I think there is a misconception about me floating around that I am SUPER Healthy 100% of the time and an exercise fanatic. This is pretty funny because when asked what size cake I want I always say “Big”. I really do try my best a lot of the time. But my favorite food is still a good cheeseburger (not the fast-food variety anymore). I will skip exercise for several days at a time while I slowly get addicted to chocolate chip cookies for lunch. And when I begin to back slide I don’t care so much while it’s happening. So of course I had zero qualms during the Thanksgiving holiday of doing just that. I don’t like to be restrictive when I am relaxing and celebrating with family or friends so planned to happily eat and drink what was served. I had a great time! No schedule, no green drinks, no rules.
But when we came home Sunday I wanted to clean up a bit. I had gone a little overboard and was feeling lethargic, unmotivated and not ready for the upcoming week. At this point I know how to pull myself out of a health rut so I reached in to my arsenal of healthy habits and chose the ones that would help me the most. They involved selecting salads for meals, drinking lots of water, going to bed early, waking up early and of course, going to yoga. The first yoga class I planned to attend was on Monday night at my favorite Hot Yoga studio. A hot room the day after Thanksgiving weekend at 6 pm, a VERY popular time of day when yoga classes across the triangle are packed in tight. “Don’t push yourself too hard,” our instructor warned the full room. “It does get hot in here especially with so many of us. And,” she said knowingly, “a lot of you are probably taking your first class after the holiday. So go slow.” Ugh. Noted.
Class began and I started to move. Then I started to sweat. Then I started to shrivel like a leaf under a jar. My arms tingled, my stomach turned. I felt every drop of wine I drank, every beer I downed, every chocolate treat I chewed and every third helping move through my body. I took a short break and when I started up again I began to feel pissed off. Pissed off that I felt gross, that it was so hot, that I was sweating so much, that I didn’t get an extra towel to wipe my face. Pissed off that I couldn’t do any of the fun moves she suggested that I would normally do but couldn’t pull off that night. I took another break. Joined back in. Break. Join. Break. And when I joined the last time, I finally started to smile. I started to enjoy the class. I was sweating and loving it, I was laughing when the teacher made jokes and when the class was over I felt well, joyous! I drove home completely drenched in my sweat and exclaimed to the person who wasn’t with me, “That was so awesome, I’m so glad I went!” I was so happy to see yet again, why I love practicing living a healthy life. It feels awesome to make my health important and to notice the difference that my choices make in how I feel. Every choice I make, matters. By choosing to make a plan for the week, to go to yoga, to keep joining back in with the class that I was committing to myself. Yes I was pissed off during part of the class but isn’t that part of the dance? You constantly fight what you know is best for you. You continually choose to sit out and then join back in. And when you join back in you have to choose if you are going to burn through resistance or cave to it. You choose despite any doubts and insecurities to arrive back to where you remember who you are and why your choices matter.
Every time I get off the health wagon and then climb back on I am reaffirmed of how the small choices along with the big choices add up and have big impacts. So I am committing to feeling good this month. I am choosing each day to take care of myself because I realized yet again that my choices matter. That I can choose to make a change when I need to and keep going to burn through any resistances I have. I can arrive back to where I remember how to take care of myself and why it matters to me. So yes, I may not always be the healthiest version of myself. But I can always make a choice to indulge the healthiest version of myself and do the work and make the decisions that I know are better for me. And guess what? So can you!
p.s. So, my family wanted a yoga class on Thanksgiving morning. I didn’t do any with them since I was working with them but it still warmed my heart!