My Friendemy the Scale



Yep, I’m back to working on my weight. In the last couple of weeks, several friends have had problems related by conditions related to theirs. If any good is coming out of it, it will be that I’m drawing inspiration from their troubles.

Which is a polite way of saying that their experiences are The Mystery’s foot in my butt about deleting some pounds. I’m taking the hint and making changes.

The first one: I bought a scale last week. It’s a bit on the fancy side. The scale records weight and BMI readings for up to four people. Last week’s weigh-in wasn’t pretty, but at least the number was lower than at the start of the Weight Watchers disaster a couple of years ago. For that, I’m grateful. Sort of.

Some people feel that it’s better to go by how your clothes feel. In theory, yes. In practice for me, it’s been more like the icky, cruel story about the frog in the water that gets gradually heated used as a metaphor for getting lulled into compliance. It’s how I’ve convinced myself  in the past that I could wear jeans two sizes too small by rationalizing that it’s just water retention. Can’t do that anymore.

I also know that the numbers have squat to do with my worth as a human being. I need the objective information so I can see my progress. No more, no less.

Onto the second change: I downloaded an app to help with tracking food and exercise. It’s easy to use and calculates what your daily caloric intake should be based on starting weight, age, height, and goal weight. Personally, I think it’s nuts. It wants me to eat an amount of calories that seems more suitable for a professional athlete than for a sedentary middle aged woman who never had much of a metabolism in the first place.

The third: I need a lot more plain water. Heaven She knows I loves my iced tea and coffee. However, the caffeine is impacting my adrenals and throwing me off balance.

The fourth: I need to modify exercise. I walk Oakley for about an hour a day total. Well, it’s more like walk, sniff this, stand in front of me to protect me from a butterfly, take a few steps and repeat. The pace of a dog walk versus the pace of a walk to lose weight are very different. I will investigate YouTube videos for options and start using the dance DVDs already in my possession.

At this stage of the game, it’s about staying as healthy as I can for as long as I can. I have some nasty stuff running in my family (heart disease for both parent and Dad was type 2 diabetic). Dad also had arthritis in his knees and spine. I’ve started having cracking and creaking in my right knee. No, thank you.

I know I will never be a size two. Between age and genetic makeup, that ain’t gonna happen. As the tag line for the diet company ad said some years ago, I’m going for a size healthy.

Hibernation Protocol

The air temps are bad enough, crawling up into the single digits and hanging there by their fingernails. We are in expectation of below-zero wind chills tonight. We have been rewarded for the last two winters with a rather mild one this year. The contrast intensified the shock of not uncommon weather for mid-January.

We follow hibernation protocol today with DVDs, hot beverages for me and lots of nose work to amuse and delight Oakley. Except for short runs in the yard for hygienic purposes, we are staying inside.

The big challenge: not letting my impulsiveness lead me down the path of ruin. I found a new strategy in a weight loss article posted on the Additude website: plan your meals and snacks out in advance. That way, you can override the part of your brain that looks at options for meals, gets overwhelmed, and drags you down Binge Alley. I tried it yesterday and it worked pretty well. Today began with oatmeal for breakfast. Lunch will be soup and salad. I scored a small turkey roast at Woodman’s on Thursday, so that and veggies will be dinner. For snacks, I have Kind (chocolate-nut) bars and veggies to munch. Perhaps a small bowl of popcorn to delight the palate this afternoon, but only if I get hungry. Oakley will have an extra Kong stuffed with spray cheese and pumpkin.

This morning, I did a Latin dance workout that I found on YouTube–about 15 minutes, but pretty vigorous. I’ll see if I have some coloring sheets in my work basket; otherwise I’ll run off a few fresh ones.

I should be able to keep myself busy today. The warm up creeps in tomorrow. No precipitation expected until late in the week. It’s just for the day, not forever. We’ll get through just fine.


Practicing Radical Acceptance: The Monday Edition

Letting go of fighting reality and accepting that it is what it is…that’s the definition of radical acceptance. It doesn’t mean that you have to like the situation. It just means that you accept it without judgement, feel your anger, sorrow, and make peace with the situation so that you don’t waste energy with forcing change for the unchangeable.  You breathe, half-smile, and keep going. 

Today’s lessons:

  • I can’t do anything about the situation that my friend whom I wrote about yesterday is in without stirring up legal or karmic trouble for myself. I acknowledge that I am p.o.’d about the whole deal, but can’t do anything about it.
  • My sister-in-law is in the hospital due to a reaction from a drug given during a routine screening procedure. I can’t change how her body reacted, nor can I slug the doctor, tempting as it is. I can choose not to under go that screening myself, and will get some incense going for her later. 
  • The daily hour of walking is enough exercise for Oakley, but not so much for me. His Pyr lineage means that he gets along with less exercise than Orion did. Pyrs were bred to watch over flocks from elevated places such as rocks or even trees. Brittanys were bred to flush and retrieve game. Until the last couple of weeks of his life, Orion could easily drag me around our local state park for two hours a day, digging holes in the back yard and reading the riot act to the feral cats in between. A half hour nap and he was ready to go again. 

So today, I accepted that I can’t change my friend’s situation, nor my sister-in-law’s illness. Even though Oaks does have a few drops of Brittany in there, he has the heart and soul of his Pyr ancestors. I accepted that, and will refrain from stressing and guilt tripping myself about his lack of interest in long walks.

I worked out to a Bollywood-style dance video, then walked Oaks for about half an hour. We’ll walk if the weather cooperates a little later. But we are both a lot happier tonight. 



The Same Old New Thing

In 2014, I resolve to become one with the sofa, eat all the white carbs I can wrap my jaws around, and sit on my hands regarding the environment and social issues. When I try the opposite, my not insubstantial rebellious streak leads me into doing the above. So we’ll see what happens if I resolve to do the opposite.

Seriously, I prefer “intentions” to “resolutions.” Less militaristic. I do intend to restart my yoga practice and shed the “grief-bacon (closest translation to stress weight in German)” caused by the passages of Orion and my mother-in-law. I do intend to find what works nutritionally for my body as it is at this time of my life. I never had much of a metabolism to begin with, and now that I’m at the Certain Age mark, we’ll have to se what works. It’s not about getting into a bikini; it’s about staving off heart disease and diabetes at this stage of the game.

It’s tough to make adjustments during the winter. This week, we’ve been plagued by snow exacerbated by proximity to Lake Michigan, which spins any weather front into a comma-shaped burst of wind and sharp-pointed ground blizzards. We’ve had to juggle around it, work with it, dance with it. 

The other challenge is keeping Oakley moving. The wind chills warrant an extra day of day care; otherwise, lots of nosework and rally obedience homework are in order. 

So we make the best choices that we can based on what we have available. I think we’re going to choose a nap this afternoon.