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Happy Mother’s Day

 

MomI have been thinking a lot about my mom lately because of some struggles I am going through, but also because of different YouTube videos I have seen on parenting lately. The videos on parenting reminded me just how much we did not get along when I was a kid. She just didn’t understand me and my husband can now sympathize with her 🙂 The only person who really understood me when I was a kid was my dad and I always thought I was just like him. I even look exactly like his sister, my aunt. As I became an adult I realized I had more of my mom in me than I knew.
Mom and dad poughkeepsieMy mom and I started waking up to the problem with health and food about the same time. She became vegan and lessened her sugar intake considerably at the same time I dove head first into juicing and a detox diet. I loved being able to share this part of my life with her, because, even though we didn’t see things exactly the same we were headed in the same direction. I always hear people ask questions about how to deal with their family and I feel so blessed because I was able to share my obsession with health with my mom.

girls funny smilesNow, five years later, we are both dealing with different struggles relating to healthy eating. Even though our struggles are different I still feel so connected with her. I have again been going through depression and I have moved past the dark days, so I feel more comfortable sharing, but I am not going to share everything just yet. My depression is always made worse through my thoughts on body image. Body image never causes the depression, but compounds the darkness.

When I was a kid I was always heavier than everyone around me, but I was so competitive I never thought to cut back on how much I was eating. People would praise my sister about eating so much and I wanted to be praised too so I ate a lot. As I went through my preteen and teen years my mom was always the beautiful, thin mom. She was the one wearing very short shorts to pick us up from school and going to a Christian school, we were not allowed to wear shorts any shorter than three inches above the knee 🙂 My mom also helped me to go on diets in high school. I remember drinking slim fast and eating packaged fruit cups and salad for a month. Then eating this raw food called pulse, which was actually very healthy. Then doing the South Beach Diet. She is a fitness Muscelsinstructor so I would wake up at 4:00 in the morning and go to the gym before school and she would go to the aerobics class with me. I never could lose the weight and I never was as skinny. I felt I would never be able to look like her, I would never be thin enough.

Then I found juicing and I did it! I reached the “goal” and kept going, because, of course I still wasn’t thin enough. I also got a new job, moved closer into the city and started a master’s degree. Suddenly my stress levels skyrocketed and my weight started coming back on no matter how much raw food and juice cleanses I did. I remember complaining to my mom and she said the best thing she could have said and I remember it all the time now. She said “Maybe your body wants to be that weight, maybe that’s what your body needs.” Of course I vehemently answered “I won’t accept that, I can’t accept that!” and forgot all about the comment.mom and me yoga

Through my last depression I realized I have some issues with perfectionism, which would surprise anyone who knew me as a child. But what spiraled my depression is not feeling like I was enough. I wasn’t good enough as a teacher, as a wife, I wasn’t thin enough, I wasn’t healthy enough. I didn’t feel like I was enough. I have since learned that I am enough and I don’t have to be perfect and what my mom said to me, about five years ago now is stuck in my head, just like she is saying “you are enough and your body is smart, listen.”

Us at the topI have realized that skinny doesn’t mean healthy. Even though I am not super thin, I have one of the healthiest bodies I know. I am learning that thin doesn’t mean much and there are so many bodies and so many sizes and shapes. Everyone is different and everyone is beautiful. Thin is not healthy and fat is not unhealthy. My mom is struggling with some health issues and right now she is water fasting. Not to lose weight, she is beautiful and smart and focused, and she wants to be healthy. There are so many things in our lives that we do to ourselves and we don’t realize how much it is hurting us and sooner or later our bodies let us know.

Mom, thank you for teaching me. Thank you for telling me that I am enough. I know you don’t remember some of the things you said that have stuck with me, but you helped to make me the person I am today. I am so excited to keep learning with you through this journey of life!mom and me

A Visit to the Grand Canyon

WOW! Time flies by so fast. I can barely remember my last post, so much has happened. I think when I last posted I was writing about moving through my depression and grief. This past fall I realized that I had finally come full circle and I am living past the grief and depression.

