I stepped from Plank to Plank
A slow and cautious way
The Stars about my Head I felt
About my feet the Sea.

I knew not but the next
Would be my final inch -
This gave me that precarious Gait
Some call Experience.

Emily Dickinson, c. 1864

Sunday, March 11, 2018

March is a favorite month

Daffodils in bloom
Yesterday was a sunny delight as I walked with the ladies, and everywhere the trees are budding out, the flowers are coming up, and basically reminded me that the Spring equinox is right around the corner. In fact, it will happen a week from this coming Tuesday, March 20, at 9:15am here in the Pacific Northwest. It was a rather mild winter, with only a few wind storms but plenty of rain, and plenty of snow in the mountains. It makes me realize it will probably be awhile before we are able to hike on our favorite High Country trails. And we'll be making more hikes at sea level for awhile yet. But the short days and long nights are behind us for another year.

Late last summer I decided to start counting calories again so I could lose the five pounds I had gained, and within a couple of months of watching what I eat, those five pounds disappeared. Temporarily, it seems. Then I started eating normally, not recording my food intake onto the Lose It app on my phone and gradually, very gradually, those pounds starting showing up on my scale in the mornings. Slowly, I stopped seeing my favorite numbers and would step lightly on with my eyes closed, then looking at the number, one eye at a time, hoping it wouldn't be showing my indiscretions. Most of the time, it's three over, not five, but the last two days are a harbinger of things to come.

Of course, those numbers include the occasional ice cream and popcorn indulgences I have allowed myself, and I've begun to eat wheat and bread again, things I don't touch when I'm trying to lose. But the funny thing is, I'm just not able to work myself up enough to cut back again. The scale keeps me honest, and it does make a difference when I decide to eat something I know I shouldn't. I really like not carrying around those extra pounds. One day soon I'll start being more careful of what I eat.

In two weeks I have my annual wellness visit at the doctor's, and I really don't want to show up there with extra weight. I hate getting on those scales at her office and seeing numbers I don't like, since I have to weigh with my clothes on. I will have removed my loose change, phone, and wallet from my pockets before stepping on them. Am I being silly? Perhaps, since I know I play games with myself to work up some semblance of outrage. I just don't want to have my clothes get snug around the waist and spill out a spare tire over the top. Not my ideal self image, not at all. But what the hell, I tell myself, you are the only one who cares.

There's so much distress going on around the world, and here I am fixating on a couple of extra pounds. That's the part I find not to be normal, actually. But the difference, for me, is that I can actually DO something about my weight, and I can't do anything about what's going wrong in the larger world. I'd rather focus on something that is within my grasp. Nevertheless, I will read the news every day and have opinions on what is happening, but what can I do about the school shootings and the dysfunction in Washington? Not much, other than vote every chance I get, attend marches, and give money to causes I believe in.

The healthy thing to do, I think, is pay attention, read the news, and do whatever is necessary to keep a positive attitude about it all. Everything moves in cycles, and what is ascendent today will be descendent tomorrow; what goes up and all that. Usually I focus on the good news anyway. It's part of my coping mechanism, and I do have to say that my environment helps with that. Thank God I don't live in Syria, or Appalachia, or even in a big city anywhere. I like my small town of Bellingham, with its wonderful bus system and YMCA, both of which I use regularly. And even though it rains a lot here, in the summertime it is pretty darn perfect. I have so much to be thankful for, and I need to remind myself of that.

I had to get up an hour earlier this morning, since we lost that pesky hour of sleep last night as we begin Daylight Saving Time once again. Eight months of it ahead, before we get back that extra hour of sleep in the fall and return to Standard Time. Why do we do this? It seems so strange. I read that Florida has passed a resolution to stop DST, and Arizona and Hawaii stay on Standard Time all year. I found this interesting article about what it would be like if we simply stopped doing this. It also gives some background about how it all started. Hope you find it enlightening; I did. Winston Churchill seemed to think that it was worthwhile. He is quoted as having said:
An extra yawn one morning in the springtime, an extra snooze one night in the autumn is all that we ask in return for dazzling gifts. We borrow an hour one night in April; we pay it back with golden interest five months later.
I like thinking about it like that, giving it a positive spin. Like I said, staying positive is what is on my mind most these days, that and those few extra pounds. I hope that until we meet again next week, you will be filled with light and airy thoughts. Also, don't forget to give your loved ones a smile or two.


Marie Smith said...

I try to focus on gratitude. It’s tough sometimes when the world has so much chaos and things happen in the family. Such is life!

Marty said...

I guess we have to first feel comfortable in our own skins, whatever that may mean to each of us. And after being down her in Florida and eating out 100 times more often than I do at home, I'm again being irritated by a waistband that's a little too snug.
Control what we can, and stay positive about the rest.

