I’m a follower. Always have been.

I made for an enthusiastic and dedicated employee, but only because  I had an editor breathing down my neck. As a freelancer? You cannot even begin to imagine the amount of total suckage that went into my lack of motivation.

Same goes with my exercise routine. When I’m, you know, Not Hormonal and Not Shoving Food That Makes My Cellulite Happy Down My Gullet. Not that that’s happening now, mind you. Just excuse me for a m oment while I wipe the sea salt from the potato chips off my fingers. *ahem*

But back to the exercise...Leah is always talking about finding our soulmate exercise; the one that never gets old, always gets us going, and has us smiling at the end of the workout no matter how difficult it was. For me, it’s a two-fer. I’m a brand new and dedicated yogi, but when it comes to what makes me smile and sweat?

That would be Zumba. I’m a first generation Mexican-American and grew up with rhythm coursing through my veins. Every wedding, every quincianera (Sweet 15), hell…even cleaning days at home with the Norteno music blaring in the background during my childhood proved my mood didn’t matter. Once the music started I had to move. And once I started moving, the smile would begin to spread across my face.

It still does. I might talk a good game of I Don’t Wanna and But My Cramps Are Pissing Me Off and You Expect Me to Move Right Now? But I know for a fact that if I just shut up and stuck one of the many Zumba DVD’s I own into the player (or fired up the Zumba Party on the PS3) I’d be all what cramps? in about five minutes. I’d merengue and salsa and cumbia and laugh when a certain step combination would make me remember skipping around the dance floor with cousins at any number of family weddings. I’d sweat and I’d move and I’d sweat and I’d dance and I’d sweat and I’d smile when buttercup would join up with me, moving her tiny little booty to the music.

I used to go to classes out here in the desert sticks. But I quit when the time commitment to drive to and back from the gym equaled more than the time I was actually spending, you know, zumba-ing. While I was still part of the class scene, though, I’d smile wistfully when one of the ladies in class would appear in full Zumba gear, proudly announcing she had become a certified Zumba instructor. One was a pastor’s wife and she did it solely to teach classes to the women at church.

I thought she was a adorable. I thought she was brave. And I wanted to do the same.

But I never have. I’ve been doing Zumba since Beto Perez could barely speak English and still have the first set of DVD’s that contain so little instruction anyone without the slightest bit of Latin dance experience can’t guess their way through the workout without first doing the beginner’s steps DVD. A LOT.  And ya know? I think I’m pretty good. But I’ve never felt confident enough to see myself in front of that miror, leading the class.

And I still don’t. But I have a new inspiration. Sue, my friend whom you might better know as Mrs. FatAss, recently double-whammied by not only starting Zumba but loving it so much that she immediately ran out, bought some glitter eye-shadow and a coin skirt, and got certified herself. Now? She’s teaching classes and renewing health promises to herself and having smiling through all of it.

That kind of kicks ass.

With a possible cross-country move right on the horizon, I can’t make any promises for the immediate future, but I can say this: Once I have the keys to my new house, wherever that may be, I’m finding a gym as close to home as I can and practicing with real, live people, and I’m going to get myself a pretty little Zumba Instructor certificate with my name on it.

What promises have you made to yourself? And what fears or insecurities have you had to overcome to make your promised goals a reality?

 

I once tweaked my neck sneezing. This is important to note because two days ago I sprained my ankle.

While standing in front of this…

 

I can’t get into further detail because there aren’t any. I limped my way through packing The Husband’s work cooler, getting his dinner done before he woke up for work, and getting Buttercup into bed. I woke up yesterday morning not being able to walk, kissed The Husband goodnight as he climbed into bed to prepare for another midnight shift, and dropped Buttercup off at a friend’s house. That’s when HC Palmquist called to give me the same speech I gave her about being a jackass for driving myself to the ER and told me to stop by her place so she could play taxi.

Frankly, I think she was just looking for some cheap entertainment.

Observe:

check-in Nurse: And what are we seeing you for today?

Me: I either broke or sprained my ankle.

Nurse: When?

Me: Last night.

Nurse: Last night? Um, okay. Have you taken anything for the pain or swelling?

Me: *Blinking* Shit. I  didn’t even realize that was an option. This is why I’d never be invited to appear on Celebrity Rehab.

HC Palmquist: Um, I think you actually have to be a celebrity for that to happen.

Me: Or shot someone in the head and had my name all over the tabloids. –yes, I’m talking about you, Amy Fisher.

HC Palmquist: *shrugs shoulders* Same difference.

Nurse: *Obviously ignoring the exchange* How did you injure yourself.

Me: I was standing in front of my refrigerator.

Nurse: *waiting.*

Me: That’s it. I was standing in front of my refrigerator.

HC Palmquist: Hysterical laughter.

Or this one:

Nurse Practitioner: What did you do to yourself, dear?

Me: No idea. But I can’t put weight on my foot.

NP: This happened when?

Me: Last night.

NP: last night?

Me: Why does everyone act like I should have come in right after I made the sandwich?

HC : *snickering* Because that is what a normal person would have done.

NP: (to HC) Thank you. (to me) Made the sandwich?

ME: That’s how it happened. I was standing in front of the refrigerator.

NP: And?

ME: That’s it. I. Was. Standing. In. Front. Of. The. Refrigerator. I grabbed what I needed to make my husband a sandwich and suddenly felt like comparing the pain in my ankle now shooting up my leg to an unmedicated childbirth.

NP: So, it never occurred to you to take an aspiring for the swelling?

ME: It’s swollen?

 

NP: Really?

HC: Hysterical laughter.

Or:

NP: Well, it isn’t broken. But you did really hurt yourself. You can see significant swelling on the X-ray.

