Thursday, January 30, 2014

30 for 30

Today is January 30, 2014 and it is the 30th consecutive day that I have exercised for a minimum of 30 minutes. Yay! Go me!

Quite some time ago (I'm feeling it’s been over two years, but I can't be sure), I joined a fitness group on FaceBook which is facilitated by the highly acclaimed filmmaker and activist, Byron Hurt. The description for B. Hurt "30 for 30" Fitness Challenge states, " ... this is a health and fitness support group. It is not a competition, nor is it a place to feel shamed for missing workouts or failing to work out for 30 minutes or more for 30 consecutive days. This is a space where we collectively share our workouts, our successes, our progress, our failures, difficulties, ups and downs, obstacles, and our pride in ourselves after working out for 30 days in a row." All of this is true!!!!!!!!

This is the first time I have actually made it to 30 days. I have a habit of starting hard and falling off. Sometimes I fall way, way, way off, for months on end, but I always start again.

Over the years, I have had a rocky relationship with my health, wellness and view of my body. I have set goals, revised them, and altogether scraped them. At times I have shared my vision with others, at times I kept it between God and myself. I have received advice, tried to fit other people’s regimens into my schedule, felt like I wasn't doing enough and gotten overwhelmed with it all. I have dropped weight & gained it back, multiple times. Right now, I am reflecting on “30 days” and feel like sharing, because you know, that’s how I do.

I started the year dancing at a party hosted by another member of the “30 for 30” group. On that day I decided I was going to move for at least 30 minutes every day this month. Whatever movement I chose, I knew it would be better than none at all. My goal is to be healthy. I have the rest of my life to achieve this, so there is no rush. I need to build a foundation of good habits and then build on it as I go along. So move I did. I dusted off my belly dance dvd collection and got to shimmying. After a while, I felt like venturing down to the gym and hit the elliptical machine or treadmill for a few days. Someone threw out a 24 day ab challenge, so I added crunches, leg lifts and planks to the mix. Some days I didn't feel like doing anything, but I pushed myself and jogged in place while watching TV. The point is, I moved. Most days I did the minimum of 30 minutes, sometimes I did more. In the future, I will probably add other forms of exercise & I will certainly get back to walking in the park or by the pier when the weather breaks.

So what changes have I seen this month? Well, my body is still fluffy, that hasn't changed too much yet (and I’m not really sure how much I want it to). I didn't weigh myself at the beginning of the year because I didn't feel like it. I did start getting on the scale on the 13th and in the last two weeks I lost two pounds. What’s more important is that I have made some changes in my eating habits - green smoothies every day for breakfast, more water, more salads, less processed foods, no lunches from Wendy’s, no Starbucks – that will benefit me in the long run. My time management skills are improving. If I want to make a green smoothie or be able to bring my lunch to work, I have to ensure I have all the items I need at home ahead of time. If I know I’m going to be out and about at night, I have to wake up early and get that 30 minutes in. This rolls over into other aspects of my life as well. That’s it for now, but that’s enough. I am a work in progress and I like what I see!

Tomorrow will be Day 31. Rest day before the new month? Nah; I’ll be meeting the BigCity R&B Line Dancers & getting my movement in. There’s room for one more if you want to join the fun!

Monday, January 6, 2014


My sister/mentor Hakikah Shamsiden of Shamsiden Coaching has proposed a One Word journey instead of New Year resolutions. “The concept behind One Word is to select a single word for the year and let it be one of your guiding principles.” (Please click the link above to read more on this exciting idea!)

I previously mentioned that I have a guiding scripture that shapes how I move in the world. Therefore, the concept of One Word resonates with me as I continue to mature and evolve. Through the years, I learned that when something just comes to me, it’s usually the Spirit prompting me & the wise action is to just go with it. As I read Hakikah’s post, the word fluidity jumped out at me; this is my word for the year. Fluidity can be defined as the property of flowing easily. It is a variation of fluid which, according to Merriam Webster, means having particles that easily move and change their relative position without a separation of the mass and that easily yield to pressure. I like that. Fluid usually describes objects that can change or adapt easily yet maintain their essence. It reminds me of water (ya'll know how much I love the water), flowing freely, not being deterred by obstacles – simply surrounding them or seeping through & continuing on the journey.

Fluidity – going with the flow – not getting all bent out of shape when things don’t proceed as I envisioned. Yeah, that hasn't always been me, but I am moving in that direction. Fluidity – rolling with what works for me & not getting bogged down with what “should” be. Fluidity – recognizing that maybe I am a little unconventional & not trying to twist into some other, more traditional, form. Fluidity – not being afraid to continually redefine myself. Fluidity - not passing judgment on those who happen to move differently through life than I do. Fluidity - knowing that one day I may not be able to hold my tongue when someone just can't stop themselves from invading my space on the bus and understanding that it will be alright. :-)

Yes, this year I will open myself up to all the possibilities, lessons, experiences that will come my way with fluidity. How about you? Would you like to join me in the One Word expedition?