Eating Disorder Awareness 2018: Day 7

I realized I needed help when my firstborn was almost 4 years old. I was a full time student and a primary caregiver to my grandmother who had Alzheimer’s. I was in an unhealthy marriage. I was stressed to the max and overwhelmed. I was scared. I weighed in at 83 pounds, couldn’t sleep for days at a time, suffered horrible migraines, and literally hated everything about myself.
I used alcohol, opiates, antidepressants, and anti-anxiety meds to try to survive. I was in therapy, yet I was in large part self-medicating. One night, I overdid it, and was lucky to have woken up the next morning. I called my therapist and she got a team together to start putting my treatment plan in place. She saw my desperation to stay alive so that I could be Mommy to my baby. I am thankful she believed in me and fought her own battles to see that I got appropriate help. If I had nothing else to live for, I had my baby.
I was sent to Florida for treatment, where I resided in two facilities, and started attended different 12 step meetings. I despised being away from my kiddo, and angry that I missed his 4th birthday. However, that’s where Yoga found me, and I realized my story was to be used for a Higher cause someday.
My healing began 20 years ago. It is a process, not a perfect. Recovery has been a rough ride, and I have good days and bad. When I can’t remember on my own the tools I’ve learned, I have friends and family who jump in to help. Even on my darkest nights, though, I remember the who and why that finally brought me face to face to my most dangerous demon.
This kid, from the moment I first found I was pregnant, gave me a sense of purpose and belonging. My Mommy Status requires that I stay healthy, set a good example, and live my life in accordance to Divine Will.
I didn’t choose to suffer with eating disorders, but I can choose to give up or continue on the fight. I choose to allow God to work through me, because I know somewhere out there someone else needs to know he/she isn’t alone. The struggle is real, but help is out there. 
28514868_10215164936457827_6190148179061621823_o

Call NEDA now 1-800-931-2237, and if you want, use the form below to contact me, too. You are not alone.

 

Advertisements

Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2018: Day 6

5 Steps to Positive Body Image:
1. Appreciate all that your body can do.
2. Keep a top-ten list of things you like about yourself—things that aren’t related to how much you weigh or what you look like.
3.Remind yourself that “true beauty” is not simply skin-deep.
4. Look at yourself as a whole person. 
5. Surround yourself with positive people.

Challenge: Show us who supports you/recovery. Community-We all have some sort of tribe, support group or community that we do things and surround ourselves with. Maybe your tribe is your local yoga studio, your church group, your running buddies or your family. Who is your community that you love to be with, can’t live with without, and what do you all do together

MY TRIBE:
My sons, daughter, and grandson. They are undoubtedly the loves of my life. Nothing in the world means as much to me as my babies. Every decision I have ever made…the good along with the not so good…have been for these kiddos. My intentions have always been to do whatever it takes to make theirs lives the best possible. They are the reason I keep waking up every morning, and keeping fighting the battle even on my darkest nights.

I also have some of the best friends a girl could ask for. I haven’t always gotten along with other females. However through the years, these Lovely Ladies have helped me understand the importance of having feminine energy surround me and support me. I need it to help me stay healthy and break negative lifestyle and mental patterns. When most everyone else come and go at their own convenience, these Gals show up, invited or not, just to be sure I’m ok. They aren’t afraid to tell me like it is, hold me accountable, and perhaps most importantly, remind me that I’m loved. My Soul Sisters.  

Image may contain: one or more people, child, closeup and outdoor

Do you or someone you know need help? Call NEDA now.
Toll-free Information and Referral Helpline: 1-800-931-2237

Also, feel free to use the contact form below to reach out to me. You are not alone.

Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2018: Day 5

10 (MORE) general Physical Symptoms of Eating Disorders, as per NEDA:

Dental problems, such as enamel erosion, cavities, and tooth sensitivity; Dry skin and hair, and brittle nails; Swelling around area of salivary glands; Fine hair on body (lanugo); Cavities, or discoloration of teeth, from vomiting; Muscle weakness; Yellow skin (in context of eating large amounts of carrots); Cold, mottled hands and feet or swelling of feet; Poor wound healing; Impaired immune functioning

Today’s Challenge: Uneasiness/Vulnerability- Putting yourself out there and trying something new can sometimes make us pretty uneasy. Have you ever done a yoga posture or fitness class that just made you feel unsure, maybe a bit vulnerable? Did you have to back out or were you able to complete the task! Tell us and post a picture of what it was.

