Friday, February 29, 2008

Staying strong

I did go and make myself a 100-cal bag of popcorn yesterday afternoon. I was just TOO hungry and the smell really made me unable to concentrate on work. Plus I realized I was PMS-y (due today) and I always need a little more food at that time of the month. I enjoyed the popcorn and made up for the calories by not putting protein on my dinner salad last night so it all evened out. This is how I used to do food: if I "splurged" on something unplanned during the day (or week), I would "pay myself back" by exercising more or not eating something else later in the day (or week). Balance.

(I found out that the person who made the popcorn was actually my assistant and it was a 100-cal bag of her own. She was feeling abnormally hungry yesterday too.)

Today the scale is down just one pound. I knew that I wouldn't continue to lose like last week even though I have totally maintained The Drastic...drastically. Some weeks will be better than others (and PMS week/day is always a little bloaty). But I need to keep reminding myself of this in order to stay strong with The Drastic.

I am happy to see the scale going down two weeks in a row (it's been a long time since I saw that). I also am feeling much better in my body. Last night in yoga, I even managed to swing my leg through into lunge much better than I have the past 6 weeks (hello, returning core strength!). Plus I notice my arms are getting stronger again, but...

It's really challenging for me to get on the mat...every time. I have to fight my disappointment in myself that I haven't maintained the yoga fitness that I once had. I have to fight my sorrow (and, no, that's not too strong a word) that there are some things that I used to do that I might never be able to do again. I miss them. I have to try to appreciate the way my current physical challenges have brought my body back to the place where I HAVE to be with "beginner's mind" (since, in some ways, I have "beginner's body"), but with the actual mind of a person who has been a serious yogini for nearly 10 years. I was almost in tears last night a few times...yoga feels so "home" to me and because there are things my body just can't do right now (for example, my teacher kept saying "pull up your kneecap"...well, I used to be able to to that, but I CAN'T...I think it, I want to do it, but I just can't locate the muscles!) I feel a little homesick.

Last night I was talking with my teacher about this. She has been encouraging me to go back to a studio and take some classes so I'm getting yoga more than once a week. Another friend said something similar to me last week. So I have been thinking seriously about it. Yoga is much "harder" physically than going to the gym. My body, mind and spirit all get more out of it and it is more challenging. But, for some reason, (and I may be wrong) I really think I need the gym to lose the weight. Maybe it's because that's how I did it last time. Maybe I don't really need that. But I am going to stick with it through at least the months of The Drastic.

In the meantime, I do love seeing the progress in my practice even just from doing asana once a week. And there is no denying how much better my body feels. So I am listening to my teachers who are encouraging me to fit in another class every once in a while at least. And some weeks maybe I'll do a few classes and a few gym visits. The peace I feel when I hit the mat and after is addictive.

I'm also researching to try to settle on a studio which can be my "home" once I get back to full-time yoga. None of the ones in my area are the perfect blend that I had at my old (1999-2004) place. But yesterday I came to terms with trying the closest one to our house...again. It's very trendy which I hate, but the classes are at times that are really convenient for me. And one of my friends goes there and loves it so maybe I can go with her and find the connection that I've never found when I have gone there in the past. I'm very hopeful.

I also have tried to find some Iyengar classes that I can do (great for injuries/alignment) -- both I and my current teacher think this would be good for me. Unfortunately, in my area, they are hard to find and ones that are convenient with my schedule and locations are nearly impossible to find. I do hope to be able to work some in when I get back in a regular yoga routine.

So, anyway, this post is about staying strong. Staying strong with The Drastic eating plan even on weeks where I lose only one pound. Staying strong in my commitment to exercise. Staying strong in my commitment to return HOME to yoga even when it pulls out deep feelings of sadness, frustration and fear. All this WILL make me stronger in body, mind and spirit. I know it.

4 comments:

Vickie said...

When I was learning to "lift" my knees - Barbara used to say that you had to SEE them to lift them - she would run around and pull up our pant's legs - so that we could see them. I think that might be when I started wearing shorts.

ar said...

Hallo Hellen. Thanks for your warm welcome at my Blog. It is new for me but so very rewarding. So much wish I could be where you are surrounded with Yoga experts. I have none over here. I noticed you have 10 years of intense Yoga experience and can imagine how frustrating it must be to get your body and mind to be in sync again. Sort of happens to me in that when I go into those intense binges I totall loose touch with my body. I have been good at maintaining for almost four years and then kaboom something bad happened and initially I fought back but on a sliding slippery slope and then since last June have not been exercising. So when I started again TWO weeks ago, like you too, the mind knows where the body has to go but the body is resisting.

But am totally envirous of the yoga and will most definitely be watching progress. I can relate to feeling better in my body, even in two weeks. But ankles still sore and body stiff, so hope that will go away, or on my next visit to civilization probably need to have all of it carefully checked out.

Good luck with your goals.

Vickie said...

I read your post - then went with oldest to throw papers and then came back to read the rest of my daily blogs and last - post my daily thoughts/essay. I was thinking about your starting over the whole time. I can imagine a little - 3 months worth of imagine. I was off everything for 3 months with sinus surgery - that first week back was REALLY hard - more mentally than physically. I still have things that I swear I was able to do before - that I struggle with now - mostly in pilates - I swear that i used to be able to lift my shoulder blades well off the floor - and now - stronger, fitter, much thinner - I cannot. things will come back. But probably they will not come back the same. Some things will be better. Others will be different - you might think of them as worse - but you can choose to think of them as just different.

Lori said...

Helen, I heard it takes some athletes the same amount of days to return to their previous condition as the amount of time they took off. Now, I don't think it would necessarily apply to yoga but give yourself a break. You're still showing up, taking extra classes and doing well. And everyone gets hungry from time to time unexpectedly and so a 100-calorie popcorn bag is an excellent choice of snack. You're doing great, ma'am!