Monday, September 05, 2011
I was responding to a blog where a woman was lamenting how she can't seem to control herself on Sundays. She has a great week and then "blows it." My answer was too long, so I cut and pasted some here. Not new, but bears repeating. But I basically said it is a great mistake not to acknowledge the 6 days of the week she is doing so much better. I asked her if life wouldn't be better than it was a few months ago if it stayed as imperfectly as it is now for a year. I told her how I've been eating a lot on at least one weekend day a week for 20 months and have still lost and maintained a 22-lb loss, about 12% of my weight. I could be grieving over the weight I haven't lost OR rejoicing on the long-term changes I've made. Then I went on to her:
You may do even better than I with having the wildness subside sooner, but I guarantee you'll have a better chance if you do NOT beat yourself up for your comparatively small failure,; instead keep drawing strength and pleasure from every smart meal and every gap between eating events that you keep to. Just make sure you absolutely believe that what you are asking yourself to do during the week is reasonable- could you sustain it forever? Don't get caught up in whether Sundays are sustainable for now; concentrate on the rest of the week. Make it the right balance of pleasure and nutrition for you, and make it iron-clad. After several months of that, examine where you're at physically, mentally, and emotionally, and go from there.
And stop berating yourself for finishing off the cookies or ice cream. It doesn't work to end it. It also doesn't work never to have such foods. In fact, they must be eaten in small quantities-- most likely not every day-- or they will not only keep their "charge," but get more powerful. It doesn't mean it will be easy to eat them in moderation at first, but it does get easier. We often want it to be easy often because we see ourselves give in when it's not. But it's very likely you are giving in right at the moment when you would achieve the most by not giving in-- the moment before the urge would turn the corner and subside. We imagine that it would have just gotten stronger. Urges for food in people who are actually getting adequate calories always subside at some point. By the time they return as real hunger, it's probably close to the time to eat. Enjoy!
Monday, September 05, 2011
Another Sparkpeople member posted a blog with a long quote from a writer named Marston, who attacked the idea that our perceived need for anything was enough reason to be able to get it. No matter how much we think we need something, nothing will happen if we declare our intentions and follow through. With all due respect, although Marston points out one element of change, he leaves out a lot-- all the knowledge and steps between "I am committed," or "I walk 5x a week," and doing it consistently. He's right that 1) it isn't enough to need a change, though it does actually increase the chances for it, and 2) forming clear intentions CAN, too, but the dangerous part is that it can greatly undermine a person's faith AND will, if she finds she is not following through on her intentions. She may decide it is a supreme lack of character, when it may be a lot more that she hasn't been taught a lot of the other hidden things that the successful do-- that they often don't even realize they are doing. And the fact that most humans fail many, many times at important changes before they get it right. He doesn't acknowledge this and implies people are just being immature. Sometimes, we are! but a lot of it is just not seeing how big the issue is, choosing remedies that are just too complicated to sustain, and giving up rather than accepting temporary failures and going back to the plan. Most of us need more help with remembering all of that.
Saturday, September 03, 2011
I'm having some real fun with new guy Gene. He is into silly/sexy banter texts, and that's fine with me. He's also been attentive and definitely open to other realms when we're together. Last week, he agreed to go to a raw food potluck, which can draw some fringe element, as i like to call them (and me, sometimes). When the dinner bell rang, we were at the end of the line and were right by a hammock. He pulled it steady and invited me to hop in, given that we'd have to wait anyway. So cute! Then another guest proceeded to stand by and talk to us for the all the time we had to wait. I know we both would have liked to have been alone and gabbed on our own a bit, but he was sweet about it.
