Friday, December 28, 2007

Waiting on the New Year

There's something so louche, so decadent, about the last few days of a year. It's so easy to put off starting the new plans until that magical day arrives, so easy to indulge in whatever pleasures attract the most, that it's sinful.

I reach for another cookie and think, "Next Tuesday I'll start eating nothing but vegetables. When the New Year begins, then I'll wake up early and exercise every day." I cook all the things I love the best, make any new recipe that strikes my fancy. I even scarfed down a box of Williams-Sonoma toffee, which I love. Ah, bliss. How I'd love to get another box--but it's too expensive.

Come January first, I will buckle down. I will get real with my diet and exercise plans. I can see myself happily eating salads, snacking on fruit, drinking water and green tea. I will dig out those exercise tapes (because my plea for $200 for karate lessons for me and my son -- as a Christmas present -- went unheard) and work out by myself. My body is a temple and I will treat it that way.

I found a book in which prayer was described--the kind of prayer I'm interested in learning about, where praying is a combination of thought and emotion, when you concentrate on feeling the blessing of having what you want to come to pass. Not a formula, not a mouthing of words, not wrestling, just entering the stream of reality and giving thanks for the ability to experience the joy of choosing a desired outcome.

So here is my prayer for 2008, that says to the God that is all around us and in us:
Thank you for my body, which has been my faithful servant for nearly a half a century and has done everything I have asked of it.
Thank you for giving me a perfect body, beautiful in every way, lovely even by the standards of the world.
Thank you for helping me to take care of this body and appreciate it in all its wonder.
Let me keep this body safe and healthy, show it love and gratitude, make it as lovely as it can be.
Help me live up to the responsibility of caring for its every need, lavishing it with attention and love as a privilege and not a burden.
Let me feel pleasure for each thing I do for my body.
Let me make this body a high priority in my life. As it has served me, let me serve it too.
Let me begin my next fifty years with a body that is ready and eager to advance effortlessly into the future.
Let me always remember what a blessing my body is.
Thank you for showing me my self every time I look in a mirror, and letting me see the beauty that is there.
Thank you for every day of my life on earth.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Diet? What diet?

All right, so it's the holidays and I'm not doing so well on the healthy-eating-and-controlling-calories (or carbs, or sweets, or fats).

I know that I am a spiritual being on a physical journey, and the Essential Me is perfect and whole. I know that my physical body is nothing more than precipitated thought, the residue of my ideas about myself, about my physical-plane understanding of what it means to be a 49-year-old female here and now. I know that if I had complete and utter faith in the Universe, I could think my body into perfection. I would simply believe that I maintain my perfect weight and it would be so.

But knowing ain't believing. And I love all the cookies and cakes and treats of the season, all the excuses to enjoy and indulge, to set aside everything that is the least bit difficult and just wallow in pleasure. And I am an A-One sybarite, an abandoned hedonist, and boy, do I know how to wallow.

I had a great day today. I went shopping for gifts, then--guiltily knowing that I should return home to a meager meal of scrounged leftovers hastily consumed before I placed my nose firmly against the grindstone--I turned my homeward-bound car around and took myself to a Chinese food place, pulled out the new paperback I was dying to read, and ate potstickers and orange chicken (no veggies! hah! how about that for decadence?) while I plunged into a world of alien mystery and romance. It was divine.

Right before I headed home, I made a flying visit to my favorite gourmet cookie shop for two double-chocolate chip cookies lavished with pink peppermint frosting, and a devil's food cupcake topped with more peppermint frosting for later. At home, I totally ignored the grindstone and turned on the christmas tree lights. I sat in my favorite chair, right next to the tree, and finished my book.

A glass of milk, a treat of chocolate, and a book that wows/ beside the sparkling tree/were Paradise enow (My apologies to Omar Khayyam)

So my work is undone, but I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Christmas is a comin

If you haven't got a hapenny then God bless you

So that's the Christmas song that's taken up residence in my head--weird, huh? According to the Internet, it's not really a Christmas song at all--it's from Halloween, and it's some kind of a beggar's song, like a kinder and gentler "Trick or Treat."

It doesn't feel like Christmas at all. No tree up yet. No presents purchased and hidden away. No mad dashes to the post office. No money, either. Sigh.

I just saw a video from ABC about this woman who lost 500 pounds. She lost the weight when she got a computer and developed on-line friends. I was awed.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Welcome back

That's welcome back, me. I've been AWOL for months, it seems, and now that I have no other possible method of procrastination I've resorted to adding a post to this blog.

Oh, my diet? Nah, I haven't really been paying attention to it. I may have lost a small amount of weight, but the bulk of my efforts have been spent on trying to cope with a major life-transition: from frantic, hyper-busy, no-time-to-think mom with a full-time job and tons of obligations (not to mention dreams and aspirations, which were taking a back seat) to a stay-at-home mom trying to construct a meaningful life all by myself. The latter is much more difficult.

I mean, jobs and schedules provide structure. You're forced into it. But when there's no structure at all and anything is possible (except whatever costs money) then you have to build the structure yourself. That takes motivation and self-discipline on a level that I'm not used to.

It's the same thing with diets. Programs give you the structure and you have to live within its confines. Trying to invent your own diet is hard work, and I find that it's much easier to just eat whatever I feel like instead of making up my own rules.

But I have been trying to find the motivation and inspiration. I've read tons of books on motivation, success, intentional living, prayer, meditation, mystical energy, and so on.

Here's my conclusion: I need to join a group. I want to start taking Tae Kwon Do again, because when I've got a group of people around me, I try harder.