Scary Delicious: Wine and Bug Pairing

Bugible paired with the V Wine Room to put on this Halloween extravaganza. It’s very common to eat insects in other countries, so I had it on my bucket list, but I never though I’d get to try them in Los Angeles of all places!  I was pretty apprehensive at first, but as a whole, it was much better than expected.

Crickets were my favorite, I just had to pull off the antennas before eating them. They had a few different variations, including a popcorn mix and chocolate covered, which were so good and didn’t taste like bugs at all. The mealworms were also pretty good, and had a barbecue flavor. The ants really didn’t taste like anything, but they said they were used more for flavor. 

In fact, the only two things I didn’t like in the tasting were the junebugs and the silkworms. Also, the wine pairings were absolutely delicious! Overall, it was such a fun experience and I’m so glad that I stepped out of my comfort zone in order to try something new! And I also got some cricket flour to try in a recipe!

Fat Girls Dance


Unfortunately I was unable to attend the Full Dance Bootcamp that was put on by Fat Girls Dance with The Curvy Confidence Sisterhood however, I’m so glad that I was able to come and participate the day of the shoot and take some pictures of these fabulous ladies slaying it to Beyoncé. It was pretty amazing to see these curvy babes dance their asses off, portraying confidence and attitude! The Fat Girls Dance troupe came to LA from NYC to combine with the girls that I have connected with in the Curvy Confidence Sisterhood. The Fat Girls Dance squad puts out a video once a week of themselves dancing. There is no reshoot, it’s a one and done shoot. The mentality is Fuck Perfection, Breathe Determination. It’s not about being perfect. It’s about having confidence and striving to be the best you can be.  She has built a community to start fighting dancer stereotypes. Fat Girls CAN. Fat Girls DO. Fat Girls DANCE. 

In the midst of all this confidence, fierceness and body positivity, I surprisingly found myself having to check my own attitude and jealousy at the same moment. This was something that I really wanted to participate in, and yet circumstances lead me to not be able to do it. As everyone was practicing and dancing and having fun, I really wanted to be apart of it. Not to mention my thoughts of this going viral, and how it had to end up on Ellen. Quickly, I had to remind myself that just because someone accomplishes something, doesn’t make me or my accomplishes any less than. I believe this dance is such a great accomplishment not only for these women, but will be an inspiration for others in the community. Seeing a group of strong, diverse, motivated, talented curvy women bust their asses to put out a dance that show curvy women can be and do everything they set their minds to do. Indeed, this has taken a big step towards the attitude that “There is No Wrong Way to be a Woman”. And, at least I was able to be apart of it in any capacity and get some killer shots. It was an eye-opening moment for me to have these feeling arise, however it was the first time that I felt myself master these types of feelings in a positive way. I felt them, didn’t shame myself for them and then pushed them out. So, although I didn’t get to experience the accomplishment I thought I was getting, I had my own victory, as well.


Check out the offical dance at https://youtu.be/k2TfI77CiRo

Grape Stomping Competition 

I had the chance to participate in a Grape Stomp competition! It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while, and it’s been a long time since I’ve gotten up in front of a bunch of people. I had a lot of fun once I got into it and over my nerves of people watching me do something.

Part of “falling in love with my body” is to get out and start doing things I love and moving my body without thinking or worrying about taking up space. If I want to do it or try it, I need to step out of my comfort zone and give it a chance.

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IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED, TRY AGAIN


Last week, when I first tried to do this hike I only made it halfway… but I tried again recently and made it all the way! The first time around I didn’t want to push it too far because I didn’t know how my body would respond. It’s been a long time since I’ve gone hiking, but I really enjoyed the challenge. The second time I decided to push myself and made it all the way to the waterfall (even though it was dried up). I am beyond proud of myself for trying again and fighting through to the finish. 

SAVED BY THE (KETTLE) BELL

 

Formerly, one of my favorite workouts was using the Kettlebell, which is a 15 pound weight. It is important to keep your core tight throughout this entire workout in order to protect your back.

The first photo is a two arm swing: as you swing upwards, push your hips forward. Make sure to breathe out while swinging your arms up.

In the second photo, twist the Kettlebell from the front to the back of your hand as you lift it above your head. Once the Kettlebell is up, bring it down while keeping your back straight, butt out and core tight. It’s better to move slowly, doing each one right instead of doing them quick to get more reps in.

