I was going to go for a walk yesterday.
It was cold (4 C or 39F) but beautiful and sunny. The leaves have all changed–and the winds of fall have arrived–so they won’t be on the trees much longer. In fact, all the elms are completely bare already.
But I wanted to wait until my husband got home from work and we could go together. When he called to say he’d be late, I didn’t stop to think that that meant we’d be eating supper late and that thus it would be too dark (and much too cold) to go for a walk.
So I missed it.
I was so mad!
This exercise thing is no walk in the park!
I baked cookies yesterday, too. (You know where this is going already, don’t you?)
Yeah, I know, but my daughter runs a bake sale every single Friday at school to raise money for a trip to New York City with the Drama kids –and she has Theater tech class every Thursday after school. So I volunteered. Plus, I had this yummy pumpkin cookie recipe I wanted to try.
The recipe called for two cups of sugar, one cup of butter and one cup of flour. Not healthy by a long shot. (The friend who brought them to work and kindly forwarded the recipe to me had declared the cookies “healthy” because they had pumpkin puree, walnuts and raisins. I didn’t look at the recipe too closely until it was time to bake.)
I had a small one.
I thought about abstaining. I do much better when I abstain. But, hey, I’m not on a diet. Restricting myself leads to self-pity and denial and that leads to negative self-talk, so I decided not to deal with all that and allowed myself the cookie.
Then. I had another. And another. and….
I think I had four or five in all–right before dinner.
After dinner, I abstained. They called to me all night. But their voices got smaller and weaker. It reminded me so much of when I quit smoking. Giving in just meant I had to fight the urge again–and once fed, of course, the urge is just stronger than ever. (It’s like that with loud demanding kids, too, come to think of it. Once you give in to them you’ll never have peace again!)
But I did make up a jar of overnight oats with pumpkin (and maple syrup!)
Funny how when you are ready to learn something, the teacher really does come. You remember how one of my goals was to eat more slowly?
Along with tips I found on the web to put down my fork between bites, chew many times, sip water and take twenty minutes for each meal, I found a great web-site–and a book!
The web-site is authored by a woman who used exercise (and cognitive behavioural therapy) to bring herself back from a suicide attempt. Reading back, it also seems she’s dealing with issues revolving around diet and food, too. This –on mindfulness and eating– is such a good article.
I, too, avoid feelings. Well, I used to. I know they make me uncomfortable. Other people’s feeling used to make me extremely uncomfortable.
The toolkit is amazing–and a bit intense. I don’t know if I’m really ready to do that much thinking about my feelings while I eat–but just being aware that I use food to manage my emotions has already clued me in to my odd anxiety just before I go to bed–and I start looking–compulsively looking–for a bed time snack.
The second thing I found –from this site by dietitian Heather K. Jones– was a reading list with the monk Thich Nhat Hanh’s deceptively simple book: How to Eat. I started reading it last night–and just laughed. Of course the world is in a grain of rice–and that is indeed what I could be thinking about. Eating mindfully is a meditation practice. Of course!
Don’t chew your worries, your suffering, or your projects. That’s not good for your health. Just chew the string bean.
I feel like I am in good hands.
(PS: Overnight oats– not my jam. Obliterates everything I love about oatmeal.)