Wednesday, February 17, 2010
It’s true. I love lent. While the grand climax at the end of the Lenten season is a triumphant victory over death, these 40 days to prepare for something wonderful have always filled me with the knowledge that I, too, have a role to play – if only in coming to understand what the meaning of sacrifice is.
In the past I have given up sodas (twice, because the first time I was such a nasty crabby thing that though I fulfilled the deed, I did not fulfill the spirit), chocolate, criticizing my husband, gossip – a score of different things. From time to time I also/instead add something to my life. It just depends on where I feel I need the most work.
This year Lent caught me by surprise and I had to scramble to find something I can give up and/or add to my life. I’m doing a lot of little things already as I work towards better health and I didn’t want to be so ambitious I failed either in a Lenten sacrifice or in my healthy SP life. And then I hit on something that is both a subtraction and an addition and I’m excited about it.
I have a besetting sin of grousing to myself about Bad Things. I don’t do it all the time – there might be whole days when I go through life seeing only the bright side of things. But I have my dark gloomy grouchy complaining moments and if I used them to make positive changes in my life they might be good for me. All too often, though, they just decay into rants and ugly mutterings that leave me feeling sorry for myself and blaming Other People.
And so, for the next 40 days I am going to wear a little rubber band on my left wrist. The moment I catch myself grumbling and muttering and grousing about something in my life that I hate I will snap that rubber band – lightly - but snap it enough to notice and from that moment on I have 1 hour to find a piece of paper and pen and to spend 10 minutes listing all the ways that I can actively change whatever is bothering me for the better. The snap of the band is to get me to STOP grousing. The hour is because I may not be at a point where I can grab a pencil and paper but I am sure I can within an hour. The 10 minute limit is because I just want to flood my brain with possibilities, positives, solutions and choices. I don’t have to actually DO any of these things but I have to discover them, think about them and admit that there ARE choices in every situation.
This year I have a subtraction and an addition - for I plan to subtract the minutes I spend muttering and grumbling and add lots of good choices. And this is why I really, really love Lent.
Monday, February 15, 2010
Again, I want to thank all of you who shared my excitement by commenting on yesterday's blog post. I hope your valentines day was sweet and there are no chocolates left to lead you astray.
This week I begin Stage 3 of the Spark Plan Diet. I've been at Stage 2 a long time because I wanted to be sure I was serious about staying with this program all the way through to a new way of living.
I knew I could stick with it all the way to a weight goal. I've done THAT before. But I wasn't yet sure I would stick with this all the way to a new life. I really wasn't sure I wanted to change me or even if I could.
I don't quite like calling this a lifestyle change because that word feels too much like magazine jargon and pop culture language. It's true, I realize. We all do develop different lifestyles and they shift in time from youthful to responsible to whatever.... Believe me. I have changed my lifestyles several times - though, perhaps not as many times as I have changed my weight.
What I wasn't quite positive about was ... could I change Bess in a permanent way so that she would be slim, strong, supple, steady - in short - could I be different from now on?
Whenever I have something daunting to do at work I create an external structure to help me get it done. I have time lines and gant charts and to-do lists. There are all sorts of artifical deadlines I set up so that I can keep moving forward. I do this because I know it's easy for me to procrastinate my life away. Stage 2 of the SP was like my external structures. It's very mechanical with it's nutrition tracker and the calorie counts and the potassium charts. The daily exercise routines are there and if I submit to them I will progress.
But what I am longing for is a Bess who doesn't need all that external structure to live a healthy life. Oh - not that I won't want access to it when my path has bumps or curves that throw me for a loop. I want all these things to be here for me, as tools for when there is a job to be done. But I would like, most of the time, to just BE the sort of person who eats healthy food but only as much as her body needs, and who exercises her body - not because exercising is something she has to tick off a list - but because ... that's just who Bess is! A woman who exercises her body.
Because once, long long ago, when I was about 5 years old, I was that kind of woman. I ate till I was full and ran around all day till I was tired. Ha! Who knew!? I sure didn't, when I started writing this blog. Lordy! If you had asked me I would have told you I have struggled with my weight all my life. But that's not true! There was a time when I always made the right choices for my body. So I want to be 5 years old again. Well. At least I want to approach each day like that 5 year old.
So. So maybe I don't want to change myself at all. Maybe what I want is to be true to that first Bess - that little girl who went all day long doing what was good for her. What a happy thought to take with me into Stage 3.
Hope you find your inner 5-year old today.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
My Virgo Horoscope for today says : If all you want, this week, is a situation that looks good to a casual outside observer, you can easily create one. But you've got your heart set on something deeper that. And if you're only willing to let go of the idea of 'superficial success' you can enjoy that more meaningful kind!
I love to check my horoscope each day to see if I like what the stars are offering. If I don't like it I forget whatever they say but if I do I like to pass it on to other folk. I really liked today's horoscope especially because the scale did not budge this morning at weigh-in. I wanted it to and I have been active and careful about what I ate all week long. But the scale just sat there where it was last Sunday – even though I got on it several times just in case it changed its mind. It didn't.
And I wish it had because it would have been an added bonus at the end of a wonderful week.
Note that, though. I said ADDED. It wasn't the more important and deeper progress made this week. This week I bid goodbye to my Belly Flap.
If you have, or have had, substantial weight to loose you probably know what I'm talking about. Excess weight will accumulate your belly and after a while it will hang down in a fold. I've gotten into the habit of slipping my fingertips beneath that little fold every morning as a gauge of ... well .. as part of what I really look like. It's a way of knowing. And one morning this week, I noticed it just wasn't there. Oh – my belly isn't flat but it doesn't fold over onto itself any more. My belly flap is gone.
At first I didn't believe it – I'm still a little awestruck at the thought, because Belly Flap has been with me for a long time. But several appraising looks in the mirror, trying on some tighter clothes and just plain touching has convinced me. I'm flapless.
And somehow that's more valuable to me than a scale victory. This is a victory that reinforces my belief in the program and my confidence in my eventual success.
And for those of you who might wonder how I did yesterday with my Exist in the Moment day – well, it was a wonderful day. I had to catch myself now and then, as I started to take another bite before I'd swallowed what was already in my mouth – or paw through my stash looking for aNOTHer Different ball of yarn before I'd even finished the project I'm knitting – but I flowed gracefully through my entire yoga workout doing each step at a time and also thoroughly enjoyed taking a nice soaky bath after the Saturday housework. I will continue to try to let go of my crazy multi-tasking habits and maybe one day, like I said to my belly flap, I'll say bye bye to trying to live on speed-dial.
Happy and Love Filled Valentines Day to you all.
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