justmovedarling

A little introduction

Hello, my name is Brittania and I thought I’d write up a little intro about myself and the purpose of this blog. I am on a journey to become a healthier, happier, better me but it’s no easy task. I’m not a naturally positive person, in fact I tend to jump to the worst case scenario when dealing with life and that train of thought often leaves me depressed, angry and feeling anxious.

I don’t believe in taking a pill to change your outlook on life and in my experience “medicine” has only amplified my problems and negative thoughts. I do believe that one of the best ways to change your perspective over to the positive side is to get up and move, so that is what I am here to do.

When I was in high school, I was a misfit, a loner, a tortured artist. I knew everyone but didn’t really have any friends, no one to confide in, so I stayed in my head a lot and let out all the anger that had been building up inside through drawing and painting, but still that didn’t seem to be enough. Just as my freshman year was ending my school’s pool was finally finished. I remember seeing flyers for  water polo tryouts over the summer but never really gave it much thought. Did I really want to be in a swim suit around all these people that already picked on my looks and whom I disliked being around? Not really, but I was curious still and I decided to go.

Yes that first day was terrifying and awkward but I’m glad that I went, if I hadn’t I might not be here now, nor would I have made some great friends with people I’d never dreamed of even speaking to. Not only was water polo great exercise, but it gave me release for all the anger. Playing water polo and later joining the swim team (and club during the summer) really made high school fun for me and completely changed my perspective.

My senior year, the swim coach decided that yoga should be a part of our practice, so three times a week an instructor would come and help us stretch out for 20 minutes. I fell in love with it and have been practicing it ever since, though not as consistently as I’d like. Through yoga, the meditative state I’d become accustomed to while doing laps, was carried on and often when I meditate still I can hear the water splashing gently by my ears, even though I’m sitting on dry land. 

Fast forward to about three months ago when my best friend came for a visit and brought a bunch of hula hoops with her. She’d been telling me about how she’d seen people on youtube dance with them, that she’d tried it, fell in love and was going to make me one too. I thought it was a little silly to be honest. I hadn’t watched any hooping videos online before she put that first hoop in my hand and told me to watch her for a minute. 

She’s always been a good dancer and we even go-goed together for a while, but this was simply amazing. She looked so graceful, elegant, and best of all it looked fun. So I tried it and have not looked back since. It’s so silly to think that a ring of plastic can have such a huge effect on your mood, and ultimately your life. Hooping, so far, has taught me (or reminded) many things: patience, determination, how to really play, to laugh at mistakes, that you can learn from everything and everyone, that I don’t have to be perfect to look good and feel good (a concept I often struggle with). 

So, what is my purpose here? I want to use this space to inspire myself, and maybe others, to get up and move! It’s so easy to feel depressed and want to lay in bed or crawl into a dark hole and hide from the world and all my problems, but when I do get up and dance or do yoga, I feel 180% better, I believe in myself, and am happy.

I’ve set a few goals for myself, small ones and big ones as my main goal is to practice yoga and hoop everyday. For the bigger picture I want to become comfortable enough hooping, to start fire hooping; I’d like to be in better shape and tone up all my jiggly bits and flatten my tummy; I want to be able to do a hand stand and lift my own body weight easily; I want to be able to do the splits but my legs are really tight so I know that one is probably a couple years away. In the shorter term I have a whole list of tricks I want to learn with my hoop, but also learning to flow easily through them; I want to easily and comfortably be able to do a forward bend with my hands flat on the floor; I want to eat cleaner, drink more water, and less coffee; to improve my posture; to improve my balance with Crow pose and Crescent Moon (two of my favourites); to train my brain that feeling good about myself is not determined by what others think or what I see in the mirror, but by how I feel.

And now I’ll raise my mug of green tea and say cheers to staying inspired, motivated and to loving this process.

xoxo Brittania

Cooking for my mom’s wedding tomorrow. I made a 3 layer all veggie “lasagna”.

It is compromised of zucchini noodles, ricotta cheese, portabello mushrooms, asparagus, spinach, brussel sprouts, Alfredo sauce, tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, and just a bit of parm on top. I’m so excited to bake it tomorrow night!!!

Finding peace

I have not been in a good place mentally for the past few weeks. Problems at home, at work and everywhere else too. I’ve found that the only time I really feel any peace is when I’m on my yoga mat. Paying attention only to my breath and how my body feels at that exact moment is very liberating, and calming.

I’m happy to say that my flexibility is much improved although my hamstrings and lower back are still super stiff in the morning and it can take a while to stretch them out. All in good time. Also, my arms no longer shake when I’m in side plank and the pose feels more comfortable every day. 

It’s nice to notice progress, even if it’s only a small improvement. (:

I’m really happy right now, which is the entire point of this #100HappyDay thing right? Yesss!

Last night I got to talk to my sister for a couple hours for the first time in forever! It was so great to have twin brain back. I miss her so much.

