Chips & Yoga

Because I always need yoga...and I sometimes need chips.

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6/28/2018

The Ten Surprising Things I've Learned about Pregnancy

I thought I had heard it all.

21 week bump!

Morning sickness sucks! Labor hurts! It's cool to feel the baby kick! But I wanted to share what I've learned - the good, bad, and the ugly (yes, yes, I know in yoga we shouldn't distinguish things as "good" or "bad," so I'll let you draw your own opinions) - about pregnancy that I never knew. And disclaimer - Everybody and every body is different, so take what I say with a grain of salt, and please consult a medical professional if something doesn't feel right. Consider this a brief preparation guide for what incubating your little spawn may feel like.

1) You will be more exhausted than you've ever been in your entire life. Like, maybe I'd heard people say, "I was really tired during my first trimester," but to me that was like saying, "I don't enjoy going to work on Mondays," or "The Bachelor is totally fake" (jk I know it's real). It's a given, right? And in today's society, everyone's stasis is being tired! It's the norm! It's a rite of passage! You're doing it wrong if you're not tired! Well, I hate to break the news to you, but you weren't actually tired before. This newly defined exhaustion that engulfed me during the first 11 weeks of pregnancy was a bloody beat-down like I had never experienced. And it doesn't matter how much extra sleep you get - you STILL won't be able to lift your head off your keyboard! And even better? It might be too early for you to feel comfortable telling anyone you're pregnant, so all of your coworkers just think you're a big giant hungover <~~(if they only knew) slacker. Hooray! 

2) You think you've had Charley horses before? Think again. My second trimester is characterized by two things: debilitating leg cramps and intense back/rib pain. Oh, and feeling the baby move, I guess. But more on the latter two in a minute. Imagine jolting out of bed at night, not once, not twice, but three times due to lightning bolt pain in the same calf. Then you're doubled over your leg, gasping for air, flexing your foot (as the interwebs have instructed you to do so), which then causes the cramp to migrate to your shin, all while your saint of a husband wakes up bewildered at the beast that is thrashing around wildly in his bed. Then you're limping around for days after because the experience was so intense! But there actually is good news on this one - There's a little something called a magnesium supplement that will make this all go away. Just learn from my mistake of enduring a month of these cramps before doing anything about them, and (after consulting your doc or midwife) start taking the magnesium the second you get one of these Level 10 Leg Destroyers.

3) Your ribs will start to expand, or your baby will press up against them, or maybe it's just gas? which really really really does not feel great. In general, I have some low back issues. Nothing too major, but just some tweakiness that I have to be mindful of. So I figured if I were to have back issues during pregnancy, that's where they would take place. Au contraire! I've recently had quite a bit of pain in my mid back, which travels around to the front of my ribs. It's so uncomfortable that it has become the norm that I come home, walk in the door, bra in my hand, and my husband says, "Did you take your bra off while driving again?" Yes, because the wire is digging into my ribs, and even though they measured me and gave me a more fitting size now that I'm a milk factory, the pain is still there. RIB PAIN people, who knew?

4) Speaking of gas. That delicate, modest flower of a lady your partner once knew and loved? She is nowhere in sight for nine months. The flatulence is real, and horrifying, and inevitable. But if you're a class act like me, you'll ever-so-calmly scream, "YOU DID THIS TO ME!!!" every time an "incident" occurs and your significant other looks at you with horror in their eyes. 

5) You will run out of breath very quickly. Walking up the stairs? Need to catch a quick breath. Standing up from your chair? Whew, feeling a little winded. Lifting that chocolate chip cookie to your lips? GASPING FOR DEAR LIFE. That whole baby-crowding-your-lungs-and-ribs thing gets you every time.

6) People will not let you lift a finger when you're pregnant. This really bothers some people. Others love it. I'm like, you know what? I'm carrying a bowling ball around that is sucking all of the magnesium out of me and karate-chopping my ribs on the reg - If you want to carry that *slightly* heavy thing for me, I appreciate you, good madam or sir.

7) Giving up pants will save your life. My husband and I were leaving to go out of town a few weeks ago. He asked me if I was packing jeans, to which I said, "I don't know if you've noticed, but I've stopped wearing pants altogether." It's summertime in Houston, which means it's 178 degrees (give or take), and I need flowy clothes that allow me to feel the breeze between my ever-growing thighs. Going pants-less is my biggest piece of unsolicited advice, YOU'RE WELCOME.

