Hello, blogosphere. I think it's about time I posted again to summarise what's happened this week.
It's been a pretty good week, really. I've continued to apply very simple rules to my eating and that's all I'm doing, although it seems that when I next see EK I'm going to be expected to commit to doing more exercise. And I'm ready for that, too - I'm going to swim, I've decided. I suppose in a way it is part of my "reconnecting" idea, too. When I was a kid I absolutely LOVED to swim. I would spend hours swimming underwater at my local pool in Townsville. I loved the peace and quiet under the water - see, antisocial even then. :) And with the joint issues I'm currently having and probably will continue to have until I lose some weight, swimming is really the ideal solution. And if I look shocking in my swimsuit, which I know I do, too bad - it's a necessary evil so I can achieve this goal.
As for my mindful eating/only eating in particular places and ways project, I'd have to say I am very pleasantly surprised by how much it is helping me. Since I'm not expecting tonnes of weight to fall off in a couple of months, I'm very calm and at peace about this. There is a refreshing absence of the usual diet/perfectionist mentality which has always ruled every weight loss attempt I've ever made (and there have been waaaaay too many to mention!). Since as far as I'm concerned, I'm learning to eat all over again, this puts me in the same category as very small babies/children and I'm perfectly okay about that. And this is why, even though I occasionally find it frustrating and I really need to concentrate while I'm eating (because my default setting has been to bolt my food whilst doing something else, not even giving it a second thought), something which is extremely foreign to me, I can see exactly why it's worth putting in the effort because there is no way this habit is going to change without diligent work. And it's work I don't mind putting in because I can see there's a logical reason for it and it makes total sense. Now, to use an example of something which does not make sense to me, it's very different than if I had decided that my way to good health and weight loss was to switch to a radical low carb diet. (Caveat - this is in NO way intended to be a criticism of anyone doing this so please don't take offence, any such readers!). Now, as you know, I'm 46 years of age and for just about all of my adult life, I have never been a great lover of protein as a food. I don't like most meats - I pretty much only like beef. I don't mind chicken but I find it very boring if I have it too much. I don't mind eggs but I always have to remind myself to eat them for my iron as they are not a favourite food of mine. I actually far prefer to eat a mostly vegetarian diet interspersed with occasional servings of meat/chicken/eggs to keep up my iron. And this is why a low carb diet would never, ever work for me. I could probably stand to do it for a couple of months at the most and it would be a huge sacrifice. And the thing is, for me it is not a sacrifice I need to make. I know people who have lost weight successfully eating carbs. I see absolutely no logic in forcing yourself to eat foods you dislike to reach a goal. And so, even knowing how well it may work in the short-term, I'm not even going to go there with a diet such as this because it is utterly unsustainable for someone like me. As far as I'm concerned, you can only retrain your taste buds so much. If you don't like a food, you don't like it and no amount of forcing yourself to eat it will change that. But fostering, practising, cultivating a different way of eating, underpinned by a different way of treating my body, with respect instead of hatred - that's a goal which is worth all the effort in the world because it's so logical. So I can confidently say right now I am never going to diet again. I've been there, done that, bought way too many T-shirts. If I don't realise by now it doesn't work, I need my head examined.
Along with this mentality of not dieting is going a new attitude to my progress. I know it's okay to stuff up now. I know if I stuff up, it's just something to learn a lesson from and do better next time. This is very different to my usual uber-perfectionist ways, where a less than perfect day of eating was very likely to lead to an attitude of, "Oh, well, I've stuffed up a morning of good eating. I'm just going to go completely nuts for the rest of the day and start again tomorrow." It's not only illogical, it's so unhelpful. I am but a very flawed human being and mistakes are going to continue to happen for the rest of my life. That has to be okay and it's going to be okay. That's what I'm working on.
And meanwhile, I'm going to leave this entry with one of the best quotes I've ever read for this type of "journey". (urgh, I still hate that word!).