I started out my adult life as a pretty fit person, having grown up playing sports and even a little college basketball back in the day. However, life changes caused me to pack on the pounds...about 80 of them to be exact.
Because I was pretty slim growing up, I never really thought too much about nutrition and never really learned to fuel and nourish my body. What I did learn was that I couldn’t have the same habits as an adult who was trying to run a home, raise a child and care for a grandmother all while having my husband deployed to Afghanistan.
The careless eating and busy days caused me to gain weight, sending my self image into a downward spiral.
Change Isn’t Always Easy
The decision to change didn’t come easy, but I started off with doing the food and exercise routine that is necessary for losing weight. However, it grew into something much bigger.
It started a cycle of how much I can do, what I can achieve, how hard I can push this body. I pushed it into completing five half marathons, countless 5k races, two obstacle course races and the grand finale of the Ironman 70.3 in Oceanside, CA.
All that yielded great results in losing inches off my body. However, it also came at a price...NOT learning balance.
Learning The Importance of Balance
What I have come to know is that if you never learn the balance, all the other changes are merely a temporary gain. That is when I realized that balance only comes when you change your mind, not your body.
This revelation began my love affair with yoga.
I started out in a Bikram yoga class to give myself something with less impact and try something new. It awakened something inside me and I absolutely fell in love. Now, I practice Vinyasa Flow yoga both at a studio and at home.
What I have found is that it helps me make a connection between my mind and body that carries over into my life. For that one hour of practice, I am no place else, but in that moment of breathing and movement.
This moment allows my mind to connect the pieces together and the result is love, nourishment and caring for my body. That is how I began changing my mind which is changing my life and not just my body.
How Yoga Has Helped Me
My self image is no longer connected with my jean size. Yoga has given me the ability to love this body and embrace the connection between my mind and body.
It’s a powerful discipline that challenges my physical ability and leaves me craving the next time I can practice. I would encourage anyone who struggles with self acceptance or with loving yourself to begin a regular practice.
When you can open your mind to make a connection, what happens is absolutely extraordinary. It helps you see that very same body you “hate” as a wonderful vessel in which to connect and not only love yourself, but also the world around you in a whole new way.
The by-product of yoga is that it will change your body’s shape as you practice a regular routine. It seems you begin to want to nourish it with good food and proper choices.
The difference is that you love yourself into change, instead of beating yourself into change. And what this yields is a life-changing result of love and self-acceptance—instead of a short term goal of simply losing weight.
by Judy Moss - Judy is a yogi doing her best to love her way through medical menopause and bipolar disease, and finally finding balance and self love through yoga practice. You can connect with her on Facebook and Instagram
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