30 Day Challenges Update!
Today marks Day 15 of my two 30 Day Challenges: the 30 day hot yoga challenge, and the 30 day sugar-free/gluten-free/make the rest up as I go along food challenge.
30 Days Hot Yoga: It was going pretty well, but today I had jury duty, tomorrow I have jury duty, and if I get on the trial I will have jury duty for at least 2 more weeks. This challenge is quickly getting derailed by my civic duty!
Up until this point, the challenge had been going fairly well, but I have not been as consistent as I thought I would be about getting to class every single day. This means a lot of doubles, which are a super wipeout, but also a unique experience unto themselves. Last week I did four classes in two days. In my fifth class the following day, my body started talking back. The message? A loud, clear “No thank you.” I wasn’t dizzy, I wasn’t sick, I wasn’t even overwhelmed. I would get into a pose and my muscles would resolutely refuse to cooperate, leaving me no option but to lie down on the floor. It was actually kind of a funny experience to be benched by muscles. Usually I think of flesh as willing but spirit weak, but there was also a satisfaction in knowing I had pushed my body to that edge, and perhaps a little bit beyond.
30 Days Sugar-Free/Gluten-Free: This is actually proving to be the easier of the two challenges, provided I am cooking my own meals. There are so many yummy things that are still within the rules, and if I’m not around sweets, I don’t really crave them. French fries and baguettes I do crave, but so far I have resisted. It is definitely more difficult when eating out, particularly with not being able to account for all the ingredients in my meal. I have probably had added sugar once or twice, in the soy milk in my smoothie or in a glass of sangria.
I haven’t felt hungry at all, but I have been relying heavily on nuts to keep me full, so my cholesterol is probably going to be through the roof for this month! I’d like to limit their consumption a little more for the last half of the challenge.
Starting last Friday (Day 11), I started adding back a few foods to see how they make me feel. Part of the aim of this month was to get more in tune with my body’s response to dairy, carbs, and alcohol. I have since had potatoes, cheese, quinoa and wine. I still want to integrate these items in small quantities, but so far nothing has upset my stomach or made me feel especially better or worse. Perhaps moderation really is the key.
Also- this is a sidebar, but the idea of something being “fried” is a totally strange concept. I cook my eggs in olive oil each morning, but I don’t consider them fried in the same way I consider a tater tot fried. Anyone have a great idea on how to make that distinction? Weird.
The biggest takeaway I have from these last 15 days is that the only real challenge I have to face is…me. It’s not about talking myself down from a ciabatta roll or counting the hours I spend sweating and stretching each week. These challenges have overlapped with a rather trying personal time. I have had other people’s problems and insecurities taken out on me in a big way. I woke up last Friday and asked my roommate: Locusts or frogs: which comes next? I am a full-fledged member of the ranks of unemployed actors, and I’m finding it difficult right now to keep putting one foot in front of the other. So perhaps the challenges have not been as daunting because they have been so secondary these last few days. Completing a contest that I dreamed up for myself is nothing compared to the task of confronting what life throws at me unbidden. That’s the challenge on which we all embark.