Throwing open the closet door…


This was not the post I had planned to write tonight. I spent my lunch hour digging up my research on adrenal fatigue and was going to wow you with how smart I was 🙂 But as the saying goes “Life is what happens when you are making other plans”…and that’s what happened tonight.

After work tonight, I headed to my yoga class like I do most monday nights. I was really looking forward to it, because I hadn’t been in two weeks and my body was feeling it. Now, I am not what I would consider a yoga devotee. I started going to yoga in January when I found a local studio offering a beginner class – or like I call it “Yoga for out of shape or overweight people”. All of my various medical practitioners (physio, chiropractor and massage therapist) had been suggesting it to me for months as a way to not only help with my physical pain, but also help me deal with the stress and anxiety. I have tried yoga before, and always felt like the fat kid who gets picked last in gym class, so I never went for very long. However, I was willing to give it another go because this class seemed geared to people exactly like me. And I have been really enjoying it, mostly because the instructor is such an amazing teacher. She has really helped push me and shown me that I am a lot stronger and flexible then I think I am. And the benefits, both physical and mental, have been amazing!

But I digress…

Our class started as it always does, with Vickie (that’s the instructor) setting the intention for the class. Tonight she started with a quote from Bhagavad Gita “Yoga is the practice of tolerating the consequences of being yourself.” I found this quite profound, especially considering the post I had written last night. She then informed us that tonight’s class was going to take us through a series of poses that were meant to prepare us to build up to headstands. Um….EXCUSE ME!?!? My brain immediately went to “Does she realize how big I am? How on earth does she expect me to do that?” Vickie then went on to explain that she didn’t expect us to actually get up on our heads tonight, and that she herself took 10 years of practicing yoga before she was able to try it. Whew! With that we continued with class, going through a series of poses which I love as they help me feel strong and powerful.

Then came the fateful moment…she was going to show us how to do a headstand. I knew she didn’t expect us all to do them tonight, but still I was leery as she showed us the correct and incorrect way to go about it. Finally it was our turn to give it a go, and while I was pretty sure I wasn’t gonna get up, I was still willing to do the practice steps leading up to it. So, I got down on my mat, placed my arms and head in the way she told us to and then it happened. Of all things, I began to yoga class. Let me repeat that just to make sure I made my self clear. I….CRIED….in….YOGA…class! How absolutely mortifying. I mean seriously. What the heck is wrong with me?

It was at that point I decided to stop and just go down to Child’s pose (an amazing relaxing pose that involved putting your head down on the floor) and try and calm myself down. I also knew that was the best pose to be in if I didn’t want anyone to see I was crying, which I really, really didn’t. I managed to compose myself, and class continued on. But all I could think about was “Where on earth had that come from?”

After class, I pondered this question. I wondered if maybe the intention, that Vickie had set, had triggered something in me. I also wondered if had something to do with my fear about putting pressure on my neck. I am still recovering from straining it last summer, and I am pretty sure that there was an element of that to it. All of these thoughts were flowing through my head as I headed home on the streetcar, and continued as I ate my healthy and on-plan dinner. I just couldn’t shake the question of why I had CRIED in YOGA class (sorry for the caps, but really that’s how I was asking myself the question in my head.) And so, I did what I always do when something is unsettling me and I am not sure what the answer it, what to do, how to deal. I ate.

I went and put my coat and shoes on, walked across the street to the store and bought a 12-pack of white chip macadamia nut cookies. I then came home, and proceeded to eat 6 of them. Sigh….what is the matter with me? I know I can’t eat sugar. I know I can’t eat wheat. And yet, that is exactly what I proceeded to do. I will say this, the last time I did this I ate all 12 before I knew what I was doing and then proceeded to beat myself up for days. This time, I stopped myself and came up to my computer and sat and wrote about it. That is a huge improvement.

I know what you are thinking…the LAST time? Oh yes, this is not an unusual occurrence for me. I have done it many, many times in my life. And I always do it in secret, and then immediately hide the evidence. At one point, a lot more recently then I care to admit, you could find the evidence of my secret eating hidden all around my house. There were candy wrappers shoved down the side of the couch cushions. Empty boxes of chocolate hidden in cupboards, under the couch and in the sideboard. Fast food packaging under the kitchen sink. My house was like that of an active alcoholic with bottles hidden all over the place, except mine were food wrappers and packaging. It’s really quite embarrassing.

You see I am a closet eater. What’s that you may ask? A closet eater, or at least my definition of it, is someone who eats healthy and reasonable amounts of food in front of others. But, as soon as their back is turned or they are in another room, I am shoving whatever junk I can find down my throat. I am partial to anything with sugar in it, but really I have been known to binge on whole chickens. What I eat is never as important as getting it into me as fast as I possibly can. And then hiding the evidence.

Why do I do this? I honestly am not sure. There are a variety of theories; self-sabotage, trying to stuff the pain, nutritional imbalance. I honestly don’t know which one, or maybe it’s all of them, or even none of them. To be honest, I really don’t care anymore. I just know that it needs to stop.

Which brings me back to the quote from class. When I googled the quote I found this really great blog post about another blogger’s experience with dealing with this issue. She talked about how she believes it refers to how we are always unhappy with who we are and where we are in our lives. That we always keeping ourselves down, and not trying to learn to be okay with who we are, faults and all. This reminded me of something a dear friend of mine is always saying to me “learn to accept who you are today, but don’t let it get you down because tomorrow you will be different.” She is always reminding me that each day brings new experiences, and with each of those new experiences we change and grow. As a result we are never staying exactly the same.

So, despite the fact that I resorted to old behaviour tonight, I take pride in the fact that I managed catch myself before I went too far. I know that by just coming up here and admitting this to you (as scary as that is), I am changing. I am learning from this experience. And hopefully the next time will be even less extreme. I am throwing open my closet door, and hoping that the light shining in will help me to grow.