My Year To Thrive

"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style." ~Maya Angelou

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Downward facing dog modifications for beginners & plus size yogis | Body Positive Yoga

“Yoga has a very prominent piece of philosophy within it that is called ahimsa. . . Ahimsa means non-violence, or non-killing or non-harming. . . Ahimsa also means acting with kindness towards ourselves. . . And I see this as a huge correlation with HAES® as well. I really feel that the diet culture that is out there and the weight loss culture that is out there can be extremely harmful as I’m sure most of us who have experienced it know. . . . Whereas HAES® is much more in line with yoga philosophy in terms of being about not harming. Let’s do everything we can to create a healthy body in a gentle and tender and loving and compassionate way.”
Tiina Veer, HAES® Meets Ahimsa: Applying Yoga Philosophy To Your HAES® Practice And Vice Versa (Body Love Wellness)

Downward facing dog modifications for beginners & plus size yogis

A variety of modifications for not only larger bodies, but people with varying levels of ability (including those of us with wrist pain).  Bonus!  She has a video about how you can keep your boobs out of your face during yoga!

Bonus Bonus! Modifications for Pigeon Pose

Triple bonus since I recently posted about Sun Salutations: Sun Salutation Modifications for Plus-Size Bodies


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Building Your Home Gym

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”
~Agatha Christie (HuffPo)

This raccoon is rocking the home workout.

Since I posted The Minute Jar yesterday, I thought I would give you some ideas for fitness equipment you can stock up on to help you out at home.

To that end I found this article on WebMD, “At-Home Workouts: 5 Essential Items for a Home Gym“.  This actually lists several items in five categories: cardio, strength, balance, flexibility, & Guidance.  They list a variety of options at different price points, as well as advice from personal trainers & how much space you need to use the different options.

At Real Simple, I found “The Best Fitness Tools for Your Home Gym“.  They polled their “exer-stars” for compilations of favorite tips & tools in categories by budget & level.

I’ve posted about home gym equipment before, so here’s a handy list of links:

DIY Foam Roller for $2.49
How To Foam Roll Like A Pro | Greatist
21 DIY Gym Equipment Projects to Make at Home | Greatist

Hope this helps!


The Minute Jar

Exercise to stimulate, not to annihilate. The world wasn’t formed in a day, and neither were we. Set small goals and build upon them.
~Lee Haney (Brainy Quotes)

minute jar MYTT

Something easy for those days when your get up & go has got up & went.  A jar full of simple things you can do for one minute.  Who can’t workout for just one minute?  Then maybe two or three or ten?  It could be useful for the TV addicts who want to squeeze something in during commercials.

I printed a list of simple exercises, cut them into strips, & put them into one of the many jars I have saved.  Easy peasy!  Now when I can’t find my motivation, or just don’t know what I want to do, I can at least get myself to commit to one minute of a random activity.  Starting is the hardest part of any workout, so this is the perfect little jump-start.  Continue reading


Who Knew Glass Jars Could Be Good for Your Health?

“Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie.”
~Jim Davis (Good Reads)


I’ve been saving glass jars for months now, & now I know why!  I got an email today about Clean Eating Spinach Salad in Jars & it clicked why I need all those jars.  (Actually I have used some for various purposes, fyi.)  I’ve seen the idea before, but at the time I didn’t have jars & by the time I had jars I forgot about it.   I also have some ideas for overnight oatmeal in jars pinned, which I’m going to try out now that I have half a pantry shelf full of empty jars.

For your own ideas, here are a couple of links to inspire you:

How to Pack the Perfect Salad in a Jar
19 Ridiculously Easy Mugs of Overnight Oats

Given the tangent I went on behind this jump, I almost retitled this Trying to Eat Healthy When You’re Broke & Hate to Cook. Continue reading


Big, Fat Tortoise | Fierce Freethinking Fatties

Big, Fat Tortoise | Fierce Freethinking Fatties

I think that the greatest tragedy of the “fat = unhealthy” lie that surrounds us is that it actually excuses fat people from moving at all. When the only measure of health is your body size, and you’re in the 95% who can’t permanently change their body size, then why bother trying to be healthy at all? Exercise is billed as a means to reduce body mass, rather than a tool for health in itself. If it doesn’t make you thin, then it’s not making you healthy; so why bother at all? Fitness is the domain of the slim. Fat people are excluded. After settling with that accepted rhetoric for so many years, it’s not surprising that fat people like me, who now want to move more, are hovering on the edges of the Exercise Club wondering where we fit in.

Read this post today, in its entirety, & it resonated with me.  The need to not push yourself into anything because it makes activity less appealing.  The feeling exercise is for skinny people & weight loss, or it’s pointless.  Yep.  I’ve been wondering lately, about more than just exercise, where is the line between being gentle with myself & just making excuses?  I haven’t figured that out yet, but I do know it doesn’t help me to feel like exercise is just another reason to feel like a failure so I keep trying & stick with the gentle philosophy.

It’s a complex issue when you didn’t grow up feeling confident being active.  I grew up thin, but was never good at sports, made clear to me by a disappointed mother, so I still developed a feeling they weren’t fun & they weren’t for me.  I wish I would have realized how much I enjoyed running way back when.  Maybe I would have joined the track team.  (Also, figuring out early on it’s okay to not be good at something because you learn.  That is still a struggle for me.)

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Things Not to Assume about Fat People & Yoga


Love Thy Fatness

A Facebook friend shared a link to this on Chubby Bunnies’ tumblr, so I chased it back to the source for you. 🙂  If you need more inspiration, there are a couple more pics in the original post; plus lots more inspiration in the tumblr.

Love Thy Fatness is a size acceptance blog.  They shared this post about some plus size yogis helping their instructor prepare to lead a workshop for other instructors on body positive cues & modifications.

When she asked the question, “What do you wish more yoga teachers knew about creating body-positive classes?”

Their responses were:

Don’t assume that we aren’t as strong or flexible.
Don’t assume that this is my first ever yoga/fitness class.
Don’t assume that I hate my body.
Don’t assume that I’m there for weight loss.
Don’t assume anything about what I eat.
Don’t assume anything about my health.

These are some of the reasons I’ve never been entirely comfortable in yoga classes, or a lot of exercise classes for that matter.  I hate the feeling of the instructor waiting for me to die any second or snap in half.  In one yoga class we were guided through a move where she suggested we use the wall for support.  I was one of only two people in the class who did it without support. Take that non-believers! 😛

What would you  add?


How to Let Yourself Off the Hook | Everyday Feminism

Self-care is an important part of life.  You are important, & deserve to be taken care of.

(source: Calming Manatee)

How to Let Yourself Off the Hook — Everyday Feminism

There will come a point in time when you’re talking to a friend, or maybe at home in bed replaying the event that has you down, when the conversation with someone or yourself spirals out of control.

You dig yourself so deep in frustration and full out disgust with yourself that sooner or later, you’re listing off reasons to be disappointed in yourself in rapid succession.

But it doesn’t have to get to that point.

It’s at the moments when you start beating yourself up that you can choose to continue as you are until you’re even more exhausted and annoyed at yourself, oryou can simply look in the mirror and say, “So what?”

I needed this.  And the monkey.  My therapist & I were just talking about my inability to let things go yesterday.  I need to let go of my own perceived mistakes, as well as those of others.  I don’t know how that’s going to work, but I need to figure it out or I will never find any peace.