Wednesday, April 25, 2012
How often do we hear people say, "I'm just not comfortable with that." Meaning, it's not happening. I can't be expected to do it. Because nobody can expect me to tolerate discomfort, right? Not any discomfort at all. Ever.
Would you give a speech at the conference? No. I'm just not comfortable with that.
And can you help with fundraising? I hate to ask people for money. So no. I'm just not comfortable with that.
Could you learn this new accounting software? I'm no good with numbers, really. I'm just not comfortable with that.
So when did we become entitled to continuous comfort?
Remember years ago, when you were cold in the winter and hot in the summer? And expected to be? Now our houses and cars are centrally heated and centrally air-conditioned. We don't have to tolerate the discomfort of being too cold or too hot any more. Or just long enough to run from the car to the house. If we don't have a drive-in garage with direct access.
Remember when kids could actually fail at school, be held back a grade? Not any more. Because the child might not be comfortable with his classmates if they were a year younger. So the child need not endure the discomfort of studying and learning and passing, because there will be no consequences if he doesn't.
And when he finishes school and starts a job, the same attitude prevails. Work is not only work any more, not primarily a way to earn a living. We expect to feel comfortable at work. to do work that is fulfilling, in a way that is compatible with our personal style. We won't tolerate being overtly "managed" or "directed". No way. Too bad if a particular task needs to be done competently, on time and in a particular manner. Sounds like a bully boss in a toxic workplace to me!!
So not surprisingly, that attitude of entitlement to comfort extends to the things that are necessary to lose weight: taking in fewer calories, burning more calories. There's gotta be an easier, more comfortable way! A magic diet food, a pill, a medical procedure . . .
We walk around with bottles of sports drinks or cans of soda or juice boxes or smoothies, sipping constantly. Dehydration isn't a good thing, obviously: but do we need to be on continuous fluid intake so we never experience any thirst at all, ever? And wouldn't water work?
We carry food everywhere, expecting that we will snack at the first hint of hunger. And the next hint too. Eating all the time. Rather than accepting that hunger is normal, not an emergency, just a sign that we're really going to enjoy that next meal.
Some fitness facilities tell us it's possible to exercise effectively at a pace that won't even break a sweat. So there would be no need to "disrobe" or "shower" after a workout. Because exercise should not be uncomfortable. And if it gets uncomfortable, we should stop right away.
Well, it may be comfortable, but none of this works. Insisting upon remaining inside our personal "comfort zones" results in long-range and profound discomfort.
The discomfort of degrading our environment with excess fuel consumption.
The discomfort of life-long not-learning.
The discomfort of incompetence.
The discomfort of overweight.
The discomfort of being unfit.
The profound dissatisfaction of never becoming all that we can be.
Sure, I like to be comfortable as much as anyone. A comfortable chair with a comfortable book. A hammock under a tree. A cozy quilt on a cold winter night. A relaxed walk with an old friend, enjoying the conversation and the silence.
But: we don't need comfort all the time. Not continuously!!
I'm just not comfortable with all this focus on comfort.
Comfort -- yeah, really -- comfort can be highly overrated.
Sunday, April 22, 2012
. . . another persistent sabotaging thought that I must persistently resist.
(Because if it's not FAIR, then of course I should just give up, right? And revert to my "natural" weight of about 230. Right? That would be fair!!)
TUFFMUFFIN, aka DH, has dropped weight from 183 to 174.5 since he started SparkPeople just a few weeks ago. In other words, he's lost almost all of the 10 pounds which was his "golf season" goal.
He's feeling great. He's looking great. He's feeling way better on the golf course, carrying his clubs. And he will lose the remaining 1.5 pounds. Because: that's who he is. TUFF!!
His birthday is coming up. His old Levis were worn out (size 36" waist, 34" long). Right through the knees: still fine for cutting the lawn but not much else.
I hit a sale about 10 days ago, and bought him two new pairs of Levis. Blue ones and black ones, both slim fit. At his request, 34/34. He tried 'em on last weekend: still a tiny bit snug through the waist. (I tucked them away for the big day: still a week away. )
And they will be perfect by next weekend.
