Here I sit on a Sunday morning, with my laptop and cup of tea beside me, wondering what I'm going to write about. I don't have anything scheduled to do today, since my friend Linnie is not able to skydive and the weather isn't all that wonderful anyway. I'll probably end up going to the gym and using the treadmill for 40 minutes or so and listen to a podcast to pass the time as I burn calories.
I have been able to maintain the fifteen-pound weight loss that I struggled to rid myself of two years ago, partly because of the iPhone app "Lose It" that I use to keep track of the calories I ingest daily, and partly because I really don't want to get back into my old eating habits. But it's that time of year when I struggle not to overeat. Over the summer I've also let some ice cream and pizza (and even the occasional beer) slip back into my diet. I love those foods and figure if I count them honestly I can afford to stop being quite so strict on myself.
But. Now I want more of them. I find myself thinking about pizza laden with cheese, even when I'm not hungry at all. When I don't eat those foods, I gradually forget about them and avoid them, but when I indulge occasionally, I begin to hear their siren song in my mind. And it's that time of year when I think my body wants to bulk up anyway, getting ready for the coming winter, maybe. Well, I'm just NOT going to let that happen. I've been avoiding the scales and realize the first step is to get on them.
Okay. I just did it, and I've gained a little weight back, which I already knew and was the reason I didn't want to step on the scales. Fortunately it's not a lot, two pounds, but just acknowledging that I'm going the wrong direction will help me resist what I think of as inappropriate foods. The truth of it is that I feel so much better when I'm not carrying around the extra weight; I like the way my clothes fit me, and my blood pressure stays under control. Those are the reasons I struggle with my weight. It's maintenance that I find so difficult, as it's easy to indulge and gain weight or restrict my dietary intake and lose it (when I'm in the right mindset, anyway).
I know that inherited tendencies towards thinness or overweight make a difference in body size and shape. We are all "apples" in my family, with excess weight being deposited in our middles rather than around the hips (the "pear"), which I've learned is indicative of a tendency towards heart disease. Well, that figures, since both Mama and Daddy died of it, as well as my son Chris. Every one of my siblings takes a statin drug because we also inherited high cholesterol. It's probably the only reason why none of us, except for my sister PJ, has yet had a heart attack. PJ is diabetic and had bypass surgery long ago.
So there are plenty of reasons for me to keep my weight under control. Do you have the feeling I'm giving myself a pep talk here? Yes, you would be right. Whatever I need to do to maintain my hard-won weight loss during this season is fair game, even if I have to bore my readers. I know that many of us struggle with this same issue. We are inundated with pictures of food on television, in magazine ads, and several of my favorite bloggers post pictures of their meals to share with me. I often stare at those pictures and imagine the taste on my tongue. Yes, I would enjoy it, but I sure don't want to WEAR it. My dad once said to me, when I was getting ready to eat some potato chips, that they would be a minute in my mouth, an hour in my stomach, and a lifetime on my hips!
As I get older, I realize that short-term satisfaction, like eating potato chips, can be resisted. It's been ages since I've even eaten one, but then again that combination of salt and grease is present in plenty of other foods that I do eat. Plus, potato chips lend themselves to what I've learned is mindless eating, where you just nibble away without thinking. Mindful eating is much more satisfying in the long run.
Actually, this season is my favorite. Fall is the time when I begin to turn inward, spending more time with indoor pursuits. Although every single Thursday is reserved for my time with the Trailblazers, all year long, the rest of the time I find I'm drawn to knitting or reading. Even though I have all the iPad apps for reading without books, the feeling of a real book in my hands is one of my favorite activities. It's just not the same with a screen, which I spend enough time in front of already. I love my blogging friends and look forward to the fall season with your stories and pictures, your lives as you are living them. What a different world we live in today! I can feel your presence in my life, even though we will probably never meet in the flesh.
Which reminds me: next month I will spend a weekend retreat on Vashon Island with five other bloggers, who have become "skin friends" as well as blogging buddies. We got together last October and after next month, it may become a bonafide tradition. Until next week, my dear friends, stay safe and I'll catch up with you in the blogosphere!