Hunger in Your Belly

I met a dancer once. The fittest person I’ve ever met in my life. Part of her job and livelihood meant staying fit and keeping in the best shape she possibly could. As a basic American girl who has long been exposed to the false narrative that beautiful boils down to skinnier…plain and simple, I wanted to know some of her secrets. And she gave me advice I’ll never forget.

She didn’t tell me what all the diet plans and fitness routines will tell you…move more, eat less. No, instead she told me she goes to bed every night with a hunger in her belly. I think about that advice a lot.

I don’t think she meant “don’t eat before bed” like a lot of fitness gurus will tell you, although it’s good advice. I don’t think she meant “stop eating after a certain time at night” or “no midnight snacks” which is also advice you’ll read about on fitness blogs and in health magazines. So maybe that’s all decent advice for staying fit or losing weight. But that’s not what she meant.

Even though she was talking about a biological need like “hunger” I think she meant something far more emotional and philosophical than the act of eating or not eating. Think about times when you have been well and truly fed. I mean full to the bottom of your heels.

Picture a Thanksgiving day…maybe it’s the evening and you’ve just had all the things at the holiday buffet. The turkey, the stuffing, the mashed potatoes, the brussels sprouts, the salad, the bread, the cranberry sauce, the pie…all of it. You know the feeling I’m coming to next…it’s not just being content. It’s being absolutely stuffed. You feel lethargic. You feel lazy. Maybe you lie around for the rest of the night in a state of light coma with the rest of your clan.

We’ve all been there. And it’s not even a bad experience on occasions like Thanksgiving. Holidays are meant to be treated with a little looser fist, giving yourself more grace and allowing yourself an extra helping of Granny’s apple pie, after all Granny may not be around to make it much longer. So eat that pie!

But still, it’s not even the physical act of being hungry that she was talking about. When you’re hungry, truly hungry, you have something to fight for. There is a primal instinct inside of us when we have a basic need like hunger that comes out. Some cave person imperative that we didn’t even know we had. And this is what she meant.

When this dancer friend told me she goes to bed with a hunger in her belly every night, she meant that she keeps that instinct alive. She doesn’t kill it off with complacency and comfort and a full Thanksgiving stomach. She doesn’t appease the dragon inside of her giving it what it wants till it goes to sleep and stops breathing fire. No, she keeps the dragon hungry so the dragon has something to fight for. Something to live for.

Dragon Fire Health and Fitness blog

I believe this is the best health advice I’ve ever gotten in my life. And there have been seasons in my life when I’ve followed this advice to the letter. I’ve never been as fit or as healthy as I was during the times when I actively went to bed with a hunger in my belly every single night. I had a poorly fed dragon in my belly and that was motivation to get out for a run every single morning. It was motivation to pursue dreams like starting my own blog or a side hustle or a web series. Those are times in my life that I can look back on and see that the hunger was there in my belly and it made me better.

I wish I could tap into that every single day for ever and ever. There are people who do a good job of going to bed with a hunger in their belly more nights than they go to bed with a well fed dragon in there. There are people who are paid to keep the hunger in their belly and that is a powerful motivator, for sure. There are people, like my dancer friend, who have taught themselves that there is no other way to live than to have the hunger in their belly.

This doesn’t mean that the people with a hunger in their belly are all skinny and perfectly fit and walking around with the flawless bodies on the planet or the most perfect lives. Not even my dancer friend is free of flaws. We are all human. And we all have to be ok with that!

But, for my dancer friend, her hunger translated into fitness and physical movement, which led to a very physically fit body. For others that can translate into health and fitness of a different kind. Healthy careers, healthy parenting, healthy relationships, healthy whatever. There are all kinds of ways the hungry dragon in your belly can motivate you and make you want to get up and fight for something bigger every single day.

Lately, my dragon has been overfed…he’s fat and he’s lazy and he sits around all day dreaming of things he’ll never actually do unless something changes.

