{The Monkey taking a picture with a miniature toy ice cube.}

The fitness blog over at Todaysparent.com has been a really good thing for me personally. I’m finally reaching my long-time goal of getting fit and healthy, and losing some of the unhealthy habits I’d developed to cope with the emotional effects of my pregnancies. I’m not there yet, but it’s finally in sight. I’ve lost four pounds this week, and everything I’ve eaten on my in-between-challenges “cheat day” today, including my cherished chai latte, has tasted disgusting — I’m even feeling unpleasantly shaky and a little on the verge of crying.

Maybe it’s the cheaty chai. Or maybe it’s that blog and some of the feelings that it’s bringing up for me.

I’ve chosen a very different lifestyle than most people I know. So I’m assuming most people who read Todaysparent.com haven’t, or wouldn’t, choose it for themselves. I’ve always searched and struggled to find the “perfect” lifestyle, and I’ve never been able to find anything that feels right for me. I used to ask everyone what they ate, what they did to stay slim, and I’d read every diet book and magazine. Searching. Everything I read said something different: eat 5 meals a day; eat breakfast; don’t eat carbs; work out for 90 minutes a day; spin until you can’t feel your legs; jog; walk fast; lift weights; drink water. None of it has really spoken to me in the last few years. So none of it has worked for me (I’ve tried everything).

What speaks to me is my own body and, well…, ANCIENT STUFF.

This is why I’ve chosen daily yoga as a path. Practising my yoga, whether in the studio or at home, is one thing I know that is TRUE in my day. It’s just me, my body and my breath — and occasionally Betty White (the dog) or the Monkey, the Rascal or Minden (who loves to lick my yoga mat with his raspy tongue), or a hard kick in the head from the lithe woman in front of me who “jumps back” a little too close to my mat. And this is why I’ve chosen to eat the way I do.

I’m a very sensitive person. I get anxious if I overhear a news story or if I do the tiniest thing wrong. An anxious thought can throw me into tears or panic — especially since becoming a mother.

These days we’re just bombarded with information and interaction (online and off), and some of us can’t handle it without serious therapy. I learned that during my pregnancies, and I learn that now when I slip up and stop taking care of myself.

When Today’s Parent asked me to write a blog about my journey to weight loss I had no idea I’d really be writing about my life. MY LIFE and what exactly makes me tick.

My lifestyle choices are not mainstream. So I feel a little vulnerable talking about sauerkraut and kombu…. I almost want to cry that I’m telling a world that might not yet be open to it about sauerkraut and kombu, brown rice and shoyu. Will they shun me? Will they scoff? Will they think I’m loony?

Because I’m not. Or at least I don’t think I am. (And I know that’s not saying anything, but still.) Sure, I’m definitely definitely quirky and even a bit eccentric — I’ll give you that. But, like everyone, I’m just trying to feel good and be happy. I’m not telling anyone how to live their lives. I’m just trying to survive and be strong for my kids and to live the best way I can in a world that might otherwise knock me over.

So I don’t know how much to say right now. And I don’t know if I want to say anything anymore — just because this is all so intensely personal and different. Although I guess feeling vulnerable is a good exercise for a writer…. But I don’t know.

Maybe it’s the chai or the Rice Dream chocolate-mint-swirl frozen dessert that I just devoured to cap off “cheat day.” (Don’t worry, I’ve got brown rice and lentil miso soup bubbling on the stove….) Because I feel myself on the verge of tears again. Or maybe I need to be quiet for a bit and collect all my pieces.

I’ll figure it out. In the meantime — just — thank you for being here, for sticking around all these years and accepting me the way I am. You truly are gorgeous.

xo Haley-O