"I'm so excited!"
"You got this"
"Yes! It's almost over. Wait...not yet? Omg that was only the half point!"
" I want this to be over!"
"Ugh why'd I do this"
" I am more than a conqueror. I can do this. I trained for this. Just think how good Boiling Crab is going to taste."
" My hip...my knee. I want to stop."
" Yessssss! I did it! Whoa! That was good!"
These are the incremental thoughts and sentiments I had last Saturday when I ran my first 15k Double Road Race. It's a new style of racing that provides an extra challenge for runners because you're essentially running 2 events in 1 day; a 10k=6.2 miles and then a 5k=3.1 which are separated by a mandatory recovery period.
The challenge comes during the second leg, after the recovery because your body has been resting and really believes its done with gruesome long distance running. To its suprise, you have to get back up and finish out the race. Now, I've been preparing for the race for about 6 weeks, but there's nothing like race day. New environment, different altitude, the distraction of hundreds of other people around you. It was challenging but so enlightening. Not only was I proud, but I placed 4th in my age division. Beyond the metal, there was so much gratitude for the journey getting to the finish line.
Physical fitness is more than an important activity for health and aesthetics (if thats your focus). It is the most simple test of mental strength. You get to see what type of person you are when things get tough, when you want to quit or when you're finding it difficult to just to keep moving.
How you speak to yourself really determines your beliefs, your faith and how healthy your relationship with yourself is. Do you speak words of encouragement and affirmation? Do you speak words of defeat? Do you focus on the unknown fearing for or worrying about the worse?
How do you love on yourself in the quiet, lonely amd intimate moments with yourself? Are you gentle? Do you speak power into yourself like you would do another?
Tuesday is deemable as #transformationtuesday across social networks, so today I ask, how can your mind be transformed? How can your relationship with yourself be transformed?
Despite the fact that my race was challenging, I would absolutely do it again! There were so many times I wanted to walk but I chose not to. Even if I slowed my pace, I was not going to quit. I was so proud of myself, I decided I would run a half marathon in November.
"The true measure of a (wo) man is not where (s) he stands in times of comfort and convenience but where (s) he stands at times of challenge controversy"- MLK
Stand strong. Do something that takes you out of your comfort zone. Whether big or small, physical or not, test yourself!
BE Strong. BE Transformed~
By: Tiffany W.
As "BE" drives to promote a message of women embracing, accepting and loving their full selves, it's a celebration when stories about empowerment and body positivity make it to the headlines. For years, there always at least one video or picture that goes viral showing the dramatic "transformation" that Photoshop Editors drag a magazine or advertisement photo through. The exposure of such practices, have recently created more and more conversations about how "unrealistic" images of women are in the media, especially in print. Such conversations have been crucial in creating a sense of transparency around what it means to really Honor Your Body. The first step, acceptance.
I do very well believe we are in this space of transparency when it comes to real women and their relationship with their bodies and those seen in media. It's a fuzzy space though.
See, the road seems to have several paths.
1. An obsession with health and "fitness." I put fitness in (") because while many women live a healthy lifestyle to be healthy, there are women who feel the need to overdo their fitness to fit in an ideal. They feel the need to "push themselves" because that's what all the memes say... -_- . As a wellness advocate, I believe living a healthy active lifestyle can transform your entire being, but if you embark on it and you are constantly on the scale, comparing yourself to others, and being hard on yourself, it really defeats the purpose.
2. "Curvy" has been equated to extreme hour glass figures. The Idealization of entertainers like Nicki Minaj, Beyonce, and Kim Kardashian create this body ideal that most women will never meet unless they indulge in cosmetic enhancements.
3. Then their is the full blown Body Positivity movement!
Even though social media sucks a lot of millennials into this vortex of comparison (which has monstrously negative effects), there are many positive accounts that promote self love and women loving everything there is to love about their bodies. Now, the heat is being turned up a notch! Major modeling agencies and magazines, are slowly but surely loosening the reigns when it comes to the images they portray. Granted, we have a long way to go, progress must be celebrated.
Within the last week, the 3 ladies above have been celebrated for breaking out, embracing themselves, and being representatives of the "average" woman. In a world that says, get this sucked in, tucked, clipped, or removed, they stand to be themselves. They are proof that walking in your truth may not always be easy, but it is always worth it. Making sure to Honor yourself, body, mind and spirit, is an absolutely liberating journey to a life of Freedom.
When you learn to accept and just BE yourself, the Universe responds. The light, the God in you shines, and you attract such a magnificent life. SO let's embrace these women, and embrace ourselves. Just by them BEIng them, they have broke barriers. The average woman in the US is estimated to be a size 14, so even though Ashley Graham is actually more "normal" than plus, its a start.
Cheers to BEing You! Happy FEARLess Friday!
By: Tiffany W.
One aspect of Honor Thy Body that's very important to me is fitness. Being physically active really does help me balance my mood and motivates me to push through life. Since the beginning of the year I've been doing 2 fitness challenges: at least 10mins of jump rope a day and run at least 1 mile per day. Well I regret to say I've missed 3 days haha but I'm still rocking with both challenges and it feels great.
The greatest thing about a challenge is understanding the psychology of it all. You actually get a perspective into your own level of commitment, excuses making, and patterns of consistency. If this was me last year I would have been so mad at myself for missing those days, but not 2015 Tiffany. I was still active those days, I just didn't go outside at all, so I didn't complete those days, and now I'm starting over, and I'm ok with that.
