Incorporating a Little Yin to My Yang

As I sit on a rock looking out over the beautiful mountain scope from the Village of Mt. Buller, sun beaming down over my shoulders, mind at ease, grateful for all I have and thankful to be on this amazing planet I am over taken at the euphoric feeling and bliss of having no crazy lists running through my head: what needs to be done, what I haven’t done, what I want to do. This joyous feeling of emptiness is not foreign to me but at times very rare to come by.

I am not quite sure where it came from but at a very young age I learnt to go, go, go! I am almost 99% sure it was never forced upon me, in fact I am sure I was the one stirring the way and for a good portion of my life it has suited me just fine. However in the recent years I have been a little more mindful of the little signs. It would seem that my body and mind have slowly started to feel the effects of a little wear and tear and as I begin the last year of my twenties I feel, right now high on this mountain top I should begin to honour all they have done for me and in return give them an abundance of love and self care.

Today is the final day of my fiancé and mine’s four day adventure; mountain biking up here in Mt. Buller, three and a half hours away from Melbourne. He had been talking about taking this trip for some time so I decided to book the accommodation as a Christmas treat, knowing full well he would never actually take annual leave unless forced too, yes the apple does not fall far!

For most of January, leading up to this trip, I have been a little ill and run down. I quit smoking on Christmas day as my 2017 new years resolutions (go me!) and in order to clean my gut and flush out toxins, not only from smoking but Christmas festivities my diet has consisted of a lot more freshly squeezed juices, mostly vegetable. A summer detox and boy have I been detoxing!

Toxins seem to be trying to escape from all avenues. My mouth is on fire 75% of the day, as my gums shed there protective lining and rebuild, my sinuses are blocked, my face is puffy, my head pounds and to top it all off I have pimples all inside my nasal passage which is causing my nose to look all kinds of obscure. (I must let you know that the nose deformity is not obvious to the normal eye but screams out at me every time I look in the mirror.)

In control and still a little image conscious Sara has been all kinds of crazy in January. Old insecurities have been rushing to the surface, unable to be washed away. Not only has my body been trying to detoxify, which it has done many times before, but it would seem to appear that it’s ability to bounce back and recover has been lost, unheard from and not appearing any time soon!

As any stubborn perfections, or perhaps Capricorn, might be able to sympathise with, on the go, always up for a challenge, never stop until you see broken bones, if there is a problem it can and must be fixed, Sara, has totally ignored all signs and continued with the plan to make 2017, the last year of her 20’s, the year Saturn returns, an absolute ripper.

I have clocked 6, 8, 10 kilometre runs, been on numerous mountain bike adventures, began training for an Aquathon: 750 metre swim followed by a 5 kilometre run, and in support of helping people achieve their goals and get fitter joined my sister in the 28 day Kayla challenge.

I have defined soldiering on. Mind mapping and scheduling things in my new passion planner, one of the ways I hope to get more organised this year, crossing things off my daily to do list, a new productivity tool I am implementing this year that aims to increase productivity by 25% and as the ringing of the new year finally meant I am get married next year I have began the early stages of wedding planning, or perhaps wedding nightmare!

I have been combating all of this with trips to my healers, Reiki, Acupuncture and last week I even had a lymphatic facial, all of which have been wonderful however without coupled with rest and giving my body enough time to soak it all up and recover, I still felt not quiet right. My body was angry; it had shut down and completely refused to heal.

Which brings me back to my mountain and weekend trip away to Mt Buller. I had been given very wise words by a dear friend and wonderful healer of mine to take it easy this weekend; go for a small ride, take lots of walks, read, write, meditate. “See it as a weekend retreat.” Whilst I smiled and knew she was right as soon as I got back in my car that voice inside my head laughed and ensured me I wouldn’t be missing out on the weekend’s activities.

I managed to get through the first day without a whole lot of activity, we took our time getting up here to the lodge, had dinner walked around the village and did a small 20 minute cruise around some of the tracks, getting our adrenalin pumped in anticipation for the day ahead.

Came Friday morning I was ready to go and by Saturday afternoon after we had conquered the 46 kilometre Australian Alpine Epic Trail and an extra 30 kilometres of mostly uphill and down hill tracks, the voice inside my head reminding me to look after myself was now a faint whisper in the background. I ignored the alarm bells throbbing in my lower back.  To be honest they can be very easy to ignore when you so much enjoy chasing the thrill, love being active and can’t think of anything better then spending days out in the mountains laughing with your fiancé, your best friend.

I am not surprised that Saturday night ended at Mansfield hospital, I like to call it “Devine Intervention.” With my a nice deep cut under my brow glued up, the addition of a tennis ball poking out of my hip and a whole lot of scraps and bruises, I have been forced beyond any control of my own to slow down and chill out for the last day up here and at least a couple of days when I get back.

It is not that I don’t like the feeling of slowing down or giving myself a bit of self-love. I quiet enjoy a little sleep in, lying about soaking in the natural surroundings, writing and reading, its just that years of always being on the go, of proving to myself, and everyone around me, that there will be a way, has tricked my mind into believing that slow equals unproductive, that doing nothing will make you fat, that super woman never saved lives by sitting in lotus position and taking deep breaths.

