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Running is and always has been my sport; however, I recently stumbled across yoga and became hooked. While running is what I know and have been comfortable with, I also think it’s the reason why I have grown to like yoga – it forces me out of my comfort zone.
And I accept the challenge.
Eight Marathons and Counting
I pride myself with the fact that running seems to come so easily to me. After all, I’ve racked up 8 half marathons now, and I always like to say that I “eat 5k’s for breakfast!”
Yoga class, however, does not come so easily to me. I’m lucky if I can stand on one leg in Tree Pose or even remember to breathe for the entire 60 minute class. But one thing that keeps my overachieving, Type A, competitive personality in check, is that the yoga instructors continually remind us that yoga is a “practice.”
I’m not supposed to judge myself against the yogis who can maintain headstands for two minutes. Rather, I’m just supposed to worry about me and my own little world of breathing and stretching. I know that when I’m consistent with my yoga classes, I feel accomplished if I breathe a little bit more, stretch a little bit farther, and maintain the poses for a little bit longer.
Yoga and Nutrition- Finding That Balance
So what does this have to do with nutrition? Well, over the past few months I’ve been doing some traveling, and I’ve realized that maintaining my healthy eating habits has been a challenge. When I’m home and I’m making my daily green juices and kale salads, I’m maintaining my focus on nutrition. But during my travels, it seems like I follow the “When in Rome” philosophy.
In New York, all I want is pizza, pasta, bagels, and fresh Italian bread. And recently, when I was at Disney World, I couldn’t help but treat myself to the Mickey Mouse-shaped soft pretzels! I was fully aware that these weren’t necessarily the best choices for me but lo’ and behold, I made them anyway. And of course, when I returned to the comfort of my home, I felt the guilt.
I consider myself a student and an advocate of nutrition, so what kind of example was I setting? But then it hit me:
Yoga is a practice, something to continually improve on and learn from…but so is nutrition.
I am actively practicing the art of nutrition by reading books, taking classes, and trying new recipes, but with any practice comes setbacks and slip-ups. Not to mention that as I learn more and more, I’m finding that I’ve changed my definition of healthy eating.
In yoga class, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve fallen over trying to maintain Eagle Pose, but that doesn’t mean I should just give up yoga and return my mat and blocks to the store. I can give myself a break and follow the 80/20 rule of being health conscious most of the time with a few treats here and there.
Giving in to a craving every once in a while isn’t such a bad thing because sometimes, after the fact, I realize that it wasn’t worth it and I won’t be so tempted next time.
I know that my healthy choices significantly outweigh my less-than-healthy choices, and that’s okay because I can accept those choices and move on!
About the Author:
Kristin Horstman is a 30-year-old nutrition and fitness enthusiast who resides in Arizona with her husband. She enjoys trying out new, meatless meals as well as attending classes and seminars pertaining to diet and fitness.