Self-Care and the difference between an Instructor and a Teacher.

I recently realized you don't need to be a princess from the 16th century to have private ballet lessons .. You can have them becacuse you are running 2 small businesses and teach when all the things you want to do are happening AND ( and perhaps most importantly) because it makes you happy. I'm 100% grateful to the dance gods that Ernesta Corvino answered my email (among the bunch I sent out to various people). She's a legend; Ballet Mistress to among others, the Pina Bausch company. I've never experienced such quality training in my life and I've been student to a few legends so I want to say two things:

1. self-care is not just bubble baths and drinks with friends. Those are real, and important, but self care is also doing something challenging, scary, pushing yourself, asking yourself to go to a new deeper place. I asked the universe for a teacher, I also asked myself to grow. I'm learning from the ground up like a 5 year old, practicing my arm placement, relaxing my toes (squishing them into new slippers needing the elastic sewn in! Something I haven't done in years!). which brings me to

2. Manuel and I recently talked about the difference between a teacher and an instructor. At our studio, Manuel pointed out, we have teachers. We ask our clients to think and learn, not shut off their brains while someone recites the days exercises. There's an enormous difference. It's what we believe in and what drives us forward. It's also simply what we value experiencing in the world. As I learn to connect the rotation of my hip to the flex of my ankle, from someone who is inspired by information not recitation, by a teacher who connects with me and draws me to connect with her, I'm re-inspired that movement and teaching, knowledge of ourselves and connection to others, is an incredibly powerful place. It's where we become the next evolution of ourselves, its where we dive deep to emerge in the light. That's the most we can ask of any experience and no better outcome from self-care time (not just for trashy movie nights).

Also.. Ernesta is 62 and ROCKS a half top, which gives me deep strength in a way I can't even fully comprehend yet ✊🌠💘

Pasta Bread and C-C-C-Carbs : fear not all of Europe is not wrong

Guess what Oprah...I love bread. I LOVE BREAD TOO! I eat it all the time. Like regularly. You know why it's crazy that that's something to shout to the rooftops about?? Humans have been LOVING bread..and I mean loving it SO hard they pretty much got married to bread and had a million bread babies. (we totally did: they're named #allofthebaking) Bread has been sustaining human animals for a long time, perfectly well and not morbidly obese-ly. You know what does not sustain human animals? Hyper modified processed beyond recognition bread and bread like products. Real bread is given time to raise on it's own, ferments, essentially begins to digest itself. Real bread had a bakers hands touching it and eyes watching it. Real bread comes from real grain that a real person grew. Not modified grain on old depleted soil. Real bread connects you to the earth it came from, and the people who made it, or maybe you who made it, and sustains you in an old school way that means a happy tummy and consistent energy. Cheers to bread, I'm happy you're enjoying it @Oprah .

It's important to realize where our bread fears come from. They are unfounded. All of Europe is not wrong. They eat bread and carbohydrate rich food at nearly every meal. The difference? Values placed on food quality not mass productive quantity. Meals as moments to share with friends and family, not to be wolfed down during the commute or alone in front of a screen. Bread is not our enemy. Bread and its bready pals are our pals too. Loneliness, stress, overwork and ease of access are our enemies. Just because you can wander into nearly any grocery store and choose from hundreds of high processed snack foods...does not mean you should. If all the bread and pasta and crackers and cookies you ate were made by hand and sourced from grains grown nearby ...they'd be expensive ( which is good! that means everyone is getting paid fairly and you can't mindlessly eat $8 worth of cookies quite as easily as a sleeve of Oreos..fun as that may be) and they'd be whole grain and prepared in ways that properly preps them to be digested by your human animal tummy...a very different environment than the florescent lit shelf of the local supermarket most mass produced products are designed for.

Oprah is right, as usual. Bread is amazing. I just wish she was shouting it to the rooftops in the sheer joy way we might sometimes shout I LOVE FRIDAY ! not to assure us that it's OK to take a bite of the forbidden crumb related food. Munch up Oprah, we can all eat our breads fear free, now, as always, just choose wisely.

Pictured loaf by Wide Awake Bakery in Ithaca NY

 

When you get fit you'll still have a muffin top.. #truth.

Important note: Question the words you use and what you are meaning by them. 

Toning. Slim. Thinner. Chubby. Fit. Strong. Flexible. Diet. Healthy. 