I have a lot of fire inside of me, crazy, hot, Italian blood and it is great. It’s what continues to get me out of bed, but it would seem to appear that this fire has burned a little out of control and is yearning to drink, perhaps guzzle right now, some sparkling cool water.

It will take me a while to learn to balance the Yang with a little extra Yin but in order to keep my angels happy and all my bones in tact I think its best to start looking at the signs and giving my body what it needs in order to make it through to the first year of my thirties.

February looks like it will be a month of yin yoga, long walks and perhaps an Aquathon, after all you still need the yang!

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So I don’t look like a Ballerina but I can deadlift my body weight!

I am falling in love with my body. I feel like a rejuvenated woman, in the early stages of a blossoming romance. It’s new, it’s extremely different and I feel fantastic.

I bet your thinking I must have lost 10 kilograms!

No. Recently I haven’t lost any weight, and that annoying 5 kilograms that is keeping me from my dream goal of 55 kilograms, still refuses to go away. To tell you the truth I think I am stuck with that for life and I don’t care.

Dearest stubborn five kilos welcome to my body, feel free to continue making your self-comfortable!

It no longer pains me to share that I am a 5ft1 female who weighs 60 kilograms.   You can turn your noes up at that; I won’t be offended because do you know what this means?

I am short, strong and sexy.

My weight struggles are no big secrete, I enjoy sharing them because I think people can learn from them. No, I have never been anorexic because, like most Italians I love food way too much. Food has always been my comfort. Some people don’t eat when they are stressed. Me? I eat when stressed. Being constantly stressed about not being thin meant I was constantly eating because eating made me feel better. However Once I was done eating, the guilt set it, I would vow to never eat again only to find that the stress would overwhelm me and I would just end up eating yet again.

Wow that hurt my brain just trying to explain it. A catch 22 and a complete mind jumble!

Doctors would have diagnosed me as a binge eater. This eventually rolled into; number one advocator for taking laxatives, because honestly who actually enjoys sticking their fingers down their throats not to mention the taste of acid shooting up their oesophagus.

Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, Sure Slim, Atkins, South Beach, low carb, no carb, lemon detox drink, juices, special soup diet, you name it I have probably tried…and in between when they weren’t working, my drug of choice…laxatives.

Truth is, none of them worked. Sure I lost weight, but the beautiful Ballerina never once looked back at me in the mirror and my mind was still left angry!

I was never badly over weight and if people had of just left me to be a child and develop naturally things may have been okay. Instead I was constantly told what image was right, the prima Bellarine, and what was wrong, me. What I could eat, whole heap of carrots and celery sticks, and what I couldn’t: bread, pasta, chocolate, ice – cream, anything not in the heath and food isle!

To love food was my curse. You try telling an Italian to defy their natural instincts…well your just doomed from the start!

Naturally I am not a very big eater but when you starve your body or like when you tell a child you can’t have something they really want, when no one was looking I overindulged. My relationship with food developed a very negative connotation.

When I finally gave up trying to be what I was told to be and what I had believed to be perfect and began exploring different avenues, I started to formulate my own ideas, beliefs and goals.

Firstly, my body structure is not one of a ballerina. I have broad shoulders that I spent years defending; no I am not a swimmer. Mind you I used to hate it but now I just wear it as a compliment. My childbearing hips have a little extra something special from my Italian heritage; they are solid and round. These physical feature I cannot change this no matter how hard I try.

So what do I do now?

I take what I have, work with it and just make it better!

Knowing I love food means I have to work hard to enjoy it but working hard gives me that power to get what I want. Those little no no’s like chocolate, ice-cream, bread or pizza become my rewards and when I stop making them negatives sometimes I realise I don’t even need them, but you have to pleasure your sense every now and then!

Exploring ways to be fit and push myself has led me to sports and activities I would have never tried. I now enjoy going for runs, weight lifting, boxing, kettle bell workouts, cycling, last week my partner brought me roller blades! These activities are not chores but things I enjoy and choose to do, on my own or with friends.

Yes some may say I am big and yes sometimes I can’t wear certain tops because my shoulders are to broad, or certain pants because my thighs are thick but maybe that designer didn’t design those items with my body structure in mind and that’s okay.

When I first met my partner, his pick up line was “how much do you squat?” I was mortified, I immediately thought he was making fun of my thunder thighs. Unknown to me he was actually paying me a compliment! Today if I was asked, I would just turn around and say proudly 50kg (I am very happy to announce that this was my new record just made today!)

I am stronger than I have ever been both physically and mentally and that’s because I am interested in being fit and healthy and the only way to do that is with the right frame of mind.

So I know I will never look like a Ballerina, its not physically possible and I am just not made that way!

There is no point it trying to obtain unrealistic goals.

However I can and do deadlift my own bodyweight, an achievement that makes me proud of my body and what I can do!

Next goal is to be able to do a chin up.

Don’t let your surrounds determine what is right for you. Starting making choices that make you happy.