Monday, August 22, 2011

The Here & Now


I’m in a new world with all this school, dating and perimenopause going on in my life. These changes are exciting (well, maybe not the menopause part) and I’m keeping up the best I can, but sometimes a girl just needs a day completely alone.

So today I sequestered myself with myself. I got up later than usual and made coffee and drank it in bed and played WordTwist on Facebook. I put on my biking clothes and went on a 17-mile ride. I went to WalMart and bought fruit, a travel hair dryer and dental floss. When I got home, I didn’t shower because I wanted to shave my legs in a hot bath drinking a glass of wine and listening to iTunes and I couldn’t do that at 2 in the afternoon. So sweaty me ate a salad and then made bean burgers to freeze and veggie soup to freeze and roasted a squash that tomorrow will turn into this soup: http://www.joybauer.com/healthy-recipes/butternut-squash-soup-3.aspx.

Between cooking and bathing, I talked to my brother Marty for an hour, as we do every day, and he – as he always does – floored me with his optimism, despite the fact that his life did a complete 180 on June 23.

“I can either complain and be angry and make everyone around me miserable, or I can say, ‘This is the way things are right now,’” he told me. “Don’t get me wrong. I’m not enamored with my situation. I don’t wake up and say, ‘Yahoo!’, but I am thankful for the fact that things aren’t worse.”

Coming to terms with the way things are is NOT easy. We all change and morph and grow and recede. We gain and lose and learn or not learn. When I’m paying attention – where I learn about the changes and morphing – I’m in the center of myself. And whether I “get it” is determined on how much time I spend in that center. I find that when I’m most centered, I’m most mindful of my weight and my continued maintenance goal, something that is extremely important to me. But when I get caught up in the every-day craziness, I’m not always successful. That’s why I’m humbled by people like my brother who – while I wish his circumstances were different, believe me – emulate the way I’d like to view life: through that lens of here and now.

I know it’s not always easy. Jobs, family, personal obligations take up so much of our time. But do you set aside time for yourself? And if so, how does that affect your weight loss/maintenance goals?

9 comments:

Ivana said...

A few years ago I started a little ritual that helps to center me, and live more in the present. As I lay in bed, just before I fall asleep, I think over my day, and come up with a mental list of what I have to be grateful for.

With practice, this list only gets longer. And live only gets richer.

debby said...

Yep, living alone, I'm pretty good at setting aside time for myself. Now, giving myself permission to DO EXACTLY WHAT I WANT (or don't want) to do is another thing. I have to work at that a little.

When I am home all day I do the very best with my food choices. All good stuff and usually in complete control. When I have to go out in the world is when I get a little off track.

Fatoutofskinny said...

I like to read your blog. You always make me think.......and for that I'm grateful.

-Maura said...

I do attribute part of my success when I did successfully maintain my weight loss to daily rituals to help center myself. Time for those rituals went the wayside and I attribute not doing them as part of why I've successfully gained wait. Sometimes we don't want success. :)

it's just me said...

Hey there ---
Looooooog time reader, first time commenter.

This post is timely for me, as I am listening to E. Tolle's "The Power of Now" on my 6:00 AM walks. Have you read it? I'd read it several years ago, but listening to it on my ipod is much more compelling, I think.

Listening to him read his book to me before the sun fully comes up each day has been lovely. Maybe it's the timing, or maybe it's like a "refresher course", but I'm getting so much more out of it. This morning, I was on the part about "feeling yourself", which is, to me, the "I'm at my center" consciousness I think you are talking about. It's such a good feeling.

Lynn said...

Ivana, I used to keep a gratitude journal. It may be time to take that up again.

Debby, believe me, going to Minnesota next week (going out in the world away from my home) will throw me off track, but I am already working on strategies to stay mindful.

Fatoutofskinny and it's just me, thank you :)

Maura, yes, sometimes success is so demanding we don't want it anymore. But then, when it's gone, we want it back, no?

Jane Cartelli said...

I had to learn to make my time with myself sacrosanct. I have a ritual that is mine everyday. I do not permit outside forces to change it short of natural disasters and the house catching fire.
When I comes to food, the more chaos that is going on, the more simple my food plan must become. I cannot balance crazy life with intricate meals on the same day. Thankfully I have enough simple go-to meals in my bag of tricks that I do not have to make myself crazy. I just have to acknowledge and accept when the chaos is in play and then keep it simple.

Mandy said...

Living in the here and now is something I'm always striving for, but it (more often than not) seems to get away from me. I'm thinking about things I wish I had done better or worrying about how things will be tomorrow.

Of those times that I'm able to say "tomorrow will take care of itself," I start to think, "oh, I need to keep remembering that in the future!" Which, of course, isn't thinking in the here and now!

I'll practice...right now :)

Ann said...

Lynn, many thanks for the effort you make to blog here. It is much appreciated.

Others' comments here about the benefits of "keeping food simple" when everything else is not simple resonate with me.

I'm at the beginning of a weight loss program -- twelve pounds lost in six weeks. And I'm exercising regularly for the first time in years. Crappy knees, so I walk three time a day to get the exercise calories up. It's working. I feel better than I have in years.

I'm not an idiot -- I know I'm at the beginning of a long, long journey. But it looks like it could be a long, good journey with good, smart friends.

Thank you all.

Ann