Often in yoga we’re asked while lying on our backs to bring our knees to our chest, wrap our arms around them, and give ourselves a hug. “Love your body for all it does for you,” the teacher will suggest. That’s never resonated more for me than it has this week. I love my body and all it does for me.
I just returned from three weeks in Europe, a dream vacation to Scotland and Italy. Everything went splendidly and we had a fabulous time exploring the Isle of Mull in Scotland and the cities of Florence, Montepulciano and Portovenere in Italy. I did a lot to prepare for this trip to prevent jet lag, maintain my energy and to be able to eat “in vacation mode” without getting sick or having any down days. I wanted this trip to be perfect and all my hard work seemed to have paid off.
So what did I do to prepare?
First of all, I went back to Weight Watchers three months before the trip and lost almost fifteen pounds. In other words, I started eating mindfully again. I started taking Melatonin every night before bed to ensure my body was making sufficient amounts of that stuff that helps us sleep. I continued to work with my doctor to balance my hormones with bio-identical hormones and vitamins. I started taking a probiotic daily to help regulate my digestive system. And I had a mindset that this trip would be a grand adventure, rather than a stressful twenty-one days I had to “get through.”
While I was on the trip, I made sure to continue eating mindfully. I kept up with my meditation and yoga practices. I drank lots of water. I got plenty of sleep and never got jet lag. And I kept active with lots of walking which allowed to me to eat three yummy meals a day without feeling guilty. I ate lots of fresh fish in Scotland and even more fresh pasta in Italy. I ate gelato, just not every day. I had wine with dinner, just not every night. I was able to enjoy myself because I knew I was being true to what was important to me, staying healthy while enjoying new sights and sounds and scenery.
I came back to a less-than-two-pound weight gain and again, no jet lag. I believe that my willingness to take care of myself both before and during the trip was the answer. My body held up with all that walking, all that food, all the stress that being in new places and traveling can bring. I took good care of it and it took good care of me. My body deserves a hug, and I don’t need to be in a yoga class to make that happen.