3 Days More
I have 3 days left of my 30 day challenges. Like hitting the wall while running a long race, I am have fallen headfirst into the trap of thinking about the finish line. My dreams look a lot like this:
Besides eating ALL THE ITALIAN FOOD, my celebration plans definitely include a delicious, toasty bagel slathered with cream cheese and some cookies and cream ice cream. Not all on the same day- I don’t think my new super-clean insides could probably handle it.
My biggest takeaway from this challenge has been to redefine the word “treat.” A treat is not something you give yourself every day- that’s called a “staple” of your diet. A really delicious treat, like a bowl of pasta or a dish of ice cream (or maybe a giant cone of French fries from Pommes Frites...daydreaming again!) is best appreciated when enjoyed infrequently.
I like the way I feel a lot on the sugar-free, gluten-free plan. I’m considering maintaining this kind of a diet inside my home, where I cook and eat most of my food, and letting the treats be for special occasions out with friends. I don’t go to sleep with food guilt, and I don’t wake up with a food hangover. I haven’t been the most creative cook in the last few weeks, but I have come up with a few new dishes- and discovered the wonder of both olives and avocados in helping me feel healthfully sated.
The 30 day yoga challenge is still the harder of the two.
Most days in class, I feel like this:
Due to a lack of consistency on my part, I’ve had to do a spectacular amount of double days in order to finish the challenge. My body is exhausted. It’s suddenly hard to keep my arms over my head again in half moon. My hamstrings are ready to give out each time I start the balancing series. My most striking setback has been my mind. Instead of being focused on the class and on my body in the mirror, I am thinking about ANYTHING else. Making grocery lists, having imaginary fights with friends, writing my next blog post…oops. I feel distracted and disoriented, and the minutes tick by more and more slowly each time. I am a grumpy yogi. Grr.
What I have to remember is that a 30 day challenge isn’t about doing all of your classes with a smile on your face. It’s about going to class, period. Too tired? Too cranky? Too busy? I’ve got to figure it out anyway. So maybe I will have learned more about myself being resistant to this challenge than if I had woken up each morning of these past 28 days delighted at the thought of getting to practice. To be honest, that’s how I feel most of the time. But there is some comfort in knowing that even if I have a bad attitude, I still at least have a little fortitude to see me through.
And then there are our students. Whole walls of people who also undertook this 30 day challenge, and completed it. Their polaroids show glowing, exhausted, triumphant faces; their testimonials ranging from beautiful quotes to “I won yoga.” They have done 30 classes, 60 classes, 108 classes in a row. Looking through their pictures, I thought “Who’s really teaching who here?”
3 days. It’s not so bad.
*photos courtesy of Patrick Smith, tasteofhome.com and daringgourmet.com