Writings

The unbearable lightness of hunger


I am starting to sniff the beginning of the possibility of perhaps doing a detox...,
You can probably sense from the tone that it's not one of my most favorite things to do and to make matters even more pressing, it's already a bit overdue. I had decided to get on the juicing band wagon right after New Years but then we were on a sort of semi holiday and those couple of extra Christmas kilos kept me quite warm and felt somehow befitting to the winter season so I postponed. But now I've been stalling, procrastinating and dragging my feet for almost a month and now Jan is turning to Feb and the metaphorical magic of 'A new year a new you' is expiring so...
It's been at least two, maybe even three years since I last seriously cleaned out, I live a decently healthy lifestyle normally, but tend to let go during the summer when challenging timetables, coffee, bread and cheese become my staple diet and this year I have really felt the effect of that carelessness in my body.
Before parenthood, The Algarve and being extremely intimate with financial struggle, I would detox, more regularly, make it part of my practice. When we first started doing yoga we were to some degree quite neurotic about what we put in to our bodies, every coffee with accompanying sweet treat would provoke a tiny bit of guilt/shame, the same kind of eating guilt I recognized from my dancing days so familiar enough to not cause any major upset and although detrimental to spirit in many ways a great aid in those years of starting to shed skin.
Being a parent, living with uncertainty and being in a place where you are grateful you can put food on the table at all, naturally put that eating neurosis in a more appropriate place on the scale of priorities and I am now way more relaxed about the lifestyle surrounding yoga. But it doesn't change the fact that the laundry needs to be done, so I will undertake one, soon. (The lukewarm 'soon' being a very generous way of giving myself just a tiny bit of pressure)

It helps that I started running again. Me and my Vibram Fivefingers have hit the treadmill after a long break and the enthusiasm I am feeling from that dynamic running practice is inspiring me and I actually feel the desire to get rosy cheeked and vibrantly healthy again

I run barefoot style and it is very demanding. When the body is not getting the help from thick airy soles to cushion the blow, running really hurts. The joints, especially when they're flexible like mine, suffer tremendously from the impact and the reason I took a long break from it was because before I knew how to properly train this style of running, it brought out all my old dancing injuries. Could barely run 10 minutes before my hips and neck were screaming, but I figured it out and it's now becoming a very interesting way of 'hatha' practicing. It requires extreme awareness and meticulous placement of the sole of the foot, stacking the joints perfectly on top of each other, holding a consistent strong mula bandha and lengthening the spine from the back of the neck thus freeing the hips to move naturally with my step. It's in many ways akin to all my years of dance training, cultivating awareness of the body in fast motion, aligning it as you do. I'm actually loving it. Wouldn't work without a carefully selected soundtrack though, I need my Bieber, Beyoncé, Björk and Tool to make it through the kilometers but thanks to them I am enduring and am now even starting to experience this euphoric endorfic sensation runners get which I previously only read about and quite frankly suspected was a clever Nike marketing ruse. But it's real and it makes me almost feel young again, the other day I found myself laughing out loud I felt so alive!

That feeling of joy at simply being alive and my wanting to clean out the system to feel light as a feather on that treadmill is what I hope will keep me motivated during the soon to come deprivation season. I'm kind of over the whole looking good in a bikini thing, I actually do look pretty smashing (for a 43 year old) in a two piece, so that vanity fantasy which previously kept me going when the hunger pangs set in no longer serves me, which although good, that that particular neurosis is over, is also in some ways unfortunate while detoxing because I don't deal very well with hunger. Whenever there's lack of solid food all my animal instinct comes out. I think I could actually steal food from a child (if no one was looking) if I really needed to eat, just ask my family, if I don't get something to stuff in my mouth the minute I start to feel hungry I turn into a royal pain in the ass, I whine and moan feel lightheaded and generally angry with the world. Not a pleasant experience, according to them. My theory is that it must come from being starved during my orphan days, true or not, it sometimes help me score sympathy points with them when I am become beastly.


So, whenever I decide that soon has arrived, a time of perceived weakness, melancholy and misery probably awaits. Can't say I'm looking forward to it, but afterwards, boy oh boy, I am going to run that treadmill to the ground, or at least that is what I will keep telling myself during these upcoming unbearable days of hunger.

 

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