I have been trying to start a new way of eating. The problem is that every time I try to change my eating patterns, it forces me to examine all my past choices and then deal with how I am going to go forward. I have two parts of me: the part that wants to eat and cook every delicious thing out there to the point of being quite a larger person (it is very hard for me to moderate) and then there is the person that wants to stay healthy and active and likes to look good in a pair of skinny jeans. I should add that there is a third food personality in there too: the Ashtangi. I didn’t realize it when I started doing Ashtanga, but you can very easily become obsessed with food in Ashtanga. There are all these rules as to how a proper yogi/Ahstangi behaves and they seem to involve a lot of “no.” No meat, no booze, no eating after 5 p.m. or if you are really good, no dinner at all. Yogis are supposed to eat lightly. There is a saying that goes something like this, “A yogi eats once a day, a bogi (non-yogi) eat twice a day, and if you eat three times a day you need to find yourself a cemetery plot.” I make fun, but it is all in the quest for a better practice in the morning. I have never really bought into the Ashtangi side of it too much, until we were in India and it was so hot that eating too much was just uncomfortable. Not to mention that when it is 90°, the electricity goes out and your fan stops working eating just sounds like a bad idea. I did notice by eating less the night before, my practice was better in the morning. I just felt lighter and not as heavy. This led to some of my favorite type of practices; the ones where it just feels all sparkly and magical. Those practices are a bit of a drug and they lead you to want to create more of them.
I came back from Mysore with the idea that I would try to impliment some of the ways of eating, that had served us so well in India, here. Did I mention Alex lost something ridiculous like 12 pounds while we were there? He was the thinest he had been since high school or something crazy like that. The first main idea is that we would eat a larger lunch and start to scale back dinner. This is significantly harder to do than I thought. You see, this smaller lunch, larger dinner is rather ingrained in our culture and in my stomach. My stomach is perfectly happy to eat that larger lunch, but then it is not happy when I attempt to give it a smoothie or salad for dinner. It protests loudly that it would like some proper dinner thank you very much!
The second part is that when we were in Mysore, I went to a lovely woman named Angelika. She is an intuitive nutritionist amongst other things. She did a reading of sorts where she went through almost every food that she could think of and a couple of other things that I eat regularly and asked the universe if it was in my best interest to continue eating it. The large overarching themes were that I needed more protein (animal and vegetable), more raw or lightly cooked veggies, less fruit and then to cut out dairy, soy, white flour, sugar and avocado oil. Oh and no chai, to drink coffee instead. I came out of meeting with her a bit crushed. It seemed like an impossible task to give up so many things that I really loved. When we got back I tried to follow the instructions when I could, but didn’t work at it too hard. I had my sister’s wedding coming up and the prep that went with that, then my parents were here for two wonderful weeks after that and my father loves to put tasty things in the fridge that I just don’t want to not eat. Surprisingly, I was able to give up most of the dairy rather easily and I have felt a marked change with that. So that brings us to last week when I had promised myself I would start and I did kinda, but I just got all cranky and was having a devil of a time getting myself to buckle down and behave. Which led to my current state of trying to figure out if this is one of those things that I need to apply strong will to and DO or if perhaps I am just asking too much of myself right (for whatever reason). I am fairly strong willed and have perfectionist tendencies. This causes me often to push on something to the point where it blows up in my face and causes me a lot of anxiety and insecurity. I am much more aware of this now, but I still don’t have a good idea generally what is good enough so I tend to push myself too much. In this particular situation, I don’t have a good answer to it and so I think I will just have to sit with it over the next couple of days and see how things go. Somehow I need to find the moderation.