Wednesday, May 07, 2014
I think I eat and talk a lot and like to use my mouth for a whole lot of other reasons. This being said, eating is a wonderful diversion.
Yesterday I had fun in my house, where I pretended my house was the grocery store and I was the customer who bought and consumed everything it had: buttered popcorn, oreos, walnuts, sausage, eggs, cheese, etc... But I tracked my calories so I could see how much damage I had done so damage was not complete. After all, I have met one of my short term goals--or is it long term? which is to track everything, even when I cheat. So I did that.
This means that I did not fall down on the job! Why not? Of course it's because I'm taking responsibility for it. The end result of this response was that today I ate with a little more respect towards yesterday, even if late at night I overate my homemade granola mix. But I didn't eat until I was hungry in the mid-afternoon, and I even allowed myself some drinks and a snack at a bar when I sat in on a neighborhood meeting for my city (which was a planned snack).
To me, this is a maintenance attitude. I just wish I have it in me to limit myself enough to have a losing attitude.
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
So after spending about 30 minutes calculating and recalculating my BMR (relatively easy) and my BMI (much, much harder for me to get), I came away with much confusion over my base and my high caloric allotment given to me by SP.
Which leads me to my next post, which was coming whether I calculated my BMI or not or even knew what it was.
I have got to learn how to eat. Our ancestors--even 200 years ago-- knew how to eat. They ate when they were hungry. Someone knows the calculations of the average weight of our not so distant ancestors. Obesity is a 20th century disease that has come about by the scientific advancements in food storage and manufacturing of foods, that has made it easy to feed ourselves with less nutrients and more additives (to preserve shelf life) that has actually contributed to our eating more but being less satisfied.
All those commercials that show harried business people ordering in from Pizza Hut or grabbing a quick meal at McDonalds helps perpetuate the problem that gives us more calories and less nutrients from the food we eat.
No wonder vegetarianism that pushes grains from bulghur to wheat berries is in: this is the stuff that fills and expands in our stomachs and colons to make us full and to help push through other food. Whole grains and vegetables are good for us and need to be a bigger part of our diet. But saying no to the good stuff that Julia Child talked about and wrote about and cooked, that are among the last two vestiges of the old (sex is the other one), is hard to let go of!
When I first realized that I had a leaning towards vegetarianism and "whole", natural foods, I got upset about it. You see, I love to cook. It is an art form, it is creative. I didn't want to stop learning about cooking classic foods like flans or omelets or even steak. There is gourmet and then there is natural cooking. They are worlds apart in my book. You can cook vegetarian foods in a gourmet way. But the two, to me, don't go together. I wasn't going to become a vegetarian and not learn to cook other foods that I did not necessarily lean towards, like meat. I guess at that point I did not look at the question of how animals are raised; it was more that I didn't want to cut myself off from a culinary curiosity.
Will add more later today or tomorrow.
Monday, April 28, 2014
After six weeks on the program and enough weight, but not more than 10 combined lbs and inches, lost to make a visible overall difference in my appearance, I am back down to what I my common "normal", although, like obese people who after a certain period stop counting the lbs gained or lost and just live in the moment, I consider this weight to be my highest that I can tolerate before I look measurably overweight.
So, this is what that means:
I have to have a "new normal" for weight maintenance, and I have to kick myself off the 130 lb podium in order to do it. Even maintaining at 125 is good because 5 lbs is a sizable difference to a small person with a relatively small frame. But the last time I was 125 was when I was 20 and two times when I was in my 40's. You know, the real truth is that I never paid attention to my weight or my appearance enough to care what I weighed and how I looked.
this blog is in process. The next entry will come later today.
Part II Continuation:
Bringing Holly's and River Rat's comments in, I think that the reason why numbers that represent our bodies are so confusing to us is because we really are spiritual entities tied up in these masses called flesh, bone, fat, sinew, organs, and brain.
So why do we love our grandmothers who have fleshy arms, who come in all sizes and shapes, who provide meals for us and hugs and love, and think nothing of their weight, BMI, and size when considering their love for us? Because love can't be measured in numbers, and our love for ourselves should likewise not be. That is the short answer to why we must accept even small gains when we can see them physically.
This may be why we need mirrors and measuring tape to take objective measurements of our changes and why we can congratulate ourselves on changes that we can actually see. This is how we can come to accept that we have taught ourselves something new at our age and that we are indeed changing. But does that change the youngster in ourself who has still not accepted herself? This is why we set vision boards and measurable goals for the girl in us to reach. But if the girl is 5' 2" and has a stocky frame and uses ballet dancers as her example, what she wants and hopes for in a desired weight and look MAY NOT COME. She will have to accept what she is. This is the hardest thing to accept in life: that we cannot be everything--that we have to be the one thing we were given: our destiny for ourselves. So--if I put 115 as a goal weight, and the last time I was 115 was once in high school between sixth and seventh hour, for one day and for one moment in time, I may not be able to reclaim it at age 52 1/2 just because I have an image of what I'll look like with less fat. That may not be best for me and I may not even like what I look like.
Right now what I want most is to learn to trust my gut and and instincts with food. However, relearning how to eat according to the plan means measuring everything so I understand how calories impact the body. The former means that sometimes I will override my instincts not to eat. When I have learned not to eat when I am not hungry and how to eat to stay on the thin side, and to eat when I am hungry, maybe my body will find its right weight. Until I do, I will claim some "finite" number somewhere lower on the scale that makes me feel better about this weight loss journey. I'll find the right weight somewhere….hopefully lower than 130 and higher than death from starvation.
