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.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
One of the things I wanted to concentrate on this year was getting Enough Sleep. SP emphasises sleep in its program as do other good health guides but in this world of instant 24/7 distraction it's easy to think we can fit more in if we just stay up a little later - or, as in my case - since I am a lark - get up a little earlier. So one of my New Year's Resolutions was that I may not get out of bed before 5 a.m.
for you night owls, that may seem preposterous but there you have it - I think staying up later than 9 o'clock is absurd and I quit a promising career in music because it is basically Night Work. I actually look forward to 8:30 when I can start thinking about going to bed.
But my brain is just as susceptible to the world's demands for speed and quantity as anyone else so I often go to sleep already planning to hop out of bed early the next day. And in my case, I think it has a little to do with not living enough in the present - with running away to the future so I can be prepared - and in the end, loosing touch with the here and now.
I notice this with my yoga practice yesterday - that I wouldn't come back to a resting pose and think about what I had just done - and feel what had changed within my body. Instead, I was reaching for a prop or putting myself into the next pose the moment I reached maximum stretch. I would watch myself do this and think 'You're being absurd, Bess! Stop it!" and I would, but the period of flowing into repose was already gone, brushed aside in my haste to Be Prepared for the Next Move.
Like multi-tasking - another bad habit I've embraced - and mindless eating - I am not actually doing anything in and of itself. It's always got to share space with TheNextThing which will also get smashed into whatever follows that. I tend to never actually BE anywhere or DO anything solely and completely because I'm always preparing for What's Next - which frequently includes borrowing troublesome worries about the many ways What's Next can go wrong.
I've actually realized this about myself for quite some time. Now and then I've even consciously stopped behaving this way. But I believe that, for today, I am going to concentrate on living in the present - finishing everything I pick up, eating all of what's in my mouth, completing every yoga move - for the whole day. It will be fun to see how I feel about things at the end of the day.
Happy Saturday to you
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