Thursday, March 20, 2014
One of today's daily Spark videos is this:
(This is a gender normative post because I'm straight and these are my experiences. I understand that people in other situations have other or similar experiences, but I'm using 'men' and 'women' to reflect my own experiences only. ) I never played with Barbie when I was growing up, but I was surrounded, as we all are, with impossible beauty standards. Television shows mocked the women and girls who looked like me and glorified the strikingly beautiful. The men and boys around me were taught by their dads to try for a woman 'out of their league' (translation: physically beautiful) because they could get lucky. They weren't taught to look at the women and girls who weren't getting all the attention because their knowledge and kindness and abilities and skills were interesting and fun to be around. Instead they were taught to value certain physical characteristics, some impossibly difficult to obtain, above any other traits. The girls and women who were beautiful sometimes had those other fantastic traits, but sometimes they didn't. It didn't matter. They had all the boys and all the men interested in them just because they were beautiful.
To this day, after years and years of trying to tell myself I'm beautiful because that's what we're supposed to aspire to, I know I'm not. Before you all jump in to say, "oh, no, you're beautiful! Everyone is beautiful!" let me explain that I disagree that everyone is beautiful. Everyone has something beautiful to share with the world, but we are all different. Some are beautiful, some are talented, some are kind, some are intelligent. . . I wish I lived in a world where beauty was valued, but only as one of many traits that we find valuable. Why must I be beautiful if I am not? Can't I be charming? Graceful? Giving and loving? and have those traits be praised?
There is a child, Adalia Rose, who has progeria. It is a disorder that makes her look very strange. Google her. People post on her FaceBook page that she's beautiful. Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I don't think she's beautiful. I think she's charming, clever, interesting, funny, and when she dances on a video for us it makes my soul warm just watching her. I think all of that far outweighs what she looks like. She is simply wonderful.
That's what I want to aspire to -- I want to be wonderful. I want to be fun and funny and up for adventure. I want to be fit and healthy and a great mom.
I wish for a day to come when 'She has a great personality' isn't a euphemism for 'she's ugly.'
Monday, March 10, 2014
I'm a nerd. I looked forward to Neil Degrasse Tyson's revamp of Sagan's Cosmos and watched it excitedly last night. While I hope future shows in the series tone down the whiz-bang effects of the space ship, it was a fun ride. I'll keep watching.
I want to think about how I fit into the cosmos. We are all star dust, after all, right?
It's so pretty here. I live in California's redwood forest. The trees, the Russian River, the hills, the wine country, it's all so beautiful. I am grateful to be surrounded by nature's beauty and all of it is star dust.
Today is my day to focus on the beauty of the nature of my body and to work with it and not poison it. My body's star dust functions a certain way. My body is it's own micro-cosmos that uses nutrients and exercise and oxygen to function and thrive. Which star dust I eat and don't eat matters to my body. I will draw my strength from my body to do the activities of the day. If I want a strong, healthy body, and I do, I know what I need to do.
Sunday, February 23, 2014
Yesterday afternoon, I was hungry. I looked at my plan and saw hard boiled egg and spinach salad. Sounds good and I have the hb egg already in the fridge, so it will be pretty easy.
I pealed the egg and thought, I would really rather have this with mustard. That's no problem, so I ate it that way and then got to thinking I had some calories left over, so I could eat some more. That is when the daemon came.
He won the first battle. I had a slice of bread and salsa and an 80 calorie frozen treat, neither of which was on the plan. He was still hungry. I know I was on the road to a binge. I said to myself,
"You want to make it through one week. You won't feel good if you keep eating now. Give it twenty minutes for the food you've eaten already to register in your body. JUST FOR TWENTY MINUTES you can wait before you give in."
I put on my walking shoes to go into the village. I needed to buy sticking plasters. I convinced myself to pick them up at the pharmacy rather than at the market because there would be too much temptation to pick up a treat at the market.
I did it! I bought the plasters and came back home and didn't eat again until dinner. I stayed within my calorie range for the day.
Thank you, Sparkies, because you were all part of this little victory. I have made my challenge public and the thought of falling off in front of you again was a huge part of helping me win the struggle.
The daemon will be back. This was just one struggle of many. I have you with me, though, and we will not let him win.
Saturday, February 22, 2014
Four days following the SP menu plan. I really like this. By shopping only once a week, I am not being tempted to buy foods I shouldn't eat. I have everything I need to make good food. I am learning how I will modify the menu next week, too. I am going to add in some of my favourite spark recipes and make up a batch that I freeze in portions. It will save money and I do love to eat the spark cookbook recipes.
On life --
I've started volunteering at the local school. The kids love hearing me switch between English and American accents. I've a local radio station interested in me, as well, for reading adverts and all. I miss the kids every day, but my daughter calls and I will be going to visit them again soon. My husband came last week and we sorted what belongs to whom. In general, I am happy. When I am happy, it is easier to focus on my health.
The week of SP menu planning experiment is going well. So am I.
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Before I regain ALL the weight I had lost, I know I have to change. Madness, as they say, is doing the same thing and expecting different results. Waking up every morning and saying "this is the day!" and then continuing to make poor food choices was clearly a failed policy.
Now that I am living in the States, I have been seeing adverts for Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem. I don't want to spend the money for those, but wouldn't it be nice to have the planning done and one simply eats the plan food?
That's when I was reminded of the SP menu planner. I can cook, so I have no trouble making my own food and the planner doesn't generate anything tricky anyway.
I turned the menu plan back on, went over the week to swap out what I didn't like, and then generated the shopping list. I went to the store and purchased only the items on my list, less the things I already had.
For two days now I have eaten four times a day in accordance with the plan. My only substitutions have been appropriate ones such as egg whites for egg beaters and an orange for a peach. I had enough calories left in my daily allotment for my glass of red wine, too, so I added that. Other than that, I have been strictly adhering to the menu.
Two days isn't a long time, but it is doing something different that is a positive step in controlling my nutrition. I know it will work if I keep it up. It isn't hard to do. I am sure my body is quite happy. I have been feeling a little hungry from time to time, but that is as it should be. I should be eating when I feel hungry and not because something in the kitchen is calling to me or I feel sad.
Two days. It is a small victory, but it is an important one. My goal is to go the whole week on the menu plan. I am my own Jenny Craig/Nutrisystem! I can do this.
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