The Alamo – Peaceful Warrior

This is the Alamo. The number one battle of Texas. That’s how the Lone Star State got liberated from Mexico. Visiting the Alamo in San Antonio is a must experience. The Mission gardens are peaceful and majestic. You can find inner calmness and center there.

I love breaking into a yoga pose when the desire hits. My pink sneakers are perfect companions when out and about for extended times. We fueled ourselves with tacos and later on Starbucks. San Antonio treated us to some quality time together, regardless of that day’s somewhat gloomy weather.

Traveling boosts my life for many weeks and months to come. As I explore new places, I gather precious information about myself as well. I learn how to find my peaceful warrior wherever I go. I have kept my travel memories preciously stored and ready to be used, when need be. They are my toolbox to a balanced daily life.

Awesome Austin

Our Texas trip started with the funky city of Austin. The town isn’t very big but definitely worth a stopover. We enjoyed three things: strolling in the University of Texas campus, visiting the Texas Capitol Building and learning more about the Texan history at the Texas History Museum. Did you know that Texas was independent for nine years before deciding to join the USA?

Austin also has a lively bar and music scene. We passed by some inviting looking places. We opted for a coffee shop hangout at a stylish Starbucks at a Hilton Hotel complex. We went to the riverside and then bought dinner to enjoy at our Airbnb. We used the bus system which was a nice relief after a long day walking and exploring.

Dallas Big

Luckily we were able to visit Dallas yesterday because today both Sebastien and I are sick and confined into staying in bed at our Airbnb. Obviously, this is a tough moment on this trip.

Dallas is quite visitor friendly. A lot of the sites turn around the shooting of President Kennedy.

Here you see the landmark, the Dallas Tower.

Cute Christmas decorations were visible all thru the city. We strolled in the freezing city, after which we warmed up at a Starbucks at one of the classy tower buildings.

The Dealey Plaza close to where John F. Kennedy was shot at the end of his presidential parade. The spot is still marked with an X on the ground.

I found lots of books on Jackie Kennedy and other first ladies’ style in the Kennedy shooting The Sixth Floor Museum bookstore.  My cropped, fur lined gloves weren’t a bad idea in the freezing cold Dallas December weather.

The Giant Eyeball is an interesting sculpture in the heart of Dallas.

Now we are at our Airbnb hoping to get better really soon. It has been a fun trip yet shadowed by me being sick almost all the way. I have tried to be courageous about it. I have tried to accept things as they come. I have tried to learn a useful lesson on patience and trust. Now I can only trust the medicine to clear up my ears and sinuses enough to be allowed to fly back home on Saturday.

Texas Xmas

We have had sweet time in Texas so far. Austin was very laid back. Lots of country music bars and easy going atmosphere. We loved visiting the Capitol and the Texas History Museum.

San Antonio charmed us with its Riverwalk. It is so pretty to stroll by the river. There’s a truly European feel to the canal. Visiting the Alamo was an experince in itsself, naturally.

Houston was a lot more urban. Downtown was pretty around the Discovery Green Park but outside of that things felt a bit rough. Now we are spending our last day at my friends. Tomorrow we will hit the road and drive to our last destination, Dallas.

Happy Place Class Starts This Week

My Facebook group Happy Place – Fitness Community in English in Quebec City is well on its way. There are 30 members now and we are getting to know each other. I started the group after joining another group earlier in the summer, created by Mary Ann and located in Seattle. I wanted to have something local. A chance to get together from time to time in real life.

The anchor of my group is the workout class that I am teaching on Saturdays. This year it will be a mix of zumba and power yoga. We will be doing half an hour of each. There will also be some other cutting-edge fitness techniques thrown in like Pilates and Barre in the course of the year. I’m excited about sharing my fitness knowhow. I used to teach aerobics and work as a personal trainer at a gym so this is in a way going back to my old love.

Creating a group like this can give the founder and the participants a great boost. You make connections with likeminded people and they can pull you higher. We are all on this journey together. No one has the ultimate answers, nor is everyone the same. We have to figure out what exercise routines and eating habits fit our unique bodies and lifestyles. Learning from other’s experiences can provide precious inspiration.

Finding Peace in Your Body

I recently got asked how I figured out a way to body love. I used to pick on myself. I didn’t like the way I looked. There were favorite body parts, like my abs, that I especially focused on. I was constantly trying to loose weight. I wanted to maintain a weight lower than what was commonly recommended for my height. Then one day came a moment when I did some serious soul-searching. I wrote down my true values. None of them turned around bodily measurements. I also recognized that when I was in contact with others, I never paid attention on their weight. I wanted to see them as they really were, a person with interesting things inside. So, I figured that I needed to apply my core values to my life as well.

I decided to stop the fight between my weight loss wanting mind and the actual needs of my living body. Trying to maintain a lower than normal weight led me to controlled and inflexible behavior. Keeping things where they naturally aren’t supposed to be is hard work. Some people spend their lives fighting with the scale, deciding that they’ll never go over a certain number, come what may. But in the meantime they are limiting how much they really experience this life. There were times when I’d stay at home just because I didn’t want to eat more and thus didn’t have the needed energy to go out and enjoy other’s company. Or maybe I’d go but only be a shadow of myself because I was exhausted. These are rather extreme examples but you get the picture.

I decided to allow myself the amount of energy, nutritious food, that it needed to fully function. Slowly I incorporated all foods back into my life. I had forbidden foods like nuts, chips, pizza or chocolate from myself. I now go by the 80-20 principle. I try to eat 80% clean, just because I know it makes me feel my best, and 20% indulgence. I’ll have that chocolate chip cookie if I want to. I do physical activity every day. I do it because it helps me to feel good in my body and also boosts my mood. I know that I have to be mindful of maintaining my happy spark alive. I also know that I have to be proactive. I take myself out for a walk or do some yoga before I feel too sad.

I have recently focused more on health magazines and social media in comparison to the fashion magazines that I used to read. I still like fashion and read the glossies I subscribe to, but I pay attention on not getting any negative body vibes from them. If my day’s good and I’m feeling great in my skin, then there’s no problem in looking at a young girl with a very thin (and probably photo shopped) frame. But if I’m already feeling self critical so then maybe that day I need to entertain myself with other things.

I continue to look for articles, social media influencers and messages that support my quest for body love. I’ve found a group on Facebook where women support each other’s sports and health goals. That has been a very positive experience. That is why I was inspired to start my own Happy Place fitness community here in Quebec City.

So, what’s the secret to body love and peace within? Deciding to want it more than anything else and then doing all you can to get it. There’s beauty in putting yourself out there and giving encouragement to others. That’s why I wrote this post.