8) Pregnancy glow? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. My skin hasn't looked like this since the seventh grade!!! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!

9) The emotional roller coasters are very very real. Have I mentioned my husband is a saint? 

10) Feeling the baby move is really freaking cool. Okay, I know this is one of those common things you do hear about, but I have to emphasize its coolness. As of right now, my little Chipotle burrito (that's how big he is this week, doesn't he sound delicious?) is not big enough to be giving me ferocious punches to my gut (though I know that's a joy yet to come!), but he moves around, and I can feel it! And my husband was actually able to feel him recently, which was also very cool. Apparently my baby is quite the wiggle worm, as the technicians at my doctor's office always have to chase him around my stomach with the doppler thing to find him, and I feel him totally spazzing out every night right as I lay down to go to sleep. Out of control AND a night owl?! Jon and I are totally prepared scared shitless.


All joking aside, we have been very fortunate to have a smooth and healthy pregnancy so far, and I wouldn't trade it for anything. If you've been through pregnancy before, I'd love to hear in the comments section below about the surprising things you discovered. I'm learning so much about this process, and I know there's so much more I'm going to learn. And word on the street is the end result makes all of the aches and pains totally worth it.

(Also, I plan to remind my son regularly about all of the sacrifices I made for him, and make him repay me through foot rubs, doing dishes, and remaking '90s musicals with me to perform for his dad. Namaste.)
6/21/2018

Eat the Damn Cookie(s).

I'm about to get real with y'all.


A couple of weeks ago, during the meditation portion of my Miracle Morning, I kept getting wildly distracted about the fact that I had gained 12 pounds since becoming pregnant. This was a whopping four pounds more than the recommended amount, based on my pre-pregnancy weight and height. And while I logically knew that being fixated on this was nothing less than completely dumb, and that, hello, I'm creating a whole human inside of me, and that I am such a proponent of NOT fixating on weight...here we were.

And then I felt my baby move for the first time.

And then I cried.

It was like he was saying, "Mom! You're creating me right now! Get over yourself!"

HE KNEW.

Babies, man.

Since becoming pregnant, I've heard the following statements from people on a loop:

You're so healthy and thin to begin with, you won't put on that much weight!

You're a yoga teacher, I bet you'll barely have a belly! (any yoga teachers feel me on this one?)

So-and-so didn't even show until her 8th month of pregnancy!

So-and-so only gained 10 pounds during her pregnancy!

So-and-so DIDN'T EVEN KNOW SHE WAS PREGNANT! (HOW. WHY. Give me your super powers.)

And while these are well-meaning statements that certainly come from a genuine place of love and comfort, I twisted them around in my head and used them to put lots of pressure on myself. And for what, exactly?

This is NOT a post on the societal pressures women feel to have a perfect body, EVEN while they are pregnant (a sad, but very real truth). Believe me, I could go on for days about this topic. This is a post about living your life, pregnant or not, and eating the damn cookie(s), if that's what you want.

Don't get me wrong, I am a huge proponent of healthy eating. But I am also a huge proponent of moderation and not denying yourself.

I had a second wake-up call a week later after seeing a picture someone posted of me on Facebook. I was out of town and frantically texting my husband. "Do I really look like this? Please say I don't! How did this happen?" To which he calmly put me in my place. "Who cares? You're pregnant! You're making a baby! GET OUT OF YOUR HEAD YOU FREAKING PSYCHO AND BRING MY WIFE BACK!!!!"

(AKA, Eat the damn cookie(s).)

(Also, he definitely did not call me a freaking psycho, I was paraphrasing for dramatic effect. My husband is an exceptionally nice human being and nothing short of a saint.)

That's when I decided I will no longer weigh myself, and if there seems to be anything alarming happening, my doctor will let me know.

So why, exactly, am I emphasizing to eat the damn cookie? In the previous post on my pregnancy, I mentioned my newfound craving for chocolate chip cookies. I've since discovered that I'm generally loving sweets, and that fruit tastes like pure candy to me right now. I'm definitely more of a vegetable person than a fruit person, but this pregnancy has flipped that on its head. So while I'm giving myself full permission to indulge in cookie(s), I'm doing so in moderation, supplementing my sweet tooth cravings for fruit in between indulgences. I mean, that whole creating a human thing does make me want to take in good nutrients as well.

