I've been a yogi for 8 years. Almost an entire decade of my life has been filled with classes, students, teachers, workshops, retreats, trainings + yoga events.
My first yoga class was in Anchorage, Alaska with my aunt + uncle. We had mats in front of the TV as we watched Karen Voight (think that was her name), twist and turn. After 60 minutes of yoga holds, deep breathing exercises and a long savasana, I was hooked.
While living in Alaska, I was walking 60 minutes every day and practicing yoga 3-5 times a week. I didn't know much about nutrition. In fact, I remember having cheerios with milk for breakfast. I ate VERY small meals - thought that was the only way for a girl like me to lose weight.
After a month of soul filling days in Anchorage, I came back to Seattle + immersed myself into the yoga scene. I was a nanny during the day, a Bikram yogi at night - 5 days a week. A partier on the weekends. After an entire year of rinse + repeat (literally), I started getting really sick all the time.
My diet during that time:
Chai tea with powerbar
Don't remember having one
A few goldfish crackers from the girls I nannied.
Veggie patty with spinach
I thought that restriction was the only way I'd be able to stay at my dream weight.
After a heart break involving an ex-boyfriend and a former friend, I bought a one way ticket to Thailand. I spent 8 months teaching + traveling in SE Asia. I asked around to find yoga in every small village/city where I taught in Thailand. I'd take a bus to find a class in Vietnam, asked the locals while acting out yoga poses in Bangkok + Bali + found beautiful earthy studios. While I didn't understand the language, I started to notice how the only thing I needed was the ability to breathe.
Immediately after returning home from my grand adventure, I moved to Seattle where I spent the last 6 years learning, taking + teaching everything yoga.
4 years ago, I was confused about health. I was a candy freak. I drank caffeine even though it made me feel like I was going to have a heart attack. I wasn't sleeping. I was gaining weight, but I couldn't figure it out!!!
I was walking up to 6 miles a day, taking 1-2 power vinyasa yoga classes + confiding in close friends about how I wasn't able to lose any weight + how sad it made me.
I decided to get really real with myself. I had a problem. A secret. An eating disorder. I had no idea what the fuck to eat. I saw myself as a large woman when I looked into the mirror. I viewed myself as a failure because I could never follow through with a plan or a diet. I beat myself up about my lack of control.
"Eat good during the day, eat ice cream + cookies at night."
4 years ago I wanted to learn about food, nutrition, energy, fuel, recipes that actually tasted good. I wanted to learn how to ditch the extremist mentality + forgive myself for my lack of follow through, when really diets are set up to make people like me fail. And fail hard. Diets make you feel totally worthless, like you don't deserve to lose weight.
I remember losing 5, gaining 10, losing 10 and gaining 5. From 16 to 26 I battled. I didn't know any better.
I eased up. I let go. I started listening to my body.
I felt tired - so I ate less carbs.
I was thirsty - I drank more water, no more caffeine.
I was low - I needed food that would give me fuel, so I researched.
I wanted a healthy glow - I ate more veggies, less processed foods.
I no longer wanted to struggle with my weight - I figured out what would work for me. The be kind to myself plan.
Seeing others struggle with the same issues I struggled with for a decade gave me the fire to become a Health Coach. Yoga peeps come in ALL shapes + sizes.
If you want to lose weight, ask yourself these three questions:
1. What will happen when I lose the weight?
2. What are my top motivators for wanting to lose weight?
3. Do I love myself because of my weight?
I love you. I love you for reading this. I love you because you are probably just like me. Wanting to break free of the suckiness that is a diet.