Thursday, December 29, 2011
I love the New Year with it's opportunity to start afresh. I do it every year both symbolically and physically, spiritually and sometimes even successfully. Making lovely plans are a wonderful way to get to know yourself, to bring out your deepest longings, to understand what is going on in your life. It's not essential to follow through with every plan - these are plans - not commands. I make many many resolutions every New Year's Day - for me, my spirituality, my house, my job, my social life, my wardrobe, my creativity - and the first thing I do, once the holiday decorations are packed away, the house is clean and I have had my ritualistic bubble bath and am sitting in my lovely bed with last year's notebook and a Brand New Notebook on my lap is to read back over the past year and see what I did, what I decided to not do, what I might like to roll over into the new year.
One of the fun things I'll be rejoicing on 1/1/12 will be the fact that not only am I lighter than I was one year ago, I am lighter than I was on 12/1/11. Alas. I did not lose weight every week in December, but I did end up the month with a net loss and that is ALWAYS a gain. And the tiny bit of poundage (less than half a pound) the scale revealed on Tuesday's weigh in was surely as much salty food water retention as it was caloric excess. I was pleased.
Pleased? I was overjoyed. I'm still smiling.
In fact, as a reward, I went right to the store after Tuesday's weigh in and stocked up on all the health and fitness magazines on the rack. Not that I am dreaming of one of those airbrushed flat bellies on the covers - but because now and then, tucked into the folds of those glossy bits of eye candy - you'll find a nugget of useful information, the germ of an idea, or just a really cute pair of running shorts.
As I peruse those magazines the rest of this week I will be shaping my plans for 2012 but I've already made one plan that I'm tinkering with in my brain ... a way to make tiny steps fun this year. When I have my idea completely formulated I'll be back to share it with you. In the mean time - may you have joy filled days as this old year winds down.
Friday, December 16, 2011
I was reading Mike Kramer's article about the 10 strategies for success this morning - for probably the third time, too, when the truth of his points struck me - in a brand new way, relevant for a brand new today.
It's way too easy to think that our lives are so linear that once we know something, like a nice little computer program, we will always do the same, even the 'right' thing. It's logical. You know the extra 3 chocolate kisses have no nutritional value and that you're close to the limit of your daily intake. You know already what they taste like, nice, but not so good they'll shoot you to the moon in extacy. You even know that once you eat 3 of them you are likely to eat more. Knowing doesn't always help.
Because our lives are not really like computer programs - unless it is in how they are
constantly bombarded by viruses that derail our predicted activities and responses.
This is why it's good to hear the truth again and again because we need those truths for each unique individual moment of our day. And today - when I was reading Mike Kramer the truth hit me KaPow!
I want to be successful this holiday season. I want to not just maintain but loose a little weight. I would like to lose 2 pounds between now and January 3 and I'd be happy to lose only 1. Also, I want to have all the fun a long sweet holiday can hold.
Which particular truths were so bright for me? Let's give them a look.
First - Start Small:
1 to 2 pounds. 17 days. I think that's a small goal. It's a little weight and a short time frame. Even if achieving this goal is strenuous, I need make this big effort only for 17 days.
Second - Get It On Paper
Okay - that's the one that made my skin flush when I read it. I need to set this all down on paper and I'm doing that right now. Even though this isn't my regular blogging day I'm posting about this.
Third - Focus on everyday habits
I actually started doing this a few nights ago after my weigh-in on tuesday. A weight loss last week encouraged me to think about some of my every day bad habits - like eating a second ice cream bar after dinner. One fits so neatly into my calorie range and the second one, while it may not always push me over, is always a bit of rebellious dishonesty on my part. It's not that I want the extra taste so much as I don't want to submit to my own regime!! what a goofI am - I wonder, do we ever grow up? Twice since then I've had the maturity to say "nope. Not gonna do that tonight" and gone into another room to do something else.
Fourth - Always See your Goal
Okay - now this is fun for me. Because while this is just a small goal, it's an enormous achievement, because of all the planned and unexpected foodie events that will sprinkle through those 17 days. I see in my mind's eye the utter triumphant stride I'll have when I walk in to my January 3 weigh-in knowing I am slightly lighter rather than slightly (or even grossly) heavier than I was in December. Just seeing that image feels tingly!
