I’m a warrior and a survivor. (Ruth’s story)- Story #5

You are in for a treat today as my very good friend from England has shared her story and created this beautiful YouTube video just for us!  She is an artist, a writer, a musician, and all around beautiful person. Her story represents all of us women.  We are warriors and we are survivors.  Do you believe that?  Do you live as if you are?  Perhaps you are struggling with an eating disorder.  There is hope!  Perhaps you are struggling with accepting your body just as it is today.  Do not let society get you down. We can fight society’s messages that  tell us we have to be stick thin to be happy.  YOU ARE ENOUGH.

Her story is shared below but I really hope you will also watch her lovely video.  Enjoy!!!  Thank you so much, Ruth Calder Murphy! And don’t forget to check out her Facebook page, Paradoxologies!

(Miss the other stories?  Here is Story #1, #2, #3 and #4).

Ruth's Collage

*********************************************************************************************

 Ruth Marathon

I’m a warrior and a survivor. I’ve wrestled with and fought against the voices – the ones that come out of a crazy culture that’s determined to convince us all that we need more than nourishment, warmth and love to be alive happy. The voices that tell us that, in fact, we need first to feel utterly dissatisfied with ourselves and our lives,  then we need to plaster over that dissatisfaction by striving to align ourselves with their ideas of “perfection”, thus locking the dissatisfaction, anxiety and – ultimately – despair underneath the layers… I’ve fought those voices – the ones that are made to sound increasingly like my own; the imposter voices in my head – and, nowadays, I can finally – after many years – look them full in the face and see that I’ve beaten them. They still shout the same things, but I can see through their words to their hollow, empty heart.

During my adolescence – from the age of 9 – I developed eating disorders. These grew out of a sense of deep-seated unhappiness and a desire, essentially, to disappear. By the time I left secondary (high) school at sixteen, and went on to sixth form college, these had become full-blown anorexia. My weight dropped to five stone (70lbs) and I began to self-harm in order to pinpoint a feeling in the swirling confusion of starvation.

Throughout my twenties, I battled the demons. Writing poetry helped to bring focus and shape into the chaos, and later on, so did painting. I also found enormous freedom and release in running. Running was never a part of my disorder; it was an escape from it. Whilst I was running, I didn’t have to think about food (or lack of it) or my size or shape. I didn’t have to think about self-harm, because I was fully present in my body, able to focus on all the exertions of it, whilst simultaneously being able to free my mind to be, in a sense, “out of body”. Running and the creative arts saved my life and not only that, they helped to make my life something I wanted to keep.

Photo on 09-07-2015 at 13.26 #3

On the threshold of 30, I got married and over the following five years, gave birth to three children. Life got more complicated – and more precious. During this time, Gradually, I began to become aware that the voice I’d heard in my poetry and art and through my “out of body” running was – and is – my true voice. That it’s the articulation of my true self and that it’s vibrant and real and authentic. That, in fact, it is – and I am – beautiful. I realised that it’s a manifestation of the real me, and that all the other voices – the ones that sound like me but aren’t really, the ones that come from the crazy culture – are lying. Alongside this was, and is, the deep desire to unmask and emasculate those lies to my children so that they can tune in to their own true voices and know their own minds and strength, however often society tells them that they are not enough.

IMG_4760

Now I’m a year into my forties and I’ll finish where I began:  I’m a warrior and a survivor. As such, whatever our crazy culture tries to sell me (literally or metaphorically) and however much it tries to make its voice sound like my own, I’m not buying. I am who I am, whether running or painting or writing or sleeping. I am who I am and I am enough.

~Ruth

www.arciemme.com

Facebook Page

“Why I said bye bye to the scales” (Melissa’s story)

 

What is your relationship like with your bathroom scale?  I stopped weighing myself years ago and it was one of the best decisions I have made.  Today I am sharing a story about someone who also said “bye bye” to scales and how she learned to accept her body.  This is Story #2 in my Blog Series where I share inspirational stories of women around the world who have discovered self-love and body acceptance.  Did you miss Story #1 with Lee-Ann?  Read that Here .

