Archives for posts with tag: weight loss

I woke early this morning, but refreshed and rested. I started the morning with meditation and a longer than usual hot shower. I am thinking about a particularly personal ‘math problem’ this morning, while I wait for hot water to become coffee. I am, in fact, thinking about a ‘math problem’ a lot of people deal with, in a lot of different ways, and hoping that being in this healthier place puts me on the path to a healthier solution. I am heavier than I’d like to be, and it affects my health, my fitness, my comfort with myself, my comfort with my appearance, and silly small things like whether or not my favorite jeans fit. (Wake up call: they do not.)

I moved into Number 27 as a size 14. I’m a size 16 now – and I’ve been much bigger in years past – and much smaller in years still further in the past than that. I’m kind enough to myself these days to refrain from tearing myself down over gaining some weight, but I’m also done making any sort of excuses about it, because that’s not one of the steps on the path to meeting my fitness goals, or taking care of me. It’s honestly not a complicated process to lose the weight; I need far fewer calories than I am consuming, and consuming fewer calories, over time, will result in weight loss. Boom! Math homework finished! Now on to the biology, and physics of the thing – which require verbs – and the psychology of it, too (yes, still more verbs). Actual self-restraint, actual commitment to practices being practiced, and following a plan, a path, and making that journey… Sounds so easy as words  on a page… It’s still pretty simple stuff in the abstract, but whole industries exist because humans are poor at these simple practices, and good at reaching for shortcuts.

After my long hot shower I resumed a practice I had dropped without noticing, one I find helpful with regard to maintaining a healthy weight; I spent time looking at my body. Not berating myself for being fat, no criticism, no hostility, I just took a few minutes to really see myself – curves, fat, lines, silhouette, shape, where things are tighter, where things still sag from losing weight over time – just a few very real minutes, while also acknowledging how well this body serves me, and how much I have put it through over the years. I run my hands over curves that please me most, and those that please me least. I make a point of being grateful for how much I get done in this body, and how far I have come with it – in some cases, real mileage, on feet. I take time to ensure I feel loved by the woman in the mirror – and she feels loved by me. (No, we’re not separate people; it’s allegorical of the mind-body separation we so often seem to experience, that’s all.)

I’ve missed the day-to-day encouragement and reinforcement I got living with my traveling partner; when we met we were both working very hard to get fit and lose some weight, and it was a joy to share that journey, because we treat each other well, and with consideration and respect. We took time every day to notice progress and offer loving encouragement, and compliment each other’s physical beauty as we experienced it; encouragement is a far less damaging form of motivation than criticism. I do miss that, but it doesn’t make sense to let the pounds pile up waiting for more. So, before a size 16 becomes a size 18, it seems worthy to stop waiting around and grab some verbs.

I’m eating too much for the effort I exert day-to-day. I’m gaining weight so that’s a given. “Eat less and exercise.” There it is – the one sure fire path to weight loss. Fitness requires a bit more – and by fitness I don’t mean ‘big muscles’ or ‘super lean’ or ‘ready for a marathon’; any of those things may require fitness, but fitness does not require that those things be among my goals. 🙂  ‘Fitness‘ for the purposes of my discussion here means being at a comfortable healthy weight at which my pain is more easily managed, I feel good, am not prone to weight-related health concerns, I fit in my clothes well, breath and move more easily, and am likely to reach or exceed my maximum actuarial lifespan without suffering from diet/poor nutrition-related ailments. So. More simply? In good health and feeling comfortable with my appearance. There’s no one ‘right’ answer to that math problem.  A good starting point is basic good nutrition.

I am fortunate that I was quite slim for many years, and have a good idea what that looks like on me, and at what weight, and other sizes in between; for now I am shooting for getting my weight below 150 lbs, and being quite comfortable in a size 12. Some of you will read that and think I am not being sufficiently ambitious – others may find that to be a pretty aggressive goal – I am, myself, hoping to get there by my birthday in June. It’s achievable – but it’s also quite fail-able; there are verbs involved, and some practices, a lot of commitment, and the will to begin again is likely going to be necessary at several points – almost a certainty because I am approaching this endeavor during the holiday season. lol (Did you wonder sooner why I’m not waiting until the new year to start on this? Because life isn’t going to wait with me; I’d keep gaining weight and have to start from an even less comfortable place with myself!)

I am sipping my coffee black, and appreciating the awareness that there is presently no cream, no half-n-half, and no whipping cream on hand; it’s back to black coffee not only in the mornings (when I always drink it black these days) but also when I am enjoying a coffee in the evening (when I often add cream to my decaf…because it’s decaf). It’ll be awhile before that treat turns up in the fridge again. lol It’s those small things – and being consistent with them – that works best for me. My injury is a hurdle here, and saying ‘no’ to food-related impulses requires something more, for me – it requires mindfulness. I allow myself a moment of good-natured humor at myself on this one, and pause to appreciate how many lovely creamy coffee beverages I have enjoyed ever so mindfully…after quickly skipping past the moment of mindfulness that would have halted me having it at all, because it was more than I really needed, from the perspective of calories (and sufficiency). Oh, hell yes this path is strewn with debris to step over and around – and life always has more curriculum ready. lol I am still a student, and clearly on this one I need to begin again. Again. 🙂