Friday, April 25, 2014
To get this far and to not congratulate myself would be to lose the lesson, so I've decided in this journey to say "dayenu"--it would have been enough--and to stop here. I've not given up the fight or changed my goals at all. I've decided that I can accept myself right here and right now for changing my body and liking those changes before I go any further down the road of more changes.
Why am I willing to do this? Because a) weight loss is hard, and b) there is no guarantee that I'm going to change my habits enough to make me go down to my "goal weight" of 115. I'm sure I passed 115 somewhere between sophomore and junior year in high school, but I was too busy eating pasta and crying into my bowl to remember it. At any rate, to not congratulate myself on my shapely ballerina legs would be to ignore all the hard work that my exercise has had on them, and my tushie, in the last six weeks.
In order to accept the minor (scale) weight fluctuations and still like myself and eat and be happy, I'm going to have to know what to work on, what to let go of, and what to do to still grow. Forgetting tracking my calories isn't a good solution, but eating too low on the totem pole of calories isn't going to work for me. I like exercise, so this means more of it. I need to tone my abdominal area, so working harder there is in order. As you can see, this is taking honest stock of myself. But if I never went further down the scale, I would still be happy. Why? Because my body HAS changed and I am proud of it! I like the way it looks! It looks good in a bathing suit. I look better in dresses and skirts. And I can fit into small/medium-size panty hose. This makes me happy. Am I in my dream body? No…. but what IS a dream body anyway? Does being thinner mean I'm a better person? I might be a crankier person. A cranky me is a slightly worse version of a cranky me now, which is cranky enough.
So for right now my goals are to: learn how to make my own vegan-style meals, because I'm a vegetarian and I need to get better protein choices, exercise regularly, because I like it and I want to tone my abdomen, and eat and enjoy what I'm eating and forget tracking SOMETIMES so I can feel like I'm living normally.
I've always held ballet dancers in high regard, although the old school tortured and starved themselves. The modern breed is much healthier, if you look to The New York City Ballet Corps as an example. I would LOVE to act like them.
If I don't act or look like them, then I will look and act like me. And I will love myself and accept myself unconditionally.
Thursday, April 17, 2014
At age 52 3/4, I am finally stepping into adulthood. This means that I leave behind childish behavior and embrace courageous, uncomfortable behavior.
What is uncomfortable is being the person I was meant to be, instead of the person I think I was supposed to be. For years I tried to become what I wasn't, whether that was a straight-haired person, someone who was good at organizing, and mostly someone who just wasn't ME. Those may be the operable words: someone who wasn't ME.
Rather than post a litany of my neurotic obsessions , I'll just say that, existentially, it was hard to be in my body in the world and to be content with life at the same time. There were too many things to worry about, what with my set of of circumstances and my personality combined. I wanted to back up, rather than go forward with life. Adults cannot do that; they cannot back up. There is no stopping life, and it does not march back.
I am fond of saying that our eyes and our heads are perched so that we face forward, but I myself mentally always faced backward.
We are all born with a particular set of circumstances we must learn to overcome and we must learn to be successful navigating the world. Some people do well and others do not. Some end up homeless, while others never get out of their neighborhood (gun violence). I should consider myself one of the lucky ones. But I have never compared myself to the ones who are worse than me, I compared myself to my peers and my family members--people I looked up to and who socially I let have the most influence on my life.
Because we all have different personalities that make looking and reacting to the same situation differently, I have been one of the different ones in my family that makes comparing myself to them ineffective and even destructive. I have not had the courage to become what and who I was supposed to be; instead, I tried hard to be less than I could and to mute whatever strengths I showed. Being strong in a certain area was scary to me, once I saw that to excel in something different from others would make me stand out. I did not mute everything I did, but I found a way to downplay and discount it, thereby never knowing and finding the thing that I could latch onto to help launch me into a successful career, into the responsibility of having a longterm job, into the job of traveling the world, and finding a normal, healthy relationship.
Because I have always stumbled along, managing to make it, keeping my head above water and finding some small success teaching and managing people, one would say that I was successful. If success is measured in lots of money, then no, I was not successful. However, I was successful enough to buy a home on a small salary and to live alone in a small, Southern town where I was not born or raised for several years after my divorce. I managed to get to know lots of people and to build relationships with people, such that when I moved away, many people felt a loss. And I realize that I did--and do--too. That might be a measure of success.
As I adjust to being in a new town, back near my family of origin and the place where I was born and raised, I am finally facing forward, but with a healthy look at the demons that formed here in this city. How can one not grow up when you move back to your hometown? Not only am I responsible to myself and my own choices, as I moved here of my own volition (pulled by my new husband, but still coming), but I must fall back on all of my years of experience to package myself to this new community. All of the work I've done will be important to sell myself to prospective employers. That's where the personal work has come in. Inventorying my skills and my experiences, I see the thread present in my life since age 8, 12, 15, 21, 28, and 32. Even if I turned down certain experiences that would have built up certain strengths, the thread that projected me into the same type of work has provided a foundation upon which I can now stand in this new town. I am slowly getting work and I am slowly getting my footing.
As I am now more comfortable defining myself in a certain way, I am seeking out opportunities that will build on this title and the skills expected in this profession. If anything, I am learning how to become trained in it. Even if you have certain predilections towards something, you have to become good at it. For years, I negated my strengths, while trying to build on my weaknesses. Well, that leaves you with a wet piece of paper, easy to be poked through, rather than a strong piece of cardboard: strong but flexible.
I wasn't supposed to be a race car driver, but who and what I am is taking beautiful shape.
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