Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Day 39: Running to Stand Still

A couple of months ago I blogged about my personal challenges with my weight. I was all set to get back on track, and felt like this time it was not another false start. What has ensued since then has been a bloody, sweaty world class wrestling match. Me vs. myself. In the ring, circling each other. The part of me that wants so badly and the other part hell bent on self sabotage for God knows what reason. Five pounds down. Seven pounds up. Three pounds down. Four pounds up. On and on this has gone until suddenly, as of last week, I lay there, bruised, bloody, broken, defeated and back to where I started last June. Last June I decided to lose 20 pounds for my 20 year reunion. That, coupled with falling head over kilter in love was a huge motivation. Big enough motivation to knock out self sabotage for the count. I succeeded in my goal for the reunion. One year later, 19 of it is back. I woke up today, got onto the scale and just cried. Tired of the epic battle, I sucked it up and went to work with my cheerful face glued in place, all the while feeling an absolute load of sadness, heavier than my 19 extra pounds around my neck (well, actually it's on the hips and backside) like an albatross.
I walked into 530 yoga, pleased to see Frank was teaching. Changing for yoga I tried to avoid looking in the mirrors. Ducking my head as I washed my hands, trying not to look at my shame. In the lobby I regaled Reggi with tales of Andy's shirt on backwards after his tough Roberta class Sunday. Happy face glued back in place.
Finally it was time to go into the room. The class was pretty busy and I had Reggi and Mark near me, with regulars Ray and Amanda behind us. Andy was on the other side of the room, in his back corner, ready to go. I kneeled on my mat wearily, feeling like the extra weight was literally not going to allow me to do yoga. I looked at my own two (sad) eyes in the mirror and something said "I've got this". I stood up and my physical body lay my sadness down on the mat, a sacrifice. First breathing I could feel the energy of Frank and all of the yogis coursing through the room like a living breathing thing. I connected with it, detached from my mind and just did my yoga. I was not afraid in the backbends. "Hi middle of the back wall!" (first set). "Hi bottom of the back wall, and Mr. Floor!" (second set). The stiffness of the day before was gone. I was flexible, strong, able. I watched in wonder as I kicked out both sets of standing head to knee, coming out in reverse, gracefully like you are supposed to on the "change". I watched myself stay in standing bow, solid, surfing my breath. When I did fall out, I got right back in, solid again. I heard Frank say "Nice Mich" and stood silently between postures, conserving energy, listening, waiting, flowing into the next posture. My mind eventually came back to my dilemma, during 2 min savasana. I thought about how ashamed I felt to be right back where I started, what must others think, watching me expand and shrink and expand? How strange must that look? Does that even matter? Really the person it bothers is me. My moods are attached to that weight like some crazy balloon that fills up and goes so high and can be poked with a pin and deflate moments later. Seems like such a simple fix if only you had self discipline. You must not have any of that. Silence, then another thought....really, if you didn't have self discipline, would you be in this room, doing your fourth challenge in two and a half years? More silence. Floor series starts and I detach again, dive into my breath. The room temperature was perfect and I felt like I could do another class if I didn't have to go pick up my daughter. I lay in final savasana, energy still pulsing through my body, drenched in clear non salty sweat, a shower from the inside out. I wondered if maybe part of my struggle, part of the epic battle is being attached to results. I go to yoga everyday unattached to the outcome. It might be a terrible class. I might collapse in agony, cramp up, not be able to complete every posture. But it doesn't matter. I keep going because......because there is beauty in the doing. Perhaps if I could learn, for the first time in my life to not be attached to results, perhaps then I could figure this stuff out. Maybe, just maybe I can someday help others. Which is why I put these very difficult feelings out there. Maybe somebody can relate and be encouraged that I for one won't give up until I stop breathing. Meanwhile I'm really damn happy that big girls can do beautiful yoga too.....


  1. A wonderfully honest and heartfelt post, Michelle.

    And you bring up a good point---can a person lose weight without being tied to results? Because, ultimately, ususally you have a "goal" in mind with weight loss: 10 pounds, 50 pounds, 100 pounds. And reaching that goal exemplifies the results of your efforts. The two are tightly bound indeed.

    That's not to say they can't be separated, though. Maybe channel the forgiveness and fortitude you feel through yoga into your weight loss? You don't beat yourself up after a "bad" yoga class. So, don't beat yourself up after gaining a pound or two. It's all part of the journey, no?

  2. What she said...

    I always remember a hallway chat I had with a woman on Thanksgiving last year. She said that she'd been up and down with her weight for her whole life, despite practicing Bikram's all the time, until a yoga teacher told her to just relax and forgive. The weight melted off as soon as she did that. Very powerful.

    Let go, let go, let go....

  3. J and Hannah~ Thank you for the comments. I feel relieved today, like a giant burden has been lifted. I sidestepped the scale this morning and stepped into my day, ready to go and be. Can't wait for yoga tonight, sore muscles and all!

  4. Awesome. :)

    Personally, I say DITCH the fucking scale. Used to weight myself every morning. Haven't owned a scale in over a year now and I LOVE IT! I don't know and I don't care. I totally get that it is important for measurements/progress checks sometimes, but you've got your clothes and the mirrors for that.