Sunday, July 6, 2008

If A Tree Falls in the Woods…

Friday, my husband and I went on a hike in our local state park. We chose a fairly steep and rugged trail and it had rained the night before so I was extra careful to not fall and hurt my knees. You know how I always worry about them. Anyway, it was a beautiful day – about 64 degrees and sunny – and the woods were alive with birds and chipmunks.

We stopped after 45 minutes and sat on an old fallen tree to eat. I had my backpack stuffed with lunch and water. For myself I packed a sandwich made with a whole-grain wrap and reduced-fat Swiss cheese, 1 tsp. reduced-fat Miracle Whip and spicy brown mustard (I’m all about condiments). Larry got a similar sandwich, only because he’s a carnivore, I added some turkey to his. But what’s a sandwich without tomatoes and lettuce? Hiking and eating outdoors is never an excuse to forget the veggies. In a separate bag I’d packed sliced tomatoes and red leaf lettuce because you don’t want to add it to a packed sandwich because it will cause the bread to sog.

I also packed nectarines, almonds and a couple of Hershey Kisses. It was a nice little picnic.

As we were eating and talking, we heard what sounded like a gun shot. At first I was mad.

“Who’s shooting a gun in the forest, for cryin’ out loud?” I said.

Then I got a little nervous.

“Wait. The question should be WHY is someone shooting a gun in the forest?” I said.

We were in the middle of nowhere, at least two miles from our car, with nothing more than a hard plastic water bottle to protect us from potential maniacs shooting hikers in the forest. Running into a bear didn’t scare me half as much as the thought of confronting someone with a gun.

We heard the noise again and then two seconds later, CRACK…CRACK…BOOM! The ground shook like we were having an earthquake.

“Holy CRAP, that was a tree!” I exclaimed.

We both laughed nervously and looked around. Although we didn’t see it, we knew it wasn’t a tiny little maple that fell to the forest floor. That sucker was big and old.

There are felled trees in every forest. They lay across hiking trails and we step or climb over them without any thought. They’re as much a part of the forest scenery as ferns and chipmunks and dead leaves. But they had to have fallen at some point in time. They didn’t just grow that way.

That’s kind of how it is with obesity. It’s like it’s engrained in our culture, as much a part of the scenery as traffic, buildings, plants and animals. But we weren’t born obese. How is that we grew that way?

My scale is up a little. Has been for about a month. Not much, just a few pounds, but enough that it has me re-examining my food intake. How did I get obese in the first place? By not paying attention to my body. This time, I’m listening. A few pounds may not seem like much, but if I excuse these two, what about the next two and the next two? No, I need to mindful NOW. To see the forest for the (felled) trees, as it were.

I’m glad we weren’t eating sliced tomatoes and lettuce sandwiches under that tree that fell last Friday. But it sure was a wake up call for me to stay vigilant in the woods. And about my body.
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Thought I'd share a photo of Larry and me from yesterday. Hope you all had a nice Fourth of July weekend!

5 comments:

  1. cute pic and great point.

    about listening to your body.
    living IN your body.

    it will tell you what to do...

    M.

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  2. Great picture, lynn!

    Sometimes I get tired of being so ever-vigilant, but it is comforting to know there are many others out there doing the same thing.

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  3. Nice analogy about the trees. Very true. You look really good.. and happy! Glad you enjoyed your day.

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  4. Cute analogy to weight maintenance, Lynn. If we gain a few pounds, I wish it sounded like the loud crack of a tree falling in the woods to help steer me back on plan!

    But funny how if we gain back 30, 50, or 100 lbs the same people who fawned over us for losing the weight say NOTHING about us gaining it back.

    All the more reason to remind us that it really is our own responsibility to listen to our bodies, and respond in a timely fashion to those tighter fitting waistlines!

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