Fifth - be consistent
ahh well. Only time will see if I have been - but ... those 3 days a week working out at the gym that I started in November have already begun to feel, not just normal, but necessary.
Sixth - Never Stop Learning
Well - it will be interesting to see what I learn over the next 17 days - best of all - I have Cooks Illustrated's newest cookbook - a Light Cookbook. I have fallen in love with the whole America's Test Kitchen team - and to think that they've turned their eyes towards light cooking is a thrill. I know they won't sacrifice taste for calories and low fat - it will be an adventure.
Seventh - Come Out of Seclusion
Ha! Anyone who knows me knows I will tell you all about myself - so that's a given. But just in case you're reading me for the first time, here's a little story that illustrates just what Miss Loquacity is really like.
When my husband and I were talking about where we wanted to live after he finished college I said I wanted to move to the little rural town he grew up in. He gasped in horror and said, in shocked tones "We can't move there. Everyone will talk about us!!"
"Of course! I'm interesting" was my answer. "If they don't talk about me, I will probably talk about me to them"
so you see - seclusion is not really an issue
Eighth - Allow for Setbacks
Okay - I know this can happen. In fact, I know I am going to have a laced egg nog on Saturday - the calorie count of which is probably forty levendy hundred - but I am going to figure it out ahead of time and by golly - I am going to exercise it off before my next weigh in. And while I won't beat myself up if there is a setback in the next 17 days - I think I will make a plan to ameliorate it.
Ninth - Trust Your Plan
Tenth - Have Fun
Well, my partners on this journey - this post certainly was fun to write. I hope it was fun for you to read.
Wednesday, December 07, 2011
It wasn't my intention to write a gloomy post during this festive time of year but death has blown hot breath through my community and in the space of a week I have lost 4 friends. Two had been dreadfully ill for a long time. Their departure was not unexpected, but it certainly wasn't looked forward to either. But both B and M were so very sick who would want them to linger in a suspended state of pain and suffering? One was, in the nature of time, at least a reasonable development. H was 92. Dementia had set in and the circle of his life had shrunk to very tiny movements. And until 3 years ago, he was driving, cooking, taking care of himself and enjoying his grandchildren. I am sorry and sad but there is something whole about the fullness of his life - his experiences - his love. Like the cadence of a beautiful symphony - it feels right when it comes even if it does mean that silence follows.
and then the 4th blow struck with the news that Pete had died over the weekend.
Pete has been out of touch with everyone for a long time. He was actually incommunicado, though I had a private way to send him messages. He was a piece of work - this man who never did anything - probably not even breathing - in a less than 100% full blast total explosion sort of way. He loved with everything in him and boy could he fight with people in the same way. He never fought with me - he was my first friend when I moved to the country these 36 years ago. He gave and helped and shared everything he had. Once he held a party and it is still referred to as Pete's oyster roast. He was just larger than life.
And he once saved my son's life.
I don't say that in an cliched sort of way. There was a day when we were building our house. My 4 year old boy and I and Pete climbed up to the second floor to look around. there was just the smallest gap between some flooring and sure enough, my 4 year old dropped through it. The fall would have been about 12 feet to a concrete slab. Both Pete and I were just beyond an arm's length away from him and in slow motion I watched my only child heading for that unyielding floor below. Faster than lightening Pete leaped the distance, snatched my little boy by the shoulders and flung him back onto the second story surface.
A flash. A millisecond. An adult with severe ADD. A miracle. Thank God.
Everything that is my early adult life was wrapped around Pete and loosing him really hurts. Knowing he was alive and okay and somewhere doing what he wanted was one of those little savings accounts I kept in my heart to assure me that I had extra resources, that I was rich.
The memories are still there - Pete and the Ghost Car. Pete and swimming up at Marlbank. Pete and the arrowhead root. Pete's oyster roast. Pete's crazy laugh. Memories. Not quite as tangible as the real flesh and blood Pete - but riches nonetheless.
Oh Pete. Fare well.
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