Tuesday, March 22, 2011

How yoga helped me NOT lose weight

Have I mentioned that I was HUGE when I was pregnant?  By the time I made it to my second trimester I had gained the recommended amount of weight for an entire pregnancy.  All told, I gained almost sixty pounds.

After giving birth to my son, I lost 25 pounds within a week.  That felt pretty good, and I figured it would just keep coming off.  Nope.  It didn't happen.  My three month maternity leave came and went and no more weight came off.  I had been walking everyday for at least half an hour.  And, as I've posted before I was practicing yoga nearly every day. Not exactly Olympiad training, but not sedentary either.   

So, there I was ready to go back to work and still carrying around 35 extra pounds.  I was not pleased with this fact in and of itself, but add the issue of lack of work-appropriate clothing that fits and it was downright depressing. 

Or was it?

I took some time to think about it and came to this conclusion:  I have a beautiful, healthy and joyful baby; I am healthy and able to provide him what he needs to thrive with love and breastfeeding; and (here's where the yoga comes in) I may have some extra weight on me and not look like I did pre-pregnancy, but I feel pretty darn good in my body. 

Yoga connects me to my body through physical exertion, mental concentration and spiritual awareness.  That feels great.  Perhaps, more importantly, yoga teaches me non attachment: everything is temporary, including my body, the vessel that houses my soul.  So why get all worked up about something that, in the grand scheme of things, may be here today and gone tomorrow?  Yoga also teaches me to be grateful and focus on what's important in life and in the world, and I have a lot to be grateful for.  In light of all that, what's a few extra pounds?

I lost a bit more weight in the months that followed, but still don't look the way I did before I carried Josias for 10 months.  And, even though yoga helped me be okay with that, I still have to talk myself through it sometimes on a daily basis.  That's the great thing about my yoga practice, it helps me feel great, no matter my weight, and be grateful every day.

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