Category Archives: Healthy Movement

The Perceived Absence of a Sign IS a Sign

It’s been a long time since I’ve heard my stomach growling.

And that could be for many reasons such as I am often drinking plenty of water and that I tend to graze instead of having meals on days I’m working from home. Yet, it might actually be that I’ve been distant from my body.

I got to thinking about this in a dream while dozing. Some years ago, I took a second job at Target to supplement my income and fill plenty of hours I usually spent alone, lonely at home. While there, folding clothes and rearranging hanging racks, I became acquainted with several young women who were deeply interested in fashion. These young ladies were taking alternative routes to education, for whatever life reasons got in their way, and working at Target was a stepping stone to have some pocket money as well as gain experience in retail.But the biggest thing I remember about these girls is that I would often hear them saying things like, “I skipped lunch because I’m getting too fat. Sorry if you can hear my stomach growling.” And that always impressed me. I was never one to be able to deal with a growling tummy for long. I found it uncomfortable and upsetting. I had to put something in it, no matter how small, because it really disturbed me. Maybe that’s a result of my working-poor background, but I just couldn’t endure long periods of empty stomach rumbling.As I think about it now, I feel that this fear was most likely a fear of scarcity. That grumbly noise was the very clear sign that there was not enough food, and that was something, through choices I was hoping would lead to a more abundant life, that I could leave in my past.

But remembering these girls makes me think of two things. On one hand, it’s impressive how much discomfort one can bear in the effort of avoiding the big bad fear of being fat. And on the other hand, how I have recently not been in touch with my body.

If I’m honest with myself, and with you, dear reader, I can say that I have been really afraid of exercise since my surgery back in September. The recovery has gone pretty well and it seems that all systems are go, but there are still days where I feel certain movements that require usage of my lower abdominal muscles are difficult. I’m not talking about Roman chair sit-ups or anything, I’m talking about movements you have probably done ten times today already.

Sure, it dances through my mind that I should renew my yoga practice when I feel the weakness, but immediately on the heels of that thought, I experience the flash of an abstract, yet graphic picture of torn, ripping abdominal muscles. And when I feel this way, I tend to panic just a little bit. Maybe more than a little bit. And then I brush it off, vow to take it easy, and recommence ignoring the signals given by the body I’ve been saying I need to listen to in order to have a healthy recovery.

And that’s the problem.

Noticing that I haven’t heard my stomach growl is simply a sign that I have not been in my body. My body has been sending signals that it is ready for movement, and even missing it, that I have been too in my head to heed. It’s time for me to unroll my mat and get back to my body. We can ease ourselves into it, no need to jump in head first. Just getting onto the mat might be enough of a first step if I truly listen to my body and let her lead.

Movement isn’t just about fitness, it is a communion you make with the body that you are apart of. It is the way you stay connected. Take some time out to reacquaint yourself with your body today. I guarantee you’ll discover something new.

What about you? What’s your body saying that your mind may be ignoring?


Do More Than Just Survive Your Holidays: Thrive!

I love the holidays and actually want to be sure that I enjoy them. Here’s my take on how to enjoy as well as be healthy(er) during the holidays. No dieting nor deprivation necessary!

Raw Fast: Day 7 (Crossing the Finish Line: pic heavy)

Our last full day of fasting (vacation) has come to an end with a yummy bang: our self-prepared 3-Course Menu!

But before we talk about dinner, let’s discuss the day.

I woke up feeling strong, rested, and ready to go. We started with a water test where we did a blind taste test of two filtered waters: one previously containing crystals, one without. Whole crystals are added to the water to change the ionic charge of the water and are also said to change its taste among other things. When sampled, one of the waters tasted flat, the other fresh. It turned out that the flat water was simply filtered and the fresh water had been “crystalled”. Gotta say that maybe there really is something to that crystal stuff…

Our morning workout was short due to the trampoline introduction we got today. I was pleasantly surprised about how fun these things are! Not only were they super enjoyable, but they really kicked butt in the workout department. A perfect tool for making movement enjoyable. I felt like a giddy kiddy the whole time!

Tiana on a Trampoline

Bouncing around and getting a workout in at the same time. That smile and laughter you see on my face were there the whole time. Have to get one of these for the house!

Our breakfast buffet brought with it a wonderful exotic treat: mangosteen!


Gorgeous, tasty, and super duper healthy! A lovely treat for a lovely day!

I think I ate about 12 of these things and nothing else for breakfast. Ha! You can even eat the seeds. It was like eating a mandarin orange, sans sour, with a delicately flavored almond-like center. Great combination of textures!

Our hike today came with a sweet reward: Peter’s Raw Apple Cake! After 4 kilometers of wandering through the gorgeous Lüneburger Heide, we sat down to our yummy snack.

Tiana and Peter's Raw Apple Cake

Looking happy because I am getting ready to enjoy this raw apple cake made from the recipe of our Raw Fast leader, Peter Dreverhoff.

The cake was completely wonderful. Lots of almonds, nicely filling. Today was a festival of eating!

We treated ourselves to a horse-drawn carriage (coach) ride back to the hotel. The weather was simply fantastic. (As you can see, I was having quite the lovely day!)

So now what we all have been waiting for: the 3-Course Menu! (and a photo frenzy!)

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A wonderful end to a wonderful week!

Just Say No to Team Good Fatty

Tiana is Strong

Today I was dubbed a member of Team Good Fatty because I do stuff other than sit on the sofa and eat chips all day. (Though in truth I do my fair share of couch-sitting-and-snacking.) In the past I would have felt proud, maybe even excited about being judged as such, but now I realize how this type of thinking is part of the whole shaming of people who don’t fit into the small, ridiculous category of “acceptable size”. Continue reading

Being Bold and Walking a 5k Run

This past weekend, my husband and I participated in the 8th Annual Greifswald City Run. No, we didn’t run. We walked. Maybe one day I’ll be a runner and participate in such sporting events for real, but this past weekend was all about just getting out there and participating. I knew that over the 5k we walked that we would not come in first, second, or third (matter of fact, we were dead last). But for me that wasn’t the point. 

Us Before the Start

Ready for the games to begin!

I simply wanted to do it.

I wanted to participate in an event that is billed as something only the fit folk do. I wanted to show that, in spite of any outer appearance, I am part of the fit folk too.

Of course, in the beginning, as I pinned on my number and walked amidst the super sporty folk excitedly chatting about the upcoming event, I felt the flutter of nervous butterflies in my belly. I had moments where I thought that people were looking at that number on my chest and then checking me out and thinking not-so-nice thoughts to themselves about me and what I, foolishly, was planning to do.

But then I would catch myself and remember to feel proud of what I was doing.

Proud of myself.

I was being brave.

But, most importantly, I had a right to be there.

These events are supposed to be fun. They are not exclusive to the sporty folk who run every day as a matter of course.

It was an inclusive event for the people who live in and around the city (and even those who care to travel for such things). And damnit, I’m one of these people. I live here. I count. I matter!

And so I walked, proud, with a smile on my face, while the sweat dripped down. I enjoyed my stroll with my Husby. The weather was wonderful. Folks cheered us as we walked by. And we cheered the folks who cheered us.

We finished at one hour, 2 minutes, and 33 seconds with a faster second lap than first. (I’m told that’s what you aim for as a marathoner.)

It was a super experience. I’m glad I had it. And I’m certainly looking forward to the next!

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