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SIDELINED {BY SAYEH}! 28 Mar 2012

  sayeh

Although 2012 has been kinder to me than it has been to many (Kim Kardashian did get flour bombed by a PETA activist after all), it’s been a bit of a pain so far. Literally. I started off the year with a sinus/chest infection that just wouldn’t go away, and as soon as I finally beat that, I came down with a stubborn kidney infection that also didn’t want to go away (hence my recent absence from the blog). For the past 3 weeks, I’ve split my time between doctors’ offices and asleep on a heating pad. Which means, besides the fact that I’ve been Les Miserables, I’ve spent no time in the studio.

And, although I was focused on getting better--drinking tons of cranberry juice, visualizing healthy kidneys dancing around in front of me, chanting mantras (you know...the uzh)--in the back of my mind, I have to admit that I was kind of stressed about being out of class for so long. My rational self knew this was silly, and that a few of weeks of taking it easy was vital to my recovery,  but my paranoid self couldn’t help but think it was the end of the world.

So here I am, my back is killing me, I’m exhausted from a trip to the ER, and wiped out from being on multiple antibiotics, and I’m worried about getting fat? Really? I couldn’t help but think that 3 weeks off would land me back at square 1. That my all my hard work (read: 20lbs lost, doing push-ups on my toes, doing all of my lunges in stiletto without a break) would just fall apart. I found myself wincing as I stepped on the scale (at every doctor’s visit), as I waited for the numbers to pop up...and up and up. I found myself feeling guilty after meals, knowing that I wasn’t burning the calories off in class. (I kept imagining little green men, because that’s what calories look like under a microscope, all running straight to my butt, where other little green men were hanging out drinking booze straight from a bottle, high-fiving each other saying ridiculous things like: Dude, I told you we’d all hang out here again. This place is awesome! Butterbeers on me!) I would look in the mirror daily, sizing myself up from every angle, trying to gauge how fast the pounds were making their way back onto my body.

Obsessed much?

I think so. I’ve always thought of myself as a person with a healthy body image...that I was different than the girls in high school that constantly said they were fat. Turns out, I’m not as different as I thought. And amazingly, I’m in the best shape I’ve been in, in years. When I was heavier, I was focused and motivated to slim down, so I put in the hard work to make it to my so-called “goal size.” But now that I’m here, am I really just going to constantly panic that I’ll fall from this slippery weight-loss zenith? So when is it enough? Just a couple of more pounds here? Just a little skinnier in my inner thighs? A little more sculpted in my arms? God forbid I miss a class or two here and there...I convince myself it’s goodbye skinny jeans.

Not okay.
These last few weeks have been a total wake-up call for me. It was like my body was forcing me to SLOW DOWN. Yes, it’s amazing to get into the studio 5-6 times a week if you’re healthy and are keeping fit, and it makes sense for your life. But I know I’m not alone when I say that I’ve Lithed through injuries, or when I’m not feeling so great...because ultimately I’m scared of what will happen if I stop.

So here I am, 3 weeks out, and guess what? I must admit that I look exactly the same. The beauty of Lithe is that it not only slims us down, but it makes us strong. Really strong. So a little rough patch here and there isn’t actually going to derail us like we think it will. Yes, I may be sore again (really sore) when I finally get back to the barre. And maybe I’ll have to do push ups on my knees for a while, but...so what?

And that’s been what I’ve had to say to myself. So I gain a couple of pounds? So I’m going to struggle a bit when I take Tight End again. SO WHAT. I realized that it’s not enough to just go to Lithe classes, but it’s important to truly embrace the entire philosophy. Part of which is to listen to our bodies, to nurture them and compliment them with our workout, not batter them. And certainly give ourselves the room to rest. That it’s essential to the process. That it’s impossible to be fit and hip, without being healthy.

So that’s the new mindset I’m working on: giving myself a break...in all senses of the word. No beating myself up about it. Having faith in all the hard work I’ve done, and that we all do in the studio. I hope that you can do the same, if you need it.

See you in class (when I’m ready)!

