Archives for category: weight loss secrets

My legs ache. I am contentedly fatigued from the effort of the weekend. Joyous effort. Heartfelt effort. Connected effort. The effort we make in life really matters; it’s how we get results. Well… I mean, sure, there’s “luck” of course. Good fortune puts a lot of folks on the path to one win or another, or general success in life, but let’s not kid ourselves about that; there’s a lot of effort that often isn’t seen, or shared. People – lots of people – go about the doing of things, often unnoticed by passers-by.

Sooner or later, however longingly I dream of hiking a particular trail, there’s no progress on making that a reality until boots hit the ground.

Start somewhere.

What’s your dream? Are you working on it?

What’s on your horizon? You are your own cartographer on this journey.

If you’re not working on your dream, realistically, how do you expect to achieve it? Pure intention? Casual assumption that gritting your teeth and firmly “manifesting” it will get you there? “The Universe” looking out for you… why? Someone’s going to hand it to you? Because you’re a great person? Seriously? So, I’m here with a short cut for you – and almost surefire not quite guaranteed path to success (your results will vary); make an effort. No kidding. Sucks, I know, right? Effort?? Like… actual work?

Are the obstacles you face truly as immediate and non-negotiable as you imagine them to be?

Our results are often closely correlated to the effort we make to attain them.

Whose advice are you taking? Sometimes the commandments we perceive as written in stone aren’t so permanent at all.

To put it in more practical terms…how many NFL players just happened to be spotted casually throwing a football around at some point in their life, having never played the game, and just happen to be so fucking fantastic that they are offered a deal on the spot? How many drivers are stopped at an intersection during their commute and offered an opportunity to compete in Formula One racing? One-time karaoke singers invited to perform at The Met? Let’s count carefully now…

…0. Probably. (I didn’t actually look all those scenarios up – if you find an example, I’d love the link to the narrative.)

The point is, if you want to be a professional football player, you’ll probably want to learn to play the game (as a starting point), and hey – maybe get really good at it. Most things work this way. You have to begin somewhere. Practice the thing. Become skilled. Go on to mastering the thing, or becoming in some fashion accomplished. Verbs. Effort. Action. Daydreaming doesn’t put pen to paper, brush to canvas, or a ball into the air.

Wherever it leads, the path we choose in life isn’t going to walk itself.

Hell, we don’t even get to rest on past glories for future successes; it is necessary to keep at it. Whatever it is. Effort. Fuck – I gotta say, that sounds like work. (It is.)

It isn’t always clear where a path leads, or how to reach a desired goal or destination in life. Sometimes talking about it helps.

I spent the weekend with my Traveling Partner. It was intensely connected and intimate, and we had deep conversations about things that feel important – emotional conversations that were not always easy, and could have wrecked a weekend, were we not the sort of partnership that thrives in an environment of authenticity and depth. I got in the car this morning, before dawn, to head back up the highway feeling refreshed, renewed, and filled with something more nuanced than inspiration, more powerful than motivation. I feel push-pulled back into a more verb-packed groove. I hope it lasts. (There will be verbs involved, and no doubt my results may vary.)

One more moment, one more opportunity, one more new beginning.

It’s a good day for a beginning. 🙂

Yesterday was lovely. Relaxed. Relaxing. Spent in a leisurely way on leisure activities, generally. Most of the weekend has been, actually. Each time something specifically not leisure got my attention, I put it to rest pretty firmly. I let my sleep cycle be whatever it was, too; naps are wonderful. Naps leading to long nights of delicious slumber are pretty spectacular, too. Any worries that my early morning weekday routine might get broken was “put to rest” (lol) this morning, when I woke, well-rested, at 2:47 am. Close enough to 3:00 am… and 3:00 am is close enough to 4:00 am. Today is the last day of my long weekend, and I woke quite naturally fairly close to the ludicrous early hour I typically wake. 😀 Splendid.

…Amusingly enough, I crashed hard last night sometime around 6:00 pm. I woke at 11:00 pm and considered getting up… instead, I went back to bad and slept deeply for several more hours. Hikes every day. Yoga. Taking up Qigong. Walking more. I’ve been putting in some time and attention on getting my activity level up where it needs to be to reach my fitness goals. Exerting the effort amounts to work, work leads to fatigue, fatigue requires rest, the need to rest results in feeling tired, which leads to sleep…and I do enjoy quality sleep. A weekend well spent. 😀

I have had opportunities to explore pretty much all the hours of the day over this weekend. Afternoon and mid-morning napping fairly reliably leads to wakefulness in the wee hours of morning, or late into the evening. I’ve spent them meditating, writing, reading… I’ve spent the hours of my days quite well. It’s lovely to look back on.

