Monday, September 29, 2008

How To Lose Those Last Four Pounds, Crazy Yoga, and Other Stories

You know when you're doing something, and while you're doing it you're thinking "If anyone saw me right now they would think I was a complete idiot"? I had one of these moments this week.

As mentioned a few posts back, this has not been a great week for me. Rotten, in fact. I happen to be one of those lucky people who suffer from anxiety. Not often enough to be medicated, just often enough that every so often (like when someone proposes to me, or my husband goes missing in the mountains, or other various kinds of problems arise) I have an anxiety attack.

I have various ways of containing and handling these episodes to keep them somewhat under control, but every so often things get a little out of hand. Knowing this, (and dreading the fact) I found and bought this "stress relieving herbal tea" that claimed to calm anxiety. It's been sitting in my cupboard for almost a year, waiting for an out of control bout of anxiety worthy of a little product testing. The last two times my husband went MIA while solo-ing it in the mountains, I had the tea brewing when he finally either called or arrived. What a bummer. Twenty minutes later, and I'd have been able to find out if the stuff actually worked.

This week I had my chance.

By Friday I was a mess. The anxiety had been building up since Tuesday night, and somewhere around lunchtime, I felt it coming on. Full blown anxiety attack. Heart starts racing, panicky feeling takes over, what's left of my functioning, rational brain begins shutdown.

Then I remember - I have that stupid tea in my cupboard. It could work. I'd better try it.

I open the cupboard, grab the tea, put on some water, and while it boils I notice this on the tea box: "Yoga To Let It All Go." I read on, and discover there is a yoga pose that's supposed to calm anxiety. I am not really into yoga. I am, however, feeling desperate. I decide that at this point I will try anything.

So I go into the other room, kick enough stuff out of my way to clear a spot on the floor (anxiety SERIOUSLY impairs my ability to do anything productive around the house - we're talking no-laundry-for-four-days kind of serious), and sit cross legged on the floor. With one eye on the instructions, I get into position. Left hand, palm up on my left knee - middle finger crossed behind first, thumb over fingers four and five. (Not joking, I really did this). Right hand, first finger extended - thumb over fingers three, four, and five. Hold right hand at chin level. Close eyes, and twirl finger in the air for one to three minutes. Breathe deeply. Feel like a complete idiot, and hope no one comes to the door, because it has a window and I'm sitting on the floor right in front of it feeling like a crazy lady.

It totally worked.

I actually stopped shaking, and was breathing normally after a minute or two. Seriously, it was so effective I was kind of bugged, because it messed with my product testing. If I'm already calming down, how the heck can I judge how effective the tea actually is???

But I drank it anyway, and it did seem to help. Or, I was just experiencing the full affects of my amazing yoga experience. Who can tell? Now I'll have to wait for my next major anxiety attack (no rush there, Mr. Anxiety) so I can drink the tea BEFORE doing crazy yoga poses.

But don't get me wrong, I am not complaining. I'm just hoping I don't have any public anxiety attacks, so I can keep my idiotic yoga pose all to myself. (Can't you just picture me dropping into the Praying Mantis in the grocery store, twirling my little finger on aisle Nine? What a picture). And there was a silver lining to all of this - thanks to my anxiety-induced starvation diet, I lost 4 pounds!!!

See - just when you think life really stinks, you take a chance, do something that makes you feel like an idiot, achieve minor success, and lose those four pounds standing between you and your skinny jeans. Last week's anxiety - this week's accomplishment.

Just call me Pollyanna.


*MARY* said...

I eat yogurt too but I use a spoon, not my finger. I'm really sleepy.

Whitney R said...

I love Pollyanna! And I'm really glad you found a yoga pose that will help you. Anxiety is no fun. I always thought I was one of the most relaxed and liad back of people. Then I got married, realized I'm horrible at going to school full time and keeping up with cleaning my house and doing wifely things like cooking, and ironing shirts and that's when I started to get super stressed out. I think I scare my H pretty bad when I start hysterically (this has happened probably 3 times since we've been married) crying because I can't keep up. He just holds me and lets me cry.

