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End of the Fast | Day#10, made it!

Ten days.  

Wow, it has been  a couple of years since I fasted and it definitely is more than anything, a mental exercise on various levels.  For me personally, I dream more vividly & am able to focus akin to when I was in peak performance during my years as an athlete and honor student.  I am able to set clear goals and surpass my expectations every time.  Additionally, things are just much clearer for me to see and to understand.  I have also found, that things that I had focused on, thought about, and truly need are always brought to me, like extra bread when the basket is empty.  Well, not quite like that – but I think you understand.

This fast is something that may be part of many cultures, but is attached to the oldest traditional culture that all subsequent variants are derived.  Last year, I was unable to take part, because you do not fast when you are pregnant, sick, breastfeeding, or on your menstrual cycle.   Without getting too deep into the origins (on this post at least…), it is a time of reflection, lamentation, and to focus on cleansing yourself through your thoughts and actions alike. 

This fasting season, I took the opportunity to use it as something like a reset button for myself.  Getting back to a healthier place.  Getting back focused on my goals.  Getting back into better habits over the course of the day.  Getting back to doing things that are going to benefit myself, my family, and those around me.  In that respect, I think that this fasting period served these purposes very well, and I am pleased at how I have made necessary adjustments to orient myself towards these little victories.  

Moving Forwards…

I am now focusing my energies on being consistent with this blog for several reasons.  

  1. The benefit and beauty of being able to transcribe my thoughts is something that has been missed in recent years.  I have always found it very soothing to just memorialize my thoughts, and return on a later date to reflect on where I was at and see if I am still moving in the same directions, if I have fallen off, or if my direction is now more refined.
  2.  In so many ways, it serves as a catalyst to change.  Changing the way I engage in communication with others, meet other, share ideas, learn, and to also track my growth.  As I continue to walk the various legs of my overarching journey; through motherhood, marriage, health, and entrepreneurship, it is a means of keeping me accountable to myself.
  3.  There are a couple of books that I have begun writing over the years, but I have not really been able to completely give myself to the process of writing and I think that is in part due to lack of “exercising” my writing muscles, if that makes sense.  Just like anything – the more often you do it, the more proficient you get, the more you understand it, the more confident you get, the more you engage, the more you grow.  I am here for that growth!

Ah yes… arm day.

Yes, I went to the gym this evening to get on my arms.  I got there pretty late and only had about 35 minutes before it closed for the day so I did not get to do quite as much as I would have liked, but I still did plenty.  Due to the time constraint, I allowed myself much less rest between sets than I normally would have.  So, here is to hoping I am able to function tomorrow with my legs still dead and my arms possibly falling off when I awake.  

I plan on taking before pictures in the next day or two; but I will not be posting them until I have made SOME progress.  I want to be able to say; oh this WAS how I looked and this is now.  Baby steps.  Not that there will be too huge of a transformation, I am already petite.  One thing I have to constantly tell people when they try to tell me I am already in good shape; there is a difference between being thin / skinny and being in shape.  I know how to dress my body and what is flattering to my unique shape – but I am not where I want to be health wise, which is first and foremost.  Secondly, I want to have the confidence of putting on that bathing suit in the summer and knowing I can stand confident in the discipline that etched out the body that is presented.  Yes, of course, I want to look good – but most importantly, I want to feel good.  For me, that comes from the strength of being disciplined & hard-working.

Funny thing happened today at the grocery store

In 2014 – I had a miscarriage (I lost a set of twins), and a few months after that I had a follow-up appointment with a family health doctor.  She reviewed my test results with me and let me know that unfortunately,  I would never be able to have children, and if I did happen to, it would not be naturally & she wanted to send me to a fertility specialist to see if I could be helped.  It was a miserable time for me as I wanted many children and a big family.  To add insult to injury, she was a solid 6-7 months pregnant herself at the time.   Fast forward to today, I had my baby girl shopping with me and I was turning to leave the store and a familiar face caught my eye.  Low and behold, it was the doctor that had given me this news.  I said something along the lines of “Hey… I think you were my doctor a couple years ago?…”  She turned and cocked her head slightly to the side and after a few brief moments she said; “Yeah… oh yea!  You kind of look familiar.”  A few seconds later, it hit her and her eyes got a little bigger, so I just smiled and said, “Yea, I see you had your baby, congratulations!”  She gestured at my baby as if to say you too, to which I replied, “Yea, and here is mine.”  Neither of us had to say anything, we both knew.  I wished her a great remainder of her evening and walked to my car.

