There Won't Be Trumpets
Without much fanfare, I completed my 30 Day Hot Yoga Challenge and my 30 Day Gluten –Free/Sugar-Free Challenge yesterday.
After Monday’s post about what a grumpy yogi I had been, my practice turned around for the last 3 days. Maybe I released some demons? Despite yet another double class on Monday, I felt stronger, more light-hearted, and once again interested in my body and the class. There have been some changes in my practice along the way: my half moon has really opened up, and on Monday for the first time I touched my feet in extended-arms camel, meaning I am on my way to full camel!
A dear friend taught my final class, and as we all lay in savasana, he announced that I had just finished my challenge. The class applauded, and I allowed myself a small smile of victory. Resting there on the floor, it occurred to me that for the last 30 days, I had been selling this challenge short. Because I teach yoga, because I practice regularly, I bought into the idea that 30 days was going to be no big deal for me. That because I was a teacher it was less of a challenge and more of an obligation that I ought to undertake once in a while to keep up with our students. And even, sadly, that completing the challenge wouldn’t mean that much for all those same reasons.
Luckily, in that exact moment, I realized I had been completely wrong. 30 days of yoga is a challenge, for anybody. It’s a commitment, a gesture of dedication, and an act of love. Sure, I know all the proper adjustments for standing bow. But the yoga meets you exactly where you are, and it always finds a way to take you beyond yourself. These last 30 days have been mostly difficult ones for me. I have felt sad, angry, and frustrated quite often. But even when things didn’t feel perfect (even when things didn’t feel decent), I showed up for class. I completed the task I set out to do. The challenge kept me from disappearing into myself completely this last month. And nothing, especially not an already established love for yoga, gets to take the sweetness of victory away from me.
My 30 days of eating ended with a veggie burger before bed. I briefly thought about eating something sugary at midnight, but it felt a little like cheating. To be honest, I don’t miss the sugar much at all. I put a (very) little in my coffee this morning and I couldn’t taste the difference- so why bother? I didn’t wake up this morning dying for a crepe. This is basically blasphemy, but I didn’t even wake up craving a bagel. I do have an Italian dinner planned for tonight, and I think it might be best on my delicate, healthy little body to wait to have some carbs until then.
I have felt healthy the past month, and strong. I started incorporating lots of healthy fats and eating more fish, and I feel like this diet gives me plenty of energy and nourishment. This is how my body likes to eat- I don’t feel spectacularly better, because I didn’t eat terribly before, but I have not gone to bed feeling guiltily full even once.
Part of me is afraid of what will happen when I start integrating other foods back in. I don’t want to deny myself bagels and pizza forever, but I also don’t want to be pulled back into the sugar/carb addiction cycle. I have naturally lost a few pounds and am happy with my weight right now. I feel clean and efficient. Will I once more come under the hypnotic spell of waffle fries? I am trying to take my own advice here, as I just told a friend yesterday: “You are literally worrying about a scenario you have completely made up in your head. That scenario has zero basis in the reality of what is happening right now.”
In the spirit of fearlessness, here are some foods that I am excited about eating (just not all at once):
Everything Bagel w/Jalapeno Asiago Cream Cheese (Brooklyn Bagel)
Baguette with Cheese
Dark and Stormy Cocktail
French Fries (Pommes Frites)
Cookies and Cream Ice Cream
(Follow me on Instagram @kosweeney and I’m sure these will all pop up before long!)
Here’s to a month well-spent.