Seeing Less of Me

Two months ago, as I got ready to attend my wife’s Christmas party, I was surprised to discover I couldn’t button my suit jacket. The closest I could get the two sides together was still about an inch apart. I wore it anyway, of course. I didn’t button it and hoped no one noticed the tightness in my jacket. And my shirt. And my pants. It made for a really uncomfortable evening of being self-conscious.

That night and many other anecdotes have given me more willpower to be more careful about what I’m eating, and to start exercising regularly. I’ve found that, for me at least, processed carbs make me actually more hungry later, so I’ve tried to cut them out. I’ve gotten to the point now where I’m forgetting to eat. But I’m trying – with some success – to have 3 or 4 small concentrated, protein-heavy meals every day. I’m eating mostly meats, cheese, eggs and any fresh veggies I want. It’s all delicious stuff and I’m just not hungry all the time. Which means I’m eating a lot less overall. Which is nice.

Yoga has been a delightful surprise. It’s so chill and calm, and incredibly low impact. It’s just stretching and holding positions where your muscles are flexed and working. It’s deceptive, though, because my muscles are burning for a couple hours after each session. I’m gaining real strength, and regaining some of my chill. Which is nice.

I’m two months into struggling day to day to make some real changes. I’m happy to announce that, as of today, not only can I button that suit jacket, but the sides overlap by about an inch. Which is nice.

When all else fails, try eating less and exercising. You’ll be surprised.

Viking Yoga: Day 16

Day Sixteen of my yoga practice.

I felt lousy the last couple days with a head cold so I took two days off. Exercise is no fun when you can’t breathe. So, for those keeping score at home, that makes 10 yoga sessions over 16 days.

If you remember, my very first attempt was Adriene’s 30 Days of Yoga, Day One “Ease Into It” video. Sounds delightful and chill, doesn’t it? And, if you remember, I absolutely bombed every pose and bailed completely after maybe 18 minutes into the 35 minute video.

So, ever the determined Viking, I scaled back and started doing her 20 minute Complete Beginners Intro video. I couldn’t do all of those poses either, but I did my best and kept trying until I got better. At least I could hang for the entire video. And, eventually, I could do all the poses. Sure, many were sloppy, but at least I was doing them.

And it has felt great. I’ve seen my muscles strengthen every day and I’m definitely adding flexibility. I’ve reached a point where I’m actually enjoying the Beginner’s routine. In fact, I’d say I’ve gotten a little too comfortable with the Beginner’s video.

So, in my eternal quest to humiliate myself, today I tried the Day One Ease Into It video again and… it damn near killed me.

But you know what? I did the whole thing. I quit a few of the poses early, like planking (you try holding me up for that long) or holding my legs up at 45 degree for the full time she wanted.

But, by the gods, I hung in there for the full 35 minutes today. I flopped, and slouched, and groaned, and swore, sometimes loudly. By the end I was gasping for breath, soaked in sweat. At one point I saw dead relatives waving to me from the afterlife. But, with Odin as my witness, I finished it. I did all 35 minutes.

Now I just have to repeat it every day until I can conquer that routine, too.

I’m doing it. I’m making it happen.

Friends, resolve right now to do that thing you want to do. Conquer it. Make your world better.

You can do it.

You got this.

 

 

Yoga-na Love it

Me: “Who wants to do yoga with me?”

Little Miss Thing, age 7: “No thanks.”

Danger Monkey, age 10: “No way.”

My Oldest, age 15: “Maybe next time.”

Me: “No problem. I’m sure I’m better at it than any of you anyway.”

LMT: “I’m definitely better, I’ll show you.”

DM: “I’m in.”

MO: “Let’s do this.”