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.

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