Fear: A Yogi’s Vow to Eat Clean, Day 10.

Via Anne Falkowski
on Oct 3, 2013
get elephant's newsletter

fear chance quote

The countdown to half marathon day is finally less then double-digit days away and I realized I have barely wrote about clean eating.

I don’t know if I have been “eating clean” exactly, but I do know I have been nourishing myself with food in a healthy and normal way. No binging, restricting, or shaming. No over-eating or under-eating. I feel weirdly set free.

Today on our last long run, which is now not so long, just eight miles—which, at one time seemed incredibly stupid-long, but somehow, now does not—I got scared.

I felt the familiar clench in my tummy. Well actually my butt and shoulders.

Will I really be able to run 13 miles? What if I can’t? What if I fail?

But then the sun rose up into the sky. I’m not kidding here. It was 6:45am and somewhere around mile six, it showed up. Its glow, amidst the turning trees, reminded me there will always be doubt and suffering just like there will always be warmth and beauty. It is our life’s work to make room for both. My tension flew away in my body and I was able to pick up my pace.

It might only be a ten minute mile, but to me it feels like flying.

One thing you may not know about me is that I have asthma. Normally it’s no big deal and I am barely aware of it, but each time I start out to run, it rears its tiny bald head and says, “Hey, remember me? I exist.” Each step during my first mile feels like a push. A struggle between my lungs, which don’t wanna let go, my legs, which are willing to go anywhere and my mind, which wants to side with my lungs.

But I carry on anyway, because experience has taught me that after the first mile, I will be warmed up and my lungs will no longer fight me. They will let go and I will breathe with ease.

More scary to me then the half marathon is this blog. What was I thinking when I decided to put my chaos out there for all the world to see?

One reader said that all of my talk about acceptance—especially since my body has extra weight-–means I’m not doing the work and I am just spewing off some yoga fluff.

Yes, Dear Reader, you got me. You nailed one of my triggers.

The truth is I worry about this all the time….”Am I doing the work?” Even though I exercise on a regular basis, even though I eat healthy foods, I still struggle with, “Am I good enough?”

Those of us who are in chaotic relationships with our food and bodies always think we are not doing enough work. We think of ourselves in terms of good and bad. Something is broken and of course it must be us. We are flawed, and this is at the root of our problem. We are insignificant and a joke just like yoga fluff.

But you know, Dear Reader, as much as I am feeling that familiar clench of fear in my belly as I write this blog and put my fluff out there, I am also aware that something is happening. It feels really, really small, but I notice there has been a shift in my relationship with food.

I haven’t felt like scarfing down chips or anything else since I started writing this blog just a mere 10 days ago. This is kinda big for me. I can mostly talk myself out of binging but the urge is still there. These past 10 days, the urge is gone. This is so new it feels ancient.

I’m not sure why, but I suspect it has something to do with the honesty and the compassion I am trying to bring to the table. Being raw and real and kind feels like the way out. It also feels like the way in.

Each time I put my truth down on paper and hit the “send” button, my fear flies up in front of me. But then it flies away and I can no longer hear its demanding buzz.

Maybe this is what grace is? Making room for our own truth, being compassionate, and then letting our fears rise up and release into the world. Maybe grace is trusting that we will eventually get enough air to breathe and the sun will come out, as it eventually always does, and serve as a light for the path that was started out in the dark.

Like the mindful life on Facebook.

Ed: Sara Crolick


About Anne Falkowski

Anne Falkowski has been teaching and practicing yoga for over 15 years. Currently she is obsessed with Forrest Yoga and can't possibly relax her neck enough. She writes for her blog and owns a yoga studio in Connecticut. Contact her by email


7 Responses to “Fear: A Yogi’s Vow to Eat Clean, Day 10.”

  1. Noreen says:

    Love that you came full circle in this article and named it grace!

  2. Gina says:

    I don't know a whole lot about yoga, and therefore I don't have a clue about yoga fluff. (It sounds kind of delicious, though, actually.) What I do know is what it means and how it feels to live with an eating disorder. And you nailed it. It's about asking one's self — every single day — am I good enough. It's about fearing something is broken and believing that it's one's self. It has to be. Because being "good enough" just ISN'T good enough. So, I think it's pretty cool that you are allowing yourself to be vulnerable enough to share your journey. It's a gift to your readers and, more importantly, a gift to yourself. Some may call it yoga fluff. I call it a journey.

  3. Gina says:

    Also … "extra weight"? What does that even mean, exactly? Extra compared to what, or to whom?

  4. Anne says:

    I am glad you asked about the extra weight. I thinkk it is very interesting that I work in the yoga business where any roll around the middle is considered unhealthy. My therapist has suggested that if I worked in corporate America and wore a suit all day, I probably wouldn't obsess as much. And of course in the end, the weight doesn't really matter. Its the heart that needs to get it.

  5. Mary says:

    I don't think working in a different environment would change your experience of the weight..I have changed to many different positions in different fields and the focus on my body has remained. I do find yoga to be a way in which I practice self care yet somedays I have to be careful in my perfection and fear on the mat. I run also, very slow at a 10 to 11:30 minute mile but manage to go for 10 miles on most days so your posts are really speaking to me. Thank you so much for sharing…I follow the majority of your articles now that I found your writing.

  6. Scott says:

    Just curious how your half marathon went. I did my first one in January of '13. In the course of training for it I nearly injured myself to the point that I would have had to postpone it; luckily my doctor gave me a green light. I did end up going to physical therapy – again at the doc's recommendation – afterwards, and from that found my way into yoga. I'm now as hooked on yoga as on running …

  7. Keep up the good work, the payoff is worth it.