Wide awake

I can’t sleep!

I don’t know why.

I worked out, but not too much. I ate, but it was healthy- spinach with veggies and tofurkey. I’m sore, but not in pain. The dog is even giving me enough space in the bed.

I run hard all day with the kids. Today we played at the park, I run up and down the stairs a thousand times an hour behind the toddler. When it got too hot, we played in the hose, chasing each other in endless circles around the backyard until we both collapsed in a sweaty heap to dry off in the sun before lunch.

I am exhausted. I should be sleeping like a baby. But I’m wide awake, staring at the ceiling.

Ah-Ha in the Hot Room

The past few weeks is the first time ever in my life that I have ever spent time specifically strength training. I’ve always done lots of cardio and LOTS of yoga.

I know, weird, right?

When I was very young and training at the Olympic level, I never lifted weights for fear it’d stunt my growth… The irony is, I never grew anyway.

Once it was clear I that I was destined to be a shorty forever, I never started because I never felt the need. I’m so active any way and inarguably fit that lifting weights in some smelly gym just seemed painfully boring. Especially when you could also build muscles doing fun things like swimming or Trikking.

Besides, I’m plenty strong. I can easily lift my own body weight (and more). Sailing requires a fairly substantial understanding of physics. I know all about using my body for the most effective leverage and force to move just about anything by myself.

Plus, doesn’t Bikram always say his yoga is all you need for a full-body workout. I was 12, I drank that Kool-aid.

Since I started making the time to actively strength train, I’ve seen a HUGE change in my practice.

This yoga may indeed be a full-body workout. Except when you start out so disproportionately flexible compared to strength, you continue to become both stronger AND more flexible through dedicated practice. I’m starting to think I was getting injured so much during class is because I simply didn’t have the strength to keep up with my flexibility. I could easily stretch out indefinitely, without any real counterforce, which lead to all the “popping out” of joints that I have always struggled with.

Nothing has popped out in the past two weeks, I’m not sacrificing flexibility for strength and feel so much more stable and controlled in nearly every posture. It’s so awesome!

I’ve still got a ways to go though. As of right now, I continue slamming my head into my shins on every sit-up. There’s always work to do, new ways to improve, but I feel like for the first time in a long time, I have the power to really propel my practice forward. It seems less stagnant or maxed out. I love getting in there every day just to see what’s changed again.

It’s wonderful!

Complete

I feel… Settled? Comfortable maybe? I’m not sure what the word is.

I’ve had issues with food pretty much since I started eating it. But once it had an official name, I felt confined, and defined by it, and afraid. Afraid of eating too much or too little or working out too much and not enough, afraid of my inability to make good choices independently.

The past two weeks I’ve solidified a job with another new family 3 afternoons a week. They are really great, 9 year old boy/girl twins.

My morning family lives in a CDD, so when I leave at noon I go use their fitness trail and take a short run, if it’s not too hot (running mid-day in Florida can be kinda dangerous when it’s 90 degrees in late October!). My second family lives less than 2 miles from the first. After my workout I change clothes, grab a green juice from Publix, and set up activities for the twins to supplement, enhance and help us get through homework time. Then pick them up.

From their house, I go to yoga, get home between 8:30 and 9, take care of Avery, shower, eat if I can stay upright long enough to fix something and go to bed.

I feel healthy, powerful, like it’s safe to just love the moment without worry. In the past week 4 or 5 people have said to me “you have so much energy!” “You are always so happy!” “You look fantastic!” Clearly, what I’m doing is working. I feel great, healthy, energized, strong.

I think maybe, I can finally relax, and just enjoy this good health that I’ve worked so hard to build.

The Yoga Teacher

I realized tonight that it’s been well over a year since that one class that permanently altered my practice without me even noticing.

I’m pretty sure I wrote about it here, but don’t have any idea how to go find it, or link it.

We had a visiting teacher from my hometown. In the moment, I thought I liked her a lot, and I’m pretty sure I even thought class that night was hilarious.

At the time, there was a couple, Mr. and Mrs. L. that practiced regularly together. They were a little bit older, and not in excellent shape, but very dedicated in their practice and extremely sweet. I loved seeing them every night. They were always positive and encouraging to everyone, even when class was hard. Mr. L was especially aware of his physical abilities and progress to be made, but he never gave anything but his best effort in every single class.