Well 5 days ago, a friend and wellness client of mine asked if I would find an ab challenge to do with her. I was excited because I haven't done much of abs in a while. I found this challenge and absolutely love it. Fitness in general for me is for physical and mental health, but ab work is for vanity and I'm ok with that too!
Take a stab at it for 30 days. The key to getting results is 80% nutrition so you MUST be watching what you eat. Lots of green veggies, lots of water (ideally half your body weight, but in oz of water), compelx carbs like brown rice, quinoa (keen-wah), sweet potatoes/yams (not southern style), cous cous, lentils, etc. Eat clean and do this ab challenge and I'm sure your tummy will look quite different at the end of 30days!
By: Tiffany W.
One of the greatest blocks that I'm learning to overcome is shame.
It feels good to be in a place to feel comfortable in yourself. Comfortable not having the answers most people expect. Comfortable with not knowing the future but staying in belief about the possibilities. Comfortable in knowing that I am doing my best despite what others may feel.
I think I got to a point of thinking, why take away my own joy in life and weigh myself in shame and guilt, when I can own my life, and float in the joy of just BEing?
I mean I used to feel shame for the smallest things. If I over committed to plans, I'd feel really guilty about telling certain parties, I'm not going to join you for x,y,z. Even if someone came over my place and I had dishes in the sink or they walked in my room which may have been unpresentable to them. If I didn't have money to put in a collection plate during offering at church. Heck, even if I realized that I totally forgot to call or text someone back in a "decent" window of time.
I'd feel shame if someone pointed out I was hypocritical about something. If I forgot to give someone a birthday card or call. If I didn't have money or take time to create a holiday gift. Even more, being 20 something with no job, little money, no car, and pretty much floating. But let me tell me you about the power of self love!
Haha...I let that mess go. I own my stuff. All of it. I accept everything in my journey, and when I "mess up" I admit it. When I'm wrong or have contradicted myself, I own it. If I do or live in some "unconventional" manner, I own that. Do you know what that feels like? It feels like freedom and obligation to only myself. I don't have children or a husband, so the only person that I'm accountable for is myself. Receiving insight of what others feel about the productivity of my life or even the alignment of my behavior no longer imposes guilt or shame on my spirit.
It is not to say I don't consider what others say, or how they react to me, but I've learned to truly embrace the 5 Commandments of Self Love, and that has allowed me to really just honor and accept myself. That is a feeling I wish more people, especially women could feel.
Women shame themselves about their bodies, their romantic choices, their sexuality, sexual or emotional traumas, eating sweets or unhealthy foods, not going going out, going out a lot, and not hitting goals "on time." Stop the shaming! Stop the guilt! I believe that when you are aligned in your mind, body, and spirit, and make decisions from a place of doing what you know is best at all times, you will be able to avoid shame and guilt. Especially for things you really didn't do.
Traditionally taboo topics such as sexual assault, rape, domestic violence, and even depression have received more of a platform because of stories that have circulated on social media in massive numbers. Understanding that no matter what struggles or traumas you experience, you are never alone or the only one experiencing them, is definitely a step towards self love and acceptance. You didn't ask to be assaulted. You didn't ask to be taking advantage of. You didn't ask to be drugged. You didn't ask to be abused mentally, emotionally, physically or financially. You didn't ask to experience feelings of hopelessness. Do not feel shame. Own your story, and maybe connect to a higher purpose, and share your story. Empower someone else. Connect to someone else.
Embrace your truth. Live in your truth. Share your truth. Heal from your truth.
Release shame and guilt. Stop wronging yourself. DO whats necessary to avoid those feelings, but if you walk into that territory, just own whatever you did or didn't do. Honor your self. Forgive yourself and forgive others.
By: Tiffany Wright.
The 4 Elements: Earth, Air, Water, and Fire.
If I had to speak for myself, I'd say the element that renews, restores, and energizes me is water. I'm a LA native, and I love just being at the beach, standing, running or even sitting in the ocean. Whenever I feel overwhelmed by life and writing, mediating, praying, or listening to music just won't do it, I spend a lot of time in water. To be honest, when I concentrate on the power of water, I feel like I'm being baptized and beginning life again.
Sometimes, I just want to be outside. I love hiking, walking in forest like environments, and laying on the ground. That is my connection to the Earth. I believe it teaches me patience. I connect to the process it takes for flowers to bloom, trees to grow, and animals to evolve. Connecting to the Earth teaches me gratitude. Being grateful for every little thing because in actuality, nothing is unimportant. Everything and everyone is connected. There is a grander purpose in everything. Connecting to the Earth centers me. Sometimes I feel like my spirit can float away when I just stand and appreciate all the beauty around me.
I say this because I believe that in honoring nature, we learn to Honor Our Spirits (one of the % Commandments of Self Love I discuss in my book). Do you relate to the power, intensity, and passion of fire? Do you relate to the flow and flexibility of water? What about the invisible power of air? Or the vast ground of Earth.
When you can connect something outside yourself, your BEing expands especially what is reflected in your mind and spirit. At one time, when there were no self improvement books, fancy yoga or pilates studios, or even religious/spiritual centers, there was just nature. Nature will be there. There's no fee. No judgement. No waiting list. It's available to you. So when you feel anxious, fearful, hurt, sad, confused, or just in need of a shift, retreat to being one with an element. They are in fact the foundation of all there is.
By: Tiffany Wright