My husband and I were out of town a couple of weeks ago and having dinner one night. I looked at the desserts and blurted out, "OH MY GOSH FRIED OREOS AGGGHHHH." He shrugged and said, "Get them."

(and I did.)

Eat the damn cookie(s).

So while, disclaimer, I am certainly not a nutritionist or a medical professional, pregnancy has given me more insight into my own personal health and having a healthy relationship with food/my body. So if "eat the damn cookie(s)" is in direct conflict with what you personally need, or what your doctor recommends, please disregard every word I've said! I believe that having a healthy relationship with food and your body requires a unique prescription for every person, as we are all so beautifully different. My personalized health plan is to continue eating healthy whole foods (making sure I get enough protein for baby), stop weighing myself, keep my regular low-impact exercise up (yoga, walking, spin class), and fully embrace that there is something way bigger than me going on inside of my body. And every now and then, if I feel like it...

I'll eat the damn cookie(s).
5/24/2018

Life Updates, AKA "Where the Hell Did Kim Go?" Part 2

Hello yogi friends! I didn't drop off the face of the earth, I've just been a *tad* preoccupied.


Yep, back in February a pregnancy test revealed to me that - no I wasn't going crazy, my body was feeling super weird for a pretty valid reason - my husband and I were going to have a baby! And we found out a few weeks ago that it's a boy!

(Having no brothers, and being a person who really identifies herself by the strong female relationships in her life, I literally have no idea what to do with a boy, except for dress him up like a little gentleman in bow ties and suspenders all the time. And that's literally my entire parenting plan.)

Questions I've been frequently asked since getting knocked up:

Are you still mostly vegan?
No. But I am still vegetarian. Multiple medical professionals advised me to start eating eggs again, so I have. I've incorporated some dairy as well. I've done my research, and everything I've seen demonstrates that vegetarians can definitely still have healthy babies, BUT they have to make sure they are getting enough protein. Noted.

Did you have morning sickness?
Once, during the last week of the first trimester, while I was doing one of my Miracle Mornings (I hesitate to even call it that, given the circumstances). I was like, "Really, Baby? You played it cool for 13 1/2 weeks, and NOW you decide put my head in the toilet?" (Too much information?) The biggest symptom I had during the first trimester was that I was unbelievably exhausted. That's part of what tipped me off to being pregnant. I mean, I could barely lift my head most days, it was so severe and truly awful. There's a whole science experiment going on in my body, so it makes sense. I finally got my energy back around Week 11, which was WONDERFUL. And let me tell you, the second trimester is pure MAGIC!

Are you still practicing/teaching yoga?
Yep! I've scaled back a bit though and stopped practicing hot yoga, at the advisement of my doctor, nurse, and doula. Like being in a sauna, they worry about cooking the baby while it's in utero, I GET IT. Though many other people attest that if you've been practicing hot yoga pre-pregnancy you're totally fine. I am most certainly not a medical professional, so I am not giving an opinion either way - I'm just personally erring on the side of caution! As long as I still get to practice, I don't mind a milder temperature! And speaking of my doctor, nurse, and doula, they are all thrilled that I'm a yogi. I don't do back bends, deep twists, or intense core work anymore. And I stopped working on headstands and handstands (I tend to fall over a lot, which *apparently* is also not good). I also stopped working on my splits because when you're preggers your body releases a hormone called relaxin that literally - you guessed it - relaxes your body, uh, down there. Meaning, things are loosened up, and you are susceptible to tearing, as well as other fun things like slipping a disc. I pulled a muscle in my low back a few weeks ago during spin class and have been taking it easy since. PREGNANCY IS JUST SO LOVELY.

Any food cravings?
SWEETS. I'm so not a sweet-toothed person, but I've wanted chocolate chip cookies like they're going out of style. I also bought a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch because cereal is so good to me right now. This is weird because I think it had been at least 10 years since I'd last had cereal. Pregnancy, man.

