Sunday, May 15, 2011
Saturday was supposed to go like this: a quick oil change in the morning, lay in the fresh produce for the week from the grocery, then meet my son at the trail-head for a jog, maybe take him out to lunch, then veg for the remainder of the day.
The mechanic finding a leaking rear strut started the day's deterioration. They needed to keep the car for 3 or four hours, which meant hitching a ride home and letting my son know if he still wanted to take his mom for a jog, he'd need to pick me up. Well, he begged off the jog, so there I was, pacing the house, worrying about various aspects of my unraveling day.
Noon-ish I hitched a ride back to pick up the car, and went grocery shopping. I was set up to make silly decisions and pre-disposed to do so. Telling myself those little lies, I brought home some of those 100 calorie packs of treats. Three different kinds. That voice has some good lines, which by now I should recognize. "You've done this before... you can ration these out, one little treat a day or every other day..." But I could also hear it thinking further, "Your number on the scale this morning was well at the bottom of your goal range, you can afford it", and "You've had a running calorie deficit for five days in a row... you SHOULD eat a little more today, it won't hurt if some of those calories are junk." I went through several of those bags. They add up fast.
Why is it we fall for the voices? Is it to regain those couple of pounds so we can run that deficit? Maybe. Maybe that's how we operate at maintenance. But it still feels scary.
And this morning, waking up with stuffed sinus passages (probably from too much sodium in those extra processed calories) and nausea (probably from less caffeine or from dehydration)... my initial thought was "food hangover", and "why do you have to keep proving to yourself over and over again that this is the price you pay?"
The body rebelling that way makes it easier to wake up and get back on track. Being perfect is not required. Being foolish is forgivable... remaining in that foolish spot is not an option. Treat self gently... chin up, and move on.
Friday, May 13, 2011
A friend's blog this morning was not intended to spark this one, but it did. My friend (you'll recognize yourself) was down on herself. Unable to see the good in herself. And it took me back to several (come to think of it) moments in my past. And quite possibly (when I'm honest with myself) in my future.
But one particular moment stands out in my memory. I remember sitting in a fast food joint in Baltimore, with a new blank journal in my hands and a pen, writing that I was tired of reading the success stories of others, I was tired of reading "how-to" books. I KNEW HOW TO, dang it! I needed to WANT to! That I needed to actually DO it. I was disgusted with my back-sliding.
In my blank book, I wrote that I was going to write my OWN how-to, my OWN journey, my OWN success... Not Oprah's, or Susan's, or Jenny's... MINE! Because this is a journey that each of us has to take for ourselves.
I've used writing a LOT in this journey... venting the lows, celebrating the highs, writing out the dreams... I'm a big fan of the journal. For the past year or more I've written them pretty publicly, right here on the Spark page blog. And when I get down on myself... I have them to go back to, to see where my mind and feelings were at other moments on the path. This is encouraging.
So to my friend, and to everyone else who is out there doubting themselves... you know who you are... you can do this. You can write the unique story of your journey through life, to health, to balance, to dignity. Everyone has a story. Live your own. Write your own. Be present and aware...
YOU can do this. And you're worth it!
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Yes, another "insufferable morning person" blog. I love mornings. I love waking up without benefit of alarm. In this morning's case it was 20 minutes before it was scheduled... not too far before, certainly not startled into waking... just becoming aware and awake. Stretching. Hearing house sounds and outdoors waking up, too.
I step out onto the deck and breathe in the cool morning air. I open windows, tempting the allergy gods, but I don't care. Morning is a time of hope and promise. Yes, birds, but other things, too... not much wind, observe the wind chimes being lazy.
Into the kitchen, preparing lunch ahead, starting the steel cut oats to simmer for breakfast, the coffee perking... meander to the home office and fire up SparkPeople to see what other folks are contemplating for this new day. The quiet hum of the computer fan is white noise, as are those birds, whose voices drift through the window.
This time of year takes me back to school days, when the term was almost up... looking ahead to the promise of long, lazy days to be spent mostly outdoors. I don't have that luxury these days, my work doesn't have those weeks off in the Summer. But my mind and soul can still go there in the stillness of a morning.
This is going to be a good day!
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
That's where my fickle brain is going this morning. To the lazy days of Summer. Not that I'm planning on not being active... just that I need a "fun" sense about activity and "play" more. Consequently, I've decided NOT to sign up for the 10K in June. And, on the day of that infamous local 10K, I have another horseback ride planned... with others this time, so no skipping out!
I *do* have every intention on putting my focus on those sit-ups, in the hope of passing the APFT on the 4th of July. And I intend to keep up my break-walks at work, and my nutrition plan. Yet, I have some "around the house" things that need doing, and having an athletic goal tends to give me a pass and let me procrastinate more on those things. Time for them to take focus.
I'll be housing the grand-cats for a weekend later this month. So I need to cat-proof my house. These are indoor kitties and it won't be their normal territory, so I'm thinking I need to plan ahead a little bit. Kind of looking forward to having the animal company, myself. I've managed to live pet-free for nine weeks... be kind of nice to have some "on loan" for a bit.
With my windows open to the warming season, I'm feeling good about this plan for now. I reserve the right to set a more specific goal later, but the balance wheel is telling me now is the time to feed another section of the soul.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Sometimes I think about maintenance as being a walk on a balance beam. You can fall off either side! On the one hand is the slip-slide back into compulsive OVER eating. On the other is a dive off into exercise addiction and compulsive UNDER eating, another serious disorder, just in the other direction. The key is finding that middle path of balanced activity and eating and living.
Gymnasts practice, practice, practice to learn how to take leaps and turns and changes in where they place their body, but always coming back to place their center of gravity firmly on that beam. They may fall off a lot while learning. But they get back up and change something a little, and maybe the next time (or the tenth time) they try that stunt, they find the beam and do not fall, but keep on with the performance.
Even the most polished professionals fall at times. There is no shame in it. The really great ones come back from the fall and move on.
In the analogy, our efforts to learn healthy living is the practice and the performance. The leaps and twists and turns are the new things we try or the life events that get thrown at us. We come back to the center of gravity of the self-nurturing habits we have built through Sparking and all that practice. And it is good.
Spark on, my friends! This is for your life!
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