Well, I feel like a sausage this summer. It was bound to happen. It does every year. I feel fit and comfortable in my body and then… my husband gets the summer off and cooks a boat load of food for EVERY meal. AND it tastes amazing and I just want to sit down and EAT IT ALL. So, I do.
My husband is in every sense of the word a “foodie.” He found he loved to cook a few years back and most days are a culinary adventure in this house. This is not a bad problem to have, especially since I hate cooking, and yet, love to eat. But, during the school year it’s just in the evenings when he prepares dinner, and during the summer months, it’s all of the time.
And the thing is, I don’t look like a sausage. I haven’t even gained weight due to the huge amounts of yoga I do every day. But, I feel heavier and full at times when I normally feel light and lovely, and for someone that has suffered from eating disorders in the past, it can be unsettling to feel that way.
So, what to do? Beat my body up and do even more yoga? Or take up running miles and miles on top of the heavy yoga schedule? Or not eat the beautiful food? Or tell my body how fat it is and how much I hate it over and over again my mind? NOOOO! None of that. Been there, done that, wrote the book about it.
Instead I acknowledge this time for what it is. A wonderful time with my husband, enjoying beautiful food, great conversation, and just being with each other in the moment. Because not only do I know he would still love me if I gained another fifty pounds, but because I know I would still love me if I gained another fifty pounds. And the fact is, none of that is going to happen anyway – it’s all in my mind.
I could ruin this whole three months together easily enough. I could come home after teaching a couple of classes and decide not to eat the lunch he made just for me, or I can thank him for thinking of me and being such a sweetheart and sit down and enjoy the meal. And, please know he does listen to me when I say I need a break and I’m just going to have a salad or some juice instead of a huge lunch. I finally have a great relationship with my body and I don’t want to disrespect it by not listening to what it has to say when I start actually craving a green juice.
So often I hear people talk about their holidays, vacations, or celebrations in a shadowy place: “It was a great time, but I ate too much food.” Why not just enjoy yourself and know that if you have the right lifestyle, a few indulgent meals aren’t going to send you over the edge into bad health or chronic weight gain? We worry so much, we forget to have fun and LIVE.
As a whole, the way we talk about food and our body seems off somehow. Food is not the enemy and neither is your body. Give thanks for the beautiful food and truly enjoy it. Give thanks for your beautiful body and truly enjoy it, too. Stop eating if you’ve had enough (leftovers are delicious, too!) and continue to move your body throughout the day – go to yoga, take a long walk, go for the run if that feels good to you. Make sure your exercise is not a punishment for the crime of eating, but a celebration of everything you can do in this moment and every good thing your life has to offer.
Yoga on, friends…
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