Thursday, June 11, 2009


It's been far too long since I've posted. I suppose it's been partly due to the fact that I was in Southeast Asia for a month, but also due not in small part to guilt. Guilt that I've once again completely ignored my yoga practice.

Since returning from SE Asia, I've been maintaining a once-a-week practice. If that can be called 'maintaining'. And every time I walk away from class, I find myself so relieved and thankful that I went -- wishing that I went more often, even everyday. Missing the feeling of my body being open and receptive. Feeling the strength building in my muscles.

I'm stuck. After 6 years of practice, I'm not evolving. Because my practice is so irregular, my progress is minimal. I'll make obvious strides one class, but then lose it because somehow I won't practice. There's no continuity, and there's certainly no discipline.

So, this has inspired me to challenge myself. 30 days of yoga. No more excuses. I want my practice to move forward. I think my body will thank me.

I'll let you know how it goes...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

crossing the threshold

For as long as I can remember, I've always needed to lose weight. Even when I didn't need to lose weight, I thought I did. Over the years my allowances for what weight was acceptable for my body has changed, depending on my ever-evolving ideology.

Six to eight years ago, I believed that I should no longer restrict myself - that I shouldn't have to - and be able to eat whatever I wanted. I had been on a diet since I was 9. I resented my body and begrudged other people for not having to count calories, points, or second guess every little thing they put in their mouths. I gave up on all the diets and blossomed to an unforeseen weight. I went in for a physical, and my doctor told me frankly that I had to lose weight for my health. None of my clothes fit, and I was uncomfortable all the time.

I did lose weight. I joined Weight Watchers and dropped 40 pounds. I actually didn't mind the point counting and food journaling. I bought all new clothes, and found my confidence was higher than ever. I was proud of my accomplishment, and then I discovered yoga.

Yoga helped to bring me to a place where it wasn't about diets, fads, restrictions, and weight loss - it's about being kind to my body. Being healthy and energetic, and feeling comfortable in my skin. It's not like working out in a gym. In a yoga class, I don't feel like I am on display, something to be judged and assessed. I can be in a full room of yogis and feel completely alone, yet at the same time supported by a whole community. Yogis aren't looking at you, sizing you up and determining whether you are good enough, slim enough, strong enough... they aren't even looking to see if you're wearing the latest Lululemon. If I notice someone in my class that's stronger and more balanced than I am, than I feel that I have something to aspire to. It's not competition. It's finding the edge - your edge - and respecting it. Staying there or pushing it until your body tells you to stop.

Since I've started my ayurvedic diet, I've lost 10 lbs. I haven't seen the numbers on my weight scale this low in a couple of years. I crossed the threshold - that weight is more acceptable to me. It's still not my ideal weight obviously, but it's a milestone that tells me there is progress. Tangible progress.

I also found an amazing cookbook from a local author and co-founder of Lululemon Athletics, Amrita Sondhi:

This is my second ayurvedic cookbook, and by far my preferred one. It's relatable and easy to understand, and the recipes are modern and diverse. Ayurveda taken from the dusty pages of vedic scripture and brought into the modern fast paced western kitchen. I am so appreciative of her approach to ayurvedic cooking. Armed with this cookbook, everyone could feel comfortable cooking ayurvedically.

So what is my approach to weight loss now? Respect. I no longer begrudge the person who can eat fistfuls of food, never work out, and never gain an ounce. All I want now is to feel healthy. To truly feel that I am respecting my body and giving it the sustenance that it needs to remain healthy for years to come. The weight loss will follow. Naturally.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

stevia is my friend

Sugar. A seemingly small thing that infiltrates EVERYTHING.

My ayurvedic doctor didn't give me strict parameters for this 'diet'; just asking that I cut out refined sugar. She said she didn't want to overwhelm me with strict restrictions and inadvertently set me up to fail. It'll take longer to get rid of the yeast, but at least I can live comfortably while doing so. She said it may take up to 4 months.

Funny enough, even cutting out refined sugar is hard to do. And I don't really eat sugar! Or at least I didn't think I did... I don't really have sugar cravings. I can stare at a bowl of candy and never reach for one. But put a bowl of popcorn in front of me and I'm a glutton. That is until I quit eating sugar.

