Wednesday, November 09, 2011
On November 1 I finally walked back into my gym. I don't even remember why or when I let my commitment to exercise lapse. It happens. It's happened now and then for 30 years so I don't get too bent out of shape about it - but of course, I do get a little out of shape - which is frequently the trigger to push me back into the gym and I hit that point last week.
So last Tuesday I got out the mat and started with morning yoga - which is a fabulous way to start any day. In addition, I've committed to 30 minutes a day at the gym or a 30 minute lunch time stroll about town. With the exception of Friday - which was a heavy meeting day, and yesterday which was a double ... no ... a triple meeting day - I've managed to stick to that schedule.
Which was the perfect foil to the local Oyster Festival held this weekend and the fried oysters, oyster pie and oyster stew that was ... also a part of my life. I didn't lose any thing but I managed to slide through the weekend without gaining either.
All to the good, of course - the weight thing - but of far more importance are the stress management properties of steady, regular exercise. Work has become extremely taxing - fun taxing, good taxing, but so freaking hard for me I'm almost afraid of it. And this is just the very beginning of the real holiday season - I'm going to be busier than a one arm Christmas tree decorator. If I don't get the endorphin calm of well exercised muscles I am going to get the well padded hips of a very miserable body. And I'll be as cranky as an old Model T.
I knew that. You know it too, don't you?
So. Let's go. Let's move it! Life will be so much better.
Wednesday, November 02, 2011
I have been on the road, often in luxury surroundings, for almost 2 weeks now - with home parties at both ends. Part of me knew I always had the choice to say no thank-you, or to take small portions, at the many lavish dining tables to which I sat down, but the greater part of me was whispering "It's New York, Honey. When will you get this chance again?"
And I was nearly 15 lbs lighter than the last time I was in New York - so my clothes fit nicely, I felt svelte.
But I knew. I knew there would be a price to pay for all the indulging and the piper called for his money yesterday. The scale is up several pounds.
So. was it worth it?
I believe so. It was a special time out of my routine. I don't plan to live that way, only to experience it for a brief time. That brief time is over now. Of course - the number on the scale brought me up short. I've diddled around with 2 lbs for months now - and here I am, with about 5 extra pounds to deal with. That's not a 'diddling' amount.
But I have tools too. First thing - I pulled out the tracker and started with a brand new Day 1 writing down what I ate. I also recommitted to daily exercise, including morning yoga to help me keep my equilibrium during the coming holiday months. I haven't been exercising at ALL, even if I did get all flowery about doing so almost a month ago. Time to change that now.
So - like a sketch that didn't work out, my early autumn plans got scrapped, but that doesn't mean I can't just get a new piece of paper and start a new plan. There is a lot I want to accomplish before January 1 - and a healthy weight is just one of them.
May you have no sobering news today - but should you be so unfortunate - remember - it's just a day. It's just a number. You can choose to make things different.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
We had a bit of discussion about this at yesterday's WW meeting. Of course we all have similar challenges - busy lives, proliferation of valueless but tasty foods, primitive eating habits in an urban world, massive advertising efforts by food companies. My own biggest challenges are two-fold. First, I'm not THAT dissatisfied with how I look and feel right now. Second - I am a process person. I am not all that thrilled by crossing things off of lists and have a hard time feeling the rewards of attaining a goal. In fact, goal reaching is such a daunting thing for me it often triggers both grief and a fatal procrastination so that I don't actually reach goals. I just don't get there.
The biggest project I ever oversaw at work was the building of a new library. Of course I didn't build the thing and there were lots of other people with more authority and more impact on the actual construction process, but I so internalized what was going on that when it was over I wept for 3 months. Needless to say - I won't do something like that again and I hope I don't have to be part of ANY building project again unless it's a studio for me - which is something I really do have authority over.
Well. So. What does all that mean anyway? Does my grief over reaching goals mean I will play around forever with these last 15 lbs? Am I going to just talk the talk without ever walking the walk - away from Mr. Ice Cream Box?
I don't think so.
Because I actually do accomplish things and even actually make permanent changes in my approach to life. I do it by redefining myself. Back in the olden days, when clothing was expensive and when cheap clothing actually meant poorly constructed, I made all my own clothes. For years I would stop sewing on something the minute it was finished enough to wear - if the waistband could be held together with a safety pin, why bother with the button and button hole? If I could iron the facing flat, why tack it at the seams? But one day I really thought about what I was doing and how that defined me and I realized that half-finished just wasn't a definition of me. I was proud that I could pad stitch a lapel. Why wouldn't I honor my creations with completion?
It had less to do with what I did - with any act or even series of acts I performed. It had so much more to do with how I defined myself. Who I believed I was.
