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MindMindBodyBody July 12, 2013

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It is amazing how things have a way of coming together, all at once somehow. It is a strange and wonderful story. Back in the beginning of May, I was in a kind of bleak place. My hip was hurting. I had not been able to exercise the way I wanted to. My weight was bumping up and up.

Then I got the dreaded email from the Powers That Be at Weight Watchers. Because you know, they keep an eye on these things. We staff members have to weight in once a month and show that we are either in compliance with the Staff Agreement (that we will be within 2 lbs of our goal weight), or that we have an Active Plan in mind to get back there. It was just a form letter. It wasn’t aimed only at me, but I took it absolutely to heart. I was utterly disappointed with myself and for the first time in four years, I felt hopeless. I went into this whole spiral of: I am a failure. I am a a fraud. How can I be standing up in front of people when I have let myself down so terribly?

I got that email about an hour before my regular WW meeting. I broke down in the parking lot and cried. I texted another leader friend intending to beg her to cover for me. No way could I go in there. But she didn’t answer back, she didn’t answer and finally it was time to go and I had to just suck it up and go in there. I bumped into a member who greeted me so enthusiastically. If only she knew, I thought. We walked over to the center and there was already a long line of people waiting to get in. “Look at all the people!” she said. “They’re all here for YOU.” Which made me feel even worse. My eyes filled up again and I thought about quitting. For good.

I went up to the leader area to prepare for the meeting. I noticed that the new Routine of the Month was: Mindful Eating, aka Eating Without Distraction. I laughed out loud. This is my favorite topic. This is the thing I am the most passionate about. I laughed. I told myself, all right, I will hang in there for this month and THEN if it still feels miserable, I will quit. I started the meeting and it was just awesome. As they mostly are. I love my members so much.

That next week, I took part in a one-day meditation retreat which was part of an eight week series I have been taking in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. (MSBR) It included an hourlong mindful lunch. I have had previous experiences of mindful eating practice, but it was before I was involved with Weight Watchers. I have also READ about mindful eating a LOT (love the book Savor) but I had not really practiced it in a formal way. So this was, like perfect timing: to have this experience smack in the middle of Mindful Eating month.

It was an astounding, beautiful, altering experience. First, we did the Raisin Exercise as a warm-up. Then we all went into various corners and spots of our own to eat and experience our own lunches. We were instructed not to make eye contact or try to communicate via hand gestures with anyone else. To see what it was like to eat WITH other people, but not in a social way. Interesting. I had brought a sandwich I’d make that morning, a bag of fruit, two little cookies and a bottle of sparkly water. I took it all out and laid it out on a napkin. I took off my glasses and held each piece of food up to my eyes, up close.

The raspberries blew my mind.

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Seriously. The way they had openings like little mouths. The teeny-tiny hairs. The puffy red bubbles. They were so luscious and somehow tender like tiny baby somethings. I was overwhelmed by affection and appreciation for them. Sweet little raspberries! Then I turned to the blueberries. I had never really given much thought to how blueberries looked up close. But they were like little grandmothers. Kind of drier, and a little more wrinkly (which I didn’t expect). The colors were muted and they didn’t have the same baby-like quality as the raspberries. They also tasted so very much themselves.
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The sandwich was another story altogether. I remembered when I was looking at it, how I really don’t like to eat the crusts of the sandwich. But it felt like a virtuous thing to do, to not “waste” food. I thought about why I don’t like the crust. Because it doesn’t have any of the yummy filling or flavor. It’s just… plain bread. It’s dry. There’s no goodness inside of it. So during my Mindful Lunch I paused and made the choice to leave the crusts behind. I didn’t need to eat them. And that felt just right.

It took me an hour to eat a lunch that would normally be snarfed up in about ten minutes. I made many, many decisions during this hour. What next? How much? More? What does it taste like? How hungry or satisfied or full am I NOW? What else is going on? How’s the weather? What’s that sound? It was really one of the most memorable meals I have ever experienced.

I felt changed.

