Friday, August 25, 2006

Self? Check. Mind? Check. Body?, not so much.

I'm awfully hard on myself. I know that. Intellectually, I realize that for the past week, I have walked EVERYWHERE all day long, on concrete and on beaches. I have played tennis and thrown hardballs with my boys, who happen to be really outstanding athletes. I have practiced yoga every day this entire summer, except for Saturdays and the occasional moonday (and this past Monday, when I practiced, but only non-vinyasa). I don't let myself eat all that much - no matter how much I've been smelling the (sorry to say this, if it offends) delicious aroma of hamburger charring on the grill, I've been denying myself the summer pleasure. I begged off of ice cream the entire time I was in Fire Island, mainly because I wasn't in the mood. But still, something here smacks of self-deprivation.

With that as a backdrop, I woke up today and tried on my brand new pair of Levi's 503's, Juniors Size 1 (before you get all "what a bitch" on me, just listen...okay?). I don't think they get much smaller (okay, they do come in Juniors Size 0, but let's not get so nitpicky...clearly I am small, but I am no Nicole Richie). Of course, most human beings don't come any smaller in height than me, so it stands to reason that I would fit easily into "skinny" jeans. And they do fit beautifully. I am in love. LOVE! I used to only wear Levi's 501' know, the old button fly boy-cut Levi's. But now Levi's come made for chicks, and it is good.

What was my point? Oh yeah. Being hard on myself. So, the Levi's 503's, size 1 Juniors, which I ordered over the internet (kind of ballsy of me, I'd say), fit me perfectly, giving me the courage to step on the scale for the first time in months.

And what did I get for my gutsy move? Depressed. I am somewhere between 109 and 111 pounds, depending on how I stand on the small white harbinger of doom. I know that is small. Intellectually, I know it is. I do. But I really thought that after an entire summer of really healthy eating and really hard-core practicing, plus lots of dog walking, I was going to be down at 105 by now...certainly no less than 1o7. Not to mention that my clothes all fit me looser now than they did in the winter.

How can it be that the fitter I get, and even the SMALLER my body gets, the higher the number on the scale?

I know, I know, muscle supposedly weighs more than fat. But does it? Does it REALLY? I should never have stepped on the scale. I should never have even thought about talking about it here. But I'm nothing if not compulsive. And neurotic. Even if in my mind, I know that the scale means little to someone who is as muscularly built as I am, my propensity to dis myself sees an opportunity opportunity to undermine my confidence, to make me feel fat for my height, even when all evidence points to the contrary (except for one malevolent bit of metal, springs and numbers).

I haven't practiced today. Yet. It is up in the air whether or not I will. I really don't feel like it. I am feeling quite burnt out physically, not from practice, but from everything else. And I just don't feel like concentrating for an hour and a half.

Even as I write that, it sounds absurd. I don't need to practice for an hour and a half. I could do 10 A's and B's, padmasana and savasana. Maybe I will practice after all. Maybe I'll go to Bikram and stare my ego down in the mirror until one of us cries "UNCLE!" Whatever I do, I really ought to do something because tomorrow, I am going to be driving for like a million hours (or it is just going to seem that way) as we wend our way up through New England to Stowe, Vermont, where we're bunking for the night before our trip to Mont-Tremblant.

Hence, my conclusion that I am way too hard on myself. Couldn't I just cozy up on my sofa and read a book? Must I move my body every chance I get?

Sigh. Apparently, yes.



Tiffersll said...

Um how tall are you?

Last time I checked 109-111 was pretty damn small and I thought my thinking was f*cked up. Crazy lady. I wish I wore size one, but oh well...

I am not determined by the size I wear or the number I weigh.

Really, how small are you wanting to get and do you think it will make life any more enriching?

yoga chickie said...

I'm only 61 inchesh tall - 5'1". If I were your height, I am sure I wouldn't be a size 1. Short girls have these issues - being small not being small enough - not all short girls, but a lot of us.

Jenna said...

Okay, I'll vouch for "muscle weighs more than fat."

I wear 26" jeans and a size 2.

I'm 5'3" and weigh 130 lbs. I wear a lot of the same clothes I wore when I was 16 and weighed 115 lbs. I'm not that much bigger. People hardly believe it when I tell them how much I weigh. I don't look like I should weight 130, but I do.

I've said it before, and I'll say it many more times: the number on a scale means nothing to me. If I'm losing weight, it usually means I'm losing muscle, and I'm not too thrilled by that most of the time.

Tiffersll said...

Hmm, small people have issues? LOL. How about average height people like me?

I don't get on the scale because no matter what the number says, I'll probably never be happy with it. Yes, it's probably my lack of contenment and desire for perfection.

Lauren, I'm sure you're absolutely adorable.

Caroline said...

I was just thinking that it might be more accurate to have your body fat percentage measured.

Since you're so fit, and as you say, muscle ought to way more than fat, than your body fat will be next to zero. At least, then, it will put things into perspective, considering your healthy lifestyle.

Anonymous said...

Just read you're going to Montreal- you'll have an amazing time. Although I'm from there, so I'm not sure my opinion counts. I was there last week (visiting my parents) and spent a few days practicing with Darby. It was so much fun and I learned a ton of new things to work on. Will you have a chance to go?
Tremblant is great too- be sure to eat lots of beaver tails for me.

PJ said...