So. The question is - do I believe I am a slender woman who eats consciously with knowledge and wisdom or do I believe I'm a slap-dash gal who packs away a bit carelessly. I rather like the slap dash gal - but .... do I want to be her any more?
It's something to think about, isn't it?
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
I love the months between Labor Day and Christmas. The cooler weather energizes me. The shorter days give me a cozy, snuggle down at home feeling. The delicious Monday Holidays give me my favorite gift - TIME. Best of all - it's fun to cook once again.
I must not be the only one who feels this way, either, because come September, the party season begins. First is my birthday and not many weeks later is a special anniversary Himself and I share. There are 3 other family birthdays in this quarter of the year too. Plus, of course, all the charity functions that wait till September to host galas and fundraisers. And friends who have been longing to get together issue irresistible invitations.
I am sure you can guess where this is going - and it's not up on a podium to sing about my successful weight management, either. Because last week was back to back dining opportunities - dining? No. Foodie extravaganzas. And while I overindulged - I am not positive I had any fun doing it. I was so anxious about how much this was going to cost me I guess I tried to jinx the effects of Gorgonzola crumbles stuffed in olives wrapped in wilted spinich or grilled scallops wrapped in bacon by that old southern custom of denial. "It doesn't count if I didn't enjoy it".
Only, of course, it did count and the tally showed up yesterday at weigh-in. No play money for me this week. I'm still dancing around that same old 2 lb weight gain/weight loss that I've toyed with for 2 months. grrrr.
Because I know it was my own fault - because certainly nobody tied my hands behind my back and forced succulent tidbits into my mouth. We're heading into the major big party holiday season. I need to know what I'm facing and I need a defense strategy or I will end up in 2012 with a body I am not happy with. But I want to savor and enjoy every bit of this happy busy season. Whew. this is a wrestling match - or as they say around here - a wrasseling match.
Okay - what do I know - what are the tough days up ahead.
Yikes! and we're not even past Halloween.
so what can I do about it?
1. add 15 minutes more exercise to my routines
2. always have a broth based soup on hand - or the ingredients to make it.
3. get real about how much ice cream I am eating - and how frequently
4. perhaps most important of all - meditate before a party type event - think about it - walk myself through it
I guess what I'm saying is - it's a constant effort to remind myself that I'm serious about this. For now, for me, it's not a mindless effort but a conscious one.
And you'll be glad to know that I actually began DOING this last night - when, at the point when I'd really eaten all my points/calories - and I still hadn't had any ice cream ... I decided to have an apple instead.
yes. I have to think about it and act deliberately rather than mindlessly - but ... the rewards will be worth it.
Wednesday, October 05, 2011
Today's Best of Spark People email was about high fructose corn syrup, that sweat of Satan snuck into food in the 1970's to make it last longer on the shelf and taste better to our jaded palates. It is a shocking thought that everything, including peanut butter, has to be so heavily sweetened. I am guilty of eating lots of sweet stuff myself - though I do make an effort to curb my intake. But HFC has been linked to just about every bad thing that can happen to a body, including, but not limited to obesity. And now here comes research that HFC is no worse than any other fructose/glucose blend.
For a while my husband and I tried to follow an alkalizing diet. While we added some of the precepts to our daily eating, it was impossible for me to stick with it - it was too expensive and ultimately too time consuming.
A friend of mine recently adopted a vegan lifestyle and now her health problems have simply melted away. Banish animal products from your life and you too may enjoy perfect health. Again - I am willing to explore vegan recipes because I like adding vegetables to my meals and new ways of doing that are always welcome.
I myself am finding that at my advanced age too much white food gives me heartburn. Combine it with either cheese or wine and I will be up all night.
So. Is this because there are evil foods and saintly ones or are we just dynamic beings whose needs change over time. Age, activity - even weather with it's pollen, humidity or high mold count - also affect ... well, I make no claims for anyone else, since I am not a scientist - but they all affect me. All I will commit to is that I do not believe in magic food. I'm reluctant to even witness finger pointing at other people's food choices. And the more something is demonized the less I am going to believe the judge.
These days, my food mantra is what my mother always told me: All Things In Moderation.
And my moderate food choices this week led to another weight loss, which makes me happy, though it only brings me back to the weight I was when I posted 3 weeks ago. And I have not had much success fitting exercise into my days. Travel and mosquitoes have kept me indoors and meetings have packed my work week tight, leaving me little spare time. But today I think things have settled down into a nice autumn routine and I promise (myself) I will get serious about allotting time for daily exercise.
There are 12 pounds to eliminate from this body - enough to shrink me down one size - quite a motivation. Let us hope that next week I will be smilingly telling you that I am some ways closer to that happy place.
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