Tuesday, March 9, 2010

my biggest fan

Good morning my glorious sunshines! I must preface with a disclaimer: I have slept all of seven hours in the past two nights combined, most areas of life are stressing me out, and this blogalicious idea has been brewing in my tragically-fried brain for quite some time now. Excited I'm back aren't you? So am I :).
Yesterday, as you probably very well know, was International Women's Day. The purpose of this thousand-year old tradition is to have "a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future." Many ladies, organizations, and establishments recognized just that and made their annual tradition to ensuring, "that the future for girls is bright, equal, safe and rewarding." But who, I ask, is advocating on their behalf?
I could take a very serious point of view on all this, but I'm not (1) because I am simply not in the right mind to do so and (2) because I don't think that posting something encyclopedia-like is going to make any real difference in the lives of my female friends, my sisters, and the many inspirational women in my life. My response to my self-imposed question then, is that we should all be supporting ourselves each and every day. Why? Because we are all worthy human beings. There doesn't need to be more of a reason than that.
Within my hectic lifestyle recently, I have been relying on campus-prepared sandwiches, coffee, and bottled water to keep me going. I have been doing most of what I need to (hehe, occasional bad ass) on time and with finesse. And, most importantly, I will continue to do what is necessary to make me happy and fulfilled because I've realized that the person that needs to oftentimes matter most in my life, is me, even if I do consistently lose sight of the fact.
I say this not only to share a recent "aha" moment, but also to encourage you to do the same. I sat with my CNY Yoga instructor yesterday to conduct yet one of many interviews as I delve deeper into my research of integrative medicine. One of the many things she said to me that really struck a chord, was this: "“When I look back at who I used to be, and who I’ve become, I can’t help but feel blissful.” I want to believe that I will be able to say that one day.
Giving back to others, my community, and our world has and always will be a priority in my life, but that same drive to be a better person, for everyone's sake but my own, has the constant potential to back fire. The truth is, self-love and -appreciation is not selfish. In that case, at least I've mastered my self-motivation on the educational front, right? 
Well, I am certainly content with the fact that I have always strove to do well academically, not to make my parent's proud, not to impress others, and definitely not to have a competitive edge compared to my fellow students; working hard and trying my best has always been simply for me. Kind of like the my green tea "Monday treat" for productivity at the Strong Heart's café.
But when I think about why I move, which these days is predominately in the form of yoga, I can't always be so sure. I do know that I always walk away from the mat feeling accomplished, centered, and serene. Still, I also am very much aware that I am extremely self-critical and when I miss a class, for whatever reason, I often feel guilty and lazy, followed by a series of negative thoughts that reflect ever-present insecurities.
From there, I wonder if I eat well, eat foods that I honestly do enjoy, in order to have a strong body, then why do I feel like a failure when I savor something less than nutritionally-sound that is, at the time, equally as pleasing and appropriate? Deep down, I'll admit (and I hope I'm not alone here), is that sometimes I am "healthy" as a means to conform to a female ideal. Eating well and exercising regularly most often results in a visually-appealing physique for him, them, and well, everyone else.
But what about me? I deserve to feel good, look good, and be healthy through and through for my own personal well-being, am I right? You don't have to answer that ;). Because this time around, I don't doubt it for one second :) I believe that every single one of us is worth that much and so much more. In the end, I want to be happy with who I am and who I am becoming.
I'd like to reaffirm that fact right now: that I am worth it, that I deserve to be healthy no matter what healthy looks like, that I will enjoy how well I take care of myself for the multitude of my benefits, and that I will allow room for fun without any second thoughts. It's definitely easier said than done, and I might just have to remind myself of it every single day but something that personally vital... (oh yeah, you know it's coming) is worth it.
And so today, as my hours have blurred together, and the morning (when I initially began preparing this post) has somehow evolved into the afternoon, I have decided to let you in on a little secret of mine, I will be running the 32nd Annual Mountain Goat Run in Syracuse on May 2nd. Maybe I'm crazy- the course is about 10 miles/3K (I haven't decided which one yet) with varying elevations, I've hardly ran since my last summer and have only have 8 weeks-but who cares if all I intend to do is finish it? It doesn't matter how I do, only why I'm doing it...  to satisfy myself and my inner-potential. I deserve it.

Yes, you're mad, bonkers, off your head. But I'll tell you a secret... All the best people are."

Still quoting Alice and Wonderland you ask? Oh yes I am. Please see it soon! As for me, I'll be back sometime before the end of the week... assuming I survive my midterms ;). Until then, I hope you find the strength and the  inspiration to dream, to be, and to become anything and anyone that you'd like to... all for you.

P.S. I'm always cheering for you too.


  1. My love, this is one of the most exquisite, touching, personal posts I've ever read. I want to print it and post it all over my room.

    We ARE enough. We ARE worth it. As a woman, it's always tough to get over the body. I always think: What do I want to be remembered for? My answer never has anything to do with my body. I swear, that pulls me out of any health/body/mind issues.

    I know that you're going through a particularly challenging time, but I really love seeing the reflection and time you're spending on and with yourself. It's so beautiful.

    Love you, darling. xoxoxo

  2. Kaily (SnackFace): And this is one of the most touching comments I have ever received. Thank you for being you, love you too.

