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.

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