Mind & Motion

…the last 5lbs….

Posted in Personal Essays by Meghan Pickrell on August 22, 2009

Last year I had this amazing vacation in Italy. My boyfriend’s family decided it would be an adventure to rent a flat in Florence for 6 weeks over the Christmas holiday and invited us with them. Florence is a beautiful city full of history, art and well… food. As they say, “when in Florence, do as the Florentines.” And that means consuming pasta, tons of it. As well as mozzarella, prosciutto, and hey did someone say “gelato?” again for the 5th night in a row? Yes, I will have 2 scoops of stracciatella please. Thank you.

As you can imagine I was a bit curious to step on a scale when I arrived home. What had this Italian extravaganza done to my fit and slender body? How much will I have to cut back in order to get to my average 123lb weight? I stepped on to the scale and glanced down at my destiny. 120lbs. Really? That can’t be. I had lost weight on my eating binge? I stepped off the scale and waited a moment. Maybe it wasn’t accurate. I stepped back on…and…120lbs again. Hmmm… my mind started turning in wonderment. Maybe my metabolism has been jump started by the over consumption and the calories from the trip haven’t kicked in yet!

With this new-found discovery in tow, I decided to take my body’s positive change to the limit. I generally eat rather healthy. I didn’t however withhold any fat, sugar or carbs from my diet. I continued my workout routine, vitamin intake and I drank plenty of water, which is usual for me. Stepping on the scale a few weeks later I had lost more weight. 118lbs. Now people, I haven’t been 118lbs since high school.

What was making me loose all this weight? Was it the new birth control pill I started in January? Did my body actually need all of the fat and sugar I had denied it for so many years?  I started to freak out a little, was I sick?  Was this like the time my credit card company didn’t realize it was mistakenly charging me 0 APR for 6 months when the numbers should have been adding up? Maybe my body didn’t realize I was consuming so many calories. Was my body charging me 0 APR?

For the past year and half I’ve not thought, worried or cared about my food consumption, which is quite liberating for an ex-ballet dancer who’s tendency was to be over-consumed with weight, shape and size. At that time, concerned about my low weight, I was eating as much as humanly possible in order to try and gain weight: M&Ms at the movies, check. Chocolate cake after dinner, check. Hamburger at lunch with sweet potato French fries, check, check….. I didn’t gain weight.

Of course, all good things much come to end.  A few weeks ago I stepped on the scale.  123lbs! I freaked out.  My glorious metabolism was now turning on me. I immediately went to the first available yoga class. Standing there, I looked at my familiar figure in the mirror, no more flat belly and bony arms.  I was back to me.  I started my practice and began to strike my first pose, which felt pretty good.  I continued, eventually hitting the triangle posture mid-series. I actually felt strong which is something I wasn’t quite feeling at 118lbs. Hey, maybe the slightly puggier me is a little stronger.

During savasena (the rest posture) it dawned on me how reactive I can be.  At 118lbs I was worried that I was too thin. Now, I’m worried about being too fat? Can I just appreciate where I am with my weight and allow my body to just be right here and now at whatever weight it wants. Why be so consumed with 5lbs? I will appreciate my 118lb body and my 123lb body and not get caught up with semantics. This is my new mantra. Namaste.

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