15,000-19,999 SparkPoints 17,007

Taking (Clawing, Stealing, Grabbing, Wrenching) Time for Health

Monday, April 29, 2013

Artist: Giuseppe Arcimboldo 1573
Series: The Seasons
Dimensions: 76 x 64 cm
Gallery: Musée du Louvre, Paris, France

I will be the first to admit that the investment you make in your own health takes time every day. It is a good investment and like all good investments, it needs attention. I’d like to share some of my dividends from this week and some of the strategies I used to stick with my good habits.

I got a call last Wednesday morning from my mom’s friend, telling me my 88 year old mother had fallen twice that morning and didn’t seem like herself. I told her friend to call the paramedics and I would meet them at the hospital.

I had eaten breakfast but not lunch and the call came around 11. I remained calm and packed myself a couple of cuties (mandarin oranges), some raw almonds and a kashi bar. I grabbed some water and a notebook and pencil and headed to the hospital.

My mom was conscience and not in any pain, so we sat in the ER until about 4:00. I didn’t want to eat in front of her because they weren’t allowing her any food. I did manage to eat a couple of almonds when I stepped out a couple times. My daughter and one of my sisters joined us.

At around 4 they brought her a little lunchbox thing and took her up to a room. Another sister arrived and my daughter and I left around 6:30. We went to pick up my grandson.

By now we were starving. My daughter suggested we go to eat at a Korean chicken wing place near her home. This is the strange bit, part of my brain was salivating over the sugar-salt-fat trifecta that is the fried chicken wings, but my mouth said, “I can’t eat those.”

Where did that come from?

I think it came from practicing this habit. I still have this conversation in my head often enough, but the tone has changed. The conversation used to take place between a whiney child, a martyr, or someone who felt deprived and the voice of reason. The voice of reason was a separate voice, if that makes any sense. It was an argument that went on in my head. If I was unusually hungry, I was anxious and that made it even harder to hear the commands.

Now, it is a conversation. The best way I can describe it is, now the part of my brain that longs for the sugar-fat-salt is reasonable. The voice of reason (which is who I identify with now) doesn’t shout or cajole, the old habit just says OK when I speak. Because I have the list of non-scale benefits. I have articulated how I feel freedom from the slavery that is the sugar-fat-salt addiction. I can go on Spark People and read the stories of success written by people in the same boat as me. I don’t feel like it is hopeless anymore. I can see tangible changes almost every day.

I have been practicing this habit for a little over a year now. I practice it every time I go to a store. Every time I walk past Cape Cod potato chips. Every time I see the strip steaks at my butcher where I buy my chickens. Every time I see all the imported white flour pasta at the Italian wholesale place. Every time I am in the coffee shop and don’t get a treat to go with my espresso.

Every time I walk past the award winning restaurant on the next block and don’t stop in to have the chorizo-stuffed medjool dates with smoked bacon and piquillo pepper-tomato sauce. I don’t feel deprived. I do plan sometimes to stop in there and enjoy one of the award winning dishes. As time passes, the date ceases to be the one I choose. I will take a bite if someone else has it, but last I went in I got the kale dish with a super glass of wine. I had planned out the calories for the date dish, but since I opted for the kale I got the wine to go with it. Smart choice. Was I deprived? No – I knew that eating the date could have led me to some cravings and I just don’t want to go there.

Other dividends? My daughter remarked on how calm I was throughout this crisis and how patient. She said that I used to be so “unpredictable.” Of course I was. I was an addict lurching from fix to fix and I was thinking about the next meal before I finished the one I was eating. Being hungry was a source of anxiety so much so that I couldn’t decide what to eat on many occasions. When I was really hungry, I’d go into a place and if there were too many choices I would have to leave.

Writing these blogs about the benefits that are not measured in pounds lost on the scale has helped me focus on the good health aspect of what I am trying to achieve. It serves as reinforcement and helps me articulate my success for myself.

I hope that it also helps the person who is still locked in the struggle and wonders if it is worth it. I am still that person some days although they are getting few and far between. My friend who introduced me to my yoga practice told me, “Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels.” And she’s right.