Thank you Melissa for sharing your story!! 🙂  (Watch the video or read the story below and be sure to check out her page!)

 

 

 

**********************************************************************************

Body Acceptance Story #2

Guess what? It’s my anniversary. Not your typical anniversary though. It’s been ONE year since I got on my scales and felt my stomach hit the floor. A feeling I was ready to wave bye-bye to, for good. For me it does not create a positive body image.  It highlighted things I didn’t accept about myself. We all have our body types, our DNA, our genetics –  the things that make us unique. We are what we are.   I am blessed with this body, the three children it’s carried, the breath is gives me to go on about life and build cherished memories. And I’ll never weigh 130 pounds, unless I ate air for my three meals a day!
The final straw for me was when I had gone on a trip to Australia for 5 weeks last summer. I simply adore Australian food, and any overseas expat will tell you that they totally gorge on all the scrumptious things they miss being overseas –  the bakeries, the cheeses, the Cadbury’s chocolate made in Australia. Not to mention the consumption of wine at the constant catch up’s with loved ones.  I also didn’t have access to my usual exercise routine, so working off that gorgeous food went to the wayside. I got home, and right back on my lifestyle program, as I have done for 7 years now and have embedded into my life. I even joined a boot camp on Groupon. Moving along, I worked my butt off for about 2 weeks and got on those scales. It took me days to sike myself up.  I had put on 4 pounds. My heart sunk, tears streamed out of my eyes and I sounded so utterly pathetic to myself. I called my husband in tears. He thought something severely catastrophic must of happened to call him in such a panic. “I put on 4 pounds”. It sounded like such a first world problem. And that’s when I realized it was out of control.
There are times in life where we have an unhealthy relationship with something or someone, and you need to detach yourself from that thing or person. That was the scales for me. It’s not healthy for me, it brings me down, it detracts from the awesomeness in my life.
A year later, and it’s been the best darn year in respect to my body image. It’s a part of how YummoMummo got started. I really wanted to celebrate myself, have fun with myself, highlight what I loved about my body. Celebrate my delicious pear shape.  I started to accept the things I could not change. I’m not a lover of my legs but instead of shaming that, I celebrate ways I can elongate them,  wear what’s right for my body type.

This summer I put a photo of myself on Instagram in my swimsuit. Gasp. I never would of done that in a million years before.

Melissa swimsuit photo

Here I am sunning myself in Hawaii, on my 39th birthday. I found myself a great bikini for the summer that let me have some fun with a  season  trend (high-waisted bikinis) and suited my body type. I’m loving life!

So here we are, a year later.

On my anniversary.

And a weight has been lifted from my shoulders, pardon the pun!

I appreciate everyone is unique and the scales won’t bring about panic for others that it did me. And I also appreciate that others have a weight loss journey that totally requires scales. My opinion is unique to me and not a reflection on what I think others should do.

It is important for me to maintain my weight. Diabetes is a big factor in my family so I am still very conscious to take care of myself in the present, to avoid future problems. I live by some general routines that are enough for me. I drink mainly water (the rare diet soda), a large portion of my diet are fruit and vegetables, I make sure I get my 8 hours sleep in at night, I go the gym 4 times a week as well as daily habits of walking and biking with the kids. And I go by my clothes. If my skinny jeans are feeling a little tight, I ramp things up a bit and it all evens out again.  As well, for women, there are so many factors that can play with the scales such as your period, hormones, water retention etc.

scale-with-truth2

So there you have it folks. I hope you can appreciate I have dug a little deeper for you in this post and I hope it inspires you in your own life to change the things you can, and to accept the things you cannot.If you follow me on social media, you would have heard me announce that I am now a Global Ambassador for the Body Image Movement (BIM). I was doing cartwheels in my head when I found out. You will be hearing more about it in a future blog post so stay tuned for that. But the movement is teaching women a lesson we are slowly forgetting – to love ourselves from the inside out, and celebrate our awesomeness. That you are enough!–

Melissa Menzies (YummoMummo)

Fashion Blogger/Wardrobe Stylist
Instagram – @yummomummo
 

Enjoyable Movement: what exercise do you enjoy?

