17 June 2012

"No mud, no lotus."

I was once a woman warrior.
Three years ago, I was an avid yogi, attending yoga anywhere from 2-5 times per week. We're not just talking a relaxing, restorative practice either. I mean a vigorous, ashtanga-based flow yoga practice. My body was toned and my brain was alive. On top of my yoga practice, I was in a lifestyle and living environment that promoted healthy eating (my parents eat almost too healthy, and I worked with a bunch of vegan, yoga-loving hippies). As much as I hate cardio, I found really fun ways of sneaking it into my life. I was in the best shape of my life. My body was pushed to its sexiest and greatest limits. I was glowing inside and out.

In August 2009, I moved from my parents home in Southern California to a small college town in Northern California. I was suddenly thrown into a completely new and crazy environment, but it was something I wanted. Many things changed. I spent my weekends smoking joints with my friends and eating Taco Bell. I drank beer for breakfast. My yoga practice diminished. My school had a nice gym that I would visit once or twice a week, but I slowly saw my muscles deflating and disappearing, only to turn to mush (and later on, to lumpy cellulite). But this is what I wanted: a college experience. I had fun, for the most part, rolling joints and doing keg stands on the weekends with my friends, walking around our small town to the next party, winning beer pong tournaments, stargazing on the roof of our apartment building until 3am. It was a fun time, but that time ended, friends graduated. I fell in love with the wrong person.

It was an awful, toxic relationship. It was a brutal, low blow that turned me into somewhat of a recluse. To get through my last semester of undergrad, I basically slept all weekend long, waking up only to eat something comforting, and retiring to the sofa for a depressing movie. I was ready to get the hell out of this small town that had become somewhat of a prison, move back home with my parents, look for work, and get back into yoga shape, to the girl I used to be.

But life has a funny way of changing your plans. In the last three weeks of my undergrad, I met the most wonderful guy in the world, just by chance in one of my classes. He and I fell hard, soon we were inseparable. Suddenly moving back home sounded awful, I wanted to stay with this newfound love I'd found. I had to move home for a few months, but ended up deciding to go back to grad school in that same small town, this time with a different outlook on the situation. I moved in with my boyfriend, we've created a life together, a home, a wonderful harmony. But still, being in love doesn't solve all my problems--or any of them.

If I can figure out how to
 be half as beautiful as I used to be
I'll be happy.
Around the time I met my boyfriend, I decided to get treatment for some low-grade anxiety I'd always harbored. I've always had anxiety, but I was able to keep that anxiety under control when I practiced yoga. The anxiety had spilled over into other aspects of my body, and created symptoms of IBS and other digestion disasters I will go into more detail about in a later post. Instead of therapy for my anxiety, which is what I thought would be the best treatment for my anxiety, my doctor decided to throw me on Lexapro. Because I am not clinically depressed and didn't really need a hardcore drug like that in the first place, the past 5 months on this drug have been more than I can handle. If I wasn't already depressed about my weight, I gained 15 pounds in 4 months, including stretch marks on my once beautifully toned, long, thin legs. The mood swings have almost cost me my relationship (luckily I have a very, very patient and understanding boyfriend). But quitting this terrible drug has proven to be a nightmare as well. I decided to quit cold turkey, which lead to tantrums and convulsions. Weaning myself off slowly still means the gnarliest headaches I have ever experienced, periods of crying that last for hours on end (one day last week I cried for four hours non-stop). But I know that these symptoms don't last forever, that once the drug is completely washed out of my system I can start to feel like me again (I took my last dose of Lexapro over a week ago, the crying is down to about a half hour a day).

Anyway, now that you know my journey through weight gain, I hope you are able to get to know me through weight loss. I have created this blog for the sole purpose of getting healthier, of staying on track. Here, I will post recipe trial and errors, weight loss up and downs, experiments, links, inspiring songs and soundtracks to the cardio I will undoubtedly force myself to partake in. I will enlighten my brain, my soul, refine my life to some version I used to be--but this time an updated, more adult version. It's rebirth. It will be challenging, but I want to have fun. I have made it through the thickest of mud, I'm ready to emerge like a glowing lotus.


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