Saturday, September 19, 2009

pressure from weekends and random observations

I feel this enormous pressure to do the right things on weekends. There are so many things that could be done but I like a balance of relaxing and working. Emphasis on relaxing. I'd like to get the garden cleaned out because they pick up the stuff on October 5th but I don't want to do it today because it's going to be too hot. You can see how this gets complicated.

I went to the Pulse this morning. When I walk on the treadmill, I don't always have control of what, if anything is on television. Most people don't like TLC and Clean Sweep like I do so if they get their first, we watch CNN or Fox News, which I loathe. I discovered today that if I keep my iPod headphones on and turn the music up loud, I can make up stories for the pictures on the news. It makes it much less painful to watch. Same thing with sports. Who would watch ESPN, seriously? They should have a network devoted to poetry, right Bob?

I have been frustrated with all the meetings I have to attend this year. Then it dawned on me yesterday that this is my job now, going to meetings, and suddenly I felt much better.

A few weight loss observations: As I get closer to my goal, I have been thinking about two seemingly contradictory ideas: being vigilant always about food and exercise…and letting go.

I had a conversation with Deb who has lost weight with the help of some competition with another friend. After two years, she has maintained well and her competitor has had a little more trouble with regain. They wondered if they had “lost their edge”...and I wondered if “losing the edge” is a good thing. Isn’t it important at some point, to go back to normal living? I don’t mean to stop being vigilant about food and exercise, but to stop carrying around the binder full of weight loss records and recipes.

I carried that binder every day, everywhere I went for the first 8 months. I felt like I needed the constant reminder, I needed to write down what I ate right after I ate it, I needed records of water intake, exercise, calories, appointments, etc. It got to be a lot to lug around. Finally, the therapist I have seen since I started this process, suggested that I leave the binder on a shelf and start living my life.

Now the binder is on the shelf at home as I make my way toward a healthy weight and maintenance. I’ve spent so much of my life on the white knuckle flight of diets…hanging on for dear life until the last day when I would abandon all the rules and eventually regain all the weight. I don’t want to do that, of course, but I don’t want to spend my life in a constant state of fear and anxiety either.

I think my resolution to this problem is to find a place in my head where I can balance the vigilance about food and exercise with letting go and feeling free. When I exercise, I'm trying to enjoy the moment instead of striving so hard for faster, longer, more reps, more weight. When I eat, I'm trying to enjoy the flavors and amounts I can eat instead of agonizing over what I can’t or shouldn’t eat. It’s almost like meditating throughout the day, appreciating the trees and forgetting about the forest.

There you go. Happy Saturday.

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