Anonymous said...

Nothing wrong with Standard Time. I think it's a hassle having to roll back the clock or move it forward. Bah, humbug.

I find portion control helps me to lose weight. I lost 5 lbs. in less than 1 month by doing that.

Mage said...

I too hate that doctor's scale. This time it showed a three pound gain. Pretty soon I won't be able to find clothes to fit. I do OK on this time change, but the reverse leaves me off for a week.

Linda Reeder said...

My Dr sent me a message that it's time for a visit. I have added much more that five pounds, and I am reluctant to schedule that visit and get on those scales too. I really want to lose those pounds, but I keep failing. Maybe the coming of spring will prompt me to work harder at it. Maybe.
I'm off to a very slow start this morning. I will be losing more than one hour at this rate, but that's OK. Once in a while we just need to take time to breathe, and enjoy the sunshine and the daffodils. I know you will.

Gigi said...

Oh that darn scale! It always tells us when we've been naughty. I'm actually pretty happy with mine for the past few days. I've been far more conscious of what I eat - and have tried to cut out going out for lunch during the work week and it seems to be paying off...albeit slowly.

The news is so darn depressing from day to day. I also try really hard to concentrate on the stories that lift me up instead of making me angry or sad.

Have a wonderful week DJan!

Elephant's Child said...

I understand that anorexia is about control - something that the sufferer CAN control. And so understand being overwhelmed by the big picture.
I hope that your spring is bright and beautiful. I am relishing the early signs of autumn here.

Red said...

We have to be careful or we become whiners. There are many positives to focus on but sometimes it's a challenge. Weight watching is more than vanity. It's also about good health. I would have big problem trying to get used to all of your rain.

Far Side of Fifty said...

I hate the time change...it was light after supper tonight and I enjoyed that. I will be crankier for a week maybe two until my body adjusts.
I hope you have a light filled cheery week full of simple pleasures! :)

Glenda Beall said...

I see my doctor tomorrow and I, too,have put on about five pounds. I blame it on the pain I've been fighting the past year, the lack of exercise due to the pain, and too much stress. But, I still need to get it off.
I laughed when I saw you said you were glad you didn't live in Syria or Appalachia. I don't think the two are comparable and I certainly wouldn't want to live in Syria, but I live in Appalachia and it is pretty good life here for me. I am not happy about the political climate here, but I dislike that in the whole country. Wish I could get my family to move to Canada, Nova Scotia, actually.
I am making a huge effort to stop watching the news and find other things to think about. Like you, DJan, about all I can do is vote which I do. I can't afford to give money to all the causes I want to support, however, and I wish my mailbox did not fill up with those letters begging me to send $25.
Have a great week and we can all look forward to a pretty spring soon.

Rita said...

From the article I'd probably pick DST year round--but either way I wish they'd just pick one and stick with it. I have never liked it.

Trying to keep a positive note in your head is the best way to cope I think, too. :)

Tabor said...

I was awakened this morning by a sharp alarm from a clock in our bathroom. I had changed the time and accidentally put on the alarm. 4:30 AM! and now I cannot get back to sleep although hubby drifts off quite easily. I always like your determined and positive attitude in posts and it gives me hope that I can be better with my health and better with my attitude. Working on it.

Dee said...

Dear DJan, please tell me that besides taking your phone and keys out of your pockets when you weigh at the doctor's office, you also remove your shoes! I have to do that because always I am over the weight that I want to be when I step on that scale.

For me, it's not ice cream and popcorn or even bread--it's cookies! The store-bought, inexpensive ones that are like Oreos, except there is lemon frosting in the middle.

The staying positive is where I am now also. Otherwise, I can become quite glum about what's happening not only here in the United States, but elsewhere. Peace.

Rian said...

Daylight Savings Time doesn't bother me (unless someone forgets and schedules get messed up). I really don't notice it that much.
And as for weight, I find that as we age our bodies seem to find the weight that it wants to be... and whether it's higher or lower than our perception of what it should be, it will keep returning there after we stop dieting. As long as there isn't more than a 5 pound deviance, I don't worry about it. However, I will say that if my waistband starts feeling tight, I do weigh in to check.

John's Island said...

Hi DJan, I liked reading your procedure at the Doc’s office when you are getting on the scales. I thought I was the only one who took keys, phones, glasses, etc., out of my pockets. Well, there’s just no sense running up the scale more than we need to, right? : - ) I always enjoy your positive outlook. I would like to think positive about Daylight Saving Time, but, by golly I simply don’t like it. Especially here in our northern latitude where the days are already long enough in the summer time. When it doesn’t get dark until 10 PM … hmmm. Yes, I did read the article and I hear the argument for year round Daylight Time. I do agree with the article in that it seems unlikely that we will see any changes soon. Thanks for another fine post!