Let me start this blog by saying that my life runs fairly smoothly almost every day. I am not one who is “running late” or shows up late to appointments or meetings. If I say I will be somewhere, then you can count on me to be there. I make a point of managing my time very well. I know what I can actually accomplish even if it doesn’t seem like it to other people, and this is how I have lived my entire adult life. Therefore, yesterday I was not prepared and timing is everything. I knew when I woke up that I was heading to a later Bikram class so I would be sure to have a really hot and humid practice. The mornings are ok but yesterday I wanted better than ok. I had my day planned out like the well-oiled machine that it is and even my husband said “can you really get this all done” yes I can. Yes I did, I had everything on my list completed and I was off to Bikram. When I practice I always show up 30 minutes early for several reasons. First, I like to get into the room and get situated. I like to find a good place and no it doesn’t have to be the same place every time, although many times it is because we are creatures of habit. I like to let my body get accustomed to the heat and I take that time to quiet my mind and prepare for my practice. It also gives me a few minutes to chat with my yogi friends, which we all need the social time.
I show up 30 minutes early and as I walk in I see the room is full. The instructor looks at me and says “Nicole, I’m so surprised you would show up this late.” Late, was I late? Technically no, I was not late as they had not locked the door yet but I was off by 30 minutes. I took my mat and towel in and found a semi-empty space as this room was really full. I have watched people show up late and thought to myself how can they just walk in and start practicing without any preparation. I was this person, my stomach took a turn and I had to start my opening breathing exercise before I even had a chance to lay out my mat and towel. I got my jacket off and my water down and I was breathing. During this breathing I was berating myself for not being prepared. I was upset that I had made it so that I couldn’t prepare and then I had to stop that negative talk. I was there, it was warm, and I was surrounded by the people that I really enjoy. It was fine, it didn’t feel right but it was fine.
The negative talk stopped but honestly my practice was pitiful. I truly couldn’t get out of my own head. I wasn’t mad at myself but I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to have great practice either. I found that my balance was off and my head was cluttered with stuff. Once we finished the balancing postures we moved to the left side of our towel. At that moment I realized I was next to a completely new person. We needed to stagger which wasn’t a concept she was used to and then it happened. In the 5 + years I have been practicing this has never happened to me before but she was stepping on my mat. This may be very acceptable in other Bikram classes but we don’t do this. There is something very personal about your mat and your towel with your sweat. If, and a big if, one of my yogi friends needed to step on my towel I might be ok with it although it hasn’t happened so I honestly don’t know. But this was a complete stranger. I was so out of my head at that moment I should have just sat down and collected my thoughts.
This shouldn’t be a big deal and I need to figure out how to make it not a big deal but at that moment it was. I have learned my lesson about showing up late to class and just putting my mat down. My practice is better when I’m on time and I can prepare. My practice is better when I can place my mat in a way that others do not have to decide whether to step on it or not and my practice is better when I have a clear head. This practice also showed me where my brain is stuck. I shouldn’t care about the things I do but the problem is I do. I shouldn’t care if someone steps on my mat and I shouldn’t care if I didn’t get a chance to prepare because I was there. I was warm and I was amongst friends doing what I love and the other garbage is just that, garbage.
One of my favorite things about Bikram is the heat and how when I start sweating and my joints heat up they can really move into the positions without too much effort. Unfortunately, not everyone enjoys the heat as much as I do and on Sunday morning we had some new students and our instructor actually opened the door before we even got to triangle. I had to put on another layer just to try and keep the heat in allow me to do the postures.
When we hit the floor as soon as I was finished with the spine strengthening exercise I knew that the next exercises were going to be difficult without the extra warmth. You are really stretching your knees and hips and in Camel and Rabbit they are the 2 postures that are extreme in back ends and forward bends so I had to unfortunately leave. Since I’m a regular I did express my concern and I do understand that the heat can be overwhelming for new people but heat is part of the practice and on a Sunday morning when there hasn’t been time to really warm up the room it is even more important to keep the door shut and keep as much heat in as possible.