As soon as I got home I emailed my awesome Territory Manager at WW. I told him I had an idea: to bring Mindful Eating practice to our Weight Watchers members. After all, it’s one of our new core Routines. How awesome would it be to invite members to actually practice something, instead of just talking about it? He was in. He was so supportive and excited. The first Mindful Eating session (which I had limited to 20 members) sold out and was held about a month ago.

I loved sharing this experience in this way. I am so grateful to our local WW administration for allowing me to expand the experiences we offer our members. The feedback was so good.

“A calming, conscious eating practice.” “

A very uplifting experience.” “

A quiet reflection, a safe space.”

“The food tasted better!”

“A chance to stop and savor our food.”

It made me so happy. And guess what? That month of focusing on Mindful Eating brought me easily, painlessly, calmly back to my goal weight.  BOOM. :-)

The first event was such a success, I’m offering it again this month at our Emeryville Center. Bay Area peeps, it’s free and open to the public, NOT JUST Weight Watchers members. But all participants need to register HERE (free of charge) to get in, because spaces ARE limited. I’d love for this one to fill up too. (click on image below for details, click on link in previous sentence to register)

MINDFUL EMERYVILLE  copyI am so grateful and kind of amazed at the course of events that have conspired since that day I sat in my car crying, ready to quit. I had no idea what changes would occur, how serendipitous it all would be, but for all of it, I am so very happy.

 

Comfort vs Comfort Food August 17, 2010

spreading the love

This event from yesterday impacted me so much that I am double-posting part of it from the food blog. Here’s what happened:

the problem was, I didn’t get enough sleep last night. I went to bed really late and got up unrested and so that was the wrong foot. It’s a Monday after a nice celebratory weekend. I went to work and the poor guy I had to work with was just a miserable soul in a lot of pain. I felt for him, and his pain leeched into me.

So by 11:30am I was just feeling terrible. Exhausted, cold (SO cold!), sad, lonely, (this is my not-so-social work place, as opposed to my super buddy workplace) and just DOWN. I began plotting all the ways I could comfort myself at lunchtime. I would take myself to this restaurant across the street that has ginormous portions of comfort food. I told myself I’d “forget” to bring my camera. YIKES.

But I was trying to be mindful. I was trying to recognize the fact that I was actively planning to use food for non-food distress. (even though hunger was part of the mix too) I teased it out in my head. I told myself, I could go to a soup place instead, and that way I could take care of cold, hunger and comfort all at once. That was a really good first step. Then I felt willing to bring my camera.

THEN I had a REAL stroke of genius. (ha!) I remembered that it was Monday, the only day of the week when Mr. McBody and I work about 2 blocks apart from each other. I texted him. “Lunch?” He had already eaten, but he said he’d come meet me. I waited on the street corner and man, I was never so happy to see someone. I really felt like he was literally saving me from a binge.

And it was like: OMG. I wanted comfort. And I got REAL LIVE human comfort. How fantastic was that!! He gave me the biggest hug. And all of a sudden I didn’t even need the soup. I was warm! I was loved!

We went to my favorite salad bar place and he sat with me while I ate my salad and listened to my woes and then gave me another big hug. And then I felt like I could make it through the afternoon.

I actually can’t stop thinking about this and I credit the reading of Savor (which I love) – about slowing that moment down, being mindful, and saying, what do I REALLY need?

I was hungry. I needed food. But what KIND of food?
I was cold. I put on my jacket.
I was lonely and needed comfort. I called out for my dear spouse, who luckily was close by.
I was tired. I had a cup of coffee because I couldn’t really go for a nap at the moment. But it taught me that going to bed early is key.

I was so ready to go and get some plate of SOMETHING to deal with all those things when in fact it would have helped none of them, not even the hunger, because it would have most likely been something regretful that I would then feel physically and emotionally bad about.

I’m learning! I’m really learning.

 

It’s Working.. And I Didn’t Even Ask It To July 16, 2010

Remember my “wish” to lose ten pounds maybe, like sort of?  Well, after much deliberation I decided to not sweat it or “try” to do anything; I’d just keep doing whatever I was doing, and whatever happened, would happen.

