Thursday, August 27, 2015

I still got a lot of fight in me...

I went to my Yoga class today - everything was saying No, my body said No, my mind agreed but somehow when I came upstairs to change out of my work clothes, my soul said Go and I put my gym clothes on. The yoga instructor is just fabulous, the music is soothing and soul stirring and she cranks up the heat and burns eucalyptus oils and the whole experience just manages to heal me on many levels. During the class the instructor always reminds us to focus our awareness on our core and to hold our poses for a certain period of time and just be. And focus. So focus I did. I asked myself lovingly - What hurts? Once my body had settled down in the pose, every throbbing, ache and pain called out to me behind all the layers of pain. There is a mouth ulcer nestled between the fold of upper lip where it meets the jaw line that smart with pain. I was acutely aware of a throbbing deep within my left molar - something I have ignored for long. As I relaxed my face and gave in to the pose, I noticed the sinus pressure behind my eyes, my cheeks, my nose which together sang in a symphony of pain all day. I realized the difference in the various aches I felt throughout my body; while the one in my throat was a constant raging one, the tooth was a dull rhythmic throb, the pain in my ear was quiet and subdued, the pain in my face and forehead was tender. Various layers and personalities of pain. Each one demanding individual attention but together lose their voice and create a new pain - the one in my heart of despair.

As my mind calmed down and my body followed the instructions of my teacher willingly and with no thought of its own, I made little plans of tackling these individual pains. I hugged myself internally and wiped away my tears which flowed freely but never left my eyes. I told myself "This too shall pass, I will get better one day".

75 minutes just about flew by and the class was over. I stood up refreshed and left the gym. A broken Sonia with a repaired soul and a plan for her next baby step - Salsa funk class on Saturday. Life does not stop for anyone. Like the ocean's waves which flow back and forth relentlessly, the play of tides continues without fail - high and low; so does life go on. It never stops. And as I go through my hour long commute each way, and paying attention to my little people and hugging/kissing/cheering/feeding/bathing/cuddling/playing with them, as I go through work and come back home and pay attention to this glass and brick and wood structure of love and warmth - dishes to be cleaned, laundry, putting away toys, beds to be made, as I carve out time for the husband; life does not wait.....And all through this I make myself a promise - to the Sonia inside me who is sad and dejected, who hurts internally when she sees her pictures and refuses to acknowledge the puffed up mess she has become, when she looks at her once beautiful smooth skin and wills the bumps caused by side effects from the strong medicines she is on, to go away, wills them to disappear; I hug that Sonia and promise to nurse her back - slowly and steadily but one day she will be back.

On the way home, the Fight song by Rachael Platten was on the radio - such a good omen - This is my fight song, take back my life song....I still got a lot of fight left in me!! So all my sisters, wherever you are and whatever fight you are fighting, keep moving forward and even when you get knocked down your feet and picked up and deposited a million steps farther from where you started, pick yourself up and start again. Because one day you too will win.

Monday, August 10, 2015

One step forward and a thousand steps back

My fitness goals and me have not been on the same page lately and when I say lately I mean in a number of years - and when I say years I should even go all the way and say it truthfully - almost a decade! So here I am 30 pounds overweight for the last 6-7 years of my life. New Years have come and gone, india trips have come and gone, vacations have come and gone, important family get togethers and events have come and gone and I am still standing in the same place. Every time some thing is coming up - say an India trip in six months, I make sincere plans of working out and getting fit and losing weight and without fail every single time some completely justifiable event takes place and I am worse off than before.

Let's take this year - I joined a gym on my birthday in March, signed up for the half marathon end of September; we have a family event coming up this week. I worked out very sincerely all though March - about four times a week, waking up at 5 in the morning to get in a class before I went to work. All good until allergies and asthma hit in April and I have spiraled into this unending cycle of sore throat, body ache, head ache, sinus infections, fatigue, asthma attacks. Every time I feel better I try to return to my game plan. One day stick to plan; four days off of it. It is extremely de motivating and disappointing when you so badly want the jiggly fat on your thighs melt away and for your butt to not resemble a small country and yearn for the fit slim lean girl within you that you see glimpses of when you can manage to work out regularly. But no, like a bad curse hurled my way, I struggle to rise above the constant aches and pains and fatigue sessions.

People all around me keep up an unending supply of advice and recommendations. What this has also taught me is to be empathetic towards others - people who struggle with not easily visible ailments, to understand someone when they opt out of races/physical events, to not judge someone by their size and meanly think if they could just put down that coffee they might lose a pound. Because it is all a vicious circle - you don't feel good, you crave things to pull you out of the rut; for normal people who have to keep smiling/performing for your job/friends/family, you don't really have an option to stop and take stock of your life and to make sweeping decisions. Would I love going off on a six month retreat in the Himalayas where I will eat organic food everyday and do yoga and take strolls in the fresh mountain air - sure!! Do I have the money and is it practically possible for me to do it is another question?

So I do what I can do - one step forward whenever I can and to never let go of this quest to achieve fitness. Right now I am focused on finding out what is wrong with me - pulmonary function test first. Then to reduce medications then slowly get back to normal.