Today I’m doing something I’ve never done before. Stephen R. Covey’s quote, “Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results,” comes to mind. So I’m stepping out in sanity today, and signing up for a weight loss contest. Sponsored locally, everyone puts $60 in a kitty (no small commitment for me) to join and we meet on Mondays for a 1/2 hour at dinnertime for 12 weeks. At the end of that time, the five biggest “losers” split the kitty, last year getting $250 each. I need some support for losing weight and I need to meet some new people locally, so I’m going to give this a try. However, my diet strategy is going to be different than most.
I don’t think I really have a problem with food, even though I had several truffles yesterday just to spite myself in advance of this step today. I actually eat very little and it is generally wholesome and healthy. You’ve seen my food here, and it will pretty much remain the same but I would like to infuse it with more variety and make more effort on learning some new recipes especially with vegetables, which will take some time. I am not cutting out any categories of food, which I feel would make me manically crave those things instantly. I refuse to focus on what I’m avoiding, but instead want focus on what I’m embracing. I truly do believe what I wrote on my New Year’s Article about working out from perfection instead of up to it (see here.) So I’m just planning on strictly eating within my ideal for how I want to eat always. I define that to myself right now as, wholesome, organic, natural, balanced, moderate, fresh, interesting, beautiful, colorful, flavorful, diverse, unprocessed, protein-sufficient, and enriched by lots of fruit, vegetables and water. I’ll not count calories, or write down what I eat. I’m going to simply cook and eat what my version of soul-food is.
What needs to be really different is my level of physical activity. My walks are more like thoughtful meanders. I haven’t sweat in years, except maybe lounging at the beach in the hot sun. I truly think my ideal would be much more physically active than I am. I imagine myself vigorously outpacing my grown grandchildren, leaving them breathless to catch up, but I’m no where close to that. I don’t kid myself that I’ll get there in these twelve weeks, but want to make a change for new habits that will put me there. The same Stephen Covey says it takes three weeks to train up a habit, so I’m thinking these twelve weeks might be the catalysis I need. Right now, exercise doesn’t even occur to me let alone get either scheduled or executed. I want it to not only happen but to be enthusiastic about it, to enjoy it and look forward to it. Somehow I already embody that ideal, it just has been deeply dormant, needing to be awakened and regularly expressed.
I’ve focused so long on spirituality that I don’t really identify myself as a physical body. Through this new effort, I want to continue to progress spiritually instead of regressing back into lower thinking about myself. All the things I’m discussing embracing with more consciousness are actually spiritual ideas, not mortal health laws. Both food and exercise have a lot of spiritual aspects. I have thought through the food ones more than those related to exercise, so I’ll be boning up on the later. Movement is the opposite of stagnation after all, so it is certainly something I desire! I also think spiritually the idea of excess weight connects with the topics of burden and clutter. I will be working to dispense with both of these in my life. Especially the challenge of clutter in my office and home seems like an obvious area to tackle. That’s weighing on my consciousness as much as anything and probably is also connected to my body seeming weighed down.
All this mostly is a commitment to prioritize myself in terms of time. My days are usually chock full of what I do for other people. It will take time to cook, exercise and declutter everyday. But the vision of living my ideal life is compelling, and nobody can do it but me.
So I’m starting today, with a bunch of strangers. I resolve not to get caught up in the hype. However, maybe in interest of protecting my investment I’ll have tea instead of ice cream every week after our Wednesday Evening church meeting? But if I “need” some more truffles on Valentine’s Day, or some fries with my order at the diner, I won’t give myself grief. And as with all experiments, we’ll see how this goes, and what the results are at the end. Meanwhile, I’m going to keep my goals in mind, not compare myself to anyone else, and think of it as an exciting adventure!