An amazing friend of mine once pointed out that you cannot let the fat go until you get the demons in your mind settled down. They must be on board with this venture too, as they are the reason you gained weight. I couldn’t agree more. My whole life I have thought I was fat and ugly. I am a Midwest farm girl, who can still lift hay bales even pushing 50 years of age. I have no plans of slowing down. I am too poor to retire so my goal is to just keep going until I fall over, like my ancestors did. This wicked thought of fat and ugly has been in my head for as long as I can remember. Looking back at old photos now I think holy shit! I wish I had the body now….how did I hate it so much back then? This way of thinking was further drilled in by living with actors and dancers in college and then moving to metropolitan cities were everything was more refined…
This morning, as I lay on my yoga mat taking in the heat of the Bikram studio before the class started, I lifted up my arms and looked at them. I have done this many times, but today I really looked at them. They are half the arms they use to be. Not length wise silly, circumference-ly speaking. When did this happen??? I found myself wondering. I am and always will be that farm girl with big bones and thick muscles one cannot overcome genetics. I will never be a ‘spinner’ size 2 with plastic tits, to match the billboards and the bikini commercialization of life we are forced to see every day. But I don’t have to be fat. OH, those demons just screamed….
Over more than 10 years and tenure, I put on a lot of weight under the stress of that job. I had no outlet: my personal life was not what it needed to be; I let myself get stresses out; –at one point my blood pressure was so high even the BP machine went “OMG!”
Change had to happen, I felt dead already inside, but I was not ready to give up. I made my choices as hard as they were. I stood up to those demons in my head and said “hey! You guys shut up already” and decided to make myself back into the person I knew I was. So I bounced around a bit from gym to gym and routines until I found what worked for me. That I would have never guessed would be Bikram Yoga, or as I called it for the first year, my daily 90 minutes in hell.
First I just wanted to see if I could actually sweat, within five days the flood gate was opened, I not only sweated but everything else started coming out of me. I must have been hell to live with and be around. Within a year I let go of a lot. My job, my position within the national stage of my career, my life, everything was dumped out on the table. Eventually I got up and walked away from everything. At one breakdown point a friend even offered to buy me a new lemon tree after admonishing me for not be a very good Buddhist, I realized then that it was one of those things I would just have to let go of. Letting go sucks some times.
It has been five years from that starting point. The landscape is entirely different now. I lost close to 70lbs in those first three years, and have maintained that more or less. I was wearing pants with a 46inch waist and I wasn’t just sporting a ‘Muffin Top’ it was a damned “Brioche Top”. Worked that bitch off! Ten inches so far, now I’m in a 35inch waist band with no major fluffy overhang, but there is more that needs to be let go. I have that last 30lbs to go…. I am saying 20-30 just to make it easier on those demons (cause they are still there). This has been hanging around me for the last 2 years and it just doesn’t seem to want to budge. So, what am I holding on to?
- That I can’t do it
- That I will still think I am fat and ugly anyways
- That I will go too far
- That I will lose my strength
- That people will look at me
- That I will hurt myself doing this
- That the demons will scream too loud and everyone will hear them
- That others will still think I am fat and ugly
- That I will be …sexy
I am sure that there are a thousand other reasons. But it is time.
A few months ago I started in earnest again. Time was gained from completing my (I don’t know what number) master’s program (like I needed another piece of paper on my wall) and the yoga studio I love reinstated its 6am classes, which was a real key event. So I have started back in class at a much more reasonable rate of 3 to 4 times a week. The strength is starting to come back; the flexibility has a way to go especially from a back injury two years ago. In fact, I am starting to feel like I am able to participate as well, if not better in class now than I was doing when I had to stop and take those 18 months off. I am at least starting to sweat again and let go. It feels good, yet not good enough. Bikram is the ‘anti-yoga’ of yoga forms as far I can tell, and the last part of the form is aerobic with all the quick position changes however I still felt like I need more movement. I have been walking at the gym and outside however now I can go without huffing too long, at too fast of pace, that the next notch up would be a full out run for me… and poohs don’t run! If you EVER see me running, just get a gun and shot whatever is chasing me! Please!!! as it is most likely a woozle.
Enter the new challenge: The home that I am now privileged to keep has a new machine… a rowing machine. After staring at it for weeks, poking it, sneering at it, complaining about it, I finally got on it. Unlike my past experience with a NordicTrack machine, I did not end up upside down and tied up in it for hours waiting for roomies to get home and free me. It was actually intuitive, or maybe it was all the rowing across cow ponds when I was younger. This last week I have played around with it a few times, noticed some problems that created questions, found a friend who rows to come give me a lesson and now have started to add in the rowing on the days I don’t have yoga. It seems like a good complement plus I have this tablet thing, so maybe I can catch up on some of that TV show stuff people seem determined to talk to me about. I did this once both on the same day…bad idea, unless you like having legs you have to pick up with your arms to move.
So from today forward, demons be damned I am letting go! Anyone who wants to buy me a pair of Levi’s 501’s 34/32 for Christmas go right ahead because this pair will be falling off me by then. I might even get my waist to equal my inseam soon.
See you thirty pounds from now.