So it’s back to some basics that ease this process for me; simple morning calories (a small serving of yogurt with a handful of nuts – measured – or oatmeal, similarly portioned out with great care), and no letting myself skip breakfast – the consistency is helpful for me, and also manages my blood sugar more efficiently. This small detail is important – and complicated by not being able to have food for about an hour after my morning medication. Mindfulness really matters. (Setting an alarm as a reminder helps, too.) Measured calories from that point each day, focusing on whole healthy foods, limiting dairy and sugar, and serving with a generous helping of mindfulness, even encouraging myself to stop eating sooner and avoiding the sensation of ‘feeling full’. It gets harder in the evening, after work. I find myself relaxing and munching more often than is healthy for the amount of physical work I do each day. There’s really only one answer to this one for me, generally; “no”. Mindfulness is the win here, too; being awake and aware and able to refrain from taking that next step to the kitchen takes practice, mindful practice, committed practice, and a connection between this moment now, and the actions needed to meet my needs over time. So…still easier on paper, and as a thought-exercise, than in practice…which requires practice. 🙂

Time isn't waiting for me on this one. :-)

Time isn’t waiting for me on this one. 🙂

Today is a good day to begin again. Today is a good day to love the woman in the mirror, at any weight. Today is a good day to be real – and be okay with reality, too. Today is a good day to walk another mile in my own shoes, and enjoy the journey; it has no destination other than to take the damned journey. 😀 I’m ready to walk on.

 

It’s been an interesting few days since my homecoming. Having returned home feeling focused, committed to specific goals, clear-headed and purposeful, serene and balanced, I was unsurprised to walk into an emotional hurricane at home; we are all having our own experience. We’re human, we have emotions, and life serves up hearty helpings of what drives them. They are no more unexpected than a hurricane, and nearly always visible on the horizon.  I’ve been in real hurricanes. Generally, savvy folks don’t stand around stunned letting everything around them go to hell, and they don’t seem unaware that there is gale force wind blowing them off course, or torrential rain on their parade.

So, I face the hurricane myself, moved by the experiences of others, aware of the destructive potential of the chaos, and not discouraged from my own goals or from seeing to my own needs. I am experienced with the weather we were having. lol.  I would find value in some sort of vast check list of experiences and circumstances that were once entirely outside my ability to endure, withstand, negotiate, enjoy, manage, cherish… and as each such occurs anew and I face it, experience it, with new tools, I could check it off the list. I like checking things off lists, actually. It gives me a sense of progress.

I’d still love to be able to share more about my beach experience and certain other bits and pieces; there is a lot of amazing stuff going on in my life as an individual, and I’m often frustrated that I lack the skills to really share them with my loves.  If I gave myself a chance at it, I could wallow in disappointment and discontent when I find that some wonderful bit of wonder ends up disregarded in favor of OPD.   Still, everyday life manages to keep my brain busy, my heart alive, and my calendar full.  Even what hurts or feels uncomfortable or seems inexplicable, is stuff to study, and to which I can bring mindfulness, and new practices very much worth practicing.  I am a student of life, not just visiting or passing through.

One view of the horizon.

One view of the horizon.

One very small thing I considered over the weekend at the beach was my health and fitness. What now seems a very long time ago I was much heavier than I wanted to be, and heavier than what feels comfortable on my frame. My weight was contributing to health problems, and even I could see that. It was also a significant driver of personal discontent and feelings of unworthiness.  I took matters in hand – and it’s an entirely other story than what I’m really on about this morning – and I dropped a lot of weight in a year.  It has stayed off. I’m much fitter, and healthier – but I haven’t reached my goal, and I’m still heavier than would be ideally healthy, and my fitness could still use improvement. I could moan about my weight loss progress being stalled for two years and launch a barrage of small contributing factors, but seriously? I wasn’t as committed as I needed to be to reach the goal I had set for myself.  I am accepted and loved by those who accept and love me, and mostly not very aware of haters moment-to-moment, and it was pretty easy to slow it down, relax, and lose focus. It doesn’t require more analysis than that. 🙂

I needed time to reflect.

I needed time to reflect.

So, I recommitted to my goal, with some study, and some celebration and waving good-bye to unhealthy favorite treats that had crept in over time to become pretty frequent. I took note that even a small glass of white wine with a meal didn’t treat me well emotionally or physically, and decided feeling good and being healthy is more important than wine with a meal – ever – and gave that up. I wasn’t exactly ‘a drinker’ at this point in my life, but I decided to give it up completely – although I’m not bragging or being smug about it, it’s just that it wasn’t hard to choose to give up empty calories (wine, gummy candies, sweets made primarily of butter, sugar, and flour) to keep my health.  It is, however, a choice. There’s a verb in there. Actions are involved and I am already taking them; strict about my caloric intake, the nutritive qualities of the food I eat, the amount and type of exercise I get each day.  I probably won’t say much about it day-to-day; this blog isn’t a diet, weight-loss, or fitness blog. For me the more important item is the goal>choice>action>outcome piece. There are always details, ups and downs, challenges to face, but generally it really is as simple has being sufficiently committed to a goal to enact the required verbs to reach it.  I’m wondering what will be different bringing mindfulness into the mix. Am I full of shit? I’ll check in, in September, and let you know. 😉

Planning to stay on course.

Planning to stay on course.

Other small things, well – small for the world, they loom large in my experience. Spring continues to unfold.  It’s lovely to see, and I enjoy the scents of spring without the agony of allergies; I make a point to be specifically mindfully grateful about it. Love, too, unfolds and grows and shows new facets of intimacy, connection, and delight. I still feel a moment of awkward discomfort when I’m aware of how dependent that has turned out to be on connecting with myself, treating my own heart well, and being intimate with my own emotional experience. The discomfort always passes, and the joy and contentment and deep meaningful connections that are within reach are certainly worth learning to accept how utterly necessary it is to nurture myself and treat myself well and with loving kindness.

Where the river meets the sea.

Where the river meets the sea.

I thought I had more to say. Since it isn’t about a word count… well, enjoy Thursday! It’s a good day to love and be loved. It’s a good day to be considerate and to be kind. It’s a good day to change the world.

So much horizon...

So much horizon…