Cause/Effect 5/20/13 (weird and wonderful)

I woke up still determined to have a good week, and still pretty adamant to hate all food. It was definitely a cup kind of morning. I mixed up chocolate almond milk, avocado, banana, raspberries, spinach and kale in the Ninja (It came out super thick like bright green ice cream!) poured it into my cup and got to work a half hour early!

I was sitting at my desk, feet in my chair, with my legs folded up so my thighs were against my chest, holding The Cup between my knees and drinking from the straw while working. I was having major issues getting the job done. My mind was like “too much avocado. This is disgusting. Too much fat. Doesn’t this taste just like eating a slimy stick of butter? You are so gross. Stop drinking this horrible fat.” And I fought back like a mini gladiator “it’s only HALF of an avocado! It’s healthy fat. I agreed to try! She promised, the goal was *healthy* NOT *fat*! She didn’t even ask me to gain! Just not lose! This is ok!”

Back and forth we went, until I decided to have a look and see how much was left…

Imagine my shock when I looked down and my PINK freezer gel cup was suddenly GREEN!!!! Yep, it cracked on the inside, filling my straw with neon pink freezer chemical crap and the outside with neon green smoothie!

Wanna guess how much freaking out ensued? I don’t eat chemicals! Even the stuff that’s supposed to be eatable, like those scary ice cream dot balls thingies. EW! And, let’s real here. I count calories. OBSESSIVELY. How on Earth does one calculate the caloric content of hot pink goo!??? Of course, everyone I asked, just thought I was either hilarious or ridiculous… Listen, I was totally serious, people and seriously freaking out. Next time, someone please just lie to me. Make up a number or something.

As an afterthought, I kind of wondered if it was toxic, so I googled the company… I’m not gonna die of freezer gel consumption.

The boy who sits beside me was like “what’s wrong with you? Why do you look like you are about to have a heart attack?” So I told him, but omitted the part where I was more worried about the number of calories, than the toxicity of the gel. He looked confused and goes “it’s really not a big deal. I used to drink those things all the time in high school, and I’m ok.” (I didn’t ask).

I left shortly after to get adjusted. She asked if I’d done anything but practice for the past 10 days, because everything was tight and out. It took forevvvvvver to get everything all put back… Including the left hip. I was right about that one!

I left starving, Of course. The tinnitus was gone, and the overall dark cloud of I-feel-like-crap had lifted. Sometimes, I’m really sore after, but today I just felt relieved! I stopped at Publix for sushi on my way back to work at 11. When I finished, I immediately wanted to go to sleep, so that won’t be happening again.

Then I realized that I had created a bit of a dilemma for myself, because I was full and sleepy and still had to eat at 12. Trust me, saying “oh, I just had something at 11, we’ll just skip today.” Would inevitably lead to “accidentally” eating at 11 everyday. As it happens, I got caught up in a project and couldn’t get away until 1. I decided this was ok, since the objective is to eat during the day.

The avocado poppers I made last night were disgusting. I hated them. I couldn’t decide if it was better to eat them, because I’m supposed to, or stop, because the experience was quite the opposite of “positive”. I ate them. Then I ate grapes. Grapes make me happy.

My yoga was perfect tonight. Not like… *i* was perfect. But it was a perfect yoga experience. Perfect temp. Perfect energy. Good yoga friends. I felt good physically. Mentally, I was focused and quiet. I wasn’t fidgety and had no problem doing every set. I think my floor bow is about to experience some kind of massive revolution. I’ve been getting lots of comments on it from multiple teachers lately. As usual, the flexibility is there, the strength is building, I just have to figure out how to tell my body what to do.

Something else, interesting happened tonight. I think, for the first time ever, I practiced face to face with myself in a way that was extremely UNdysmorphic. I am tiny. Everyone’s ribs stick out for standing deep breathing, because of the movement. My ribs just stick out. My intercostals visibly ripple with every breath, even from the second row, I could watch my pulse against my wrist in the mirror. I have gained tons if weight. I am normal. And still little. I’m not fat at all. Any soft places that usually freak me out… That’s there protecting my bones and my organs and stuff. I’m really ok.

