Thursday, April 10, 2014

Pushing Through Hard Stuff

This week has been rough.  I've fallen off the clean eating wagon a few more times than I'd like to admit.

Two weekends ago, my sister and I took our grandmother to Hot Springs for my birthday weekend.  We took three senior citizens plus our special-needs adult cousin to the horse races.  My patience ran thin.  I acted bratty.  I have so little patience for people who are obviously full of shit, even if I know that deep-down they're good people or I'm related to them by marriage.  Oh well.  It's not my place to inform others when they're full of shit.  It's my place to recognize it, adjust my reactions appropriately, and be grateful that most of the people in my life are legit, smart, quality folks.  I insist upon it.

My eating habits need to be reined in more.  My wonderful co-worker offers me mint Oreos or Andes mints every afternoon; she might as well be offering me heroin.  I am weakest in the afternoons after hours staring at a computer screen and deflecting every request that comes my way.

This phase is all mental.  I am fighting mental demons

This week I'm redoing the Couch to 5K Week One.  It took me nearly a month to complete Weeks One and Two.  HOWEVER, the fantastic new hot yoga studio in town, Trailside Yoga, was offering a too-good-to-be-true offer of 90 days for $90.  So I can go as often as I want.  I did three classes in two days last week.  I've been twice this week.  My goal is to get up to 4-5 classes per week.  The teachers are positive and energetic and exactly what I need when I leave work for the day.

Here's the deal - I've been "doing" yoga for about ten years now.  I've periodically attended classes and have a pathetic half-assed home practice.  I know that my balance is stronger than my flexibility, which has helped my confidence in yoga.  So I can't bend forward at the waist and touch the floor with my face in the wide-angle seated stretch (upavistha konasana), but I can manage a few seconds of crow pose (bakasana) before I topple over and can hang out in tree pose (vrksasana) for what feels like forever.  What I love about yoga is what it teaches me about my own body and its strengths and limitations.  I know that I need hip-openers and flexibility exercises because those kill me the most.  I love that these teachers always include an inversion because inversions challenge the hell out of me and are so necessary with how I spend 8-10 hrs per day, sitting in a chair staring at a glowing screen.  Because I have made these hot yoga classes a priority I am starting to see incremental improvements!  Each class I am pleased to discover that I can hold a pose longer without dying inside or having to drop my arms or hide out in child's pose (balasana) for a bit.

The scariest pose of all for me is a headstand.  I'm scared because I've had chronic neck and back pain and I'm afraid of hurting myself.  I'm scared because it's SO dramatic and challenging.  I'm scared because I think I'm too heavy.  But, with the help of instructors, I've gotten into a headstand twice now.  Pushing through the mental blocks and fear is what yoga does for me and why it's my favorite form of therapy/exercise/relaxation.  I sweat SO MUCH in these classes.  It drips down on to my mat and off my arms and I immediately go home and peel the wet clothes off me and throw them in the washer.  Mentally I picture toxins leaving my body along with the fear and constant inner dialogue of "you could never do this; you are too fat; you are too old; you will never change."

In other change news - I got glasses.  My eyes are all kinds of F'ed up with nerve damage in my left eye which has made my right eye way overcompensate and I frequently go cross-eyed and tend to squint with my left eye more and look ridiculous and weird in pictures, which means I frequently look weird and ridiculous in real life.  Maybe these will help.  I mean, I will always BE weird and ridiculous but don't always want to LOOK weird and ridiculous.  You know what I mean.  I hope these help.


Liz said...

I am TERRIFIED of headstands (inversions too!), and it will be a long while before I attempt one, so I am super impressed! Way to go and push past the fear!

Also, I like the glasses!!

Anonymous said...

Those glasses look great on you and I feel like I had a hundred other things to say to you on all the great changes you're making.

Late afternoon is the worst time of day for me. There's an actual name for it, but of course I can't remember it at the moment.

Miss you, miss blogging! Not sure if I get notifications if you reply to this, so I'll just say BYE for now. :)

Alannah said...

Liz- thank you! This is also why classes are necessary for me. Aint no way I would ever attempt headstands during my home practice...but it's the "not wanting to disappoint other people, especially teachers" neurosis inside me that pushes me past that fear. I might break my neck, but at least the teacher might be impressed that I was trying!!

Michelle - I miss you, lady. We need some email exchanges/catchups

Carrie said...

Love your glasses....great picture!

AMY said...

I love the glasses -- they look fabulous. I think yoga is the best thing ever. I've been going to a Wed morning class -- I pretend I'm taking an early lunch. You rock and I love keeping in touch, at least via your blog!