What am I really hungry for?

This past year has been a struggle when it comes to my weight. When I returned from my first yoga teacher training in February of 2015, I felt fit, healthy, and strong. Not long after my world turned upside down and I dealt with it by eating my feelings away. This is the behavior I turn to when I am struggling with something.

For the past year I have done a lot in terms of movement but very little when it comes to my food choices and how much I eat. The first time I came to India I ate everything in sight. With the ashram loose clothes hiding any flaws and no access to a full length mirror, I didn’t dwell on my expanding waistline. I just enjoyed every delicious food item they serve at the Ashram.

I have been thinking long and hard about why I over eat to numb my feelings the same way some people use alcohol and drugs to sedate themselves. One thought is that many things are easier when I am a little heavier. The extra weight around my middle section seems like a layer of protection. Girls are nicer to me, boys give me less attention, and it is easy to blend in.

I have also learned that for me to be in great physical shape I have to eat the right foods in the right quantities. This is easier said than done. I get a lot of exercise. Here at the Ashram I do yoga and swim daily so movement is something I enjoy and love doing. Also, alcohol is prohibited here so that isn’t a problem. My shape is defined by what I put in my month.

A friend told me that he had once heard that Amma said intermittent fasting is good not only for weight issues but for growing spiritually. With that in mind I have been fasting a few days a week. On Mondays, I eat only fruit. On Thursdays and Saturdays I fuel myself with a liquid concoction of greens, turmeric, cinnamon, Ayurvedic herbs and protein powder.

I have been following this plan for a few weeks and have noticed a difference not only in my size but in the way I feel. I feel lighter physically, mentally and spiritually. I hope to continue a slightly easier version of this program when I leave the Ashram, fasting 2 days a week instead of 3.

It is my hope that I will enter 2017 the strongest and healthiest I have ever been.

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