From my vantage point this morning, it feels I have gotten back on track on any number of little things that matter to me. I’m waiting on one more; I tinkered with my old Gear Fit2 fitness tracker and managed to bring it back to life. I woke this morning to a 100% charge on it (it hadn’t been taking a charge for a long while, then I forgot all about it in a drawer). Ah, but of course; updates. Well, shit. I’ve been looking at this 56% completed status for a while now… Will it? Won’t it? I try not to watch it. lol

Feeling “ready” to get back on track is a different place to be than yearning for it, or planning on it, or figuring I ought to do something about… something. Real readiness almost seems to handle business without any input from me; the inputs are implicit, and already exist, everything is down to verbs now. Readiness doesn’t hesitate over a fucking verb. 😉 I’m eager to see where this leads. Incremental change over time sometimes feels so slow. Mostly, actually. Painfully slow. Discouragingly slow. There are, though, occasional steps forward that feel a bit bigger – like suddenly lurching forward and finding oneself several steps ahead, upon returning to a more natural gait… or… like falling. Or jumping. Springing forward unexpectedly, and resuming the slow steady pace from a different starting point. It feels good, and in spite of hesitating to trust it and fully embrace it, it feels like real progress.

These are only feelings; there are still verbs involved. My results may still vary. My journey remains my own. My choices continue to matter.

I’ve still got to walk my own path.

56%? Shit. Still? Well… it’s more than half way. 🙂 As starting points go, it has promise. What if it’s just stuck and can’t go further? Well… I guess a factory reset, another attempt at the updates, and see where that takes me. Seems a good approach. Why would I give up entirely in the face of real progress, even when faced with a set back? Well… I wouldn’t. 🙂 I’ll most definitely be mildly frustrated if, after even that effort, my fitness tracker is no kidding just dead; it would mean shopping for another, and honestly, it’s a bad time for that – I just bought a car, and need to be very careful with money until I’m sure I’ve got my budget back on track. Wholesome adulting. I mean… the thing that brings a budget successfully to life isn’t the budget or the planning or the review of all the details and the careful documentation – it’s the choices I make that are rooted in that planning and decision-making. If I just do the planning and don’t live out the plan using my choices and actions? It’s just time spent on a spreadsheet, without any meaning. Busy work. The same thing that fails new year’s resolutions for most people is exactly the same thing that fails so many budgets; the simple failure to make those choices in the moment, in real life.

So many choices. So many verbs.

So much to “track” as an adult… so much to manage… so much to do… so much to care for and about… I am feeling particularly grateful to feel so well-rested. Small things stay small, freeing me to consider bigger things without any particular stress. 🙂

Then, there’s always technical support… sometimes, help is good to have. 🙂 After staring at “56%” for nearly an hour, through the entire process of waking for the day, making coffee, meditating, writing… I checked for online solutions. Read a support article. Noticing nothing seemed quite on point for the issue at hand occurred just at the same time that the Live Chat prompt popped on my screen. Sure. Why not? Precisely 7 minutes later… the update is completed. The device functions once more. 🙂 So basic: ask for help when you need help. 😀

Feeling good on a Monday; I feel very much that I’m “back on track”. If nothing else, I am, at least, back on tracker. 😉 It makes a great beginning.

I am relaxing over one final coffee for today. (More after this time of day reliably disturbs my sleep later on, so, generally, noon is my cut off for coffee unless I am planning to “make a night of it” for some event or activity.) I am feeling content and thoughtful.

I took my first Qigong class today. The main focus was on some basics: “four count breathing”, “horse stance”, and a very slow walking meditation. It was fun, comfortable, challenging without being frustrating, and “harder than it looks” to do quite correctly – which means room to grow and push myself. 🙂 It seems a good fit for my needs, generally. I’m pretty eager to make it a practice; that was sort of the entire point of undertaking today’s exploratory lesson, at all. 🙂

How is it I’m feeling sleepy? lol I also feel, generally, pretty well-rested.

Change is work. Sometimes it’s physical labor, sometimes just cognitive effort, but regardless; changing requires some verbs, and verbs require effort, and effort amounts to work. 🙂 We become what we practice, whether by force of will or happenstance. Each time I’ve undertaken some specific change, and followed through on my intentions with actual effort and commitment, doing so has changed me. We become what we practice. Our practices change our thinking, as well as our physical selves.

Where will your path take you?

I hear from my Traveling Partner, off somewhere or another, doing his thing, living his life, enjoying the day. I smile when I think about him. It’s a sunny day at the end of summer, neither hot nor cold, with a soft breeze that touches my skin quite gently. A good day for leisure, for contemplation, for gardening, for housekeeping, for errands, for exercise, for hiking, for napping… just generally a pleasant day. I finish off my coffee with an enthusiastic commitment to enjoy it fully.

…And now? Why, yet another beginning, most likely. I could begin laundry, or begin the dishwasher’s wash cycle, or begin tidying up the container garden for autumn, or begin studying a new language, or begin reading a new book, or begin work on a new canvas. I could also use this moment to resume something – a new beginning on existing endeavors is still a new beginning. There’s pretty nearly always some convenient way to step forward into a new moment, energized, renewed, and ready to move on with things, generally. This seems the sort of moment for it…

My coffee is finished. It’s time to begin again. 🙂

I don’t honestly feel at all like sleeping on the ground, or dealing with overnight chill, or having to use vault toilets or a hole in the ground… or… any of the things that go along with camping, really. Not this weekend. I do, however, very much feel like hiking a few miles alone with my thoughts. 🙂 It’s nice having the car. It’s nicer that it is my own, and of the sort far more appropriate to trail heads and rougher roads than the luxury sedan I’d been driving. (None of that diminishes my gratitude for having the use of my partner’s car for a year; I needed it, he was right.) The weekend is my own, and I’ll go where I please, travel the roads I like, and find the miles that suit me most to wander.