The first week was fine. I found the sugar cravings somewhat manageable, but then again it took me 4 days just to cut out the honey in my coffee. Stevia continues to work for the coffee... oh, did I mention that I no longer drink caffeinated coffee? I took a month to slowly wean myself off of coffee, and I surprised myself - I actually don't miss it. I don't miss the accelerated pick-me-up in the morning. The highs and lows. I still drink decaf in the morning, as I'm not quite ready to let go of the habit of coffee. The sound of the coffee percolating in the morning, the smell, the taste. Eventually I will let those things go too.

Week two of cutting out sugar didn't go as well. A weekend retreat at some lakeside cabins to celebrate a friend's 30th birthday was planned, and I knew I was screwed. I packed my stevia and decaf coffee with the best of intentions, deciding before we left that I wouldn't reprimand myself if I didn't keep true to the diet. I didn't last the first night. Hell, I didn't last the trip to the liquor store.

I suppose as far as booze goes, there are 'better' choices when you're trying to cut back on sugar. Not great, though, as alcohol is essentially sugar. Sugary sugarness incarnate. So, I asked Dr. Barr what my best choices were, and she said wine spritzers and gin and club soda would be ok, but to drink in moderation. Moderation meaning one or two glasses a day. I smiled, knowing full well how cabin weekends went, and knowing my friends.

Needless to say, I enjoyed 'several' glasses of robust red wine, a few beer, and some gin and tonics (realized I hate gin and club soda!). I had no idea tonic has 42 grams of sugar per can. Note: I just found diet tonic water, and you can barely notice the difference....

The weekend was a hit and I was happy with my choice. That was until Monday afternoon when the sugar cravings hit. And they hit hard. I have never experienced that kind of physical and psychological NEED to have something. I imagine that's what smoking might be like? It was driving me crazy. All of a sudden I wanted chocolate, wine, pop... anything sweet. Anything sinful. After relentlessly pacing the kitchen and googling sugar free dessert recipes, I finally found one that made sense. Simple yet effective.

1 cup yogurt strained for half an hour to thicken
1 mandarin orange
sprinkle of cinnamon
sprinkle of stevia

It was great. Took the edge off - like taking a drag on a fake cigarette and getting smoke.

Every day after that has been easier. I still cheat on weekends occasionally when I want a glass of wine with friends. But I'm finding it easier to resist. I can now recognize my danger times (mid-afternoon, Saturday night...) and have ammunition to deal with them. Most of the time. I always was a B+ student, so I'm comfortable not getting an A. Maybe I get an A for effort.

Monday, March 2, 2009

a new light

My first week following my new ayurvedic 'diet'. Not really a diet per se, but avoidance of one thing - sugar. It's going ok so far... well, it took me a few days to fully embrace certain things. Sometimes I need to take it slow and ease myself in....

The first day I took honey in my coffee. The next day a little less honey, then a little less... it was on the 4th day when I replaced the honey with stevia. Stevia takes a bit of getting used to, and I can't say it's my favorite, but it is what it is. Stevia sweetens my coffee without being sugar, so I have to accept it and embrace it. IF you can find the right amount to add, you can avoid the bitter taste and slight licorice aftertaste.

Not too bad. My afternoons at work can prove challenging sometimes. The time when I would normally seek out a chunk of dark chocolate or have a coffee (with sugar, of course). I now 'cheat' with chocolate spice tea. I'm trying to trick my brain into believing I've had chocolate when I haven't. It works (to a point).

I have noticed a few things this week. I feel lighter. I feel more awake. And I feel less inclined to procrastinate and skip yoga. Such a small thing to affect so much.

Monday, February 23, 2009


I saw an Ayurvedic practitioner this weekend. The lovely Dr. Susan Barr on 4th Ave. in Vancouver.

I had been doing a lot of research online, trying to determine my dosha and an appropriate diet to appease it. To achieve that elusive balance. Self-diagnosis through online questionnaires and random research is sketchy, but I felt fairly certain I knew what course of action I needed to take. And finally, I felt that I was ready to carry through on any recommendations she would suggest, however difficult.

Meeting with Dr. Barr was like having a frank conversation with a kind and loving friend. Bordering on a therapy session, I found myself telling her of all my troubles and frustrations. My problems with insomnia, energy/fatigue, heaviness, muddy headed thinking, feeling as if I'm always looking through a fog... amongst other things. Within moments she was able to provide some really interesting insight, and give me hope that it's all fixable in some way or another. Everything... from the headaches to the weight gain, she was able to determine that my condition has been worsening for years now.

I know it seems too easy. But some of the things she had to say really resonated with me.