Anyway. I’m not sure if it was the pink gel, or getting adjusted, or powering through the horrible avocado snack like a beast. But my yoga was awesome.

Let’s to it again tomorrow!

Except, maybe no freezer gel. GROSS!

Girls who make poor choices….

… Don’t get to practice yoga.

Today was a hard day.

I had a lot of fun at Zentangle last night, don’t get me wrong, but I had to work realllllly hard for it. I had to actively focus on staying present and remind myself to experience the moment. MV was extremely loud.

At 3 o’clock this morning, I woke up in a complete panic. I write pretty much anything here, but this time, let’s just say that, what happened next was EXTRAORDINARILY disordered. I only got about 2 hours of sleep all night.

I was frozen, and distracted all day at work. I had a cup of green tea in the morning, never once picked up my water bottle, and ate nothing all day.

I felt completely out of control. MV had on her boxing gloves and was beating the crap out of me… But Super Cuz had hers on too, and she was all queued up for a good fight.

SC: When do you see Dr. J again?
Me: who?
SC: Dr. J! When do you go back to see her?
Me: *trying hard to figure out if I know this Dr. J… FINALLY! I get there!* tomorrow

Later, SC sends me this gem
Stop it! Fuck off MV!!!!!

I didn’t practice.

Instead:
* played with Avery
* figured out how to use the laundry card
* went to Wal-Mart to get some oil for my car and pick up a few things

We were bacteria at horrible and traumatic as far as food shopping goes.

A nice man in the parking lot helped me add the oil to my car.

When I got home, I hung on the inversion table. Then used my newly obtained tools to put my newly learned skills into action
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It hit me tonight! Drawing like that… It restores order.

When I draw lines, I feel the same kind of relief and contentment that I get from sorting my food.

I survived today

Last night, I promised my yoga friends that I’d wake up and take the 8am with them today. I am sooooooo not a morning person, and I HATE practicing in the morning. One of the teachers who usually stays at the other studio was scheduled for both classes today, and I REALLY wanted to take her class. I genuinely like every single teacher at this studio, and before every class, you can guarantee I’m telling someone “oh! We are going to have a great night because this person or that person is teaching! He or she is definitely my favorite!”

I set a bunch of alarms. Got up. Got dressed. Took care of the dogs.

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Gabriel

Gabriel, the Great White Dork, decided to have a melt down. He hates weekends. I got him all sorted out and ran out the door just in time. I live wayyyy out in the sticks and have to drive through the swamp to get to the studio. Naturally, I got stuck behind someone unfamiliar with swamp trekking and probably could have covered the distance faster on a PoGo stick. I pulled up at 8:03, and the door was already locked.

I was scheduled to baby-sit for the 10am and waited. If there were no kids, I’d still get to take that teacher’s class. No kids came, but she talked JC into teaching so she could practice. I was upset, sore, the room was cold, my body and brain forgot how to communicate with each other. There were first timers in the room, and he still managed to say my name no less than 700 times. Seriously, I’m not even exaggerating, one of the girls even asked me about it in the locker room after class. She was like “we were all there, struggling through triangle and he decides to pause and correct your pinky fingers! What up with that!?” I’m sure my practice looked like half-ass crap, but that’s honestly just where I was today. It happens. I stayed in the room and didn’t die.

I survived.

Lunch was traumatic. For no apparent reason, it was all stuff I packed, have no issues eating and I was alone in my car. It should have been an EASY meal! I managed to cry through the whole thing and for a good hour after I’d finished.

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I’ve been having a really hard time with this lately- my body is freed from the disorder that continues to rule my mind.

While I cried, I drove wayyyyyyy out to my boss’s church where I’d committed to volunteering at her “community outreach event” for the afternoon… Well, apparently, “community outreach events” involve providing showers, clothes, medical services, massage, chiropractic, foot bath, hair cuts, lunch and a variety of other services to the community’s homeless and anyone else in need.

