. . . continued from Part 1, in my series about my friend, Donna, who has lost 120 pounds (and is still working!) by eating healthy and exercising.
headstands, plow, splits — and I’ve recently started doing hot yoga classes, which have taken the practice into another realm. The intense effort of doing a 75-minute class in a 100+ degree room leads to a sort of mental cleansing that I’ve never experienced with any other type of activity — and let’s not talk about the physical cleansing that it creates. I’ve never, EVER, sweated the way I do in hot yoga — and I love it!
I’ve had an off-again, on-again relationship with running, and have completed 3 5K races, which I got a real kick out of, but have recently been debating whether I have enough time, or love of the activity, to make running a regular part of my life.
I did a stint of swimming, which I truly loved, but the closest pool is a little too far away to make it a viable regular activity for me. I also took a few month’s of ballet classes, which I enjoyed tremendously, but couldn’t carve out enough time to practice at home in addition to the once-a-week class, and felt I was getting enough from it as a result. So, when I scan across all the possible activities, lifting and yoga keep emerging at the top of the list.
Donna: The wall of denial that I mentioned earlier was a well-constructed one. I didn’t feel, or at least I didn’t acknowledge that I felt, limited, sad, unhappy, or anything negative about myself as a result of my weight. I couldn’t recognize the lack of self-esteem that my poor health represented. I just didn’t realize that my choices were saying that I didn’t think I was worthy of taking better care of, that I didn’t deserve to be healthy, that I didn’t love myself properly. I wouldn’t acknowledge that I was judged by my appearance — which fit in well with my strong feminist politics — but when I thought about possibly having to look for a new job, I couldn’t ignore that I would be judged.Now, 120# lighter, I realize that my own health is the highest good I can serve, and that anything I want to accomplish in life can only come if I take care of myself first. Having achieved the loss I have, I don’t think there’s anything I can’t do if I set my mind to it. My confidence is through the roof, and my commitment to protecting my health has led me to make professional choices that sometimes still surprise even me. I’ve stepped off the executive track at work because I realized that the stress and time commitment to achieve a vice-presidency would come at the expense of the time I need to be active and plan/execute my food choices appropriately. And, there’s no question which is more important anymore.