Wednesday, January 22, 2014
I've noticed another change in my thinking since beginning my re-set two weeks ago.
First, a confession about a bad-old-habit I picked up along the way. Despite knowing logically that it is the easiest thing in the world to out-eat any workout, witness many long bike trips and events where I torch hundreds, perhaps THOUSANDS of calories yet still gain weight, I still carried that fallacy with me and allowed it to PROPEL me toward a workout compulsion where nary a day would pass without some intense cardio. Even knowing that it wouldn't compensate for the calories I consumed I would take on crazy thoughts about how if I didn't get this workout in I would balloon even WORSE than I might otherwise and hey, I tried to sell myself: maybe, just MAYBE I might pull it off and cancel all those unhealthy calories I ate!
Now that isn't necessarily all a bad thing: I've acquired a pretty rock solid habit and approach to exercise and for that I'm grateful.
However here is my latest morph: I've noticed during my workouts over the past two weeks an increasing sense of ease and calm. An absence of the element of desperation which would creep into past workouts which would sometimes compel me toward extending my limits and capabilities.
Instead, now when the right song comes along and I'm just inspired by the mood, words and what my body can do, I THEN push myself toward more intense efforts.
I'm finding that taking the desperation, the compulsion off the table leaves room for other healthier experiences:
---such as gratitude for what I've accomplished and a recognition of the good that has come from my old, less-than-healthy thinking.
---such as greater self-acceptance and appreciation for where I am on my journey, for what I've learned and have yet to learn.
---such as confidence in myself that I am acquiring such terrific self-knowledge about what works for me...and what DOESN'T!
Instead of feeling so DRIVEN, I am finding myself increasingly in the DRIVER'S seat, setting the course for my life and following Mark Twain's advice in one of my favorite quotes of all time:
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
Viva la SPARK!
ps...oh yeah...no drum roll needed as my food choices are locked in and continue to pay off: 3 more pounds down for a total of 13 pounds since beginning my re-set, averaging nearly a pound a day.
pps...additional thoughts summing up important changes in my core beliefs in response to WATERMELLEN's excellent latest FatLoser blog:
Here are a few of my changes in core beliefs:
Numbers are bad...numbers are GOOD
Tracking is bad...tracking is GOOD
Workout to burn those calories...workout to enjoy my body
I can’t control my food choices…I am in charge of my food choices
Plus I have locked in a morning meditative pattern which includes other vital new "lessons" which I am planting for myself.
Monday, January 20, 2014
This is an extremely sobering article filled with very eye-opening information such as:
“Basically, the U.S. healthcare system spends about $1 trillion per year (and possibly more) fighting the effects of excess sugar consumption.”
"American politics are organized to protect corporate interests that make voters and taxpayers sick, and there is no better example: in a candy bar or a bowl of healthy granola, sugar is the big stake in the heart of American health."
The article takes care to point out the political problem is non-partisan: BOTH sides of the aisle are more than willing to take money from Big Sugar corporations and their lobbyists.
“In 2009, (sugar) crop producers spent more than $20.5 million on federal lobbying.” ( “How Big Sugar Gets Its Way," The Florida Independent, Sept. 11, 2011) That is the tip of the iceberg. Sugar producers and related industries cumulatively spend billions through dark money channels in political campaigns and “independent” expenditure committees supporting their candidates at all levels of government: from the smallest fry in Florida counties, to the state capitols wherever sugar can be grown. ("Koch-backed political coalition, designed to shield donors, raised $400 million in 2012," Washington Post, 1/7/2014) Sugar money in American politics disappears through the figments of campaign finance law and filaments of law enforcement. The United States is that special snow flake fallen on a pile of white sugar, melted golden by corporations more powerful than people."
More information here about the science behind the dangers of sugar:
Now I usually take care to keep politics out of my blogs here at SparkPeople, however when it intersects with our health and wellness I think there is value in keeping the Big Picture in mind!
Not because I think we need to lament and shake our heads helplessly, but because the more we are aware of the powerful forces against which we swim, the more we can 1) get ANGRY about this and 2) take actions to counter such forces!
When I see people loading their grocery carts with soda and highly processed carbohydrates I don't judge them: I judge the corporate / political / media SYSTEM that masquerades underneath our supposed free-will and shapes our preferences toward such death & disability-inducing choices!
What actions? A couple I can think of right off the bat is as many of us do: vote with our consumer dollars and avoid buying sugar-laden products. But the more important step is to speak out to our political leaders.
European countries appear to be so much more adept in holding their political leaders responsible for taking actions that benefit the majority of people and hold their leaders to task if they stray from this to serve their own self-interests by allowing corporations to buying out politicians to the detriment of the health and well-being of the people.
