Friday, September 21, 2007

Flexibility, Balance

In food, I think I have both. I am trying new stuff (spaghetti squash, leeks, eggplant). I am making every attempt to eat a balanced diet daily. I cannot wrap my head around everything that 'balance' includes, but I am trying to eat the GHG's for water, f&v, dairy and oil as well as focus on whole grain foods. This has helped immensely in many areas of my well-being. is not the only area for flexibility and balance.

In body - not flexible. I was never flexible at my most fit. What I'm discovering is that thin does not = fit, and that fit does not = flexible. When I was thin, I remember thinking, "What do these people have where they can sit with legs apart and touch their forhead to the ground???". So embarrassing when a 30-something outdid me when I was only in my early 20s. Even if they are 'round' they can stretch a leg off to the side, holding onto their toe. So, how does one become flexible? Is it a birthright, or a matter of stretching exercises to make those muscles elastic (something I have NEVER really done for any length of time).

So yoga/dance enters the picture. Not only am I not flexible, but I am not very balanced. Both of these activities require these features in order to look, um, graceful. Graceful I ain't. Let's talk balance, because I always thought I had balance. Scarlett walks upright with head held high - turn off the lights and she's banging into things all over. In dance, we were asked to do a releve (rel-eh-vay). This is to stand on your toes - both feet (there is another where you have to stand on just 1 called a passe releve). Not so bad, but what about after doing other footwork. I was the first to fall over - it would have been sooner had I not been wearing my new walking shoes. OK, then in yoga there are a number of balancing moves - balance the core, she says. Um, I don't know about this sitting and holding my feet, with my hands, up in the air thing. Don't roll back, she says. Oh, Barbie, you have competition on the balance thing!

Something else struck me last night. I know this will sound odd (or maybe self-degrading, since I've come from more than overweight), I am taking this class for fun, but also for exercise. The instructors are great, but...I know, never qualify a compliment with a but, but...they are both overweight. This was part of the attraction of dance. You didn't have to be fit in order to participate, but it struck me last night that I was spending 2 hours of my week (drive-time included) to participate in activities that were not geared to weight loss. I've thought about this and concluded that thin does not = fit and fit does not = thin. I've concluded that even overweight instructors can offer me something, but that I need to do more. I need to step it up a notch. They exercise as part of their work day, but I don't know their diet. I do not know if they work out any other areas. I DO know that yoga, in and of itself, is insufficient to burn fat and that dance, while cardio enters the picture, is also insufficient for healthy body weight or to build muscle.

Here's something, too, diet is insufficient to obtain the body I want. Maybe that's why I've been struggling with the 'exercise' component all summer. Why do I want to be fit AND toned? Wednesday evening we were asked to close our eyes and picture what we wanted from this journey. I couldn't do that. There's no media image I strive for. And I never had the lust for life at any weight because of my weight. All I could picture was a word, "Energy". That word, and all that it encompasses is what I want. What it encompasses for me will change as time goes on, but I do know that the "Energy" I have now compared to a few short months ago is 10-fold. I know that I am healthier now (because of the food I put in my body) than I was the last time I was at this weight.

OK, quick NSV. A girl here at work (I've written about her before) has lost some weight. Yay her, but unfortunately it was brought on due to stress. She's so sweet though. Today she told me that my 'new' jeans didn't suit me and I needed to go with her and she'd let me use her 'discount' at her 2nd job (adds to stress, right) to buy a new pair of 14s that looked good. I protested, saying that I wasn't going to be a 14 for long and I'd buy 12s when the time came. OK, here's her response, and the NSV: "All the hard work you're doing and no one can see it. Come with me and buy 12s too for when you get there."

Outa here, Cheers

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Year 2 - May 28/08-Current