Blog Makeover and Changes!

I am beyond excited to present the new look of Joyful Shimmy. I have been working on the site for the past month as a side project.

I realized as I made the commitment of growing my blog and business  it meant moving away from into my own self-hosted server. This included creating a new look that is cleaner and easy to read that was reflected of my style and vision.   I have moved into a platform that allows me to grow and provide features such as the one below that gives you related post for your reading pleasure, social media links, etc.

It’s been a fun, informative and rewarding process as I undertook the project one step at a time and somehow ended up doing 90% of the job myself. For the past 12 years I had some web experience from early geocities website/html to jobs that dreamweaver knowledge. Although this shift was a bit simpler than that it did required some CSS coding changes that at one point in my life I would be completely intimidated.

For email subscribers you will be receiving your Joyful Shimmy posts at 1pm on days that there is a new post published.  Please look out for the Joyful Shimmy look as I made it extra special for you.

For subscribers, unfortunately I am unable to migrate you into my new site. Here are a couple of options to keep yourself connected to Joyful Shimmy:

There are a few more kinks that I will be working throughout this coming month as the site is fully functional and live.In the meantime, please be on the lookout for future guest posts from holiday tips, resolutions and a Workout Review: Insanity!

If you haven’t checked out “Good Girls Get Real” Program make sure to do so! It’s going to be so much fun and full of growth.

Making it through the Holiday Stress {Guest Post}

Hi All, Welcome to another installment of Keep Calm and Jingle On. Please make sure to head over and visit Steph’s Blog at  Will Run For Treats. xoxo Laura

I love the holidays as much as anyone.  The lights, the cookies, time with family – it’s all fantastic, and I look forward to it every year.  But no matter which way you slice it, sometimes we all end up feeling a little bit like Clark Griswold (SIDE NOTE from Laura: One of my favorite movies series of all time!).


There are lights to untangle, parties to attend, and lots of gifts to buy.  For me, though, the most stressful element of the holidays is the travel.  I’m not the hugest fan of flying – and that’s putting it lightly.  In fact, I often stress about flights for weeks before I’m due to get on them.

So, while visions of sugarplums plane crashes dance in my head, there are a few things I do to calm those holiday nerves.

1)  Get a workout in!  Ok, this sound incredibly cliche, but it’s true.  It’s almost impossible for me to think about anything other than putting one foot in front of the other while running, so getting out for a good loop inevitably takes my mind off the upcoming plane ride.  The endorphins don’t hurt either.

(I included the above picture because it reminds me of happier warmer times.)

2)  Bundle up and head out for a walk through the neighborhood.  Houses decorated for Christmas are sure to warm your soul and calm your nerves!


3)  Enjoy a steaming mug of hot chocolate – and maybe add in a little Bailey’s (or liquor of your choice). ;) 

4)  Light a fire, put on some sweats, cuddle up with one of my favorite furry friends and gaze at my tree.

Did you know that being around dogs actually lowers your cortisol (a stress hormone) level?! It’s science.  Plus, looking at colorful lights in a dark room always makes me smile🙂

So there you have it.  My tips for getting through the holidays with a big smile on your face!

I’d love to hear any of your tips for holiday stress relief, so feel free to chime in with some comments!!

Say It, Do It- December 12-18, 2011

First things first, the event last Saturday was a complete success. At the end of the event, I felt warmth in my heart and a true reminder of why I do this line of work.

Let’s do a quick recap of last week:

Lessons  for the Week:

  • Planning ahead and delegating tasks is possible.
  • Grief during this time of the year is expected for me however it doesn’t have to be a paralyzing experience that it once was
  • I have a lot of excuses as to why I avoid dating and getting into a relationship (2 pages worth).
  • I have an awesome crew of friends, mentors, supporters cheering me on along the way.
  • I am more tech savyy than I give myself credit for (Blog Makeover is 75% way done)

Here is my Say It, Do It for this week!

  • Monday: Tabata class and run 2km or more (It sounds better than miles- perhaps European)
  • Tuesday: Run Couch to 5K program
  • Wednesday: Shrink Session
  • Thursday: Off
  • Friday: SatiPati
  • We’ll see what the weekend will look like but I may try a yoga class or something in the afternoon

Other goals and projects to complete this week:

  • Finish Blog Makeover this week and complete the transition to the new site
  • Mail out Foodie Penpal box
  • Follow up with Good Girls Get Real tasks and logistics
  • Finish up writing my 2012 Goals, Intentions and Action Steps

What are your plans for this week?



Keep Calm and Jingle On: Work

I am working all day today. It’s a joint large conference that I was able to put together. It got me thinking about my attitude and this event. How I am handling the holiday season very differently this time around.

I am really not stressed about it. A lot of the logistics have been taken cared for. The food has been ordered, the schedules have been printed. I have a great group of students who have been in charge of making name tags, preparing all of the materials.