I chose Giuseppe Arcimboldo's Spring to illustrate this blog because I feel like I have had a new beginning, which is the source of joy that springs holds for us. We have to clear away the old habits that no longer serve us and plant our healthy habits so they develop good roots.
Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Thank you for always including beautiful art in your blogs.
    I hope your mom is better.

    Thanks for including the sentences about addiction. I've been trying to overcome my addiction by focusing on my hunger before and after eating. By trying to assign a number to my hunger, I've realized how often I eat when I'm not actually hungry.
    1871 days ago
    I hope your MOM gets well soon. Nice blog !!!

    1871 days ago
  • PATRICIA4472
    I love this blog. Thanks for putting in writing how healthy habits can lead to overall sanity and positive choices that I feel good about... Yay.
    1875 days ago
    Great NSV and Blog! I like you thought process! Hope your Mom is doing better today. This is certainly a time to rip away the old foundations of a past that no longer serves us. Bravo on creating a happier and healthier future!
    1875 days ago
  • JILL313
    It sure sounds like you've made a really good lifestyle change in eating healthy and the yoga is centering you and helping you to deal with stress in your life. I'm sorry to hear your Mom had a fall but glad to know she is fine now. I admire you for changing so many unhealthy habits to healthy ones. Your Yoga friend is so right nothing tastes as good as Healthy feels. You are adding years to your life emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1876 days ago
  • JUDY106
    Thanks for sharing this with us. That was so fabulous. Hope your mother is OK.
    emoticon emoticon
    1876 days ago
    emoticon Blog! It points a path for those who struggle with the same trifecta temptations (and if they are honest who on here doesn't) and also sets a terrific example of how it can be handled and what the end results can be. emoticon
    I hope your mother will be well soon.
    IKacey co-leader of the Chair Exercise Team
    1877 days ago
    That is an awesome testament to your changes and the benefits of healthy eating and exercise
    1877 days ago
    Great blog! Hope your mother is doing okay!
    1877 days ago
    Wha-oh~!! Thank you for sharing your joy with us. I can really feel your joy. That make me happy. in being so strong and determine about your choice and your well plan for the eating out. What a great blog. I'm wondering where you and your doughter end up to go eat since you've declined Korean place? How's your Mom doing ? Hope she is feeling better. Again you are doing very well even in the stressful situation. This is a real benefit of NSA. You go girl !! (*^^*)
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1877 days ago
    So happy to hear you weathered the storm so very well. Some days I can do it quite well, but others not so well. Hope your mom is doing okay, by the way! emoticon
    1877 days ago
  • LYNCHD05
    One of the NSV for me is having access to people like you who have the ability to write these amazing blogs. I thank you for your inspiration.
    1877 days ago
    1877 days ago
    Thank you for yet another great blog.

    I hope that your mother is well.

    I have been reading a lot lately about the sugar/fat/salt "trifecta" and trying my hardest to break myself from this addiction. I have been working at it steadily for two years and while the "trifecta" still has a strong grip on me, I like to think I am behaving almost as reasonably as you are.

    There are a lot of books accumulating that reveal the ways even seemingly innocent sounding food is prepared in a restaurant--the ways a simple salad can become a grotesquerie of 1000 calories without the consumer beginning to guess.

    Thank you for yet another very intelligent and beautifully written and spiffily illustrated blog.
    1877 days ago
    Your words have just spoken volumes to my heart and I thank you so much for sharing so much of yourself, it lets me know I am not alone with the same feelings and struggles and successes when I make the right healthy decisions for great health.

    Health is the greatest gift one can have because without it how do we live complete and over flowing lives of goodness and love.

    You are so right, health takes time, patience, and timing and stratagies and planning and effort.

    Have a great week. emoticon
    1877 days ago

    emoticon emoticon
    1877 days ago
    Boy, that was one great NSV!!

    I need to work to get to that mindset.

    I hope your mother is well.

    1877 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.