Bikram 30 Day Challenge – Days 7 and 8

Day 7

I drove home from Bikram yesterday thinking about donuts but I didn’t let myself have one because I’m healthy! I’m doing Bikram and therefore I can’t eat donuts.

Cut to this morning when all my Words with Friends games had tile options like HGYWXPI, and my tiny Mac is in the hospital so I’m pecking away at my ancient PC laptop that has the processing speed of a chisel on a piece of limestone and a donut seemed like the only thing that would make me happy.

I thought about donuts all the way through my search for a flight to New Orleans that doesn’t cost $1000 and housing in New Orleans during Mardi Gras that doesn’t include some impossible equation like “1 Bedroom/Sleeps 6” and I still wanted donuts but I didn’t let myself go get one because by that point I had passed into the “3 hours and Counting” no eating zone before Bikram. So I wrote a facebook post about donuts. Turns out there are a lot of people out there who think donuts will solve their life’s problems today.

I went to Bikram class, laid on the ground and wondered why life is so hard and why I can’t just have donuts. Entitled white girl: party of one. I know.  And wouldn’t it be nice if I were the kind of beginning yogi that says “But then I got into tree pose and I stopped thinking about donuts! I dreamed of wheat grass, world peace and a colon cleanse!” But instead, I’m the kind of beginning yogi who blames the instructor for cutting into her donut time. So I suffered through the class, tried to sweat out my aggravation and resentment and gain some perspective and then came home and ate an apple.

It’s 25 hours and I haven’t had a donut but I’m still thinking about it. I figure I can go two ways with this: I can pat myself on the back and say “What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger” or I can go the Oscar Wilde route and get rid of temptation by yielding to it.

Jury’s still out. Tune in tomorrow.

Day 8

I went to Bikram today and realized I’m on the weird plateau where I’ve done these poses regularly enough this week that I don’t have to think about them. That’s not good. That means that I’m in danger of spending 90 minutes every day doing the same stuff over and over without getting better or worse at it, and what’s the point of that?

My friend Nate gave me this little jewel of wisdom from his Bikram teacher who said “Using 99% of your energy is much harder than using 100%.” Her point seemed to be that if you hold back, thinking that you’ll need the energy for later, part of you will always be wondering “Do I go full out now? How about now? Am I tired? How tired?” and you won’t ever be at 100% capacity anywhere.

I’m elaborating on what he said but that caveat has been in my mind today because I feel like I’ve been about 90% everywhere. I’m 90% in my writing when I leave my phone on and I check my email because I have so many other things going on this week. I’m 90% convinced I won’t eat donuts but 10% of me isn’t sure. I’m 90% doing that vicious pose with teeth known as Triangle but about 10% (or 50%…) of me is wondering when I can stop.

Basically 90% sucks. 90% is almost enough but not quite, it’s sort of in the door but not really, it’s committed except for that one thing…

So today in Bikram, about the point that we got into cobra, I made a decision to be 100% in the room and let go of everything that wasn’t in the room. I quieted my mind, I worked on the little stuff, made corrections, bent and rounded and lengthened and pushed and didn’t worry about anything else.

I’m one week in. My goal for next week is to actively leave my mental wranglings outside the door of the Bikram studio at the beginning of class. When I go in there, be 100% there. For better or worse.

Also, I didn’t have a donut. But I did have cake and it was delicious.

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