Start small and focus on form over speed or weight.

TRAILBLAZER 


I used to love the gym but now it’s hard for me to exercise in front of people without feeling self-conscious. I’m always anxious about what they’re thinking or if they’re staring at me. I know whatever they think doesn’t matter, but it’s been something that’s very uncomfortable for me, mainly because I’m not comfortable with myself. I found myself having to push those thoughts out of my head at the beginning of this hike on a Saturday morning, until I was able to just focus on my workout. I didn’t make it to the end of the canyon, but I’m proud of how I pushed myself and I’m looking forward to finally finishing the full hike in the coming weeks.

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Embrace

embrace-website-cover-imageLose weight, reduce wrinkles, fight cellulite; we’re constantly told to fight a battle to be someone other than who we are. Women and girls are constantly lead to believe they’re not as good as they should be. And why? Because every day they feel they’re being judged on their appearance and how far away it is from an unachievable ideal.

At the Body Image Movement, we’re on a quest to redefine and rewrite the ideals of beauty. Our job is to harness and facilitate positive body image activism by encouraging women to be more accepting of who they are, to use positive language regarding their bodies and others, and to prioritize health before beauty. Our goal is to reach as many women as possible around the world and speak to them about how we can learn to fully embrace and love our bodies.”

A funny, touching, at times gut wrenching but above all, life changing documentary, the heart of Embrace is Taryn’s story. How she went from a body hater to a body lover. From being devastated by her perceived ugliness to proudly posing nude for the whole world to see.

I recently had the chance to attend a screening of Taryn Brumfitt’s documentary on body positivity, Embrace. Taryn is such an inspiration for going through the journey of putting this documentary together, exploring why people are so dissatisfied with their bodies. I thought it was incredibly eye opening how many women she spoke to on the street described their bodies as “disgusting.” It is such a shame that someone’s outer appearance holds so much weight to what we perceive their worth to be.

Ten years ago I realized how quickly your appearance can be “taken away” or altered. After my accident, I had no idea how my face would heal and I suddenly saw the difference in the way I was treated. It saddened and infuriated me at the same time, because my being hadn’t changed at all. It also made me upset that I had never seen the hypocrisy beforehand. Since then,  it’s been an ugly cycle.

I started gaining weight from a medical steroid and fell deeper into depression because of how I felt about myself and the reaction I got from both friends and strangers. The more I grew to hate my body, the more depressed I would feel. It’s people like Tayrn who aren’t afraid to put themselves out there that has allowed more and more people to want to do the same. They say “Be the light you wish to see in the world” and Taryn has definitely lived by those words. And she has inspired me and others to become that light as well.

I went to this screening with a group of wonderful women. They have all been on their own journey to fall in love with their body. I was so inspired and touched by everyone that came out and the overwhelming sense of love at this event. I was humbled and inspired by everyone that spoke out and shared their story at the discussion afterward. I also opened up about my own story, and although it is still emotional for me to say out loud, I felt incredibly safe, respected and loved.

BATTER UP


It’s easy to not want to try things when you don’t feel physically in touch with your body. No one likes to feel embarrassed or fail at something, but this challenge is to say no to the voice of doubt and connect with my mind, body and spirit. I was always more partial to soccer and basketball growing up, so I never really played softball, but thought I’d say yes to life. I surprised myself and actually hit about half the balls. In the past, I probably would have said no out of fear. I need to remember that saying yes to life is important, and if I fail, that’s perfectly okay!

TO INFINITY ROOM AND BEYOND

I had the opportunity to go to the Yayoi Kusama Infinity Room for work and it was incredible! I decided to buy a red polka dress and do it right. Standing in front of a room full of mirrors in a loud dress did intimidate me, I’m not going to lie, but I’m so glad I decided to be seen. So many people commented on my outfit and of course my selfie game was on point. I don’t wear loud clothes often, but after this experience, I might have to start!

GET OUT AND MOVE


Get outdoors and move as much as you can. Start with realistic goals of what you’re capable of and increase that as you make progress. Because I work a day job, I found it best to walk in the morning before work so that it’s done before I even start my day. It’s also helpful for me to use a step counter, which is an easy way to be competitive with yourself. But remember to be realistic. You’re probably not going to start off at 10,000 steps a day, but everyday that you push yourself that 100 steps further, those 100 steps will come easier the next time around.