Let’s talk about Poop

If you are at all squeamish, you might not wish to read this. If you’ve been following me you know I’ve had a lifelong issue with weight. I’ve tried just about every plan in existence. I spent years thinking that low-fat or fat-free meant those foods would help me lose weight. I figured even if I ate an entire box of fat-free cookies I’d still be okay. After all, one box only had about 600 calories. I’m thinking of the Devil’s Food Snackwell cookies, which I haven’t eaten in years.

Signs existed all around me that indicated fat-free did not sit well with my body. This is where poop comes in. Healthy poop has a certain look to it. Click on the link below for detailed visualizations of healthy to unhealthy poop:

http://www.mamanatural.com/great-poop-looks-like/

I can tell you from experience that binge eating or eating a box of Snackwell cookies results in unhealthy and sometimes uncomfortable poop. I could describe it to you, but I think it suffices to say unhealthy poops do not come out clean. Sometimes they’re pasty; sometimes they’re painful; sometimes there’s a lot coming out. You get the point.

Talking about poop makes some people uncomfortable, yet it tells us so much about ourselves. My yoga compatriots speak freely of poop. They openly acknowledge that it’s better to evacuate the bowels before class. Think about it. They’re right. The next time you have to poop, wait a second and try some squats while holding in your abdomen—not so easy!!!!!

I don’t remember the name of it but for several years there was this “diet” product on the market that literally said in the instructions that you should carry an extra pair of underwear with you in case of “anal leakage”. Seriously, my friends, any weight loss product that causes “anal leakage” won’t help you in the long run. Anal leakage does not equal healthy poop.

I don’t profess to be a perfect eater. I’m far from it, but I’m healthier than I used to be. And I can tell you this for sure: on days where my eating comes close to “perfect” my poop comes out clean and easy. There’s something to be said for that. Don’t’ be embarrassed to talk about this natural bodily function. Perhaps it’s not dinner conversation. Well maybe it is for proctologists. I don’t know any proctologists though.

The point is this: have no shame. Have no trepidation. Everyone Poops. I know this because it’s the title of kids’ book that I own. KCET solid it in their KCET Stores of Knowledge and you can still find it on Amazon. Everyone Pees too, but that’s another story, for another entry!

poopie

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Posted in Food Cravings, Healthy Meals/Foods, Transformation, Weight Loss | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Portrait of a Family

Today I found myself going through some family pictures. I couldn’t stop myself from wondering what purpose these pictures served. I enjoy looking at them, but I have no children to hand them down to and no close family members to leave them to at some point, yet I found myself with an urge to share them and the stories that go along with them. I believe sharing their stories will help me, in some ways, heal my own story, and that’s really what I’m here to do: heal. Understanding others breeds compassion, and I need to feel more compassion for others and, more especially, for myself.

Each of the people in the stories contributed to who I am today, even the ones I never met. Their interactions with people affected others who affected me! In that sense, their stories are my story, so I created a page on my website where I will, periodically, add family pictures: http://www.confessionsofayogaprincess.com/#!portrait-of-a-family/c1ufv

I’ve started by adding two pictures of my maternal Granddaddy. Every memory of him brings love to my heart. He always called me his princess. Everywhere we went he’d tell people “she’s my princess.” We’d have dates every once in awhile and he’d tell them to the server, to the hostess, to whomever.

He loved me like no other and I feel him in my heart still.

He lived a life of love for all. During the depression he worked as a manager at Newberry Department stores. When people needed products but didn’t have money he would take trade. He always wanted to give to people, to help people, to love people.

Somewhere along the line he switched from working for others to working for himself and he opened up an office supply company, which he ran for many years until Alzheimer’s started to take its toll. I remember the last two years of his life more clearly than I wish, but I try to focus on the good, on the happy. I have far more of those moments. Happiness matters. Where I focus my attention matters, so I choose happiness and love and memories that inspire happiness. Love and happiness heal.

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Just Because

Today at while shopping at Trader Joe’s I bought myself deep pink roses just because. I saw the $4.99 price tag and thought to myself, “why not?” I’ve certainly spent that amount multiple times at Starbucks, for a sense pleasure that lasts maybe an hour at the most and doesn’t feed my soul the emotional nourishment it craves.

I have an addiction to food. For so many years that’s what I would turn to when I wanted to feel better, when I wanted to feel emotionally satiated. I miss that sometimes. I don’t always make the healthiest choices, but I’ve made much progress and find myself turning to creature comforts that fill my soul.

I didn’t need to have a reason to buy myself the roses. I wanted to, so I did. As soon as I arrived home, I put them in a pink fenton vase and placed them on my dining room table, where I’d be able to see them while sitting on my red couch, see them and feel their beauty.