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Awesome post. Lithers are so wired to be perfectionists and so inclined to make sure their ass gets kicked every day...and I think all of us (ok, ME) need a reminder sometime that it's OK (sometimes necessary) to kick-back from time to time.

I'm right there with you! My husband and I are starting a business so every free second has been eaten up by that and I was having major anxiety about being back at square one from not lithing for 3 weeks...not to mention old aches and pains were creeping back in to remind me I was missing it in more ways than one...it made me realize that while I do need something in my life to keep me active, a break every once in a while won't kill me. And now I feel more motivated to get back in the studio! Thanks for sharing this!

I can totally relate to your feelings. I have been feeling and thinking the same exact thing... this is my second week of no lithe due to a knee surgery from torn cartilage I had last Monday (yes... I over did it!)

I have been freaking out that my body is going to turn to mush and I am having lithe withdraw. I never thought I would actually have withdraw from my workouts!!

My doctor said this to me yesterday "It only a few weeks.... your body requires a break to continue to work"

So a break I will give it... but only for another 6 weeks ;)


This was such an important entry for me to read! I was recently told by my orthopedic doctor that I might not be able to do long distance running-ever. I might just have to give up my goal of an ultra forever. This news has been really hard for me to swallow and the reality is I could still do running, but I might have to do more of a run/walk approach and that is terrifying. But yesterday as I'm in Weightless I realize I have to leave class because my shin splints are acting up from the day before's 5 mile run. Was it is an excellent run? Yes. But is it worth then being sidelined for the rest of the week ? No. So here's the thing I'm realizing: I need to learn to work with where I am and not freak out when I can't do something-to readjust my viewpoint. I was out for a month last year in the middle of training for a marathon due to surgery and I did the same thing-I was panicking because I thought I was going to gain weight! I COULD'VE DIED and THAT'S what I'm concerned with!? That's why I'm happy to have found Lithe. It helped me embrace the important outlook on healthy living which is about taking care of your body, being strong and yeah, it's great when your booty looks nice in a pair of jeans but it's OK if I'm never gonna be the 5'10 thin model esque girl :)
Thanks for sharing Sayeh.

Couldn't agree more Sayeh! I was just as restless and had the same fears after having surgery last September and it taking almost 2 months to really get back into everything. I promise it comes right back and when you are in that third set of lunges and think that only a month ago you could hardly move, it feels even better. Hope to see you soon! XOXO MT

Thanks so much for sharing with me guys. I was feeling like a bit of a lunatic being stressed about my weight in the face of an illness, so it's good to know I'm not alone. I can totally relate to all of you guys. I look forward to seeing you all in the studio when it's the right time for each of us. Best of luck in recuperating (and your business)!

I've found for me that stressing about losing and gaining weight takes the fun out of the classes. Lithe is supposed to be a workout that is also a good time. The worst is when I hear people putting themselves down by comparing their bodies and abilities to other people in the class. They are totally missing the point as well as bumming me out.

This hits home for me, too, Sayeh. I haven't been in class due to an injury from an accident years ago. And I have no idea when I will be back, although the Main Line studio is already calling my name. Perhaps my butt will fall a little in the interim, but I know when I get back in that room and the lunges and sumo's begin again, it will jump right back up! Hope you are feeling better soon!

I really appreciate this post. You are a beautiful writer, and I love getting a glimpse into your mind. Funny and poignant. Stuff we can all relate to. I think you really hit something here...

Having given birth to a healthy, beautiful baby boy 7+ months ago I find myself working out the kinks regarding changes in my Lithe Relationship lately. I was Lithing up till the day of my c-section and was admitted to the hospital in my leggings and sports bra...and I have Lithed since before I got married.

Coming to class 5x per week was a part of my life just like drinking water or doing laundry - I always got it done and the results were pretty standard but never taken for granted. I lost weight, gained strength, had fun - you know - the usual. But now since having my son I have really had to negotiate a different path.