I signed in as a VOLUNTEER, was clearly tagged as a VOLUNTEER and was promptly directed towards the dining room for my first task- figures I’d get sent to the food. Even though I was there to work, every single event organizer and many of the volunteers I passed all day tried to feed me. They weren’t like that with everyone else. Only me.

Extremely confusing for the girl who had just spent an hour crying about looking normal.

When it came time to breakdown, after the event, no one would let me carry the tables. They were lightweight plastic folding tables, that I am plenty strong enough to manage. But every time I picked one up, someone would say “look at the little girl carrying the table all by herself!” Then the men would come RUNNING to me to take the table.

So, I gave up and left.

I cried some more in my car. Today I met people, including little kids, who were starving, but not by choice. When I walked into the dining area, I was overcome with terror, surrounded by so much food and broken RULES. When I watched the community members walk into the same dining area, they too were overcome… With gratitude, relief, surrounded by so much food and security.

It made me feel like a selfish brat and that if people are going to starve to death, it should be the ones with anorexia and not the little children or those who so appreciate the opportunity for a meal.

It’s Saturday. Which means figure out what to eat for the week and go shopping. I held the lessons from the community close, as I braved the grocery store. And vowed to keep the freaking out to a minimum.

It took F O R E V E R, but wasn’t nearly as hard as last week.

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I got all of my 11am citrus and my waking up almonds for Gebi’s solar eating plan, Macadamia nuts to butterize, supplies for more/different-ish soup, and decided to make myself a clearly defined challenge, Leigh style.

Every week I am going to
– Pick 1 food to try touching, cutting, peeling, etc.
– Pick 1 random vegetable that I’ve never experienced, then google something to do with it.
– Pick 1 random fruit that I’ve never experienced to try.

Today I picked
– Cauliflower for touching
– Rutabaga for Googling
– Cactus Pear for trying

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I thought cauliflower would be a good food to practice touching. It’s still pretty new for me, I tried it for the first time about a year and a half ago. It’s something I can tolerate, but don’t exactly love. I know it plays a major role in Sneaky Chef type cooking, roasted, can be fixed like mashed potatoes or rice… It just seemed like a good, versatile, starting point.

Plus, I would need it in order to try this

Now, The Girl in the Orange, seems to be a teen who whipped these up for breakfast the morning of Pi Day, before hittin’ the books hard core at nerd school.

So, I figure, *I* too am the product of a nerd school, AND I am a grown-up, AND I do yoga, all of which makes me highly qualified to simply bust these babies out for dinner.

Um. Well. Here’s how it went down…

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First, we learn that Teenie really freaking hates the feel of cauliflower. Here you can see me shaking my hand out in disgust, screaming, crying, gagging, jumping up and down and hyperventilating also accompanied the hand shaking. I managed to convince myself that if I barfed in the kitchen right then, I’d still have to at least clean up the cauliflower, as well as any additional mess that I made. So I plowed through, kept the innards inside, and got the job done.

I made pancakes.

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Just kidding! I couldn’t figure out how to flip them over… Don’t laugh, this is all verrrrrrrry new for me. I’m trying!

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So, I made scrambled pancakes, like some folks make scrambled eggs.

But, then I decided that NO ONE eats scrambled pancakes, and I had probably just broken some cardinal pancake rule, and would spend the rest of eternity banned from pancake making. This made me sad.

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So, I tried to fix it, by pressing the scramble bits back together and smooshing with the spatula.

It didn’t really work.

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the finished product looked something like this
It was pretty good. But I was still kind if freaked out from the cauliflower and couldn’t eat it. So I saved it in the fridge for later.

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I made a humongous mess.

Kate-isms

Tonight was perfect.

I agonized over the decision ALL day. Um, yeah, I am fully aware that it’s JUST yoga and choosing a class should not be difficult… Anorexia is a peach (ohhhh, the irony).