Although I can easily answer yes to certain yoga poses and fitness classes causing me to feel uneasy, tonight’s challenge was literally just to get me out of the house to start stepping into my “normal” life. I have not been out of my house much at all since Feb 9. I’ve only left a few absolute necessary times, for short amounts of times.

Tonight, though, I even got out of yoga pants and into jeans, and I put on makeup. GASP! I know, right?! In truth, there were probably other reasons for the makeup…but it still got put on…that’s a true rarity.

One little step into acceptance that my life really does have to go on without one of my children. I’ll probably forever hate Fridays, but spending time tonight watching My Little Man play basketball was worth taken on the anxiety and the vulnerability that I am still feeling.

How could I even think about missing his first AAU game of the season? Could I have forgiven myself if I hadn’t been able to get over my own $#!t?!

I’m thankful for some people who have made me feel just a little bit more safe during this dark night.

And I’m thankful for this kid. Just look at his smile.

28423997_10215151117432360_3803853092815654537_o

Do you or someone you know need help? Call NEDA’s Toll-free Information and Referral Helpline: 1-800-931-2237. You can also use the form below to contact me. Remember, you are not alone.

 

Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2018: Day 4

Let’s start talking about some general PHYSICAL Symptoms of Eating Disorders  

The first 10, as per NEDA: Noticeable fluctuations in weight, both up and down; Stomach cramps, other non-specific gastrointestinal complaints (constipation, acid reflux, etc.); Menstrual irregularities — missing periods or only having a period while on hormonal contraceptives (this is not considered a “true” period); Difficulties concentrating; Abnormal laboratory findings (anemia, low thyroid and hormone levels, low potassium, low white and red blood cell counts); Dizziness, especially upon standing; Fainting/syncope; Feeling cold all the time; Sleep problems; Cuts and calluses across the top of finger joints (a result of inducing vomiting)

Challenge- show us Strength! What activity have you done in the past that made you feel strong? Tell us and post a picture of what it was so that we can celebrate YOUR strength! 

My yoga studio. Designed for small, intimate classes. I had a vision many years ago to use my life experiences to help/serve others through Yoga. I was being called to help others heal. Yet, there were many, many obstacles to overcome to first. I had to first understand what Yoga had done for me.

Yoga helped me through eating disorders, an unhealthy marriage, divorce, severe depression and anxiety, dealing with a child suffering from her own and then dealing with her teenage pregnancy. Now Yoga is helping me find acceptance in the worst ever kind of Momma Nightmare imaginable. Through Yoga, I connect closely with God…that’s where any strength I have has ultimately come from.

I vowed to someday teach using my own experiences. I understand that not all yoga is right for everyone. I get to watch people thrive who once didn’t feel comfortable in other class settings or who have been too self-conscious to try Yoga. I was one of those people, too, so I get it! I LOVE to watch people change and grow confident in themselves.

My strength…My Little Studio…because I know where I once was and I’m thankful for how much I’ve changed.

0115181834

Do you or someone you know need help? It is time to call NEDA’s Toll-free Information and Referral Helpline: 1-800-931-2237.

Feel free to contact me, too, using the form below. You are not alone.

Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2018: Day 3

6 (MORE) COMMON EMOTIONAL AND BEHAVIORAL SYMPTOMS OF AN EATING DISORDER, as described by NEDA:

  • Any new practices with food or fad diets, including cutting out entire food groups (no sugar, no carbs, no dairy, vegetarianism/veganism)
  • Withdrawal from usual friends and activities
  • Frequent dieting
  • Extreme concern with body size and shape
  • Frequent checking in the mirror for perceived flaws in appearance
  • Extreme mood swings

Today’s Challenge: Resourcefulness! What is the most resourceful thing you have ever come up with to get your workout in?

