I cried in yoga class on Monday night

It’s true, I cried in the middle of my yoga class on Monday night! I have heard that this happens sometimes. Our body physically holds emotions and they can come pouring out when we’ve released those particular muscles. Well, half-way through class we rested in child’s pose and the tears began to flow. Luckily we were just about to start a floor sequence where we were on our stomachs for a while – just long enough to take a few breaths and wipe my eyes.

I’m not exactly sure what the tears were about, but I must have been holding on to some emotions unwittingly. I do have some suspects: the 2nd anniversary of my dad’s death, possible changes at work that have left me anxious, and relief that my husband got a new job that he is really excited about after nine long months of searching all come to mind. I’ve been experiencing little moments of anxiety lately as well.

I’m wondering if some of it has to do with my lack of consistent yoga practice these past few weeks. I’ve been hooked on barre and Pilates classes lately. My favorite teacher no longer teaches on Wednesday nights and I’m not so crazy about her replacement. I really like the teacher on Monday nights, but it’s tough getting there in time for a 6:00 class, so my yoga practice has been sporadic. I’ll be enjoying a “staycation” for most of July and I plan on getting my yoga groove back. We’ll see if that helps curb some of this anxiety that’s been building lately. It had been such a long time since I experience any episodes. I hope I can find my way back to that peace quickly!

Seeing Results

After a week of mostly following the Whole 30 eating plan, I’ve lost 4 pounds and am back to the lowest weight I’ve been so far! I haven’t been as strict as the Whole 30 plan can be: I’ve cut out flour, legumes, sugar, and have really limited my dairy (basically just a little bit of feta with my eggs in the morning). I’ve also been logging my food and it looks like the main reason the weight is finally coming off is that I’m consistently staying under my daily calorie intake by a few hundred calories.

I’ve noticed that I feel much less bloated and am having very few digestive issues. That alone makes restricting some of these foods so worth it! I’ve decided to keep this up for a month to see what kind of results I get. I’ll then consider slowly adding back in beans and chickpeas. I miss them, but I have a feeling they were affecting my digestion in the amounts I’m used to.

It’s a great feeling to see the scale on its way down again. I’m 17 pounds away from my first big goal and I’m confident it’s within reach. I’m not sure why I stopped when I was here just a few months ago. I think it may have had to do with fear and guilt. Fear that I would reach that first goal and then either be dismayed by the realization that I still have a long way to go, or fear that I wouldn’t be able to maintain that first goal and would see the weight come back on again. And the guilt? Oh, that guilt has been a companion for so long that I hardly even notice it anymore, but it’s constantly lurking. It whispers things like, “Who are you to deserve putting yourself first? Who are you to try to get fit and look good? Why are you so special?” Yep, it’s there and it sucks and I’m still learning how to ignore it. I’m ready to shut it up again.

On Anxiety

I think I’ve mentioned before that I sometimes suffer from anxiety. I’ve always been a worrier. When I was nine my parents divorced and I developed stomach aches for months afterwards. If I was struggling with a math topic, having trouble finishing my homework, etc., I would stress myself out until I got physically ill with stomach aches and migraines.

After moving to NYC for college, the anxiety lessened considerably, but still showed up from time to time. Now, in my thirties, it’s taken the form of what I call anxiety episodes: racing heart, shaking hands, spiraling negative thoughts, crying for no reason and EVERY reason. In essence, it really, really sucks. The first time I experienced one of these episodes was during and shortly after a particularly bad break-up. I ended up getting a prescription for Xanax so that I could function at work. Luckily, the intensity and frequency didn’t last very long and I was able to stop taking medication for it.

Over the years, the episodes have become fewer and far between – a few times a month, rather than a few times a week. I’ve noticed a pattern that leads me to believe they are influenced by hormones. I’ve started taking vitamin B supplements because I read that they can help with anxiety. I think the other triggers though, are being tired and feeling vulnerable.

You would think that being newly married would mean that I wouldn’t feel vulnerable at all. That might be true for most people, but for me, it’s the opposite. I’m such an expert worrier that, late at night when he’s peacefully asleep (and ┬ámy hormones and sleep levels are at their “perfect storm” levels), I first realize how happy and lucky I am to be married to such an awesome man which quickly leads me to think about how horrible it would be to lose him. And then we’re off! Cue the downward spiral into everything I’m suddenly not “enough of”, of worries that he’s going to get bored of me, worries that I’m holding him back somehow, etc., etc. You name it, I’ll find a way to worry about it. Once I’m in the middle of this mess, I can’t sleep and I can’t lay still so I tip-toe into the living room and panic and cry until I’m finally exhausted enough to fall asleep. Fun, right?

The worst part is, my husband generally notices when this happens and when he brings it up the next day I just don’t really know how to explain it. It’s nothing that he does or doesn’t do, but I can see that it hurts him and he wants to be able to help me. The thing is, all the crazy thoughts and insecurities come from deep inside me. Even if he was the perfect husband 24/7 I would still feel those things every so often. I would still not be able to sleep and would cry for hours in the dark about all my insecurities and the most irrational things I can think of.

So, clearly, THIS is the emotional work I need to do. I’ve renewed my journaling to keep track of when I feel these things and why. I’m trying to dig down to the core to see what is really going on with me. It’s a lot of work and not very pretty at all, but I know it’s necessary. I would love to have an entire month where I don’t keep myself awake out of a temporary, but overwhelming, fear of everything. It seems so ridiculous in the light of day, but on those nights it all feels so suffocatingly real. Last night was one of those nights. I didn’t get to sleep until after 4:00 a.m. Thankfully I’m off from work today so I can take it somewhat easy. I will be going to the gym, though, since it helps relieve some of my nervous energy among other things. I have a lot of work ahead of me, but, like the weight loss, it will be worth it in the end.