Saturday, February 06, 2010
Yesterday's daily Spark Entry "have you found your inner normal eater" www.dailyspark.com/blog.asp?post=hav
touched a sympathetic chord within me and I've been pondering how to express myself about this ever since. You see - about a year ago I read Paul McKenna's book I Can Make You Thin
and in spite of the hubris in that title - it's a very good book. His message is the same as the mindful eating message, the HALT message, the "Inner Normal Eater".
I not only read the book, I took his advice to heart and followed it with wonderful results. I developed a friendship with my stomach I probably haven't had since I was a child. I found delight in foods and the pleasure of being mildly hungry before I ate my meal and I dropped about 12 pounds pretty much effortlessly. I also stopped eating a lot of things that I was substituting for the things I really wanted to eat. I discovered I really dislike cheerios unless they're dry but I really love raisin bran with milk. I also stopped feeling like food was the enemy, out to trip me up and make me fat.
So. so what happened? well . Well, while I had begun to strengthen the relationship with my inner self, it wasn't the only yammering voice in my brain and when a family crisis flared up in May and then a long illness began dragging me down in July .... by the time I surfaced, that inner voice had wandered back into the hinterdepths of my psyche while the whining, victim-like, failure oriented voices squabbled in the front of my mind. By September the old familiar fat had come back to live at my house again.
Those voices were so loud I knew I needed some sort of external structure to help me start listening to my wise inner normal eater - my PM voice. that's when a friend turned me on to Spark People which had the right balance of structure and flexibility to suit what I needed at the time. It also offered this blogging opportunity - which I knew would benefit from. I have a knitting blog and was thinking of using it to help me with my weight/health/fitness issues but the SP blog is so much more useful. It provided me with the ready made audience of like-minded folk I knew I needed.
I feel like I've spent the past 4 months setting up shop for my healthy eating inner voice - creating the personal environment that had to be in place before that inner voice would start talking again. Or perhaps creating the right calmness so that I would start listening to it again. Because I truly believe that within me is the natural healthy native guide through the world of food that I was born with.
Yesterday was the most wonderful day spent with that native guide - that inner voice. I remembered all the tricks - putting the fork down between bites - putting that sandwich down and clasping my hands between bites - savoring each delicious heady taste ... ohhhh perfectly steamed broccoli, lightly sprinkled with Parmesan cheese... yum! and asking myself several times throughout lunch and dinner "Are you full now?" And the moment I felt full - I stopped. I waited. I chatted with my companions. and then... I stopped.
Half a sandwich. Half of dinner. They're in the fridge. They will make nice lunches today. Or I can feed them to the dogs. It doesn't matter. What matters is that I am listening to that inner normal eater and I really like what she's saying.
May you hear your own wise council and may you happily follow it down this healthy new path.
Friday, February 05, 2010
I've brought home a new Home Workout book put out by Dorling Kindersly - the folk who put out such gloriously beautiful, horribly bound paperback books. It's called Home Workout: Pilates* Yoga* Abs* Body Toning. It has lots of 15 minute workouts and it comes with a DVD
The yoga section isn't very long but in the intro are these wise words:
"Acknowledge your limitations, taking things slowly and not progressing to the stronger stretches in the sequences until fully ready - but do not accept your current limitations as your fate. Yoga encourages us to explore the boundaries of what we can do, and to challenge ourselves, but without pursuing perfection, which may lead to physical injury and to unhelpful emotions such as anger or pride. the key to fulfilling yoga practice is to let expectations go, but to keep pushing into your 'edges'."
Well. this is certainly advice I need to hold close - because the more is better attitude - the Lots More is Lots Better - is just the sort of trap I'm likely to fall into. My back is still tender from Wednesday a.m. and I'm still just going to do a few gentle poses and the relaxation part till it is completely better - as my son used to say till it's "all fixed".
But isn't it interesting that this is the same philosophy in the Spark? To acknowledge movement forward ... not beat yourself up for not moving faster? To value each step because each step is worthy. Because you are worthy no matter where you are on this journey.
May you value yourself this weekend, where ever you are.
Thursday, February 04, 2010
Some kind of subtle shift in my self-definition is happening. Softly, in little bursts of realization, I find myself standing at a check out stand in the grocery store thinking "oh well, but I am not the sort of woman who eats candy bars." or "oh, no. Cheetos are for other people. I'm want some carrots." I'm finding myself saying "no" to all sorts of things that used to be temptations - that used to sit just within my grasp and sing siren songs to lure me into some sort of instant happiness ... only to be followed by morning after regrets.
And yet ... if I've truly wanted something like a cookie I've just eaten a cookie .... note the delineating word "A" . A cookie. Not box-0-cookies or handful of cookie dough or something manic like that. Just - a cookie - which I thoroughly enjoyed. And then I didn't want any more.
I realized this week that I think of myself differently. I have a new definition of me. I don't believe I'm a woman who needs to be restrained. I'm a woman who wants to go some place wonderful.
It feels very sudden but I suspect it's something that has been growing on me for a long time. I believe what's brought it to the forefront of my awareness is the yoga practice. That hour of really paying deep conscious attention to my body - to my arms, my legs, my toes, to my spine, my eyeballs, my tongue - has introduced me to myself.
I know those arms! I love them. They want ... what is it they're asking for? Ah! Protein. Guess I'll have a few almonds. That skin? It wants lots of vitamins? Okay - how about a nice green smoothie?
I was a little afraid to post this today because it seems so sudden and it might sound oh ... like tempting fate, like jinxing things - but it's just too powerful a feeling to not share.
As my dear husband likes to say "I'm in the throes of one of Bess' Passions." Well, BPs have taken me to the most delightful places so I don't mind it that I'm all swept up in another one. In fact - I recommend passions to all my friends. May you find yours today and let it sweep you to a magnificent future!
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