Life Style

Guest Post : Mrs. Feliciano

I am a 46 year old mother of 4.  I have been battling with my weight since I was in my teens.  The most I’ve ever been is 250 pounds, wearing 4XL in clothing.  Asking the weight limit before entering some places or sitting down somewhere was normal for me.  For the longest time, I was convinced I couldn’t lose weight.  All the excuses you hear today for not losing weight, I used myself:

I don’t have the time.

I don’t have the energy.

I can’t do it.

It’s genetics.

Some body part hurts.

I don’t know how to eat healthy.

I don’t know how to exercise properly or what to do.

I really, really enjoy eating fast food.

I don’t feel like exercising. 

These excuses continued until some years ago when I lost a great deal of weight.  This made me realize I could lose the weight. Since that first big weight loss, I had gained a real knack for losing weight, then gaining it back twice as fast and twice as much.  It also made me realize that all the excuses in the world were no reason for me not to lose the weight.   It was always my own fault I was obese.  I consider myself a practical person, and the facts had been laid out. I can lose the weight.   If only I could keep it off.

Things seemed to change for me about two years ago.  I went through a spiritual transition.  This is a work in progress, another story for another day.  It is what led me to want to start yet another weight loss regimen. Honestly, though, I had no real expectations for success.

Four months into my weight loss routine I was attending my children’s Tae Kwon Do belt promotion. I was amazed by the number of adults testing.  Since I was always a spectator at the classes, I never realized this could be for me. The program director at the school invited me to start classes with my kids.  This is a very family oriented school. I figured it would be one more thing I could do to help me get closer to my weight loss goal.

Penny Beginner Testing

(Mrs. Feliciano Beginner Testing)

I started attending classes.  It was fun.  It was new.  The other adults I was taking the classes with were a real trip.  I found the instructors to be very engaging, and the curriculum to be organized and taught in a very disciplined and structured manner.

This interest turned into fascination almost overnight. This brought out my desire to add structure and discipline to my daily life.  Martial Arts has taught me that through discipline and hard work, I can maintain those long time goals.

Penny Bernard comp

(Mrs. Feliciano with her son, Bernard -Black Belt)

I have this inner energy and desire to continue learning new things and improving what I’ve learned.  I can go to class every day and come out having learned something new, whether it is a new form or an improved stance.

Penny Adv Testing

(From right -Mrs. Feliciano, Mr. Zachrisen, and Mrs. Leon)

Martial Arts is something for all ages, young and old.  For me, this is not a fad or something to pass the time with, or fill a void. It is a lifetime commitment.  One of my instructors recently said that if you are in this just for the black belt, you are in it for the wrong reasons.  I agree. 

By taking Martial Arts seriously, dedicating myself, striving to always do my best, I’ve been able to make Martial Arts a very important part of my life.  Martial Arts will give back to the person as much as the person puts into it, like most anything in life.  I could practice Martial Arts for the rest of my adult life and never reach my full potential.  There is always room for growth and improvement.  The learning experiences obtained through Martial Arts are limitless.

-Mrs. Feliciano, Blue Belt

Martial Artists as Role Models

Martial Artists truly are Role Models.

Regardless of the discipline you practice, you will naturally -and if not you should intentionally- become a role model for others.

How does it happen naturally?

It happens because of the way you walk, or the way you talk, and because of the way you present yourself to others that are younger and newer at the same practice or studio; is always important to remember all of this as those younger and newer will begin emulating your behavior.

When I grow up I want to be like… (You name him or her!)

How do you make it happen intentionally?

Stay mindful of your behavior, but also stay informative and helpful. It does not cost you anything to provide a few minutes of advise to a younger practitioner when you see space for improvement in their form or technique.

As you begin to be that person, willing to help and staying caring, others will begin to naturally and continuously gravitate toward you, at times for your help and advise, and at other times for a simple positive nudge. 

We, as adults and as experienced martial artists, have a responsibility and a duty to those who will look up to us. Mostly because we may find that such small moment may create a very positive and very long-lasting impact in someone’s life.

Find your inspiration, and become yourself the inspiration for another. Make your dreams come true, and be sure to help others reach their dreams as well.

That is the most fulfilling part of your life -when you can give back.

MrB+Carlitos

(With my nephew at Nationals, Carlitos -the Force.)

Sure, you want to be fit, flexible, and capable of defending yourself, and you want to be an expert in your discipline and get that belt.

You can do that, but also you can…

Do more. 

Be more.

Truly Be Black Belt !

Martial Arts for Families

The practice of Martial Arts undoubtedly creates a strong family bond.

Martial Arts, unlike other sports, can be practiced as a family activity.

Practicing helps create as well as maintain a direct line of communications between parents and their children, or between partners. Additionally, it creates discipline, respect, and trust among the family members in practice.

family

(With my two sons.)

The U.S. Census (www.census.gov) states that :

  • Households and families have gotten smaller over time; and
  • Living alone has become more widespread.

A Family that Trains Together, Stays Together!