Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Five Minutes of Om

The last time I did yoga, I was five months pregnant. I walked into a class that I had attended on a quasi-regular basis. The teacher, however, was not familiar to me. I explained my situation, and she told me to rest when I needed.

What she should have told me was to go home. I wasn't ready for her intense, work-up-a-sweat style. I spent most of the class in child's pose and the next two days in bed.

A newborn baby, sleepless nights, a stress fracture, a torn meniscus and carpal tunnel have placed yoga no where near my to-do list. (The story of all these injuries is quite unglamorous. I am simply getting older.)

When I announced the return of my five-minute challenges, my favorite Yogi reminded me to keep my shoulders down. After chuckling, I did a quick self-check. She was right. My shoulders were up to my earlobes.

Instead of hitting the snooze this morning, I got up and blew the dust off my yoga mat. I took 10 minutes instead of five, but it was sorely needed. I'm sure I used to be able to touch my toes. Nevertheless, I felt better after just a few minutes.

I spent the majority of the work day in meetings. After chasing and wrestling a squirmy 25-lb kid this evening, another yoga moment was in order. I squeezed in five minutes between putting my two girls to bed.

My shoulders are not yet back in there proper place, but they are on the way.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Changing My World Five Minutes At A Time (Again)

When I had this idea three years ago, I was inspired. I knew that if I put my mind to it, I could make a significant changes for the better. For a while, it was working.

So what happened?

One word: Life.

And once again, I'm at a phase where five minutes seem very precious, and these minutes hold the potential for impactful change. It seems to align quite well with my current search for fabulous.

So I'm starting this challenge anew, and I'm quite excited. I have no idea where this will take me, but I'm determined to see it through. Five minutes at a time.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Accepting Praise (or Finding Fabulous, Part 2)

During one of my daily Facebook check ins, I saw a post from a friend that said she was on a mission to slim down. I had to read the person's name twice, because I didn't think she needed to lose an ounce.

I happened to run into her later that day. She was petite as I remembered.
"Hey!" I said. " I saw your post earlier today. You look great! You want to lose weight?"

She sighed out a puff of air so tough it ruffled her bangs. As she was explaining to me that the weight loss was much needed, someone else approached and had the same reaction as I did. That person then turned to me. "You look awesome too! That's a great outfit."

I looked down at what I was wearing. Black pants, floaty white blouse, black blazer. I had a lot of trouble picking something that day, and I begrudgingly threw that outfit together. Just as I was about to lament, I caught the complaint at the back of my throat.

"Thank you," I smiled.

We spent a more few minutes talking about fitness. As we parted ways, I said to my friend: "I understand not being where you want to be, but I think you look great."

I got a smile. "Thank you. I must be hiding it really well."

This exchange got me to thinking. When do women learn to accept compliments with a grain of salt? I tried to think of the compliments I've received lately -- from friends, colleagues, my hubby. I gave a caveat to most of them.

That's over. I'm still in the process of defining what "fabulous" means to me, but I'm certain it includes gracefully accepting praise and believing that I deserve it.
So yes, my outfit was banging. I worked that blazer.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Finding Fabulous

A couple of years ago, a friend and I took two weekend trips - one to LA, and one to Seattle. I remember being glad to get out of town. I had been juggling a full-time job and a part-time teaching gig, so I was beat.

Not only did I feel run down, I think I looked it too. My hair was in that awful in-between stage -- too long to be short and too short for a ponytail. My highlights were fading, and I needed a relaxer. Add dark under eye circles and a not-so-glowing complexion, and you had what was by far my most haggard look.

In LA, the people were sunny, sparkling, and stylish. In Seattle, they were effortlessly cool. My fatigue was magnified while in both locations. My friend felt it too. She battled a demanding job and found it hard to take a break.

At some point during one those trips, we made a pact. I'm certain a good meal and a glass or two of wine were involved. We would dedicate ourselves to being fabulous.

By the time we returned home and fell back into our busy routines, the pact was all but forgotten. A pregnancy and a new job for hubby made for big changes in our household. My pregnancy was a high-risk one, thanks to chronic hypertension. Hubby's job was out of state and would keep him away for two weeks at a time. Being fabulous was not a priority.

A few things have happened in the last year and a half (Time flies!) that have me thinking about this again.

1. Pregnancy and prenatal vitamins gave me a head of shiny, thick hair. Post-partum hair loss left me with bald spots at the temples. Enter a talented stylist who cut in a bob with blunt-cut bangs to rival Michelle Obama's. And just for the record, I got mine first.

2. My friend gave me a gift card for a mani/pedi, which I promptly used. Then Ulta Beauty opened near my house, and they regularly send me coupons that are too good to ignore.

3. I decided to cut myself some slack. If I say no once in a while and ask my hubby for help, it's amazing how much more time I seem to have. More about these later.

I don't know if I'm fabulous just yet, but I think I'm well on my way.