Saturday, December 15, 2012
I wrote this cryptic phrase in my Tuesday blog at the close of my report about the work Holiday dinner: "monitoring for any adverse reaction... which will become really important about Saturday noonish."
So one astute reader asked what was happening Saturday noonish?
Well, Saturday noonish is one of those points in my week where I am at risk. It is when events in the week that I *didn't* take care of with self-talk and resolution of emotions can "get me".
Depending on how Saturday morning went... I am capable of copping an attitude. By Saturday noonish, I know that my son has been online or not (if I don't see that little red dot of presence online, it's a risk factor for anxiety). By Saturday noonish, I've either taken my long run, or put it off... and if I put it off, I'm at risk. By Saturday noonish, I know if I've had enough sleep... if I haven't, I'm at risk. By Saturday noonish, I have either eaten enough for lunch, or started down the path to overdoing it.
Saturday, you see, I'm at home with the ingredients available to get myself into all kinds of trouble.
Today, Saturday noonish, I was just getting back from my long, slow run. I was full of endorphins. So it looks like I passed this week's "Saturday noonish" bad reaction risk test.
And right now, Saturday mid-afternoon? I'm cozy in my sweats, feeling virtuous having eaten a healthy lunch following the long slow run, and stretched and showered, and read some Spark blogs.
A word picture to Spark your day? On the way home from a morning appointment, I spotted Santa Claus riding a bicycle, leading a group of jogging elves down the MoPac trail! I couldn't get my phone out fast enough to take a photo of Santa, but it looks to me he's taken on some healthy initiatives himself!
On a more sober note: I am joyful today, but do recognize that some horrific events have been in the news. I am mindful and sad for those who have suffered large losses. I pray for them and for those who care about them. As with laughter at a funeral, the two live side by side: this is human. Hug your loved ones tight. Cherish every moment you get with them. But then, remember to breathe, and keep on nurturing your health, so you can be there for them for a long time to come.
Friday, December 14, 2012
I'm pleased to have made it through a stressful, chopped up, interruption-filled work week. This morning I was feeling a bit sorry for myself driving to work, but gave myself a good talking to as I drove, and by the time I was through the first meeting and a break walk, I was pretty much OK again.
I met my line in the sand obligations for the day, and I ended the work week with at least one positive note: got something working after the choppy week that *should* have only taken about four hours of uninterrupted time. Ever have a week like that?
My brother talks about "Pointy hair" activities at work. Well both of my meetings today would fall into that category: things you do because you must because that's the way they are done at your organization, even though you have other urgent "real" work to do. If you don't know where the phrase comes from, you don't read Dilbert. I'm usually fairly tolerant of these kinds of thing... it's the reality of my working world. However, this past three weeks, since I got back from Florida, I have been simmering my way to a boil, and as I told one colleague, "if I were a tea-kettle, at this point I would be whistling, loudly!"
Anyway, I didn't get done what I *most wanted* to or *hoped* to get done this work week, but I got *something* done that also needed to be done. I therefore will declare victory for the week and get on with my life!
You can see how dealing with feelings was important this week, right?
So, on to anticipation of the Day itself, of Christmas. Here's the deal: I will most likely be alone that day. That's part of the feeling sorry for myself. It's more than being physically alone, though. I'm working on it, Spark friends, really I am. Self-pity is not a pretty feeling, but you know what? I'm staring it in the face and accepting that it has presented itself to me. Doesn't mean I have to act out based on it. I will treat myself gently in ways that don't involve overeating!
I will wrap a gift or two to myself to open on the day. I will make a nice, portion controlled meal for dinner, featuring things I really like. I will sneak into a church service. I will fill my house with music and candlelight. And I will find something to do that will help someone less fortunate. Because nothing says Christmas like giving.
It will be a good Christmas, kept in the spirit as it should be.
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.
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