Let’s Talk Tuesday | Keep Moving

Keep Moving

“Life is like riding a bicycle – In order to keep your balance, you must keep moving.” ~Albert Einstein

In a previous post (or two), I mentioned the importance of recognizing the difference between moving on and quitting. Oddly, after writing that, I came across this quote in my journal.

Life is very much like a bicycle… It takes you on journeys and down different paths. They can be straight, curvy, narrow, wide, smooth, or rough; but, they all get you to a destination in the end. It’s important to remember that, just like when you’re riding a bike, you should maintain balance in your life. When you fall off balance, you can find yourself detouring from your journey and going down the wrong path. Recognizing that is vital to growth and self-awareness.

When I moved to East Tennessee last year, I was working in a field that I love even though it was not in my field of study. I felt that I would be able to do work that I loved while getting my degree, and at the time that was most important. However, as the year progressed, I realized that my position wasn’t meeting my needs or fulfilling my values. But, for the sake of not quitting I decided that I would keep going. By the end of the academic year I was beaten down, picked apart, and mentally the unhealthiest I have ever been to date.  I was ready to go back and endure another year after summer break though. Not because it was best for me or my journey, but because I didn’t want to quit.

It was when I started interning in Nashville that I realized what it was like to 1) work in my field and see results 2) enjoy all aspects of my work and 3) be valued for the work that I am doing. I then began to consider the possibility of not going back to East Tennessee. My MPH program can be finished completely online, my family lives in the Nashville area, my support system would be closer, my mental state improved. Even after considering all of these things, I was planning to return to finish school no matter how unhappy I would be.

About halfway through the summer I was offered an opportunity to work full-time continuing the work that I had started for my internship. The excitement I felt was unreal! To continue working in my field before completion of my degree while still making time to complete my degree just felt like a natural step in my journey. It was as if I had taken a turn from a curvy, rocky path, to a smooth straight path, and it was at that point that I realized that moving back to the Nashville area (to work or regardless) is not me quitting or giving up. Me moving back is actually a forward progression that puts me back into stride on my journey to success.

In leaving East Tennessee, I can see that I was not offering anyone any value by returning to be miserable and unproductive. Realistically there was nothing for me to quit because I don’t feel like I left anything unfinished behind. My choice to leave was me getting rebalanced in my life journey and putting my bicycle back on the path to success. That city, school, and job were a temporary part of my journey that was meant to teach me and get me on the right track.

Just remember that just because you are walking away from something, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re quitting. Maybe you’re just trying to keep moving so that you don’t lose your balance.


Motivational Monday|I’m Off to Grad School!

I heavily apologize for my lack of presence. I legitimately overbooked my life this past school year; but, I am back with fantastic things to share with the world!

As some of you know from following my other social media, not only did I graduate from my undergraduate institution,  I got accepted to an MPH (Master’s of Public Health) program and I will be continuing my studies this fall. On top of that I also received a graduate assistantship position which will cover my tuition and provide me with a stipend. 

I am beyond excited for this next journey because I was honestly so worried about what was ahead of me after determining I was not ready for medical school immediately after this undergrad work. I feel so blessed to have all this transitional support as well!

Currently I’m still working at my Alma mater, but I already bought a car (my very first big purchase!) and secured an apartment (again, a first!), so that is all set. I am working towards getting furnishings and such now, but I believe it will all fall into place in due time, so I’m trying not to worry.

If you look back over some of my old posts and witness how much I have grown and how much I have overcome, you will understand just how exciting this is for me and my supporters. Though I may not be where I thought I would be at this point, where I am is a very good place to be. If you’re feeling in a funk and you don’t necessarily feel as though you’re going to make it, just remember that it takes time to get anywhere. Don’t compare yourself to others because everyone’s journey will be different. Just enjoy your journey for what it is… road blocks, detours, and all.

The Yoga Files | A Yoga Aha! Moment

So I’m really just getting into my yoga journey this semester as I’m enrolled in an intermediate yoga class for a credit I need for graduation. It’s funny because I never had a long-term goal or plan to continue practicing yoga once I’d gotten the physical education requirements for my first degree out of the way. After this past semester in beginning yoga, I realized positive changes in my spirit that I feel a need to continue because they’re shedding positive light on my everyday life and how I interact with those around me.

Right now I am just enjoying the exploration of the types of yoga practice and trying to find what works for me. Last semester our class instructor led us through Kundalini style yoga (http://www.3ho.org/kundalini-yoga) which is the yoga of awareness and can provide a very interesting, but powerful experience. My instructor this semester is taking us through the Ashtanga (http://kpjayi.org/the-practice) style of yoga which focuses on vinyasas, tristhanas, and the six poisons — kama, krodha, moha, lobha, matsarya, and mada. 


In comparison I feel as though Kundalini is a more powerful way of getting in tune with your spiritual being/soul. In that style we did more meditating and mantras (chants so to speak). While we did get into poses, there was no flow as there is in Ashtanga. In Ashtanga yoga, there is a set series that is gone through in the same order each session. We do some meditation, but the focus seems more along the lines of strengthening/learning to trust yourself enough to advance your postures within the sequences.

