Today I went to hot yoga for the first time in months. I went to yoga all summer, but it was the “lay down” kind (yin yoga), so that basically doesn’t count. You can’t call an hour long stretch a workout. I mean, you could, but you would be a big, fat liar. So, after a summer of going to yoga, I finally went back to yoga. Actual effort yoga.
All day I was dreading the inevitable. The feeling weak. The sweating from my elbows, even. The wanting to pass out and die. It took every ounce of my being to change into my yoga clothes and steer my car in the direction of the studio.
I easily could have bailed on my friend and my commitment. I could have told her I had diarrhea. I could have told her I was painfully bloated. I could have told her I threw out my back reaching for the secret Oreos on the top shelf. The excuses are endless when you’re a chub and you aren’t exercise’s biggest fan. Too many excuses, and so little motivation is what usually ails me.
What was different about today? I wish I knew. I wish there was some secret formula to finding motivation where all can be found are donut crumbs and regret.
The scary thing is, next time I could, possibly, choose the lame excuse route. I could choose to have an IDGAF attitude and drown my fat regrets in the grease of my Juicy’s cheeseburger. But, maybe I won’t. Maybe I won’t.
What I’ve learned since starting this yoga journey, the one thing that’s really got to me, is…self love. No, not that kind, ya nasty freak. Like, love for yourself, your weaknesses, your strengths, your failures, and your successes.
At the end of the session tonight, the instructor told us to give ourselves a big hug-knees to chest. She said to really bring it in. As I struggled to breathe, as I slowly suffocated myself in my stomach, I realized something. I realized that I need to love myself. I need to celebrate my successes. I need to honor my commitments. I need to forgive myself when I fail. I need to let go and just live.
Sure, I’ll likely bail on a yoga session some time in the (very) near future, but other times I won’t. That’s the point. I’m not perfect. No one is. There will be days I’ll make it to yoga and sweat my ass off in all my Namaste glory. Other days I might pop a button off my work pants in the middle of guided reading, and then go home and drink an entire bottle of wine. It’s a crapshoot.
The point? There will be days I feel strong and able. There will be days I feel like shit. No matter what, I need to love myself. No more excuses.