Love yourself. I see that term so often. But what does it mean? I struggle with that some days. Today it meant I could buy myself roses for no reason. See? That’s part of the problem—thinking I had to do something, be somebody in order to bring beauty into my home, into my life. The truth is—I didn’t have to do something. It’s okay just to be. It’s okay to do something nice for myself just because.

That means I don’t have to have expectations of myself. I don’t have to think about how others might have expectations of me. I can just be. Be in beauty. It’s okay to just be.

Perhaps I’m not making the greatest sense here, but we live in a world of expectations, expectations of others and expectations of ourselves. That doesn’t have to be. I don’t have to do anything other than breathe and neither do you. So the next time you see $4.99 roses or your favorite sticky notes for $3.99 or whatever, buy it for yourself just because. You’re enough just the way you are. Just as I’m enough just the way I am.

Today I fed my soul rather than my demons and that feels more priceless than I could ever express with words. Feed your soul. Just because. You’re worth it and so am I.

Roses!!

Roses!!

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Toiling for Taxes

April looms just around the corner and for those of us in the United States that means Tax Time! Last year I did my taxes by myself for the first time. Previously my dad did them for me or helped me do them. He enjoyed doing taxes and people always told him how much they appreciated his demeanor.

But this entry has to do with me and my taxes. Doing taxes proved, well, a bit more taxing than I thought, but I finished them! Much to my surprise and dismay I received a note in late February from the State of California that they had no record of me filing my 2013 taxes, and they requested that I send them copies of my forms along with proof of payment. I complied. I always kept records.

Fast forward to yesterday. I received a letter from the State of California that said I erred in doing my taxes and owed them money ($183 + $135 late fee+ $9.11 interest). They didn’t break those figures down for me. I had to figure that out myself. In their letter they offered me no recourse if I disputed their figures, and they only gave me a week and a half to pay them or the amount owed would go up substantially, and they listed all the ways they would and could obtain their money.

My first reaction: panic. My second reaction: feeling p*ssy toward the government. My third reaction: this is awful and is going to haunt me for years.

My fourth reaction: let me take a closer look at their “corrected figures”. Hmmmm. They match my figures exactly. No discrepancy. The light dawns. I always owed $183 and that’s the exact amount I paid them when I filed my 2013 taxes on time. They never recorded my cancelled check.

My fifth reaction: how to solve this. I put in a call to the woman who took over my dad’s business. She might be too busy to help me now, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. If she can’t help me now, she can help me after tax season. I trust her, so it’ll be worth the wait.

In the meantime, if I need to I’ll pay the state of California the money they say I owe and fight the battle after tax season.

I’m telling you this story because there’s a time I would have fretted over this endlessly and I would have eaten over it. My life would have been paralyzed by fear and by dramatically dreaming of worst case scenarios. Instead, within a matter of hours I came up with several reasonable solutions. All of which lead to calming resolutions.

It might not be fair, but sometimes life happens. It just does. And I’m tired of fretting and worrying about that which I can’t control. I can control how I react. And this time, for yesterday, in the midst of the initial distress I didn’t overeat. I didn’t binge. I didn’t eat sugary junk. I walked my way through life.

That’s what recovery from an eating disorder looks like. Taking the small moments and building upon them. Now I’m going to take the rest of the day and enjoy the sunshine. Enjoy yours! And if it’s not sunny where you live, create your own sunshine!

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How to Really Rid Yourself of Saggy Skin: False Advertising

Greetings Friends,

A couple of weeks ago my image was used without my permission to promote a product that CLAIMED to cure saggy skin. I never have nor would I ever promote such a product. For people who have a lot of weight to lose, saggy skin comes with the territory. It just does. The only cure other than strength training is potentially surgery. But I digress.

The facebook page Better than Bare, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Better-than-Bare/1575158642699204 used my image without my permission to promote luxoderm. I have attempted to contact them by several means, but have heard nothing. I posted to their page and have noticed that they now no longer allow people to post to their page. You can comment on their posts, but that’s it, so they obviously have heard my concerns and have chosen to ignore them.

This upsets me on several levels. I have worked hard to get where I am naturally, and their use of my image insults my efforts. I also read the comments people posted on facebook under the ad, and, wow, were they nasty.

I highly encourage you to take a second glance at any ad you see. And if you want a miracle cure to something that ails you, then go for a walk, take a yoga class, have coffee with a friend–those are the moments that will cure anything. Well, maybe not saggy skin, but a good laugh will make you forget anything.

Below is the letter I have attempted to send them.