And after that I went for a late night walk around the neighborhood with my boyfriend. I was a little freaked out because it’s roach season and they are BIG this year and all over every sidewalk. And it seems like there are more and more of them every year. Ewww. But! I had the best time with my boy cracking jokes and planning the future and going off on weird tangents.

Finally, this morning I was able to some yoga without pressure in my head! Sun Salutation all morning! And some foot hooping too. I am also very amused/pleased with my Ursula mug.

Today will be awesome! ^____^

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A little hoop practice after work. My room is an extremely tiny space, I’m really surprised/happy that I was able to wield my 36” (white stripes) and 43” (black and red). Also just learned how to kind of split doubles but I need A LOT more practice on that but I’m really excited that I can do it nonetheless. Doubles are 32” and 22”.

Changes, for the better

I’ve been so busy with work and my boyfriend and squeezing all the other little things I need to get done in between those lines, so I have been neglecting this blog but not my hoops! I have definitely fallen off the wagon in other areas though, namely my yoga practice and taking my makeup off every night (it’s a terrible habit I’m determined to break).

Over the past month or so, I’ve noticed a dramatic drop in my energy levels and now it takes monumental effort to get out of bed even when I’m not sleepy, where as I didn’t have a problem getting up before and could usually just hop up and do some yoga immediately after waking up.

I feel sluggish, heavy, de-motivated, always tired after 7pm but on a rollercoaster of highs and lows til then with my temper on a hair trigger. 

But I think I may have figured out why I’ve been feeling this way: I’ve been eating mostly carbs with little to no veggies on a daily basis for the last few weeks. I haven’t had any extra money to buy fresh veggies after my initial trip to the store once a month and I’ve felt too lazy on top of that to cook them. Haaaa, yeah that’s a problem. 

On Monday, before work, I listened to the Joe Rogan Experience with Dave Asprey guesting, and Joe talked about how he’d recently cut gluten completely out of his diet and how he felt different now, better now. A lot of the same things he described about himself and his bread/carb cravings rang loud and clear with me. I was curious so while he continued to talk, I began researching the pros and cons.

After a few hours of digging around on the internet on medical websites, gluten-free recipe blogs, and watching youtube videos with people talking about their experiences, I decided to try it. 

To be clear, I do not have Celiac disease or a diagnosed allergy to gluten, I’m just a young woman trying to improve her diet through process of elimination to find out how I function best.

Instead of putting off my start date like I am wont to do, I started right then, that day and today, a week later I have stuck to it with only one little snag (some frozen veggie stir fry with chow mein noodles, I didn’t think about the noodles) and I’m very proud of myself. 

I would like to be able to comment on any differences I’ve noticed, but since Thursday I have been sick as a dog with one of the worst bouts of the flu I’ve had in a long, long time. I have noticed small things, like I don’t immediately want to pass out after I eat and that little bitty jelly roll I have on my tummy now just feels like part of my body instead of some foreign invader, there to weigh me down.

So I have some motivation again. I’m hoping that as soon as I’m well enough, I’ll be able to start a regular yoga practice again and actually feel like I’ve got the energy to do it, instead of it feeling like a chore (which is why I slid in the first place).

And on a completely different note, the 22nd will be my 6 month hoopivarsary!

Finding Motivation

I’m going to be honest, I haven’t been eating well at all and while my boyfriend was over at my house this past weekend I didn’t exercise or do yoga at all (but I did play with my mini hoops a lot) and yes, I feel very guilty about it. I’d like to say that I have this great determination to change my habits and become healthier, but I really don’t and the saying "old habits die hard" is very very true.

As far back as I can remember, Maruchan Top Ramen has been one of my favourite foods. I remember being 7 and begging my mom to make it for me and when she did, I’d take my time eating it so I could enjoy every single noodle. And I still love it, especially when I’m short on money for real food. Ramen has really been the only thing that I’ve eaten this week besides a bowl full of veggies here and there and I feel guilty for that too because I know how bad it is for me, I just haven’t developed the will power to tell myself "No" when I reach for it. So that is another habit (or addiction maybe?) I need to work towards changing. 

When I think about this stuff I feel really disappointed in myself, like I should be stronger and I should have more determination and dedication to reach my goals than I have now. But, the rational side of my brain reminds me that change takes time and yes it does require diligence, but change also requires patience if it is going to be long lasting.

Over the past two days, however, my little obsession with yoga has ignited again. I’ve practiced for twenty minutes each morning, for about ten on lunch at work (with plenty of odd looks from my coworkers!), and another twenty once I got home from work. I can feel my muscles starting to release a lot of built up tension and begin to lengthen. I’ve always had a lot of tightness in my legs, especially my calves, and Downward Dog has become my very favourite rest and wiggle pose- it just feels so comfortable and expansive. 

This is my mantra for the next week: Patience with myself and motivation for the amazing things I can and will do.