I’d Rather Be Strong

Fit Camp Week 2 Monday

Oh the journey I’ve been on lately. I believe I’m 7 weeks into my Fit Camp experience and while I may have lost a couple pounds I have decided…I’d rather be strong.

It’s taken me years to actually believe this and it wasn’t an easy conclusion. It’s not something I said once…It’s something I’ve had to repeat a thousand times. I had to realize that I may not ever get the opportunity to be thin while dealing with the health issues that I do. I have years to go before it may even be remotely possible to lose weight, let alone be thin. But, what I can do now, is get strong.

Stacy Toth is one of my favorite Paleo Bloggers. She does Strong (Wo)Man and competes. She lifts heavy things and is an awesome mom to three boys and has a great husband. I look at her and wonder, if that could be me one day. I’m sure, by her writing, that she also didn’t just decide that she would rather be strong in one moment. It was a culmination of moments. It was a process and it took time and now she can own it and help people like me realize…I may not be a skinny runner….Ever…Even though..I do love running and hope to get to that point some day.

I went into Fit Camp trying to be humble. Open and honest with my coaches/neighbors. I told them, I have health issues that aren’t under control and I doubt I will lose a pound. I just want to work out with others, make friends, and have fun. And…I seriously need to find some people to play Ultimate Frisbee with me again because that was so fun!

So going week by week…Having my moments where I wish I just gave up. Dealing with the soreness. Adding magnesium to combat that. Tweaking my diet. Learning more. Thinking. Reading. Contemplating… I was sitting here…

My kids are about to start school and we all know little kids can be cruel. I went to that toxic thought mode about what if someone made fun of me to one of my kids and they came home upset because a kid said their mom is fat? And…You know I really try to avoid those negative head places. It’s not often healthy or helpful…But that’s when it chose to stick. I would tell my kiddo to just say that their mommy is worried about being strong, not skinny. That’s when I said to myself… I’d rather be strong.

Not that there is anything wrong with being skinny. This is not about fat or skinny shaming at all. I think Stacy put it best when she said that some people are meant to be runners and some people are meant to lift heavy things. And while I love running, did it a lot my last two years of high school….I have to be realistic and know where I am at. I can be strong, even if I don’t have the right chemistry to get the weight off.

I’m not giving up in any way on losing weight. I just think my focus is better served if I think less about a scale number and remember all of the other measures of health such as exercise, getting out in the sun, and eating tasty healthy food and so much more. I’m not giving up on my journey to the strongest version of myself. I would just rather be strong.

-Ami M. Lee

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Engaging Change – 31 Day Yoga Challenge

A warning…This next little bit may offend some people, but please understand that isn’t my intention, it is simply my experience in life. Nothing else. I am well aware you may be reading this with different life experiences, and that’s great.

So. One of my biggest “people gripes” is people who think they can pray their life better. Do I think prayer and meditation has its uses? Of course, but I really get tired of hearing about just praying something will happen, or something bad will just go away. What I want to know is, what are you going to do about it? How much responsibility can you lay on a supernatural being, whoever you may believe in? When do you go work towards your goal? So that leads me to today’s post. Engaging change.

Change doesn’t usually knock your door down and say, “It’s me change! You have no choice!” Unless you, like me, have had a tornado come through your house, but that’s neither here nor there.

I have had a lot of emotional issues. My husband and I were fighting so badly and I was in great despair. I still am trying to get over his disregard for my health by wanting to eat conventional food. My feelings are still hurt, but I have to find my own inner happiness to make it through. I am the only one who can make myself happy because outer circumstances are ever changing.

So, to help with my physical well being and mental health, I am wanting to do 31 days of Yoga with Adrienne. She has a yoga channel and she is brilliant at explaining poses. I like that she has a real focus on doing what your makes your body feel good. It shouldn’t hurt. When I was doing DDP Yoga…It was great but it was too stressful on my personal body, and had nothing spiritual to encourage the poses. No method behind the madness. No explanations of how a pose helps you.

Technically it’ll be 32 days if I finish because I did do a great revitalizing flow yesterday, but that, to me, was a setting of intentions. To say, I will accomplish this goal. I am a month and six days away from my big goal of a year without soda. I have endured a tornado, homelessness, food intolerance abounding, dealing with a new house, three children, and my husband being a law enforcement officer. I’ve gotten through a lot. 31 days of yoga, really should be nothing.