Any food aversions?
COFFEE, WAHHHHHHH. It tastes SO awful to me, like pure metal! So to recap, I was completely exhausted during the first trimester, and I couldn't even have my one measly cup of coffee to help me out a bit, because the thought of taking a sip made me want to punch a wall (namaste). On the plus side, I knocked out my biggest New Year's Resolution of weaning myself off coffee, and it was done by the third month of the year. On the downside, in addition to my beloved wine, I can no longer have my other beloved, coffee (fun fact: getting knocked up also tackled my 30 day No-Alcohol resolution...plus like 736 days, give or take a few). *sigh* I know when I have a smooshy, cute, bow tie-wearing little baby in front of me (maybe give him a monocle, too?), this will all seem like a distant nightmare.

And yes, while I joke about a bunch of not fun things that happen during pregnancy, and while I'm learning a lot of really gross things about the human body (like, really gross), and while said gross things happen and my husband gives me a grossed out look I always yell "YOU DID THIS TO ME!", and while Coco left me a complete wreck for at least an hour (that movie really needs to come with a warning label for emotional pregnant women), I cannot tell you how excited I am! I don't have a noticeable bump yet (more than anything, it just looks like I ate a crap ton of French fries and chocolate chip cookies...a not *entirely* untrue statement), but I catch myself staring in awe of my growing belly every day. I'm so grateful that everything has gone smoothly so far, and that I have such a supportive husband and network of friends and family. So thank you for letting me share my pregnancy story with you! As always, if you have any questions, I'd love to hear them in the comments section!

xo and namaste! - Kim
3/22/2018

My 2017 Book Reviews, Part 2

Better late then never, I guess.




Picking up right where we left off!

Here are my (completely biased) book reviews from what I read in 2017!

1) A Storm of Swords: A Song of Ice and Fire, aka Game of Thrones 3 - It takes me on average 18 months to read one of these. Because I'll read half the book, and become so OVERWHELMED that I have to set it down for a while. Then of course when I pick it up again a year later I'll have no idea what's going on since there are 4,000 characters with really long names and 7,000,000 plot lines (the reason I put the thing down in the first place), but I always end up very glad I committed to it. The writing is so juicy and SO GOOD, and yes the books are insanely better than the TV show, which is also insanely good. Book 3 features THE RED WEDDING, and it's so so riveting! My goal is to read the fourth book this year. As in, pick it up in 2018 and finish it in 2018. I will of course report back on this. I realize I just gave you zero synopsis, but I wouldn't even know where to begin? Arya is awesome, Tyrion remains my fav, Jon Snow broods a lot (but is a total babe, duh.), the red lady is evil, and Joffrey is the worst. Cool?

2) All There Is - This is a cute, heart-warming, easy read. StoryCorps’ mission is to preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world. They interview people from all over to hear their stories, and this book is a collection of stories about love, divided into three sections: Love Found, Love Lost, and Love Found at Last. It's a very short compilation, filled with wonderful stories.

3) The Four Agreements - I've had this book for a while, and it ended up being on our required readings list for Yoga Teacher Training. I started it a while ago, and it seemed a little hippy dippy for me (says the woman who eats tofu and lights incense), so I never finished it. Boy, am I glad we read this for YTT, because it's so great. The book outlines four basic agreements, or basic rules to live by, and I find myself referring back to them every day. It's a quick read, and a very powerful book!

4) The Handmaid's Tale - People were going crazy over the TV series, so I had to read the book! This novel falls into the dystopian genre, a genre that I absolutely love. Published in 1985, this classic book by Margaret Atwood takes place in the [very messed up] future. The main character Offred is a Handmaid, whose main function is to produce a child for men who are high up in rank. Touching on classist and feminist themes, the book is disturbing, powerful, and an excellent read.

5) The Reminders - What a quirky, delightful, and heartwarming book! I hadn't heard much about this novel, so I didn't know what to expect, and I was pleasantly surprised. Joan is 10 years old and has a condition where she can remember every detail of her life very clearly. Her parents' friend Gavin recently lost a loved one, and he makes a deal with Joan - If she will clearly tell him every memory she has of his loved one, he will help her write a song to enter into a songwriting contest. If you are looking for an easy read that will make you smile, this novel is it!