I'm turned on by the situation but feel torn about actually having sex. I guess I've been hoping for years that the next person I have sex with would be someone I already felt in sync with spiritually, mentally, emotionally, yada yada yada. yet now I can imagine just jumpin' on in there. I can't see myself playing all the imaginative stuff I fantasize about, but I'm pretty sure we'd both have orgasms. I hope that's enough for him. As I've said, he seems skittish about the deeper stuff, but he's not obligated to go there after a few dates spread out over a few weeks, though I do very much believe in real love possibly happening very soon. I know that gets a bad rap but it's because the superficial stuff can feel exactly the same in the beginning. I'm also willing to think we could find out we're on the same wavelength enough that something beautiful could happen for us as time goes on. I do believe time is what does tell the difference, but most (always exceptions) LONG_TERM happy couples say they felt that things were important between them pretty early on. Doesn't mean they didn't weather some storms as they got to know each other over months and years, but nothing that felt worth overriding the sense of connection they felt early on. Anyway, I think people get fooled by the good feelings from sex too often. However, this time, I think I'm seeing things more clearly and am realizing I don't have to suspect that we are a match made in heaven in order to give it a whirl. It's certainly not a morality thing with me but more about not wanting to be drawn into something that will end up wasting my time. If I allow myself to think that way, my relationship with Thomas seems like that. In fact, the other day, while I was thinking about it, the line "Don't think twice; it's all right." from the Dylan song kept wafting through my brain, so i looked up all the lyrics. Yes, it's about a guy who feels a woman wasted his time. How about that. I really didn't even know what the full lyrics were. And yet I realize the futility of trying to get Thomas to admit that he's been a bit of a cad or an oaf by not copping to how little romantic potential there is for us. Oh, good God, am I listening to myself? No one is forcing me to talk to the man! Why does he have to see it my way in order for me to let go? I think it was because I felt distracted from finding out if we're right for each other. I kept making excuses for him, as if someday he was going to get over his bad self and start loving me. He even intimated that was possible. I suspected that he'd been more loving with previous girlfriends and I knew I deserved it as much if not more than they did. He said he didn't know why he wasn't feeling like being more loving -except that he didn't think it was because he did not have important feelings for me underneath-- or would make excuses that I couldn't believe he wouldn't see sounded lame. Yet, he believed them and felt that I was misreading the situation to insist that he just didn't feel any excitement for me under it all. And that I consider harmful even if he isn't purposely trying to fool me, It's the harm of stubborn blindness to his own stupidity. I really don't usually seriously frame things to pin the blame in romance. I usually chalk it up to there not being enough real rapport, or poor relationship skills, but this was more insidious than that. Anyway, I'm close to being done with him, except on a level that completely works for me. I'm going to keep cutting our phone conversations short and cutting to the chase to get him to say when we might get together. I actually do like spending time with him, but not on the telephone. I've never talked with a person who could go on and on with almost no input from me. He puts most women to shame, believe me. And though he actually has some interesting things to day, he just seems so self-absorbed to me. He is living on unemployment and basically does nothing for anybody right now. If he had been married and raised kids, I could understand it, but he has never taken care of anybody in his life. I'm sure he was an excellent electrician and gave people real value for their dollar, but now he just seems like a big teenager to me.
I won't go into all the details now but yesterday I had an experience that smacked me in the face with the discrepancy between my Zen ideals and my mildly volatile reality, most of it brought on by me. I can't believe how fast my hackles rise in different situations. I was so disgusted by what a colleague said yesterday morning that after three years I was vowing never go into the staff lounge before school again for coffee just so that I wouldn't have to see him. Yet, afterwards, I thought, can't we have a difference of opinion? Does he have to agree with me? (Even though in my opinion, what he lauds is bringing terrible suffering to many people who don't deserve it...) I got in another tiff with my seniors, too. Why can't I accept that most teens, even pretty smart ones, won't see things my [correct-haha] way? Or that most people won't? My Zen teachers certainly support that. It's just your mind pulling you into the whirlwind, they'd say. And out of the present. One line in a Zen tract says, Just cease cherishing opinions. OMGosh! I've cultivated cherishing opinions most of my life! And I encourage it in my students! Where do I draw the line?