To be honest, someone answered a bloggers Facebook asking what their goal was for Christmas, “survive.” I was frankly a little disgusted because Christmas is nothing to survive. I think a more positive attitude could help that person enjoy the holidays instead of dread. Then again, it seems like a lot of people need help enjoying instead of dreading the holiday seasons. Really, I know what it is to just survive and that’s not living. So, this is my engaging change.

I am engaging in change so that I can better myself, my family, and maybe a few friends or strangers. I encourage you to engage in change. Don’t wait for it to happen. Don’t lay responsibility on anyone else.

Today’s the first and I know this blog is new, but on my other blog acommonsensecook.wordpress.com I get comments and feedback and I love it. So…I feel like I’m starting all of my sentences with SO…ha ha ha

Set a goal for this month. Mine is doing yoga and keeping stress low and positivity high. What is yours? Share below! I look forward to engaging with my readers too. ❤

-Ami M. Lee, Journey on the Final Countdown

Depression and Anxiety

I think one of my greatest demons in life is my depression and anxiety. It’s plagued me much of my life and a song lyric comes to mind, “I can’t drown my demons, they know how to swim.” And, that is very true for me. Life, I think, is a constant struggle. There is always a new battle around the corner. But, in the last year, I have found that you can either lay down and die, or you can move on.

I think what makes it worse, in some cases, is when you feel like the environment and energy around you is a constant negative. We don’t always have control over that either. Trust me. My name is Ami, and not only do I have a problem, I’m also a control freak. They say knowing is the first step…I would disagree. I think it’s just who I am and I can’t change it, only learn how to better deal with others, and managing my compulsion to control.

I even see it now in my relationship with my husband. We have the most issues when we’re not in agreement. It usually stems from one of us thinks we should be in control…or more in control of, a certain decision or situation and we both want it to be ourselves.

So how do we deal with anxiety and depression, and not allow our environment to make it that much worse? My answer is simply, in my experience, it depends on who you are. If you like yoga…do yoga. If you like painting…do painting…or drawing, or listening to music, or getting out in nature. There are plenty of bad ideas out there like drugs, alcohol, or food addiction. But, there are plenty of other awesome ideas that can, not necessarily cure you, but give you the lift you need at the moment to bring you back to center. We’re all individuals and have different needs at different times.

I know what works for me is a huge puzzle. I have been pretty emotional lately dealing with a lot of stress and issues. When this happens, I end up in a world of hurt in depression and anxiety. Something as simple as going to the store to pick up eggs can set my anxiety high.

It takes time and practice but here are a few things I do to try to keep positive and steer myself out of depression, anxiety, or negative thoughts/feelings:

  • Redirect negative thoughts to positive ones. Just think of something nice. Usually this can be a subject that you can always think of as nice, or a happy place.
  • Yoga. Conventional yoga that has the spiritual aspect really helps center me and redirects my moods. I feel better able to handle the day when I do yoga.
  • Painting, drawing, writing – All good, creative forms of expression that you can put your mind into and escape the negative thoughts for a while as you concentrate on a positive task.
  • Reading positive quotes, articles, books – What you put in to your mind, is what it will become. If you’re reading a bunch of negativity (i.e. books, comment sections, news articles…) then you’ll adopt that negative way of thinking. You put good in, you get good out.
  • If you need to get away and calm down. Do it. I know as mom’s we’re about the worst to actually do this. But, I have made an effort that even if I go scroll through Facebook, sitting on the side of the tub in our master bathroom, it’s quiet, and I’m taking a few minutes for myself.
  • Clean up your diet. I can’t express how much going Paleo has done for my mental health. I am much more in control and much happier.

I could probably go on for hours, but those are just a few ways I’ve found that works for me. I have discovered though, these positive changes I make in my life doesn’t mean that I will always be immune to negativity, and setbacks.

Yes, I survived what is now believed to be an EF5 tornado. The strongest tornado on the Enhanced Fujita Scale. Yes, I believe I am one strong -blank- lady now. But, It doesn’t mean I’m invincible.

So I guess my best advice about my journey with depression and anxiety, is take time to listen and be still. Meditate. Do whatever you can to listen to your body. It won’t perfect every moment of  your life, but I think you’ll be more easily able to identify issues and direct them in a positive way.