In my last blog post, I had introduced the concept of Primary Foods– the areas of life that feed us that are not food.  One area is Physical Activity (or exercise, for the purpose of this article).

I know you have all heard this saying before: “The best exercise is the one that you will do.”  How many of you know that is true?

Let me share a little bit about my journey with exercise.  In first grade, my class was playing softball and I got  hit–hard– in the forehead with a softball.  I stood there- frozen — as it hit me ( no pun intended) that a ball just flew into my head.  Ever since then, I have been a little afraid of the ball.  In P.E., when we would play volleyball, I would always duck when the ball came toward me, like it was about to attack me. In high school, we had to run a mile in P.E.  I hated to run– absolutely hated it. But I did it because I had to.  Not to mention, I was living in Flagstaff at the time, and running in cold weather made my chest hurt.  I got to college and started being obsessed with exercise– I was starving myself and exercise was just one other way to find the “perfect” body and feel in control at the same time.  I began to be obsessed with the very thing I hated– I would run every day- and not just once– twice a day.  In a way, I felt like I was punishing myself.

The irony of it all is, as I recovered from the eating disorder, I gradually began to really enjoy running.  Especially as I started running more for toning and strength, versus weight loss.  Also, I really liked the feeling I got afterward.  When my kids were young– really young (Briana was only 6 weeks old)- I began an exercise program for moms called Stroller Strides– we would jog with our strollers and then stop to do interval strength training.  I really loved it and got so much stronger because of it.

Once my kids got older, my exercise routine waxed and waned…and then the problems began… I started getting pain in my hip which lasted several months.. I eventually was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia once the pain had spread throughout my body.  That was the end of running and I felt very sorry for myself.  I remember feeling like I could never do intense exercise again.  I had turned to a friend who also had chronic pain , who had told me she wanted to try Zumba, and I thought she was crazy.

Well, now my Fibromyalgia pain is GONE (that is a story in itself), and I am really enjoying exercise again! This time, I am NOT running– but I am doing the very thing I thought would be crazy– Zumba!   I also really enjoy doing yoga!  What keeps me going? The feeling I get afterward!
Why do I exercise?  Not for weight loss, because I don’t really need to lose weight.  Not because I think I should.  I exercise because it feels good, it helps me feel stronger, and I know that diet is only half the equation when it comes to getting healthy.

I don’t even like to think of it as exercise… I like to think of it as Enjoyable Movement.  I feel more alive when I do zumba or yoga.  I feel more empowered.

Physical Activity is one of the Primary Foods… one of the “foods” in life that feed us.  How are you doing with this area? I challenge you to try one new form of “Enjoyable Movement” this week!

Kellie
Certified Health Coach
www.nourishedandnew.com

Subscribe to my free monthly newsletter and receive a free e-booklet titled “Top 3 Ways To Prevent A Sugar Binge Now!”  Go to my website for my details.

3 Tips on Getting In Shape

Happy Monday, everyone!  I hope you are making it a great day.

So, for those of you following my little question and answer Giveaway….. we had 11 people ask a question to be posted on my blog.  Those people were entered into a random drawing to win a $10 Gift Card to Whole Foods.

And the winner is….. Sue Kuwitzky from Phoenix, AZ!

Thank you to EVERYONE who asked a question….. and don’t hesitate to ask a question anytime…. I am here to support you!

Okay, so I will be posting the remainder of the questions… I am aiming for two questions a week.

Here is the next one!

Connie asks:

 I am 62 yrs old, I have done two 1/2 marathons and I am training for my next one in December. I do these to bring awareness to children who have cancer and do fund raisers for specific children I meet. What would you suggest for me to do so I am in better shape for my next race?

Answer:

First of all, Connie… wow!  That is amazing that you are 62 years old and training for a half marathon!! I must admit that running was never really my forte.  I commend you for helping to bring awareness to children who have cancer.  

First, a disclaimer:  I am not a personal trainer so I am not an expert in exercise.  However, I am happy to offer my health tips on how you can improve on the You inside! 

Now Connie, without talking with you personally, it is hard to answer this question really specifically, so if you dont mind, I will need to be a bit vague here.  My answer will probably work for anyone in my community who needs to get back in shape. 

