I am the heaviest I have ever been right now.
The number on the scale is a number I have never seen on a scale before and it is very difficult to deal with. When I initially started to gain the weight, I stopped doing any form of activity. I felt like a failure and wallowed in the situation for longer than I care to admit. Wallowing did not help anything and actually exacerbated the situation, making the weight grow faster and faster.
However, as my back pain started to become a daily inconvenience I realized that this was a problem that I had been allowing to fester for far too long.
I knew I had to start small.
If I tried to get back into my 5 km runs or working out four times a week I would not even last a week before quitting on my new journey.
Since I was in a position, weight-wise, that I had never been in before, I decided to tackle the situation with more delicacy than tough love.
When I sat down and assessed the situation, the biggest problem I had to deal with was the back pain. Sure, I was unhappy with the weight, but the back pain was a major issue and one I had never dealt with before and needed to combat right away.
I knew that daily yoga was essential to get my body back on track, but the idea of going back to a class or group session seemed like too much, so I decided to search for solace on YouTube. There are millions, upon millions of yoga videos online, so I found one I like, spoke to me and was only twenty-eight minutes long. I did not want to mentally commit to a sixty-minute session because I knew that I would find excuses as to why I could not get my yoga done, but twenty-eight minutes, twenty-eight minutes felt like the right amount of time and short enough to force myself to start and be almost done before I knew it.
On the very first day of my at-home practice, I realized that my back did not hurt for four hours after completing my yoga session.
I was so happy and felt so great after my session; I felt accomplished, I was proud of myself. I sat down and wrote a note to myself because I knew that this feeling was fleeting and I needed to document its validity for future motivation:
I need to practice yoga every day because it relieves my back pain.
I need to practice yoga every day because it makes me feel better, immediately after completion. I need to practice yoga every day because it is crucial for my mental, physical and emotional health.
I tacked my note on my mirror in the bathroom, knowing that reading it every single day and remember this feeling was vital to keep the momentum going.
It can be very hard to find the motivation to do a yoga session when you feel as though it is a waste. You are already heavy, so what is the point, right?
There are days where you do not even recognize your own body. It is as though you are in the vessel of someone else because this certainly cannot be you. You lose the desire to dress up or put energy into your appearance because no one is looking at you anyways and you certainly do not want anyone looking at you.
These types of ruts are so difficult because the cycle is so damaging. You stop doing because you are unhappy with your current situation, but your situation continues to become more and more out of control because you are ignoring it and not doing.
Weight gain impacts my life in many ways; my back hurts, my sleep is negatively impacted, my clothes no longer feel like my own and I have lost the motivation, which I took for granted for so long in my life.
The only thing which is keeping me (somewhat) on track is being disciplined about my daily yoga practice.
I know that routine, consistency and focus is required to get out of this rut, but I am keeping my goals small and manageable right now. My daily twenty-eight minute, at-home yoga practice is non-negotiable. Of course, there are some days that I loathe the idea of practicing my yoga, and I am not proud to say that most days are harder than I would like, but I still unroll my mat and get it done (the note tacked to my bathroom mirror helps immensely, you would be surprised).
I know what it feels like when you feel like your life is out of control and the short-term want is to do nothing and wallow in this state. The hardest thing to do is to do something because an action is so hard when you are standing still.
When you are standing still, it really does not matter what other people say because it is falling deaf ears. For example, a friend of mine, who has struggled with a large amount of weight gain and joint issues over the past few years met up with me the other day.
When I told her about my own situation and how yoga provides daily relief for me from my own back pain she cut me off, letting me know that she simply does not have the time for yoga.
When I told her that I just utilized a YouTube video from home, she persisted, saying that time is not on her side right now. Not to be judgemental, while being judgemental, but this individual lives at home, with their partner, no pets or children to steal her time, and works ten hours a week.
I was a bit confused as to why she did not have the time, and that is when I realized that time was not her issue, her mindset was. My words were falling onto deaf ears and nothing I was saying or could say could change that.
Sure, I could send her all the yoga videos in the world, buy her a mat, and send her a motivational text each morning, but unless I am willing to literally go to her house each day and force her to do the twenty-eight minute yoga session at figurative gunpoint she is probably not going to partake in this daily practice.
That’s the most complicated part of mental health, you cannot simply give a literal solution to an internal problem. What may seem so easy and crystal clear to you may appear murky, hazy and unattainable to another.
Perhaps a twenty-eight-minute yoga session is not your solace in each and every day but find your thing.
Find something to do, each and every day, which is good for your mind, body and soul and is achievable. Find something that gets your body moving and your heart rate up, each day and stick with it. It is our responsibility to take care of ourselves and no one can make us into a better version of ourselves except ourselves.
If you are in a rut, find your own twenty-eight minutes solution. Find something that makes you feel accomplished each day. Find something that makes you smile at yourself once you have completed it. Find something that helps you find the light in the day.