My only concern is whether the participants show up or not. This is completely out of my control. I took care of making announcements and market the event. If they don’t show up, oh well they will be missing out a great event.

The reason why I am blogging about it is that a HUGE part of my head is right now freaking out why I am not stress about the event and the outcome. For years, the day before of an event that I am in charge well you would see me stressed out beyond belief, chewing somebody’s head off because things are not going my way.

Yet for today there has been a shift in perspective. Dare I say a MIRACLE?

  • I now focus on just taking the action in front of me as opposed to worrying on the outcome.
  • I practice detachment with love when it comes to work. This is not my source of happiness nor identity.
  • I now break things down into manageable tasks that can be easily accomplished as opposed to getting overwhelmed with the long to do lists
  • Most importantly I am learning to delegate the different tasks that I am unable to do. It doesn’t make me less of an employee because I don’t do it all. It actually it makes me feel connected as I am part of a team.
  • Oh and I am not taking things so seriously! There is something to be said if we get to incorporate a smile, laughter and a willingness to accept that sometimes we are going to fail at least once.

I guess the principles above can also be applied to my experience this holiday season.

Hope you are having a good weekend. Spending time doing holiday shopping and enjoying some holiday tunes!

You would be so pretty… Pt 2

Last week, I shared about what it was like growing up believing that my beauty, love and acceptance was only contingent upon my weight. Now I am excited to share how I am learning to break free from these negative thought pattern and come to a place of acceptance, love  and  pure unadulterated beauty.

It is not a linear road full of step by step actions to take that held the key to love. I would describe it as long winding road that was full of unknowns and surprises.

So what have been some of my surprising experiences:

  • I still had a few more bottoms in me before I can move forward to a place of love. Although the bottoms were different in the actions I took. They were full of anger and grief that I no longer internalized, it was still pretty uncomfortable.
  • Going through those bottoms gave me the strength to move forward, to make drastic changes in my life and belief system.
  • Those messages such as my weight is contingent upon the amount of love I receive. Most importantly my strength, willpower and how well I am doing in the realm of eating disorder recovery was based upon the amount of pounds I would lose at any given moment. Well they were so ingrained in my core that the process of removing them/dissolving them/excavate them from my being and making room for something more well it was painful at times yet has brought on so much joy.

What the process looked like? It started by removing toxic relationships from my life and making room for new ones to come in.  I remember this influx of mentors, gurus and teachers coming into my life in 2010. Whether through books, lectures, personal shares, they each taught me  other ways of living.

As I let go of diets, started to work out, well I gained a bit of weight and then my body plateau. I started to witness this loving pattern my body releases weight very slowly, when it feels like it. I started to find acceptance that this is my own journey.

I took ownership of my own beauty by walking through the things I feared the most such as walking on stage and getting literally/figuratively naked in public. I started to experience new levels of vulnerability that were coupled by loving support.

Somehow the shift happened. My head space has shifted from a place of fear into a 99% place of love. I do find myself pretty gorgeous as I am. Most importantly love is no longer contingent upon the size of my body.

Return of Running…

My ankle is 90% healed. It is still a bit swollen and whatnot however it can now sustains impact for the most part. One of my 2012 goals and intentions is to complete a Couch to 5k program or shall I rename it a “Fitness Class Addict to a 5k” program.

My goal is to incorporate 3 times a week a 30 minute running schedule. I am starting slow which means doing a warm up walking and then running at 4mph and my intention is to slowly increase the pace as well as the timing that I spent running.

I am committing to run my first 5k on February 11, 2011 at the Cupid’s Chase 5k in NYC. I have a friend who will be running along with me. I would love to make this a community event so if you are interested in joining me let me know at

Source: via Ashlee on Pinterest

Self-Care Tool: Vanity Board

From Mirror Affirmations to Vision Boards and everything in between I have done it all. When I heard about this idea of putting together a vanity board as a tool to learn how to love myself and practice acceptance, well I was in!

What’s a vanity board? Similar to a vision board this board is all about Me! It’s about celebrating the beauty and essence of who I am.

For my board, I picked pictures where I felt my best. Some of the pictures are recent such as from my burlesque debut, etc while others are from a few years ago. As I look at each picture I am smiling and it triggers a positive memory from my past whether it was graduation from college, traveling through Europe a decade ago. A common thread is that in these pictures were not charged with “Oh god look how skinny I am” or that I was relapsing at that moment in time. It is quite the opposite most of these pictures I was in remission, feeling good and trying to hold on to this feeling. I was engaged with life.

I took the liberty and printed out what I considered “Testimonials” from friends and strangers about me. These are positive messages, compliments that I have received over time. Some of my favorite testimonials is a compliment given to me by a Spiritual Soulmate that I am a “Spiritual Tightrope Walker” (I absolutely love it!).

I felt good doing this as my timing is perfection. I have been feeling the December blues so this is the “ultimate owning my beauty” and love myself action. It’s the reminder I needed that I am worthy of love and acceptance.