The Average Yogi’s Guide to Change

If I’m being honest (and I make an effort to do that, even when it’s not picture perfect), I chose change as the theme for this past week for selfish reasons. Right now I’m working through a change in my life that has impacted me more than I expected.

Two weeks ago I was diagnosed as prediabetic. To call it surprising is an understatement. In all honesty, my diagnosis has felt like hitting a brick wall at full speed.

Hearing this news, my first thought was, “I thought I was doing good.” See, I spent the better part of two decades battling with negative self-image, eating disorders, and a toxic relationship with my body. In the past few years, I’ve finally found a kind of peace and acceptance of myself as I am. I enjoy food, I don’t diet, and I feel good about my body. With one simple blood test, I felt like I was doing wrong all over again. I’d let my body, and by extension myself, down.

One of my yoga teachers and mentors taught me that, in this life, the only thing you have control over are your own actions and reactions.

Another one of my yoga teachers taught me the phrase, “Simple. But not easy.”

I know that self-recrimination will change nothing. I have to make the choice, again and again, to not punish myself for something in the past, and mostly outside of my control. (After all, diabetes has a huge genetic component, and Type 2 diabetes runs in my family.)

I know that the healthiest and best thing I can do for myself now is separate this diagnosis from my sense of self worth.

I also know that I’m still processing, and that this change in my awareness of food will take a while. And the negative thought patterns and feeling of being overwhelmed may come back up, and I’ll have to process it again. It’s simple, but not easy.

So this week I’ve practiced ahimsa in the form of being kind to myself, and understanding that change takes time. I’ve practiced aparigraha in softly letting go of old patterns of eating and stocking my fridge. And I’ve sure as hell practiced tapas in the form of daily discipline with how I nourish my body.

I know that all of these are positive ways to embrace the changes happening. I also know that it’s going to take a while before I come to a place where this is my new normal. In the meantime, I’m going to use every tool in my toolkit to find my ground and my new rhythm.

In an effort to remain honest with myself and you, I’ll probably be posting more food recipes, ideas, and mental and physical practices that are helping me let go of what was, and shift into this new mindset. In other words, Imma keep doing my yoga but with more pictures inside my fridge.

I’m going to take this one day at a time, and keep an open mind towards positive change.

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