Anyway, 4 classes, 4 teachers, 2 studios, critters to care for, dead-set on doubles, and Burrito Works closes at 8, resulted on about 2565326 possibilities.

In the end, I opted to forego the burrito and the doubles in favor of being a good mutt mommy, and avoiding the tourist district.

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minor hang up en route to class

I wanted to get there early to have time to warm up and sort out my shoulder. I was early enough that I had to park far away because the previous class was still changing and whatnot. But!
– I got to the door, realized I forgot my water in the car and went back for it.
– I got to the locker room, realized I’d left my shorts in the “clean yoga clothes” basket in my car, and went back for them
– I changed, but my clothes felt funny, checked the mirror, realized I’d put my clothes on perfectly backwards, and redressed myself properly
– I went to set up my stuff, realized my mat was still in the car, and went back for it
– I started warming up, realized I definitely was not wearing enough deodorant, but I had some in the car, and went back for it
– I asked the girl beside me who was teaching, only to realize, I would have known, had I signed in, and went back out to sign in!

Kate was teaching… Which is ALWAYS, well… It’s always an experience! She can be hilarious. She can say things that would likely make Bikram himself blush. She can be sweet, tough, intense, aloof, intimidating, and almost never teaches up at the new studio. Oh, and Kate likes it HOT!!! I was ecstatic to know I would get double class exhaustion, in single class time.

In standing bow, she asked me where my head was… I was relieved to know I wasn’t the only one looking for it.

Between sets, she explained that standing bow is special, because the body is calm while in the posture, and experiences cardio feelings upon coming out. This is a good thing and happens specifically to clear the French fries from the cardiovascular system. Then she looked directly at me and said, “So, just eat the French fries, alright? Eat the French fries, and enjoy them, then do yoga. Just do more yoga than French fries, and some of us do A LOT of yoga.” AND! She winked at me, like she new about my little French fry experiment a few months ago.

**Kate, if you are lurking my blog… Comment, or say something in the studio! I won’t be upset.

In rabbit, she called me out… big time! with “Dude! what is *that*!? Sometimes, too good, is no good. That rabbit was too good. It sucked!” Which lead to a loooooong break between sets while she discussed “Too good, is no good”.

Meanwhile, I mulled over what had just happened. Did any of you catch it??? It’s pretty freaking profound! Hellooooo!??? I’m ANOREXIC! I take perfectionism to a whole new level! I obsess endlessly about being good enough! I leave work to buy new clothes when a co-worker jokingly says “nice flight suit” about my new outfit. I quit the dive team because the coach told me to lead with my left foot instead of my right, which I interpreted as “you are a complete failure and I hate you.”

Kate called me out in front of other people! She told me that I was what I was doing was “no good”…. And I LAUGHED! I even welcomed it! In the 2nd set, she physically adjusted me… Which gloriously popped my shoulder back into place. It altered my entire perception of rabbit, while adding strength, depth and understanding to my practice.

The Hot Room is my sanctuary. In there, I am protected from the tyrant in my mind. But, it’s just matter, just four walls in space… Irrelevant. The sanctuary already exists within me. Through this yoga, I am learning to be my own keeper of the keys to internal peace.

What if I had just switched feet all those years ago?

“Sometimes too good, is no good.”
How perfectly does this define anorexia?

Tonight, “no good” did not equate to “no hope” it was an invitation to tap into my own strength, when my own wasn’t sufficient, it was a reminder to accept the strength that Kate so willingly shared. Tonight, “no good” was perfect.

I am on the brink of something amazing, I can already feel it.

Getting there

Today was better.

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Everything just kind of worked, and it was easy.

I’m really sore though… Kind of. My right leg hurts… Kind of. It’s hard to explain. I feel fine outside of the hot room. I feel fine in standing head to knee. But I can’t do standing bow at all on the 2nd side. As soon as I bring my body down it all goes to hell. I backed out, and checked, my knee is locked properly. I went back in slower, attempted to breathe through the sensation and find the other side. Nope. It’s real pain. That continues for firs set stick, separate leg head to floor, separate leg head to knee, tree and toe stand…. So much that I actually used my hands getting into toe on that side, which I haven’t done in years.