Well, Darn it. I’m actually going to have to do more today than just snap a shot of a pose or two. Am I ready to practice? My first actual asana practice since 2.8.18. Twenty days. I don’t know if I’m ready. May it’s time. I should clean up first. I’m a mess. My pants don’t fit well, my hair is a mess, and this shirt though! Just do it.

Ok. Done. Did I really forget a few Ardha Uttanasana? My alignment is off, I couldn’t hover in Chaturanga, I had trouble with headstand. Look at my heavy breathing. Do I dare post this?! I know I have to…for me…and perhaps someone else.

Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutations…if I do nothing else to move my body, I practice a few rounds of these. Often, like today, once I start, I’m led to a few poses that I need. Sun Salutations create the perfect balance between strength and flexibility. Sun Salutations offer a meditative experience as each breath links to each movement. Sun Salutations raise the heart rate and help with detoxification and purification.

Most importantly, though…Sun Salutations can be done almost anywhere. No special equipment needed. Not even a yoga mat is really needed, but carpet is gross…my nose isn’t going there!! But what’s better? Fifteen minutes. My whole practice today timed right at 15 minutes. My body feels better tonight and my mind feels more focused. And I’m thankful for the challenge.

Do you or someone you know need help? Call Toll-free Information and Referral Helpline: 1-800-931-2237, and remember you are not alone. Feel free to use the form below to contact me. 

Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2018: Day 2

6 COMMON EMOTIONAL AND BEHAVIORAL SYMPTOMS OF AN EATING DISORDER, as described by NEDA:

  • In general, behaviors and attitudes that indicate that weight loss, dieting, and control of food are becoming primary concerns
  • Preoccupation with weight, food, calories, carbohydrates, fat grams, and dieting
  • Refusal to eat certain foods, progressing to restrictions against whole categories of food (e.g., no carbohydrates, etc.)
  • Appears uncomfortable eating around others
  • Food rituals (e.g. eats only a particular food or food group [e.g. condiments], excessive chewing, doesn’t allow foods to touch)
  • Skipping meals or taking small portions of food at regular meals

“Today’s challenge: Humanity/Humbleness: What is one activity that you have tried that you failed at miserably that first time you tried it?  Did you go back and try it again?”

This was tough for me because impulsively I answered LIFE! Too many miserable attempts and failures to count! UUUGH! Ok, I do admit though…I’m not in my happiest of places right now, and every day, every thing I do is taking every ounce of effort.

So I chose my favorite yoga pose that helps me break free from ego’s pride. This asana helps me surrender to the truth of what’s happening in my body, mind, and spirit when strong and often uncomfortable sensations arise telling me all those long held “issues in my tissues” are ready to be dealt with and released. When I learn to stay present during difficult moments on my mat, I’m also learning to stay present during life’s perfectly imperfect moments.

Humble Warrior reminds me to stand strong in my truth and in my faith, and to do so in sweet surrender. I am reminded to turn my focus inward so that I can Listen to Divine Calling. During particularly difficult times, I couple this asana with the Kali mudra to connect with My Inner Fierce Goddess. On my darkest days this mudra helps to let go of the pain and allow the light to enter again.

0227181303

Do you or someone you know need help? Please call NEDA’s Toll-free Information and Referral Helpline: 1-800-931-2237.

You can also use the form below to contact me. You are not alone.

Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2018: Day 1

According to The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), Eating disorders are serious but treatable mental illnesses that can affect people of every age, sex, gender, race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic group. National surveys estimate that 20 million women and 10 million men in America will have an eating disorder at some point in their lives.

Types & Symptoms of Eating Disorders:

Anorexia nervosa

Bulimia nervosa  

Binge eating disorder

Orthorexia  

Other Specified Feeding and Eating Disorders (OSFED)

Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID)

Pica

Rumination disorder  

Unspecified feeding or eating disorder (UFED)  

Laxative abuse  

Compulsive exercise

It’s a picture from September 2017 but I love my expression! Obviously, I was shocked to have  lifted. After YEARS of studying and practicing yoga, I finally decided to stop letting fear get in the way of attempting handstands. How many times has fear stopped me in my tracks off the mat, too? Adho Mukha Vrksasana is my new favorite practice to help me remember that I can stay stuck or I can keep practicing living a my life fully. This is the asana that currently helps me embody confidence. Today’s challenge was to share a pose that helps me find confidence. I still have a long way to go, but no doubt I have more strength now than I did when I first came to yoga while in was in a recovery center for eating disorders. Not only that, I have developed a more playful attitude, too. With confidence, comes the ability to laugh at myself each time I come tumbling down!