It was a great opportunity for me to be thankful in that moment, because for a while, I did not think I would be a mother.  Humbling encounter and I am so thankful baby girl made it through.

>Humbly submitted & Always thankful<<   ~Mai


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Has me limping…


First day back in the gym and it was definitely harder than I remembered.  Being on the eighth day of my fast contributed heavily to the difficulty, stress, and anxiety involved in getting my feet wet.  Besides that, it has been over two and a half years since I last stepped in the gym to maintain my athleticism.  Since then, I have given birth to my now emerging toddler.  Being athletic my entire life, I have enjoyed the luxury of stepping into any gym the first time & after a few moments of getting the lay of the land, feeling at home and getting to it.   Today was not one of those days…

 I had to fight through the anxiety of teaching myself over again how the machines work without looking like a complete novice.  I had to regain knowledge and confidence in how my body works, what my limits are, and what it needs from me.  The length of time between my workouts paired with fasting had me disconnected and more connected at the same time.  It was like that first 5 minutes of an encounter with someone you once called your bestie.  The comfort set in only after some nervous gestures and elongated pauses.

Too add to the complexity of this evening’s escapade, I have become so distant from my body that recently created & sustained life.    Weight bearing activities feel much more extreme because although I have circled back to my pre-pregnancy weight, my body is just… different.  How I walk, how I am proportioned, and even how my mind works are aspects that never reverted.  Don’t get me wrong, this is definitely a beautiful thing and a blessing!  I only say this to paint a picture of all the ways the fit and confident athletic woman that once was me, is a simple memory tucked in the back of my mind where only I can still see.  

On the next turn of the page, I am humbled and thankful that although much later than I anticipated, I DID IT! I STARTED! I GOT UP and I MOVED! I knew just how important it was to give my body a legitimate rest after having a child (it takes at least nine months to create a child we should give our bodies at least that long to HEAL).  This “snap back” fad is so detrimental, women are engaging in unhealthy actions too early for the sake of “getting back” without understanding your body does not ever go back.  It has transformed, it has done what it was designed to do – so you (including your body) will not be the same. 

[“Snap back rant” deleted]

But, I say all of this to say – baby is peeking around the corner of a year and a half, I have had the time I needed and I am past due to realign myself with my more active self.  Sure I pick her up thousands of times a day, run after her, lunge with her, carry her – but active with baby is not the same as accelerating your heartbeat and tearing tissue to rebuild it stronger than before.  With the fast ending on Sunday and my 99-day challenge beginning on Monday, I think I am stepping into this next phase more confidently & definitely, much more sore!

>Respectfully Submitted<<   ~Mai



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Challenge. Ready… Set.. GO

So, I figured out what the next challenge of mine will be!  After I finish this 10-day fast (concluding on Sunday 1.14.18) – my next challenge is gong to be a 99-day challenge.  The goal is to develop a habit of being active, even if only for mere moments everyday.  It is also so simple that it can be done anywhere and at any time.  

What is it?

Simply choosing one (or several) exercises and doing either 5 reps/sets, 5 seconds, or 5 minutes.  This can be a different exercise everyday or the same one(s) / combinations for the duration of the challenge.  I am going to be doing the same group of exercises each day so that I can see the progress over time.  I will be posting updated / photos from start to finish for my own accountability and to reflect back on.  I will probably do an ultimate time-lapse photo every 9 days as well. 

Why 9?

Well, 9 is my favorite number 🙂

I thought about a slightly variant of this challenge earlier – but it relies on the continual participation of multiple people to be effective, so I figured this is a good one to start with.  I am excited to jump start my road to recovery (I have been plagued with laziness & procrastination for the past 2.5 years).  I have so many goals that I am ready to step into and accomplish and I think this will assist in removing the final mental block.  ~Mai 

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Stepping into 31 flavors!

I am starting this blog simply and slowly.  I created this to be my own monitor of my growth as a mother, wife, friend, teacher, student, and human being.  I aim to learn, grow, share & hold myself accountable for where I am today and tomorrow – so I can smile upon my yesterdays.  Today is Day#6 of my 10-day fast & I am looking forward to where this journey leads me.  To all who are here reading this (especially you MaiMuna…) you are blessed beyond belief and I wish you good things in your path, discipline in your mind, and forgiveness in your heart.  ~Mai