Well, dragon…little buddy…I feel a change in the wind, says I and I think it’s time to stop feeding you so many times a day.

Friends Forever

Disney Day Ladies Weekend Disney Bounding blog post

On the subject of friendships that will not be stopped by distance, hard times or stormy weather! Two of my quality handful came down to sunny, ole Florida for Ladies’ Weekend and it was completely epic!!

Thursday, I picked the girls up from the airport and revels were had!

Hogwarts Adventure Ladies Weekend #SlytherGryffinPuff blog post

Wizarding World of Harry Potter Orlando, FL Ladies Weekend blog

On Friday, the three of us boarded the Hogwarts express and headed for that magical land known as Universal, home of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!! Where we represented each of our houses in style.

I am the resident Gryffindor…brave, daring, chivalrous, courageous.

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Erin is the our Hufflepuff…loyal, kind, honest and friendly.

Ladies Weekend Follow Blog Erin Ellis Hufflepuff #SlytherGryffinPuff

And Cristina is our Slytherin…cunning, ambitious, determined, a leader.

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Together we are a powerful force to be reckoned with and while it’s true that we didn’t have a Ravenclaw to bring along on this trip, we really weren’t missing one. We are quite possibly the best traveling companions. Cristina is the planner, the one who keeps us organized and on schedule. I’m the one who makes sure we veer off schedule every once in a while and allows the wind to blow us here and there. And Erin steadies the two of our opposing forces. We are stronger together and it made for the most delightful day!

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Check out our Harry Potter adventures on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #SlytherGryffinPuff

Disney Day Ladies Weekend #DisneyDarlings blog post

Lizzie, Cristina and Erin Disney Bounding Share Your Ears Disney blog

Saturday, we were off to the other magical place in Florida…the most magical place in all the land (sorry Harry, the House of Mouse wins!) Disney World!! We had lofty goals and were going to attempt all four parks! We made it to everything we wanted to do at Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom and ended up in Epcot for dinner and fireworks. (Sadly Animal Kingdom had to be sacrificed for the greater good.) The best part of all is that months ago we decided to Disney Bound for our magical day. And we had a blast!

I was Rapunzel.

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Erin was Belle.

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And Cristina was Snow White.

(Cristina is a crafty princess who managed not to get her individual princess portrait taken….. clearly a Slytherin!)

Disney Day Ladies Weekend Disney Bounding blog post

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For more from these gorgeous creatures who I am lucky enough to call friends, go check out their blogs. Yep…they’re both bloggers. Imagine that!

The Ever Changing Us 

The Littlest Fowler

Also make sure you are following all three of us on Instagram, but only if you love pictures of happy, adorable people who love life and each other! #LadiesWeekend2016

Cristina

Erin

Lizzie

The weekend may be over, but these friendships will last forever!! Next year we are deciding between New Orleans and Las Vegas and 2018 will see us in London for the most epic #SlytherGryffinPuff expedition ever imagined.

Ladies Weekend at Walt Disney World Disney Bounding blog post

So keep a weather eye on the horizon for more us!

Reunited and It Feels So Good!

Lent has ended. Easter has come and Christ has risen!! (That’s really the most important part of the whole thing and life.)

But in other news… I can watch TV again!! YAY!

Game of Thrones Season 4 - 31st March, 2014! I can't wait ... I'm such a big fan..;)

Kicking off my TV binge sessions is Game of Thrones. There were only 2 episodes to power through and one new one to watch. So that was the best choice to begin with. What a way to welcome my brain back to television viewing. The Purple Wedding, twincest and cannibalism. Game of Thrones (slow clap) well done.

I’m not about to go through a whole recap cause this guy does a way better job. So if you haven’t watched it yet, go watch. And if you have go read this recap cause it just helps put all things in place. There are lots of characters to keep up with and lots of juicy stuff happening. Sometimes you need the cliff notes!! I know I do!