28472089_10215116517047372_5454586575637018717_n

Do you or someone you know need help?
Toll-free Information and Referral Helpline: 1-800-931-2237

You can also use the form below to contact me. You are not alone.

Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2018

I hesitate to participate this year but I made a commitment. I may or may not be able to fully follow through, but I’m going to try because I know with every story shared, healing takes place.

28378399_10215112442425509_8305898797839189364_n

Suffering with your own eating disorder? You are not alone. I’m an Eating Disorder Survivor.  Feel free to contact me and be sure to call NEDA‘s Toll-free Information and Referral Helpline: 1-800-931-2237

 

One, Yoga Mat…Two, Yoga Mat…Three Yoga Mat…Four…

Hi, Lovely!

I have been met with some health and family issues which caused a great deal of overwhelm and exhaustion.

Part of being human is to face challenges, overcome obstacles, and restore health. It’s life!

How do I deal when life happens? I come to my Yoga mat!

Yoga has much to offer, no matter my energy level or my body needs. When I’m stuck in chronic fatigue and my body is inflamed in pain, I rest and relax in restorative asana. When I feel a bit stronger, but still need to go slow and withdraw inward, Yin Yoga is my go-to practice. On my strong and energetic days, I love practices that incorporate Vinyasa Flow. Of course, I have some favorite Kundalini practices that bring my whole being into balance at any given time.

What is your Yoga like? Are you wondering what mat is best for your needs?

I use three mats on a regular basis.

1483496998576

My favorite mat of all, cheap and generic, is my very first yoga mat. It has seen the most tears and transition. After 20 plus years of practice, it still holds me in its grip, but the sticky these days might be from years worth of grit, grime, and kiddo sticky stuff! This mat stays in my home teaching space, to remind me how I first came to yoga, and how I wish to use my yoga stories to serve others.

1483752364681

I recently started using a Gaiam Print Premium Yoga Mat  originally bought for my daughter several years ago. For the price, I am impressed by its grip and quality of this lightweight mat! It travels with me when I teach at Take Charge Fitness, and it stays in my car for impromptu yoga practices in parks, on work breaks and road trips.

My most expensive and heaviest mat stays home, for my personal practice, and it is used inside and out. The Manduka PRO Yoga Mat is quite pricey. At first I was skeptical because I found this mat very slippery. However, I have had this mat for a couple of years now and realize it still isn’t fully broken in! This is my thickest mat, perfect for days when tender trigger points are present. The extra cushion is a blessing! My naturally  oily and sweaty body still slips and slides in some vigorous workouts, but a yoga towel on top of the mat helps absorb extra moisture. This high quality mat just may be the last yoga mat I will ever need to purchase!

There are some great yoga mat options out there, and some I wasn’t aware of until I stopped to check out Reviews.com.

While I’m NOT an expert on yoga mats, my friends over at Reviews.com ARE! I love what they have to say, learned a few tips for my Manduka PRO, and I’m awesomely impressed at how they’ve spent hours surveying, researching, and testing top brands at varying prices. They’ve talked with experienced yoga teachers and experienced asana in extreme temperatures and in all asana practices imaginable. Yoga dedication is seen through their ongoing studies, and reviews are updated accordingly to include the newest products available.

I am confident you’ll find YOUR perfect mat as recommended by Reviews.com. Check them out today!

Your Yoga practice is waiting for you!

Namaste,

Nikki

 

FREE Community Yoga are invited!

Hi There!
I will be teaching in Knoxville on January 11, 2017.
I would love for you to join this FREE community yoga class!
See you at 6:00pm @
Norwood Elementary School
1909 Merchant Dr, Knoxville, TN 37912

4f2aa007a10ebdfb92ce9de95f25086e

Feel free to contact me with any questions or for more info!

Namaste, Nikki