Some days I think that I would love to have my own Bikram studio and of course run the business my Bikram instructors actually taught the class but honestly how much Bikram would I really be able to do? I should just stick with being a student!
I am exactly 1 week and 1 day into my AIP – Autoimmune protocol and my fatigue level is so high. I’m doing a lot of walking and some Bikram but went back to cross fit yesterday and although my session was fun and I had enough energy to sustain it I was exhausted later in the day. Since I’m only eating vegetable, fruit and meat my carb intake is very low but I’m not losing any weight so I know that I’m getting enough calories but the high level of fatigue is concerning.
I have dealt with fatigue for 10 years with MCTD but I had really gotten that part under control and now to deal with it again is strange. I have called my new AIP doctor to get in sooner than a month and just make sure what I’m doing is correct. There are certain things they are testing and waiting to see. Some noticeable differences is my swelling is down, my stiffness is almost completely gone in my hands, but I’m not sleeping, I feel very stressed, and I’m so tired. With the good comes the bad but I would like just a whole lot of good.
I have been taking holy basil to help with stress but I believe I need more than that. I lose my patients fairly quickly, I cannot find the calm in my mind and I’m grumpy. My husband mentioned that I was very grumpy which is not a normal trait of mine and I just said “I’m starving” but that’s not true. I’m not starving, because if I was I would be losing weight and I’m not. I don’t feel satisfied mentally after any of my meals but physically I’m not hungry after my meal but I’m certainly looking for something else even though it is off limits.
I have this feeling that after this month I’m going to totally way over indulge and then I have defeated the purpose so I’m meeting with the doctor to make sure that I’m on the right path and doing the right thing for my body and my mind. I don’t mind taking it easy with my workouts but I really enjoy my cross fit sessions and want to give them all I can so I would like to be able to do my work out and still function for the rest of the day without bonking. I hope she has some good information for me and gets me back on the right path.
I have decided to do more walking and try to really increase my steps for the month of April. I’m doing my cross fit but only on Monday and Wednesday and cutting back on my Bikram to about 4 days a week and trying to walk more and get in more steps. The weather is changing so I’m able to get outside and enjoy the fresh air as well as walking is good for my body and brain.
I started a strict Autoimmune Protocol where I only eat fruit, vegetable and meat. If it doesn’t fall under one of those categories I don’t eat it. I am feeling hunger pangs but I think it is more mental than physical and I think my brain just hadn’t caught up with my body yet. I’m use to eating a lot of food in a day and although my menu might look like a lot to some people it is a mere caption of what I was eating before. I am not starving and I’m not light headed so I know I’m getting plenty of calories and I just need my brain to realize I’m getting enough calories also.
I have cut back on my exercise though during this period so I don’t over burn calories and not be able to replenish them. I’m all for eating vegetables and fruit but I can’t eat meat all day. I can eat it at dinner time and some bacon or sausage in the morning but I don’t snack on meat and when I usually would pull a hard boil egg or peanut butter now I’m staring in the face of celery, carrots, cucumbers, and apples. These are all great foods but burn pretty quickly in my system. The walking allows my body to move without over burning a lot of calories.
I’m not sleeping well either which I think is just a mental thing. I’m not going to bed hungry and I’m not waking up in the night hungry but my body is adjusting to a different routine. I’m adjusting to a different routine. When I would normally be getting out of bed at 4am I’m finding that I’m just falling asleep so I’m taking notice and allowing myself a good hour of sleep then getting up and either a quick 30 cross fit session or a nice walk. Either way it isn’t too much but just enough to remind me that mornings are a good time for me and I enjoy the first fresh air of morning walks. My fitbit is always with me so I’m hoping that the month of April I see a real increase in the amount of steps for me. Walking is so therapeutic on so many levels and since I really enjoy it I should do it.
Starting in May I will have all my labs done and I will have cleaned my body of all autoimmune triggers therefore I should have a good idea of where my base line is and then decide what my next steps are. I’m not doing this alone by the way; I have a doctor I’m working with so I don’t recommend anyone doing the AIP on your own but certainly talk to your doctor if you are curious.