I was TIRED for the floor series. My sit-ups were crappy. I had to bend my knees to get my feet. Just setting up the first side of stretching made me gasp and want to cry. I didn’t even try the last part.

I don’t know what I did, or why that leg hurts so much, but it’s screaming for a recovery day (my shoulders are too). I am taking tomorrow off.

Yoga Asana National Championships Part Two: The Yoga

I had the most amazing time EVER!!!!
One of my cousins is a yoga teacher (not Bikram), and the other has been doing Bikram nearly as long as I have. We can’t figure out how it NEVER came up in the past 15 years. But, anyway, the three of us have a shared love of yoga (and dogs). It was sooo cool to get to share the experience with them.

When we walked into the Hudson Theater on Saturday, we immediately ran into these guys

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Paul and Osiris Garcia- if they didn’t livestream the breaks, the home viewers missed some absolutely adorable posture demos on the stage from this little guy.

Paul jumped up and gave me a HUGE hug, then loaded all of us up with yoga stickers!

We went inside and watched the men compete. Since we’d just arrived, we tried sitting on the floor level, but the view was not stellar, and none of my pictures came out. Even though my photos sucked, Chris did not. His performance was AWESOME!!!

On the break we went back to checkout the vendor room, ran into more people from my studio, got tons more hugs, taught my cousin about “coozies” and hooked her up with some yoga ones to take home.

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After the break, we discovered the balcony and settled in up there to watch the women. We had a great time getting to know Sarah from Navada’s dad and coach in between competitors. We watched Andrea compete.

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She was absolutely radiant, with a smile that touched everyone in the room.

We had to leave before watching Sarah from Navada though.

My 76 year old Great Aunt Sara came to meet us for dinner. She is an Israeli redhead with LOADS of personality. Time spent with her is guaranteed to be entertaining.

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Cousin Robyn and Aunt Sara cracking up.

While we were out, the semi-finals results posted, Chris and Andrea BOTH placed 8th and would be competing in Sunday’s finals round.

Sunday morning, we woke up really early, to take class together in New Jersey. It was a reallllly different Bikram experience for me. Sharing practice with my cousins was such a treat! I am so lucky to share DNA with these awesome, positive ladies who also share my passion.

After class, we enjoyed some stress-free burritos at the house before heading back for MORE yoga!

When we walked in, two of the girls from home who I hadn’t seen the day before were at the vendor table. One of them got really excited and yelled “hey! You guys! She’s here!!!!” We talked for a little bit about taking class away from home, and how different can lead to growth. We both agreed, that while our vacation practices may have been what some would call uncomfortable, we were appreciative of the experience.

We got confused, and ended up completely missing the kids competition…. But ran smack into Avery and her family in the balcony. I got tons more hugs from them. Avery was beaming from ear to ear, her excitement was tangible. I was so thrilled that she had a good experience on stage.

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Avery and me, watching the men.

We watched Chris!

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(I’m not sure how I missed 3 of his postures)

We watched last years defending champion

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And my cousins decided that they loved Chris, because he looks like a man’s man, with a DUDE body, muscles, not emaciated, or ballerina-esque in any way. He is an excellent ambassador for MEN’s yoga!

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When on stage in a speedo… Be sure to flaunt your macho.

When the men finished we were treated to this splendid demo from former champions

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They sure set the bar high!!!
This went on forever and was hilarious.

Then we watched the girls

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Former champion Afton Carraway, who happens to be from my home town.

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Andrea has a knack for lighting up a room.

(Both Afton and Andrea ran over on time)

Once the girls finished, the champions managed to get their acts together and treated us to some fantastic demos.

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We missed the awards, because I had to catch my flight home.

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Chris and Andrea both placed 7th overall and Avery came in 4th!!! It was sooooo cool to support them and be a part of the experience!!

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Oh yeah, and that. No big deal, right? 😉