Follow the Leader

by Holly on March 23, 2010

in breakfast,dinner,lunch,seriousness

Tonight during salsa class, I was reminded of a valuable lesson from my pal Doug.  He’s 60 years old; he’s rockin’ out two artificial hips; he can move like no other in the class; AND he can teach a young gal a thing or two about life.

“Holly, you’re turning before I’m directing you to turn,” Doug said, shaking his hips to the salsa beat.

“What are you talking about?” I responded, even though I knew exactly what he was talking about.

“You are supposed to be following,” Doug replied. “NOT leading.”

“I don’t know if you’ve noticed Doug E. Doug, but I am not the following type.”

“Oh, I noticed. Trust me.”

“I’m a lady of the 21st century,” I said laughing. “I can’t help it.”

“And I’m an old man stuck in his ways.  I will lead, and you follow.”

I happily consider myself a modern woman – independent, strong and capable. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve liked being the one in charge.  Whether it was taking the lead on a group project in high school or being the bank in a game of LIFE,  I’ve always sought out the leader role. You can almost always find me on a need-to-know basis, because well…I need to know.

Through the years, I’ve slowly (but surely) learned there is a time and a place to lead as well as a time and a place to follow.  Nobody likes a know-it-all who can do anything and everything for themselves – and quite frankly, I can annoyingly be that person.  When I was teaching in Thailand, my friend Thomas constantly got mad at me when I would refuse to let him carry my luggage (even when I clearly needed it).  He would always remind me, “Holly, it’s okay to ask for help.”

Because it is.

It’s okay to follow others’ leads and make a smoothie you saw on their blog

1 cup vanilla almond milk
3/4 cup frozen cherries
1/2 banana
1 tbsp. cocoa powder
2 tbsp. vanilla brown rice protein powder
splash of vanilla
1/4 cup Not Sweet Vanilla Galaxy Granola

…or perhaps take inspiration from their blog for a delicious bowl of oatmeal.

1/2 cup oats
1 cup water
1 egg (whisked in)
1/2 smashed banana
cinnamon + 1 NuNaturals stevia packet
1 heaping tbsp. Nuttzo
1 heaping tsp. blackberry jam
handful Raspberry Galaxy Granola

Whether it’s following ways of the world and enjoying what’s in season…

…or taking a hint from a Web site for inspiration…

…or listening to your body’s needs for what to eat pre-run, surrendering control can sometimes be the BEST thing we can do.

Maybe it’s just following the beat of some good workout jams…

  • Fresh Air Brother Ali
  • Bust Your Windows Glee
  • Hate on Me Glee
  • Ooh La La Goldfrapp
  • Butterfly Jason Mraz
  • Down Jay Sean f/ Lil’ Wayne
  • Pumpkin Soup Kate Nash
  • Poker Face Lady GaGa
  • Bamboo Banga M.I.A.
  • Paper Planes M.I.A.
  • Pure Pleasure Seeker Moloko
  • Rude Boy Rihanna
  • Momma’s Place Roisin Murphy
  • Hips Don’t Lie Shakira f/ Wyclef Jean
  • Holiday Vampire Weekend
  • Young Money Vita Chambers

But that doesn’t mean you can’t take control of what you eat and put together, for example, the perfect yog mess.  There’s nothing wrong with 0% Plain Chobani Greek yog + 1 tbsp. sunflower seed butter

…along with a sliced banana

…topped with 1/4 cup of Not Sweet Vanilla Galaxy Granola

…and all mixed together.

The question is: why don’t we follow – including our cravings – more often? Whether that means a big ol’ yog mess or a giant bowl of roughage (ahem, salad), following the natural signals our bodies are sending us is probably a much better thing than trying to force your body to want something.

2 cups spinach
1/2 cup edamame
1/2 cup sliced cucumber
1/4 cup yellow pepper
1/2 diced avocado
drizzle of ranch dressing
sprinkle of nutritional yeast

Or forcing something to happen when it’s not ready. Perhaps a new relationship?  Maybe patience is the best thing I can be learning right now.  And yes, that is what Mama Everythingtarian said.  And yes, mom – you are right. And yes, she loves it when I actually admit that.

Because when I let things happen, unexpected good things can result…like brown rice + edamame alongside roasted broccoli (with salt, garlic, crushed red pepper + nutritional yeast).

I still don’t always like following. No offense Sateesh, but you dance too rigid and slow for me.

And I still don’t have patience. Can we set up a real date already Mr. Lawyer?

And I really do enjoy leading others. I mean, I am a blogger for a reason…

But sometimes that can all take a back seat. Sometimes it’s okay for me to just go along for the ride…

So, thank you Doug for taking control, twirling a girl around and letting her just FOLLOW.


Kailey (SnackFace) March 26, 2010 at 11:30 am

I AM RIGHT WITH YOU!!! Sometimes I worry when doing group projects that I’m too bossy. But no one else takes charge! Or maybe I don’t allow it? I normally apologize, but really, it cannot be helped. We gotta do what it takes. And just like you and your bags, I do the same. Hell yea, I’ma carry my 100+lbs of luggage around NYC and through the airport!

However, I definitely follow the lead on delicious eats. It’s so worth it to me. I just want to savor and explore, and a lot of times other people help show me the way.

When it comes to fashion, though, I stick with what I like on ME, no matter if others think it’s cray.

Eff the haters.

Now I went off on some insane tangent, but it’s all somewhat related, right?

I miss you and I think we need a mayj catch up. LOVE YOU!

Susan March 26, 2010 at 1:17 pm

I LOVE this post Holly (I just type Hooly, FYI). You are such a fabulous writer!!

I’m a follower. But a stubborn, independent follower who sometimes likes to do what I want, when I want. Ie, I like people telling me what to do, then I like arguing with them and convincing them to do it my way ;)

Heart ya!

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