In the end I know how rediculous I'm being but I can't help it. And because of this, I hate school. Hate it. I'm only still here becuase I am 9 credits away from graduating after this semester with my Bachelors and it would be STUPID to drop out now.

Natalie said...

Good to have a new strategy for combatting stress anyway. I was thinking I might have Lane try that pose but then I realized when you said you hoped you didn't have an attack in public that pretty much all of his are brought on by things associated with being in public. Bummer. Yoga would probably be social suicide in 5th grade.

Jill said...

I think the reason that the pose calmed you down is that you were concentrating so hard on trying to do it correctly, that you had to stop thinking about everything that was causing the anxiety.

Either that, or it cut off the blood supply to your brain a little;0)

I'm going to have to try this sometime. Could you post a photo of yourself so I know Im doing it correctly?

Anonymous said...

I BELIEVE IN YOGA!!! So much so, that we introduced it at girls camp a few years ago, and has become one of our standard camp traditions!

Imagine this, if you will...

Our camp is located on the banks of a beautiful lake, and out in the swimming area we have a floating dock. At seven in the morning, we canoe out to the dock with a dozen or so girls and greet the morning with a good ol' Salute to the Sun! It's tremendous!

I think more people need an outlet like this. We should all synchronize our watches and do yoga together! With yogurt and everything! We could call it the Pollyanna Posse!

(Just for kicks, you ought to check out a Nettipot. Talk about weird, but it really works, too!)

Lisa said...

I just laughed at the last part of Jill's comment. Very nice.

I'll have to tell my sister about your cures, as she has pretty serious anxiety. She's on meds for it, though so she probably doesn't need anything else. She actually needs something to help her care about things again, as she's just floating around feeling great and forgetting about housework. Apparently stress is a pretty helpful when it comes to keeping your house clean. I seem to have all the stress of it with little of the actually cleanliness that should come out of it...

Kelly said...

Sorry to hear about the anxiety, but glad to know things are under control now. Hope all stays well!

Kimberly said...

I have similar issues and here I've been putting off doing yoga for years now...oi!

Jen said...

Whitney - take it from someone who did the drop out thing, and had to go back pregnant, and with a two year old to finish - it would be stupid to drop out now.

Jill - Lucky you! There's a picture on the tea box! Just go buy some Kava Stress Relief tea made by Yogi Tea, and you'll own not only your own picture, but your own instructions! And it's way authentic too, because the chick in the picture is wearing real yoga pants.

Sue - totally onto the whole nettipot thing, but I switched to the Neil Med Sinus Rinse so I could really push things through. I'm forceful like that.

And I think I'll go, because I'm starting to sound like a commercial, and as of now, no one is paying for these endorsements:)

Melissa Bastow said...

I do the occasional anxiety thing too. It's such a pain in the butt. Except that when my anxiety hits I just eat myself into a fat blobby oblvion. But it never helps. And then I'm fatter. So that should at least make you feel better about doing yoga poses - since my fatness would never be able to get into ANY kind of a yoga pose while I'm shoveling in the dorritos.

Heidi said...

Ha! Score one for yoga-- and my mother has been trying to get me into this stuff without much success. I wonder if there's a yoga pose to help me stop becoming a hyperventilating freak every time I step into an elevator.

Annie Valentine said...

Man, you've got to find a way to shut down all those proposals. They're really hampering your well-being.

Stephanie said...

I didn't know you had anxiety disorder? Of course, what do I know, we only lived together a year and that was premarriage and prebaby and pre-I love to make apple pie days. I even made applesauce yesterday with Kai and I was thinking of you. Now, every time I look at an apple I'll think of you. And you know what else? Every time I think about salami or even pepperoni, I think of Annie. And every time I'm cleaning or doing laundry, guess who I think of? Kelly. I know, this is getting wierd.

Alison Wonderland said...

I'm so sorry I wasn't there to see that... I mean, help. I'm sorry I wasn't there to help