6) Into the Water - I absolutely loved The Girl on the Train, so I had high expectations for this one. The novel is a mystery surrounding the death of a woman in a small town. I was completely hooked for the first 80% of the book, and then I found the rest to be predictable (and I'm someone who can never predict endings of books or movies). Even though I was a little disappointed by the ending, I would still recommend the book because I was so enthralled by most of it. I also am a big fan of books with feminist themes. Paula Hawkins knows how to engage the reader.

7) How to Win Friends and Influence People - Originally published in 1936, this self-improvement book on how best to interact with people has stood the test of time. While some of the language is a bit dated, the principles are still very relevant. I find myself using many of these techniques, specifically at my job. Definitely a worthwhile read.

8) The Nightingale - Awesome awesome AWESOME book! This World War II novel was definitely one of my top 5 favorite reads in 2018. The story centers around two very different sisters in German-occupied France. One sister joins the resistance, while the other stays home with her family and fights the war in other ways. It's a beautifully told story and an excellent read. If you liked All the Light We Cannot See, you'll definitely be a fan of this one! (Also the picture above reminds me that I need to return this book to my friend Lindsey, who I borrowed it from!)

9) Damage Done - Whew, this book gave me the heeby jeebies! This young adult novel centers around the life of a teenage girl who experienced a tragic event, and is now living a new life with a new identity. The book has a lot of twists and turns, though I did end up figuring out the ending. If you like to be disturbed, this book is for you. If you don't (I don't), then feel free to pass!

10) Eat Right 4 Your Type - I had mentioned this book before when discussing my New Year's Resolutions. Eat Right 4 Your Type was all the rage during my Yoga Teacher Training, so I wanted to check it out to see what it was all about. The idea behind this book is that every blood type is different (duh), so different foods react differently towards each blood type. The diet recommended for my blood type is essentially vegetarian, which makes sense to me since I felt so amazing when I stopped eating meat. There have been many doctors and scientists who have come out and debunked this logic, but I do find it interesting. And like I said, based on my own personal experiences, going veg made me feel like the Hulk (even if I still can't open a jar of pickles to save my life). Regardless, I totally geek out on food and health stuff, so I thought it was a good read.

11) The Gifts of Imperfection - This was my second Brené Brown book to read, and I absolutely LOVED it. Brown leads readers through 10 guideposts to achieve acceptance of who we are. They are all based on letting go of the many expectations we are faced with as a society. It's a very approachable, delightful, and thought-provoking read!

12) Maybe in Another Life - I tend to shy away from chick-lit, and if I had known this novel fell into that category, I probably would not have read it. But despite myself, I actually enjoyed it. The story centers around a woman who runs into an ex-boyfriend while out one night. He asks her to stay out a while longer, and then the story splits off into a version of her life where she stayed, and another version where she didn't. You follow the stories and see how drastically different (yet similar) both lives are. If you are a fan of the idea of multiple universes (me!), or loved the 90s movie Sliding Doors (me also!), this quick, light book might be worth the read.

13) 11/22/63 - Not a fan of the scary or disturbing (see above, re: Damage Done), this was my first Stephen King novel. My dad had given it to me several years ago, and it had been collecting dust on my bookshelf. I had heard great things about this one, but the book is massive and incredibly daunting to look at. But for some reason, in 2017, I figured what the hell, and gave it a whirl. And I'm so glad I did! Because this also ended up on my Top 5 list (how many are on my Top 5 list now? 18?). A man is presented with a portal that takes him back in time to 1958, and he is tasked with stopping the Kennedy assassination. This riveting, fascinating story kept me on the edge of my seat. I loved every page of it!

14) The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up - I also mentioned this book in my New Year's Resolutions. Marie Kondo lays out an approach to decluttering your home, all based on the simple question, "Does this spark joy?" Instead of using a room-by-room approach (as most of us do), she uses a category approach. First clothes, then books, and so on. It's all about truly appreciating what you have and not cluttering your life with things that don't really bring you joy. I cut my wardrobe down by at least a third - if not half - which was totally liberating (although I do find myself stealing t-shirts from my husband nowadays, as my dirty laundry starts to pile up). I got rid of maybe only 10 books, but then again, books generally bring me joy (hence this blog post). I've not really delved any further, and I certainly would like to. This book is a super easy read, and totally inspirational! I definitely recommend it.