She asked how I was when I was in high school.... was I strong, slim and athletic? Yes, I was. Have I been gaining weight steadily since? Yes. I was 128 lbs when I was 17 and thought I was fat. Did I have lots of energy... sharp focus and drive at school? Yes. Were there headaches and trouble sleeping? No.

I realize I'm not 17 anymore, and that being a teenager has its advantages - the advantage of youth for one. But what I refuse to believe is that in a mere 16 years I have deteriorated so steadily - I'm 33 and my body is acting like it's 53....

The treatment she prescribed will be in stages, starting with a regime to kill off what she believes has been growing in me since high school - candida yeast. Yeast is apparently a chronic problem in North America, feeding on the poor diets of the majority. In my case, she thinks it was more a problem with overuse of antibiotics in my youth, probably aggravated by a poor University student diet. The initial treatment is nothing too drastic, just avoiding sugar in my diet and taking some pills. Ya, just. I wouldn't call cutting sugar out of my diet as 'just', but I'm ready and willing. You'd be surprised by what has sugar in it. Goodbye wine.

In a nutshell, Dr. Barr told me that most of what I thought I knew about my dosha was wrong. That all three doshas are so imbalanced that I can't even see the character type I am supposed to be (pitta). She said that I am still that strong, slim, active person, but all of the imbalances in my body have added up to appear to be a new character type (kapha) - someone that's tired, hard to get motivated, dreamy and heavy.

So for starters, I'll learn to live without sugar in my coffee, I won't have chocolate for awhile, and I'll say goodbye to my crutches - wine and beer. I think I like the image of me healthy better than I like to drink.

So, that's the first step. When the yeast has been corrected, I'll likely follow a more restricted diet. Hard to say what it'll be since I'm so imbalanced, but in all likelihood it will be very little sugar, little to no wheat, little oil, no coffee... I feel lame just writing it. I know that I will feel better doing these things, but it's going to be a huge adjustment. It's amazing how social activities often revolve around the things I'm not supposed to do... guess it's time to find new friends. ;)

Sunday, February 1, 2009


I've been meaning to write about Ayurveda, yoga's sister science, for some time now. Simply, Ayurveda is for food what yoga is for the mind/body. Its premise is that everyone has a particular body type (or dosha), and that we should eat according to our type to create harmony within the body. It is unlike other diets that presuppose we are all the same; one size fits all. 

If you would like to know more, and are curious as to your dosha, here's an excellent blog:

Until now I have been reluctant to fully incorporate this practice into my life. I have a difficult time restricting my diet for any reason. It probably stems from having been on a 'diet' most of my life. I have tried everything... before I knew any better, I tried calorie counting (down to less than 800 calories/day), the grapefruit diet, the protein shake diet.... I thought these approaches were synonymous with weight loss. I thought less food equalled less weight - as simple as that. How could starving oneself possibly backfire? It was until I ended up in the emergency room when I was 17 years old, having just run 7 miles on less than 800 calories that day.  I exercised myself so hard on so little fuel, that I went into hypothermic shock. I had no idea what I was doing to my body, and nothing could prepare me for what happened after I started to eat again. I used to have half a cucumber for lunch, and thought it was normal. The price to pay in order to be thin. And for what it's worth, a lot of people in our culture have some form of eating disorder. Socially acceptable or otherwise...

So over the years I have put on weight, refusing to accept the weight loss fads that come and go. I have been searching for answers, doing the research and trying to find what's right for me and my body. Loosely, I would say I have adopted a 'naturalist' approach to food. I cook everything from scratch, using whole ingredients, organic when possible/affordable. I try to avoid refined sugars, try to buy only organic meat (when I can, directly from local farms), and minimize my wheat and corn intake. I strive for balance; not cutting one thing out in favor of another (i.e., high protein/no carb).

A book that truly influenced how I see food is Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma:
A must read.

I am getting there. But I still have trouble listening to my body. Ayurveda asks that of you - that you stop eating before you stuff yourself, that you eat food that is alive and prepared with love, that you practice awareness of what you are eating as you eat, and that you eat the foods that are beneficial for your dosha.  The concept is simple, yet in today's society of stress and long hours of work, it's hard to respect these teachings. 

According to Ayurveda, my insomnia is partly symptomatic of an imbalance. So I have decided to follow an Ayurvedic Vata-pacifying diet. This includes warm foods with whole grains, dairy, sweet fruits, and well cooked vegetables. It will largely be vegetarian. 

