Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Balancing act

Why the hell did I ever stop tracking, working out and drinking lots of water? I don’t find it particularly hard (...right now, anyhow...) and goddamn but it makes me feel good.

Especially the part where I lost two pounds. That part, in particular, rocks.

I guess the answer is probably that at some point, I did find it hard. I guess that’s the part where life gets complicated. Some house guests, some travel, a couple major holidays, a temporary job change, a little family related stress, and the whole thing goes to hell. Because, as I say, that’s life.

If I could, I would dedicate the next twelve months to my health regimen. Ninety-minute workouts every day, three litres of water, perfectly balanced, fresh and delicious meals. But there’s the little matter of my need to work for a living, plus look after the house, have a relationship, see my friends and family, knit, read magazines and look out the window.

And what with me letting go of the idea of perfection, it would seem I don’t need to dedicate every moment of the next twelve months to my health regimen. In fact, the smart money would be on finding the middle ground. Getting in as many of those 90-minute workout days as I can, making sure I move my body in some way, even if it’s just a half hour walk and a few minutes of yoga on the other days. Having and executing a plan for my meals 80 percent of the time, making smart choices on the fly the rest of the time. And working in regular treats, because who am I kidding otherwise. Continuing to put “drink water” on my to-do list every day, so that when I consult it to see what’s next, I see that notation, and it pushes me to the water bottle.

It’s still an incredible amount of stuff to manage. The house, the job, the health, the window-staring, plus the novel, the podcast (stay tuned for more details on that, and a link to the site), the relationship and oh yeah, the wedding. Do nothing by halves has always been my motto. Perhaps I should be looking for a different motto.

One thing I am actively looking for is balance. I have terrible balance, in yoga and in life. All the time I’m encouraging other people to see all the lovely shades of grey that exist, and yet when I check my own responses to the world around me, boy howdy I am one black-and-white mofo. Time, I think, to go back to those heady successful days when all I had to do was look myself in the eye in the mirror each morning, say out loud, let it go, just let it go, and off it went — my stress and the weight.

It’s all about staying present. Well, about staying present and about the freakishly good fake meat product I just ate for supper. Jesus gay, now that’s some delicious naughameat. Seriously, I love me some steak, and I could happily forgo it (nine times out of ten, anyhow, especially if the tenth time involves a barbecue, in which case, make mine real, please) in favour of these [http://schneiders.ca/new/index.html] lower fat, lower calorie, cholesterol free faux beef tips. Tonight, we had them in a stirfry with broccoli and other veg, with brown rice and an orange ginger sauce. If the present always included such a meal, it would not be such a trial to stay in it all the time, you know?

Almost as good as fake beef tips? This recipe from Dr. Andrew Weil, bless his boots: 1/2 cup ricotta or cottage cheese, 2 tbsp cocoa, 2 tbsp honey, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Combine food processor and blend till smooth. Or, in my case, combine in bowl and attack with wand mixer till wand mixer starts to make high pitched whirring sound. Cease mixing, though mixture is far from smooth. Spoon into two dessert dishes. Devour happily, as you have just found a better-than-good substitute for chocolate cheesecake, that sets you back about a hundred and fifty calories. Oh, and I may have added a wee shot of amaretto. It’s not required, but is certainly recommended.

Use it to find balance, friends. That’s how I plan to use it.

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