I still do Lithe 5x per week, and while my prior thoughts would have been "what if I gain the weight back or my right thigh gets bigger if I miss a class - or - a worse a whole week...?" (I can SO relate to what you wrote!) now I am working harder than ever before yet (on the outside) my 'results' are slow as molasses; I am one of those women who, while breastfeeding, seems to hold onto about 5-10lbs of weight and regardless of going to class 5x per week or taking days off or dropping calories or eating some cake, I am literally at the same weight and (mostly) the same shape. Won't budge. This is, at times crazy making as my old Lithe formula doesn't work the same way anymore. Because of this, I have had to re-adjust my thinking of Lithe from something that was mostly about transforming my body to something that I am committed to in order to keep my insides healthy (mind included) even if my outsides don't want to move or show anything for now (hey, it takes pounds to make pounds as a pediatrician once said referring to many nursing mothers who are a about 5-10 pounds up in order to maintain milk supply). Anyway...my greatest experiences with Lithe have been in the past 7 months where the scale stays the same (and my old jeans still don't fit) but my appreciation for my body and what it is capable of (and this community of women) have soared. I can't tell you the number of women who ask with genuine caring about my son, or how I am doing/feeling - and now- I truly now measure my progress in Lithe classes by my progress in Lithe classes(does that make sense?)not by how I fit into my smallest pair of jeans (answer = not at all). It isn't about the scale or how my body looks. It can't be. My first day back post c-section I couldn't even do an assisted roll-up and now I am back doing regular classes at my usual pace and keeping up in a Tight End class (mostly) only the woman I see in the mirror is now a mom and she looks like someone who has a baby to feed right when she gets back from class. Thanks again for sharing, such a great reminder to be gentle with ourselves, that we're all so very human and that being fit (and hip and healthy) is about so much more than the dimension of my thighs. I am glad for your reminder.

This is an absolutely wonderful post! I have to say that I feel the same way whenever I have to miss Lithe. I was out for a few weeks with a lower back injury earlier this year, but instead of focusing on the fact that I couldn't even sit up straight in a chair all I could think about was missing Lithe and getting fat! (Which is clearly ridiculous). Whenever I miss a class because law school gets in the way or makes me too tired I can't help but feel like a fat loser who just isn't strong enough to muster the strength to go. This post was great because so many times I've felt this way and I'm still working on believing that it is important to take time off when your body needs the rest! I had to comment because I've gone through EXACTLY the same thought process and this (just like the whole Lithe community) helps give me unprecedented strength and support!

Thank you SO much for sharing everyone. Anna, your story mean a lot to me. Catherine, thanks for letting me know I'm not alone. Women like all of you is what makes Lithe an amazing place to recover and recuperate from all the things life throws at us.

Sayeh, amazing as always. It's so true that a lot of women feel and think this very same way. I saw true results and strength AFTER recognizing that it wasn't about powering through 7 classes/week with improper form and tired/sore muscles. Actually feeling the workouts and taking the time to rest when needed made me feel mentally and physically better :)

It's always uncomfortable to be out of your "zone" and not in the studio. Chances are, like you said, you're hard work won't go anywhere, but in fact make you more easily able to jump right back into things (taking it slow of course at first!) Rest, feel better and can't wait to see you back!

As a woman who has struggled her entire life with body image issues- I completely understand the fear of missing class and erasing all the progress you have made. I am fortunate enough to not have had any health issues that kept me out of the studio but I do travel for work frequently and I will miss Lithing for 1-2 weeks at a time. I am in mental agony when this happens. I try to use hotel gyms, get guest passes at local gyms wherever I am, but its not the same. Not only does work travel keep me out of the studio, but I am forced to eat out for every meal making the mental agony and guilt even worse with each bite of food I take! Although its a minor setback to the progress I have made, I have learned that as long as I moderate food portions, get 3 workouts in a week, I'll be (kind of) okay when I get back to lithing. Although the first day back usually kicks my butt! Glad you are feeling better, Sayeh!

one of your best blogs n so truly motivating. Now can enjoy my vacation without the guilt. Thank you so very much Sayeh. Take care n do get well soon.

I am just back at work after three days of the flu and I have missed every class this week. My thoughts while sick and missing work were; but can I still make it to class today? Tomorrow? I was so scared of missing so much time but your post hit it right on the head. We are stronger now and it's ok to take needed time off. Thanks Sayeh, you're the best!

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