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Accountability Check in...2021

It's been some time since I shared a blog post and wanted to update you on how things have truly been going in my life. I also wanted to take this opportunity to be honest about myself care and hold myself accountable for my truth by sharing it with you. Since 2018 I've gained 30 or so lbs, funny thing is, this is how much I weighted at the time of my now 16yr old daughters birth. Over the yrs my weight has yoyo'd and it wasn't until I found yoga in 2010 and vegetarianism in 2012 that my weight started to stabilize. The weight gain slowly began in 2018 as life started to change for me. Some really exciting changes happen and also some challenging and heart breaking ones happen as well.

I found love! I met my partner in 2018 a food enthusiast and at the time an aspiring chef who also hails from the caribbean island of Trinidad, a place where rich spices and hardy meals such as stewed, sauced, fried meats and fishes accompany carb rich veggies like breadfruit and casava along with rices and breads like roti's are the foods of choice. We loved to eat out and often he would create decadent meals at home for breakfast and dinner and I enjoyed every moment of it. We shared time having so much fun cooking & creating. I was also introducing him to vegetarian cooking and ways to make his traditional meals meatless. As he began his chef journey I found myself tasting everything and even began eating fish again, my food habits had changed and so had my weight.

In October of 2018 I loss my older brother to a heart attack at 47yrs young. We were close and only miles kept us apart but we stayed connected and as close as possible through visits and phone conversations. I would call him for advice and had just spent the previous summer with him and his family in hopes to relocate closer to him and other family in Los Angles but had decided to return to Boston and continue my life here at least for the moment. He had been struggling with medical issues but I wasn't aware of how severe his circumstances were. I was devastated and heart broken.

The following month my grandfather passed away. My grandfathers death was so challenging for our family, he was the last of his siblings and the oldest member of our family and the last original family member to have come from Barbados. I looked at him as more of a father than a grandfather. I had been caring for him with my mother as he battled with prostate cancer at the age of 92yrs old. He was a World War ll veteran and interestingly enough he passed on veteran's day. He is the inspiration for the quote "Live til you die" and he sure did just that. His death has taken me the longest to recover from and I still find myself struggling at time with this loss.

Needless to say life has been happening but I managed to keep myself busy through these tough times. Numbing myself from the pain by continuing to teach my classes and support the healing and growth of my loved ones, yet I was avoiding and not truly dealing with my own issues I started feeling depressed and continuing to gain weight. Feeling unmotivated to exercise and other than my yoga practice I wasn't getting much movement, as I think of it now my yoga was really the only physical activity I was getting.

Then the pandemic hit and like everyone else in the world I also became less mobile when I was already finding it challenging to do anything. The studio were I practiced my personal yoga practice for yrs and my home away from home had to close their doors due to the pandemic and I felt so lost. After 4yrs of practicing there I had made it part of my routine, made many friendships, took several trainings and thought it would never end, this was a huge change and loss for me. At the same time the studio I was teaching at joined the virtual world and without skipping a beat so did I. Looking back at this time I did my best to stay connected with my yoga students even though I was struggling myself both physically and emotionally. Not knowing how long we would be quarantining for but knowing that the connection was needed not just for my students but as well for my own physical and mental health & well being, so I joined the Zoom world..

It wasn't until later, 30lbs later did I realize that I was wearing all this emotional pain and loss that I had yet to deal with and was still just pushing through. I've always been resilient and in some cases over looking my own needs thinking that pushing forward things will be ok like always. I do believe that to be true 'things will be ok like always' but things also do require the time and attention to make them ok. Pushing through does work by being intentional about what we're push towards and admitting when we need to stop and re focus our attention on our self healing and commitment. I'm always promoting self care and wasn't taking my own advice.

Presently life is still very much in motion and new life challenges arise everyday but I am choosing to focus my attention on my physical and mental health and well being. By dedicating more of my attention to what I'm eating, my carb intake, keeping an eye on my snacking and not eating after 8pm has been a good start. I've also been exploring intermittent fasting again which is something that has worked well in the past for me, I have found it to be helpful not just for weight management but also have benefited from the mental clarity it gives me. I've also increased my physical activity too (not just yoga) adding resistance training with bands and weights to increase strength and form. One thing that I have found helpful is to go to the gym a few times a week if possible it helps to see others working out too because it gets a little lonely working out at home. I've also found some great work out routines on youtube and find that a combination of different things keeps me interested since I tend to get board easy.

It wasn't easy to share the pain of loss that brought me to this place but knowing that by telling my truth I am also claiming my freedom. I know it will take a little time to get to my goal but I'm dedicated. My goal is to be agile, healthy, mobile and strong as I approach my half a century celebration this year.

Thanks for letting me share this Accountability check in post. You can join me for yoga classes by checking out my yoga class schedule at

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Malaika - I am in awe of your honesty, reflection and clarity. You writing is beautiful and inspiring as are you. Dana

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