I will say that I love each of these styles of yoga because they have both taught me how to begin accepting myself for who I am and what I am capable of doing. Since my practice began in January I’ve become more positive and optimistic about life’s circumstances and myself in general.

Just a short example of what I mean: In my yoga class yesterday, I didn’t want to experiment during our “yoga fee day” because I let myself become intimidated by the young ladies around me instead of focusing on what my body could handle (we were working on inversions). By the end of class I was so worked up I wanted to cry, but instead of leaving, I decided I would wait until everyone had left to ask my instructor if she would help me work on my head stand. And of course she did! It was difficult, I admit, but I tried and the end result was a two second head stand!

It was such a feat for me as a plus size woman with little arm strength/muscular endurance to do that, yet I trusted my body for all of a couple minutes and I did! So, the yoga lesson of the day is: learn to trust your body. Don’t allow fear to keep you from reaching your potential. You’ll never know how far you can go until you let go of your apprehension and try!


Hmm. Just a thought.

So I finally built up my confidence in regards to beginning my journey as a Personal Trainer and potentially a Health Coach or Health Fitness Specialist… Then I saw some posts by some of my really fit friends and got discouraged all over again. I know, I know, we all have to start somewhere and my platform is a completely different one; really, I completely understand that, but my thing has always been, how can I help other people when based on appearances I can’t even help myself?

I’m good at what I do. I’ve spent the past 3 and a half years learning about health, fitness, nutrition, and science, so I’m well qualified. I just… I clearly have some improving as far as self confidence goes.


Let’s Talk Tuesday | Fitness & Health

One thing I’ve always struggled with is my weight. Over the past year or so my internal struggle with weight loss has become more than just an uphill battle… it’s become more of a downhill war. I find myself experiencing bouts of motivation and bouts of discouragement; and, some days I feel like the weight is just NOT going to budge.

I know that for my health’s sake I have to get this weight off, but at the same time, I need steady motivation, patience, and stability. None of which I ever have simultaneously. It’s like my schedule doesn’t permit me to eat at the same everyday, nor does it usually allow me to eat several small meals a day. Also, I can be quite impatient,which doesn’t help much because I find myself wanting to give up when I don’t see or feel results. Not to mention the people around me who seem to think that just because I’m large I don’t eat healthy or try to do the right thing when it comes to exercising! It’s like, if you aren’t here living this battle with me or trying to help me get past it, then don’t make snide comments because they don’t do anything but set me back.

Going to the gym is probably the most difficult thing I have to bring myself to, and  pretty much have to bribe myself to even go. Honestly even just going to the Green-way to walk becomes problematic for me. I absolutely hate when people look at me exercising! And yes, I have heard the old “But they’re not paying any attention to you. They’re there for the same reason you are!” No. Just stop with the nonsense. I’ve been overweight/obese for a while, and believe me I know when people are eyeballing me. Maybe it shouldn’t bother me, but guess what? It does. While it’s gotten a bit easier for me to bare, it’s still something that I have to fight to stop me from backing out of my workouts.

Out of all this talk, and all the struggling, weight loss and weight gain, I still have the ultimate goal of getting to a healthy weight. I realize that it’s going to take time, patience, determination, motivation, and soooooo many other things; but, at the end of the day I have to think about what will be best for me in the long run. And when it comes time to work out, I’ll probably have to bribe myself again and again. The only thing that matters though, is that I do it.

So if you find yourself struggling, and you need motivation, just remember that the weight will come off. If you just keep striving, and pushing, and believing, you WILL see results. Remember that you’re beautiful and strong. Weight loss is just one battle, and it DOES NOT define who you are.

~ Gabriell Anna

What if There is No Tomorrow?

Over the past month or so I’ve heard and read of SO MANY deaths… Some of which were close to me, and some that were national/international iconic figures. No matter the person involved, death impacts everyone whether they knew the person who passed or not; and, I can honestly say that these events have made me see things a bit differently.

Just yesterday was the one year anniversary of my uncle’s death. He was the closest thing to a real father I had growing up being that my parents are divorced and my dad was off the grid. I never really appreciated what he meant to me until it was too late though. And I believe that of all things, that’s the one that bothers me most about his death. Now, I know that everyone has a set amount of time on this earth, that death is a part of life; but, when you’re young, it tends not to be something that you think about and take to heart.

Since then, I have grown to appreciate all those people I have been blessed enough to have in my life. Though I may not call everyday, or text or write, my true friends know my feelings because I make sure they do. I try not to sit around talking about the things I “could” be doing, but rather I try to take action on things that I know that I can do in the moment.  Not only that, I LIVE. Everyday I challenge myself to do something that I couldn’t have fathomed doing the day before because I may not get the chance to do it ever again.

Life is not infinite. You don’t have forever to do the things you want. You may not even have the next minute. So, don’t “put off tomorrow what you can do today” because tomorrow is not promised. Appreciate your loved ones, and let them know how you feel, chase your dreams, achieve your goals, and most of all remember to enjoy everything you do. HAVE NO REGRETS.


– Gabriell Anna