Thursday, December 13, 2012
I have started today's blog twice, and thrown it in the bit-bucket! Some days it just doesn't flow... so starting with a blank blog-page, I dive in and start letting the fingers do their thing. If it's "OK" and starts to flow, I keep it. If not, out it goes.
Today I started writing about anticipation... trying in my mind to tie together the expectation of advent to the expectation of my son's return... it just didn't flow. When I tried to tie it back to feelings of a year ago (when my program was really slip-sliding) and this year (when it's doing pretty great, to be honest)... it wasn't working.
One might ask WHY the analogy wasn't working for me. Here's the deal: I am an emotional eater. A year ago, I was feeding anxiety over my son's impending departure. I managed to get myself in hand and use my participation in events (11 in all in 2012) and training for them to "run away" instead of feeding those feelings.
Now, the anticipation I am feeling is less of anxiety (OK, there is that little bit of "don't let your guard down yet, he's not home yet")... more of anticipation of joyful reunion. In the past, I've been known to feed emotions that are thought of as pleasant (joy, happiness, celebration) as much as the ones thought of as unpleasant (grief, sadness, anger, fear).
In short... it used to be that I'd use *any* emotion as a reason to eat. Excessively. Habitually. Unconsciously.
And the bottom line is: it doesn't MATTER which feelings I'm feeling. What matters is what I *do* about them! Do I look them in the face and say, "I know you, you are _____?" Do I sit with them, ask them where they came from, question their validity... savor them... and wait for them to pass? Do I run away from them? Or do I feed them?
Actions can in fact result in the feelings fading. Sitting with them can result in a resolution, where they become less intense. Acknowledging them as valid or reasoning them away, can give them the freedom to resume a proper place in the puzzle that is my mind.
Today resolution: I shall focus on feelings, and on what I am *doing* with the ones that present themselves to me. I shall not "feed" them excessively. Because life is more than feelings. And it is good.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
An additional "key element" dawned on me after the Holiday luncheon yesterday. Besides all that self talk? Choose who you are going to sit with to support your success.
I recognize that this is not always possible... but yesterday I sat around others who were also pursuing a healthy lifestyle. All of us were following the principle of carefully selecting the indulgences. I chose a corn casserole, as I had not spotted any bread stuffing (my favorite, which I had promised myself a half cup of). It turned out to be a great choice, it was really good, and it was portion controlled.
I also allowed myself a half slice of traditional pumpkin pie, since I didn't have my traditional Thanksgiving dinner. And savored every bite, mind you! It was excellent. Other than that, roast turkey is pretty healthy as it is. And the salad I really filled up on? Pretty normal noontime fare for me.
In the end, it was well handled, and I wasn't overfilled... so was able to hop on the treadmill in the evening and put in my 5.4 miles. I started slow, a full 9 minute warm up (5 minutes walking, then two rounds of 1 minute slow jog, 1 minute walk) before settling into the speed work of the evening. My top speed was "crossing the finish line" sprint the tenth of a mile from 4.9 to 5 miles. At 7 mph, according to the TM.
Stretch, showered, slept really well. And this morning... up and at 'em and monitoring for any adverse reaction... which will become really important about Saturday noonish.
Life is good. Spark on!
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
You would think that in the third year of maintenance, social eating would no longer be a careful planning thing, but rather dusting off plans that have worked in the past. That may be true sometimes, but not always for me.
You see, it isn't just about what I choose at the meal. It's about how I respond/react internally to comments others might make (criticizing how little I choose to eat, for example... this really happens, people!) It's about managing my own feelings related to the event and the offerings there. It's about my self-talk following the event, and what I choose to do in the hours, days and week beyond it.
Part of this is physiological: recognizing that there are certain foods / ingredients that will flat out trigger me. Some of these I *can* indulge in small portions of, only to find myself binging LATER. Therefore, knowing which things these are, and making the conscious choice that it's easier/better just not to start... and then feeling GOOD, not deprived about that choice. This is where the self-talk part comes in.
Self-talk before: honesty about the risks.
Self-talk during: I am making this choice for me, not for others.
Self-talk after: past is past, now is what counts, live in the now.
Reminder to self: *nothing* tastes as good as fit feels.
Discipline is remembering what I really want, not just for Christmas, but for the rest of my life.
Monday, December 10, 2012
Yesterday I got a visit from one of my younger sisters. She needed to borrow a double boiler for some of her holiday goodie-making, and I was happy to oblige.
It was a brief visit, in which I got caught up on how the family Thanksgiving went. It went about as such events do... we shared a giggle or two over people we love being who they are. For those of you who don't get the family clues around here... I grew up amid the Big Bang Theory gang... part of my family do not get the irony of their decision *not* to watch the show because "the math is OK, the science is off". The point is, many of them ARE the characters.
(MOBYCARP, you are Sheldon, in case you didn't know or have never watched it! I would be willing to bet that at least some would cast me as Leonard's mother.)
Anyway, that aside... the point of this little reminder to myself is about how far I have come. My sis mentioned that she and her family were going through old photographs, and her daughter looked at one and asked, "Is THAT Barbie?" Gasp. She *does not remember me in my heavy, unfit state*! She was in this photo with me, my "really, really before" shot I keep in my gallery. She was the little girl to my right.
That has to be a sign of long-term effort, does it not? The year following that photograph (I believe it was Christmas 2005) I went on "the guy diet" with my son, which basically is putting oneself in training. An injury a year and a half later resulted in a regain, but I have since enjoyed considerable success in getting back to the fit me I most enjoy! But that this important young person in my life doesn't even identify me as someone who "used to be" heavy is an incredible boost to my morale.
Something is working. And despite the bumps and mountains, life is good. Spark on!
Sunday, December 09, 2012
The day started well with sleeping in. Then an advent church sermon, which is a comforting thing for me. "Getting my Cratchet on" was how I phrased it earlier, but it does have that spirit of expectation, that needs to be nurtured, and that's what advent is all about.
The spirit manifested in pre-Thanksgiving cleaning (i.e. the cleaning I USUALLY do before Thanksgiving). I'm still behind, but a little LESS behind than I was. Saturday afternoon I went to a little senior center's craft fair and bought the tiniest of ceramic Christmas trees, which is my concession to decorating.
Late this afternoon, I went to visit my sister in law. Her condition has deteriorated even since my last visit in November. She can no longer write legibly, and it is obvious she has things she wants to say. She has not been able to speak for some time. ALS is a tragic condition, especially for someone with a rich mind. On Wednesday, she will observe her 60th birthday, one I just passed myself last month.
If anybody out there is the Spark universe is of a praying mind, prayers for this wonderful woman, teacher, friend, mother are welcome. If I could make an impossible wish for Christmas it would be for a miracle for her. For her to be released from her prison, and free.
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