Tag Archives: body image

Just Say Om

8 Aug

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When I sit down to write these things I usually know what they’re about and where they’re going before I type the first word. Tonight I’m not as sure. I have a lot of things I want to tell you…about my twisted love life, my yoga classes, my Sister Wives and The Compound, but I’m not getting my usual laser focus going so I’m just going to wing it. My apologies if reading it feels like dropping acid.

I’ve learned a lot of lessons in 37 years, some of which I’m just now starting to implement in my daily life. Some are simple, like eating ice cream on a really hot day makes me sick, and some are more nuanced, like what I want and need in my life and that I have a right to make those things clear and ask for them.

Things with the Irishman have been a bit dicey for the last week. We had a stupid tiff and he’s been a little on the standoffish side since. I brought him to a party on Saturday night at the home of one of the Sister Wives and he really enjoyed himself but I think he also got his first glimpse of Independent Lisa. Independent Lisa doesn’t babysit or cling to you…she drinks, and mingles, and meets other people, and laughs a lot. Independent Lisa had a great time at said party. It could well be that Independent Lisa is not the Irishman’s type.

Here’s the thing about his type…I don’t know what it is. I realized that I have no idea what he’s attracted to as far as I’m concerned. Kids, I’m built like the prow of a ship…if the prow was attached to a short, padded body with a sizable aft, and I’m pretty ok with that. As it turns out, neither my fore nor my aft are of interest to good ol’ James Joyce. I like to think I have a big personality and a good, if bawdy, sense of humor…and yet those characteristics seem as incomprehensible to him as Finnegan’s Wake. So what gives?

So here’s where it gets weird – just as I start to spiral a bit and berate myself about my smooshy midsection and the fact that I haven’t been to the gym in 2 months, The Hebrew Hammer reappears. I cannot say at present time (because I don’t know yet…I’m not holding out on you) what has sparked this renewal of his suit, but he has resurfaced full of praise of my multitudinous virtues. He is aware of my current involvement and has nicknamed the Irishman “Judgy O’Judgerson” for his habit of mild yet repeated critique. I know I need to address the fact that neither of our towns have been miraculously relocated closer to each other…but not just yet…because I’m confused…and cranky…and thinking too much about what everyone else thinks and wants and thinks of me.

So I went to yoga. Twice this week. Yoga is amazing for this sort of confusion and angst. No, it doesn’t solve anything. You don’t shake yourself up like a Magic 8 Ball for an hour and suddenly receive the right answer to the dilemmas of daily life. Here’s what it does do: it forces you to focus on yourself. To practice effectively you have to quiet the mind and focus on your body..its movements, its limitations, its strengths AND NOT JUDGE THEM. It takes all my concentration to breathe and not fall over. It takes all my patience and kindness to laugh and smile when I DO fall over. I can’t think about the Irishman and the Jew or my belly or what comes next. I just have to stay in the moment and contort and lift my body and breathe.

I like my body when I’m in class…it can do cool things and if I keep at it it will become conditioned to do more cool things. Yoga is moving me toward my weight loss and fitness goals and helping me gain the focus to tackle my personal and professional ones. If you haven’t taken a yoga class, I encourage you to give it a try for both the mind and body benefits. For those of you who feel like you’re too hardcore – have you tried lifting your body weight recently? How flexible are your hips and hamstrings? Give it a shot – you’ll find it’s quite the workout. Most studios offer small beginner packages to take it for a test drive. My studio, Verona Yoga has 3 classes for $30 for new students and two Absolute Beginner classes a week.

As always, I invite any and all comments, but I’d love to know what you do to get out of your own head, find your focus, or feel more comfortable in your own skin. Off to bed for me! Namaste.

A Little Perspective

14 Mar

As I sat on my yoga mat tonight, waiting for class to begin, a beautiful, tall, willowy woman – the woman I’d like to be when I grow up – walked in. She was a friend of a class regular and a first-timer. She bent down to roll out her mat in front of mine and immediately turned to me and said, “Please don’t watch me…unless you want a laugh that is.”

I laughed and reassured her that we would all be too busy figuring out what to do to look at anyone else. I remembered my own first time in this class – just 8 short weeks ago. I arrived anxious, self-conscious, and slightly uncomfortable. What was the difference between me and the supermodel? I outweigh her by about a third grader.

When I first came in I got acclimated by checking out the other students and felt better when I saw a woman about the same size as me. I felt better because I felt like the expectations of what my body should look like and how flexible I should be had now become more realistic- if you look like me you must perform like me. Now the real difference between me and Heidi Klum is more clear…and more than poundage.

She was nervous, not only because she had never done yoga before and was afraid of looking stupid, but because having a body like hers…looking the way she does, people expect more of her. There’s something really comforting in the idea that it cuts both ways. It really drives home the point that insecurity lives in bodies of all shapes and sizes.

As I went through my practice I felt good and strong and capable. My head stayed clear. I didn’t think about my body except to notice the increase in my flexibility or which muscles I was tensing so I could release them. I love yoga for the way I feel after practice, but even more so for teaching me to be aware of my body without judging it. I hope our resident top model learns the same…and I’ll stop referring to her as a supermodel or Heidi Klum because I shouldn’t judge her either.

In terms of my own weight loss, I’m back in a good place. I reminded myself that I know, from previous weight loss efforts, that my body drops weight more easily and functions better when I eat more protein – something I’ve been lacking in my mostly meatless meals. I’ve been having morning protein shakes made with skim milk, a banana, chia seeds, and Synthrax Nectar Sweets chocolate truffle protein powder. Today I added PB2 – basically defatted powdered peanut butter – for even more protein and a quasi peanut butter cup flavor. I’m actually looking forward to weighing in this week.

I hope everyone’s having a great week. I’ve got an amazing personal trainer waiting to answer your questions in an upcoming post so ask away in the comments, or, if you’d like more privacy email me at lrgittleman (at) gmail.com.

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