  but that means i can either shred or shower but not both.  yesterday i shredded and no shower.  kind of stinky but i was just staying home post shred and the kids don’t mind.  so, today i decided a shower might be nice.  


i did shred on saturday, sunday and monday.  my first time doing three consecutive days since i started on may first.  on sunday i made the bold leap up to level 2.  i have to tell you though, i fear i am losing points for skimping on the hand weights.  i was bopping around the interwebs today and i saw this post in which a shredder is “reshredding” and talking about it. the blogger says the original time shredding 3lb hand weights were used and now reshredding 5lb hand weights are used. yeah, i am deeply shamed. i am all proud that i moved from my 10 oz soup cans up to my 15.5 oz cans of beans. i think i might need to drag my sorry self back down to the basement to find the dreaded 3lb hand weights and suck it up.

so, i moved up to level 2 but it could be argued that i have been cheating.

whatever. i am still busting my butt and feeling like it matters so please do not let me fall into the black hole of self doubt just because my hand weights are lame. stop yourself woowoo. don’t go there.

today when i chose the shower i actually felt, for the first time since i started this, like i would miss the workout. maybe that is cause i still thought i’d be lifting beans but its still true. i think this is a sign of positive change. today i am clean and shiny but if the night goes well enough i plan to shred tomorrow – holding onto beans or almond butter jars or maybe real hand weights – to the best of my current ability.

while i was writing this the pea woke up from the crib portion of her nap and moved into the wrap portion for a short snooze. now she is up from that and tilting her sweet head back to look up at me. she is telling me something:

pea: bah.
me: bah.
pea: bah.
me: bah.
pea: beh.
me: beh.
pea: mmmmmmmm.
me: (kiss).

she loves this. she could go on and on. she finally has taught me how to speak.


it is time to g pick up the bean at preschool then rush home for lunch then rush out to the chiropractor then rush home for the pea’s second nap.  if you read my blog and you have fallen asleep out of the boredom of this post i am deeply sorry.  if i think of anything more interesting to say i will put it up later today and pull this pile of dust.


otherwise, see ya people.  i maybe be boring today but i am clean and feeling rather peaceful.  go figure.

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