Dear Luxoderm and Better than Bare,

Two weeks ago I was contacted by a friend who noticed my image appearing on a facebook ad for Luxoderm via the Better than Bare facebook page. I never authorized the use of my picture to sell and/or promote luxoderm. Furthermore I have reserved all rights to this picture, which was first published on my website: http://www.confessionsofayogaprincess.com/ A week after my friend saw my image on facebook, it showed up on my facebook feed. When I clicked on the link with my image (from the Better than Bare FB page) it led me to the luxoderm site.

Your use of my image to promote luxoderm/Better than Bare is unauthorized. You neither asked for nor received permission to use my image. Furthermore, your ad implies that I used your product or would need to use your product. This is blatant fraudulent advertising.

I demand that you immediately cease the use and distribution my image to promote luxoderm and/or Better than Bare. Furthermore, I demand that you post an apology on the Better than Bare Facebook page clarifying that I never authorized my image for use on your site to promote any product.

If I have not received proof of compliance from you within 72 hours, I shall consider taking the full legal remedies available to rectify this situation.
Sincerely,
Nancy Taylor

PS: for your information, here is a screen shot that shows the facebook ad with my image.

Better than Bare's Unauthorized Use of My Image

Better than Bare’s Unauthorized Use of My Image

Posted in Body Image | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Farewell Mr. Nimoy

The death of Leonard Nimoy saddens me greatly. As a child I grew up watching reruns of the original Star Trek with my dad. I fondly recall enjoying the friendly banter and witty exchanges between Mr. Spock and Captain Kirk. 

As an adult, as a woman on a mission to make peace with her body I, I have a deeper appreciation for Mr. Nimoy’s artistic endeavors, which sought to encourage all of us to accept, to appreciate, and yes, to LOVE women with larger bodies. 

I may have spent a great deal of the day listening to Mr. Nimoy’s CDs, forever etched on my iPhone, but I keep coming back to thoughts of Mr. Nimoy’s Full Body Project. He understood that full-figured women, larger women, all women had something of value to offer to their communities, to offer to themselves.  Mr. Nimoy challenged all of us reconsider and reconfigure our notions of beauty. 

Mr. Nimoy went beyond utilizing words to further his support of body acceptance. He gathered together a group of women with larger bodies and photographed them nude, in artistic expressions that reflected the beauty of their bodies in THE MOMENT. He didn’t ask, he didn’t want them to be anything they weren’t. He reveled in their beauty. They reveled in their beauty. 

In displaying these women in a sublimely artistic context he challenged all of us to question our conceptualizations of beauty, of acceptance. His most well-known role may be that of the Vulcan Spock, but, in my heart, I’ll always be able to see the beauty of the body more deeply because of work like his. Your ideas will always live long and prosperously. 

Thank you Mr. Nimoy for daring to go where few have had the courage to venture.  

Check out these links that give some insight into Mr. Nimoy’s work with The Full Body Project:

http://www.rmichelson.com/artist_pages/nimoy/pages/MaxBeaut.htm

http://www.amazon.com/The-Full-Body-Project-Photographs/dp/0979472725

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Share the Love

Share the Love

I’ve found myself lately thinking of and contemplating the faults of a select couple of people I encounter on a semi-regular basis. I’ve been looking through the lens that makes the problem theirs–NOT MINE! By doing this I’ve placed myself in a superior position. Yet, in my heart, I know we’re all bozos on this bus of life.

I’m in Arizona at the moment on family business, imagebut I still made time to make it to yoga this morning. Right outside the yoga room at Bikram Yoga Paradise Valley, they have a bulletin board with the theme of the month: Share the Love. A small selection of quotes lines the board infusing it with the intended spirit of love.

“A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.” As my eyes alighted upon these words I felt the dawn of an understanding erupt. When I speak negatively about others I diminish their candle, their light. Gandhi once said “As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world–that is the myth of the atomic age–as in being able to remake ourselves.”

Gandhi has a point. While I sweated out tumultuous toxins in the yoga room I wondered and thought about this need to be critical. I don’t like that feeling, yet I also became cognizant that I didn’t want to criticize myself for being human.

As beads of sweat dripped unceasingly into my eyes, after cascading over my eyelashes I realized the need to forgive myself and to love myself and others. Loving others doesn’t mean being a doormat. It just means having all actions come from love.

“You must be the change you want to see in the world.” I think a lot about love. What love means. What self-love is. When I’m in the hot room self-love is quite simply feeling immense gratitude for this life, for this presence in that hot room. I love the feeling when I’m there and when I leave.

Yoga is so much, so much more a pose, so much more than even breath. It gives me a passion for self-realization that I didn’t have before. It gives me the strength to look at myself and see where I can and am willing to work at changing. Being loving takes strength, takes vulnerability, takes courage. And makes the world a better and brighter place.

So this Valentine’s Day, share the love, and start by sharing it with yourself!

Much love to all of you!

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