Okay Yoga are forgetting probably the most important part of yoga...clearing and calming the mind to find the true self. Do you really believe that your "true self" gives a darn if you are 115, 130 or 180? Healthy bodies are good as they house this spirit of ours but seriously, after all you have been through how can you waste even one second obsessing about your weight, especially when it is so obviously wonderfully appropriate? I have struggled with this same issue for years and what made me STOP the madness was when I recognized that my daughters were beginning the same obsessions. STOP, find gratitude, find love for your body, find peace with your weight. From the most surface place, your clothes fit and you look great, and from the not so surface place your precious Self is wonderfully housed. You are absolutely perfect just the way you are.

yoga chickie said...

PJ...Pattabhi Jois? need a blog! We need to set you up with one asap....I won't be stopping at Darby's, unfortunately, as we are beelining it up north, no time to stop in the city at all.

Tiff - we all got issues...mine are just more important than everyone else's...;)

Jenna - you look fabulous, and I would have guessed that you weighed around 110. So, go figure.

Caroline - 0% body fat, don't I wish...

Ellie said...

Jeez, enough with the self worth being measured by a number! Why do we women feel as though the smaller the number on the scale, on the jeans tag, the less space we physically take up in this world the better? I feel it too, and it's frustrating, and I've stopped weighing myself at all because I have a lot of muscle and I'm fairly big boned and it seems a far better measure of my health to look at how I feel (and if i've eaten too much for a few days my practice lets me know too). It's especially important for those of us who are around children frequently to not obsess over our weight. PJ is absolutely right that kids, girls especially, will learn that sort of weight-obsession very quickly... and once learned, it's very hard to forget. Case in point: you do yoga every day, eat well, do lord knows how many other physical activities and still worry about five pounds. At least you recognize that you're insane, that's a good first step.

Sorry for the rant. Love the blog, seriously you're a very entertaining writer.

Anonymous said...

My weight goes up and down a lot and I'm small like you and the number on the scale bothers me. Weight yourself at a different time of day. The number usually changes drastically based on water weight thoughtout the day. You might be 105 in the morning and 110 at night.

yoga chickie said...

Yep...I know I've got a problem with this. I am just damn lucky to have boys, not girls, as I would be a frightening example for daughters. As it is, my 9 year old likes to pat me on the butt and demands that I never lose weight there. He says it's fat, but that that is a good thing. Such an innocent comment from him, so potentially devestating to me...luckily, I take it for what it is....he doesn't mean "fat", he means soft. And he means it all in a good way.

Cx said...

Weight, it always seems to cause so much angst, and it makes me laugh that most of the yogis I know, who are the thinnest, fittest and most toned people, spend time worrying about it.

Muscle does weigh more than fat - a yoga friend and I are a great example of that. We are both the same height, do about the same amount of yoga as we practice together most days. I a UK size 8 (US 4?), but I am also muscular. She on the other hand is one of those really thin and lithe yogis. She is 5'5" and weighs 111 lbs - I am 5'5" and 125 lbs. Thats a whole 14 lbs, you can see that we are differently built I have solid shoulders and quads, neither of us carry much body fat! But, I am happy with the way I look (well mostly!) we are all built differently, and have to just embrace that.

Anyway, it's what is inside that counts!

Vanessa said...

"Somewhere between 109 and 111 pounds" 110 :-P

Sorry YC, not trying to make fun of you, it's just the geek in me.

I thought I was over the weight thing until I saw my latest pictures. But I guess it is hard to avoid in the kind of society we live in, and it definitely hasn't stopped me from having my friday night wine and ice cream treat.

yoga chickie said...

Actually, V, first it said 111. Then I stepped on it again, and it said 109. Then I stepped on it again, 111. And again, I stepped on it, and got 109. Then I quit while I was "ahead". Who's the geek now?!

Vanessa said...

Maybe stating the obvious then, but do you think it's worth thinking twice about the number printed on a device that has such variance?!?

Anonymous said...

Hah- me with a blog! That would be scary. I'll just keep commenting on yours...

yoga chickie said...

The addiction will happen eventually Sharon! Does CH read these?! oy!

Vanessa - SUCH a good point. Stating the obvious is always a good thing with me. I seem to miss the obvious quite often.

Anonymous said...

No. I tried to show him a couple when I started reading recently, but he wouldn't even look. It's too bad- he'd probably enjoy them!

Sara said...

Aw Lauren...
First, you and I are the same size. Well, pretty much. I'm one inch taller and a pound or two over, so, close enough. Second, I couldn't wear a 1.

No words of wisdom here, just sympathizing. I, too, have often thought I'm lucky to have sons because I wouldn't want a daughter to view herself the way I always have (and the way my mother has viewed herself, and so on...)
Personally, I can't get rid of my scale, either. We all want to accept ourselves as we are and we know logically that it makes sense, but it's much easier said than done.

But enjoy those jeans!! Wow!

Copyright 2005-2007 Lauren Cahn, all rights reserved. Photos appearing on this blog may be subject to third party copyright ownership. You are free to link to this blog and portions hereof, but the use of any direct content requires the prior written consent of the author.

About Me

My photo
Northern Westchester, New York, United States
I live by a duck pond. I used to live by the East River. I don't work. I used to work a lot. Now, not so much. I used to teach a lot of yoga. Now not so much. I still practice a lot of yoga though. A LOT. I love my kids, being outdoors, taking photos, reading magazines, writing and stirring the pot. Enjoy responsibly.


Ashtanga Blogs

Thanks for reading Yoga Chickie!