Here are the 3 things I would recommend to anyone RIGHT NOW to get in better shape:

1.  Replace caloric drinks with water (even diet soda). 
 Many people are drinking their calories and they do not realize how quickly it adds up. I have known people who drop 10 pounds just by eliminating soda.  I also would like to add that even though diet soda contains no calories, it can still contribute to over eating because of the way the artificial sweeteners affects the brain.  That being said, a little bit of caffeine has been shown to enhance a race or speed up your metabolism.  If you would still like some, I would suggest 1/2 cup to 1 cup of  black coffee in the morning, 1 cup of black tea, or green tea (the healthiest form of caffeine).

2. Increase your leafy greens. 
 Spinach and kale are power houses when it comes to nutrition.  Just one cup of kale contains more iron, ounce for ounce compared to beef, it contains high amounts of antioxidants, and the fiber helps to aid in digestion.  It is also an excellent way to detox and help clean out your system. Since most people don’t eat leafy greens raw on a daily basis, I recommend blending them up in a green smoothie.  It only takes 5 minutes to make, and if you blend it up with enough fruit, it tastes really great! 

3. Ditch the scale!
Okay, so this one is a bit radical here, but bear with me.  I am all about ditching our diets and focusing on our intuition when it comes to food (well, and life in general). You sound like you are already a fit woman and you are obviously concerned about your body and your health.  I think a lot of times, us women can be too caught up with our weight and what we look like.  If we don’t feel we measure up compared to other people, we may give up and over eat.  Or we may go the other direction and increase the reign on our diet even more.  We may get to the point where we are starving ourself.  So, Connie, I don’t know if this is even a problem for you, but this is something I always recommend to people who are wanting to get in shape.  Yes, I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but it really does work!  (weighing yourself once a month is okay if you need to keep track of weight loss)


Other important tips are to reduce sugar intake, get enough sleep, and focus on reducing stress.  

But above all, just focus on your passions, which seem to be running and helping to make a difference in other’s lives.  Just stay consistent with what you are doing and don’t give up!  You can do this! 🙂  


Does anyone have anything else to share that you have tried?  Any tips for Connie? I would especially enjoy hearing from other runners out there, or any personal trainers!  I would love more action on here… please leave a comment below! 🙂

Replenishing after a hard workout

Do you have a burning, health related question?  As announced on my Facebook page, I am taking YOUR questions!  I will be featuring at least one question and answer a week on my blog, so be on the look out!  Also, if you have a question for me, go to my Facebook page and post your question either on my wall or in a personal message.

If I get ten or more questions, I will have a random drawing for a $10 Gift Card to my favorite place… Whole Foods! (If you do not live near a Whole Foods, I will provide a similar gift)

So…. with that said…. here is your first question!