Me: Thank God.

NP: It is sprained. You aren’t off the hook. I’m sending you home with an ankle brace and crutches. No weight on that injured ankle for three days.

Me: That count started yesterday, right?

NP: It might have if you had come in when you almost broke your ankle making a sandwich.

HC: hysterical laughter.

It wasn’t until after I sent HC home with a few tokens of appreciation for playing nursemaid all day that I realized I got had. I’m the one who should have been charging admission.

The line forms here, people. You’re welcome.

***

The problem with posting on a schedule is that life happens off schedule. Today’s focus was supposed to be on Leah Segedie and today’s awesome two-year-anniversary celebration for her ground-breaking Mamavation social media health initiative, but then all the crap before the asterix happened. And because it wouldn’t be funny on Wednesday, I figured I’d do do double duty and talk about both today.

If you are new to the blog, let me explain. Every Monday I try to post a personal health related update sharing my current experience with the Sistahs of the Mamavation community. The literal ups and downs…no harsh judgement allowed. Just support and open arms for those giving their all to trying to better themselves for their health and their families.

I also serve as an editor for Leah’s Bookieboo blog and post weekly. So yes, there is a fair amount of time invested, but only because I believe firmly that Leah has created a fantastic community and love being a part of it. I also love that i can call many of the moms friends and inspirations. Shelley, Kimberly, Kia, Stephanie, and Sue…thank you for being part of this group of Awesome created by Leah.

Happy birthday, Mamavation. Can’t wait to see what the next year brings you.

 

I’m on a yoga kick.

My newest love is a bargain book I picked up at Barnes and Noble called The Body Shop Yoga: Natural Fitness for Body and Soul. For all of about $5, I now have a complete book illustrating a variety of beautifully photographed yoga poses and divided into categories such as Serenity and Vitality and Grace.

I only bought it because it was bargain priced, but after thumbing threw the pages and using the book on multiple occasions as a resource for my burgeoning at home yoga practice, I would gladly pay full price for this little gem. It’s beautifully photographed, easy to follow, well-detailed, and contains a comprehensive variety of sequences to follow. I like to choose two or three sequences every day and marvel at how whole I feel at the end of each session.

I’ve only been practicing for a few months now and already I can feel a difference. Not so much in a My Ass Looks Great in the Dressing Room Mirror from Every Angle Way as a I Just Feel Better way. And while the first might be a boost to the ego, the second is essential to my motivation to even give a damn about my ego and consequently, the size of my ass.

For me the focus is on finding the quiet in my head. A lifetime of inner critiquing emphasized by every single Clean Your Plate, Those Poor Starving Kids, Have another helping, You Might Want to think About Losing Some Weight, Sweetie familial and societal trigger is hard to overcome. Especially when that baggage comes with an eating disorder and a daughter who I am set to do everything in my power to help her travel the path of love of self, body, and spirit that I am just now finding.

I can’t pack up my mat and drive to a fancy yoga studio. It would be lovely, but life’s just too crazy for that right now. So instead, I wait for the day’s responsibilities to set with the sun, kick off my shoes, don my yoga pants, and close myself off in the spare room. It’s filled with already-packed and sealed boxes in preparation for our move and Buttercup’s play tent and stuffed animals. I also see a step stool, an unused lamp, and more empty boxes to pack more stuff.

I have just enough room to run my yoga mat against one of the walls with my book and iPod set up against the wall of boxes. And while I work to clear my mind and focus not on the uncertainty the boxes represent but on not falling on my face while practicing King Dancer Pose, a new thought brings a smile to my face.

I can only control this very breath. And the moment that comes with it belongs to me.

 

Another version of this post originally appeared on Bookieboo, a nationally recognized motivational community for moms striving for better health for themselves and their families.

 

I stepped on the scale today.

And like the jackass hot chick trying to run from the chain-saw wielding killer in the campy horror flicks in high heels, I made one crucial mistake.

It might have been the plateau I recently found myself visiting. Or perhaps it was the week of looking at the clock at the end of the day wondering how I only managed to find the time to get my yoga pants on but not actually work out. Then again, it could have been the complete and total attitude readjustment I just realized I need to take care of. I mean, I went from Yay I Lost The Baby Weight to Sure Let’s Make Another Baby in the space of like, four blog posts. And don’t tell me that isn’t enough to make you all, Well, If I am gonna get fat again, anyway….

Hey, I’m only human.

And, it seems, the first idiot female to get slaughtered by the guy with the chain saw. She wears high heels while running for her life. Bad idea.

I got on the scale. And when I looked down, I decided running shoes are, like, totally so much more practical.

 

We decided to let buttercup celebrate her fourth birthday party a little early this year so she could have include preschool friends while they are still officially her classmates. So we got up early on a Sunday which sucked for me after staying up all night baking four batches of cupcakes and got ready for the big day.

When asked where she would like to have her party (read: Our house was not on the list of options after last year’s birthday hell of too many screaming kids and more headaches than I could count) she immediately responded by saying, “The Museum!” So I called up the Children’s Museum of Tucson and booked the party room. Score one for not having to clean up my house just for the pint-sized guests to mess it all up upon arrival.

Buttercup had a blast and so did her friends. Here’s the almost birthday girl decorating the birthday crown she received for her special day.

And while everyone else noshed on the sugar-laden cupcakes I had so lovingly baked and oohed and ahhed over the crap-ton of new toys Buttercup’s friends had brought for her, I earned major points for effort in the Willpower portion of my Fitness Report Card.

The rest of the party had cupcakes. I didn’t even feel like  I was missing out.

**This post originally appeared at Bookieboo

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