Speak out against subsidies for unhealthy industries such as Big Sugar! Ask our leaders: Why can we not subsidize HEALTHY food development? There is precious little help afforded to those who grow our vegetables and fruits.
Make noise: we need to be heard and we need to let our leaders know that we 1) will NOT support them if they don't take active steps to promote our health and wellness but that they will 2) earn our steadfast support if they DO support our health and wellness!
Bonus link: The wonderful Michael Pollan shares his common sense thoughts on the paleo approach to food:
Bonus link #2: Great upbeat message in this song:
LIVE OUT LOUD! by Intervision
Let's all keep Rockin' the SPARK!
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
All righty...last week was my first weigh-in so THIS is my first week of seeing the pay-off: SEVEN POUNDS!
Here are some of the numbers I'm seeing on the nutrition tracker:
Daily calories totaling around 1400-1500
Daily carbs totaling around 130-150
Daily protein totaling around 80-100
What confidence boost to see that I really, truly *KNOW* what my body needs and can take control so effectively!
Before going to sleep or when I wake up in the morning feeling that little gnarly twinge of hunger in my belly now brings a smile to my face: my friend is letting me know I'm on the right track! YES!
Let's keep doing all we can to take charge and fill our lives with SPARK! :-)
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
I have really gotten rolling with my re-set:
---No sugar, no grains
---Eating only between noon - 8-9pm, resulting in a daily "fast" of 16 hours
---Tracking all food
---Weighing in weekly.
I've avoided the latter two for too long and I don't wanna hit spring filled with coulda/shoulda/wouldas. Being at the upper limit of my clothes...nothing nudges me like THAT!
The irony, which I'm able to take without self-bashing, is that when I finally weighed in last Weds. for the first time in a long time I looked back @ my weight records @ SP only to find my weight was within a pound of where I was a year ago last January! 255. I had succeeded in whittling down to 240 during this past year and allowed it to slide right back up again.
Here's my goal: no more Sisyphean-rock-rolling back up the hill only to allow that rock to fall again! REALLY going to do my utmost to hold onto nutrition tracking and weighing in so that I can hold onto, maintain and add to my progress.
Along with be-friending Hunger and welcoming it almost every night and morning when I wake up, I am making peace with what used to be my OTHER former "mortal enemy": NUMBERS! While I could do better with the whole portion thing and may tighten up in that department, I've made significant improvements.
For example I almost always have a bag of natural, unroasted almonds in my car for snacking. I used to snack on them very mindlessly without limits. Now I find myself being very selective about my almond-munching and count them out while I eat them, remembering that 24 roughly = an ounce. I'll often break up my ounce to 10 or so almonds at a time.
Over the weekend I had a challenge with TWO restaurant visits in one day, one of which was at a BUFFET, no less! The buffet was pretty easy to negotiate as I simply did not allow myself to "wander" into the sweet, desert-y section and stuck (since there were still breakfast items available) to a freshly made omelet with ingredients of my choosing and a slice of turkey.
Later we went to an ITALIAN restaurant where carbie dishes are crawling out of the woodwork! BUT: I found a nice big spinach salad with cranberries, walnuts and blue cheese and opted to top it off with a chicken breast. I used the dressing extremely sparingly and...best of all could only barely eat 1/2 of the salad before feeling "full", not STUFFED. Saved the rest for my my lunch at work the next day.
Which leads to another reward I'm already reaping: my appetite is shrinking. I'm feeling full with less and less food.
Inspired by a Mary Oliver poem shared by VALERIEMAHA:
When loneliness comes stalking, go into the fields, consider
the orderliness of the world. Notice
something you have never noticed before,
like the tambourine sound of the snow-cricket
whose pale green body is no longer than your thumb.
Stare hard at the hummingbird, in the summer rain,
shaking the water-sparks from its wings.
Let grief be your sister, she will whether or no.
Rise up from the stump of sorrow, and be green also,
like the diligent leaves.
A lifetime isn't long enough for the beauty of this world
and the responsibilities of your life.
Scatter your flowers over the graves, and walk away.
Be good-natured and untidy in your exuberance.
In the glare of your mind, be modest.
And beholden to what is tactile, and thrilling.
~ Mary Oliver ~
(The Leaf and the Cloud: A Poem)
My reaction: There might be something to be gained from re-framing many conditions formerly thought to be "negative".
I've been befriending hunger. Perhaps it's time to start adding others such as loneliness and grief (as mentioned by Oliver) instead of self-medicating with food...even GOOD food! I sometimes find myself gnawing through a bag of baby carrots when something is gnawing at ME.
As I have been learning to "be with" my hunger, it might be worthwhile to spend time "being with" anger, loneliness, anxiety and a host of other emotions formerly thought to be "uncomfortable" and to be avoided at all cost...
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