OK, so what's not fair about that? I'm struggling to stay steady at 142 (when I want to be 138). And (with the exception of 300 calories over on Friday) I've been consistently within my range of 1200 to 1500 calories a day.
TUFFMUFFIN's lower end of range starts . . . 300 calories higher than my high end . . . . And he hasn't been so consistent in sustaining his range. He's had cheeseburgers. He's had fish n' chips. He's had big thick juicy steaks. And roast beef. He's had ice cream!!! And he lost two (count 'em) TWO pounds this week alone.
Me? Omelettes, salads, fruit, soups . . . like that. (And a little dark chocolate!! In the 30 calorie squares).
He's tuff. But I've gotta be tougher!!
It's not fair. It's not fair. It's not fair.
He's tall (he says he's 6'0'': I believe he's taller, by 1-2"). He's got a way better metabolism than I have. And he can eat the way he has been eating and lose weight, whereas I can eat the way I've been eating and stall. That's reality.
Oh well oh well oh well. I'm heading to the gym. I'm reading my Beck cards on the elliptical. If the weather warms up a few degrees, I'll play golf later.
Not giving up. Not now. Not ever.
Saturday, April 21, 2012
. . . . a persistent sabotaging thought that I must persistently confront.
I do track my nutrition every day. Including those random spoonfuls of peanut butter (what a whack o' calories!).
I do track my exercise . . . which just reminds me of how hard it is to burn off the calories!
I tracked my Friday night pizza with TUFFMUFFIN: two slices McCain Canadian thin crust. And a glass of white wine. And was about 300 calories "over" yesterday. Yikes.
Because I know: whether "I" track or not, the ol' body (that would be "me" also) is tracking relentlessly. Persistently. Privately. Publicly. Every calorie in. Every calorie out. No choice. All calories present and accounted for! Never too much trouble for "me". Never.
Oh well. Oh well. Oh well.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
A year ago our vet told me that our beloved golden retriever, Charlie, was significantly overweight. He was having problems with the skin breaking down on his elbows. She said it was because he was so heavy he was essentially slamming himself down on the floor to take the weight off his feet.
He then weighed 43 kg.
Saturday when I took him for his checkup, he weighed 33.5 kg. A loss of about 20 pounds in 1 year.
Our vet was so impressed! And Charlie is, of course, looking sleek. Feeling lively. And no more problems with his elbows!
She wanted to know how we'd done it. I told her: strict chow control. One cup of grain free high protein organic duck dog chow morning and night. In between meal snacks limited to fresh veggies: carrots, sugar snap peas, cherry tomatoes . . . Charlie loves all of these and sits beside me while I'm making my salads. And: more exercise.
Apparently very few people actually manage to help their dogs lose weight, even though it's vitally important to their well being and longevity. Charlie will be 8 in a few weeks, and we love him very much: "Best dog ever!", we tell him many times a day. Of course I took weight loss for Charlie very seriously indeed and so did everyone in the family.
Interestingly enough, the vet herself (about my age, height and build) would like to lose a few pounds. She asked me a year ago how I manage to keep in shape and I told her: YMCA, SparkPeople.
She asked me again on Saturday (having put on additional weight over the past year), and I told her again -- this time also mentioning fatloser.com.
The vet is an absolutely lovely person . . . so kind, so knowledgeable about animals and about pet nutrition. But she thought that a diet heavy in safflower oil (!) and walnuts (!!) -- (nutritious in and of themselves, of course) -- was appropriate for herself. Even though she knows all about calories in/calories out. Knows all about move more, eat less. Thinking back to my blog a few weeks ago about how overweight works at work . . . . I'm wondering how tough it is for a vet to get tough with owners on their pets' obesity when . . . . yeah.
I'm so proud of Charlie!! We got his "weight loss chart" printed out and posted it on the wall in the kitchen, near his chow bowl! Here's to Charlie! We hope he's got many many more healthy years ahead of him!!
Monday, April 16, 2012
The Toronto Globe and Mail has a most interesting article today about how human beings are biologically wired to run. So are dogs. Ferrets? Not so much!!
And as for me? I'm a dog with (sadly) the hips and knees of a ferret!!
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