Tuesday, July 22, 2014
That's what we're anticipating here today and . . . I'm ready. Wearing my very coolest cotton Liberty print sheath (and a jacket, for the office . . . bare legs, sandals: pretty darned informal really!!) That gazpacho (had some last night) is really totally delish and so so cooling.
Bouquet on my desk of meadow flowers: umbrellas of Queen Anne's Lace, bright blue spikes of bugloss, purple clover, intense yellow partridge pea (I think): all so pretty. Each Queen Anne's Lace has a coloured flower in the centre: purple, or deep pink. And they smell wonderful.
Love love love summer.
Monday, July 21, 2014
It's gotta be summer when there's gazpacho chilling in the fridge. Weather forecast said we'll hit 30 Celsius today . . . now it appears we'll be approaching that tomorrow (say, 88 to 90 F).
Tomatoes, green pepper, chili pepper, cucumber, fresh basil, a bit of balsamic vinegar, some sea salt -- all whooshed in the food processor.
Both vegan DD and DH love this one so I'll be fighting them off for every bowlful. Gazpacho generally disappears with dispatch-o (and yup, I've got a second set of ingredients lurking in the fridge to make a second batch-o as necessary: takes minutes).
Charlie enjoyed a wonderful romp in the woods yesterday, including a cooling swim in the stream . . . the wild bergamot was profusely in bloom. (Not my own pic but just like this-- and: the deer flies were making their presence felt!!). Bergamot smells glorious, like Earl Grey tea (which is flavoured with oil of bergamot . . . )
OK, another week and some interesting stuff to do!! All good.
Sunday, July 20, 2014
I recently blogged about current research which tells us that anticipating happiness is the best part -- planning for the vacation is more pleasurable than taking the vacation or remembering the vacation.
And yup: right away I booked two weeks (TWO WEEKS) of consecutive vacation many many months from now. First time for two consecutive weeks of vacation in over 10 years. And certainly I am looking forward to it. Of course I am.
But: I've also been thinking about "anticipating happiness" a bit -- and have decided that for me, it's only one strategy and probably not the most important one. It truly is the "carpe diem" stuff that helps me most with happiness and with weight loss maintenance (and sure, they're connected).
The good ol' hippy dippy "Be Here Now" stuff (DD made me a hanging with this saying on it: apparently it's something I told our kids often when they were tiny and it stuck for her).
Particularly it's "carpe diem" that counts most for me with weight maintenance.
Not that "anticipating happiness" thing so much.
Not, "I will be happy when I get married" (so I can't be happy now and I'd better console myself right now with a hefty snack while I wait).
Not, "I will be happy when I have a baby." Or, "I will be happy when THIS baby isn't quite so sick, when I'm not rushing back and forth to the hospital" (so it's understandable that my present unhappiness could be cured with an infusion of doughnuts).
Not, "I will be happy when I get through school" (so the chocolate croissant is looking good in the meantime and I really deserve it. . . that was the attitude which ballooned me up to 230 pounds!)
Not, "I will be happy when I get through this cancer treatment . . . ". Nope, that was the experience that actually drew the line in the sand for me. I knew that continuing to overindulge with food made it much more likely I'd NEVER be finished with cancer treatment. That comfort eating meant I was actually courting recurrence of my particular cancer type (estrogen positive).
"I will be happy." That's a future tense verb, right? It makes us tense. Yearning. Wondering if our longed-for future will arrive. And in what manifestation. Shelley: "We look before and after/And pine for what is not./Our sincerest laughter/With some pain is fraught."
So instead of "I will be happy", how about "I will myself to be happy." Right here. Right now. Carpe diem instead of carping my way through my life. . . given anticipation always focuses on "what is not" in the present. And that the present is all I am ever sure I'm going to have . . . .
I can will myself to be happy, a lot of the time. And I do. (No, not always: not when I'm dealing with a genuine crisis. But, a lot of the time).
I can choose to be happy. I can't choose what happens to me, but I can choose how I interpret it. I can cultivate a willed optimism.
For me, a great method of being happy in the present is simply noticing the good stuff all around me. That good stuff which is always there, whether I'm noticing it or not.
Just like my body is always tracking the food I eat, whether *I* am or not.
And one thing for sure: when I'm happy (deliberately, consciously, wilfully happy) -- I sure do eat less!! And eating what I genuinely need in the present to fuel this body, not more . . . . makes me happy!!
Saturday, July 19, 2014
It's cool and cloudy here today, with rain threatening -- and more of the same tomorrow!
OK then, makes me even gladder that I took off from work yesterday and enjoyed the sun and went to the beach and played golf and ate a great supper at home and . . . .all that while I could!!
And -- since weight loss and maintenance is our Sparkie theme -- are there any connections between seizing the moment and keeping weight off? I think so, really I do!!
If I "seize the moment" by grabbing onto a whole range of available small pleasures (stopping to really look at a stunning pink zinnia in my garden, or to enjoy watching our resident chipmunk rebuilding his burrow after a rain storm, or to bask in the sunshine on the beach . . . ) then I'm so much less likely to grab a big bagful of potato chips. Much less likely to indulge in foods I truly don't wanna be eating.
That's true for fast foods like fries. And it's even true for "special occasion" type foods ("You gotta have some, I made it just for you." Or "You gotta have some, we only do this for Thanksgiving." etc. etc.) It's only when food is the single prominent focus of pleasure in my life that it becomes far far too important and far far too irresistible.
We consciously decided not to eat at the club last night when we were ravenously hungry(where I knew I might order something not so optimal) because we knew we had those healthier options all ready at home: the salmon, the Swiss chard, the wild rice, and some fresh raspberries and blueberries too . . . .
Non-caloric sources of contentment. They're available. Most of 'em are free, just for the taking. Just for the noticing.
And when I don't take advantage of 'em, I'm waaaaaay more likely to overeat. Yes I am!!
Friday, July 18, 2014
Worked till about 11 am and then slunk out the door. Had a bowlful of my Italian farro and lupini bean soup on the back deck with Charlie, and some gorgeous sweet black cherries for dessert. Spent an hour or so on my high "tree fort" deck listening to the wind in the leaves and reading in a Muskoka chair. Went to the beach (my goodness, the water is still so cold!!) for another couple of hours. Out to the golf course for 9 holes: what a gorgeous evening. Back home for baked tarragon Dijon salmon with Swiss chard and wild rice, and a glass of rose wine. Mmmmm.
All right then!! I can use some of this kind of summertime any time!!
We've worked our way through all the Mad Men episodes and are now going to try The Good Wife!! Should be interesting for us . . . .
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