Monday, July 18, 2022

Moments that await

Finally getting covid, and the lengthy days of laying around and being isolated during recovery, got me thinking and feeling in all sorts of ways.  One of which brought me back to this blog.  Propelled by the mini freak out I had when I lost the sense of smell and taste, and a dear friend recently asking me if I thought about posting again - it felt like the right time.

Food vices weren't going to bring me comfort without smell and taste.  And it was going to be a while before I could be around people.  So what could bring me comfort? What really makes me happy?  You know, small questions like that.

And with that, I went down a rabbit hole - I was watching OK Go music videos...finding Instagram photographers to follow....and looking through old travel photos.  Somehow, it did the trick.  I came across a note I wrote many years ago while traveling on a train in Europe.  One that reminded me and inspired me.  Here's what I wrote:

When I was in college, there were train tracks near my dorm.  At night, the sound of the passing trains used to carry my thoughts away and bring me into sleep.  Now, I’m traveling on a train, and it’s doing the opposite by opening up thoughts.  Or perhaps I’m picking up others thoughts along the way - but I’m not sure I’m ready to believe big universe thoughts like that.

Could it be that time slows down as you are sitting in the train car, yet you and your mind are being carried somewhere else as you watch places go by.  There must be writers or composers out there that create their best works during travel, the same way some get inspired by seeing a particular piece of art.

There has always been something about me and travel.  I feel at ease, my mind breathes – if that makes any sense at all.  It doesn’t matter what it is - car, train, driving on the freeway, walking on a woodland trail or feet on the ground in Spain.  It’s the act of moving and the discovery of people, places, and moments that await.  As Ben Gibbard sang about Karouac’s travels “These roads don’t move, you’re the one that moves.”

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Integrity with Ourselves

This morning, I was grateful to be stuck at home due to a weekend snowstorm.  Would have normally been out and about, but instead was having a cup of tea and listening to a podcast about extreme weight loss.  The guest speaker brought up the quality of integrity.

Integrity, by definition, means adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; and honesty.  Now who wouldn’t say they have integrity.  My initial reaction was “of course I do”…my words and promises are work…with my friends...everyday people.

But the next realization hit home.  Part of integrity is doing what you say you are going to do, when you say you are going to do it.  I could very well have integrity with everyone else in the world, but I don't think I've had integrity with myself. 

And then came a flood of thoughts about the health goals and promises I have made for myself…..sometimes I have kept them, sometimes I have not.  And those that I have not, have happened over and over again.

So, the next commitment for myself will be one of integrity.  I’ll be starting with one simple goal of getting on the treadmill every single day at 6 am.  It doesn’t matter for how long or how intense, at this point.  It’s not going to be so much about the actual exercise, but of the commitment to myself….and then building upon it. 

Reference: Food for Fitness 106: Extreme Weight Loss, The Challenges of Losing More Than 200 lbs (Part 1) – with Chris Powell, podcast, 3 April 2018,

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The Embarrassment of Obesity

I’ve traveled the world as an obese person.

Many, many airplanes.  A Russian train. An Indigenous boat in the Philippines. 

I’ve slept on the floor of a family’s yurt in Mongolia.  Walked the streets of Indian cities.  And been approached by many a Japanese tourist for a picture they want to take with a big American girl (basically three times the size of everyone else).

Yet the thought of walking across a stage… receive a nutrition degree….as an obese one of the most frightening things I’ve ever encountered.

Yesterday, I realized that I have not told many people that for the past 2 and half years I’ve been taking night classes to receive a Masters in Clinical Nutrition Intervention.  It was a way for me to build up knowledge so that I could help others with their weight loss goals - to be able to advise beyond what my personal experiences have been, with evidence-based information. 

The classes went by really fast – and I now have one final project to complete before receiving the degree.  But I’ve delayed it.  I froze in the realization that I had built up all this education to help others….but had not yet focused it in on myself.

It might take a little extra time, but when I walk across the stage, it won’t just be about obtaining a degree.  It will be about the confidence that I've built in both mind and body. Freedom from the embarrassment that I didn’t know I had, and how I chose to respond to it.
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” - Principle of Victor Frankl

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Time to Recalibrate

In a world of constant speed, recalibration periods are almost critical to keep yourself on track towards your goals.  Sometimes they are planned time periods – say, a week away at a cabin.  Sometimes they are unplanned – getting a cold and having to spend a lot of time in bed.  The latter, is where I am at the moment. 

I found myself reflecting about how I have lost momentum on some of my goals.  I started thinking about various elements, realizing it’s been a while since I’ve had focus on them.  With January typically being a time that everyone starts their resolutions….I am starting by recalibrating my thoughts. 

What kind of things do I need to build into my routine?  It doesn’t have to be counting calories and hitting the gym every day (yet, haha).  But perhaps it should be cutting certain foods out.  Eating at home versus going out.  Or simply starting to build a daily routine again, in general.

Are the people I am hanging around with supporting or distracting me from my goals?  This is a tough one. Especially in the dead of winter, when there aren’t a lot of options to be social that don’t involve ingesting food and drink. But putting thought into who I have on the support side, tends to remind me there are other options…especially on days when all I want to be is distracted.

How can I remind myself of the positive, when I feel like I’m in a hole of negativity?  Things may not be going right at the moment, but there’s positivity I can pull from the past...What are some of the successes I can use again....What have I learned from the times I have fallen down....What should I pick up and start doing again.

These are just surface level thoughts at the moment.  Deep dives into the depths will come with time, and shared in this form as much as possible.  But what I’m realizing is how important it is to build in short bursts of recalibration.  Twenty minutes in the morning listening to music to start the day.  Ten minutes here and there writing a few thoughts down.  An hour having coffee with someone you just like to be around. Or simply, 5 minutes of breathing or meditation.  All or any should help recalibrate the pace of life, and steer me back into the direction of my goals.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

What's on my radar

There might be a lot of things you want to do, a lot of change you want to make.  But sometimes you have to break it down to what you need to accomplish at the moment.

For me, that is regaining focus.  Starting with a morning routine of making a cup of tea, reviewing what’s on my radar, followed by some movement (stretching or a walk).  The important part of that routine, is the regular reminder of what’s on my radar for the day, week, and year. 

I’ll be keeping a little folder with those goals or tasks. And that's what I will review each morning.  But it's not going to be a lot of things - keeping it simple, and focused on what's important.   As I accomplish some, or other things come into the picture (like they always do) - I will change them.  But it will be a regular reminder of where my focus needs to be.