  3. Danielle, from the bottom of my heart thank you for sharing this post. Even though I KNOW I like myself and I do plenty of things that make me happy, I sometimes have these moments where I wonder if I'm really doing all these things to make myself happy or if it's to conform to someone else's standards. Do I wish that I could just eat candy and sugary cereal all day sometimes? Yes. Why don't I? Well, usually it's because I know it will make me feel like crap, but also deep down there's the little voice that says, "You can't do that, think about your hips and your waistline ... other people can see that!" Yeah.

    But you are worth it. It is worth it to do these things for yourself even if sometimes you forget they are to your benefit. I really, truly appreciate this post - I often feel similarly lost and confused and embroiled in this personal battle about why I do the things I do, and sometimes I forget to love myself.

    Can I tell you, I really connected to that quote from Alice in Wonderland as well? I bet a lot of us did...


  4. La: I'm so glad to hear that this post meant so much to you! Like I said, it's been brewing for quite a while and not gonna lie, it even made me feel better just to put it down on a paper (read: onto the internet, haha). So I wrote it for me, but I also wrote it for you and other readers because I knew that I couldn't possibly be the only one that sometimes struggled with all these thoughts. Thank you for your encouragement and your understanding. And so glad you enjoyed the Alice quote, it's one of my favorites.

  5. WOW this is sooo incredible. i respect you so much for being so honest about this. you are so awesome and so beautiful girl.. dont even let little things discourage you. and you are SO worth it..everything you are doing will reap rewards girl.

  6. ktbwood: Aw, thank you. You're so right, same to you!

  7. Thank you for stopping by my little blog, I love yours! You take beautiful pictures, I can't wait to peruse through and check out your travels. This post is touching as well, good luck on that goat race!

  8. What an amazing post. You are incredibly self-expressive and that is an amazing trait to have.

    To me, being healthy is being happy. I'm in a different situation than some people, but I choose to truly believe that. And being happy is so much more difficult than choosing to be healthy, or acting happy around others, etc. It sounds like you know some of the things in life that make you truly happy: giving back to others, seeing yourself succeed in school. Those are the things that make you worth it girl! Because you SO are.

    And I freakin' LOVE that quote!

  9. LOVE this post! So full of self-love, self-appreciation, and self-care. We need to take care of ourselves for so many reasons, because we are worthy human beings and deserve to be given all of the opportunities available to us!

  10. i have so much to say and probably won't manage to get it all out -
    but. this post. is so gorgeous. i adored that alice quote too.

    i've always had that same drive and motivation to excel that you do, and i've also struggled to apply that care to own well-being. it's so hard to remember that we have to give ourselves a break - because while striving for excellence is a wonderful trait, relaxing and letting go and even being lazy is part of the balance too.

    and i’ve struggled with the exercise guilt too. it’s helped me to remind myself that all of these elements – yoga, food, whatever else – they’re all part of a lifestyle. maybe skipping a yoga session once, or twice, or five times makes us feel lazy – but in a 365 day year, in all the years of our life…all that will matter is that we practiced yoga at all.

    i've definitely come a long way in seeing the way i exercise/eat/
    live as something i do for my health, but i also know it keeps me looking the way i want. is there anything wrong with that? i don't know. we’re young women from new york – i don’t think it's crazy to care about the way we look. but there’s a difference between wanting to be a healthy, or even "slim" size and obsessing about being the tiniest size possible, especially when it keeps us from living our lives. i love what you wrote about being healthy no matter what healthy looks like. and with room for fun. i'm all about the fun. :)

    omg, is this a novel or what? i'll stop myself. most importantly: i cannot wait to see you in just a few more days!!

  11. Kailey (Snackface): I think I was so awe-struck before that I could not give you a proper response. That is such a fantastic reality check, What do I want to be remembered for? and I appreciate your constant support through my entire journey. Can't wait to see what life has in store for you, you deserve the world :). Also, still love YOU so much, obviously.

    lindsayruns: My pleasure, I love checking out new finds around the blogosphere! Hope you enjoy going back in time and around the world ;) I do that too sometimes, haha, and this is my life. Thanks for luck :)

    jenngirl: You strong, beautiful, and amazing girl, you are so inspiring. Thank you!

    leslie: Ah, you blow my mind! I adore you. I'm glad you brought up liking the way you look too because I definitely think that's important, it just sometimes gets mixed up in all the jibble jabble (new word) of womanly pressures. I could not agree more with your entire novel (hehe) and I'm so glad to have someone like you in my life. Thanks for every single comment, always... and see you soon!

  12. oh that wrap just looks delicious!

  13. Others have said this far better than I can, but this is a truly incredible post. This is my first time reading your blog, and I can already tell by your incredible writing and honesty that it's going to become a new favorite :)

  14. Simply Life: Thanks, haha, it has quite the over-abundance of hummus, but I enjoyed it :)

    Gabriela: Thank you sweetheart, I'm so glad you found it in the first place!

  15. I adore your blog so much :)
    Always so self-empowering, I love that!
    And agreed--you gotta do what makes YOU feel good, in regards to staying fit and healthy but also in regards to knowing when one's being TOO health-conscious! We all know its totally possible but also so unnecessary as well!

    That cheesy goodness looks AMAZING, ps. Hope you're having a great day love!

  16. jesslikesithot: Aw, thank you lovely! Sooo beyond true, your sweetness is so appreciated.

  17. the cheezee one is really yummy!


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