Then Mary came to visit and I watched her take pictures of all her food. For the first 3 days, I just watched her, and I ate all the yummy things she was eating PLUS MORE. The weight started creeping up. Then on her fourth day, I started foodblogging as well.

See what happened? That’s my weight up there. From the very first day. This was not on purpose, ie I wasn’t “trying” to lose weight, I was just trying to be more mindful and accountable for what I ate.

The one little uptick you see there is the day I forgot to take my medication which allows me to not look like a watery bloated sausage.

The difference between the top of the graph and the bottom of the graph (today) is 5.2 pounds.

Just sayin’.

I’m taking my camera with me EVERYwhere from now on. :-)

EDITED: Hmph. Facebook tells me that this blog post has been rated as “abusive” by Facebook users and so they have disabled the link. What is THAT about? Am I being boycotted by anti-scale people??

 

Yes, Virginia, You Can Eat Cupcakes on Weight Watchers! June 25, 2010

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So today was a great day. TODAY was the Goalaversary of my WW BFF, Bethany. And as our celebration for today we agreed to meet at the Cupkates truck, which by miraculous coincidence happened to be parking one block away from my office at lunchtime! Normally this is my big busy work day and I only have a short time at midday.

We were very excited about this plan. We both love cupcakes. And I loved that we, as two dedicated WW leaders (she for THREE YEARS at goal, me at one year) could enjoy this treat to the utmost. Proving once again that Weight Watchers is about living and not dieting.

I also had my diabetes to contend with, so I made a point of testing my blood right in front of the truck. It was a good number. I got there a few minutes after the truck and already there was a long line. Word had spread (through Twitter and Facebook!) and there was already quite a line.

This was actually good because it gave us a chance to study the menu and ponder what we would pick. Although it wasn’t a super hard choice for me. I knew  I wanted Salted Caramel. Bethany picked S’mores. In the end I decided to buy one of each and bring them back to the office to share with my co-workers.  They’re not what you would call a partying bunch of folks so I knew it would be a big surprise.

Finally it was our turn. We were so excited! We got to meet CupKate herself, who not only is happy and cute (does she not have the world’s BEST JOB? Driving around selling cupcakes to people, and making them awesomely happy??), but she was wearing this adorable CupKates hoodie which I am now madly coveting.

We got our cupcakes and then went to sit in my building’s lobby to enjoy them. And ENJOY WE DID. First we gazed lovingly at each cupcake. We affirmed our personal choices and then we… ate them! (for the record, I ate half of mine, mostly because I was concerned re the sugar) They were…. AMAZING. DELICIOUS. MOIST. HEAVENLY. INCREDIBLE. Yeah. Definitely the best cupcake I had ever eaten. Totally worth the 4 points I’m assuming it was (for half the cupcake).

SO SO GOOD.

Happily, my blood sugar had started out so low, it stayed good even 45 minutes and 2 hours after the cupcake. So that was great. But I started getting reallllllllllllly hungry around 3pm. And I had no food. BOY did I want protein. But I had to go lead my WW meeting. Did not get out until almost 8, at which point I was not a happy camper, hungerwise. (note to self: carry protein!)

I went to the middle Eastern restaurant near my house. I got these ginormous plate of STUFF and immediately snarfed down the hard boiled egg and hummus. Then I picked at the salad and had a little triangle of pita and I was done.

So… the cupcake was fantastic. But it’s not what I would call lunch.

I’m so happy we did this. I really am. Because it was probably the most MINDFUL cupcake eating experience I ever had. I loved loved loved not feeling guilty about one crumb of it. I planned for it. (what I didn’t plan for so well was the rest of the day after that) I savored it. I loved it! And I am not worried that half a cupcake is going to send me over any edge. It didn’t. Happiness all around, yay for cupcakes and yay for us!!

