23 August 2007


There's a commercial running on television these days for a popular multi-vitamin which touts its reformulation. As most commercials are, this one is annoying. Relevant, today, though because I'm thinking about the changes, reformulation if you will, of myself.

I've been doing Yoga weekly since October of 2006. At first, I could barely do half the poses and I'd wake up a day or so later hurting in places I didn't even think had muscles. (Silly me, there isn't much of the human body that does not have muscular structure.) It has gotten easier over the intervening months, but there are still some things that I simply can not do.

One of those things is a balancing pose that I don't know the name of. The first time I saw my Saturday morning Yoga instructor do it, I laughed. As IF! I thought. No way I could do THAT! We defeat ourselves sometimes, don't we? If you think you can't, you're probably right. My instructor continued to do the pose weekly for a few months, and after several weeks, she came to me as the class was holding the pose and asked me quietly why I couldn't do it.

"I'm afraid," I responded honestly. "I think I'm going to fall headfirst into the concrete floor."

"You won't," she encouraged gently. "Give it a shot."

So I did, but I was too heavy, then, to support myself. You get into this particular pose by standing with your legs about 2 feet wider than hip distance apart, feet parallel. Bend at the waist, and place your hands on the floor. Bend your knees. Squat down until your knees are resting against your elbows. Lean forward, and balance your weight on your hands, with the legs still against the elbows, feet off of the floor. All your weight is in your hands, and the pressure of the entire body rests in the wrists. Ouch, right? Eyah.

Eventually, she stopped doing it as part of the routine on Saturday mornings, and I forgot about it. Then I started taking the Core Yoga class that my gym offers during the day on Thursdays, which when I'm employed I could never do. The instructor for this class is less flexible than my Saturday teacher, but she's stronger. Core Yoga means that the poses focus on the core of the body, the abs, the glutes, the chest, the back. So there's a whole lot of Plank pose, Downward Dog, poses that are tough. We hold them for longer than in the Intermediate Yoga class. I leave there drenched and usually shaking.

Today, I didn't even realize where she was heading when she began giving instruction to get into this pose, so I simply followed her directions and at the very last second I realized where this was going. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, I thought. And I DID IT!!! It was all I could do not to yell, "Look! LOOK!! I'm doing it!!" (very not kosher in a quiet Yoga class) I was not able to hold the pose as long as the instructor did, but as we say in Swedish, skit samma. That's akin to saying 'it's all good,' just not very polite.

I've been discouraged by the exercise program because the weight loss has stalled. In this age of instant gratification, we all expect results overnight. I'm no different, I think that after nearly a year of working out six days a week I ought to be about 50 pounds lighter, not 30-some. My brother-in-law lost 90 pounds in a year. How come I haven't? Grrr, it frustrates the hell out of me. I've permanently altered my eating habits. I'm eating more healthy than I have in my entire adult life. I drink tons of water every day. And I have not lost any weight at all since about June. URGH!

I'm so much stronger than I was this time last year. My asthma is so much less bothersome. My flexibility is astonishing; if I could show you the bendy, twisty things I can do, you'd be jaw-on-the-ground amazed. That's all great, but what I want is to be a size 4. Yes, yes, I know that's unrealistic and stupid, but it is the truth.

I am not able to see the results when I look in the mirror, because we are all our own worst critics. Very recently I've noticed some changes to my waistline, it had become more nipped-in, for lack of a better term, I've got more of that curvy shape. This is due to the sit ups I do every day, 100 facing forward, 100 lying on my left side and 100 lying on my right side. I can tell that the oblique crunches are making a difference. A slow difference, VERY slow, but at least I can finally see it.

Now if I could just get some magic elves to alter the clothes that I want to keep from falling off of me, that would be great. Where's that damn gnome? You know, the one who drinks the last beer, eats the last cookie, drinks the protein shakes I make for myself, makes a mess and then disappears? Put that petite batard to work doing some sewing. Don't look at me like that; I know one lives in your house too.

Listening to: Sarah McLachlan, "Trust" from the Touch album. Woot for strong women!


Erin said...

The oblique situps have totally helped me too. Incrementally I see my waist getting smaller. I measure it DAILY. And my hips. Just keep doing it.

Dawna said...

I can't do oblique situps... my ribs get in the way. Le sigh.

And... you couldn't do that unnamed pose? Crazy! What makes me laugh is that's a yoga pose! I haven't done it in a long time, but I used to just to impress my friends. *shrugs* Something they never thought of doing, I guess, much like a lot of other bendy things I could do.

"She may be a bit chubby but the girl's a rubber band!"

Dammit! Can't. Hips too heavy... nearly just broke my elbows >_< Ow.