Sunday, April 27, 2014

Journey – Breaking the Cycle, Part 3B

April 27, 2014
Day 5 of South Beach Phase 1
Starting weight (4/23/2013): 195
Today’s Weight:  193
Loss/Gain (since start):  -2
Breakfast: Canadian bacon, mushroom, Feta cheese, sweet peppers, onions omelet.
Lunch: Salmon patty with baby carrots and Hummus
Supper:  Cobb salad with a homemade poppy seed sauce.
Snacks:  Baby carrots, Healthy Choice Fudge Ice Cream Bar (100 calories), 30 pistachios, and cucumbers.
OK, so I am essentially spirit.  My essence lives forever.  All other things are temporary—including this body I inhabit, this body that literally weighs me down.  I am grateful for all I have and don’t have.  I have a purpose for living.  And last, but not least, I know absolutely that I am loved unconditionally.   As a practical matter, what does this mean?
Less than a year ago, I couldn’t say that I was grateful for much.  Most of all things I have read about happiness are that people that are happy are thankful.  They truly appreciate what they have.  Well, what has changed that now I am thankful?  I learned from Rhonda Byrne in her book, The Magic, a trick.  (I am not recommending the book.  Byrne’s focus is to use the “magic” of gratitude to get more.  Her premise is a total contradiction, but the exercises were worth doing to increase my awareness of just how blessed I am.)  Everyday write down ten things for which you are thankful.  Each day might have a few repeats, but for the most part, each day brings with it a new list of things for which to be thankful.  This morning’s list went like this:
  1. I am thankful for my wife because she has been very helpful and supporting in getting healthy and losing weight.  She’s a fantastic cook, and a great friend.
  2. I am thankful for my financial stability.
  3. I am thankful for my mortgage free house.   That frees up around $500/month for other pressing expenses.
  4. I am thankful for my step-daughter and her son.  I learn so much from them.
  5. I am thankful for my spirit guides who have been so faithful to me in spite of my many, many failures.
  6. I am thankful for my two vehicles so we don't have to rely on others to take us shopping.
  7. I am thankful for our computers and our internet connection.  There is so much we can do with them.
  8. I am thankful for my Nook that holds 237 books that I don’t have to dust.
  9. I am thankful for my dogs that give me so much joy.
  10. I am thankful for the trials that have ground me and honed me into a better person.
I don’t have to remind myself of my purpose.  It is with me 24/7.  I have three lovely people and 2 sweet dogs for whom I am responsible.  ‘Nuff said, there.
Sometimes, when I am dealing with failure, I learn to forgive myself as I have been forgiven by those who love me unconditionally.  I don’t need guilt burdens.  I have plenty else with which to contend.  Right now, my focus is to get to the root of my eating disorder and correct it.  I need energy and time to do that.  I can’t waste time or energy beating myself up.  I will expend time and energy to get back on track.
What other changes have I made in my daily routine?
First, I have stopped watching TV while I eat.  Thich Nhat Hanh notes that people that watch TV while they eat will eat more because they are not aware of their consumption.  I found that the quiet and the pleasant conversation with my wife is much more relaxing.
Second, I am actually trying to remember to take time to chew my food, and be totally aware of what I am doing.  Thich Nhat Hanh calls it “mindfulness.”  Being totally focused on what we are doing.  Our mind should not be romping around in the  fields past memories, hurts, and joys.  Our mind should not be trying to predict what tomorrow will bring.  Our focus should be on eating, tasting, savoring.  And by the way, when I was younger and knew everything, I poo-pooed the idea that focusing on one’s breathing would be useful.   It is now the most useful tool I have in my repertoire of tools for calming myself.  I can even drop my blood pressure by 30 points with a good focused breathing session.
Third, I am blogging.  I am evaluating the reasons for making the blog public.  I have some decisions to make in that regard.
A note about Phase 1 of the South Beach diet:  It is designed to break your addiction to carbohydrates.  It is a VERY low carbohydrate menu of foods we can eat.  Yesterday, I had to clean the gutters and down spouts for our townhome.  I do the neighbor’s unit as well, because she has no one to do it for her.  Her basement floods if the gutters overflow. I forgot how much of an impact a low carb diet has on one’s energy.  It was less than an hour of work, carrying the ladder, and the blower around.  But, it exhausted me for the rest of the day.  A word to the wise: be aware that if you are doing a South Beach Phase 1 diet, your energy level is very low.  You may even get dizzy if you attempt anything too strenuous.
I learned today that carrots have sugar and are not part of Phase 1 foods allowed.  I will definitely rely more on the cucumbers for my snacks.
Be Peace
Be Love

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