Thursday, March 31, 2011

Expanding Waistline! Good For The Brain?


This news just in! Well, it isn't exactly news and it's not scientific. But each and every one of the following mini-epiphanies I've come to this week started with my own inability to fit into any of my favorite pairs of pants comfortably. It seems I've taken too many liberties with the carpool snacks I provide for the girls and the stash of Theo Chocolate I have in the cupboard. Add to that the crazy schedule I've had over the past few months that makes it difficult to get to yoga regularly, and more often than not in the past week I have found myself almost resorting to lying on my back to zip my jeans up. Not acceptable.

So I have decided to conquer this latest bulge with mindfulness. I am not very mindful about food as I'm putting it into my mouth. I am terrifically conscientious about planning and cooking meals, making sure they are healthy and well-balanced (and gluten-free), but once it comes to the eating stage, all of my thoughtfulness goes out the window. And snacks are my kryptonite. This week, I have resolved to stop and think before anything gets consumed by me. Do I need this? Do I even really want it? Why am I eating right now? Will ten of them necessarily taste ten times as heavenly as one?

Seems that mindfulness regarding food consumption is contagious to other parts of my life. Here is what I've discovered this week so far:

  • The things that my girls do that make me gnash my teeth the most? It turns out that they know those things make me batsh*t crazy. But even more profound is the fact that, when I examine the issue, those are the things I most despise about myself. Hmmm. Ick. Am I trying to change them so I don't have to see them reflecting me back to me?
  • For several months at the end of last year I began wondering whether I was having early-onset Alzheimer's disease, and that's not a joke. Both of my grandmothers had it and it is truly frightening. I was having difficulty recalling things from my short-term memory and took to bringing a notebook with me wherever I went so that I could write down tasks I needed to remember, things I needed at the store, and writing prompts for later. Mostly I talked myself out of panicking, saying that it was normal aging, but I really was worried. Then I went off of my anti-depressants and now, four weeks off of them, my short-term memory is greatly improved. They say writers need to have some angst and while I'm doing fine off of my meds for now, I wonder if they made me a better writer or a worse one. On the meds, I didn't begin every day wondering when the depression was going to smack me upside the head, but I had difficulty recalling simple things. Off the meds, I'm a little more nervous about impending doom, but I can at least keep track of what I wanted to write about.
  • Success (mine, anyway) can only be had one moment at a time. All I have is this, right now. I can beat myself up for the handful of dark chocolate raisins I ate last night without being mindful at all, and use that as an excuse to eat another handful or think poorly of myself. I can worry that there are more in a bag in the pantry and I will surely want them again later. Or I can sit in this moment right now and acknowledge that I don't want them right now. This moment, right here, where I am doing what feels good to me (writing, listening to the clothes tumble around in the dryer, furry dog on my bare feet) is a success.
I don't know if all of this is going to help me fit into my jeans better next week or next month, but I do know that each baby step I take toward living in this moment and being honest with myself about what I'm doing and why can only help.

3 comments:

Elizabeth said...

In a weird and wonderful way, there's all sorts of good advice in here for me. I'm taking it!

fullsoulahead.com said...

My solution? I have not worn jeans in a year.

Love.

Deb Shucka said...

Michelle's comment made me laugh out loud.

Truly, mindfulness is what we're trying for, whether jeans fit or not, so even it you continue to consume too much chocolate, your awareness is a huge step forward.

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