It will be an adjustment, but I am looking forward to seeing the results. 

third eye

In the past few weeks, I've managed to once again build my practice. I still don't go as often as I used to, but I am allowing my body to tell me when I need to go. The trick is to listen to it. With cold and dark January days and sleepless nights, sometimes it's all too easy to ignore the little voice that tells me what I need to do. It tells me that I will feel better, that I will sleep tonight, that I will feel rested. And when I do go, all of those things are true. My mind and body know what's best for me, yet I continue to resist. 

Over the course of January, I have been experimenting with different things for my health. I am hoping to get some clarity on what it is that is creating this imbalance within me that creates a restless mind and unforgiving body. The nights when I go to yoga, the result is predictably positive - I feel gratitude for having gone, and I sleep unburdened. 

Besides yoga, there are changes that need to be made. I mentioned not drinking alcohol. Interestingly, I have now successfully stopped drinking during the week. Beyond that, the overwhelming urge to drink has also subsided. And weekends, when I do allow myself to drink, I find I don't need as much. Nor do I always feel I have to drink. As I write these words, I find myself sounding like an alcoholic... Was I? Am I? I certainly wasn't hiding bottles of booze around the house, or drinking by myself, but I had developed an unhealthy habit of drinking most days. Usually under the guise of social interaction or as a coping mechanism for a bad day. Funny how it never really helped, yet I kept doing it. 

The link with alcohol and insomnia is strong and irrefutable. The nights I drink, I don't sleep. It's as simple as that. I may fall asleep, but 3 hours later I will wake up parched and disoriented, and find that I am AWAKE. And I remain that way, drifting in and out of shallow restless sleep until my alarm goes off. Some days I question whether I ever felt rested. And the day becomes this insurmountable task to face, and I want to crawl back into bed and will it all away. 

Coming from a place of fatigue, yoga is a saving grace. It demands so little of my resources, yet gives so much. I can spend an entire class in child's pose, and feel that I am being kind to myself. And lately, during savasana (corpse pose) I have been rewarded in a way that I never have before. Following a particularly restful class, I laid there with my eyes closed. Within my heavy lidded eyes the blackness retreated and a hazed orb of brilliant purple came before me, as I imagine a third eye might look. It danced and swelled before me, then retreated. From the sides, a new orb of warm azure blue came into focus and spread like an inkblot on paper. Suddenly, my body was bathed in warmth from head to toe. Tangible warmth where there was no cold before. I stared at the orb, accepting it, until it retreated and the blackness spread once again. 

I don't know what I experienced, but I don't feel I have to understand. It's happened a few times now, and I welcome it wholeheartedly. Whatever is happening is good. And I am looking forward to this journey. 

Saturday, January 17, 2009

my first week

Everything hurt. It amazes me each and every time I fall off the wagon, how truly hard I fall. 

I managed to get to yoga twice this week. It doesn't sound like much, but given the monumental soreness and exhaustion, I'm rather proud of myself. 

On Monday, I went to a class that I knew would be good for stretching and a relaxing pace. Farah at Open Door combines restorative with hatha yoga, and focuses on breath. Taking time in each pose, you're able to allow your body to open up fully and relax into a pose. Nothing is fast or jarring, and your body welcomes the opportunity to truly relax. 

Usually I would take Farah's classes to rest between power classes, but this time I felt it was all I could handle. And I was right. I could have cried. My body had retreated into the days of old, when I wasn't doing yoga. My joints were stiff and cranky, my breathing shallow, and everything hurt. The simplest postures were frustrating as my body fought me every step of the way. To have come so far only to have to start at the beginning again. 

And the exhaustion. Normally yoga is invigorating for me, giving me energy I didn't know I could have. But this week my body cried for sleep. I could barely muster the energy to cook dinner after coming home from work. All I wanted was to curl up on the couch with some tea and go to bed before 10. I can't stress how unusual that is for me.  

And ravenous! I couldn't seem to eat enough. I craved everything.  I would eat two breakfasts and a snack and still want more. Never satiated, craving things I knew are bad for me. When have I EVER enjoyed drinking pop? Gross. Is it leftover conditioning from the holidays? Is that why I want nothing else but chocolate at 10:30 at night? 

Sugar. I usually have control when it comes to sugar. I don't crave it, and when faced with it, I can moderate it. A chocolate bar will last me weeks, sometimes a month. I can have one small bite and feel satisfied. Not lately. A chocolate bar is gone in seconds and I want more. Then it dawned on me, am I replacing the sugar found in wine? An almost daily glass of wine habit is a hard thing to break. I haven't had a drink in a week. That may seem like a small feat, but for me, it feels like a milestone. It's not even necessarily the wine. It's the ritual of drinking a nice glass while cooking. But then that glass becomes two... 

