some ruminations

Sunday, February 19, 2012

As time winds down on the yoga challenge -- there's just 10 days left -- I'm considering what to do next.

I've had such a good experience with the daily yoga that I'm really considering continuing, for how long I don't know. Just showing up at anything everyday is a remarkable thing, but it's been more than that. I feel calmer in the storm. I feel gentler with myself. It doesn't hurt that literally everyone I saw for the first time on Friday told me I looked like a million dollars. "No, I didn't get a new hair style."

I'm also thinking that I need to get cardio in. One of the interesting things about the daily yoga is that is has sort of changed my relationship to my fat. Ha! I know that needs an explanation. Before, I thought of myself as a fat person -- a person who is fat. Now, there's been a shift and I literally see the fat on my body as this stuff that is in my way a dragging me down. I was in a pose the other night and all the fat from my rear and thigh was hanging there basically in my face and instead of freaking out over it, which is what I normally would do when confronted by the pile of adipose that is covering my otherwise shapely frame, was just curious about it. I didn't think I was UGLY or anything, I thought "wow, that is a lot of extra to be carrying around." For the first time in my life, I just want to be lighter -- not THINNER -- lighter. And it had nothing to do with the way I look! For me, that's a big breakthrough. I can admit here (and for the first time anywhere I think) that I never really cared about the health consequences of weight gain or loss or skipping meals or not eating nutritionally balanced meals. I honestly did all of any of it -- the crushing workouts the no dinner dinners --- even giving up alcohol in the first place -- all so I might have a shot at looking good in a pair of tight blue jeans. Seriously.

Well, whatever gets you there I guess. Giving up daily alcohol and cigarettes switching to daily exercise and a 10 pm bedtime has lead to a series of other changes that have amounted to a full scale life transformation that I have been trying to get to for years now. So, no folks, I did NOT get a new haircut.

Suffice it to say, I'm not as motivated by size 4 anymore.

I've been thinking about running this week. For decades I ran between 3 and 7 days a week and I loved it. But in recent years I just wanted to do something else. If I ran a few days it would actually be two workouts a day because yoga takes up 90 minutes. And I haven't even figured in weight training yet. But even if I did less (timewise) yoga that's still sorting out and suiting up twice a day. I do a dance class already once a week, so that's cardio. If I ran, I'd almost certainly have to do it in the morning before work. Right now I love my morning routine but honestly, if I stopped all my puttering and computer stuff and headed out the door for 30 minutes before my shower, it would not impact the relaxing morning routine I've developed. It might enhance it.

One thing that I haven't talked much about here is my relationship to food. I don't like the term "foodie" which I associate with people that treat food as a status symbol -- but I am a very serious cook. And a very serious eater. There's no junk food in my diet but there is butter and olive oil and meat and white flour and sugar in the good meals that I prepare for myself and others. Did I mention chocolate? Yes, I eat chocolate -- daily. Just chocolate in it's purest yummiest form. Like those people that drink their bourbon neat. I buy a pound of 65% cocoa chips from a local purveyor and eat a tablespoon of those after dinner every day over 10 minutes savoring every morsel. (Fortunately, I've never been a big "cheese" person. That would probably put me and my food and calorie budget right over the edge.)

Still however, not every meal I eat or prepare is some gourmet extravaganza. I'm beginning to realize that I need to think about more functional easy meals on a routine basis. Especially after a hard day at work and then the gym I just want to walk in the door and EAT something nutritious and prepared and ready in minutes. It's maybe one or two meals a week that I go all out -- and most days it's just doing my best to balance protein, veggies, starch that tastes pretty good like everyone else and trying to get something on the table before people drop over.

I do have a tendency to "cheat" with food. I taste. I snack on handfuls. I graze. And when I do it, It feels very transgressive -- emotionally it feels very much like a kid "stealing" a cookie from the cookie jar. If I look at what is plaguing my calorie goals though, it's that stuff. It feels like anxiety seems to motivate it. I don't really understand it.

Anyway, I know this is long and all over the place, but I thought I'd get down some of this running dialog in my head down in print. Thanks, if you read this far, for doing so!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • TANYAP71
    I always enjoy reading your thoughts!

    I too love to cook. In the last year I have learned that clean and simple can be delicious. I still like to try new recipes and still go all-out on a regular basis but I have grown to appreciate the days I save time on prep and spend it to savoring a simple meal with the family.
    2165 days ago
  • TEMPEST272002
    I love yoga too. I feel so loose and open afterwards. Your shift in focus - from being thin to being healthy & fit is so important. Doing anything & everything to be skinny never seems to work in the long run. But creating a healthy, fit body will carry you through long-term.
    2165 days ago
    Ha! I'm so much with you on the morning "puttering and computer stuff" lol...
    If I let myself drift about passively, it takes me 45-60 (!) minutes from getting up to start running. That is ridiculous - on days when I really have to be on time I can do it in 15 minutes.

    And I eat dark chocolate daily too. Nothing fancy, just plain dark chocolate, 10-15 grams a day. In the evening, or after lunch if my lunch turns out to be on the smallish side.

    Congrats to the yoga success!
    I would like to see those progress pictures very much.
    2165 days ago
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