Friday, March 13, 2015

odds and ends: there's a neon light at the end of the tunnel

This one ended up being extra-ordinarily about food and weight and etc. Since I hate being obsessed about that stuff, I'm feeling a bit apologetic. But it's what I was thinking about this morning, so you're getting it anyway.

1. Last summer I tried going gluten-free and dairy-free for ten days, but I never told you what happened. I have to tell you, I was not unbiased. I find the whole gluten-free thing to be a little irritating, even though I have friends and family who truly feel it has made a difference in their health—a big difference. So I was a little surprised that there was a difference. Not a huge difference, and certainly not enough to make me rearrange my entire diet, but there was a... , ....., hmmm, I'm trying to think how to describe how it felt without making into more than it was. I felt --lighter? maybe. About 5% lighter. Noticeable, but not really enough to worry about.

Anyway. When I started adding gluten and dairy back in, I found, to my surprise, dairy was making the difference, not gluten. Happily, it is much easier for me to give up dairy than pasta and bread. I'm not too terribly strict about it, but I pretty much avoid dairy these days. I've never been a milk drinker, ever—and maybe that should have been a hint—so mainly that means cutting out yogurt and cheese. Which means I don't make yogurt anymore. Local people, if you want a yogurt maker, let me know.

2. OK, since we're talking about food. I decided a long time ago, no more diets for me. Diets, I abhor you. But I'm not happy about my current weight. It's a dilemma. I think I found a, um....., system (I'm not calling it a diet because it doesn't have anything to do with calorie counting or major restrictions) that will work for me, but at the moment, I'm not in a place where I want to deal with it. I'm a little chubby, but my health is otherwise great (which is exactly what the guy who did my "Healthy Measures" test at our athletic club said after measuring all kinds of things like cholesterol, BP, muscle tone, etc). So.... yeah.

3. But in one of those endless articles people post to FB, I read that the problem most people have with maintaining weight loss after they lose weight is, they don't know how to eat a healthy maintenance diet--i.e., a normal diet that doesn't cause you to either gain or lose weight. So *My Brilliant Idea* for the moment is to pretend like I already lost the weight and learn how to eat a healthy maintenance diet. It's actually kind of fun. Pretend I'm at my ideal weight, and now how am I going to eat? Successful so far, and if I do lose the 20 lbs at some point, I'll be all set.

4. And the other thing I'm doing (sorry, for those of you who hate endless discussions about health and weight)(usually I'm one of you). For Lent, almost as a joke, I gave up beating myself up about my weight. It has turned out to be a surprisingly positive experience. Every time I catch sight of myself in a mirror and am a little bit depressed to see the frumpy, 53-year-old woman looking back at me, and I start to tense up and begin the internal harangue about how awful I look and how bad I feel about it, etc etc etc, I just make myself stop. STOP. And substitute something more positive: I'm pretty damn healthy. I'm actively enjoying my 50s. That kind of shit. :-) So then the day after Easter, I'll start right back up with the weight bashing again. (Kidding.)

5. Cheery-o and I have been challenging each other to read books that aren't exactly easy to read. We started with The Corrections (Jonathan Franzen, which I had been avoiding for years), and then moved on to Wolf Hall (Hilary Mantel). So far, so good. Both of them are books I wouldn't have finished without some extra motivation, but I'm really glad I stuck with them. I really intensely disliked the first part of Corrections, but once I got past that, I think it might be one of the best books I've read in a long time. Wolf Hall was less my kind of book, but it was definitely worth reading, and had me googling all kinds of things about the sixteenth century. Both recommended. We're doing Jane Eyre now because I could kill two birds with one stone since I'm teaching it. Join in if you want and we will discuss at a future date.

6. MadMax, perhaps in rebellion against his parents' love of rock, has developed a taste for country music. I was horrified at first, but I've started to kind of enjoy it. The current stuff isn't like the country music I remember from high school. As long as it isn't too twangy, I'm OK with it. (I draw the line at baby take a ride in my big green tractor. just sayin.) The odd thing is, with country music you can actually understand the words, so I find myself wondering, hmmmm, am I OK with this? when I know good and well it's way less offensive than some of the rock and hip-hop I listen to on the treadmill. It's just that with my treadmill music, I have no idea what they're saying.

7. We're headed south for the weekend. Usually we want to get out of here in March/April because the weather is so awful--the snow is gone, but it's raining and 45 degrees. Nothing is green and certainly nothing is blooming. This year our weather has been so beautiful (relative to our usual, not relative to anywhere else in the country), escaping the weather isn't our primary motivation. It will just be good to get out of town. I've been using self-tanner on my legs to try and get to the point where I won't be embarrassed to wear shorts (it's supposed to be 90+ in SoCal, where we're headed). When you live in the frozen north, by the time March rolls around, your legs aren't just white, they're some sort of fungal-looking pasty beyond-white that is downright scary. The self-tanner won't make me look bronzed but at least I won't look like something that crawled out from under a decaying log.

And that's it. Have a great weekend, because I'm pretty sure we will. :-)

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