05 Sep In the Life of Alana
For the month of September, one of our OG-original babes, Alana, has taken on a personal thirty day challenge. Delving into her day-to-day life, antics, emotions, thoughts and how her movement fits in.
For the past six to eight weeks, Alana has been feeling increasingly uninspired by exercise. It became an increasingly debilitating cycle of being excited to exercise, not being able to do so properly, feeling unable to activate muscles and allowing that inner critic to be far too harsh. Everyday she’d try again, and everyday she would leave feeling deflated and hurt. From here, we started seeing less and less of Alana, as she gave her body something that we all deny we ever need – rest.
Alana once struggled with an eating disorder and eighteen months ago, alongside renourishing her body and her mind, she found this studio, tucked in an old Queenslander on Montague Road. She has grown, she has learnt, she has made amazing friends and filled the studio with her non-stop positivity and good vibes. We are so happy to say she is back, she is rested and she is ready to document her ‘second-coming’. Did we just liken her to a certain divine being? You would too, if you knew how many squats this girl has dropped.
Alana promises real. Alana promises raw. Alana promises herself thirty days.
Read her personal entries below x
Mondays are my favourite day of the week. I set out my weekly goals that are health, mind and task orientated. This morning I had a simple goal of getting my booty out of bed after a Sunday sesh and smashing out pilates. I am so grateful I did. After a set of glutes I turned to Gabi and thanked her for the pure satisfaction. It felt as though it was the kind of thanks you offer to someone after some really good sex. I LOVE and live for that burn in my glutes and pilates always delivers the goods. Adrenalin kicks in and I’m like, “Yep, this is what Alana has come to class for.” We good we poppin’.
Once upon a time if I didn’t exercise first thing in the morning my day would feel so out of balance and I wouldn’t be able to focus throughout the day. But this morning I slept in and enjoyed the company of another and allowed my body that extra sleep and snuggle time. I got my butt out of bed made a productive task list (smashed it, with ultimate satisfaction) and ended the day with pedalling my heart out at a spin class followed by a pilates nightcap that I know I will feel tomorrow – I’ll smile at that.
Growing up I was the queen of throwing a tantrum. And yesterday I was on the verge of one at the ripe age of 25. What felt like a migraine had me contemplating whether I should be strutting into a 75-minute barre, mat and mind class, or just indulge in my bedroom floor tantrum. After much contemplation and arguments made in my own mind, I came to the conclusion that I knew I would feel so great afterwards. So, I left my house; listened to some gangster rap on my journey and showed up and Oh. My. God. It was killer. Like killer. I nailed it and I loved every second of it. It was the absolute highlight of my day and seeing my fav gal pal instructor was like the added bonus of hummus to a rice cake! I left feeling the best I had all day. I have never ever once regretted a barre class – ever. There is always someone there to make you laugh and forget what’s outside the door (maybe because your in deep deep squat mode, but hey it works).
I’ve always had this inner curiosity and pull towards the country India, maybe it’s because I really like an Indian curry or maybe it’s because I enjoy yoga. What really intrigues me is the concept of Ayurvedic medicine. I know when I follow what best suits my dosha, I always feel so much more nourished. Today, I walked out of my Ayurvedic massage feeling like a reborn Hindu Goddess that will only put pure goodness into my body (which I totally did). I made the herbal warm water and felt all at one with myself. Like I was hugging my insides. But can we just pretend that I didn’t reach for some dark chocolate later in the middle of the night? It’s called balance and I did yoga that morning, so it’s fine.
You know what grinds my gears? When my abs or butt muscles just decide to tap out and switch off after getting a good workout from the previous set – it’s like hellooooooo, not done with you yet. So I’m there, just trying to work all angles to wake those little babies up, probably looking like a total fish out of water. How dare they betray me like that? I’m just here, trying to have a sculpted waist and a booty that won’t quit and they go and do that. But, you know what that means, Alana? It means you’ve smashed it – and how amazing is that. To say you’ve literally given something your all and you’ve accomplished it. You absolutely exhausted those little suckers and they just need a moment to absorb that goodness you’ve put them through. Relish this moment.
Saturday night rolled around and I was craving a good glass (or glasses) of red wine accompanied by some dancing. Like come on, I’ve been super productive and healthy this week – every day so far day has included a barre, pilates, or yoga class, so wine will be fine. So here I am showered, makeup done, in my nighty (note to self, once the nighty is on I pretty much should just accept I won’t be leaving) and poured my first glass of wine. Everything was great and then I started youtubing what dreams mean, interesting health facts and weird tips that might save you’re life one day (the suggestion box just kept on topping up with things that I suddenly needed to know). So I did not go out dancing and my dignity stayed intact (more or less). I did my youtube browse, got my social media stalk on, got just a tad tipsy in my room and was able to wake up for morning stroll by the river. Perfect really. Some weekends you wake up on a Sunday, filled with regrets from former you, no money and a sore head. Other weekends, you wake up a bit smarter, a bit fresher and richer (not just finance wise). Balance baby.
