Thursday, March 25, 2010

eat your heart out

the past few weeks i've had rough dreams; the kind of dreams you will yourself not to have before falling asleep, but can feel their roots spreading in your brain even as your eyes close. typically i have a week of vivid dreams before my period arrives, but the timing isn't right now. there's a lot of stress in my waking life currently--money issues, mostly--and of course the anxiety feeds the dream machine, but they're not all bad. a few nights ago i dreamed of skipping down santa monica blvd, literally skipping. 

it's been kind of a food week over here. i didn't teach much yoga, for one reason or another, and have been slowly fighting some weird version of the flu for about a week. this meant i was home, a lot. so i ate, a lot. i baked things, like cinnamon rolls and coffee cake, whole wheat biscuits and something i can only call 'a poor girl's pound cake'--by the time i made the pound cake, i'd run out of milk, soy milk, flour and had only a little sugar left. i used water and oil, and swirled half a jar of jam into the pan to sweeten the cake. it was a moderate success.

but all this baking means a whole lot of eating. so this morning, after mindlessly making a poor girl's pound cake butter sandwhich (it is exactly what it sounds like: a slice of cake cut in half and a slab of salted butter stuffed in between.), i said good bye to my boyfriend cheerily, dancing around at the top of the stairwell and humming. you're so happy today, he said, happily. i know! i exclaimed, what a sunny, beautiful day it is! la la la la, etc. he left, both of us so happy.

fifteen minutes later i was standing in front of the kitchen sink, ready to crawl down it. i was so tired. the corners of my mouth dragged toward my chin, i felt like my head weighed a hundred pounds. all week, this has been happening. around noon i crash hard. like, speeding car into a brick wall crash. as i stumbled around the kitchen fixing a cup of tea to soothe my strangely upset stomach, i eyed the pan of pound cake. eureka. with a big spoon i mashed up all the remaining cake into a ball and poked it while going over the ingredient list in my head. white sugar. white flour. vegetable oil. cheap sugary jam. i then considered the other things i'd baked this week, and a surge of self loathing hurled itself up from the pit of my belly. i felt, to put it kindly, disgusting. i'd baked all these things and then eaten them entirely without thinking, without pause, and then allowed myself to mope around all week.

but, what happened has happened. i threw out the rest of the cake (i should say that half of it was not edible--the oven i use is unreliable at best, and burns easily. the back half of cake burned badly. so throwing it out was not a totally wasteful, vengeful act.) and put the butter back in the fridge, came upstairs and rolled out my mat. i still felt like a total whale. my belly was growling at me; a strange sensation of mentally knowing you're full, but your body is requesting actual nutrition. child's pose called to me. i envisioned apana with each exhale, get it out, get it out. gradually making my way to downward dog, then a feeble chatarunga and a half hearted high cobra. this wasn't working for me. i rolled over and put my face toward the sunny spot on the floor, closing my eyes. a few moments later, i was ready again. i did ten snail paced sun salutes. the first few rounds weren't good--i felt like my body was as heavy as iron, and my muscles like stringy pieces of gum. by the fifth one, i wasn't feeling strong, but i did feel capable. a lunge salute followed, and then a long rest in pigeon on each side.

i realize now my dreams might be caused, in part, by my week of food. maybe my week of instability in general--i simply did not do enough this week, and ate as if every last meal was my last. my boyfriend and i are planning on meeting on the pudong side of the river this evening to walk along the canal, and i had planned to bake a little coffee cake to take with us. i think i'll steam some broccoli instead. the funny thing is my stomach is seriously growling!


EVA said...

I have been feeling like this lately too, unfortunately not just from food. Good for you for listening to your body!

FrenchToast said...

it's amazing how difficult it is to do what feels good, and what you THINk will feel week hasn't started off so strong, though--i baked a coffee cake on sunday night. :) hope yours has a healthy start!

A l y s s a said...

I hate computers. I had written a whole response to this beautiful, troubled post, but it got lost in cyberland.

Just wanted to tell you how much I identify with your post, even though I wish I didn't, and how I wish you didn't have to identify with your words either. Being a woman, among other things as well, seems so complex sometimes.

When I come to China, let's do yoga together. Especially that pigeon pose. That one sounds great.

love you.