The insanity begins: the last thing I ever wrote before suffering brain damage in a hot yoga class

Today is my first official day on Dr. Weil’s 8 Weeks to Optimal Health plan. That doesn’t mean much, at least not yet.

I’ve stocked up on selenium, Vitamin E and mixed carotenoid supplements, in the process breaking one of my own earlier life’s resolutions: to never, ever step into a GNC store.

I’ve been opposed to these places since high school when I used one of their weigh stations outside. The damn thing told me I was overweight. I wasn’t overweight. And at 15, you certainly don’t need some machine telling you you are in front of a store filled with posters of beautiful people. I’ve never forgiven them, and I’ve never again stepped foot in one of their stores — until today.

I didn’t want to. I went to the pharmacy first. Succeeded only in picking up Vitamin E. And shampoo. But that’s really not relevant.

After about 10 minutes of scouring their supplement section for the remaining ingredients of Dr. Weil’s antioxidant formula, my dear fiancé suggested GNC.

I shuddered and relented.

It worked out. I found the rest of the stuff I needed. The salesperson was helpful, friendly and — thankfully – not muscle-bound. I didn’t even see one of those weigh stations. Overall a good experience.

In fact, I now have a GNC gold card. Figured I could use it since I’ve got eight weeks of supplementing ahead of me.

In preparation for the tasks to come this week, I have also stockpiled broccoli in my fridge and sardines in my cupboard (Oh, boy). No flowers yet and the breath observations will come in later tonight, but I’d say I’m well on my way.

In fact, I’ve even completed Mini-Resolution #3: Dr. Weil’s Kitchen Raid.

As I told you in my last post, I divided and conquered the cupboard earlier this week according to Dr. Weil’s instructions. Well, mostly.

Dr. Weil suggested I throw out everything that was on his no-no list. Mindful of the starving children in Africa my parents lectured me about as well as my fiancé who didn’t sign on for this program, I compromised. I wouldn’t throw everything out, but I would quarantine it.

Five-sixths of my cupboard is now filled with Dr. Weil approved foods and labeled as such. You can see my masking tape handiwork in the photos below. The other one-sixth contains what I call “Nicholas-approved” foods.

The divider between the two — dark and light, good and evil — is my Introduction to Psychology textbook that I insisted on carting with me when the fiancé and I moved across the country two summers ago. Obviously, through my incredible powers of foresight, I knew it would come in handy.

The fridge’s contents were also carefully examined and sorted according to Dr. Weil’s principles. The no-no’s were banished to the bottom shelf and my masking tape put to work once again.

This time I got artistic with my label. I marked it “Dr. Weil says no!” Then, I drew an angry face. I don’t know why. I think it may be a little too angry. Perhaps not conducive to achieving overall well-being at all. It may need to be revisited in the future.

I was surprised by a few things that ended up on the no-no list. Like Nicholas’ homo milk and the giant block of cheddar we’ve been whittling away at for a few months. Apparently full-fat milk products naturally contain trans fats — and as we all know, trans fats are wicked bad for us. Which gets me to thinking that if dairy naturally contains trans fats and trans fats are pretty much universally acknowledged by health experts as something no human should consume, maybe dairy just isn’t really meant for us? Could that be? Could the vegans have a point?

Other than that, the vast majority of stuff I was banishing to the no-no section were things containing artificial colours (BBQ sauce, a whole whack of salad dressings) and artificial sweeteners (instant pudding, low-cal pancake syrup), and processed, packaged foods (soup, refrigerated danishes, frozen meat pies).

The good news is those things did not constitute much of our overall rations. I will not starve to death on this plan. Thank God.

And with that task successfully completed, it’s tally time!

Days to go: 347

Mini-resolutions to go: 257

Now it may not seem like I’ve accomplished much but  I’m feeling pretty confident I’m going to bury this thing, no problem. I’ve got five Mini-Resolutions on-the-go and, for good measure, would like to add another couple:

Mini-Resolution #9: Ask Dr. Weil

I’m not delusional. I’m not under the impression that Dr. Weil and I are BFF’s. Not yet, at least. Give it time.

Anyway, in my last post I mentioned my confusion about partially hydrogenated oils and how I didn’t find a single food label which listed “partially hydrogenated” anything as an ingredient but rather products which listed specific types of oil: palm oil, palm kernel oil, soy oil, soybean oil, vegetable oil, etc. And since, as far as I can tell, most oils come in both partially and fully hydrogenated varieties, I wasn’t clear on whether manufacturers would always specify the words “partially hydrogenated” when that was the type they used? Is it enough to just look for trans fat content and assume that if there are no trans fats there are no partially hydrogenated oils?

I don’t know so I’m going straight to the source. Dr. Weil has a section on his website called “Ask Dr. Weil” so I’m going to.

Will I ever hear back? Who knows? The point is I’m going to try. I’ll keep you posted.

Mini-Resolution #10: Attend a Hot Yoga class

And because it’s not all about Dr. Weil, here’s something a little different.

Even as I’m writing this, I’m cringing. It just seems like such a bad idea. Here’s why: Hot Yoga or Bikram Yoga is practiced in a room heated to 40.5 degree Celsius. A class lasts 90 minutes.

Just take a moment and think about that. 40.5 degrees. 90 minutes.

And I don’t even do yoga under normal conditions.

Apparently, the idea is that the heated room is a safe environment for deep stretching without the risk of  injury and that the insane heat also works to flush the body of toxins and restore its natural balance. The critics say that the increased flexibility caused by the heat allows practitioners to stretch past a safe limit, and that sweating doesn’t do much for getting rid of toxins anyway since the liver and kidneys do most of that dirty work.

Then there is, of course, the risk that I’ll just pass out in downward dog and give myself a concussion.

Nonetheless, I’m giving it a try. We received a flyer in the mail which advertised free Hot Yoga classes this weekend only. Free. Now that’s incentive. Added incentive is the fact that the classes are offered at Bikram Yoga Saanich, just two blocks up the street. Free and convenient.

The flyer promise these classes are suitable for beginners. They may change their minds once they see my complete lack of skill.

Wish me luck.


5 thoughts on “The insanity begins: the last thing I ever wrote before suffering brain damage in a hot yoga class

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