Why it’s okay for your yoga teacher to eat bacon
Bacon, wine, coffee. OH MY!
Aka why this yoga teacher eats bacon, drinks wine, and loves coffee. And you should, too! (In moderation ,of course!)
Last week I had an impromptu holiday get together.
I posted the following photo on Instagram about my little gathering:
Little did I realize that this photo would cause a stir! I was shocked to find negative remarks written about me in the comments. As a yoga teacher, I was criticized for eating bacon and, seemingly, MOCKING those that try to live a pure lifestyle. I got irate. I got mad. I thought up many retorts, replies, and mean things to say back. Instead, I simply deleted the comments. I shrugged it off.
But then I thought, hold the horses, this is an issue that needs to be addressed!
Being a yoga teacher doesn’t stop me from being a person. I remember buying wine, oh maybe two years or so ago, and finding an older student of mine next to me in checkout. She told me I shouldn’t purchase alcohol because “aren’t you a yoga teacher?!?”
And often, when I post about my love for coffee or chocolate I receive people saying “oh well you know sugar is bad for you.” Or “do you think you have a caffeine addiction? That stuff will kill you.”
Way to judge yogis! Way to judge!
I drink my coffee black. I sip it mindfully. I love chocolate, but only good chocolate. I enjoy it whole heartily. I like my wine, my tasty craft cocktails, my margaritas and yes, EGADS, sometimes I may even have a shot or two! And I love bacon. I eat bacon with zest, joy, and utter happiness. In fact, bacon is one of my favorite reasons for running…. There’s nothing like a great bite of salty bacon after a half marathon. (As I describe on my Team #RockNBlog profile…)
Ten years ago I came to yoga from a place of horrible emotional duress. I hated myself. I hated my body. I DEFINITELY didn’t eat bacon. As I wrote this post I thought about digging out the awful and judgmental things I wrote about myself, food, and beverages in my journal at the time. But then I thought, you know what? I don’t even want to read that stuff again. It was horrible and the kind of terrible self-talk that NO ONE should put up. Things like “I’m so fat” (I weighed 100 pounds), I ate wayyy too much (I was lucky if I had 1000 calories in a day), and constant examination and analysis of my supposedly pure vegetarian and mostly sugar-free diet. I obsessed over every single thing I put in my body and, if it wasn’t pure or organic I either wouldn’t eat it, or I would beat myself up. I remember staring open-mouthed at the food I thought was “crap” that other people ate. And then one day, after years of being a miserable vegetarian, I ate bacon for the first time since the 8th grade. And you know what? It didn’t kill me.
And then I took my yoga off the mat. I applied my yoga and the yogic principles of balance, self-love, and compassion to MYSELF and my food.
And what does that mean?
That means I eat the bacon.
I also eat the chicken, the beef, the mushrooms, the vegetables.
I don’t eat the tofu, processed meats, or foods loaded with fake crap. But sometimes, I do! Just because I want to.
I drink with friends. I may have of glass of wine alone with my dinner at home.
I love coffee and am sipping on a HUGE mug of coffee right now. The only thing that would make this coffee better is if I had some dark chocolate to go with it!
I’m not a sugar addict. I’m not a horrible immoral person because I love bacon. It is ridiculously tasty and it makes me happy. (Can you believe that as a little kid I used to dip my bacon in butter? OMG that was amazing. Kids, don’t try it at home though!) I drink my coffee and am not dependent on the caffeine to function. I just feel good when I have it, so what’s the harm in that? I stop when I am full. I stop when I’ve had all I want to drink. I stop when I feel the coffee jitteries come into play.
I don’t eat when I’m not hungry, unless it’s something REALLLLLLLLY worth it.
And I’m happy.
Happy with my body. Happy with my eating habits. Happy with the food and beverages and sweets I put into my body.
I may not be vegan. I may not be vegetarian. But, gosh darn it all, I eat good food and feel good about it. And my mind and body and SOUL are grateful for that.
I will not tell you to eat like me. I will not tell you to follow any specific diet or mode of eating. I just ask that you listen to yourself, listen to your body, listen to your heart….and do what feels the absolute best for YOU. And please. Don’t judge other or, most specifically, don’t judge yourself if you think your eating habits are less than “ideal.” Just do you.
And enjoy the ride.