 

piiiizzzzzzzzzaaaaa August 2, 2009

Filed under: emotions,food,Mindful Eating — Susan @ 8:48 pm
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Interesting day today, foodwise. I got up and did my 5k lake walk/run this morning, then went to my regular WW meeting (as a member, not leader). I thought that today MIGHT be the day I achieved “Lifetime” status (ie, maintaining goal weight for 6 weeks) but since I missed a week while at camp, it’s not till NEXT week. I weighed in at exactly the same weight as last week, so was happy that this low has carried  over. I was feeling good.

A few blocks away, there was a great street festival going on. I thought I’d stroll over there and check things out. It happened to be on the same street as this AWESOME bakery/pizza place. Not just regular pizza, but amazing gourmet pizza. I had not had this kind of pizza in months. MANY months. I wanted it. I thought, OKAY, it’s weigh-in day, you’re doing awesomely, you just did a 5k run/walk, it’s OKAY! I walked in.

There was a long line. For people who are trying to eat mindfully, long lines can be a good thing because they provide a nice pause, a “do you really want to do this?” pause. I stood in line for about five minutes. Then I walked out. I walked around the festival, checked out some great crafts, ran into some friends, chatted. I was walking back to my car and I walked back IN to the bakery. I reallllllllly wanted that pizza.

Guess what. They don’t make pizza on Sundays! :-(

I drove back to my own neighborhood where the farmers’ market was running. By this time I was getting SUPER hungry. I thought, I’ll get some nice roast chicken. (they have an awesome rotisserie on wheels there) But I did not want chicken. I wanted PIZZA. I distracted myself by wandering through the fruits and vegies, and tasting peaches and other good stuff. But pizzzzzzaaaaaaaaa was calling my name.

Luckily, there happens to be ANOTHER gourmet pizza place right next to the farmers’ market. I felt sort of weird going to this mecca of fresh produce, and eating… pizza.  I went in. The pizza smell knocked me out. I ordered a slice of vegi pizza (artichokes, olives, pesto). Sat down in front of the tomato-and-basil stand and.. Enjoyed. Every. Bite.

I was so happy to eat that pizza. And I didn’t feel guilty. And I didn’t feel sick! I just loved it. It was so delicious.

And it made me really happy, although it was interesting that it took me ALL DAY and circling around pizza places like a shark before I finally “succumbed.” I think yes, I should think seriously and not be impulsive about it, but yeah, I can enjoy a piece of pizza if I want. I’m not going to instantly gain 25 lbs or fall down any Slippery Slope.

So all these big food “taboos” are crashing down. Macaroni and cheese, brownies, and now pizza. It’s not the end of the world, or my health, if I sometimes choose to eat these things. Yay.

 

The Café Didn’t Change; I Did May 19, 2009

I work on a street that, for better and for worse, is lined with dozens of great restaurants, cafes and shops. I hardly ever bring my lunch to work because… well, because I am lazy. And it’s so easy to find great food just steps away from my office.

The closest place to my office is a very Zen-ish tea shop. I love their teas but in the past have hated their food. My co-worker and I have agreed that their food was “really bad.” But what it is, is very simple, unadorned, and HEALTHY food. It used to bore us to tears. Their soups are all based on some kind of vegetable broth. Their sandwiches seemed just… meh.  We would walk way out of our way to go to other places on the street, which when I think about it now, have soups that are filled with cream or cheese, and really decadent sandwiches.

Recently I was in a total rush for time and didn’t have time to be walking all over the place for food. I went to the tea shop and ordered a chicken salad sandwich.  I wasn’t expecting much. Now normally a chicken salad sandwich is pretty rich – gloppy with mayo, etc. But this sandwich was so different. First, it’s on very dense whole grain bread. Then, the chicken itself is dressed with probably 1/2 teaspoon of mayo, total, and some herbs. And it has about pound (okay, I exaggerate!) of dark leafy greens, and also has some sliced almonds and grapes thrown in.

