“Surround yourself with people who reflect who you want to be and how you want to feel. Energies are contagious”—-Rachel Wolchin
I’ve been thinking about woven fabrics lately with all the baby wearing talk on my Facebook. While I’m not ready for woven wrap baby wearing, I think they are so beautiful. Woven fabric can range from a loose to tight weave, a weave with diagonal give to no stretch at all, a grippy to slick weave based on the fabrics being used (cotton, silk, linen, bamboo…) and how they are laced and fit together.
I’m soft. It feels like no matter what I wear, My clothes seem to show every bit of squishy me- not enough muscle, not enough structure, too much of everything else. Things feel tight where they should be loose and loose where they should be tight. And it’s not about how I look, not really. It’s about how I feel. And I know. IknowIknowIknowIknow. This body- my body, spent 9 months creating these 2 tiny people and it’s going to take time.
And I know. IknowIknowIknow. Six months from now I’ll be living in the body I started to build today. But that’s just it- I haven’t really been building a body today. I went from eating-whatever-I-want-because-I-Just-gave-birth-to-twins right into “Oh little town of constantly eating” Christmas then the comfort-food-because-you’re-tired-and-depressed-January became buy-a-bunch-of-candy-to-make-sweet-valentines-but-then-eat-it-all-myself-February.
But I’ve gone back to teaching aquafit. Just one night each week for now. It’s been 4 weeks. Four Drop-In classes and four bootcamps. And it’s so good for me. Physically. Mentally. Spiritually. The splashing water, the bright pool lights, the pumped up music. The pressure on me to be excited and positive and energetic. There is something so cathartic about being paid to yell at people for 2 hours- “Harder! Faster! You think I can’t see you? I see you! I know you can do better than that!” It’s good to be surrounded by people who want to get fit, to be a part of it, to be responsible for creating and reflecting that energy.
Wednesday I went to watch the elementary school indoor games. It was the 8×200 relays. Buster joined his school running club after Christmas and even though he’s in grade 3 and only second alternate and didn’t get to run, it was fantastic to go and cheer; Important to tell him over and over how exciting it was to watch his team and how amazing that he gets be part of a team like this. I just love to see people really rock their sport, giving their all. Of course there is something to be said for and admired in the back of the pack participant who perseveres. I stand and cheer for the underdog with the rest. But it’s the person who creams the competition, who has prepared and worked for it and not just wins but blows it out of the water that pulls at my heart and our A-team boys lapped every other team in their heat. It was incredible to watch. The energy in our little corner of the stands as we cheered for each student as they ran by was inspiring.
And I missed that. I miss feeling like that myself. I miss it when I go to a pool and have to swim in a lane with “recreational” swimmers because I can’t keep up to the serious swimmers. I miss it whenever I drive past someone running, really running. I missed it on Saturday standing in line at Costco behind the woman with the Ironman Finisher jacket. I miss that part of me- The me who wasn’t the fastest one running in the river valley, but who felt like a runner; The me who could do a strong 3000m in the fast swim lane in under 50 minutes ; The me who didn’t just do triathlons, but was a triathlete. It feels like a dream, a dream I want back. I want to be a part of the fit and fast and love to kill it without killing myself culture, to feel the momentum of growth and ever changing training plans and progress and energy…at least a little bit.
I’ve just finished a week long food challenge- no dairy, grains or sugar. Its felt so great to take care of myself, of what my body needs to feel good and strong (except for weak times when I wanted to eat chocolate chips or chew off my fingers). It was important to be reminded that food isn’t
just for filling a momentary emotional void, that 5 months of lack of sleep isn’t going to be fixed by another handful of corn chips. Food is for fueling my machine of a body. And even though I’ve been thinking about it for weeks, it took a challenge full of people I haven’t actually met to get me to where I wanted to be all along. I needed the energy of group momentum, to cheer and be cheered for by others. I needed to be a part of ever changing menu plans and physical change. Exercise club is back on.
So I’m on my way. Slowly. I heard once that it’s pretty impossible to find a balanced life -all we can do is have a woven life- Weaving in healthy eating and fitness between the threads of children and husbands and school and church and dishes and nap-time and laundry and icy sidewalks…so I’m slowly weaving. I may be a soft weave for now. But I won’t be forever. I’ll keep working at it (and working and working and working at it) and surround myself with others who are doing the same. Each day my weave will get stronger and so will I.
The Lady had a birthday party to go to the first day of my food challenge. I often make gluten free cupcakes to send with her to a party and Monday was no exception. Cupcakes are fun but I always feel like the secret to a good cupcake is in the frosting. Good cupcake frosting should be light and fluffy and melt on your tongue and not too sweet and stand up when piped and it has always alluded me. Is it that I refuse to add enough sugar? Enough butter? That I expect too much without the use of flour, egg whites and cream of tartar?
Monday we made chocolate coconut cupcakes and so I wanted a chocolate coconut frosting. This frosting did not disappoint. It was creamy, rich, not too sweet or heavy and did well when piped. Days later it was still soft without melting into the cupcake. The Hubs called it “dangerously good”. My dad spread it on bread like Nutella. It almost has a mousse like texture and could be served that way- my favourite way- with some fruit. Or, and let’s be honest, with a spoon right out of the jar.
Chocolate Coconut Mousse Frosting
1 can full-fat coconut milk
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
Open your coconut milk and scoop just the firm and creamy coconut oil off the top, leaving the watery bit and place in a mixing bowl. If it doesn’t seem firm enough, almost like butter, place your can uncovered in the fridge over night.
Add the cocoa, vanilla, and sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Of course you can go right in with beaters but experience and cleanup would suggest mixing it a little first with a fork to avoid the fun —Poopth– of sugar and coco dust that beaters and fine powder like to create.
Store in the fridge.