"Ok, so, no running or high impact, no inverting, no twisting, no heavy lifting..."
Honestly, I am surprised I even heard as much as I did as she spoke.
Excuse me? So what can I do?!
That was 3 weeks ago tomorrow. And guess what, even with all of the restrictions, I am pretty proud to say I am doing just fine.
I was sitting in my doctor's office waiting in anticipation only to hear her say, "Oh, wow. Oh, that's pretty big."---words you don't typically want to hear out of a doctor's mouth. Never seems like that has anything good that is going to follow. It wasn't anything life threatening, turns out I had a cyst that was of quite a large size.
So that brought the doctor's long list of restrictions until this thing went away on its own or we helped it move along. I jokingly added, "Gee, what CAN I do??" In my mind I was going through a whirlwind of thoughts that I basically can't do anything I do on a regular basis that is what I consider my therapy. So now clearly I was going to be headed straight to crazy town and it was going to be a quick ride.
After I left the office, I drove home in silence. I played into the downside of things to start. The first part of me went to a place that I knew so well and was so easy to fall back into if I wasn't careful. I went to that fear that I had for so long: the fear of gaining weight. And that is what I fixated on right away. Ok, so I can't work out, great, now I am gonna gain weight. -- And I began to devise a plan, a plan to make sure that wouldn't happen. And the wheels started spinning and spinning and before I even got home, I was exhausted just thinking about it.
Growing up, I was never chubby or overweight, I just always loved my food and loved to eat. I was active enough to keep up with it all and so it never really had an impact. I was pretty average weight growing up. I hit puberty at a really early age and instead of being excited, I felt awkward and out of place in my class. My body became a place of discomfort and a place I never really felt home.
In high school, I wasn't dancing anymore and so I put on a few pounds as my activity level didn't balance out with my appetite anymore, but it wasn't anything noticeable. I was really the only one who ever noticed and it was solely based on the discomfort I felt in my clothes or little things like that.
One summer, my family joined the local gym, and I found dance and step aerobics classes. They were my dream come true. The classes had that piece of dancing I was missing in my life. So I started taking the classes regularly all summer. As a result, and without even trying, I lost about 15 pounds. I was toned and had definition in my muscles that I had never seen before.
And then what happened? At 16, I got more attention than I had ever gotten in my entire life. People payed me compliment after compliment. Wow! You look so good! You must work so hard! I could never do that. I could never be that disciplined. The attention and the comments were incredible and so it pushed my little impressionable self harder and tried to get even more fit and tried to make sure my body stayed perfect. And then it brought me to a place of obsession because my warped mind had determined that if everyone loved me so much when my body was perfect, then I will just have to make sure it always stay that way. And if I did gain weight, they would learn the truth, they would know, that I am not perfect, and that I don't work hard--they would know that I am human.
That was 16. I will be 35 in two weeks. And when my doctor tells me I can't workout, my first response is to freak out because now I am going to gain weight.
That girl, she decided that if her exterior was always perfection, then no one would ever know that her interior was flawed, bruised, even in disarray. And that is the exhaustion and the cycle that ran my life for so many years, and just when I think that I am above it, beyond it and totally healed, I am thrown a curve ball.
Now, just because the thought is there, doesn't mean I have to act on it and that is where the true strength and power comes in. The thought may cross my mind, but it's how I respond that is most important.
So when I got home from the doctor that day, I decided that I had a choice. I can choose to go right back into the place I know is worthless or I can move above and beyond it. And that day, I chose the latter. I had the choice, and I decided that fear, no matter how big or small, is just not where I am going to go.
So I sat down, and I did something I hadn't done before but it worked so perfectly. I closed my eyes and I began to breathe. Sure I can't do yoga, but heck, I can breathe, right? And with every inhale, I would say in my mind: be whole. And then with each exhale I would say: be you.
Inhale. Be whole.
Exhale. Be you.
And I did it over and over. And as I was breathing, I thought what each statement meant to me. And I thought about the fact that my outside is not who I am as a WHOLE person. And so I decided there and then, that everyday, I would use this mantra when the fear started to creep in or if I started to fall into any sort of downward spiral of thinking. And I did. If there's one thing I can say it's that my meditation practice has never been so strong. You can take away the physical yoga, but you can't take away the breath, and that's where so much of the power really is.
I have mentioned that the name of this site was my second choice and I was actually upset when I lost the first. But after 3 weeks of breathing to this mantra, I now know why it was meant to be. And though I can't do any of the things I love right now, I can still breathe. I can still laugh. I can go for walks with the dog, meet friends for coffee, read a good book and so much more. I think I will choose all of that, instead of living in my past place of fear. And I think it will be all right.
Happy November! Wow, where did October go?
I am starting November with a firm "No it is not Christmas yet, we still haven't had Thanksgiving" with a great pumpkin treat. I figure that's the best way to keep the fall festivity alive.
So today I bring to you a no bake recipe, which is always one of my favorites! This is a Dairy Free Pumpkin Mousse with a pecan Crust. With or without the crust, this creamy mousse is a pumpkin pie lover's heaven. It's so simple to make and made only with real pumpkin and real wholesome ingredients. This is one of those desserts that makes your guests think you spent hours in the kitchen but you can easily whip this one up in minutes. Personally, I think anything in the pumpkin pie category needs some sort of whipped cream, but I will let you decide on that one!
Try these other pumpkin recipes you will love:
- Pumpkin Pie Oat Bites
- Pumpkin Ricotta Pasta Bake
- No Bake Pumpkin Crumble Bars
- Slow Cooker Pumpkin Spice Pecans, Almonds + Cashews
- 1 can full fat coconut milk chilled overnight
- 2/3 c pumpkin purée
- 1/4 - 1/3 c pure maple syrup
- 1 heaping tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 T coconut oil
- Dash of sea salt
- 2/3 c pecans you can lightly toast them for even more flavor
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 3 medjool dates pitted
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- dash of sea salt
- In a food processor, add pecans and pulse until chopped roughly.
- Add in all other ingredients for crust and process until fully combined and a dough starts to form.
- Press the dough firmly into small dessert cups or bowls about 1/2 - 3/4 inch thick.
- Chill bowls.
- In a medium mixing bowl, separate the hardened part of the coconut milk and the liquid part. Save the liquid for smoothies if desired.
- With a hand mixer, whip the coconut milk until thickened and whipped cream like (approx. 2-3 minutes).
- Add in all other ingredients and whip for another minute.
- Pour the mixture over the crust to fill the cups as desired. You can probably get 4 servings out of this, but it will all depend on the size cups you use.
- Chill for at least one hour to set.
- Garnish with a pecan or chopped pecans and whipped cream if desired.
Try not to over process the crust, it will become pasty.