The other morning I was waking up slowly. I stretched. I checked to see what time the clock said, hoping it was six A.M. or later. It was! I had stayed in bed till almost 8:00! To have that luxury of waking up slowly was so nice! Usually I have to get up, and get awake, and get coffee, and get my breakfast, and read a few emails, and get the child up, and be sure the child is still up ten minutes later, and get him going on his breakfast, and let the dogs out, and make the child's school lunch, and remind the child to brush his teeth, hair, and find his glasses, and tell him to get shoes and socks on, and smooch the husband goodbye as he goes off to work, and let the dogs back in, and head out the door in plenty of time to walk the child to school, and then continue walking a couple miles for morning exercises, and so it goes! (And NO, I don't do this in the buff! Of course I got myself dressed first. Geesh!)
This morning was different. I laid there, in the early morning light, just relishing my momentary laziness. My hand brushed down the front of me and I felt my heart beat. In a split second, I realized I had actually felt my physical heart BEATING! I felt again, and sure enough, my hands actually seemed to feel the heart muscle, pulsating. It was strong and regular and it was amazing!
I had no real idea of just how much body fat, masks things on our bodies. If you've been obese or close to it, for most of your life, you just don't know how amazing your body feels when the fat is gone and your body parts are suddenly noticeable.
Not only do I feel my heart, I can feel bones where there were none before. I honestly am often amazed when I find a new bone where I used to just be squishy. There are a few downturns to losing weight though. For some of us, the barriers come down. I never thought I used my obesity to hide from things...or people. As the weight has come off, I feel like I am a target. I don't feel like I look as formative and that someone would be more likely to attack me! It is a strange feeling. I never thought such things when I had size to protect me.
I have also found I don't need to take ibuprofen like I used to! I used to almost eat it like candy for so many aches and pains. Now I only take a few, maybe once a week. I also don't like my glasses anymore. They look huge on my face. I won't be able to get a handicapped sign for my vehicle any time soon either. A year and a half ago, I wondered how hard it would be to get one because it was hard to walk from my vehicle into the store, much less walking around in the store!
Yet how often do we start losing weight and when we hit a bump in the road, we say we should just quit. Nothing will work, right? NO! We need to give ourselves credit for every pound lost, big or small, in a week or a month or a year. We need to give ourselves credit for every healthier choice we make. We need to give ourselves credit for every time we say "No, I won't quit." We need to give ourselves credit for every step we take to add any type of exercise into our lives. Often we forget those little earlier diamonds of success. It makes as much sense to quit as it does to toss all the little diamonds out of our bucket, right?
This is why, when I see I haven't lost a pound, or that I have gained a pound, or that I have started smoking again, that I have to remember that I have LOST weight over several weeks, that I didn't gain that much, and that I will quit smoking again. I worked for where I am. It makes no sense to toss my little diamonds out because I didn't find the big one today. Hang on to your diamonds, big and little. You are worth as much, and more, than diamonds. Really!
You want a cupcake. Do you grab one, tear off the paper, and stand right there at the counter and stuff it in your mouth in one or two big bites? Then you want to eat another? Pretty soon you've convinced yourself that you are bad and you may as well quit trying to lose weight. Instead, try it this way...get a plate and fork and put the cupcake on the plate. Take it to the table and sit down. Get back up and go get a napkin or paper towel. Sit down and now use the fork to peel off the paper wrapper. Then use the fork to eat the cupcake in small bites. Does it have frosting? Scoop off some of that frosting and put it on the wrapper or in the paper towel. EVERY little step you take to slow you down and to make you aware of what you are eating, doing, tasting, smelling, feeling...every step is your little diamond. Don't throw away your other little diamonds because this one has a little frosting on it.
What is your personal challenge food? What can you do to change it? Can you cut out five calories? How about ten calories? How about several hundred calories if you get a bunch of frosting off the cake or the skin off the chicken? Figure it out. Make it better, if only a little bit. These steps are the beginnings of change. These steps are the beginning of your brain rewiring itself to be the thinner person you want to be. Do not discredit little diamonds!
Have you ever eaten a big meal and wanted something sweet within a few minutes of finishing? You know you are full but the craving is driving you nuts! Researchers found that an after-meal, spike in blood sugar often leads to dessert cravings. What this means is that after a meal, many people experience a sharp rise in glucose, followed by an equally sharp decline. People then often crave sugary foods to get back to that food 'high' that they felt, right after that big meal.
Try eating slower or eat like you were at a restaurant. You get the appetizers first, then salad, then the main course. You can divide up your meal to fit within those categories. PLAN ahead and figure adding in a dessert to be had at least 20 minutes after the main meal. This doesn't have to be cake, cookies, pie, or ice cream either. I often have a cup of fat free Greek yogurt with a teaspoon of a high quality jam mixed in it. I savor it and eat it as slow as I can. The jam (not jelly) adds the sweetness and this will satisfy my cravings.
Eat smaller portions or halve your portions and then go get the second half later. Figure out anything you can commit to doing, in order to slow down your meal and to avoid the spikes in glucose. This is mindful eating. This is a good thing to learn!
Arnold H. Glasgow