It’s good. It’s sooooooo good.  And I am amazed at how delicious and clean and yummy and healthy this sandwich is. Months ago, I would have sneered and called it “bad food” because I was so used to eating food that was super rich and dense with fat. Now, I see their tomato lentil soup and I think how good that sounds. I call the other cafe and when they tell me about their super cheesy chowder, it just feels like… too much.

Neither place has changed their menu at all. But I have.

And now I’m so glad that my favorite lunch spot is only about 100 feet from my desk. :-)

 

The “Eat Without Guilt” Process April 27, 2009

I’ve referred to Dinneen Diette and her “Eat Without Guilt” approach before, but was never really able to articulate what her approach was exactly, or why it worked. She just wrote this article for her newsletter which pretty much sums it up. This is exactly what my problem was before, and exactly how it ended up changing, and pretty much exactly how I’ve experienced that past several months.  I’m sharing her article here because I really did not think, back in January, that any of this was possible. (my comments in red!) When she said that she ate brie and croissants, I felt like she had to be lying, but now… I get it. Thank you, Dinneen!

How a Shift Towards Food Can Create a Shift on the Scale
by Dinneen Diette

A few years ago I had a major shift in the way I thought about food and eating, and it has improved my health and waistline ever since.

In a snapshot, this is how I used to view food:

I associated unhealthy food with pleasure and healthy foods with pain. Yes!! Totally!!

You see, when I was eating healthy food, the whole time I’d be wishing I could be eating a hamburger and fries instead. I’d be thinking about how tasty and juicy it would be, and how THAT was what I wanted, not the salad. Exactly. Salad felt like the “healthy” but less wonderful choice.

And then I’d want some ice cream, and not some fruit for dessert. Yup!!

The Reward Factor

Think about it.  Often we ‘reward’ ourselves with something like chocolate or ice cream when we’ve ‘been good’ or ‘deserved a break’ where the salad feels like a punishment.  We think “I have to eat this salad to stay thin” and anything remotely guilty becomes something that’s a reward for being good.

We often learn this as children.  Remember your parents saying you could have the cake after you finished your dinner?  Or if you were quiet in the store Mom said she’d buy you a treat or take you to a burger place or to the ice cream shop? Not only do I remember this (over and over and over) as a child, I am also guilty of doing this as a parent. I’m sorry, girls. REALLY.

So even at a young age we learned that these foods were treats and something we got if we were “good.”

The Stress Factor

When I got older, after a busy day at work I’d come come tired and stressed and would reward myself with junk food, comfort food or a treat.  It was almost like a medication, I used it to make myself feel good.  Is this sounding familiar to anybody??

The Chore Factor

But this is a problem.  If you associate unhealthy foods with pleasure and healthy foods with pain, then eating right will always be difficult.  Mentally, you’re telling yourself that eating healthy food is a burden or chore, so what do you expect?  Eventually you will lose the battle as we all want to feel good. (emphasis mine)

The Pleasure Principle

When I lived in France, I saw how they took such pleasure in all foods.  Eating foods, even healthy ones, became something that I enjoyed, instead of dreading.

And there wasn’t a focus on good foods or bad foods.  They do eat a lot of healthy foods, but they look at them as something that nourishes and does the body good.  Things like sweets and desserts were looked upon as something to be enjoyed for a special occasion, like a dinner with friends.  Not something to be used to soothe. (again, my emphasis. What a concept!!!!!)

They don’t use food so much for comfort either.  It’s nourishment and something that gives us energy and vitality.

Shifting My Mindset Towards Food

So I slowly shifted my mindset.  The way I eat now is:

All foods are okay, but healthy foods make me FEEL better in the long-run.

I get pleasure out of all foods, even healthy ones.  And I don’t look at any food as punishment or pain anymore.

You see, once I started eating better and healthier foods, I started to feel better.  I remember one day I went to have a burger and fries (I wanted a taste of home!).  Though in the moment I felt good, afterwards I felt stuffed and uncomfortable.  Then all afternoon I was tired and not effective in getting any work done.  I just wanted to sit in front of the TV and do nothing.

