Monday, December 22, 2014
My winter holiday started this Saturday, and I did my best to relax after my last hard 2 working weeks.
So I did deep relaxation in bet before getting up, then my long forest walk, then yoga with husband. After cooking and eating a healthy lunch, and afternoon nap with husband.
Then some sparking and web surfing, I listened to a dharma talk, then watched a movie with family (which turned out to be one of the worst movies we saw ever, but we didn't care).
The result was incredible, I didn't feel any fatigue or stress.
Sunday was great too. I had some shopping to do and dropped DD off at work at 9, so only had time for a shorter run around the park, rather than the normal long forest run.
But I figured a short run and time for some yoga and breakfast is better than a long run and a hurried morning.
Today, Monday morning would have been a short run around the park, but I upgraded to a longer (4.5 miles) forest run, and my brother in law came with me.
The forest path is almost completely cleared from the fallen trees, only the 5-6 largest ones block the road, and we could climb through. The damage to the forest is incredible.
We met a group of woodcutters, I told them I'm impressed they cleared the path in only two weeks, and thanked for their work. They said the finish cutting up the last large trees today, so the path will be clear tomorrow.
Eating went well. Now I pay close attention to urges to eat more than my planned meals.
I know surrendering will NOT make my cravings go away, but instead will just make them stronger. Knowing this helped me resist, and I did not overeat at all this week.
Thursday, December 18, 2014
I have been in maintenance in 3 years and 3 months, and most of the time it is easy for me to stay in balance.
I'm doing well for several days or weeks in a row, then something happens (or nothing happens) and I find myself overeating at dinner. Nothing horrible, I guess 3-500 calories over, but I certainly lose control. These are the only times when my weight starts creeping up.
In the past weeks I observed two things that I didn't notice before:
1. overeating feels bad, during and after.
On those days I'm wolfing down food, not for hunger or taste, just for volume. For the feeling of swallowing down something solid, and filling up, standing in the kitchen. This is not pleasant.
And being stuffed feels very bad.
Compare this to my normal dinners when I sit down with my nicely prepared food and enjoy the taste and texture.
Well, this is obvious in my normal state of mind, but now I observed this on the spot, and managed to interrupt the vicious cycle.
2. overeating induces more overeating
I realized I don't have any cravings to eat more when I manage to sit down and eat my planned portion. When I'm determined that the meal is over with the small square of dark chocolate and proceed to brush my teeth, and just do it - that is the end of the problem.
Compare this with going back to the kitchen for just one more slice of bread, or take just one more square chocolate - the risk goes up with every bite and I end up eating until I feel really stuffed yet feel still unsatisfied...
Again, this is not rocket science, but realizing right after finishing my planned dinner stopped me from eating more.
I didn't have any overeating episodes this week.
With emergency gone, I have reduced my evening ritual to just brushing my teeth immediately after dinner, and mediation went back to its normal time, before going to bed. And my weight is back to center.
I realize my problem is minor, and my little solution is insignificant for those who fight urges to overeat during the day, or even during night.
But it is very useful to me.
Even explains why I had the longest streaks of no evening overeating in the weight loss phase and early maintenance, when I ate 5-600 calories less then I do now.
Saturday, December 13, 2014
Peak workload continues, in addition we had to work on Saturday, so that we get 24th December off for Christmas.
But I feel fine.
Limiting work-related thoughts to working hours is really helpful: I concentrate hard during the day, but as soon as I'm off work, I turn it off.
This morning I went for my traditional Saturday long walk in the forest - made me calm nd focused at work. I made a lot of progress on the administrative front.
Last week I posted pictures about our forests frozen in ice, I want to clarify pics were not my own, but an online gallery shared on a public website, about a forest 3-4 miles away.
By the time I went up our hill, almost all the ice was gone, only the fallen trees, broken branches and blocked tracks remained.
I won't go there for a few weeks, hoping the path will be cleared.
Eating-wise it was an interesting week.
The first 3 days I did poorly: mild mindless overeating.
The benefit was that I recognized how bad I feel after overeating, and in the next 4 days I was more aware of how much I ate and stopped before feeling too full.
I modified my evening anti-overeating plan as it was too much fuss: tea is cancelled, meditation is moved back right after brushing teeth. It is working better this way.
Sunday, December 07, 2014
Earlier this week there was horrible ice damage in our forests on the higher hills.
There is a temperature just above freezing point when rain drops are liquid all the ways down but crystallize into ice when they hit the ground - or a tree.
This time there was a lot of rain coming down, the critical temperature persisted and thick layers of ice covered the trees. Many huge branches and entire trees broke and fell under the heavy weight. A link to some pictures:
This morning I drove up to my favorite running route on the hill.
I saw many broken trees along the road, but still hoped I can run the route - but it is blocked. Practically the entire path is covered by fallen trees, so even walking is impossible.
It was so sad to see the damage, but I'm sure similar disasters are part of a forest's life cycle, and it will heal within a few years.
But I'm afraid the path will be blocked for several weeks.
I didn't expect this, because yesterday I walked on the other side of this same hill, and there were very few broken branches and no blocks there...
I decided to run up the steep asphalt road to the top of the hill with as many walk breaks as necessary. Many were necessary, as I'm not used to run all the way up.
Then from the peak I ran down a stony dirt road on the other side and back.
It was quite intense, and I can feel my calves - despite the very slow pace average of 11:30 min/mile.
On the eating front I did well during the week, but yesterday was DH's 55th birthday, and MIL brought wonderful crackers and cake, and I ate a LOT.
No afternoon snack and no dinner, of course, but I felt stuffed and bloated all evening.
This unpleasant experience was a good reminder before Christmas... there is already way too much chocolate and candy in our house, and DD and DS plan to make at least 3 kinds of cookies for Christmas.
It is interesting how I didn't recognize I was full while I was eating, only 1-2 hours later, and even then, feeling stuffed, I felt random urges of "eat more".
I guess this setup of the gastrointestinal system was a competitive advantage when there was no continuous supply of food. Like ancient hunter-gatherer tribes who had a lot to eat after successful hunts and very little to eat in between. But there is no advantage for me, only the risk of going into an overeating mode.
Tuesday, December 02, 2014
With my projects coming to end or a least end stage, I volunteered for a temporary position that is mostly people management and will take half my time. December is the busiest time to in this area, and I'm already covered in emails and spreadsheets...
Except last month which was busy, my workload was somewhat low, and it was good for rest and recreation, but it is nice to use my full energy again.
I feel like a husky who gets to pull a heavy burden on a sleigh and runs happily on the snow!
On the other hand, long office days are so much more tiring for me than business trips!
Monday and Tuesday was like this, but I paid attention and followed my plan when I got home:
-make fruit tea
-meditate 10 minutes (today it was 15 minutes, and recognizing the feeling of emptiness rise, the one that is so easy to misidentify as hunger)
-plan, prepare and eat dinner mindfully (today it was bacon and eggs, steamed broccoli and rye bread toast, and a square of dark chocolate)
-and now I'm off to brush my teeth
Paying attention really helps.
As opposed to Sunday night when I failed miserably after a fully relaxing and pleasant weekend ; )
Got home at 11 pm from visiting my best friend... and instead of brushing my teeth and going straight to bed, I watched TV, ate some snacks and read mindlessly...
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