Saturday, February 25, 2012
Nancy_ wrote on my "links to a lynx" blog:
"You have been blessed with the ability to savour life."
What a compliment. I thanked her. And I've been thinking about that. Because although I don't always savour life . . . it's something I aspire to do. At my best, choose to do.
If I permit it, I'm scared a lot of the time. A person of "mental toughness", that attitude that Steve Siebold recommends on fatloser.com? I'm thinking, not so much. Or at any rate, could certainly use lots more of it.
If I permit it, I'm full of regret for the past. What I didn't do and should have done. What I did do and shouldn't have done.
If I permit it, I worry about what is going to happen next. Whether I'll be able to cope. Or not.
The last year has been one of the most difficult periods in my life. Yup, there are other serious contenders for first place in that category . . . but still, one of the most difficult.
So no. I don't have "The Answer". Or the answers. Not at all.
What helps the most? Focusing my attention on the moment. Right now. Today. The Present.
My cross country ski. It was sunny and sparkly and blowing so hard that it almost blew me off my feet. I laughed out loud. It was late in the day, and the track was mostly blown in. Deep blue shadows. The snow was sculpted into delicate reliefs, alternating smooth and textured, like a damask tablecloth.
Then the gym: upper body workout. Three sets. Grinding out two more reps in each final set. Yeah. As I left, all done, someone held the door open for me, grinning at me with recognition of my pleasure in moving my body, my pleasure in feeling strong.
As I pulled into the driveway, I saw icicles hanging from the eavestrough, ice in the garden gate below, illuminated with the setting sun.
White freesia on the table, and branches of pussywillow I've been enjoying for several weeks, now sending out roots and leaves. I wonder if I'll be able to keep them going long enough to plant in the garden. I've tried it before, I've never been successful at it! Just no spot wet enough, I guess. But sure, I'm going to try it again.
Stripped off my soaking wet clothes. Took a hot hot bath. With a cup of black coffee. And a new bar of soap that smells good.
Now I'm looking forward to my bowl of freshly-made chicken barley mushroom soup. I'm hungry. And I'm savouring that hunger, waiting for DH's roast beef to be ready so we can sit down together. Hunger is not an emergency. It's a reliable signal that I'm not eating too much, and a promise that I'm going to taste every spoonful of my supper.
Savouring hunger? It's for me a key aspect of savouring life. I'm increasingly sure of that.
If I focus solely on savouring food, there's so much else that I shut myself off from savouring fully. (I've been thinking about that more and more.)
Savouring life? I'm working at it. And it's working for me. Thanks, NANCY_, for bringing it to my attention.
Friday, February 24, 2012
Yesterday I looked out my back window and saw, in the park behind my house, a lynx!!
It was loping along the fence line down the hill through the woods, warm in its lush taupe fur. Furry tail almost as long as its body and as thick as one of its legs. Silhouetted profile displaying the lynx'scharacteristic dark tufted ears, so expressive.
I opened the door onto our third floor deck so that I could see it better and it stopped, looked up at me, made eye contact for a few seconds, and then continued on unconcerned. It knew, I'm sure, that I meant it no harm. That I was full of awe and admiration. I didn't have a camera handy (I'm no good at taking pictures anyhow) but it looked just like this one.
I've only seen a lynx once before in my entire life -- never in the wild -- and the last time was perhaps 18 years ago, also in our back yard. Swarming up the side of our children's playhouse, a wild thing more than twice the size of the biggest housecat, that had never learned the use of domestic stairs! I've never forgotten it.
They have a life span of up to 20 years. Do you suppose it was the same one?
My lynx moved with grace and power, alert. Do you suppose it was out for a little prowl, confident of locating a rabbit, savouring its hunger? Anticipating its next meal?
Thursday, February 23, 2012
It was OK: I'd planned for it.
Evening dinner meeting . . . had one glass of wine with a very light dinner chosen from the buffet (asparagus, carrots, roasted beets, a little chopped salad, a small serving of chicken): skipped the rolls, butter, potatoes, roast beef, lasagna, huge array of desserts; just had two cups of black coffee.
Fresh berries and yogourt when I got home instead.
And: sure, experienced some hunger while waiting for dinner, plus did not find the dinner choices I was prepared to eat totally satisfying.
But: I enjoyed networking and socializing, felt awake and alert through the business portion of the meeting, and was very glad that I hadn't eaten more!!
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Here's a link to an article in today's Toronto Globe and Mail about a new on-line tool called the Body Weigh Simulator which helps predict how people lose weight on a diet.
The standard weight-loss diet approach tells us: since there are 3,500 calories in a pound of body fat, to lose 1 pound you have to eat 3500 fewer calories or burn off 3,500 more calories with exercise. That's 500 calories a day for seven days to lose 1 pound a week.
But we know that weight loss doesn't happen consistently. Initial weight loss on a diet does tend to follow that pattern. But then weight loss tends to slow. Or plateau. Even if you keep up the 500 a day calorie "deficit".
And that's because metabolism slows with weight loss so that the body burns fewer calories "at rest".
This new Body Weight Simulator tool is pretty interesting because you input age, gender, body weight, height, activity level, weight goal and your time line for reaching that weight goal: and then the tool simulates what diet and exercise changes will be necessary to reach your goal weight. But even more important, what changes will be necessary to MAINTAIN that goal weight over time.
We know, maintenance is the tough part as metabolism slows.
I had lots of fun playing around with this tool. Here's the link to the Body Weight Simulator:
What do I think? The simulator seems to me to overestimate by quite a significant margin the number of calories I can eat a day while still maintaining my current weight. Spark People also overestimates the number of calories I can actually eat.
However, what this simulator makes absolutely clear . . . is that although losing weight requires significant calorie reduction during the "diet" phase, it also requires permanent calorie reduction during the "maintenance" phase.
If I want to weight less permanently, I have to eat less. Yeah. Permanently.
I'm thinking that eating less permanently is also going to mean I'll need to savour hunger. Permanently. Is that OK with me? Yes it is.
As Steve Siebold told me on day three of fatloser.com, "Fat people give in to cravings, fit people prepare for cravings".
Cravings can't be eliminated. Not if I want to be slim.
But if I cultivate an attitude of mental toughness about cravings, the cravings don't last long. Twenty minutes, tops.
The slimness, on the other hand, lasts: 24/7. And the slimness, increased energy, general feeling of alertness and self-control? No question. It's worth it.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Restless night . . . followed by sleeping in . . . followed by a rush to get to my appointment for 8:30 and no time for breakfast. First meal was after noon.
Did not panic; did not permit myself to consider that hunger was an emergency. Worked hard all morning under tough circumstances, and chose to experience the lack of food as sharpness, mental agility, focus. Chose a healthful lunch from those on offer. Stayed within my calorie range all day.
The hunger was OK.
I clocked in for fatloser.com second day video: and yes, I'm fully committed!
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