Good afternoon OSG’s readers!
I hope you are all having a great start to your workweek. My day is going well, getting lots done.
As promised, today we have a really uplifting reader’s Jouney to Health story, from the lovely Polly over at Yoga Is Yummy.
Polly’s story centres around letting go of an obsessive exercise mentality and embracing a new way to look at fitness. She was kind enough to share her inspiring story on Oh She Glows today!
Polly: “I have been practicing yoga for over 4 years. I never dreamed I’d even like yoga, let alone now be teaching it! I was a runner, and that was my love. I ran a few half marathons and scores of smaller races and basically ran, ran, and ran some more. I also taught fitness classes at my local Y. I was in shape, sorta. I mean, I was pretty thin, but inside I was not healthy. I lived on carbs (bread, cereal, other yummies) and as long as my food was low-fat and “safe”, I was good to go! oh my goodness.
Skipping ahead now… I can see how my love for running turned into a “NEED” to run and I was pretty obsessive, running even on icy mornings, when my Achilles was screaming, or when there was no reason why I had to. This had become an addiction, a slowly peeled back issue of control which was messing up my life and my heart, so I think God rolled up his sleeves and decided to remove his kid from this mess. =)
Enter YOGA. Nope, not into “I am one with the universe” kinda stuff. A friend of mine needed teaching hours for her Yoga level one training. So, I happily went thinking “I need some stretching.” Well… it was AWFUL. I was so tight, so frustrated, and came out of the class thinking I just wasted a perfectly good Saturday when I could have been running… or doing a “real” workout? ugh. I giggle when I think of that now! But, I kept going. Yes, my hamstrings were very mad at me for this, I THOUGHT I was strong, I mean, I lifted weights for goodness sake! …well, before you lose interest (take a bite of oatmeal, it will wake you up) … I gotta say: This girl stuck to it. I eventually went to my first yoga teacher training. I came home and went straight to bed at 8pm. I remember my hubby was in shock.
“You are that tired from yoga?” I was like YES!!
For the first time I was experiencing each muscle working together, my breath becoming natural again, and the whole “yoga is a workout” thing…. Girls… it IS a workout, but that is totally NOT the point.
My body wants to be loved, taken care of, treated with kindness, and not just a “oh yeah, gotta in my yoga fix for the week” kinda thinking.
I never dreamed in a zillion years that my running would take second seat. Boy did it. I began to run less and practice yoga more. Eventually I was ONLY doing yoga and felt the most calm AND energetic and most healthy in my life. Really. Just yoga.
I went back to my old gym once and people were like “what did you do?”
I was like “stopped working out!”
I got leaner, stronger, and just healthier. Physically and emotionally. I cannot believe I haven’t run a single mile in over 2 years? I didn’t gain one pound. In fact, lost a couple. (not trying to) Traded in cheerios and Papa Johns breadsticks for almond butter and oatmeal. Who woulda thunk it? Now when it’s a snowy morning… no thoughts of “oh my goodness, how can I run now??!” go through my head. I can sip my warm mug, enjoy the flakes coming down, and look forward to my oatmeal. And maybe a yoga pose or two, or three, or a full hour.
That is EXCITING to me!! =) What about you?
I know I’m not alone. I went through a time when in University that I really struggled with eating and weight. I was way too skinny and worried WAY too much. Each day is a new day and a challenge to let go of those worries and make room for GOOD stuff!
And yes… you TOTALLY can run and do yoga! Or walk and do yoga! Or cycle and do yoga!
It’s about balance and finding what works best for you.
But… I know in my heart when something is “amiss”and not healthy. We all do.
Don’t you think the most beautiful people GLOW? I mean, not from skin that has no zits… ;) … but really GLOW? I have friends who GLOW and they are a joy to be with.
I hope that I can learn to see myself as God sees me… not my outward appearance, but my heart. THAT is beauty! It can take a lifetime to get there. But it’s so worth it, isn’t it?
Thank you Polly! You really do glow. It jumps off the page in fact. :)
As you can all see from reading different Journey to Health stories, everyone has their own approach to health. One size truly does not fit all. What is health for some people may not be for others. I like how Polly put it, “It’s about balance and finding out what works for you.”
Some of you are probably wondering if I am suddenly letting go of running now to pursue Yoga.
And the answer to this is NO! Absolutely not.
As long as running remains to be a positive aspect in my overall health I will most certainly be pursuing it! :D As Polly said, she knew that it was not working for her and so she made some important changes in her life.
What works for me may not work for you. What works for Polly may not work for you. I’m sure there are many of you out there who hate running and have no desire to start! That is just fine. The point is, we need to evaluate what will work for us in the end. We are the ones in control of our destiny and happiness as we try to become happier and healthier individuals!
It may turn out that I just can’t get into yoga….and that will be fine too. But I am sure going to give it a try! Nothing motivates me more than trying out something and realizing that I have been neglecting a whole side of my fitness (flexibility/mental well being) for years.
Were there times in your life when you had to re-evaluate what you defined as health? Were you engaging in any forms of exercise that turned out to be destructive to yourself? How did you over come this and did it make your life better in the end?
I also have introduced a new ‘poll of the day’ feature to Oh She Glows. Nothing is off limits for the polls! I hope you will find them as interesting as I do. :)
Yesterday’s poll asked you if you count calories:
It was devided about half and half! The polls aren’t working at the moment, but when I looked at it yesterday it was about 50% for yes and 50% for no. I will update those results when the polls are up and running again.
Note. Poll is not working at the moment.
PS- Giveaway time!! Check out Jess’s Vitamin-filled giveaway contest over at Model Behavior!!!
Stay tuned tonight and tomorrow for…
- A delicious dinner
- A Nature’s Path Cereal Review
- Best and Worst dressed at the Golden Globes!! Polls too.
- Summary of my marathon training so far. My struggles, successes, etc.
- and much more…!
POLLY IS FABULOUS!!!! I’m so thankful that she shared her story.
P.S. – the poll isn’t working :-(
that is a great story! very inspirational! i wish i had something inspirational to share!!! i will when i finally get preggers- because that will be a miracle!
wow, amazing story, and thanks for introducing us! i actually just tried some yoga last night for the first time and liked it. boy were my hammies tight!
Lovely story. Thank you Polly! ::hugs::
Another amazing story, Polly you are beautiful inside and out.
Looking forward to your Golden Globe evaluation Angela!
that is an amazing story! so inspiring!!
Polly, your story was amazing! I am a runner and a yogi and most days I look forward to yoga more! I haven’t been practicing as long as you have, but to see first hand how balancing your life can change everything is truly inspiring. Thank you!
thank you for asking me to share this!! I love your blog and YOU glow, girl!! :)
Thank you to all the SWEET readers, you guys make me wanna cry and smile at the same time. ;) (the best emotion ever) Stop by ANY time! XOXO
What a wonderful story!! Thanks!
Thanks Polly for sharing your story! You seem like a genuinely nice person who truly shines (or glows)! ;-)
Thank you Polly!! You are truly an inspiration. I am also a runner and considering yoga (taking my first class tomorrow!). I too, have been through periods of my life where I was obsessively running despite injuries (and thus making them much, much worse) and putting a strain on my relationships. Thank you for your clear view of the bigger picture. All the best to you!
Angela, thanks for sharing a readers story with us. Polly, you are very inspiring and truly do glow!
This is a great story and makes me want to keep up the yoga I do now. I love it! Thanks Polly for sharing your story.. you really GLOW! :)