I sip my coffee and consider my rather lengthy list of hikes I’d like to take. I decide I’d rather not drive more than an hour this morning, having slept a bit later than I expected to, and also wanting to go to the Farmer’s Market this morning. My smile becomes a grin contemplating the luxury of being able, if I chose, to also just get in the car and drive down to my Traveling Partner’s location, and visit him there. Any time. There is nothing to stop me doing so, and no one to whom I must answer. That feels amazing. I sit with the feeling and the awareness awhile longer; I haven’t always truly had the freedom to be accountable primarily to myself, only, and it’s an intoxicating level of adult freedom.

This is a weekend of choices. One of those is that I chose to invest in my longer-term emotional and physical wellness by making this particular weekend mostly about self-care, also. Yesterday was spent advocating for important social issues as a citizen, and getting ample rest as a human being. Today? Today I want to get out into the trees, put some miles behind me, take some pictures, find some solitude and relief from the din and background noise of the world. Tomorrow, too. Even Monday (after my first Qigong class, fairly early in the morning). Something about the car I’d been driving was keeping me from hiking in some subtle way. (I think perhaps my reluctance to leave a largish luxury car parked at a trailhead and at risk of break-ins, when it wasn’t even my own car, was a bit of baggage I didn’t manage well.) The Mazda fairly begs to be left-along-the-side-of-the-road-back-soon-I-promise at every trail head I spot on every drive I take. lol I literally want to just park it, however abruptly, hop out and walk down each unexpected mystery trail just to see where they lead. 😀 This bodes well for future fitness, and I’m not inclined to fight it – I just want to get out there, and explore the world on foot, with a significant lack of human companionship.

New beginnings aren’t just an assortment of lovely sunrises, or yet another work shift, or one more morning waking from one more night of sleep; there are opportunities here for growth, change, and transcendence. These are chances to work through past pain, to set down more baggage and walk on – both metaphorically, and for real. What was yesterday about? Can I do better today? What choices does that take? How does this particular morning hold the potential to see me become more the person I most want to be at the end of this particular day? It’s a process filled with verbs, and my results vary. Still, I get as many chances to begin again as there are sunrises – or moments. There are choices involved.

I’m ready. It’s time to grab a map. 🙂

What’s leaning on you? What are you doing to get some relief? (It’s just a question.)

This morning I woke so slowly and so deliciously at ease that I didn’t really notice the transition from dreaming to thinking, from sleeping to waking; I simply realized at some point that I was, indeed, actually awake, and had been for some unnoticed, unmeasured time. I got up with more than usual ease and freedom of movement, too. I moved gently through the usual details of mornings: a shower, yoga, that first delicious hot cup of coffee, and catching up on the world a bit.

I feel… “relieved”.

I followed up with meditation, sitting contentedly in the open patio doorway, gazing out into the trees and my small container garden, as a soft rain fell. It’s hard to imagine a more delightfully contented moment.

I enjoy the soft rain after the scorching days of summer.

Much of the day, today, is being spent writing letters and calling legislators about issues that matter to me, mostly labor and wage stuff, quality of life concerns, universal healthcare, and judicial reform. I take some time for me, too; this right here and now me, the woman in the mirror – I’ve got some needs of my own, that are on my mind (wellness and quality of life concerns). I check out a Tai Chi studio online… I plan my weekend hikes.

Sometimes it is hard to really relax and completely recharge with just two days of weekend. This weekend I’ve got 4 days to work with. It’s quite wonderful.

I take a sip of what is left of my now cold coffee. There’s definitely time to enjoy another cup. I smile at the thought of my sparkling clean kitchen, and think happy thoughts about how supportive and helpful my Traveling Partner is, and how wonderful love is, just generally. Having a little help now and then can make so much difference! I remind myself gently that it is also helpful to ask for it when I need it, instead of letting myself fall behind.

Self-care takes a lot of forms. Like yoga, dance, flow practices, or martial arts, self-care has so many varied forms and combinations of supportive practices, it would seem possible that any one of us could assemble a system of practices that work ideally well for this one particular singular unique human primate that we are… It’s a damned big menu, though, and the variety itself can overwhelm and confuse. One thing at a time then? Why not? Pick up a practice. Practice it “awhile” – days, weeks, months, whatever it takes to determine with reliable certainty whether it is “for you” – let it go, if it isn’t. Keep it up, if it is. Either way, there’s no avoiding those verbs. We become what we practice. Incremental change over time can be so damned slow, but… it does happen. With practice. With repetition. With study. Each day a new beginning, and ample opportunity to fail, to be mistaken, to get it wrong, to re-do something, to try again – to become the human being we most want to be.

There are no short cuts.

It’s time. Make the most of the opportunity. ❤