Because it’s important to be a conscious blogger, I do want to point out that this blog post has the potential to be triggering for anyone struggling with an ED. Please, read at your own discretion.
This past weekend I had the awesome pleasure of trying out SUP Yoga (stand up paddleboard yoga), which is all the rage at yoga festivals that are way outside my budget. Thanks to the generosity of a woman in our class, and the Burlington Community Sailing Center, 20 of us yogis and yoginis took to Lake Champlain with giddy ambitions.
Headstand felt surprisingly balanced, as well as bridge. Warrior 2, not usually thought of as a difficult posture, sent many of us flailing into the refreshing waters. Om, shanti, shanti. Om, humility, humility. It was great fun. I learned, that day, the value of staying firmly rooted in the middle of the paddleboard, lest I pop a sweet endo or look like some 18th century helpless girl getting thrown off a horse. The center is safe and seemingly monotonous. Sometimes we have to scurry, tip-toe, or tumble onto the other sides to remind ourselves how awesome stability is! These past few week’s stress and circumstances have taken my body all over the place, and although I wasn’t happy with myself at the time, I did learn a lot about what makes me confident, healthy, and happy.
While being short does give me the luxury of going to basement parties and not hitting my head on the ceiling, makes it easier for me to date more men (and wear heels while doing it!), and ensures that air travel is a tad more comfortable, it does not leave room for over indulgence or error (kind of like an American Apparel dress…) As my friend so awesomely put it, there is less length for me to hide the pounds. Someone 5’8 can gain a pound, several pounds, before anyone notices. I gain a pound and it looks like I’ve packed on 10. However, the same thing is true in the other direction. I loose a pound and I look like I’ve been hitting the gym hard (and we all know I just don’t work out…)
A few weeks ago I was coming off humiliation that made me want to devour everything in the world. Bacon, coconut-chocolate ice cream, chocolate sauce, and peanut butter were not safe for a few days. They shook in the cupboard waiting for the sweat-pant wearing, hadn’t showered in days (sexy, right?) monster to amble into the kitchen and shove a big spoon into them. Oh, the horror. I looked in the mirror after 3 days of body punishing. What I saw disgusted me. If you are gaining weight while eating a healthy diet and exercising, then you are probably meant to. And although I smelled like I had been working out, I certainly wasn’t hitting the weights or eating anything of proper nutrition. I was mad at myself for doing this to myself. Over indulgence and a bit of self-hate had gotten the best of me and I felt like a frump-o-potamus.
What quickly followed the next week was a mixture of getting sick (no one likes eating when they’re sick) and having to go home for a few days to get my car looked at. For many people going home means parents buying food and a fridge full of goodies. Going home for me is essentially accepted starvation. Yes, I could have gone grocery shopping myself, but I was mule stubborn and insanely broke. Scheduling a detox was out of the question, as my siblings generally like to take me out for drinks and heavy food. After the 4 eggs vanished, I subsided off of gelato, frozen fruit bars, a few slices of bacon here and there, and sheer determination. By day 4 I was picking fights with my parents. Hungry Jocellyn is not a happy Jocellyn.
When done properly, fasting (either on water or fresh juice) doesn’t necessarily mean you balloon out after it is over. If you slowly reintroduce foods back into your diet, all will not be in vain (though I’m a firm believer that fasting should come from a place of relaxation and ‘reset’, not trying to loose weight). However, what I was doing was not fasting, per say. It was starvation and whenever I gave myself food at random times, it was generally unhealthy and too much. My body held onto what ever I gave it with a grip that would make super villain Bane totally envious (yes I deffs saw The Dark Knight Rises last night, and I’m still geeking out!!!!) Despite only eating a handful of times when I was at home, I left looking like a black Buddha, sans cheerful smile. And when I got back to Burlington at 1am (so I could make the SUP Yoga class—check the determination!) I didn’t have time to eat a lot or even energy to prepare food. Everything was so much harder. My stomach receded, pulling in tight to show definition I rarely see. For a few minutes I looked good. Damn good. And then I didn’t feel so great about it all. How could I feel good about these flat abs that I didn’t earn through diet and exercise? I mean, how often do you say no to a flat stomach? Well, you should if you didn’t get there by healthy means! Not to mention I was a starvin’ marvin’. Whoever said “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” was wrong for so many reasons.
Over indulgence can cause our body to undertake a form that makes us self-conscious. But sometimes when we reach what we think our “ideal” form should be, we have to stop and ask ourselves if “there” is where we really want to be—and if you got there properly then revel in your bad self, but if you didn’t, or you’re just plain unhappy, then dial it back a bit. You’d be surprised how close the middle is to where you want. I’m excited to return to the happy middle, where my taste buds are satisfied just so and I feel comfortable with my body. Sometimes we have to teeter-totter to remind ourselves that it ain’t really that bad.
Peel Away <3