And there you have it for the books I read in 2017! I would love to hear what your recent (or all-time) favs are, as I'm always on the prowl for the next good read. 2018 is off to a bit of a slow start for me in the book department, so I'd love recommendations on a phenomenal novel to dive into!

xo and namaste! - Kim

3/15/2018

My Social Media Detox, AKA "Where the Hell did Kim Go?"

Yo, I did it.


(Also, trying a balancing pose in full on snow gear? Level 10 Difficulty.)

(Also, here's a video of me "snowboarding" because I know you need a good laugh):


If you've been reading along (thank you!!), you know that I went on a social media detox as one of my New Year's Resolutions during the month of February (plus 2 days to make it 30 days). I thought it was going to be incredibly difficult and awful, and...it was exactly the opposite!

The first two days were tough. I found myself reaching for my phone often, to do what exactly, I'm not sure. It was an impulse - Reach for phone, check social media, check email, repeat. But after those first two days, everything was smooth sailing, and I quickly found that I didn't miss it at all!

There were a few times I had to "break" my detox, which I'll lay out here:

1) When my husband Jon and I got to Colorado for vacation, I realized I hadn't printed out the instructions to get to (and in) our condo we rented. I had to open the email from my phone (which I'd sworn off as part of the detox) to access the information. There were a few other times things like this happened, but it wasn't a lot, and I did not feel dominated by my phone in any way.

2) I needed to get two yoga classes covered because I was going out of town, and the way to do that is through our teacher Facebook groups. That happened once, and I quickly got off as soon as that was taken care of.

My biggest takeaway from my month of no social media (besides those few times I mentioned, plus my work obligations, which you can read about in my previous post) is that I felt so much more present to everyone around me and my surroundings. I also noticed how much other people check their phones in social situations, as I know I certainly had as well. It really was freeing, and I don't really have any desire to be on social media like I used to. As of this writing (not counting today where I will be posting this blog post on social), I only went back on my social media accounts twice since the end of my detox, two weeks ago. And I really didn't like it. My first time back, I was on for about five minutes, and thought, "This kind of sucks." People have these exciting life changes they post about online, and how much nicer is it to find out from them personally (if you are close) than opposed to via the internet? Yes, there are benefits to social media, don't get me wrong. This process taught me, however, that I feel so much better, more present, and happier when I am limiting my access to it. I have been checking emails from my phone, but not compulsively like I used to. I put the email app in an inconspicuous spot on my phone, so I have to make the effort to get to it. I also tried playing Candy Crush a few times since, and I was way less enthralled/addicted than I used to be. Successes all around, I'd say!

Moving forward, I'd like to limit my social media use to once a week. If it happens more than that every now and then, so be it, but I have no reservations about doing another social media detox should the need arise. If you have any questions about this, or if you've done a social media detox yourself, I would love to hear about it in the comments! I cannot recommend it enough. I personally loved it, and, no, I didn't die.


Promise.

xo and namaste! - Kim


1/31/2018

January Miracle Morning Recap and February Social Media Detox Prep

Goooood Morning yogis!


( ^Are those 5 pending notifications making you as crazy as they are making me right now?)

January is almost over, and I have stuck to my New Year's Resolution of practicing my Miracle Morning every day for the month. It has been surprisingly easy, and an unsurprisingly wonderful way to get my day started every day. There were only two days that I had an issue. The first was on a Sunday morning, where we woke up painfully early to cheer my mom on during the Houston Marathon (Go Mom!), and I had to wake up even earlier to do my Miracle Morning. It wasn't that big of a deal, because I made it a short one, but mentally it was a struggle. The second was this morning, when I woke up in a hotel room in Atlanta that I shared with two co-workers. But that also wasn't too big a deal, I was just all, "Hey if y'all see me sitting up with my eyes closed for a few minutes, followed by standing on my head for a bit, no need to sound the alarms."

Overall, I cherish that morning time to myself, and it's been such a lovely treat extending it into my weekends! Will I continue the trend? Maybe not every single day, but I think after this experience I will definitely be more consistent with it! And once again, I cannot recommend practicing a Miracle Morning enough. Total game- and life-changer.