On Thursday my plans fell through, and I found I was able to go to yoga. I made up my mind to go and didn't allow myself to waver. And I am SO GLAD I went. Finally! Finally, my body cooperated with me, easing into postures that had once been so easy. I felt a glimmer of strength in my muscles and my lungs allowed my breathing to go deeper. I know it must sound cliché, but I felt like I was coming home. To a place I knew, where I was accepted and comfortable. My body and mind were once again joined, not separate and combative. I felt a warmth and gratitude that had been evading me for so long. I can't tell you how invigorating I felt. That night, I came home and slept like a baby. No herbs or remedies to help me sleep. Just a radiant feeling of being relaxed. 

This week has been exhausting and trying, but I am finally beginning to see. Insomnia, which I have been struggling with for so long, is simply a symptom of a mind/body disconnect. Stress, lack of exercise, drinking... all of these contribute and exacerbate the problem. But it comes back to the necessity of that union. Without it, we don't have balance. And balance is what enables us to face the world each day. 


Monday, January 5, 2009


I fought myself every step of the way, but I went to yoga class tonight. So much so that I was dressed and scuffling my way to class in the snow and had to continuously talk myself out of turning around and going home.

You see, home is so warm and comfortable. I could make myself a nice dinner and relax on the couch under a blanket for the evening. Instead I opted to eat leftover chicken, sit down for half an hour and then leave the house. It's so hard when your mind and body are fighting for laziness.

It was a mellow class, which was perfect. I had a good little sweat, though, and realized that inversions are really hard when you have extra belly fat. Try crunching yourself in half and then trying to breathe. Not fun.

But in savasana, corpse pose, I experienced profound calm. Waves of comforting heat washed over me, and I felt truly rested. Like I had slept for hours.

Now that sounds like an idea - sleep.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

biting and chewing

I have a bad habit of biting off more than I can chew. Or building something up in my head until it's so big I scare myself. So big I'm scared to do it. Then I do nothing at all. 

Bikram is a prime example of this. I was going to get an introductory unlimited week's pass at a studio and go for a week before work starts to see if I wanted to join and go regularly. Bikram is expensive, so I wanted to be sure I could commit. Well, it's now the day before I go back to work and I have yet to get off my ass (which is getting bigger by the moment). Bigger or flatter... hard to tell. 

So, I've decided in the interests of simplicity and to save myself some embarrassment, I'm going to start with some low-key restorative yoga tonight. I'm going to my favourite studio, Open Door, on Main Street. I need some mellow rejuvenation to end my two week holiday of gluttony, and start my month of no drinking and eating well. 

Interestingly, back in the summer and early fall, I went to yoga 6 times a week. I felt fantastic, and I was losing weight steadily. I wanted something to measure my progress against, so drunkenly (yes, drunkenly), I wanted to see if I could do a posture that I hadn't been able to do before. So, I laid down on the floor and tried to raise myself into the elusive wheel, or urdhva dhanurasana. The wheel is hard to do, especially since the trend is to be asked to do it at the end of a power class when you're more apt to want to sleep (savasana - corpse pose). 
The wheel: check out

I could do it! It wasn't exactly easy, but I could get up and I could actually hold it for awhile. It felt AMAZING. 

Yoga is sneaky like that. There are good practices and not so good practices. Some days you want a relaxing hatha class, and others you need an adrenaline shot in a power class. It's hard to gauge if you are actually making progress unless you practice regularly. Dare I say even everyday. So, the fact that I could do the wheel was monumental for me. It meant that my body was getting stronger. 

I don't need to be skinny. But I do want to be strong. 

I mentioned not drinking. Yes, I have stated what thousands have stated before me - I am going to quit drinking for the month of January. I have my reasons. And I've tried this before and lasted a whopping 10 days. But I last tried it in November, and well, that's just stupid. Everyone is gearing up for the holidays... there are dinner parties and nights out, and eventually your resolve is worn down. You chalk it up to bad timing. 

Nothing wrong with picking January. January you're broke, everyone is fat (no offense), and the inclination to hermit is growing. So why not. This is a grand experiment, as I've never done it before. I want to see what happens: will I lose weight, how much money will I save, will I sleep better, will I have more energy, will I be more productive? 

Begs the question: why do we drink at all? 

