40 days challenge

40 days challenge

Yesterday I finished an unexpected challenge which I started back in April! 40 days of yoga and green food. And by green I mean the color 🙂

How did this all start

Apparently Covid-19 granted quite a few opportunities which would be challenging to take if needed to go to the office. Every now and then my kundalini yoga teacher organizes 11 day sadhana (a daily spiritual practice) which means that for 11 days, every morning 6:30 – 08:00 AM there is a yoga class dedicated towards the achievement of a certain purpose. This time it was called “Inner strength” – very much in line with challenging times. With the yoga class also came a recommendation to go on a green diet (which is not necessarily a diet, more like a food plan) and to do a daily cold shower before the practice.

The cold shower for me was a no go straight away. in my view a cold shower is more an inquisition tool than a healthy practice. I remember having only cold water for 26 days in monastery in Thailand and every single time that caused me a massive stress. Hence there was no point in lying to myself – no cold water, thank you.

In the meantime the green diet was something that I was scared of and something I’ve never tried. According to me the limitation of food is another inquisition tool. I respect and admire people who go and stay on diets however I always knew that I was not one of them. I love my food! I even consider myself a food addict. If needed I could increase my exercising so that I could eat as much as I want = unlimited. Nevertheless, I was curious. So I renamed “diet” into “eating plan” and that already gave me some piece of mind. Then I assessed all the rules and realized that I do not necessarily need to limit the amount of food! That already sounded good enough! Hence, basically, I could eat as much as I wanted, except that the food needed to be color green and I had to stay away from alcohol, caffeine, meat, seafood, fish, chicken and added sugars. Only for 11 days – scary, interesting and worth trying! I was “in”.

Waking up a bit earlier in the morning, joining the zoom with like-minded people – all sounded fun. And if you think about it – the time could not be more perfect! I did not need to commute to the office, I did not need to spend my time getting to yoga studio, my work schedule allowed me to start working whenever I needed – everything played in my favor! Until on day 1 I learned that to make our inner strength stronger we will be concentrating on our core muscles during our daily practice. Core?! All alarm bells started ringing immediately! First of all, abs are my weakest part of the body and there is a reason for that. Secondly, due to my jaw issues, I cannot even work on abs too hard !!! Where did I get myself involved into!!! Of course, I could have left my first class saying “Sorry, teacher, no can do” but for me that equaled a suicide – I’m not a quitter! Another option was to do what I can, consciously and with moderation. In other words, to leave my perfectionism aside and listen to my body instead of trying to make ideal poses. That was also something unusual to me.

To sum up the challenges & fears that I had:

  • Limitation of food
  • My first big detox ever – no clue how the body reacts
  • Perfectionism (the challenge to choose progress over perfection)
  • Reduction of small daily pleasures (bye bye nice cup of coffee/tea/glass of wine)
  • Find a way to train one part of my body without harming the other (abs vs. jaw)
  • Allowing myself to quit

Even with all these factors playing at the back of my head I decided to continue. After all, 11 days is less than two weeks – easy, anyone can do that, right? But then, towards the end of 11 days, the teacher expressed the recommendation to go ahead for 40 days, because then the real benefits of the practice can be felt. I was very sceptic about it. I mean, I didn’t really see the big purpose in that, especially the food part. What would be the reason –  to prove myself that I can do it – I already knew I could, so there was no motivation from there. I decided to continue with yoga practice, because I liked it and the kriya that the teacher chose was nice, having a discipline in my life helped to maintaine the peace of mind, but the food part – nah.. I really missed my pleasure of having a cup of coffee.

However the morning of day 12 came, I finished my yoga practice, I opened the fridge and realized that  it was still filled with greens – a sign from universe, right? 🙂 And there I made a deal with myself – I will continue with the right to withdraw anytime. As soon as I feel that that’s enough or my body starts giving me signs, I stop and that will not be considered as a failure.

What I’ve learned

Thus here I am, starting a change on day 41! I have to admit that wins overweight the losses (if any). What I mainly learned was:

  1. The hardest battles are in my mind
  2. I am not a food addict
  3. Discipline = the peace of mind
  4. My energy levels increased
  5. Metabolism increased
  6. Digestive problems disappeared
  7. My body lives in its own regime. 40 days going to bed at the same time and having alarm at the same time does not mean routine – I still need an alarm
  8. Huge strength comes from allowing yourself to quit (that takes out irrelevant pressure)
  9. I can achieve anything if I see purpose in it
  10. Not limiting food intake causes weight loss J
  11. Substitution is the key! If something is taken out, something else needs to be place instead
  12. Doing things that scare me extends my horizons and frees me up from fake beliefs
  13. Closer connection with my body
  14. I definitely became fitter J
  15. Creativity in cooking and the discovery of new dishes
  16. Variety of food is the must!

To be honest, many of these things I knew, but this challenge was yet a different experience allowing the body and the brain cells to record it in their memory. All in all I can say that after the riot in my brain was shut, I had a lot fun in this challenge and I admit that so far this one is the longest one. I appreciate my effort, I don’t pretend that “pff, it was super easy, not even worth mentioning, anyone can do that”, instead I’m happy that I’ve done it and I’m grateful to myself.

Now’s the time for a new challenge – integration. Slowly introducing new products instead of jumping into a steak paradise 🙂 Allowing myself to gain the lost weight and to feel comfy about it. One thing I know for sure – I wanna maintain the well-being I’ve achieved.

"Being your true self is the highway to success".

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top