Oh, my, this is so much easier than going out and getting some yard work done. Esp. since the forecasted scorching weather isn't happeniing so there's no good excuse not to get out there. Except that I would sure like a little nap.
Monday, August 22, 2011
Ah, me, I have reinforced the power of the scale again. I wasn't going to weigh myself in August. Then I got taken to the emergency room with sudden vertigo two weeks ago Friday and it's taken until just the last few days to feel mostly normal. My eating routine has been off and I wasn't trying much to regulate it. Some days were ordered as usual and some weren;t but not all the disorder was crazy. Some days were pretty heavy on the sweets. I went to a Pilates class today and wore a pair of capri sweatpants I hadn't had on in awhile. I thought they felt tight. I resisted the urge to weigh myself most of the day, but finally gave in. And I weigh a few pounds less than I thought I would. Since I've had sweets this weekend, I think I'm retaining water. So the upshot is that I think I have maintained my weight through this, which is good, in my opinion. I'm not at goal weight, but I'm glad to know my body isn't having a hard time staying at this weight. I think things can only get better with a return to my sane weekdays and the addition of some moderate exercise, as I was just getting into again when my world went topsy turvy. And I'll just have to wait until Sept. 1 to find out if I'm right.
Monday, June 06, 2011
If there is any good diet to go on, it's a diet of celeb and fitness images and the diet mindset. Do not mix that up with the resolve to eat and move moderately and consistently. That is the basis of sanity. For awhile it will be hard when you realize how much time and attention is devoted to getting the perfect body, even with your friends and family, most likely. Try not to get mad about it and get on a soapbox, but strive to keep gently changing the subject if it comes up, and keep your discussions of food and body stuff here, in a journal, or with a few trusted confidantes who will not push the diet mindset.
Also, give yourself time to look into yourself and find what else in life is meaningful beyond food. I remember years ago reading Geneen Roth and I think one chapter was called, Is There Life Beyond Chocolate? I laughed and thought I understood at the time, but I didn't. It is actually an essential question of our life. What will we do with our time? Some of life is just the mundane everyday routines. When we accept that they are worthy of our attention and care, they can become precious, too.
Beyond them, we live in a society in which we CAN do so much more. This can be freeing, but it can also be a burden. How will we spend our time? Our culture pushes many activities that in the end are not fulfilling. It does not encourage self-knowledge, including our own irrational thinking that causes us so much pain, and it does not encourage our looking within ourselves to see what our true interests and talents are to pursue and develop. It does not actually encourage real quality time with friends and family, but pushes passive entertainment and food and other items outside ourselves. It pushes buying, buying, buying, but not financial wisdom and the peace of doing with only what we really need for sustenance and true pleasure. It can even push the trappings of religion, guilt and shame, but not the means to be in touch with universal love.
This is what I mean when I often say we are so much more than our bodies. Try to imagine how people found meaning in life 200 years ago with no photography, no bombardment of advertising and products, and pretty much hard work all day long. Were they miserable? They were not. Some may have been, but most accepted to work hard, play sometimes, and love others. That's pretty much what it all boils down to. And if your work can be play for you, as it sometimes can be in our modern, diversified society, so much the better. But it's not necessary for peace.
I don't say what I'm going to say to make you feel guilty, but just to get perspective. Most of us in the Western World are living a life that literally millions of people in the world dream to live. DREAM! I know some here are struggling with real financial issues, but most of us cannot imagine truly living day to day scrabbling for food and shelter, resigned to the fact that no one is going to reach out and help us. It doesn't mean you don't deserve to pursue health and even beauty, or that you suddenly have to spend all your time trying to save the world, but it can mean that it is worth a few minutes a day to be grateful for what we do have. Being a bit of a curmudgeon myself, that is a practice of positive thinking that I can get behind! And it has been scientifically associated with happiness in a way that having a beautiful body never has.
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