It's January 4th. How have I done on my month of no drinking? ahem. Not so well. I found a bottle of red in my cabinet, and I know that I won't be able to not drink if it's there. A beckoning pleading bottle of tastiness, begging to be opened. So I opened it, finished it, and vowed that I would start tomorrow. Officially the end of the holidays. I was stupid to think it would happen the weekend BEFORE the end. 

Sometimes I'm not that bright.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Not so hot

Heh. So, I didn't end up going to bikram yoga last night. My husband and I instead went out for a late lunch of sushi and wandered around our neighbourhood in the sunshine. Then we planned a nice dinner and got some groceries. I can't say I'm unhappy with my choice.

Honestly, I'm a little frightened of bikram yoga in Vancouver. I tried it once in Ottawa at Rama Lotus (great studio), and loved it. Ok, well, 'love' might be a strong word. Bikram yoga is undoubtedly an intense experience. The one and only time I went I found it was a mixture of exhilaration and nausea. The first 45 mins. were great. I felt exalted and powerful. My body was limber and robust, and I surprised myself with my vigor. Then we took a short break midway through to hydrate. It took a turn for the worse. (Anyone ever sit down for a long session of tattooing? Same principle applies. You take a break and all the blood rushes back to your skin. All of a sudden it's the most painful tattoo you'll ever get!)

The 'sit-ups' we were asked to do between poses got more and more difficult. You'd do the pose, then lie down, spin around, do a sit-up, then spin around again and go into the next pose. I got dizzy. My stomach was revolting and I found myself struggling to pull myself up. It went downhill from there. I thought I was going to die. I couldn't breathe. This wasn't fun anymore. 

After the class, which I survived against the odds, I started to feel better. Much better. So good in fact that I could feel the radiance of my skin. Everything felt amazing. Food tasted better. A shower was orgasmic. My body was a temple of purity. 

I always said I would go back, but I never did. We moved to Vancouver, and I heard stories of the rather militant approach to bikram yoga here. Where the instructors actually yell at you if you do something wrong. And call you out to the whole class. Yell? In yoga? I can't reconcile that idea... for me, I don't go to yoga to do everything 'right'. Some poses are a real struggle. I am fairly flexible, but I've had a back injury and some poses are difficult. If you have extra weight around your middle like I do, some poses are so uncomfortable you can't breathe. But I try. And over time I get better. It's an evolution that can't be rushed for the sake of appearances.

So, I don't know if I will ever go back to practice bikram yoga. I would like to. But more importantly I just need to practice. It can be hatha, ashtanga, yin, iyengar... anything. As long as I'm there.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Just go already!

I've been practicing yoga for the last six years, off and on. Sometimes I go hard, going to a class every day for months, and sometimes I'll skip it for months. No reason. It just falls off the radar and I focus on other things (I have far too many interests). But those months when I don't go, well, they suck. I don't sleep well, I eat more, I gain weight, my body aches, and I get chronic daily headaches. 

I haven't gone to yoga since mid-October. And I feel like crap. 

So why don't I just go? That's the question, and I honestly have no idea. I fall off the wagon and it takes a bulldozer to get me back on. Doesn't help that I'm carrying all of this extra weight either. 

For the past few weeks I've been stuffing my face with so much food and drink that I could barely breathe. The 'last supper' syndrome where you tell yourself that come January 1st you'll be better. You won't eat as much and you'll get off the sauce. It's funny too, because ordinarily I am very healthy in my food choices, and try to restrict the alcohol. But this Christmas, all bets were off. 

It's a new year now. I woke up this morning and knew that the indescribable thing had happened - that click, the turning point, the moment of clarity - when you realize that you feel different. You know you're focused and determined again. So now is the time to establish my goals and intentions. Not new years resolutions where you're inherently set up to fail... no, something much stronger than that. Goals that can be realized over time, and intentions that you may realize everyday. 

My overall goal is to become a yoga instructor. After what I've just written, you may be surprised. But I'm convinced not all yoga teachers are perfect all the time. They slip too. Maybe not as monumentally as I do, but that's part of this journey. I think anyone can be a yogi. I don't want to reprimand myself for my shortcomings, but rather learn from them and continue to evolve. 

My goals? To go to yoga class as often as possible. To try bikram yoga. To build a stronger more healthy body. To lose weight. To sleep better at night. To drink less. 

My intentions? My intention is to be open to what yoga can offer me. To be kind to my body. To practice discipline and restraint. To focus my energy. To love with my all, so I may be a good wife and friend. 

Today there's a bikram (hot) class at 4 and 6 pm. I should go.