The visiting teacher singled out Mr. L that night. She started calling him “Boss” and corrected, admonished, teased and laughed at him R-E-L-E-N-T-L-E-S-S-L-Y for the entire 90 minutes. She had everyone else in the room laughing at him too.

She took a break from Mr. L long enough to “correct” my locust pose though. I was just starting to figure out how to get both legs off the ground. They weren’t perfectly straight, or all the way together, but I was getting the hang of using my arms to “base out” in my shoulders and could feel how the posture changed when I did that. I was super excited about the learning process and everything that was happening. Another teacher had encouraged me to not worry so much about the feet at first, to let the legs separate on the way up, then try working them back together.

When I came out of the first set grinning (of course), the visiting teacher laughed and laughed, she told me my posture was terrible, my legs were too far apart, too bent, that I had an ego problem for coming out of such an awful set so happy.

Apparently she missed out on the “yoga practice, not yoga perfect” and “1% right, 100% benefit” lectures during teacher training.

That was Mr. L’s last yoga class. He was so embarrassed that he refused to come back, even after that teacher was long gone. Eventually, Mrs. L stopped coming too. That class was the last time I attempted getting my legs up in locust too. If I think they even might be bending or separating a tiny bit I give up. Honestly, most of the time, I don’t even try at all. I just skip that posture.

I think of the L’s during locust every single class. The fact that a Bikram Yoga TEACHER destroyed Bikram Yoga for such a positive and inspiring student makes me so angry I want to cry. I wish she knew what she did to him, how much her “jokes” hurt him personally as well as our yoga community by scaring him away from us.

Elephant

The elephant in the corner is a HORRIBLE metaphor for any eating disorder. But for my baby sister, it’s also an absolute truth.

We were 14 when she was born. She has watched us every day for the past 15 years. No one ever looked at her and said “Hey, Baby Sister, the Yoga Dorks have anorexia.” But I’m pretty sure she knows.

One of her friends died this week. She’s not the best reporter, but from the photos she’s sent and what she has told me, I suspect her Yoga Dorks and her young friend all have something in common. She asked me about dinner last night, and about breakfast this morning. I offered to drive the three hours down to go see her after work today, but she told me to stay up here.

She’s mad at me.

I love her, and want to be supportive, but she’s mad at me for something that is 100% not my fault.

All of her classmates were wearing pink today, so I wore pink too, and sent her a picture. This afternoon, I did the only think I could do. I wrote both of their names on my feet and hit the hot room. I sent her a picture of my feet standing on my pink towel.

I haven’t been to yoga in 2 weeks. I’ve been so so so tired. Most days I bring clothes, but decide to go home instead. I keep thinking
Maybe if I eat more, or get some more sleep, I won’t feel so depleted.
I keep doing that. And just keep feeling worse (and gaining weight). Clearly it’s not working.

Tonight, I went to yoga for Baby Sister, but I practiced for me. I feel so good! I’m still exhausted, but it’s that post yoga my-body-does-amazing-things-for-me-and-I-can-do-anything blissful kind of exhaustion that is so invigorating. I’m also no longer craving carbs and fats and sugar excessively, because this yoga forces you to listen when your body asks for what it needs… Which tonight, is a BREAK!

Medal

I ate dinner.

Tonight, I deserve a medal for that.

I’m tired. I have lots of work, which is amazing. But I went non-stop all weekend, so I started this week drained instead of recharged.

I’m so very tired!

Sneaky

It’s not my fault.
The MV made me do it.

I didn’t eat today.

Or yesterday.

Whoops.

I didn’t tell on myself either.

Uh-oh! Sneaky and restricting.

I just couldn’t do it. I tried. I even packed a lunch and everything. I just couldn’t do it.

The other volunteers ate at the booth. But I just couldn’t. I hate eating with people I know. I hate eating in strange places. I can’t eat with strangers. The thought of taking a great big bite of my lunch, as some stranger walks up to ask a question. Paralyzing.

Not even open for negotiation. It’s NOT happening. I can’t do that. It’s gross.

People kept coming and coming and coming. I was trying so hard to stick to the plan, but it stressed me out too much.

So I gave myself permission to let it go, just relax, enjoy the day, and not eat.

It was awesome.