These are all dumb words that are very over used (I even use some) and whose meanings have become increasingly garbled. When I say I eat a 'Healthy' diet, what do you immediately assume? No carb? No Dairy? Paleo? Vegan? No Sugar? No Caffeine? Only Green juice? 1200 calories a day?

When you say you want to eat a healthy diet what do you mean? When you say you want to lose weight what are you actually picturing? 

Most of us when we say : lose weight - are actually picturing a more lean toned looking body. This body is athletic, supple and vigorous looking. aka J Lo at any age or Brad Pitt pre-divorce hollow face, for the dudes. Rarely would we say... yeah I'm thinking runway model with visible skeletal system that is 23 but appears to be 14 1/2... or hollow faced post divorce Brad Pitt for the boys.

We do seek health. We do aspire to a look of stable physical competence. This ideal seems to fit best with every day goals of looking good in our clothes, looking good naked and suggests we go jogging fairly regularly and are adept at at least one sport or physical pursuit be it Zumba, CrossFit or Aerial Yoga...

However, I'm here to tell you, J Lo and happy Brad don't get that way sitting at a desk 70 hours a week, working out 3 hours a week, drinking most nights and enjoying boozy Sunday brunches or Friday nights out (or both). Oh, and also they're celebrities so every time we see them they're prepped, and mostly photoshopped. 

See the below infographic and choose your ideal wisely. What is your current lifestyle and how much of it are you willing and actually able to change? Wanting to put in an hour plus of physical activity every day is great. But if you have a family and a 9-5 (or 9-6:30) as it often is.. finding the time to do that without cutting into family time, social time, hobby time, can be extremely difficult if not impossible. Choosing a body ideal that is essentially impossible for you to attain in any reasonable way, with any kind of quality of life available to you ie drinks with your pals once a week, pizza with your sweetheart, a late Sunday morning snoozing in bed, will be downright frustrating, and most likely lead to a halting of all positive efforts towards better health and wellness.

Reasonable fitness goals will give real returns and create consistent lifestyle changes that have positive affect that keep you sticking with them. You will look better in your clothes, you will look better naked ( also because you'll feel better in your body which is a HUGE part of that) you will become more adept at physical activity and have the strength and skill to pick up any sport you might want to start. Your efforts at eating better will cut your risk of disease and increase your energy, sleep quality and lengthen your life. 

Will you still have a muffin top? Yes. Will you still have a soft tummy or love handles? Most likely. Will your thighs jiggle? Yup. Will you have soft parts and pinchable bits? Yes and yes. Why? Because these things are not the same as being a completely out of shape junk food eating couch potato. Our bodies look like what we do with them. If you spend 8 hours a day downhill skiing.. you will look like a professional down hill skier. If you spend 30% of your day engaged in activity: bike commuting, spending an hour at the gym, taking your dog for a long walk and playing with your kids ( note I mean ALL of these things in one day..not one of these things) if you live an ACTIVE life.. your body will look like a person who has a full time desk job but also is very active. That's about as balances a body as we can hope for before seriously cutting into social and quality of life time. Note that all those things are nice things to do: grimacing with Gatorade dripping from your forehead not needed. 

I eat like, food, like EVERY DAY.. i know crazy.

Guys!! Guys! Guess what?! I eat like a plate-full of food for breakfast every day! Every day! Isn't that amazing??! I feel like I should shout it out like @Oprah did about bread for weight watchers! (remember when that wise powerful business woman and philanthropist accidentally revealed how bananas we've become about food in this culture by revealing the 'amazing' truth to the world that it's OK to eat bread!... One of the building blocks of modern humanitys' survival?? Remember that guys??)

I could be like: hey guys! You can totally eat food AND be a healthy weight for your body! It's true! I eat food every day! 😃👍 but guys.... Seriously.. It is true. Consistency is what makes positive changes and keeps them. I eat good-for-my-body food 80% of the time and spent time learning my rhythms and what works for me. A solid protein packed #breakfast works for me. Maybe something else works for you. But no food doesn't work for anyone...90% of my clients who want to stop the awful cycle of weight loss/gain/repeat ... Are NOT eating enough. You heard me. NOT ENOUGH FOOD. To lose weight they needed to eat more and eat regularly. Your body is a beautiful living machine. It needs beautiful fuel. Treat it with care and it will look like you treat it with care.