Monday, November 08, 2010
What's that sound you hear? It's I - sighing in relief that the busiest autumn of my life is over. I've plowed through the jam packed weeks till I've reached a sweet shifting point and can take my focus off my job and put it onto the rest of my life. And as I lift my head and look around me I see we are here in that golden gem of a month - November. Beautiful sparse vivid still colorful November - when half the leaves have fallen from the trees, leaving the forests speckled with the last of the glowing yellow hickory and poplar leaves, all fluttery against the deep green of holly and the black tree bark. Blue skies, with their cloud edged fringes, cap us and the leaf littered forest floor wafts its rich woodsy scent into our nostrils with each step we take down the home path, across the swamp bridge or through the secret path.
The secret path is so named because one year when my little boy was just a wee one, 2 or maybe 3 years old, we spent a late fall afternoon playing in the woods. I knew that Himself had built paths all through the west woods, and that we were never more than half a mile from anywhere, but at one point we were so deep in the forest I couldn't see how to get out. We were lost. Not deeply terrifyingly lost - but ... lost. And I had a moment of fear because it was late and getting dark and I had this baby with me. And the truth is - I couldn't BE frightened because ... it was late and getting dark and most of all - I had this baby with me.
I could sort of see where the sun was setting, though. I had an idea where the river was and I knew there was a circumference path that went all along the river shore so I didn't really panic. I knew it was just a matter of finding the edge and walking along it - which we did. There's a spot where the path dips down along the middle swamp (where the swamp bridge in my background photo is). It climbs back up to higher ground at some point, but when my little toddler and I got there the path seemed to just disappear into the creepy spooky arms of hundreds of mature mountain laurel, with their twisty witchy-looking branches and sparse leafy tops. It just lead up into nowhere - and was gone.
It was also getting darker and I had a hungry tired little boy with me. So we climbed on and as we neared the top, the path took a sharp turn down and to the right - completely hidden behind the snaking laurel arms. "Look, William. It's a secret path, hidden in the forest" I told him and ever since, it's been called the Secret Path. No one who ever walks down it, or comes upon it from the riverbank is unaffected by it's mystery. It's one of our favorite places in the woods and all we had to do was trust that it would lead us home and keep on walking.
These past months I seem to have lost myself in the world of work and family and Other Goals. Like that wonderful day of playing in the woods with my little boy, I have somewhat lost track of time and place when it comes to my weight loss. Suddenly I've lifted my head and realized I am not where I ought to be and it's growing later. In fact, I am heading into the biggest eating season of the year right back where I started a year ago. I'd like to be upset about it ... but just like that time in the woods with my child, I really can't. I have to be the grownup who gets me OUT of this situation, not the baby who allows fear or other emotions free reign.
And I know there's a path out of here ... I just have to trust that it's here and walk down it. If it looks like it's disappearing into witchy-looking places I still just have to keep on keeping on ... and I bet, just like on the secret path, there'll be a sharp turn into familiar territory - to safety and ... let us hope - to success.
So today I wish you TRUST -
Thursday, October 28, 2010
This has been a MOST challenging autumn. Work has been demanding, if fun, ... no. demanding is too weak an adjective. Work has been flat out madness. and fun. Time for other things has suffered and attention for other areas of my life has been in short supply.
Add to all that, there has been the extremely difficult situation with my crabby old dad - one of those wounding things that you accept, set aside, but know is still there, oozing its pain into the world. We can duck that sort of thing but we can't avoid it altogether.
I have often found myself gobbling my food - and being horrified about it too - because it's not only an unpleasant activity, it's a dangerous one. Besides not tasting what you're eating, you can choke on stuff! Ask me how I know.
the one thing I've clung to this autumn has been my swimming schedule and of late, I've actually been ahead of schedule - closing in on that one mile goal post almost a month earlier than I thought I could.
but the pace, the load, the list of Things To Do has grown so large, so demanding that yesterday - at quittin' time - when I found I had to stay late to finish something Important - I actually contemplated skipping the swim.
and boy did my body protest. Just the thought of Not Swimming, even if only for a few laps, made my entire body sink into suffering mode. It was amazing. I actually felt as if I'd been hit. You know that sinking sensation you get when you are told really bad news? that's how my body felt. as if it were hearing really really REALLY bad news from my brain.
Wow. Imagine. My body just shrieked at me. It said "oh no you don't"! It protected me from giving it short shrift. How about that? My own body - looking out for me like a mother would. I'm still amazed.
Of course, that didn't mean I could leave the project unfinished. It does mean that I found someone who could do the last bit for me - and I could get in half a mile of swimming. And best of all - the moment my body learned my brain wasn't going to cheat it out of its needed exercise - it decided to cooperate and not gobble up dinner with two deserts ... something it's been doing lately, in retaliation, I now see, for a brain that hasn't been putting the Whole Me at the top of it's list.
so. hope you don't mind this tale of the fractured dieter - I'm not really crazy - only my brain is. sometimes.
Wednesday, October 06, 2010
Hitting That Big Old Wall - How to Keep Going When You Feel Like Stopping, by Julie Isphording, really struck a chord with me today. I feel like I've been hitting that wall all summer long and with far less success than Julie encourages you to grasp. The truth is - it's been easy to just coast along, not eating badly but not eating well either. Just ... over eating a little - just enough to keep my weight lodged firmly in place. Because it has been hard. It IS hard to lose weight. Every one of you here, who have successfully lost weight, has worked hard at it. It's hard to resist temptations. It's hard to plan ahead. It's hard to make good choices and it's hard to remember what those good choices are!
And it is easy to go along with the status quo. In my own case, my life is sweet and satisfactory and I have lived in the same place so long that people think I'm just fine the way I am. I am only reminded of how much I want things to change when I see candid photographs of me. Ugh. Then I am not just reminded - I am floored - sometimes I am horrified.
But I know I am capable of doing hard things - of even lasting to the finish line. I am reminded of the time I truly hit a wall at work - performing a task that daunted me by it's enormity. I sat on the floor one day, surrounded by old fashioned catalog cards and just thought "I am defeated." and felt the complete and utter magnitude of my defeat. and then - since not finishing this task really wasn't an option .. somehow I continued working. And eventually, if shabbily, I did complete that task.
A less arduous and daunting incident of coming up against a wall .. or at least noticing how close that wall is - has happened as I've been swimming laps. Several weeks ago I remember gasping after the 10th lap and wondering if I had what it takes to go that one more lap. I took a bit of a breather and then plunged in. Today I will swim 25 laps and I'll have to push myself for those last 2 - but I have this sweet history of being able to go Just One More Lap so I am more confident of my success. I know that wall will be up there, but I believe in my ability more now. My consistent application of the JOML principle has built that confidence and added a bit of pride to the mixture.
And so. Perhaps what I need is a series of small Just One Less Bites. Perhaps today is a good day to fold that thought into my brain. Yes. I like that. Today I will take Just One Bite Less and see where it gets me in, say, 6 weeks!
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