Friday, April 8, 2016

7ToF: the world's gonna wake up and see / Baltimore and me

1. Since I seem to have lost my enthusiasm for fiction these days, I've been reading memoirs. There are so many good ones out there you could read forever and not run out. When I get to the end of my current TBR list, I'll pass along the best ones. If you've got any recommendations, let me know. My favorite so far is Indian Creek Chronicles by Pete Fromm, the story of the winter he spent 40 miles from a paved road babysitting a couple million salmon eggs. Or maybe Upstairs at the White House, written by the guy who was the chief usher at the White House from Roosevelt to Nixon.

2. Some of you may remember my stories from back in the 90s when I was involved in several women's circles that were exploring feminist spirituality (this post, for example). It's a phase of my life that I'm not really planning on revisiting, but there was some genuine searching going on, and I loved those women and our group meetings. One of the things I loved most was the smell. You would walk in and there was this spicy scent, maybe a little bit of sandalwood, a little patchouli, a little cinnamon, but I could never find it when I was standing in front of the incense section of our tiny new age store. I looked for it off and on for years.

3. A couple of days before we left on our trip, I was wandering around our local beauty supply store looking for sample sizes of various toiletries for our travels. I've heard about Kenra hairspray for a long time--in my mind it's the original fancy, expensive hairspray, and I've heard many women swear by it-- but I'd never tried it because it's so expensive. But it was on sale, and the trial size was $7, so I thought what the hell, and bought it. I pulled it out of my bag in Mexico and sprayed it on, and OMG, there was that scent. The smell of 90s New Age feminism that I'd been looking for all those years was hairspray. Made my week.

(for the record, it doesn't work as well as the cheaper stuff I get at Target, but it does smell better.)

The rest of these are my Weight Watchers update, move on all ye who are not interested.

4. So, Weight Watchers. Still doing it, still working, although slowly. I can't tell you how happy I am about this. Other than post-pregnancy, I've never successfully lost more than about three pounds in my life. I only joined WW as a last-ditch effort, one final thing to try before I gave up and moved on to size 16. But after the first couple of weeks (which were admittedly awful), it hasn't been bad, and it's working. I've been losing a half a pound to a couple of pounds a week for three months now (with, admittedly, the occasional week where I go up a half pound). I'm more than halfway to my goal.

5. The main thing I've learned is that I eat too much. I live with two athletes, guys who can eat massive amounts of food without gaining weight, because they exercise like crazy-- Dean is a runner/skier/tennis player/hiker/biker, MadMax is a skier/lifter/thrower. I never ate anywhere close to as much as they did, so I didn't think I ate all that much. But once my body adjusted to the new way of eating, I realized that I was eating way less than I had been before and not really feeling hungry.

6. My one big complaint about the program is --and I think this is probably true of most diet programs-- it's really easy to start seeing food as the enemy. That's not built into the program-- you can eat whatever you want on WW, as long as you account for it in your points. But there's certainly a flavor of that in some of the conversations that happen at meetings.

I'm not going there. Food is not the enemy. I don't want to get to the point where I can't enjoy food, where I panic at the idea of gaining a pound or two on vacation, or can't eat a piece of my own birthday cake, or feel bad about having a margarita with my friends. For all of human history, food has been part of human celebrations, part of the joy of socializing with people you love, part of the celebration of being on a bountiful planet with amazing resources. I need to lose some weight, but I don't ever want to get to the point where I can't enjoy good food. I just needed to cut out the crap, eat nutrient dense food, and stop stuffing myself (which I didn't even know I was doing, see #5.)

7. I'm getting up on a soapbox here, but I really think this is important. I think it's why so many of the people who were so vocally enthusiastic about the program back in January are no longer there. If you deny yourself, deny yourself, deny yourself, eventually you're going to binge and/or quit. On the other hand, if I eat healthy most of the time, I seem to do just fine if I have the occasional bowl of ice cream, or a piece of bread out of the bread basket at a good restaurant (my theory on bread-- if it's good, and fresh, I'm eating it. It's the boring, supermarket stuff I can live without).

Word geek extra: Google tells me "eat healthy" is now considered correct, even though "healthy" is an adjective and it's being used as an adverb. I know I'm not the only grammar goddess around here, so I'm feeling a bit defensive. I did have "eat healthily" in the previous paragraph, but changed it because The Google says it's OK. :-)

So, packing up my soapbox.... Sorry to rant at you. Have a great weekend, and celebrate spring with some good food. And a margarita.


Julie said...

I've loved memoirs and biographies since I was in elementary school and discovered their beauty. Right now I'm reading "Master of Ceremonies" by Joel Grey. Looking forward to your list (already jotting down the usher's information).

KarenB said...

Actually you sent me off to re-read Penric's Demon and it was a pleasure all over again. I got halfway through Ta-Nehisi Coates' book, Between the World and Me, and had to stop and do some light reading instead.

I'm with you - denial doesn't work as a long-term strategy. It's like you have only so much will-power, kind of like the spoon theory, and if you use it up denying yourself, you'll eventually run out and then it's Katie bar the door time.

It helped me to get a base metabolic test done to find out, for real, how many calories my body needs in a day. Since I was keeping a food diary, it gave me a realistic view of what I needed to be eating and to try to figure out healthy and happy eating within that guideline.