Ass, meet mat.

So, yoga.

Wait, no, lemme back up.

In the finding of a new doctor and trying to get this pinched nerve under control (and that makes me want to tangent all over again. Because, oh, how we get set in our ways. I have a whole list of acceptable, life-altering pain. I’ve built my life around the fact that I get migraines, and that I can’t control all the stress-triggers, but the ones that i can I sure as heck do, and I’ve made my peace with having a sensitive head. I’m also coming to terms with having The Gout. But this new incapacitating pain? Unacceptable! I already have X and Z, so why this other thing?! I did not sign up for this!!) I made the (not all surprising?) discovery that I’ve crossed the 200lb threshold. I’m somewhat ambivalent about this because I don’t buy into the idea that weight is an indicator of over-all health, and I’ve always been more interested in my body being able to function, in seeing to the needs of my body, rather than having a certain number reflect back at me from a scale. In fact, we haven’t owned a scale since 2011, and even before we did, I was not a religious weigh-in-er. I managed to make it through middle school and high school without being one of those girls who fixated on my body shape — the diet industry only seems to reach out and grab me when I’m trying to buy clothing, which because I’m both short and round, has never been anything short of a nightmare. I have dieted — I have done Weight Watchers, and at my lightest as an adult (125lbs) I STILL only fit into a size 12. Which is frustrating when you’re trying to play the diet game — any of those double digit numbers are pretty much plus size, you realize. I digress a ton here (hahaha, a ton! Cuz it’s weight . . .er, anyway). My body has been really, really good to me over the years. We get on well, and if I injure it now and again (I’m a klutz) I bounce back pretty fast.

Though, that’s starting to slow down. Like, in 2012 when I sprained my ankle and then really sprained it and had to wear a brace for the better part of the year. Or, like in 2013 when I pulled by back out (for the gatrillionth time) only this time my sciatic nerve decided it would  be cool to tag along, and it’s never been quite right since. That back sprain (because let’s call it what it is. For whatever reason  “pulling  my back out” doesn’t seem all that dire. Back sprain sounds scary as fuck) (cognitive dissonance, I haz eet) caused me to drop my yoga entirely (which had widdled away down to maybe once every few weeks at best anyway). I approached it a few times once I was feeling well enough, but all my favorite stretches wound up kicking off sciatic pain enough that eventually I dropped it “for good.” Mind you, the yoga that I favor is extremely gentle. I don’t like sweating when I practice. I push delicately. It is not aggressive, this yoga practice of mine. It is not to conquer my body, it is to be with my body and, in being with my body, to be with my god. But, pain is frustrating, and I could keep coming back at it, or I could decide, you know, enough.

In December I bought boots. Nice boots. Flat boots. Moderately expensive boots from a company whose boots I’d purchased before. And thus began my descent into hell. In February the new doctor have me some physical therapy to try, because it was not getting better on its own. In the beginning of this month, she gave me some medication to help deal with the pain and I’m still trying to get some PT appointment squared away. Having medication on hand to help with the pain has made me more incline to trying gentle stretching, and I’m coming to realize that just because I have the flexibility to fold into a pose — just because I have the range of limber-ness — does not mean that I necessarily should reach the full extent. Which maybe is obvious, but to me, it’s a light-bulb going off.

I found a gentle flow video on Youtube, and went back to the matt. I’m actually sick right now, too, so I managed 10 of the 30 minutes, and much of that was just sitting and breathing. I’m shaky because of it . . . . but I also feel so much better.

#

I have a “lose 25lbs in a year” challenge. Also, my blood pressure is really high. Also, thyroid fun. This week I’m coming upon the realization that “lose weight, fatty!!” has kicked up food anxiety and food deviance. I’m reaching for my comfort foods, and I’m eating what I want because screw you I can. Not, screw you I want to, but screw you I can. So I’m asking myself: just because I *can*, does that mean I *want* to? In other words: mindfulness and hey, while we’re at it, compassion.

Too much of what I enjoy eating has salt in it. Salt is becoming an issue. (Bread. BREAD. BREAAAAD, and also, cheese.)  Beth and I are challenging ourselves to introduce actual veggies other than root veggies into our diets. I’m tabling the dressing issue for now. (Hello, sodium!) I’m also tabling the “lose 25lbs in a year!” challenge because it’s having a very negative impact on my decision making ability. Instead, “let’s get whole foods back in,” is what’s happening. This is the call to arms that always helps me the most, when making food decisions, and so, that’s where I’m going. There, and back to the mat, but in gentle, new, honest ways.

And also, apparently, for physical therapy for real. With real people. Because sciatica.

I’ve missed yoga. I need to stop deciding my yoga needs to be or should be like other people’s yoga, that it should be central to all, that it should be about pushing harder and faster and being competitive with myself. I don’t want to be competitive with myself. I want to be easy with myself. I want to enjoy being in the moment with my body, and learning what it can do each day. I want to be okay with how I am now, and I want being okay with how I am now to naturally lead to being okay with how I am later. There are other gentle yoga flows to explore, to keep my practice engaged, without being stuck in the one default flow that I know by heart.

I’m grateful that I have enough practical knowledge to modify as I go, as I need to. At least there’s that.

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