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And my February BOTM is……. fatgirlgetsfitatlast !!!!!!! Val has been an inspiration to me over the past 4 months or more. I started following her when I decided to take a leap of faith and join a yoga challenge. And I am so blessed and grateful I found her. She has taught me so many things about yoga, staying true to myself and never giving up. She continues to motivate me through my bad days and support me in my good days. Val is so amazing and I am so honored to have her as my BOTM. I asked her to do up an intro for anyone who isn’t yet familiar with her. But I guarantee anyone who isn’t following her yet will be clicking her follow button before the month is over. ☺😊😄😆😶😍😋😗😙😘😚😎🎉🎊🎆 Hi! My name is Valencia, though Val is fine. I’m a 52 year-old Floridian and I’ve struggled with my weight and fitness nearly all my life. In the last couple of years I’ve come to the stark realization that I am physically addicted to carbohydrates, so I now live a low-carb/Ketogenic lifestyle, eschewing sugars of all kinds, grains, cereals, and starches.  I’m convinced that this realization and change in nutrition literally saved my life. Aside from the weight loss, I simply feel more alert and energetic than I did when eating a high-carbohydrate diet. In addition, my blood pressure, lipids, and blood sugar have all normalized, even before any significant weight was lost. So, how much weight have I lost? At my highest, I weighed 352 pounds. I’ve lost 144 pounds thus far and have about 35-40 more to go to reach my goal of fitting back into my jeans from high school. In addition to the change in my diet, I also workout six or seven days a week, enjoying Jazzercise, yoga, aerial yoga, biking, swimming, and walking. My theme for this year is: ‘strength’. Toward that end, I’d like to be able to do at least one, proper, full-out pushup by the end of the year and fully master a headstand. I’m also working on my mental and emotional strength, trying to examine and change areas of my life and psyche that have worked against me in the past.  Harmony is such an inspiration and amazing supporter of everyone in the fitblr community; I’m deeply honored to be selected as her BOTM. 💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐 Val is running a year long yoga challenge as well - FG365YOGA - and I am so grateful for her putting this together. I am excited to see how I improve over the year. Go check out her challenge! Not too late!!!

IMƁOLC ❄ 31st Jan/1st Feb

Imbolc (pronounced i-molk or i-molg), also called (Saint) Brigid’s Day  (Irish:  Lá Fhéile Bríde ), is a Gaelic festival marking the beginning of spring.

Most commonly it is held on 1st February (it usually begins on the night of 31st January), about halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. 

Historically, it was widely observed throughout Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man: it is one of the four Gaelic seasonal festivals.

It is believed that it was originally a pagan festival associated with the goddess Brigid and that it was Christianized as a festival of Saint Brigid, who herself is thought to be a Christianization of the goddess. At Imbolc, Brigid’s crosses were made and a doll-like figure of Brigid, called aBrídeóg, would be paraded from house-to-house. Brigid was said to visit one’s home at Imbolc. To receive her blessings, people would make a bed for Brigid and leave her food and drink, while items of clothing would be left outside for her to bless.

Brigid was also invoked to protect homes and livestock. Special feasts were had and holy wells were visited.