Weight Therapy #2 — Being Tired and Some Things to Try Anyway

Being tired makes everything hard.

Not only harder. Hard. Difficult.

Two tips about this. Two tiny lessons I try to hold in my head.

  1. Don’t get tired. (i.e., guard your rest like the sacred, irreplaceable treasure it is)
  2. Maintain. Damage control. Whatever you call the mode where you don’t spend your precious resources trying to get ahead. Save that push for when it’s got a better foundation.  For now, just hold the line.
  3. Yeah. One more– remember this will pass. This now feeling is not forever.

And that final assurance is pretty close to the definition of Hope.

What do you do when you’re tired? Do you have a strategy?

 ~ ~ ~

I’m working on a list of low-demand lifestyle choices that have been shown to have a direct impact on health and weight-loss/maintenance.

  • Drink lots of water
    • One idea that’s worked for me is to fill two quart jars with water and leave them where I’ll see them throughout the day (I’m pretty visual, and this is a huge help)
  • Make a consistent bedtime a priority– shoot for 8 hours before you need to got up.
    • And shift your kids’ bedtime, too so it’s no closer than two hours to yours. Odds are if you need more sleep, they do too.
  • Take a good multivitamin– or collection of vitamins. It’s easier than creating perfectly balanced meals
    • Shoot for a full spectrum of B-vitamins, along with magnesium, zinc, E, C and D.  Ask me if you want more details, but for now all I’ll say is that human bodies benefit from these vitamins at level way. higher than the 100% level of RDA.
  • Eat breakfast. Every day.  The more protein in this meal the longer it will last, and (studies show) the fewer calories you’ll eat later in the day.

BONUS  TIP (but not everyone can do it): Go to bed hungry.

It will give your body a longer fast in which to burn available energy (with you being asleep for most of the process), and as a bonus, it will remind/motivate you to eat that really-important breakfast.

(Is your favorite tip here? Did I forget one? Add it in the comments.)

It’s all… Just Enough

I’ve been making a valiant effort in the preceding months to do everything.

And that made blogging easy to drop.

I read novels (!!!)

Galvanized by my disappointing failure in April to read a book in two weeks (I’m still sorry Mary!), I leaned into reading in May.

Image courtesy of Sanja Gjenero via stock.xchng

Then something clicked– a visit to the used book store, the right thing being on my kindle, and a delicious chemistry of calm in the household.

Before the Fourth of July I had read The Healer’s Apprentice, The Fairy Path, Silence of the Lambs, By Darkness Hid, To Darkness Fled, From Darkness Won, The Iron King, The Short Straw Bride and Clockwiser.

Thoroughly enjoyed all of them. Showed me all sorts of storytelling elements I’ve been studying and digging toward. Absolutely delightful blend of work.

It was just beginning to feel like a binge, and life was getting fuller, so I set aside fiction (which demands sustained reading) in favor of a nutritional, non-fiction season.

Trouble was, I felt suddenly guilty that I was no longer a reader. A fiction reader. A reader of what I wanted to write.

Because, look at me, I’m. not. reading! {fiction.}

Ridiculous, right? {please say yes.}

I made me think how I really don’t understand Grace.

No, really, it does.

And don’t give me that ‘None of us understand grace,’ bit. I didn’t understand digestion for years, either. There are some things that kinda just work on their own, but that doesn’t mean your relationship to them is unchanging.

Let’s try a healthy-food analogy (since that’s what I’ve been reading like crazy the last two or three weeks). Turns out Food is like the the code someone writes to create software. Only, the software in this case is the DNA regeneration in your body with normal cell production.

What you eat tells your body which elements (nearly endless, it seems) to activate or hibernate. Very like binary code.

Now, I don’t have to know any of this for my body to do what it does, but if I want my body to end up in the right place (physically/mentally/emotionally sound), I need to feed in the right code.

And that will take some awareness. A remembering. Continue reading »

Weight Therapy #1: Saying No to Self

G.K. Chesterton, in his book Orthodoxy, pointed out that sometimes the reason we don’t know where to start talking about a big subject is because it possible to start anywhere.

Sticking to a healthy lifestyle appears to be one of those topics.

Leaving aside what a Healthy Eating Plan looks like (for now), I want to talk about my first tools for maintaining that HEP.

*First of all, it’s best if you remove the word “cheat” from your vocabulary.* Even if your HEP of choice uses it.

I’m pretty open about how I see words affecting our thoughts and behavior, and if you are the sort to “cheat” a lot, you’ll eventually see yourself as  “cheater” and that just doesn’t help your persistence factor.

Instead, think of it as your level of “strictness” as you retrain your approach to food.

You’re not “cheating” when you sleep in on the weekend, you’re just being less-strict with yourself.

Image courtesy of Sanja Gjenero via stock.xchng

Here’s something I just learned recently: our self-esteem, the way we see ourselves, is strengthened in proportion to the number of times we say no to ourselves.

Think about how you feel when you pass up the cake or ice cream at the birthday party. You feel good about yourself, don’t you? You feel relieved, maybe, and in-control.

Your self-esteem actually went up a notch.

Believe it or not, for the first two weeks back on my HEP that little up-tick was all I needed to stay focused. I still looked longingly at “the good stuff” and felt the urge to consume, but every time I said no to myself I was rewarded with this little surge of Yes! I am the boss of me!

The other thing that helped me say no to the birthday cake (because after all, yummy stuff feels pretty good, too) was asking, Is this [indulgence] worth waiting to reach my goal?

And very few birthday cakes are worth that, really.

I’m calling this series Weight Therapy , because it seems like everything I read about good choices or about motivation loops back around and applies again here.

Because this is where I’m living, and that’s the way my brain makes everything useful.

7 Quick Takes (Vol. 13): Life is working. Even though it’s Work.

So, to follow-up after that peaceful, grateful post about Rest, I realized it’s been a long time since I made a list of the stuff I’m engaged in. When it turned out to be seven distinct items, and I realized it was Friday, I knew I needed to jump back to Jen’s 7 Quick Takes Friday this week.

Here’s my “life activity list” the list in roughly the order of time consumed:

~ 1 ~

Managing the food.

It still feels weird to say this takes the most time.

I think this is because– judging by our stories: novels, movies, anecdotes among friends– food is invisible.  It just happens. I wish I lived in that sort of house/body. But I don’t.)

~ 2 ~

Managing the household and extras

Technically this ties back into the food, since food makes dishes.

Basically anything I have to wash clean or put away, along with the animals and outdoor work.

Now that the snow’s melted I am discovering all sorts of new work…

And honestly, it’s a toss-up about whether #1 or #2 takes more time.

~ 3 ~

Teaching the kids.

Reading, writing and arithmetic are the emphasis, but we also read novels along with books of science, history and whatever else strikes our fancy.

As I have more energy I also hope to do more management-training (items from the previous categories).  Currently I do most of that stuff because the *extra* required to get someone else into doing certain jobs is the extra I don’t have.

~ 4 ~

On-line Stuff.

Reading and writing and listening to music on-line (YouTube). Keeping up with some TV shows on Hulu (Castle, Bones, and Body of Proof).

~ 5 ~

Off-Line Stuff

Reading and writing and listening to music not-on-line.

My current goal is to swap these last two categories in terms of time.

I’ve had a surge of progress on my 2010 NaNo novel, and taken on a reading challenge that has forced me to look hard at what and why I read. I hope it will inform what I write.

~ 6 ~

Fiber work

On the edges of my life (and usually away from home).

I have the knitting I do a couple hours every Sunday morning (during the sermon and Sunday school), and the hand-spinning I do when I’m going to be semi-on-display. Continue reading »