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Alternative Abundance! Always on Offer!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

BOOKAPHILE has a terrific blog post today on the "Problems of Abundance". It's a seasonal issue, that's for sure -- especially when the dessert table is loaded with options!

As my comment on BOOKAPHILE's blog confesses, I did participate in conventional
abundance yesterday -- enjoying my daughter's wonderful spicy smashed potatoes, a fabulous key lime pie brought along by my brother-in-law. A full serving of Christmas dinner. But with some moderation.

Because even for one day, I can't eat without any restraint. Mostly because it's not the immediate calories that are gonna cause me problems -- it's the triggering effect of excessive indulgence going forward.

My leftovers are in the freezer, including all of the raspberry pie I had planned to serve myself. And yeah, it may be that some portion of leftovers will end up in the waste disposal eventually.

But not on my waist: not happening.

So: does that mean absence of holiday joy? Excluding myself from abundance?

No. No. No.

BOOKAPHILE's blog made me recall a hilarious conversation I had with my wonderful hairdresser at my last haircut just before Christmas.

Hair guy is an amazing person who also teaches in the local college aesthetics program, He mentioned to me that he'd set a semester exam using the word "abundance" and one of his students objected strenuously: she had never heard the term before. I suggested to him that maybe for his purposes the definition of "abundance" could involve knotting the hair on top of the head and shimmying the hips . . . yeah!

How sad is that -- to be adult-age and so vocab-challenged as to be unfamiliar with "abundance".

Which reminded me (and I need this reminder continuously) that I'm vocab-challenged myself when it comes to my own definition of abundance. Because to maintain weight loss I've gotta challenge my own persistent association of "abundance" with food, food and more food.

Food only. So if I can't eat whatever I wanna eat I'm deprived. Excluded from abundance. Adam and Eve exiled from Paradise!! Wahhhhhhhhh!!

So long as I persist in that association of abundance as "food only", I'll be at danger for lapsing in my maintenance goals.

To succeed in maintaining weight loss, I've gotta search out and consciously engage with the abundance of pleasure that life has perpetually on offer for me. I have to find different non-food ways of enjoying abundance. Notice them. Savour them.

Because the human experience of abundance IS key to contentment, that's for sure!

And I have to remind myself: even if I think it will, overeating doesn't result in contentment.

Just temporary excess content in my stomach. And permanent excess weight in my jeans!

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
NANCY- 12/27/2012 7:00AM

    My favorite way of enjoying abundance is to take several slow deep breaths. It slow me down enough to see the abundance around me:
The air, the trees, the wildlife, the flowing river, the sand on a beach warm beneath my feet.
The warmth in my home. My routines.
Realizing what needs are... as opposed to wants.
Abundance is having the need met.
Slow down and breathe.

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TRYINGHARD1948 12/27/2012 2:51AM

    Ia am so glad that we do not need to limit the abundance of love and joy we have but remember always to be thankful for all the wonderful blessings we have.

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_LINDA 12/26/2012 11:57PM

    I actually don't have a problem associating abundance with other things. The bridge club members show me an abundance of wealth as they go south in the winter, to the cottage in the summer and fantastic trip after trip to exotic places. The nice cars in the parking lot, the nice clothes and accessories, etc. etc -the list goes on. How well to do our Canada is when you compare it to other countries, yes we all have an abundance of possessions, food, etc. I put forward its this excess, this not lacking of anything , that allows us to overindulge, because there is just so much out there, and perhaps you were brought up not to waste anything. I have trouble throwing things out that are perfectly good. When you hear of starving people, right in your own city to waste any food is just so wrong. But I sure would like to see a lot less of it prepared. My Mom is always so concerned she will run out as my family are all big eaters. And its so true one little taste of everything still leads to a heaping plateful :(
This is why I can do maintenance fine as a single with no social commitments, but have trouble with family get togethers. Its food I loved as a kid and only see at these once a year gatherings. The struggle never ends and the vigilance must be ever on.

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CARRAND 12/26/2012 8:06PM

    Great blog. Thank you for the reminder that abundance can mean more than food.

I have an abundance of food in my life, an abundance of books, furniture, clothes, electronics, and most importantly, an abundance of love. I am a very fortunate woman. One of my goals for the coming year is to share some of my abundance with those less fortunate than I.

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PHEBESS 12/26/2012 5:45PM

    We need to learn to enjoy the abundance of love, warmth, family, friends, all that - and yes, learn that abundance isn't only about food.

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SLENDERELLA61 12/26/2012 4:38PM

    I enjoyed her blog. Thanks for pointing me in that direction. Now, I'm trying to figure out why I don't feel deprived. I don't. I ate within my calorie range yesterday. I cooked big and ate moderately. I am thankful for the satisfaction I feel!! I've kind of gotten into a habit. While someone else usually blesses the food (and I am grateful we have an abundance of food), I quietly say thanks for the feeling of satisfaction when it comes after I am done eating!

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PHOENIX1949 12/26/2012 1:12PM

    Your comment "the triggering effect of excessive indulgence going forward" really resonated with me. When I have indulged in trigger items (often staying within my calorie range), it takes me several days to reset my thinking and stay away from them - if I avoided in the first place, my journey to my goal would be nearer. Thanks for making me think about this. My nutritional balance is a key portion of this new lifestyle - not just the calorie range and weight loss.

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SEATTLE58 12/26/2012 1:06PM

    emoticon blog!!

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DALID414 12/26/2012 11:32AM

    I had no idea SP had a grouping for Christmas Dinner! (I'm commenting on the comment you wrote on bookaphile's page)

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EVER-HOPEFUL 12/26/2012 11:15AM


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KANOE10 12/26/2012 11:11AM

    I like your focus on finding joy in non food abundance and pleasures of life. I think abundance readily turns into overindulgence with the holidays and food.

This season, I am making fewer dishes and getting rid of food gifts.

Nice inspirational blog. Thanks for the link to the other great blog.


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BOOKAPHILE 12/26/2012 11:02AM

    Thanks for linking to my blog today, Ellen. Wow! You've made some very good points.

I SO identified with your phrase "the triggering effect of excessive indulgence going forward." That's why I try not to bring much rich food home with me. If I don't see it, I often don't miss it.

I didn't mean to imply that abundance is only found in food. That was just the context in which my struggle took place. I think we can tend to turn food abundance into overindulgence quite easily.

Thanks for your insights!

Comment edited on: 12/26/2012 11:03:21 AM

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JENNIK2 12/26/2012 10:42AM


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