The alarm screeches at 5 a.m. I can’t move. My head, my body, everything is sore. It’s only Tuesday and I know I have countless days and nights of commuting, working and writing papers ahead. There’s seems to be only one solution: drink… A LOT.
That was 3.5 years ago. I had made the sage decision to take on my first full-time job a month before graduating college, which meant commuting hundreds of miles in addition to my pre-existing job and school. There was a finish line to this marathon, but it was long enough to build a habit. That was a daily routine of unhealthy eating, heavy drinking and zero exercise. “The ‘gym’ is my stress release,” began to sounds a whole lot more like ‘gin’.
After graduation, I moved to DC so my commute disappeared, but my bad behavior didn’t. Being in the city just meant more people who wanted to go to bars. I was getting more sleep and leisure time, but feeling just as sluggish every morning.
Thank god for swimsuit season.
That summer my friend posted a picture of me in my bathing suit on Facebook. I couldn’t believe how I looked. No amount of ‘sucking it in” could hide my belly. That’s when it clicked: I looked and felt worse than ever before. I needed a change.
I tried going to the gym, but found myself unhappy there. My waistline began to shrink, slowly, but I had no passion. The gym felt lonely and unwelcoming. I decided to return to yoga.
In high school I practiced yoga, but only as frequently as my part-time salary could afford. I didn’t remember much about how the practice made me look, but I remembered how I felt.
I did some research and settled on Yoga District.
The next few months of my life were transformative. I found myself wanting to wake up at the crack of dawn to practice, I made friends who took me on runs instead of to bars, and I began worrying less about the stress of work. I felt good again.
By the time swimsuit season rolled around I took a look in the mirror and my lips curled into a smile. My belly was gone, well almost…But more importantly, I was happy with my body (Who says that these days?!). I was no swimsuit model, but I was proud of those hours in the studio and their effect on my body. But more importantly, I felt great in my body.
My life continues to change at a startling rate, but one thing has remained constant since that summer: I’ve felt good. And when you feel good all the time, even a bit of a Buddha belly is nothing to worry about.