I have to apologize, this is not going to be a recipe post. I have not been doing much experimenting with recipes lately, I’ve been too busy. I tried to go on a couple “cleanses” to see how they worked for my body, but I didn’t do a very good job. The best thing I have done for myself lately has been prayer and journaling. I’m not quite ready to talk about either of those right now so you will have to be content with some recent adventures.

First, though, an update. This past fall has been so incredibly busy, I’ve paused my studies because the school I work for moved locations right before school started in August and I got the job of First Grade teacher! I love teaching first grade, I am so much more content. Not that I didn’t enjoy teaching preschool, I just like being able to teach more and mother less. I will say, though, there is nothing like a hug from a four-year-old to make you feel better when you are having a bad day. I love walking by my former students in the hallway and stopping as they run up to me and give me a huge hug, they just make my day!

This past summer my husband and I decided we had been letting life pass us by while we finish school and decided we didn’t like that. We want to travel and we don’t want to wait for life to be ‘convenient.’ So we are going where we can and enjoying the beautiful places we are able to visit. This summer we made a trip to Arches National Park and this October we visited the Grand Canyon. I had been to both places when I was a kid, but my husband had never been to them. After my husband got into photography a couple years ago (and bought a new camera and lense this summer) this was the perfect trip. If you want to see more of his photos go to http://salvadorarmendariz.weebly.com/

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Yoga is your best friend after spending a night sleeping in the car. Besides I was in the middle of Sadie Nardini’s 14 day yoga shred challenge on Doyouyoga.

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The morning sunshine was so beautiful at this truck stop in a town just outside of Glenwood Springs.

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I just had to stop at Palisade for the end of the season peaches and other fruits 🙂 It’s a good thing too because we didn’t end up cooking at all on this trip. Sleeping in the car instead of a campsite seriously limits campfire abilities.

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It’s a very long drive from Grand Junction to the Grand Canyon’s North Rim.

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We finally made it for the sunset. I wasn’t tired and cranky at all 🙂

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There is nothing like meditation on the edge of the Grand Canyon while your husband is busy taking photos. Meditation is much better on the North Rim, there are less people.

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Gorgeous sunset for our first night!

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Clarification: you are not allowed to sleep in your car at the Grand Canyon.

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But the sunrise is sooo worth it!

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More yoga? On the edge of the Grand Canyon? Yes Please!

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It is a five hour drive from the North Rim to the South Rim even though the canyon is about 10 miles across. But once again, so worth it!

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Night pictures in the cold? I’ll read a book, thank you.

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Did I say how beautiful the stars are at the Grand Canyon?

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While my husband was taking sunrise photos and meeting interesting people I was still in the car. He woke up to get the best spot and I told him to just park where I could see the sunrise 🙂 I am not lazy at all.

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Someday I want to hike down to the Colorado River.

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This time we contented ourselves with a four hour hike towards Horseshoe Plateau.

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It’s kind of nerve-wracking hiking down first instead of up. A Fourteener is almost easier because you know you will eventually go down. Hiking down into the canyon means that you will be going up all the way back. Yuck!

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The last gorgeous sunset before driving into the land of no truck stops.

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Seriously, in this part of Arizona there are no truck stops. My wonderful husband let me sleep and he finally found a very lighted parking lot to sleep.

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Stopping for coffee before heading to Utah. We didn’t know where we were, then we drove over a hill and…

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We were in Monument Valley just as the sun was rising! The landmarks were so much more impressive in real life especially because we didn’t know they were there. As we drove over the hill both of us gasped at the beautiful surprise waiting for us!

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This is definitely a trip I would make again. Such beautiful creation! I’m so glad we didn’t wait for life to be convenient before taking this breathtaking trip!

 

Love, Debbie

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