And this would happen over and over.  I started to notice how these once pleasurable foods were making me feel like crap. I never noticed this BEFORE because I was *always* eating unhealthy foods, so I always felt like crap! and that felt normal.

So I slowly started to eat better and started to see that the healthy foods WERE actually making me feel better! AMAZING!!!

Same With Exercise

Just like exercise.  When you first start, it becomes such a drag. I can’t even describe how painful and dreaded exercise was – for YEARS – even when I had a trainer! It was soooo hard for me. Like you “have to” get out there and walk.  But then every week you find you can walk longer, then faster, and before you know it you start looking forward to the exercise (yes, that DOES happen). And that has finally, finally happened for me, too! Yay for endorphins!!! You find your body feeling better and enjoying it.  Often when people start to exercise regularly, they wonder why they didn’t do it earlier. The key word there is “regularly.” I don’t think I did it often enough to get any benefits before, just the aches of it.

Ditto for Food

Same with food.  The more I ate better, the better I felt.  So I started to gravitate towards the healthier foods as I knew it would give me energy and that extra boost to get through the day.  No longer did I have those afternoon crashes.  And I was so much more productive at work that I found myself having more free time.  YES!   YES! YES!! (well, I don’t know about the “free time” part…)

There’s Room for All

Now this doesn’t mean I never eat unhealthy foods.  I have found there’s a place for all foods in life.  It’s about how much and how often I eat them.  This is what I love about this approach. It is so… pleasurable and unpunishing and unjudgmental. As I know that healthier foods will make me feel better, I naturally turn to them more often. Yes!

So instead of using food to make you feel better, use it as a way to get energy and you’ll see dramatic changes in your health and waistline (and the scale!) over time.

Change your mindset, and you’ll start to see a shift….everywhere.  You said it, Dinneen. Thank you so so much.

© 2009, Dinneen Diette.  All Rights Reserved.

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Dinneen Diette is founder of  Eat Without Guilt.com, a speaker, and contributor to various online health & wellness magazines, newsletters and websites. She helps and guides you to attain the dream of a slimmer, sexier and healthier you! To receive her easy tips, action steps, how-to articles and Special Report for FREE, visit www.EatWithoutGuilt.com.

 

Because My Mouth Wants It March 19, 2009

I may have been a little overconfident with that St. Patrick’s Day post. Last night I realized that it’s easy to stop eating foods I don’t particularly like. But what if it’s food that I really, really like? That’s a different story.

Last night I had to go find dinner out because my daughter was at a school play and it was just wasting gas to drive allllllll the way home and back. Plus, the theater was about two blocks from the famed Gourmet Ghetto. It took me a while to decide where to eat but settled on Saul’s Deli, which I love but haven’t gone to in years.

I ordered the falafel platter, which was a yummy combo of baba ganouj, hummus, tabouleh, three crispy falafels and fresh, hot pita bread. Mmmmm!! My PLAN was to eat slowly, mindfully, in very small amounts. But I was hungry. Probably way too hungry. That didn’t help.

Then: everything was SO GOOD. There was nothing on that plate that wasn’t absolutely wonderful.

I tried to eat slowly. But I did pretty much have a death-grip on that fork. I tried to close my eyes and breathe and think of olive groves and sunshine. But you know, it all came down to, that food was so good. And I did not want the experience of having that yummy goodness to stop.

I tried mentally dividing up my plate. I tried many tricks. But it was really like trying to hold back the tide. I think I finally stopped when the plate had about 1/3 left.

That’s when I sorta noticed that I was full. REALLY full. I remembered one of the comments from an earlier post, and grabbed the sugar dispenser. I poured sugar over the last remaining falafel, the lovely puddle of hummus and tabouleh (the baba ganouj was GONE) and the nice warm pita. I pushed the plate away. The waitress came by, gave me a quizzical look and asked if I wanted a box to take it home. I shook my head. I was weirdly sad.

I was sad because I’d not been able to stop myself, slow down earlier, and I was sad because that lovely food was going away.