Other resolutions I've stuck to so far:

- Going upside down every day (lots of falling involved, once on my dog who, needless to say, was not having a Miracle Morning that day)
- Cutting down on my caffeine intake (this really really really really really really reeeeeally sucks. Why am I doing this again?!?! At least I'm not cranky about it *eye twitch*)
- I sort of KonMari'ed my books this month. As in, I got rid of 10. But books really do bring me joy, so I'm happy with the results. I may have to revisit.
- I've been working on my splits quite a bit, but I have been mindful of taking it easy on my hamstrings.
- I signed up to be a volunteer at an animal shelter, and my training is next month.

For the month of February, I have decided to do a month of no social media. There is a caveat to this, as a large chunk of my full-time job entails me managing a few social media accounts. So I will still have to do that, but I am going to take a month off from my own personal social media accounts. This includes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Candy Crush, and Words with Friends (yes, that still exists, why do you ask?). This also includes checking email from my phone and looking things up on my phone for quick unimportant information. Example:

HUSBAND: Can you believe "Titanic" came out 20 years ago?
ME: There's no way that's possible, it's only been 15!"
*quickly types in IMDB on phone to check*
ME: Drats, you're right!

(This was obviously a made up example since I saw "Titanic" five times in the theater and cried obscene buckets of tears every time -  spoiler alert - the iceberg hit, so it's forever ingrained in my brain. Also, I don't say "drats.".....yes I do.)

I mean, wouldn't it be nice to have some things remain a mystery? Or to find an Encyclopedia and look it up? (Do kids these days even know what an "Encyclopedia" is???) If it's something that's absolutely killing me to know, I can invest the time to boot up a computer and find out.

Why I chose February as my month to do this:

1) I'm going on a vacation during the month with my husband, and won't it be nice to be fully present the whole time??

2) I'm seeing four out of town friends during the month, and won't it be nice to be fully present the whole time??

3) Because of reasons #1 and #2, I am teaching less yoga classes, so I won't feel the need to post about them on social media (but please check back at www.blackswanyoga.com and www.genyogatx.com for full schedule details!)

4) February is the shortest month of the year *shrug* (yes, I know I said "30 Day Social Media Detox" on my resolutions, but really I meant a month. I'm doing 31 days of Miracle Mornings since January has 31 days! So....okay, maybe I'll see how I'm feeling on Day 28 and extend it TWO MORE WHOLE DAYS).

What I'm hoping to gain from this: more presence, more clarity, more time, and - to put it bluntly - to cut an addiction. While as a whole I don't think I'm that bad, the first things I do when I wake up are look at my phone, check my email, look at Facebook, and open up Instagram. That's five whole minutes that could be added to my Miracle Morning! When I eat breakfast (and sometimes other meals), I often play Candy Crush. How about reading a book or newspaper instead? Or, I don't know, enjoying every delicious bite of my food?

Any time I am tempted to get on social, I vow to do one of the following:

1) five minutes of exercise

2) five minutes of self-improvement reading or research

3) five minutes of journaling/writing

4) five minutes of undivided attention to the person I'm with, if I'm with someone

5) five minutes of affirmations

6) five minutes of meditating

I was debating whether or not to continue blogging during this period, and I have come to the conclusion that I won't. But if there are things I want to write about, I'll type them into my drafts and publish in March. No biggie.

I would like to say I'm excited about this challenge, but I'm actually pretty anxious about it. I guess if it were easy, it wouldn't really be a challenge. But I do think, as a whole, this will be good for me. There was life before Facebook, and I look [somewhat] forward to hopping in my DeLorean and revisiting it!

xo and namaste! - Kim
1/04/2018

My 2018 Goals and Resolutions

My 2018 Goals and Resolutions are to have no goals and resolutions!!!


jk, AS IF.

Because who would I be if I didn't have goals and resolutions? (sidenote, maybe the yogi in me needs to CTFO <~~(yes I made up that acronym, I'll let you decode it using your context clues) on goals and resolutions in an effort to be more present and happy with where I am in life? But I digress).

Happy New Year everyone! I love the start of the year because I get to reflect on all the highs and lows of the previous year, and visualize what I want the coming year to look like. I do try to make every year my Best Year Ever, and whoowhee, 2017 is going to be hard to top! I've decided to lay out my 2018 Goals and Resolutions for you here in case you are looking for some ideas, and also as a form of accountability for me (because "social media detox" probably isn't as glamorous as it sounds).

