In August, I told you about my plan to follow Baron Baptiste’s roadmap to “personal revolution.” For 40 days, I would practice yoga, meditate, and eat more mindfully. Well, those 40 days have come and gone. Here’s how I did:
1. Yoga: Success! Not only did I practice yoga just about every one of the 40 days, but I also didn’t beat myself up when circumstances didn’t allow me to. That marks a pretty big shift for me, the (former) queen of leaping into new projects, but then abandoning them just as quickly when the going got tough. Helping me keep my commitment to a regular yoga practice were both the great studio in my new town and a yoga website the lovely Pamela sent me to: YogaGlo. YogaGlo offers online yoga classes and streaming yoga videos. I especially love their search page, where you can pick a class by duration, style, and which body part or pose you want to work on. Best of all, they offer a 15 day trial so you can check them out risk-free. (Do I sound like an advertisement? I don’t mean to. I just wish I had known about YogaGlo when I was in a town without a studio and want to spread the word!)
Now that my 40 days are over, I probably won’t continue practicing yoga everyday, but I absolutely intend to practice regularly. My body feels too healthy and strong not to.
2. Meditation: The jury’s out. As with yoga, I kept my commitment to meditate almost every day. But I still don’t feel like I’m getting as much out of it as I’d like. I’ve tried a number of approaches – breath meditation, guided meditation using a host of different apps, YogaGlo’s meditation beginner series – but I was rarely able to get out of my monkey mind for very long. I once read that the harder you find it to meditate, the more you need to make time to do it. I’m sure that’s true; I just haven’t figured out yet how to quiet my mind.
(I also haven’t figured out how not to fall asleep when sitting in stillness for longer than five minutes.)
3. Mindful Eating: (Nearly) epic fail. Overall, I have a pretty good relationship with food. Although I have a fierce sweet tooth, I’m a vegetarian and I tend to eat mostly whole and minimally processed food. I carry a few more pounds around my middle than I did before having three kids, but I’m at a healthy weight. I have to remind myself of these things whenever I read the latest “Diet Breakthrough!” or “The One Food You Cannot Afford NOT to Eat!” article in women’s magazines because, given my penchant for grand plans, I periodically try eating makeovers that crash and burn, often dislodging some of my good habits (moderation probably the best among them) along the way.
Exhibit A: the three day vegetable-only cleanse that’s part of Baron’s 40 day revolution. Did I do it? Yes. Did I feel hungry and grumpy and filled with rage (road- and other) during it? Yup. Did I mainline a plate of chocolate rugelach at a shiva call the day afterward? You betcha.
I figured out that I have the absolute wrong personality for a cleanse. The deprivation part isn’t too hard for me. Give me a challenging task and I will muscle my way through it. But cleansing doesn’t really make me feel any better since my eating habits are not all that bad to begin with. Moreover, because it doesn’t model a maintainable, long-term approach to eating, cleansing doesn’t inspire me to change those habits that could use a tweak.
Before I sell myself too short, I will say that, at the beginning of the 40 days – inspired in part by your comments - I decided, if nothing else, to drink more water. And I definitely did that – at least three 750ml Camelbaks a day. And it’s a habit I’ve kept up, thanks in part to the fact that I’ve felt less fatigued and had fewer headaches. Chalk another one up for the power of the turtle step!
40 days down. Do I feel as though I’ve undergone a “personal revolution”? Not really. Do I feel a little stronger, a little leaner, and maybe even a little wiser? Perhaps. And that’s good enough for me.
Are you a yogi? Do you meditate? Ever tried a cleanse? I long to hear of your adventures in holistic wellness!