How To Naturally Replenish After A Hard Workout
 
 A fan from CA writes:
“What is the best way to replenish your body after an intense workout? I am so afraid of synthetic supplements and would prefer real food.”
GREAT question!!
Kellie’s answer:
First of all, I applaud you for choosing real food over synthetic supplements.  Anything synthetic at best is not very effective, and at worst, can even be dangerous. That being said, there ARE supplements on the market that are all natural, but that is not my area of expertise.
I am going to assume that you are working out intensely on a regular basis?  I am also going to guess that by “replenish” you are talking about replacing electrolytes?
We all lose electrolytes when we sweat, and it does depend on the level of activity– a walk in the park will not deplete electrolytes as quickly as a one hour run in the heat!  I think for most of us, we fall somewhere in between.
Electrolytes are so important because they keep our body hydrated.  If we do not stay hydrated, we could get muscle cramps, nausea, or even pass out.
The main electrolytes are:
sodium
potassium
chloride
and magnesium
First, I urge you to NOT rely on popular sports drinks such as Gatorade.  They do contain electrolytes, but they also contain either sugar or sucralose, (artificial sweetener)  plus unnecessary food colorings.
Obviously, old fashioned water is  always helpful, but sometimes,  one needs more than that, particularly if they are exercising very intensely.
If you are looking for a drink, coconut water is great- it contains minerals such as potassium and magnesium.  However, it can be a little pricey so would not be something to have every day.
The good news is that there are many FOODS that can supply you with these important minerals and help sustain your energy as well!
Sodium:
The best way to replenish with sodium, is simply by adding a teaspoon of salt to a food.  Or, you could put some salt under your tongue, hold it there for a few seconds and then drink water.
Potassium:
Bananas are great for potassium.  Other foods that contain a significant amount are spinach, kale and avocados.
Chloride:
This is a lesser known mineral, but it is found in lettuce, celery, olives and seaweed.
Magnesium;
Leafy greens such as spinach and kale contain magnesium, and also raw nuts  and whole grains such as brown rice.
Citrus fruits are also a great source of electrolytes such as lemons, grapefruits and oranges
You could eat all of these foods separately, but after an intense workout, you probably don’t want to take the time to do that!  So, enter the….. GREEN SMOOTHIE!
This may not come as a surprise to you, as most people I know how much I love them!
I think it is a great way to replenish electrolytes.
A great smoothie for that purpose would be:
Replenishing Green Smoothie
2 cups spinach
2 cups blueberries
1 celery stick
1 banana
1 lemon
1 cup coconut water (or coconut milk) 
OR fill it all up with water
Green smoothies are great because not only do they rehydrate you….they also fill you up and give you much needed energy after a work out.  If you need added protein along with it, you could add a serving of raw nuts, or a hard boiled egg.
If you are just looking for a drink, I found this awesome recipe for a
Make Your Own Electrolyte Drink!

The Lip Twister – tart and sweet

  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup of lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 whole squeezed orange (or one frozen can of orange juice)
  • 1 liter of water
Recipe found HERE: 
 
 
I hope this helps!  If you have any other questions regarding this, I welcome all comments! 




Remember to check out my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/nourishedandnew)


as well as my website: http://www.nourishedandnew.com


Kellie
 

Shakin’ my Boo-tay!

“What? Me- shake my booty?? “
 (My Adventure with Zumba!)
I seem to have a re-occurring theme of getting out of my comfort zone lately.  My most recent example is from this past Sunday.  Along with 100 plus people, I participated in a Zumba fundraiser for an instructor who is battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.   So how was this getting out of my comfort zone?  That was my very first time trying Zumba!  Plus… I am not a natural dancer.  I do like to move to the beat and have pretty good rhythm (stemming from my music background); however, give me kickboxing any day instead!
I had a LOT of fun though and it was a really great exercise!  I was there for two hours but took a few breaks in between so I think I exercised for an hour total.  This was a HUGE milestone for me as currently all I do for exercise is ride my exercise bike at home 3 times as week.  I don’t even break a sweat with that!
It’s funny looking back at my journey.  I remember when my kids were really young- I started a great program called “Stroller Strides” when my youngest was just six WEEKS old… it was a harder work out than the title leads you to believe.  It was like boot camp for new moms.  I remember making a comment to a fellow mom that went something like this: ” If I had to choose I would much rather just exercise over eat super healthy.”  She agreed with me as did most of the moms there.  Exercise was something we really enjoyed and it seemed like a lot of hard work at the time to eat healthy when all we cared about was getting our kids to eat anything at all, and a good day would be going to the bathroom in peace!
Today, I have found that I really enjoy eating healthy because I have found what foods work best for me, and I eat simple healthy meals that also taste GOOD!  Yet, since being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, my exercise had fallen by the way-side.  Now that I am feeling so much better, I am slowly getting reacquainted with my old friend.  I am finding I don’t have to do the same things I used to do, such as sprinting on the tread mill and lifting weights.  I am finding other forms of exercise that I really enjoy even if I may be making a fool out of myself in the process! lol
What form of exercise do YOU enjoy the most?  Is there a type of exercise you have always wanted to try but haven’t had the courage to go for it yet?
p.s.- if you live in the Phoenix area, check out Bambi’s Fitness Studio ( http://www.bambisfitness.com)  She has GREAT  deals on Zumba classes and child care! (only 50 cents per child!)