So here they are!!

1) Wean myself off of Coffee Completely - I am no nutritionist, and I am certainly no scientist, so this resolution has zero to do with how coffee affects health. I just do not want to be dependent upon it anymore. While I am a self-proclaimed "morning person," I do drink two (very large) cups of coffee per day. Since I enjoy the experience of sipping my morning coffees, I would like to transition to two (very large) cups of decaf coffee per day. Right now I'm at 25% decaf, 75% caf. My goal is to be 50/50 by the end of January, reducing the caffeine little by little until I'm all decaf.

2) KonMari my whole house -  I recently read "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up," (book review to come!) and I'm totally hooked on the KonMari method. It's all about simplifying your house to be surrounded only by things that you love. I've already KonMari'ed my clothes (loved it!), so next up is books (dreading it.). My goal is to do one section of KonMari-ing per month!

3) Get to full splits on both sides -  My dream pose! This is temporarily on hold since I hurt my right hammy about two months ago working on this. Still working a bit on my left side, but taking it easy until I feel ready to dive (slowly) back in!

4) Go upside down every day - My friend Lindsey had this as one of her resolutions in 2017, and I thought it was so great! Right now I'm working on really firming up my headstand, and my goal is to have handstand by the end of the year.


5) 30 Day Miracle Morning Challenge - Really this is a 31-day challenge since I'm doing it for the whole month of January, but clearly I hadn't had my two (very large) cups of coffee yet when I had written this down. Motivated by my post on my morning routine, I am going to have a Miracle Morning every morning (even weekends!) this month, and maybe beyond that!

6) Reduce my salt intake - Again, I am no nutritionist or scientist. And some recent studies have shown that maybe salt really isn't that bad for you, especially if you are an active person. BUT. I do add salt to e v. e r. y. t h i n g. And maybe I don't need to. I'm making a conscious effort to not add salt to anything after it has been cooked and only sticking to the amount of salt stated in a recipe. Believe me, this will be a challenge for me.

7) 30 Day Social Media Detox - I'm thinking of doing this for the month of February, and not because then it would only be 28 days (okay, you caught me). I do make an effort to not be attached to my phone, but how downright freeing (slash excruciating) would it be to not check social media at all for a month? And yes, I'm including Candy Crush in this. I'm equal parts proud and embarrassed to admit what level I'm on.

8) 30 Day Alcohol Detox - HA.

9) 30 Days Fully Vegan - I'm mostly there since I'm pretty much fully vegan at home, but I'd like to do a month of it (even while eating out) because I love animals and it really does just feel so damn good.

10) 30 Days on the Blood Type Diet - I recently read "Eat Right 4 Your Type" (book review to come!), and yeah yeah I'm not a scientist, blah blah - However, I'm blood type A, and according to the book, people with this blood type thrive on a - you guessed it - vegetarian diet. So it theoretically makes sense with why going veg felt so good! My friend K Joy swears by the diet the book recommends for her, so I would like to give it a shot. Because there are some other things about the Type A Diet that are recommended, within vegetarianism. Like avoid bananas (oof), tomatoes (noooo), and peppers (WHYYYY). So I'd like to fully give it a whirl and see how it feels!

11) Reduce my grocery budget by half - I'm going to try to live off of roughly $3 a day (not counting a few times I've budgeted for eating out). I spend a crap ton of money on groceries, and I think there's definitely room for me to simplify, while also eating wholesome foods. We'll see how this goes!

12) Volunteer once a month - After reviewing all of my self-improvement goals and personal challenges, I realized I wanted to resolve to also give back, starting with once a month. And then I'd love to kick it up a notch and do something more frequent!

Because budgeting is one of my favorite hobbies, right behind "goal-setting" and "waking up early" (What's that? You really want to invite me to your next party?), I have a few other fun financial goals that I left out because my husband would be all, "Kim, TMI on the interwebz!!!" But what I've written out here are my goals and resolutions in a nutshell!

What are your hopes and dreams for 2018?! I'd love to hear them. :)

xo and namaste! - Kim