And I’m just beginning to see that this is no simple thing (ha).

 

Assessment: Two Months Today March 17, 2009

Two months ago today, on January 17th, I got my wake-up call and thus began my… what? My New Life? My Healthy Journey? I keep trying to think of how to describe it. I think I shall call it my Turnaround. Also Turnover. I began turning over all of my old habits, thoughts, fears, activities (and lack of) and really trying to examine what got me to that point. It’s been a very busy two months.

Here’s my little self-assessment after two months have passed. In the tradition of the maddening “narrative progress reports” that my kids used to bring home from school, because the poor little darlings were’t thought to have enough self esteem for letter grades:

What’s Going Well:

  • Well, I’ve actually lost 16 lbs! That’s no small potatoes. And I intend to keep going. I’ve been through a plateau or two, and a day or two of discouragement, but the trend is steadily downward. And that can’t help be encouraging.
  • I haven’t had a major bout of Emotional Eating since Jan 17th. I can’t even describe how shocked, incredulous and frankly moved I am by this. Previously I would not have thought this possible. I truly have found ways in which to ride out the emotions, write them out or talk them through. And they have passed. In the many times that I’ve dieted in the past, THIS part was never really addressed. So it’s huge. HUGE, I tell you.
  • I am pretty happy most hours of most days. Which I can say has not been true for YEARS. I mean, I used to have some happy moments in what were either “regular” blah or downright bad-feeling days. NOW, I have moments of absolute ECSTASY within days that are mostly happy or at least content, with little blasts of unhappiness now and then. I don’t know whether to attribute this to the endorphins from exercising, to the fact that it just feels comfortable and nicer to be smaller and fitter, or the fact that I am channeling my emotions properly rather than using food. Probably ALL of the above.
  • Most importantly, I think I am improving my health. I have been able to discontinue my blood pressure medication that I have been on for over five years. I think I’m going to have more improvements when I next see my doctor in April. I’m moving in the right direction.

What is Going Better But Could Be Improved:

  • Low-level anxiety that This Cannot Possibly Last.
  • Insecure in my new habits (this is echo of first point)
  • Probably too much focus on the scale

What Needs Major Improvement:

  • Eating breakfast. I’m getting tired of eggs, not wild about many other breakfast foods, etc. I KNOW it is the most important meal and that it jump starts your metabolism and all that! I really need to work on this one. I am going to experiment with eating lunchy/dinnerish foods in the morning and see if that helps any.
  • (more echo of point one) “Breakfast like a queen, lunch like a duchess and dinner like a pauper.” This is what I’ve read repeatedly but still dinner is THE MAIN EVENT around our house. I wonder how much it would help if I could actually implement this style of eating. We did eat like this in Latin America, where the main meal is at noon, then dinner was more like what we’d call a “snack.” And I did lose 26 lbs while living in Central America, but that was probably the hard labor and turista. :-)

Conclusion: All in all, things are going shockingly well. I have to say that I am cautiously optimistic. But nervous, you know, because I’ve never done this before.

 

The Zen of Eating March 16, 2009

After reading this article, I was inspired to buy the book The Zen of Eating by Ronna Kabatznik. I am really liking it a lot. I’ve been very attracted to Buddhism for a long time and this book just calmed me down and made me feel hopeful. I think that this is going to be very useful for me. A few passages from the book have already made me a little tearful, they resonate so much.

The Buddha defined suffering as a ravenous appetite to find peace and security in places where it can’t be found.

The nourishment that comes from being kind to yourself and to others is the kind of food that stays with you.

Some suffering is inevitable, and some is optional. This is an important distinction. A certain amount of sadness, loss and frustration are built into the framework of being alive. This is inevitable suffering. Optional suffering is within your control: it comes from your reaction to situations, inevitable or otherwise. Optional suffering is what you add on to whatever happens.

It’s good food for thought. (no pun intended) I also just decided to sign up for a beginning meditation class nearby, starting in April. I can’t help but believe that it will help me in this journey.

 

 
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