circle of moms

Dance Party Friday: What Gets You Movin?

" How can moms find time to work out?"  asked the Circle of Moms Q & A email sitting in my inbox. Hmmmm.

Good question considering exercising is something I struggle to find time for myself.

I've mentioned in a previous post that a year ago I was obsessed with exercising, but not the kind that I enjoyed, mostly because I was doing it for the wrong reasons. Slaving away with Bob Harper and the Biggest Loser crew wasn't helping me lose weight or feel good about myself and I darn sure wasn't looking forward to it each day. It took me realizing that I needed to work on loving myself before I found what kind of exercise I enjoyed. I had to start paying attention to what my body was saying and how it felt during exercise to find what it enjoys as well.

My new philosophy on exercise is this: if I'm going to take time out of my day to focus on my physical health, then

  • It has to be fun
  • It has to be worth my time
  • It has to help me feel good and motivated
  • I have to look forward to doing it
  • My body's gotta love it and it has to teach me how to love my body as well

So for me, yoga and dancing do all of the above. Yoga teaches me how to find comfort in the uncomfortable mentally and physically, and dancing teaches me how to tap into how I'm feeling and just let loose. Dancing sets my mind at ease, and helps me feel free.

It's a little difficult to make time for yoga, but because I'm a music lova, making time to dance is easy. I can do it while I'm vacuuming, washing dishes, folding laundry, or just goofing around with my boys.

So if you're struggling to find time to exercise, don't give up but give in to what your body's trying to tell you about what it likes. Find an activity that you really enjoy and make 20 minutes a few times a week for it. If you have kiddos, get them in on it too, that always helps. Whatever activity you do, just make sure you love it.

Speaking if loving it, this week I'm dancing to "Moves Like Jagger" for Jessica over at Really? I'm a Mom? . When I say I LOVE this song....oooooh weeeeee! Man I love the groove in this song y'all. It gets my head bobbing, toes tapping, fingers snapping and body moving from the first note. It's infectious. I have to dance every time I hear it....and admit it...so do you, right?

OH! One more thing-I published my 200th post this week! WOOOOOHOOOOOOOO! OH YEA! To celebrate, I'm having a giveaway. Leave a comment with the name of  your favorite exercise and a song that gets your body groovin and you'll be entered to win

  • The Beauty of Different, by Karen Walrond to help you on your self-love journey
  • A $25 music gift card from Amazon or iTunes (whichever you use) to get some groovin tunes
  • This nifty cool "fit book" to help you develop a healthy workout plan as well as track your eating habits. (This book has helped me tons the past 3 weeks)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The lucky winner will be chosen by random.org, so comment away and good luck!

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/36569739]

Circle of Moms Top 25 Blogs on Postpartum Depression: Why I Want to Be Listed Among the Awesome

 I was winding up a relaxing catch up session with my cousin Addye D. late yesterday afternoon, when I happened to check my email and received the shock of a lifetime:

Your blog Butterfly Confessions has been nominated to the Top 25 Postpartum Depression Blogs by Moms - 2012 list on Circle of Moms!

The parts I highlighted in bold were the only words I initially saw and the overwhelming shock that came with understanding what they meant led me to immediately close the email. After a few moments I passed the phone to my cousin and friend Stephanie and just sat there with my hand over my mouth in stupefied gratitude and shock.

When the shock had ebbed enough away for me to recover I re-opened the email, read it through, followed the links  attached and was blown away when I saw the other moms who'd also been nominated...moms I knew. Mamas I had met only a year ago through their courage and transparent words on my computer screen...mamas who embraced me, encouraged me, talked with me, and walked with me through one of the darkest periods of my life. Mamas who became friends, confidants and some of my biggest supporters, mamas who comprise a fabulous army known as the #PPDChat Army on Twitter & Facebook.  I was listed among these incredible women?! Again, I was overwhelmed with emotion and had to back away from the computer to process it all.

I couldn't sleep last night because after my initial shock and emotions about being nominated subsided, there came the desire to want to be listed, to indeed be one of the 25 who make the list. After that came guilt and the thoughts that tried to rob me of the joy of this accomplishment: "Should I want to win?" "What is this some kind of popularity contest? Is this why you write? To win things, to make lists, to be recognized and applauded? A'Driane get a grip, girl! Stop being so vain," the guilt laced thoughts screamed at me.

But this morning when I woke up, I didn't feel anymore guilt because I understand why I want to be listed among these incredible women and I don't think my reasons and desire make me a shallow, glory seeking hound.

I want to be listed because number one, it help me remember on the rough days that  my transparency means something, that it's more than just me sitting here spilling my guts on the internet. Practicing transparency is no easy task and it is by no means for the faint at heart. It takes courage to own your story, out loud, in black and white for the world to read and think what they may of it. You know how many people disparagingly told me I shouldn't do this? That I shouldn't share these kinds of details about my life? Do you know that no one in my family openly talks about depression or mental illness though it has affected several of us? I don't do this solely for awards or to be applauded, or even to try and get thousands of page views. I do it because I want to change the dialogue about mental illness, especially among women and mothers. I do it because I want to be a voice, a person who helps others embrace their humanity by vocalizing mine.

I also want to be listed because black women suffer from postpartum depression too, as well as other minorities. It's no secret that mental illness is a taboo subject among the black community and that the stigmas surrounding it are deeply entrenched, almost impermeable. But I'm trying to change that, and while you may think I'm pulling a race card here, I'm really not. Facts are facts. Blacks, Latinos, Asians and other races & cultures don't talk about mental health and perinatal mood disorders. And if they aren't talking about it, that means they aren't seeking treatment if they are suffering. There needs to be more awareness, more open, shame-free dialogue and more healthy, strong starts for mothers of color and their children. Part of why I'm fighting my way through college right now is so I can become a licensed clinical social worker & therapist to make this happen on a professional level, advocating and pushing for effectual change. Women of color need better resources both online and in their communities. I want to be an online resource they can come to for support and an encouraging virtual bear hug when they need it. I just want to do my part, and being listed in a community that boasts over 6 million moms can maybe help these women of color find what they need.

So do I want to be listed among the awesome? Do I want you to vote for me? Do I feel guilty or shameful about asking you to? Yes, yes, and no, I don't. Don't think of it as voting for me, a person. When you cast your vote for me and the other mamas listed think of it as helping to erase the shame and stigma surrounding mental illness. Think of it as helping to give mamas and their kiddos a strong, healthy start. Don't we all deserve that?

Speaking of the awesome, DUDE-PLEASE check out all the blogs listed and VOTE for them! I've been voting for everyone :) Why?  Every single one of these mamas has shown so much courage and strength by giving in to vulnerability and letting you see their struggles and triumphs. Reward their wholeheartedness and leave them encouraging comments, let them know you support what they're doing and that it's not in vain.  To see the list of blogs nominated and to vote you can click on the badge to the right under "Honored!" or click this link: http://www.circleofmoms.com/top25/top-postpartum-depression-mom-blogs-2012 Voting lasts until February 21, 2012 and you can vote for your favorites once a day every day :)

Congrats to all the mamas who have been nominated!!!!!!!!!

And God...you continue to amaze me. Thank you for being so faithful and just plain AWESOME.