I always tell myself at the start of the semester that I’ll start my assignments early and be like super on top of it. I’m all like yeah girl you’re going to make this semester your bitch. But really the semester always seems to make me its bitch. Sometimes you just reach that point of ‘totally done’, click submit and hope for the best. I do love studying natural medicine, but the one thing that has always ruined my experience is referencing. It is the bane of my existence. Not to blow my own horn, but I wish I could reference my own brain sometimes (I wonder how that’d go down in the reference list and in-text citations). Anyway, I submitted on time, so don’t stress guys. I also made it to Sunday stretch and left my previous week behind – entering the new with some stretched out hips and hamstrings.
Today I am grateful. I am grateful for my 6am barre cardio, seeing my fave pal, a cute sleepy face waiting for me to return home nice and sweaty, that first sip of coffee (first in four weeks), the little bug I saw swimming in that flower vase, the sun on my skin, old Aussie hip hop, my pyschologist appointment, seeing missed co-workers back from holiday, hearing my mums voice on the phone and the T2 member for brewing my favourite tea to sample. My day of appreciations began at the end of this morning’s class – during the blissful guided relaxation. I am so thankful for allowing my body to release and melt into the mat, physically and mentally. It set me up for accepting every moment this Monday, so I could be truly invested in these little wins, to be my true self and give my true self to others. It was perfect.
So I’m going to tell you my funny little story of having a total ‘There’s Something About Mary’ moment, but I’m keeping it PG. I’ve had this really tight neck/upper shoulder thing going on for a while – the reason I had to take some time off exercising to let it just be. Anyway boring. The awesome thing I’m going to discuss is finding your sweet spot. Don’t get too excited, heads out of the gutter please, I’m talking when you’re in an exercise and just can’t feel it’s full potential, but then you give yourself a little jiggle and a manoeuvre and BAM – you’ve reached that sweet spot and you’ve found that burn. This happened to me today during a certain ab workout that I thought just wasn’t for me. I had given up on it so many times before, but for some reason today, I just moved the ball up my back a little bit more. I found my sweet spot. And hopefully it’ll lead to my abs finding their way to the surface. It’s different for everyone, but don’t pretend you can feel it when you can’t. Speak up or wriggle around. Find your sweet spot, you won’t regret it.
The beautiful thing about emotions and life is that you truly don’t know where it’ll lead you for the day. My day was going amazing – yoga in the morning beside my bestie, another Ayurvedic massage then my fave uni class. Prior to my night shift at work, I decided to do one of my most loved past times – clothes shopping. Boy, oh boy, was I wrong in that decision. It ended with me in a horrible, self-depreciating head-space. After being so underweight for 5 years, it’s still such a new feeling for me being ‘normal’. Recovering is not just about weight restoration, but recovering emotionally with how you see yourself. I’ve accepted who I am as a person and more days than not I accept the body I have. During my freak out, I messaged a friend, subconsciously wishing for some sympathy, but in stead, I got ‘reigned in’ and was reminded that every woman and man struggles with their bodies, daily. It’s okay to feel this way occasionally, it’s part of life. But what’s not okay is to neglect nourishment.
I have this wonderful friend, who shall remain nameless for the sake of the internet. Every week we have a single girls date, with a focus on physical activity, mindfulness or an act of complete selfishness. We have both suffered from anxiety, as well as recently having our fair share of shit dealings with the opposition sex, so we like to uplift ourselves and be independent, nourished beings allowing only good vibrations into our space (sah spiritual, but I totally believe it). This week we attended a stress management event at City Cave. It was insightful and a lovely reminder that we need to invest in ourselves to keep that cortisol level balanced, so we don’t literally flip our lids over spilt almond milk. As a society, we invest so much into material things to look good, but this doesn’t go far if your mental and physical health isn’t being looked after too. So book the massage, lower that stress hormone and know that you are worthy. I’ll do the same.
Let’s take a moment to appreciate the beautiful weather this week has brought to us Brisbane beings. Also, taking a moment to appreciate my body for smashing out a 7am Saturday morning class, followed by an hour and half yoga session under the trees at the markets. It was so blissful. I’m so proud of my body for allowing me to challenge it and push it into squats, chair poses and upper arm work. I was conversing with a friend about my body challenges earlier in the week and she said to me something that I’m going to take with me into the following week. That’s to not focus on how my body is looking, but on the strength it is gaining. Since week one of being back into my routine, I’m already smashing little exercises that I couldn’t do at the start. It’s so encouraging and satisfying. You can always squat a little lower, lift one more time or squeeze a second longer and you will build strength bit by bit. Baby steps baby, you got this.