“(Wo)man plans, God laughs.” ~Yiddish saying
A month ago, my biggest concern was getting healthy and losing some pounds.
Today my biggest challenge is surviving the loss of my love (shown here). He died from complications of a massive stroke. It was and is heartbreaking. I will be writing about this experience and my grief journey elsewhere - as this blog is about the pursuit of healthiness - which is very difficult when faced with crisis.
Following the stroke, I ended up with a horrible case of food poisoning So, my first days in the hospital were spent running to the bathroom, drinking Pepto Bismol and eating crackers. Then at night I would try to eat something more substantial - washed down with a couple glasses of wine.
Even with this major crisis - I noticed I didn’t lose any weight. Yet I was consuming less than 1000 calories a day. How could this be?
I quickly recognized the late-night eating as the problem - because I had done some research on the subject and found:
And with all the stress and grief, I found that my most tearful breakdowns were triggered by lack of eating – and no sleep. So even though I was depressed and not the least bit hungry – I started to eat more consistently and stopped eating after 7 pm. Which resulted in less depressed episodes – and full nights of sleep.
I also discovered through this experience that I don’t need to eat that much. Smaller meals (even just peanut butter crackers) are enough to keep me going. This was a revelation – as I always thought I had to eat a lot to be full and satisfied.
So intellectually I learned from this loss experience – but emotionally am sad and grieving. What am I going to do now that I lost my love?
Work on loving myself and the beings around me. Self-care is at the forefront now. And the getting healthy thing – even more important.
To help me refrain from unhealthy behaviors, I created the following list of healthy self-love habits:
The quote below captures this well:
“You have to work at your sense of conviction…Like someone lost in the forest, if you’re not really convinced that there’s a way out, you give up very easily. You run into a thicket here, a steep cliff there, and it just seems way too much. But if you’re convinced there’s got to be a way out, you’ve heard of other people who’ve made their way out, you think, “It’s got to be in here someplace.” You keep looking, looking, looking. And finally you see how the other people made their way out: “Oh. That was the path they took.” ~Thanissaro Bhikkhu
That is what I am hoping to do for the remainder of 2018 with this blog. Explore how to be healthy (and how to grieve while doing it). Follow the footsteps and research of others. Bring everything I can to bear. Medical and psychological research, yoga and spiritual philosophy and intuition. All have a part to play here (see the pile of books I am reading now below - I might also have a self-discovery problem).
And I hope to build a community to support our health and yoga journey. In the article “A Different Weight Loss Experience: A Qualitative Study Exploring the Behavioral, Physical, and Psychosocial Changes Associated with Yoga that Promote Weight Loss (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27594890) the authors share that in addition to the physical and psychological changes associated with yoga, there is a benefit from community. From being with, and sharing, with others who are working on themselves. And much of that work is necessary because of loss and past pain. So there is benefit in sharing those experiences too.
For the last two months, I have been hosting a yoga series for the Down Dog Diva Gets Healthy Facebook group. The number one benefit members cited from our yoga classes was the support and encouragement of others. “When someone overcomes a temptation – the happiness from the group is motivating,” one member said.
Also, there is benefit in being open about the challenge of eating healthy – and sharing this with each other. Feeling safe and comfortable enough to open up with each other is a gift.
The group is going to meet monthly for the rest of 2018 to share research and what we have learned - and to practice yoga. All sessions will be posted only to the Down Dog Diva Gets Healthy Facebook group – and they also will be recorded. In addition, group members can chat with each other within a secure group chat - that only group members can see.
If you want to join our group – please message me. We would love to have your input and energy (and it's free!)
Our next Facebook Live meeting will be March 25th at 9 AM ET. Hope to see you there.
And thank you to all who have been so supportive to our family during this time. When I do my gratitude meditations - my family, friends and fellow seekers like yourselves - come to the top of my gratitude list.
May the peace that passes all understanding touch your hearts and minds, and may we all be happy and free.